Guimaras Island is a hidden gem in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. Known as the “Mango Capital of the Philippines,” Guimaras Island boasts of its sweet and juicy mangoes, which are exported worldwide. However, there’s more to Guimaras Island than just its delicious mangoes. With its pristine beaches, natural rock formations, and historic landmarks, Guimaras Island is a must-visit destination for travelers who want to experience the beauty of the Philippines.
There are plenty of things to do on Guimaras Island, from island hopping to exploring historic landmarks. One of the top attractions on Guimaras Island is the Guisi Lighthouse, a historic lighthouse that offers stunning sea views. Another must-visit destination is the Fairy Castle Rock Formation, a unique natural rock formation that looks like a castle. Guimaras Island is also home to beautiful beaches, such as Alubihod Beach and Guisi Beach, where visitors can swim, sunbathe, and relax.
Getting to Guimaras Island
Guimaras Island is a popular tourist destination in the Philippines, known for its pristine beaches, lush mango orchards, and unique rock formations. Located in Western Visayas, Guimaras Island is accessible via Iloilo City, the gateway to the island.
Iloilo International Airport, located in Cabatuan, Iloilo City, is the nearest airport to Guimaras Island. From there, visitors can take a taxi or a shuttle van to Parola Port, which is the jump-off point to Guimaras Island.
By Land and Sea
Another option is to take a bus or a van from Iloilo City to Parola Port, which takes about 30 minutes. From there, visitors can take a ferry or a pump boat to Guimaras Island, which takes about 15-20 minutes.
Transportation Options on Guimaras Island
Once on Guimaras Island, visitors can rent a tricycle or a motorcycle to explore the island. Some jeepneys and buses serve the island’s main towns and tourist spots.
It is important to note that the schedules of the ferries and pump boats to Guimaras Island may vary depending on the weather conditions and other factors. Visitors are advised to check the schedules and make the necessary arrangements to avoid any inconvenience.
Famous Beaches and Resorts
Guimaras Island is known for its beautiful beaches and world-class resorts. Visitors can enjoy the warm sun, clear blue sea, and swimming areas. Here are some of the most popular beaches and resorts on the island:
Alubihod Beach is one of the most famous beaches on Guimaras Island. The beach is known for its clear blue waters and white sand. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. The area also has several beach resorts, including Raymen Beach Resort and Andana Resort Guimaras.
Raymen Beach Resort
Raymen Beach Resort is a popular beach resort located on Alubihod Beach. The resort offers comfortable accommodations, swimming pools, and a restaurant. Visitors can also enjoy water sports, such as kayaking and snorkeling.
Andana Resort Guimaras
Andana Resort Guimaras is another popular beach resort located on Alubihod Beach. The resort offers luxurious accommodations, a swimming pool, and a restaurant. Visitors can also enjoy water sports, such as kayaking and snorkeling.
Sinogoura Beach Resort
Sinogoura Beach Resort is a secluded beach resort located on a private beach. The resort offers comfortable accommodations, a swimming pool, and a restaurant. Visitors can also enjoy water sports, such as kayaking and snorkeling.
Costa Aguada Island Resort
Costa Aguada Island Resort is a beach resort located on a private island. The resort offers luxurious accommodations, a swimming pool, and a restaurant. Visitors can also enjoy water sports, such as kayaking and snorkeling.
Natago Beach Resort
Natago Beach Resort is a secluded beach resort located on a private beach. The resort offers comfortable accommodations, a swimming pool, and a restaurant. Visitors can also enjoy water sports, such as kayaking and snorkeling.
Island Hopping Adventures
Guimaras Island is known for its crystal-clear waters and lush greenery. One of the best ways to explore the island is through island hopping adventures. Here are some of the must-visit islands and spots that you can include in your itinerary:
Ave Maria Islet
Ave Maria Islet is a small, uninhabited island just a few minutes from Alubihod Beach. The island is known for its white sand beach and crystal-clear waters, making it a perfect spot for swimming and snorkeling. Visitors can also rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the surrounding waters.
Taklong Island National Marine Reserve
Taklong Island National Marine Reserve is a protected area on the eastern side of Guimaras Island. The reserve covers an area of 1,143 hectares and is home to a diverse range of marine life, including sea turtles, giant clams, and various fish species. Visitors can go on a snorkeling or diving tour to explore the colorful coral reefs and marine life.
Fairy Castle Rock Formation
Fairy Castle Rock Formation is a unique rock formation located on the western side of Guimaras Island. The formation is made up of towering limestone cliffs that resemble a castle. Visitors can take a boat tour around the formation to get a closer look at the cliffs and the surrounding waters.
Island hopping adventures are a great way to explore the beauty of Guimaras Island. Visitors can choose from various tours and activities catering to different interests and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day on the beach or an adventurous underwater exploration, Guimaras Island has something to offer everyone.
Historical and Cultural Sites
The Trappist Monastery in Guimaras is a peaceful religious site run by monks of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance. This sacred enclave is a must-visit when touring the Guimaras Island of the Philippines. Visitors can explore the peaceful grounds, learn about the monastery’s history, and experience a spiritual retreat.
Guisi Lighthouse is a historic landmark that has been standing for over a century. This lighthouse is located on the southwestern coast of Guimaras Island and is a popular spot for visitors to take photos and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding area. The lighthouse is also a great spot to watch the sunset.
The Smallest Plaza in the Philippines is located in Jordan, Guimaras. This tiny plaza is a unique attraction with a small monument, benches, and a flagpole. Despite its size, the plaza is a popular spot for visitors to take photos and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Holy Family Hills
The Holy Family Hills is a religious site with life-size statues depicting the Stations of the Cross. This spiritual experience is located in Buenavista, Guimaras, and offers visitors the opportunity to reflect on the life and death of Jesus Christ. The site also features a chapel, a grotto, and a beautiful view of the surrounding area.
Balaan Bukid Shrine
The Balaan Bukid Shrine is a religious site with a giant cross and a beautiful view of the surrounding area. This spiritual experience is in San Lorenzo, Guimaras, a popular spot for visitors to take photos and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. The site also features a small chapel and a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Guimaras Island is a natural paradise that boasts stunning natural attractions. From caves to wind farms, there is no shortage of places to explore for nature lovers. This section will highlight some of the must-visit natural attractions on the island.
Baras Cave is a popular destination for spelunkers and adventure seekers. This cave is located in Jordan and is known for its unique rock formations and underground river. Visitors can explore the cave’s various chambers and marvel at the natural beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites.
Buho Ramirez Cave
Buho Ramirez Cave is another popular cave on Guimaras Island. This cave is located in Nueva Valencia and is known for its natural rock formations and underground river. The cave is also home to a colony of bats, which adds to the cave’s eerie atmosphere. Visitors can explore the cave’s various chambers and enjoy the cool temperature.
San Lorenzo Wind Farm
San Lorenzo Wind Farm is a must-visit destination for those interested in renewable energy. The wind farm is located in San Lorenzo and features rows of towering wind turbines that generate clean energy for the island. Visitors can take a guided tour of the wind farm and learn about the technology behind wind power.
Whether you are a nature lover or an adventure seeker, Guimaras Island has something for everyone. From exploring caves to visiting wind farms, the island’s natural attractions will leave you in awe.
Guimaras Island offers a range of unique experiences for visitors to enjoy. From visiting a mango plantation to experiencing a fish spa, there is something for everyone. Here are some of the top unique experiences to try on Guimaras Island.
Mango Plantation Visit
Guimaras is known for its delicious mangoes, and visitors can get a firsthand look at where they come from by visiting a mango plantation. One of the most popular plantations is the Trappist Monastery, which has produced mangoes for over 100 years. Visitors can take a tour of the plantation, learn about the cultivation process, and taste some of the delicious mangoes.
For a unique and relaxing experience, visitors can try a fish spa. This involves dipping your feet into a tank of water filled with small fish that nibble away at dead skin cells, leaving your feet feeling soft and smooth. There are several fish spas on Guimaras Island, including the Raymen Beach Resort Fish Spa.
For the more adventurous visitors, kitesurfing is a thrilling experience not to be missed. Guimaras Island has some of the best kitesurfing spots in the Philippines, thanks to its consistent winds and clear waters. Kitesurfing lessons are available for beginners, and there are several rental shops on the island for those with their equipment.
Overall, Guimaras Island offers a range of unique experiences for visitors, from visiting a mango plantation to trying a fish spa or kitesurfing.
Guimaras Island is known for its sweet and succulent mangoes, considered among the best in the world. Unsurprisingly, mangoes are a staple ingredient in many of the island’s dishes. Visitors should not miss trying the famous mango pizza, which can be found in several restaurants on the island. The Pitstop Restaurant in San Miguel is one of the most popular places to try this unique dish.
Aside from mango pizza, there are plenty of other local delicacies to sample on Guimaras Island. Seafood lovers will enjoy fresh catches like crabs, prawns, and fish, cooked in various ways. Some of the most popular seafood dishes on the island include grilled squid, kinilaw (a type of ceviche), and sinigang (a sour soup).
Another must-try dish on Guimaras Island is the kadyos, baboy, and langka. This hearty stew is made with pork, jackfruit, and pigeon peas, and is a popular comfort food among locals. It’s often served with rice and a side of pickled papaya.
For those with a sweet tooth, there are plenty of desserts on Guimaras Island. Mangoes are once again a star ingredient and can be found in desserts like mango float, ice cream, and mango tart. Other sweet treats to try include biscocho (a type of butter cookie), piaya (a flatbread filled with muscovado sugar), and barquillos (a crispy wafer cookie).