The highlight of Hali and I’s recent Antique-Iloilo-Guimaras trip is island hopping in Islas de Gigantes. There are other resorts that serve as jump-off points for island hopping, but we decided to stay is Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn. It’s the most recommended place to stay in the area, and we were not disappointed.
3 Days in Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn
From Estancia Port, a staff from the resort escorted us to the passenger boat that leaves at 1PM. We were dropped off in Barangay Asluman, where we rode habal-habals to the Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn.
I noticed that on the way and all throughout the island, there are mounds of empty scallop shells. I think it would count as their garbage. Hali, who knows I love taking home a shell or two from my beach trips, told me, “O ayan manawa ka.” Most of the shells are not plain and smooth but have ornate thorns.
I think it’s a shame the shells are just lying there around. Perhaps they can be be re-used as exported products or delivered to other cities. Shell curtains? I would love those.
Sorry for getting carried away. Yes I did pick up a few scallop shells lying around. ;p
Getting back to the topic… First of all, what I love about the Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn is the quirky sea-themed decor. At the entrance of the inn, you’ll be greeted by a swing and a large balete tree where a tree house had been built. There are nipa huts for accommodation and open huts where you can stay in and enjoy your coffee. At night, the inn is lighted up by numerous sea shell lamps that give off a warm light.
The inn faces the sea, but the beach front is not a place for swimming. You have to get past small hills of scallop shells and the water is not clear. The front is walled in with bakawan trees, from a line of strong species with remarkably thick roots. Our tour guide, Kuya Nonong, explained that the bakawans cushion the damage brought about by storms. Other establishments on the beach front unsheltered by bakawans suffer more damage in infrastructure, as is the case of the typhoon Yolanda.
The meals provided by the inn mainly consist of sea food, depending on the catch for the day. The inn, as well as other resorts in the area, is famous for serving scallops. We had steamed and sisig scallops, steamed and buttered crabs, friend calamares and squid in sweetened sauce and fried fish as well as vegetables.
They are very generous in their servings, it’s difficult to finish all in one sitting. Oh, there’s also all-day free coffee. If you want other drinks, there’s a sari-sari store beside the inn.
The inn provides basic amenities. We stayed in a nipa hut with a fan, and perhaps my only complaint is that there are insects at night. There is a mosquito net in the room, but since we weren’t aware of the insects we didn’t use the net on our first night. I think it’s also better to bring an insect repellent just to be on the safe side. There are also air-conditioned rooms available for picky guests.
There is no mobile signal in the entire island, and electricity runs from 6AM to 6PM. Charge your phone and cameras then.
Currently, Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn is extending its premises to Bulobadiang Island, which is about a 5-minute boat ride away from the main resort, to accommodate more visitors especially in anticipation for next summer. We have visited Bulobadiang Island and there are already built huts, though the rest are still in construction. There are also tents available in the island.
Prices and packages
We availed of the Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn’s 3D/2N package for 2 people for P2800 each. This includes full-board all-in expenses:
- Passenger boat fare from and to Estancia Port
- Private boat for island hopping (Bantigue sand bar, Antonia Island, Cabugao Gamay Island, Tangke saltwater lagoon)
- Land tour (Gigantes lighthouse, Bakwitan cave)
- Accommodation in a fan room
- 5 meals
The package also includes a personal tour guide who was with us all throughout our stay. Kuya Nonong, our guide, would call us when meals are ready and accompanied us during island hopping, holding our cameras to take pictures of us as requested. The guide is inclusive of the package rate, though in our case we gave an extra tip to our guide before leaving the island for being attentive to our needs.
It’s recommended to reserve in advance particularly during summer months, Islas de Gigantes’ peak season. There is no fixed reservation fee; you can deposit any amount and just bring the deposit slip or scanned/screenshot of the slip and present it when it’s time to settle your bills.
All in all, we enjoyed our stay here despite the fact that there was a storm.
Joel Decano, owner and contact person for Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn: 0918 468 5006 / Facebook page
Have you been here, what’s your experience? Have any other resort recommendations?
P.S. This post is part of our 5-day Antique-Iloilo-Guimaras trip. See other places we’ve been to in this trip.
- Tibiao, Antique: Going back to native roots
- Iloilo: The post-card perfect islands of Islas de Gigantes
- Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn: Where to stay in Gigantes Islands
- The charming ruins of Guisi Lighthouse: A must-see in Guimaras
- To the land of sweet mangoes: A day tour in Guimaras