The idea of solo travel sounds scary especially when it comes to budget because you have no one to share the expenses with. It’s my first time to travel solo outside my home province, Cebu. I was fortunate enough to meet new friends, Reese and two of her friends, whom I could share the expenses with from island hopping to food.
Islas de Gigantes is becoming a popular destination of the province of Ilo-ilo. It is comprised of two major islands, Gigantes Norte and Gigantes Sur.
It was a perfect destination for me where cellular signals do not exist and all you have to do is appreciate every bit of wonder and beauty of the island.
HOW TO GET THERE?
From Roxas: Take a van or bus from terminal bound for Estancia. Travel time is less than 2 hours. From Estancia, take a trike going to the port.
From Iloilo: Take a van or bus from Tagbak terminal. Travel time is approximately 4 hours.
From Cebu: Take a bus from North Bus terminal bound for Bantayan via Hagnaya. Travel time is about 4 – 5 hours. From Hagnaya port, ride a boat bound for Sta Fe., Bantayan. Travel time is about 2 hours. From there, ride another boat bound for Estancia. Travel time is about 3 hours.
There are two ports in going to Gigantes. One is located in Carles. Bancal Port to Langob Port Gigantes Norte:
Langob Port to Bancal Port:
Another one is located in Estancia. Make sure to get there in time. There is only one trip per day going to Gigantes Norte.
Estancia to Asluman:
Asluman to Estancia:
You can also start your island hopping from Bancal Port before heading to your resort. We were not able to catch the passenger boat, so, this was our last option we had to take. You may contact Dionisio Orbeta at 09128845156. Boat capacity is up to 10 persons.
WHERE TO STAY?
Upon researching in the internet, I came across Hideaway tourist resort which was very affordable, so to speak, especially for solo travelers or people that came from a small group. I was impressed by the price they offered. Php 200 per person per night regardless of the type of room. We stayed in their main resort on the first night and then transferred to their other resort in the island just across the main resort.
The staffs were nice though. However, we had a misunderstanding when it came to their food prices. I even had to speak bisaya to make sure we would be on the same page. To my surprise, we were charged Php 180 per head for the food they said was package. I was under the impression that the food package was Php 180 for all of us. Apart from that, we talked to a couple who booked an island tour and land tour package from the resort and they said they were charged about Php3000+ per head inclusive of room and food if I can remember that correctly. I guess DIY is still a lot cheaper. 😀
If you wish to book at their resort, here’s the detail:
Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn
Address: Sitio Hayahay, Gigantes Norte, Carles, Iloilo
Contact Person: Mr. Joel Decano, Owner and Carles Tourism Officer
Contact No: 09184685006
Room Rates: PHP 200 per person per night
You may also read this blog for your alternative option.
P.s: There is no signal in the island.