Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Unmissable Gigantes in Carles

Cabugao Gamay, Barangay Gabi, Gigante Sur, Carles, Iloilo

The Gigante Group of Islands, located 21 kilometers northeast from Bancal Port in Carles, Iloilo, are among the most scenic and unique of all the islands of the province. This famous island group is a major tourist destination consisting of Gigante Norte (the islands of Bolobadiang, Uaydajun, Gigantona and Giganteleo) and Gigante Sur (the islands of Antonia Point, Bantigue, Cabugao Dako, Cabugao Gamay, Polopandan, Balbagun and Tangke).

Each of the Gigante Group has its own distinct appeal for travellers. Some portions feature white sandy beaches, others isolated coves and picturesque fishing villages, and still others with many scenic cliffs, remnants of the century old watchtower, and a number of caves. Several of the Gigante Group had become favourite holiday destination itineraries for travellers both local and foreign.

When you are looking for inviting beaches bathed by year-round sun, Antonia Point, and the islands of Cabugao Gamay and Bantigue  in Barangay Gabi, Gigante Sur awaits.

 Antonia Point, Barangay Gabi, Gigante Sur, Carles, Iloilo, photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes 

Antonia Point is one of the most beautiful island beaches of Gigante Sur with coconut palms and enhanced by the 365 days a year of sun. Although the island has no accommodation establishment for visitors who would want to stay overnight, visitors are sure to find a quiet spot for their sunbathing or casual stroll and little more activity at one of the more popular beachfront areas. 

Gigante Water Sport in Antonia Point. photo by Chelsi Eroy 

Gigante Water Sport offers lessons in Jetski for two persons at P2,500 for 30 minutes or P3,500 for an hour, for more information  please contact 09988841396. They also rent out Banana Boats good for eight persons at P1,600 and Kayak good for two persons at P150 per hour. The island also offers rentals for tents good for 10 at P200 per person and snorkelling gears. 

scallops in Antonia Point, photo by Chelsi Eroy
And the best way to enjoy eating in the island is to try their main local food mix up your packed meals. Steamed scallops sold at P1.00 a piece with a minimum order of 100 pieces and Wasay-Wasay at P200 per order. Environmental fee to this island is at P40 per person. For more information, please contact Danilo dela Cruz at 09473884070.

back beach portion of Cabugao Gamay

The Maruja’s Floras Island paradise popularly known as Cabugao Gamay in Barangay Gabi is Gigante Sur’s most popular and pristine island beaches. If you want a quieter, more relaxing experience, this picturesque island is an ideal location. It has a beautiful beach great for swimming with a quiet strip of white sand in an island requiring a short motorized boat ride, around 10 minutes off Antonia Point. Known as the “Selfie Island” among tourists coming from Manila because of its rock formation where visitors can climb all the way to the top, the best spot for viewing the whole islet and a selfie shot. For visitors who would want to stay overnight, they have air-conditioned and fan rooms with individual bathrooms good for two till a group of 15-20 persons. The island is generator-operated which starts from six in the evening to six in the morning. Tents for 10-15 persons are also for rent at P300 per person. They serve the best sugba nga baboy (pork) and manok (chicken) as well as serve a variety of fish and shell foods either grilled or as soup base. Environmental Fee is at P50 per person. For more information, please contact 09399212456.

Bantigue Island Sandbar

Bantigue Island Sandbar is another charming islet, a popular stopover because of its picturesque golden brown sandbar lapped by its emerald green and azure waters where visitors can enjoy swimming.

for their Tumandok fieldwork, CPU Tourism students 

pose with Miss Marjorie Gumben - Municipal Tourism Officer, Carles

Everyone paying a visit to Gigante Group of Islands must depart from Bancal Port in Carles. Passenger boats leave daily for Gigantes Group only at 10 in the morning. A lovely breezy journey to Gigante Group takes 1.5 hour via motorized boat ride. Presently, there are 79 registered motorized boats for hire for day trips to the islands for a group of 10 maximum at P3,500, 15persons maximum at P5,000, 20 persons maximum at P6,000 and 25 persons maximum at P8,000. An environmental fee of P75 per person is charged and 20% discount is given to all government employees, student, senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

Carles is the last town north of the province of Iloilo. It is 147.6 kilometers away or a 3-hour bus ride from the new Ceres Terminal in Barangay Camalig, Jaro, Iloilo City. For more information, please contact Miss Marjorie Gumban – Municipal Tourism Officer at 09101249946.

Know more about the Gigante Group of Islands of Carles on the 12th TUMANDOK, a Tourism Month celebration on September 22-25 at the fountain area of Robinsons Place Iloilo organized by the Provincial Culture, Arts, History and Tourism Office of the Iloilo Provincial Government, the Department of Tourism Region VI, the Iloilo Tourism Officers Association, Inc. and Robinsons Place Iloilo in cooperation with Central Philippine University, Tinukib, Department of Trade and Industry and The Daily Guardian.

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