Adventuroj Guimaras Island Tour

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).

Guimaras Tour

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

Smallest Plaza

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.

Trappist Monastery

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.

Raymen Beach

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
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Boracay Family Trip via Iloilo

It is my father’s birthday and to celebrate his big day Adventuroj planned a trip to Boracay for the whole family.

It has been my nth time to Boracay already, but my last one was still before I’ve become a travel blogger. So this is actually my first time as adventuroj and a first time for the whole family.

Below is the itineraries I’ve planned, with two versions for my father’s convenience (which ever he chooses). Feel free to download it as you wish.

Happy trip!

Iloilo – Guimaras – Kalibo – Boracay Trip

Iloilo – Boracay Itinerary v.1

Day & Time Activity Est. Expenses
September 27, 2012
7:45-8:50am Departure Davao – Iloilo
Fare to airport 100
Terminal Fee 200
9am Travel to Bus Terminal: Ceres Liner bus station in Iloilo is in Rizal St. (Tanza) 50
10am Take Ceres Bus from Iloilo to Kalibo (fare: PhP325.00) with travel time of around 6 hours with at least two stop-overs (snacks comfort breaks in usually not-so-orderly toilets). 9am or 12nn trip [All Ceres buses to Kalibo and Caticlan/Buruanga take the Passi route.] or hire van (2,000php) 350
3pm Lunch 100
Check in at Ati Atihan County Inn 300
sampaguita gardens ang meron precious moments dolls
6pm *Ramboys for their lechon liempo,
*RML for the chicken bacolod or
*Seawall for the pizza
*Abregana, a nice hangout place with live music. They have yummy pizzas!..
100
September 28, 2012 From Kalibo: Get a Jeepney or bus to Caticlan (two hours). 100
From Caticlan to Boracay Ferry 15
Take tricycle from Pilahan to Crafts Supermarket 20
May gate 5meters behind ATM, dumaan kayo sa gitna ng nagtitinda ng damit at karne sa right side
10am Check in at Villa Lourdes Resort [Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan] Mobile: (+63923) 714-8747, (+63917) 917-2513 400
Lunch 100
There are lots of activities to keep you occupied on the island. You can try helmet diving, snorkeling, island hopping, parasailing and what not’s.
Have cocktails while watching the spectacular sunset. Take advantage of the happy hour as most resorts offer a buy one take one promo on drinks.
September 29, 2012 Return trip (earliest) Caticlan to Iloilo is at 630am. 350
Check in at Ong Bun Pension [Corner Quezon-Ledesma St] Mobile: (+63910) 433-5048, (+63923) 252-0292 [950php for 6] 150
Must See and Do:
Island Hopping in Guimaras: Baras Cave, Pawikan Island, Ave Maria Island, SEAFDEC
Guimaras Tour : Trappist Monastery, Plantation , Guisi Light house
Places to Eat: The Pitstop in Guimaras
Places to stay: Raymen Resort, Guisi Beach Resort
12nn Back in the city, have a steaming bowl of Batchoy from either Ted’s or Deco’s. 100
1pm Head to Ortiz Wharf in Iloilo City. Cross the Sulu straight via pump boats for 15 minutes. When you get to Jordan Wharf in GUIMARAS ISLAND, there are multi-cabs and tricycles for hire to bring you to Nueva Valencia where La Puerta Al Paraiso is. 100
Ask the driver to drop by at the supermarket to buy the world famous Guimaras Mangoes.
Things we did in Guimaras: Ambakan Waterfalls, Raymen Beach, Trappist Monastery, Island Hopping (SEAFDEC, Turtle Island, Ave Maria, etc.), buy mangoes. 100
5pm Back to the wharf: Along the way, stop at the TRAPPIST MONASTERY for some pasalubong shopping. The calamansi and guava jams, mango flavored piayas and mango bars were a hit and a personal favorite. 100
6pm Reward yourself with a seafood feast for dinner by the beach at either Tatoy’s or Breakthrough in Villa. A heaping plate of fresh oysters is only Php 50 (USD 1.16) 100
or just stay at Iloilo
Must See and Do:
Miag-ao Church
Molo Church
Jaro Church
12nn Lunch at Ted’s Oldtimer La Paz Batchoy
Head to Museo Iloilo at Bonifacio Drive and spend time marveling at fossils, stone age potteries, prehistoric tools and other artifacts depicting the lives and culture of early Panay natives. Walking around Calle Real will give you a nostalgic feeling of Iloilo’s grandiose colonial past. While you’re here be sure to grab a few Queen Siopaos from Roberto’s to munch on. A visit to Aduana Building is also a must for a panoramic 360 degree view of Iloilo and Guimaras. Finally, go to Plaza Libertad and end your walking tour here.
6pm Dinner: Tatoy’s Manokan and Seafood at Villa. Eat to your stomach’s content and enjoy Iloilo’s chicken inasal and some grilled seafood.
September 30, 2012 Travel to Airport
9am Flight Iloilo to Davao
Total Estimated Expenses 2985

Guimaras – Iloilo – Boracay Itinerary v2

Day & Time Activity Est. Expenses
September 27, 2012
7:45-8:50am Departure Davao – Iloilo
Fare to airport 100
Terminal Fee 200
Guimaras Side Trip
11am Head to Ortiz Wharf in Iloilo City. Cross the Sulu straight via pump boats for 15 minutes. When you get to Jordan Wharf in GUIMARAS ISLAND, there are multi-cabs and tricycles for hire to bring you to Nueva Valencia where La Puerta Al Paraiso is. 100
Look for the Guimaras Tourism Office located at the waiting shed outside the arrival area of the Jordan Wharf. The tourism officer can arrange your transportation to Guisi Beach or any destination in Guimaras. There’s a set rate for vehicle rentals regulated by the Guimaras Provincial Government.
Guisi Beach is 45 minutes to 1 hour away from Jordan Wharf. Rates for multicabs (8 to 10 people) and shuttle L300 vans (10 to 14 people) start from P500 per vehicle.
Check in at Guisi. 300
GUISI HERITAGE COTTAGE – Dolores, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras
Contact Persons: Mrs. Henreitta Dulla / Jose Garonita
Contact Numbers: 09205470288 / 091559466061 / 09274640488 / 09154570088
I encourage you to spend a night here in Guisi, it will be your most unforgettable experience while doing this trip. The Heritage Cottage can fit 6 people for only P1,500. You would also notice the old lighthouse built by the Spanish to guide their ships navigating off Iloilo Strait. If you’re not yet convinced to stay here, how about imagining yourself waking up with the stunning view of clear blue sea and the three lighthouses built just near each other.
Ask the driver to drop by at the supermarket to buy the world famous Guimaras Mangoes.
Things we did in Guimaras: Ambakan Waterfalls, Raymen Beach, Trappist Monastery, Island Hopping (SEAFDEC, Turtle Island, Ave Maria, etc.), buy mangoes. 50
For our tour which included Macopo Falls, Trappist Monastery, Sadsad Falls, Valle Verde Mountain resort, Alubihod beach, lunch and pasalubong shopping at San Miguel town, totalling to 4.5 hours, haggled price was P900. 300
Must See and Do:
Island Hopping in Guimaras: Baras Cave, Pawikan Island, Ave Maria Island, SEAFDEC
Guimaras Tour : Trappist Monastery, Plantation , Guisi Light house
Places to Eat: The Pitstop in Guimaras
Places to stay: Raymen Resort, Guisi Beach Resort
Along the way, stop at the TRAPPIST MONASTERY for some pasalubong shopping. The calamansi and guava jams, mango flavored piayas and mango bars were a hit and a personal favorite. 100
September 28, 2012
Back to Jordan Wharf – Iloilo City
9am Travel to Bus Terminal: Ceres Liner bus station in Iloilo is in Rizal St. (Tanza) 50
10am Take Ceres Bus from Iloilo to Caticlan (fare: PhP325.00) with travel time of around 6 hours with at least two stop-overs (snacks comfort breaks in usually not-so-orderly toilets). 9am or 12nn trip [All Ceres buses to Kalibo and Caticlan/Buruanga take the Passi route.] or hire van (2,000php) 400
From Caticlan to Boracay Ferry 15
Take tricycle from Pilahan to Crafts Supermarket 20
May gate 5meters behind ATM, dumaan kayo sa gitna ng nagtitinda ng damit at karne sa right side
3pm Check in at Villa Lourdes Resort [Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan] Mobile: (+63923) 714-8747, (+63917) 917-2513 400
Dinner 100
There are lots of activities to keep you occupied on the island. You can try helmet diving, snorkeling, island hopping, parasailing and what not’s.
Have cocktails while watching the spectacular sunset. Take advantage of the happy hour as most resorts offer a buy one take one promo on drinks.
September 29, 2012 Return trip (earliest) Caticlan to Iloilo is at 630am. 350
Check in at Ong Bun Pension [Corner Quezon-Ledesma St] Mobile: (+63910) 433-5048, (+63923) 252-0292 [950php for 6] 150
12nn Back in the city, have a steaming bowl of Batchoy from either Ted’s or Deco’s. 100
Must See and Do:
Miag-ao Church
Molo Church
Jaro Church
Head to Museo Iloilo at Bonifacio Drive and spend time marveling at fossils, stone age potteries, prehistoric tools and other artifacts depicting the lives and culture of early Panay natives. Walking around Calle Real will give you a nostalgic feeling of Iloilo’s grandiose colonial past. While you’re here be sure to grab a few Queen Siopaos from Roberto’s to munch on. A visit to Aduana Building is also a must for a panoramic 360 degree view of Iloilo and Guimaras. Finally, go to Plaza Libertad and end your walking tour here.
6pm Reward yourself with a seafood feast for dinner by the beach at either Tatoy’s or Breakthrough in Villa. A heaping plate of fresh oysters is only Php 50 (USD 1.16). Eat to your stomach’s content and enjoy Iloilo’s chicken inasal and some grilled seafood. 100
September 30, 2012 Travel to Airport 100
9am Flight Iloilo to Davao
Total Estimated Expenses 2935

I’ll be updating you of our trip in my coming post. For now I’d be enjoying the scenic views of the province as we trek Boracay from Iloilo via a rented van. Until next time adventurers! *It’s my first time wrting and publishing a blog post while I’m on the road. Haha

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