Rain or shine: 5 Days Iloilo-Guimaras itinerary and side trip to Antique

Antique-Iloilo-Guimaras itinerary and travel guide
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Normally, Hali and I just tag along with friends or other groups. This getaway was basically our first together. We planned a 5 days Iloilo-Guimaras itinerary, with a quick day trip in Antique.

First of all, I wanted to say how the weather in the Philippines is a funny thing! It’s either sweltering hot or shivering cold. After several weeks of good weather, on the exact day of our out-of-town trip, it had started to rain. Still, we’re grateful because the weather, in its own playful way, cooperated with us. We were able to push through with our original Iloilo-Guimaras itinerary, with just small adjustments in schedule.

How to get here

Take a local flight either to Iloilo or Roxas.

Iloilo to Tibiao

Head to Molo Terminal in Iloilo. Take a van (P180 per person, 4 hours) or bus (5 hours) to Tibiao, Antique. From the dropoff point, ride a habal-habal (P70 per person) to take you to your selected accommodation.

Iloilo to Gigantes Islands

From Iloilo, there are 2 ports going to Gigantes Islands.

Bancal Port is the official jump-off point. Here you can find the municipal tourism office to assist you in your island hopping, and it’s also the fastest way to reach the islands.

To get to Bancal Port, from Iloilo take a bus en route to Carles and drop off at the port.

On the other hand, if you prefer to travel via Estancia Port, from Iloilo head on to Tagbac Terminal and then ride a bus to Estancia Port.

Iloilo to Guimaras

From Iloilo, take a bus to Guimaras Port and ride a motorized banca to Guimaras. From there, get a private tricycle to take you to your resort.

5 Days Iloilo-Guimaras itinerary and side trip to Antique

Here the Iloilo-Guimaras itinerary that we followed:

Day 1
Arrival in Iloilo Airport
Travel for a day trip in Tibiao, Antique

Day 2
Travel back to Iloilo City
Head to port, boat ride to Gigantes Island
Check in at Hideaway Inn
Sunset at Gigantes Lighthouse

Day 3
Island hopping in Gigantes Island
Explore Bakwitan Cave

Day 4
Travel back to mainland
Head to port to Guimaras, ride boat to Guimaras
Check in at resort

Day 5
Island hopping and land tour in Guimaras
Travel back to Manila

Here’s a little more of our trip!

Day 1 – Tibiao, Antique

From outside the gates of Iloilo airport, we hailed a taxi to Molo terminal and then rode a passenger van to Tibiao. We arrived past lunch time in Kayak Inn, our accommodation in Tibiao.

We spent the rest of the afternoon trekking to the nearby Bugtong Bato falls, a seven-tiered falls with deep-green basins and then relaxing in a traditional kawa hot bath back in the inn. The kawa hot bath was the main reason we made a quick nip here in Tibiao, and it did not disappoint.

Bugtong Bato Falls, Antique
The first level of Bugtong Bato Falls. (Photo credit to Hali)
Tibiao river in Antique
Kayak Inn stands beside Tibiao river. (Photo credit to Hali)
Kawa hot bath in Tibiao, Antique
Ending the day with a soothing kawa hot bath. (Photo credit to Hali)

Our bath was filled with herbal leaves for soothing the muscles. Hali and I shared a big kawa and dozed off, capping our day in Antique.

Even though this is just a side trip, this is actually my favorite part in of our Iloilo-Guimaras trip.

Read our full post in Tibiao, Antique here.

Days 2 and 3 – Island hopping in Islas de Gigantes

Gigantes Islands is quite far from Antique, even from Iloilo City itself. We arrived in Gigantes Hideaway Inn, a backpacker’s favorite. It’s famous for serving liberal meals of seafood, including scallops — a common seafood in the area. The inn also offers its own Gigantes island hopping tours.

It was rainy when we island hopped to Gigantes Islands. We explored Bantigue Sandbar, Cabugao Gamay and its twin Antonia Island and the famous Tangke Lagoon. Cabugao Gamay is indeed beautiful, especially at the view deck atop the cliff, although in person it looks small.

Cabugao Gamay in Gigantes islands
Cabugao Gamay, the icon of Islas de Gigantes. (Photo credit to Hali)

During our 2 days stay in Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn, we also managed to visit the lighthouse in Gigantes Norte, a favorite of sunrise lovers, and Bakwitan Cave, a historical cave with huge stalactites and even natural crystals that unfortunately fell into neglect.

Crystal formation in Bakwitan Cave
Look at that! And look how happy I am. Natural crystal formation inside the cave. (Photo credit to Hali)
Bakwitan cave in Gigantes islands
Outside Bakwitan Cave, one of the many caves in Islas de Gigantes. (Photo credit to Hali)

Days 4 and 5 – Island hopping and land tour in Guimaras

On our fourth day, we were supposed to start the land tour in Guimaras but got delayed due to the typhoon. We stayed overnight at Raymen’s Beach Resort, a budget accommodation. I wouldn’t recommend this resort because our room wasn’t clean.

You can search for other resorts in Guimaras here.

The morning was better; the sun finally showed itself and the sea was calm. The weather was just perfect for a tour in Guimaras. We island hopped for a few hours. Hali enjoyed our tour in SEAFDEC, which is a marine sanctuary. Meanwhile, I loved snorkeling to see various corals near Ave Maria island.

Natago beach in Guimaras
Natago beach in Guimaras. (Photo credit to Hali)

In the afternoon, we squeezed in a short land tour. I enjoyed the ride itself to Guimaras’ tourist attractions. The road were wide and quiet, surrounded with lush trees. We selected only a few destinations from the long list of Guimaras’ landmarks.

Mango plantation in Guimaras
This is where Guimaras produces their world-famous sweet mangoes. (Photo credit to Hali)

Of these, my favorite is the picturesque Guisi lighthouse, with its crumbling ruins decorated with tree roots.

Guisi lighthouse in Guiimaras
At the top of the Guisi lighthouse. (Photo credit to Hali)

After the land tour, we went back to the airport in Iloilo for our flight back home.

You can read about our trip to Guimaras here.

Budget and expenses

Our budget for 2 people for this Iloilo-Guimaras trip was P8000 each, although today we estimate that a normal budget for 2 people would be P6000-6500 each especially considering the current competitive cheap tours in Islas de Gigantes.

Here we’re going to list the expected expenses for this trip (updated 2nd quarter of 2016):

Day trip to Tibiao, Antique

We stayed in Kayak Inn, which is one of the best places to stay in Tibiao.

  • Kayak Inn native hut – P500

You can contact Kayak Inn here: Facebook | (Kuya Edwin) 0921-570-1947

For activities in Tibiao:

  • Guide to Bugtong Bato falls – P150
  • Kawa hot bath – P200 each

Island hopping in Gigantes Islands

Since our trip (dated 2015), there are now affordable trips in Gigantes Islands.

In Bancal port, you can charter a private boat for island hopping for P4000, good for 6-8 people. You can wait for other joiners in the port if you’re traveling solo.

Another option is to get a packaged tour. Travels & tours such as Gigantes Island Tours offer P999 per person for a day trip or P1200-1500 per person for 2D/1N stay. Aside from agencies, resorts in Gigantes Norte also offer their own island hopping packages for as low as P1500 for 5-10 people.

Island hopping and land tour in Guimaras

Raymen Beach Resort offers an island hopping tour. Here are the rates:

  • P500 for the whole boat for the first hour + P150 every succeeding hour
  • P50 snorkel rent

You can contact Raymen Beach Resort here: Facebook page

Here are the quoted rates for a land tour in Guimaras:

  • Tricycle – P1200, multicab – P2000, jeepney – P2500, van – P3500

You can contact our tour guide, Kuya Cherald: 09084748122

Additional notes

One thing that we realized during our trip is that Antique is a long detour. It’s more practical to visit alternatives such as Bacolod or the lesser-known Bucari, Iloilo’s summer capital. If you love city tours, you can allot the extra day in Iloilo and taste its delicacy — bulalo.

We took this trip in 2015 and since then we’re keeping this Iloilo-Guimaras guide as up-to-date as possible, especially with the current rates for tours. If you’d like to help, please comment updates below and we’ll add it in the guide.

Lastly…

As I’ve mentioned above, this is Hali and I’s first couple trip. It was, of course, fun and admittedly a little bit challenging. When Hali said we’d help together in planning, what he really meant was that I’d do the itinerary and book for reservations, and then and again he’d ask questions or make small suggestions. Still, there is something about traveling with your significant someone that is incomparably different from the usual out-of-town trips.

Here’s our travel video featuring Antique, Guimaras and Iloilo, c/o Hali:

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

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

Hi there! Please help us keep this article up-to-date. If you have new info about rates, contact details, etc, let us know in the comments section.

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32 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. I’ve never been to Iloilo but I’m planning to go there because of Isla de Gigantes. You sure did many things in your short time in the province. Thanks for sharing your itinerary. I’m going to try that kawa hot bath come hell or high water.

  6. 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)

    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.

  10. In only 5 days. I suppose time is really … what I mean to say is, travellers have a choice of going from one place to another. For me, I could go to all the places here but yeah, I would probably take 10 to 12 days. I do prefer to stay in one given area for up to 3 nights. Chill. 🙂

    Very nice trip you did. Glad you’re back safe and sound with wonderful memories and tales to share.

    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.

    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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