Isla Gigantes - Travel Guide

This article contains a travel guide for a trip going to Gigantes Island. In case you missed what happened during my trip, you can the read the stories at: Gigantes Escapade and Gigantes Escapade Day 2 – Island Hopping. Gigantes Island can be reached via Iloilo City if one is coming from Manila, Cebu, Bacolod and Davao. Alternatively, it can also be reached via Roxas City which is nearer to Estancia if you'll be coming from Manila. For this trip, we took the route via Iloilo City since we went here after the Dinagyang Festival.



Gigantes Island or Asluman town is in the 2nd class municipality of Carles, Ilolilo. It is 146km or approximately 3 hours going north from Iloilo City via Estancia Port. A van that can accommodate up to 12 people can be rented from the airport going directly to Estancia for P3,000. If you’re travelling alone or with a buddy, take the cab going to Tagbak Terminal. The rate going out of the airport to any point in Iloilo City is P500. There are buses or non-aircon vans for hire plying to Estancia at P180 and P150 respectively.



There is only one ferry trip from Estancia port to Gigantes Island, which leaves at 2PM. If you are still early, buy your P80 ferry tickets then head to Paon Beach Club for lunch by tricycle. They have a variety of menus at a very reasonable price, the problem though is that waiting time is around 1 hour but it’s worth the wait. A must try is Binakol, which is similar to Pork Stew but coconut juice is used instead of water. They also serve fresh seafood.



You can buy fruits and other stuff at the market near Estancia port while waiting for the ferry. The capacity of the ferryboat is 60 people but they accommodate up to 80 pax. You can also opt to get your own pumpboat so you can have a stopover at Pulupandan Island since the ferry does not stop there.



There are several accommodations in Asluman but I recommend staying at Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn owned by the tourism officer of Carles - Joel Decano (09184865006 or 09166690596). He is also the contact person for the island hopping.



Gigantes Hideaway can also prepare your full board meals – dinner on day 1, breakfast, island hopping lunch and dinner on day 2 and breakfast on day 3. They will serve fresh seafood scallops cooked in a variety of ways. You will be charged only for cost of the ingredients used so just provide additional tip for the cook.

Island hopping and other activities start the following day. The smaller boat can accommodate up to 5 persons at P1,500 while the bigger boat can accommodate 15 persons at P4,500.



The only trip back to Estancia port is at 8AM but may extend up to 9AM, make sure to be early. For this trip, the expenses for each person with a group of 8 is P4,500 including van from Iloilo airport and coming back to Iloilo airport, private boat to Gigantes Island and coming back to Estancia port, boat for island hopping, 5 buffet meals (mostly seafood), fruits, overflowing coffee, fees, entrances, land transport, habal-habal, spelunking and guide.



IN A NUTSHELL:

How to get here:

Estancia, Iloilo is the jump-off to Gigantes Group of Islands. This municipality can be reached via the cities of Iloilo and Roxas. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air have flights going to both cities.

Via Iloilo City:

Travel time is approximately 2.5 to 3 hours. For small groups, take Itinerary Option 1 (requires more travel time, less expensive). For groups of at least 8-12, take Itinerary Option 2 for efficient use and control of time. This option allows travelers to pass by Pulupundan Islet then swim and wait for sunset at Gigantes Sur.

Via Roxas City

Travel time is approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours. For small groups, proceed to KM1 Bus Terminal (the only bus and van terminal in the city). Take van going to Estancia and follow details of Itinerary Option 1 upon arrival. For groups of at least 8-12, rent van directly from airport to Estancia to save up on time and follow Itinerary Option 2 when you reach the town.

Where to stay and eat:

Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn (GHTI) is the only option for now. Contact person is Joel Decano: 09166967599 (globe) and 09184685006 (smart). He is the tourism officer of Carles and owner of the said accommodation. They will provide you with the food the whole duration of your stay including the island hopping. They serve an overload of scallops and other seafood. You can also buy fruits, food and water supplies at Estancia.

What to expect:

There is no electricity here. Power is provided by a generator during nighttime. There is little or no mobile signal here. Activities include the following:

1. White sand Beaches
2. Sandbar
3. Lagoon
4. Caving
5. Scallops Overload

Itinerary Option 1 (1-4 pax)

Day 1
0600H Meet up at airport for those coming via plane, breakfast
0700H Head to Tagbak bus terminal
0730H ETD for Estancia
1100H ETA Estancia, buy supply and necessities, early lunch
1200H Head to fish port, wait for ferry
1300H Board Gigantes ferry at fishing port
1400H ETD Estancia Port
1630H ETA Asluman, Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn (GHTI)
1830H Dinner

Day 2
0400H Wakeup call
0430H ETD Parola
0530H ETA Parola
0600H ETD back to GHTI
0700H ETA GHTI, wash up, breakfast
0900H Start of Island Hopping, lunch in one of the islands
1800H ETA GHTI, wash up
1930H Dinner

Day 3
0500H Wake up call, prepare to leave
0630H Head to ferry for Estancia
0700H Board Ferry
0800H Departure for Estancia
1030H Arrival at Estancia, brunch
1200H Departure for Iloilo
1500H Arrival at Iloilo, free time, buy pasalubong, early dinner
1900H Head for airport
1930H Check-in

Itinerary Option 2 (group)

Day 1
0600H Meet up at airport for those coming via plane, Lapaz Batchoy for light breakfast
0700H ETD via private van
1000H ETA Estancia Port, proceed to Paon Beach Club, order lunch
1100H Lunch
1200H Estancia Port, buy fruits, mineral water, other stuff
1230H ETD Estancia Port (rented boat)
1400H ETA Pulupandan Island, swimming
1500H ETD for Gigantes Island
1600H ETA Gigantes Island Sur, swimming wait for sunset
1800H ETD Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn (GHTI)
1930H Dinner

Day 2
0400H Wakeup call
0430H ETD Parola
0530H ETA Parola
0600H ETD back to GHTI
0700H ETA GHTI, wash up, breakfast
0900H Start of Island Hopping, lunch in one of the islands
1800H ETA GHTI, wash up
1930H Dinner

Day 3
0500H Wake up call, prepare for spelunking in the main island
0530H ETD habal-habal ride
0545H ETA at jump-off, trek
0600H enter main opening
0700H exit at back opening, traverse to jump-off
0715H jump-off, habal-habal to GHTI
0730H ETA GHTI, breakfast, wash up
1000H ETD for Estancia (rented boat)
1200H ETA Estancia port, lunch at Mang Andoks
1300H ETD for Iloilo
1600H Arrival at Iloilo, free time, buy pasalubong, early dinner
1900H Head for airport
1930H Arrive airport, check in

Gigantes Escapade

Gigantes Escapade Day 2 - Island Hopping






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34 comments:

  1. Panalo talaga ang pagkain nila Kuya Joel. :) Parang unli scallops hehe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ikaw na ang mananawa sa scallops, hehehe!

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  2. Thanks sa info. Pwedeng malaman ang price ng Gigantes Hideaway touris Inn ?Is there a website na pwedeng puntahan for prices?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the rates for Gigantes Hideaway Inn is P200 or P250 per head sharing sa room, there are rooms good for 2 and good for 5, they dont really have a website for prices, if you're a group of 8-12 pax (to maximize van & boat), I can probably help you arrange a trip here from pickup from the aiport and going back (option 2). if you'll be coming with a friend or two, take option 1 so it will be cheaper for you.

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  3. I'm really tired of Boracay. I think that I'll try Gigantes next time around. The posted itinerary is very informative -- thank you, thank you. I don't know, however, if I can follow the aggressive scheduling since my group will most likely include some "hard headed females" (my daughters). Wa-ay gapamati' kag mga budlay pukawon. Anyway, We'll be there soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. definitely must visit ang Gigantes, thanks for visiting my blog, you might also wanna try Kalanggaman Island in Leyte and Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte (voted #1 Philippine Tourist Gem for 2013). I have travel guide for both unspoiled islands, both have no electricity yet.

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  4. Hi! May i know how much is the boat rental? Thank you!

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  5. Hi! Magkanu po ang boat rental. Dalawa lang kasi kami pupunta ng Iloilo. Kelan din po yung Dinagyang festival? Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. boat for 2 will be around 1,500. dinagyang festival is held every 4th sunday of january. we have a trip here feb 6-9, 2015, with the last day optional since it will be a tour around guimaras.

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  6. Hi! Is there any other way to contact Mr. Decano? Tried to text him with both numbers posted but got no response. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. there is barely signal in Gigantes Island and its really hard to contact him

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  7. Hi, Please email me info (prices and itinerary options) about the tour for 2 persons @ andreiclay01@gmail.com. Thanks

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  8. Hi! Do you have contact numbers po for the van and boat rental? 9pm kasi yung flight namin from Manila. Sayang yung oras so we're thinking na magtravel na ng gabi. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi! Do you have contact numbers po for the van and boat rental? 9pm kasi yung flight namin from Manila. Sayang yung oras so we're thinking na magtravel na ng gabi. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi! Do you have contact numbers po for the van and boat rental? 9pm kasi yung flight namin from Manila. Sayang yung oras so we're thinking na magtravel na ng gabi. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  11. May iba po bang no. Si mr joel decano cannot be reach po un no. Nya

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  12. May iba po bang no. Si mr joel decano cannot be reach po un no. Nya

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. baka nasa gigantes sya sir, wala kasi signal pag nasa gigantes sir. pag nasa estancia sya, saka sya nakaka-receive ng call.

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  13. It looked similar to Vietnam's Mekong delta. An ideal accommodation for the summer :)

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  14. Hello,

    Magkano po ung rented boat from Gigantes to Estacia port? Kasi 8am lang ung trip pabalik, we need to get back to the mainland in the afternoon for the early morning flight the following day.

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. depende po maam sa bilang nyo. yung sa amin po kasi, package kinuha namin from estancia to gigantes, island hopping, then gigantes to estancia.

      Delete
  15. We Offer Van Rental From Any AirPorts/Kalibo/Caticlan/Iloilo to Banca Port gateway to Gigantes Island call us Kevin 09271409816 Sarceno Land Tours

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How much is the van rental to estancia?

      Delete
  16. Thanks for the itinerary guide suggestion, Mike... I had a successful trip to Carles. 'Hope we can exchange blog links.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks ian! yes we can exchange blog links. if you back to iloilo, you might wanna explore balubadiangan island, i have a short article about my trip last year.

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  17. Hi sir! 8 po kami sa group, planning po sana mag rent nalang ng boat para makaalis agad kung maaga kami sa port.. possible po ba yun? and pwede bang one way lang yung rented boat? :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. possible po yun, most probably yun na rin boat nyo for island hopping. pwede naman 1-way para makatipid kayo. though, kailangan maaga dapat kasi baka mapuno agad ang boat, pero around 7am or 8am yata sya umaalis papunta ng estancia.

      kung pressed for time kayo, mas ok mag-private papunta-pabalik.

      then baka may mga kasabay kayo na dumating ng iloio airport na pupunta din ng isla gigantes, kung kasing kapal ng mukha ko kayo at may matanong kayo na going to gigantes, ayain nyo na para may kahati kay sa boat, pwede rin kayo kumuha ng van directly from airport para di sayang waiting time nyo na babalik pa ng van/bus terminal kasi medyo malayo ang ikot and traffic pagdaan ng iloilo city propoer.

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  18. Excellent share!

    I appreciate the efforts!

    This informative stuff is actually helpful for all those who plan their vacations to have excellent sailing experience.

    Keep sharing! I would surely look forward!

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  19. How much po yung cost if 2 lng kayo? in 3 days ?
    From bacolod to Gigantes island?

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  20. And what time po dapat aalis for example nasa bacolod ako. approximately po what time dapat aalis para makaka abot kami ng 1st trip?

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  21. Is it possible to get back to the mainland in the afternoon? We have an early flight from Iloilo the next day

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  22. anong oras po ung last trip from tagbak terminal bus/van to carles?

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  23. hello .. wat time ung last trip from tagbak bus/van to carles?

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  24. How far is Estancia Port to Paon Beach? How many minutes? or hours? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete