I’m pretty sure that Islas de Gigantes (Islands of Giants) is in every itinerary of travelers bound for Iloilo City. Who would want to miss the opportunity of seeing these islands with pristine white sand beaches, beautiful rock formations, and bounteous types of fresh seafood?
We only had three whole days to enjoy Iloilo and that is why we cannot spend 2D1N in Islas de Gigantes. I was very particular whilst making our itinerary for this trip because I didn’t want to waste our time by just slacking off in the hotel room. LOL.
Our contact for the island tour is Kuya Rhett Bolivar (+63 949 140 0937). He was able to make an arrangement to pull off a day tour in Islas de Gigantes which is almost impossible due to some circumstances. We were charged P1,500 each. I believe the price is reasonable enough since we had our own private boat and that also includes the entrance fees and ‘buffet’ lunch. I need to mention that it’s not really buffet but more of the ‘unlimited rice’ setup. We were honestly a bit disappointed (because Crabs!), but we then realized that the food they served was actually a lot that it was hard to finish everything on the table.
We hired a cab and left Circle Inn Hotel at 3 in the morning to go to Tagbak Terminal. We were told that the earliest departure of van/bus is at 5 in the morning but fingers-crossed there were van waiting for at least 10 passengers before they leave for Carles. The van left at 4AM and we arrived at Bancal Port at 7AM. We still had time to eat so we looked for nearby ‘karenderyas’ and had breakfast.
We left the port at 8AM (if I’m not mistaken) and we arrived at Pulupandan Island around 9:30AM. There was a LPA that time that’s why the waves were kinda overwhelming. LOL. Pulupandan Island is the smallest island I’ve ever been to! But nevertheless, this island is so picturesque from every corner (is there a corner?!). It is not your typical white sand beach but hell yeah, the rock formations in this island are so on point!
After Pulupandan Island , we then headed to Cabugao Gamay (Antonia Island) which is the famous island in Iloilo. That’s actually the real name of the island which most of the people know as the ‘Isla de Gigantes.’ Cabugao Gamay is just a part of a bigger picture of Islas de Gigantes. This is where you will find both powdery white sand beach on one side and the rocky part on the other side of the beach.
It would require a minor hike to get a beautiful shot of the entire island. Need not to be fit for you to be able to climb your way up, but you definitely need to be extra careful because of the steps. It’s a bit steep and the stairs are made of wood.
We didn’t stay long in this beautiful island because of time! Time is really the worst enemy of travelers. Well, for me. HAHA! We went to Bantigue Sandbar after which is the nearby island from Cabugao Gamay. I super love the waves during our visit! The waves seemed like they have life and they were very playful and I absolutely love the sound they make whenever they hit the shore.
Below is the itinerary we followed for our Day 2 (Islas de Gigantes day tour) in Iloilo city. Hope this helps!
DAY 2 – Islas de Gigantes
2:30 AM – 3:00 AM Wake up, get ready then ride a cab to Tagbak bus terminal.
3:00 AM – 7:00 AM From the bus terminal, ride a van bound for Carles and alight at Bancal Port.
7:00 AM – 8:00 AM Breakfast while waiting for island hopping to start.
8:00 AM – 9:30 AM Islas de Gigantes adventure starts.
9:30 AM – 10:00 AM Pulupandan Island
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Cabugao Gamay
11:30AM – 12:30 NN Bantigue Sandbar
12:30 PM – 2:00 PM Buffet lunch
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM Back to Bancal Port
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Shower and get ready
4:00 PM – 7:00 PM Travel time back to Iloilo
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM Dinner at Breakthrough Restaurant
You may check out and see what were the places we explored on our Day 1!