Monday, March 14, 2011

A Dream Beach Holiday Destination in Exotic CARLES

Iloilo is something really special. It has a long coastline and some amazing destinations full of unique attractions and incredible landscapes.

One can enjoy Iloilo at its most natural. A holiday to the islands is an exotic experience. Beach holidays are a perfect tonic for relaxation, and when in Iloilo, the municipality of Carles is a perfect exotic getaway to unwind with its superb romantic island beaches that will surely take your breath away.

At the tip of northern Iloilo is this picturesque municipality renowned for its beautiful beaches and rich fishing grounds. Carles has a land area of 11, 204 hectares and is politically subdivided into 33 barangays, 18 of which are island barangays. It is a 2nd Class municipality bounded in the north by Jintotolo Channel, northwest by the Visayan Sea; west by the Municipality of Pilar, province of Capiz; south by the municipality of Balasan; and the east by Guimaras Strait. It is 146 kilometers or a three-hour ride from Iloilo City.

Broad bands of fine white sand and gentle islands, natural swimming pools, beaches of all types with crystal-clear water and beautiful marine reefs with their fantastical inhabitants can be found in the area.

Most famous is the unspoiled and isolated Isla de Gigantes or Giant Islands comprising of Norte (north) and Sur (south). It is known for its extraordinary huge rock formations sitting on azure waters boasting its white sand beaches and colorful marine life. It is the site of majestic marble walls or cliffs popularly known to the locals as pader. The Islands were also identified by the National Museum as an archeological site due to the discovery of abundant archeological materials, notably earthenware ceramics that are typically of metal age.

Approximately a 15-minuter motorized-boat ride east from Sitio Langub is Tangke. Located on the southern side of barangay Gabi in Isla de Gigantes Sur, it is a hidden saltwater lagoon formed by a surrounding wall of granite monolithic cliffs. One needs to climb on its steep rocky wall that serves as the lagoon’s fortress. However, an easier and shorter climb from where the motorized-boat docks alongside its walls is done only during high tide. The lagoon’s rocky borders offer spelunkers and trekkers a number of caves with one-of-a-kind formations.

An hour and a half motorized-boat ride from Barangay Bangcal in mainland Carles is the island of Sicogon. Part of the Gigantes group of islands, Sicogon is situated in Barangay Buaya measuring 1,104 hectare was once considered as one of the country’s premier beach resorts during the 70’s until the early 80’s. It is said to be longer than Boracay Island’s 7-kilometer stretch with its white sand beach lined up with coconut trees. During its heyday, it has its own operational airstrip. The area is also rich in aquatic treasures such as coral reefs and rare marine life ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. In fact, the sea surrounding the Sicogon-Gigantes island chain is the traditional fishing ground of local fishermen due to its abundant marine life. Another attraction to the island is Mt. Opao that gives a commanding view of the nearby islands. Its forested slopes are acclaimed to be the haven of wild boars, bald eagles, pitcher plants, and various species of flora and fauna. Sicogon Island appeals more to the adventurous tourists, backpackers and nature-lovers. For those who would to stay overnight and experience the serenity of rural life, there are lodging houses in the area.

Barangay Barosbos is a resort strip with accommodations lined-up along the highway facing a long stretch of white sand beachfront. Most popular is the Alvarez Beach Resort that can accommodate a large group perfect excursion with 10 open cottages. Buendia Beach Resort is another popular destination in the area with its open cottages.

Shangri-La Family Resort is one of the most picturesque beach resorts in the area. It is a four hectare family-owned resort situated in the secluded area of Barangay Barosbos. It started as a family getaway but is now open for public. It has an amazing view of the Northern Iloilo shoreline. It has 10 rooms and two pavilions perfect for family and office gatherings. The resort approaches each event with a simple yet personal touch, offering their place which will enable guests to enjoy the tranquil beauty of area at the same time relaxing and enjoying the time. For inquiries or reservations please call (033) 396208 or visit their website at

Palm Garden Beach Resort is famous for its nice landscape. It has six rooms and two pavilions perfect for beach weddings and other gatherings.

Located 3 kilometers from the poblacion is Blue Lagoon Beach Resort situated 300 meters away from the national road of Barangay Guinticgan. This hill-type beach resort has an area of 16,072 square meters and is elevated to have a grand view of the horizon. Varieties of tropical trees surround the area. The sunrise is particularly spectacular. It has six rooms equipped with electricity and water facilities. It has nipa huts perfect for excursionists.

Dos Hijas Beach Resort has 16 rooms, a pavilion for social gatherings and open cottages. It is located at Barangay Guinticgan. Though the resort is currently on sale, it is still operational. The resort caters to special occasions, such as weddings, birthdays and seminars. Also in the same area is the Jeanette and Lovisa Resort. It has two rooms for overnight stay and open cottages for picnic.

A kilometer away from the town proper is Beach Head Resort. It has 12 rooms that could accommodate stay-in visitors. It has a pavilion open for meetings and other functions. It also offers an inter-island hopping package to visitors. The resort is owned and managed by Mrs. Marites Betita and can be reached at cellular phone numbers 0919 6895036 and 0919 8328216.

Punta Carles Beach Resort in Barangay Punta is a resort with a dormitory type accommodation of 16 rooms. It has a large pavilion for social functions and eight open cottages.

While in the islands of Gigantes, one can stay Gigantes Hideaway Beach Resort in Barangay Asluman. It has a big cottage with six nipa huts and three open cottages.

Sprawl by the warm turquoise waters of Carles and enjoy a fun-filled holiday on beautiful beaches with your family or relax in the arms of your loved one on an exotic beach holiday. Enjoy a relaxing escape to Carles.

To get to Carles from Iloilo City, one must take a bus or an L-300 van from Tagbak Terminal in Jaro. To get to the islands of Gigantes Norte and Sur, Sicogon, Binuluangan and Naburot Islands, one can take a motorized-boat ride from Bancal Causeway, where the fishing port of the town is located and the starting point to all mainland and island destinations in the area.

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