5 Days Itinerary to Iloilo-Guimaras w/ side trip to Antique

Antique-Iloilo-Guimaras itinerary and travel guide
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Planning a backpacking trip to Eastern Visayas? Here’s a 5 days itinerary guide to Iloilo and Guimaras, with a quick side trip to Tibiao in Antique.

Hali and I took this trip sometime ago and I have updated this guide to reflect current routes and rates.

5 Days Itinerary to Iloilo and Guimaras

Here’s the 5 days itinerary to Iloilo and Guimaras. Please take this as a rough guide only!

Day 1
Arrival in Iloilo Airport
Travel to Tibiao (Antique)
Check in at accommodation

Day 2
Day trip activities in Tibiao
Check out
Travel back to Iloilo City
Check in at accommodation

Day 3
From Carles, boat ride to Gigantes Islands
Island hopping tour
Check in at accommodation

Day 4
Explore Bakwitan Cave
Check out
Boat ride back to Carles
Check in at accommodation

Day 5
Check out
Head to Guimaras Port / boat ride to Guimaras
Day trip in Guimaras
Flight back home

Here are some notes about this trip:

  • This itinerary is slightly different from that in our actual trip. There are further developments particularly in visiting Gigantes Islands, which makes the journey there easier compared to earlier times.
  • The ideal entry point is Kalibo Airport (which is close to Tibiao) and exit point is Iloilo Airport. If you’re heading directly to Gigantes Islands, you might consider booking a flight to Roxas Airport instead which is closer.
  • The side trip to Tibiao in Antique is a bit of a detour. We came from Iloilo City and it was 4-5 hours away. We went there because I badly wanted to experience a kawa hot bath. If you do not want to make the long commute, you can easily stay in Iloilo City for a city day tour or head to other nearby places such as Bacolod.

Day 1-2: Day activities in Tibiao

How to get here

Via Kalibo or Caticlan

Kalibo Airport is the closest airport to Tibiao. It’s about 2 hours away.

  • From Kalibo or Caticlan jetty port, ride a bus bound to Iloilo or Culasi and get off at Tibiao (around P100-200, 1.5-2 hours).
  • From the drop-off point, ride a habal-habal (P70 per person) to take you to your selected accommodation.

Via Iloilo

Iloilo is a bit far from Tibiao. Travel time is around 4-5 hours.

  • From Iloilo City, head to Molo Terminal.
  • Ride a van (P180 per person, 4 hours) or bus (5 hours) to Tibiao, Antique.
  • From the drop-off point, follow same instruction as above.

Our experience

We stayed in Kayak Inn, which is one of the loveliest accommodations in Tibiao. It’s located beside the river, with homey cottages where you can rest fitfully.

Tibiao River in Antique
Tibiao River which is alongside our accommodation. (Photo credit to Hali)
Kayak Inn in Tibiao, Antique
Native cottage in Kayak Inn.

There are several activities you can do in Tibiao including enjoying a fish spa, trekking to Bugtong Bato Falls, and relaxing in a kawa hot bath. If you’re an adventurous.

We spent a few hours trekking to the nearby Bugtong Bato Falls. It’s a seven-tiered waterfalls with deep-green basins. Currently, only the first 3 levels are accessible to day trippers. There were no one else besides us at that time and we had a good time swimming in the cool mountain water.

Another activity that I love — and that ticked an item in my bucket list — is taking a warm bath in a traditional kawa. It was the main reason we went here and it did not disappoint.

Our bath was filled with herbal leaves meant to soothe muscles. Hali and I shared a big kawa and dozed off.

Kawa hot bath in Tibiao, Antique
Ending the day with a soothing kawa hot bath. (Photo credit to Hali)
Couple shot in Bugtong Bato Falls
Me and Hali at Bugtong Bato Falls.
Bugtong Bato Falls, Antique
Bugtong Bato Falls.

Even though this is just a side trip, this is actually my favorite part in our Iloilo-Guimaras trip. I won’t mind going back here again!

Read about our Guide to Tibiao (Antique).

Days 3-4: Island Hopping in Gigantes Islands

How to get here

Gigantes Islands is located in the municipality of Carles. There are 2 ports going here: Bancal Port and Estancia Port.

Bancal Port is the official jump-off point and it’s the easiest way to get there. Travel time is 1-1.5 hour.

Our experience

We booked a private tour to Gigantes Islands.

Gigantes Islands is one of the most popular attractions in Iloilo. It’s composed of 2 large islands (Gigantes Sur and Gigantes Norte) and several islets.

We stayed at Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn, which is a recommended accommodation for backpackers. We also arranged our tour here.

It was rainy when we got to Gigantes Islands, but we were still able to go on island hopping. I finally saw Cabugao Gamay Island up close — the face of Gigantes Islands. We also stroll along Bantigue Sand Bar, swam and snorkel in Antonia Island, and explored Tangke Lagoon.

Cabugao Gamay in Gigantes Islands, Iloilo
Hali and I in Cabugao Gamay Island.
Tangke saltwater lagoon in Gigantes
During high tide, the water rises up inside Tangke saltwater lagoon, creating a natural pool. (Photo credit to Hali)

Here’s our Updated Guide to Island Hopping in Gigantes Islands.

Day 5 – Day Tour in Guimaras

How to get here

From Iloilo City, ride a bus to Guimaras Port. From there, ride a motorized banca to Guimaras.

Charter a private tricycle to your resort.

Our experience

We stayed at Raymen’s Beach Resort, since it’s the one mostly recommended by budget blogs.

Our day tour itinerary in Guimaras includes island hopping and island tour.

We spent the morning island hopping in Guimaras for around 3 hours. Hali enjoyed our tour in SEAFDEC, a marine sanctuary where various species of fishes and turtles are taken cared of. Meanwhile, I had a good time snorkeling in Ave Maria Island. It was still early when we set off for the island hopping tour so the water was still clear.

Island hopping in Guimaras
Islands you can visit during island hopping tour in Guimaras.
SEAFDEC in Guimaras
At the SEAFDEC.

We checked out of the resort and proceeded for a land tour. We didn’t go to every possible land attractions in Guimaras because I think not all is worth visiting (such as the Smallest Plaza). We visited Guisi Lighthouse, a mango plantation, Trappist Monastery, etc. Then we had a merienda at the Pitstop to taste the province’s famous mango pizza. It was good!

Guisi lighthouse in Guiimaras
At the top of the Guisi lighthouse.
Mango plantation in Guimaras
Mango plantation in Guimaras.
Mango Pizza at Pitstop in Guimaras
Mango pizza at Pitstop.

To be honest, I enjoyed our time in Guimaras better than our island hopping experience in Gigantes Islands. The reason is that Gigantes Islands for me is so hyped, while I did not expect the quiet charm of Guimaras. It seems a good place to spend a few days in for a relaxing vacation. Hali and I actually talked about going back here to book in a resort for longer time!

From Guimaras, we went back to Iloilo City for our flight back home.

Although it is a small province, Guimaras has a quiet charm. It seems a good place to spend a few days in, particular

Here’s our Day Trip to Guimaras.

You can check the video of our full trip here:

Where to Stay

Here are the places we stayed at:

  • TIBIAO: Kayak Inn: Facebook | (Kuya Edwin) 09215701947
  • GIGANTES ISLANDS: Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn | Read about it here
  • GUIMARAS: Raymen Beach Resort

We both liked our accommodation in Tibiao and Gigantes Islands.

Raymen Beach Resort in Guimaras offers island hopping tours so it’s a convenient place to stay at, but I had issue with the cleanliness of the room. I’m not sure if they have better rooms now but I suggest that you also check out other resorts in the area.

Budget and expenses

We took this trip sometime in 2015 and at that time it was much expensive to book an island hopping tour in Gigantes Islands. Today, rates are more competitive so it’s less burden on the budget.

Here are some major expenses you should take note:

TibiaoAccommodation at Kayak Inn – P300 per person

Activities:
Tibiao Fish Spa: Starts at P119 for 30-minute fish spa + 5-minute foot massage
Bugtong Bato Falls: entrance fee – P100 per person / guide fee P150 (whole group)
Kawa hot bath – Starts at P250 (good for 2 people)
IloiloAccommodation in Carles – around P1000 (good for 2 people)

Gigantes Islands packaged tours:
Day tour – P999 per person
2-day stay – P1599 per person
GuimarasIsland hopping:
First hour is P600 + P150 every succeeding hour
Snorkel rent – P50

Land tour:
Tricycle – P1200, multicab – P2000, jeepney – P2500, van – P3500

Contacts

Here are some useful contacts:

  • Gigantes Island Tours – Facebook
  • Kuya Cherald (tour guide for land tour in Guimaras) – 09084748122

Have any comments or questions about this trip to Antique, Iloilo and Guimaras? Post them in the comments section below.

What to read next:

Read about our backpacking trip to Iloilo and Guimaras. Here are other articles about this trip:

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Iloilo-Guimaras itinerary for 5 days, with day trip to Antique (Philippines). Includes itinerary, costing and accommodation.

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30 Comments

    1. Haha yeah. We were actually supposed to go to Bucari which is also in Iloilo instead of Antique, but on that day the accommodation we were in contact said they were unavailable pala. It was a last-minute decision, but love our stay in Antique so all good. 🙂

  1. thanks for sharing, we’re planning an overnight trip to guimaras via iloilo and would like to have a side trip too (day trip or an overnight maybe) at Antique to try the hot bath. do you know how far is it from raymen resort and how to get there? also from antique going back to iloilo city? thanks

    1. Hi Malou, I believe we’d already covered that above. Please read the itinerary more carefully. To answer your question, it will take you approximately 5 hours from Raymen resort to Antique, 3-4 hours from Antique back to Iloilo.

  2. HI. I am doing a 6 day trip to Iloilo at the end of April and pretty much have the same itinerary as yours except I will have an extra day in Iloilo to go to Garin Farm and see some local sites in the city itself.

    My question is where did you catch a van from Tibiao to Iloilo? I was planning to use Ceres but I think the van would be faster.

    Thank you!

    Annie

  3. Wow nice video and itinerary. This is my hometown and finally we are going to visit our relatives here!!! And I am eggggcited! Thank you so much for sharing your itinerary, and btw I love the girl’s smile 🙂

    1. I hope you have a good time! I updated this post a little bit, adding more info about boat schedules and packaged tours to Islas de Gigantes.

      Do you mean me? Thank you. *blush

  4. Wow what a lovely trip!! The Bugtong Bato Falls look so beautiful and the kawas bath sounds lovely too, how relaxing for your first day! I’d love to know how cold the Philippines gets because the UK is super cold! Haha

  5. Iloilo and Guimaras are underrated. I think there’s so much beauty to see there, I had a great time when I was there three years ago, and I remember having a great and cheap culinary experience. In Guimaras, I didn’t get to see turtles but we cliff-jumped (I think this is now discontinued due to safety concerns)

  6. I love the photos, specially the pawikan and the kawa. Is it safe to save 15-20k per head to be able to enjoy a similar experience, for 5 days?

    1. Sure Kuya Sonnie, we had a budget of P8000 each. We’re budget travelers btw. 🙂 P15-20k is more than sufficient even if you’re into more comfortable accommodations.

  7. Do you have a picture of the tree house in a balete tree? I’m curious. You look like a goddess in the first pic, the one where you’re looking at the picture with a waterfall backdrop! Pretty good shot by Hali! Anyways, I want to try that kawa bath, sounds terrifying and probably quite the experience.

  8. Shivering cold in Philippines? Hmmm, should I invite you to Sweden haha. Oh my god, those pictures are insane! The first day I thought like, yes nice, but then the second day, more pictures. And you kept going. That waterfall is my favorite spot. You look like a mermaid in a fairytale. Lovely!

  9. Isla de Gigantes looks amazing! And the Tangke saltwater lagoon looks mystical. Is it shallow? Anyway, your post makes me want to book a flight now to Iloilo. We’ll certainly use your blog post as reference if ever we get to visit Iloilo (hopefully soon).

    1. It was when we got there because it was still low tide. I’ve seen photos online where the lagoon fills up with so much water, almost level with the boulder in the middle. I think guests rarely chance upon this though.

    1. Hi Gabriela! From Kayak Inn, we rode habal-habals to the main road (or “crossing”). There, you can wait for a van or bus headed to Molo terminal in Iloilo. I’m just not sure about the time of the last trip.

  10. I think it’s Alobijod Cove sis
    Went to Iloilo/Guimaras back in 2014, but I want to come back and see Gigantes Islands naman

    1. Thanks for the correction sis. 😉
      Yes, you should go see Gigantes Islands. Cabugao especially looks amazing in good weather kasi highlighted yung color ng water surrounding the island. Summer is the best season to visit kaso it’s also the peak season. From what I’ve learned din dumadami na yung tourists in Gigantes.

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