Guimaras is synonymous to the sweetest fruit that the island produce, Mangoes. (Mangoes has its season and may not be available at all times). Definitely there are a few who have known the beauty and charm of this island, a place of solitude to escape the fast pace of life; a retreat from the “concrete jungles” that surround many of us; serene environment where you can lose your worries and indulge in true rest and relaxation.
So why would one dare miss a visit to this enchanting place if the opportunity is already at hand? Adventuroj surely won’t.
Iloilo to Guimaras Trip
After departing Ong Bun Pension house in Iloilo city (just checked in there fresh from Kalibo, left our baggage, and freshen up a bit), my family and I immediately headed to Parola port for the boats that will take us to Guimaras. (There is actually another port [Ortiz Wharf] which also plies the Iloilo-Guimaras route but since it’s September and it’s habagat season the waves will be bigger than the usual, taking boats from Ortiz Wharf boats are discouraged.)
Guimaras Island can only be reached by a boat (Php 14 per person).
After arriving at the island, we went straight ahead to the tourist information located at the waiting shed outside the arrival area of the Jordan Wharf. Then register. They also provided options for your transportation and provide you with a map around the island. There’s a set rate for vehicle rentals regulated by the Guimaras Provincial Government. We end up with a rented multicab for 1,800php for the whole day tour.
Tour includes the following:
- Smallest Plaza
- Trappist Monastery
- Camp Alfredo
- Alubihod beach
- Raymen Beach
- Macopo Falls
- 17th Century Old Guisi Light house
- Pasalubong Center and the Provincial Capitol
- Museo de Guimaras
Have your photo taken at the once smallest plaza in the world! Guimaras once held the word record for this tiny plaza. I am not sure if they have been dethroned or what for now but the plaza is really cool.
If you’re looking for some peaceful ambiance, then you could opt to stay here. It is very quiet and the place has this totally spiritual feel to it. Also do not forget to hit the Trappist Abbey gift shop for some very cool mango-infused pasalubong to bring home to your family and friends.
We took our lunch here at Raymen Beach Resort at Alubihod, Nueva Valencia.
The scenic view of the beach is also a beauty not worth missing when you’re here. If Zamboanga boasts of its Pink Sand beaches, Boracay of its white, then Guimaras surely won’t be behind with its yellow shoreline.
Raymen also offers an island hopping tour that includes Ave Maria Beach, Lawi Marine Turtle Rescue Center, Buho Ramirez Cave, Natago Beach, Sol y Luna and Baras Beach Resort/Cave but since it’s running out of time and we’ve already had enough of our Boracay Island Hopping, we just decline the adventure for now. (I’ll be sure to come back here next time but no longer w/ my family, it’s real hard to travel with the unequally adventurous ones. hehe)
17th Century Old Guisi Light house
Here we’ve had most of our photo ops. You’ll surely be amazed with the ruins of this 17th Century Old Lighthouse, the 2nd oldest in the country according to the tour guide. Imagine that!
After a trekking the Light house, you could freshen up with a Buko at the crossroads nearby.
You could also visit other beach resorts near Guisi Lighthouse. When I come back here, I’ll make sure to spend a night here. 🙂
Other Sights and Scenes
*Tip: Try to come to Guimaras during mango season. Obviously I was not able to taste the sweetest mangoes in the country because the season is far out but really don’t feel bad for me because I was able to buy a green one, brought it home in Davao and just waited for it to ripen up. Hehe. It’s also funny to know that in Iloilo we were able to find ripe mangoes from Guimaras (we tried some when we’ve had our Dinner @Tatoy’s) but in Guimaras we found no ripe ones. How ironic!
|The above blog post is part of my Iloilo – Guimaras – Kalibo – Boracay Adventure series of posts that happened last September 27-30, 2012. To read more the rest of the series, click on the following links: | Boracay Family Trip via Iloilo | Iloilo – Boracay Roadtrip | | Descent and the Night Life in Boracay, Philippines | Exploring the Mystique Crystal Cove Cave | Snorkeling and Fish Feeding at Boracay | Boracay Helmet Diving Underwater Exploration! | Beach Bumming at Boracay | City Strolling and Malling at Kalibo | Exploring the White Islands of Boracay | Adventuroj Guimaras Island Tour