home Guimaras Land of Sweet Mangoes: A Day Tour in Guimaras

Land of Sweet Mangoes: A Day Tour in Guimaras

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If you have a dare to spare while in Iloilo, you can hop on a ferry and take a quick day tour in Guimaras, a province known for producing sweet mangoes. That’s what we did, and our Guimaras itinerary included island hopping in the morning and a land tour in the afternoon, after which we took a late-afternoon ferry back to Iloilo.

Guimaras came as a surprise. It’s one of the smallest provinces in the Philippines, but it’s charming in its own way. It’s quiet, with roads surrounded with greenery. It also offers activities for tourists, mainly beach activities and land tour on its natural and man-made attractions.

Our day trip in Guimaras

Morning: Island hopping

We had an early start on our Guimaras itinerary so we can island hop in manageable sea condition… and also because the weather was really nice. We availed of the private island hopping package by Raymen’s Beach Resort and asked for an open time.

Island hopping in Guimaras
Ready for island hopping in Guimaras.

Our first stop is at SEAFDEC (Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center), also known as Igang Marine Sanctuary. We toured the facility, looked at fish pens and listen how the sanctuary does marine research through the help of local scientists, some graduates from the top university in the country. The sanctuary also holds private seminars for businessmen, teaching them proven methods for enhancing fish growth and so on.

SEAFDEC offers educational tour, so it may not suit everybody’s taste. We both happened to like it. Hali was delighted to see pawikans, which seem friendly to people. We threw food pellets in the fish pens, watching how aggressive some of the fish species are. We also bangus or milkfish, lapu-lapu, pompano, lion fish and other kinds of fish.

I liked SEAFDEC because it reminds of Juag Lagoon Sanctuary in Sorsogon, which is maintained through Kuya Alex’s passion for taking care of the marine life. We saw the same knowledge, diligence and passion in here.

SEAFDEC, Guimaras | island hopping in Guimaras
At the SEAFDEC.
Pawikan or tutal in SEAFDEC
A pawikan in SEAFDEC marine research facility.

We headed next to Ave Maria Island and Pawikan Island. Pawikan Island is no longer home to pawikans, as the turtles have already been transferred elsewhere. It was still low tide though and our boat couldn’t get across, so we chose to snorkel near the boat.

Snorkeling there turned out to be a very good decision. There were fishes and various large corals underneath. It was early in the morning, and the water was still clear. We spent the majority of our time in island hopping here. By the time it was high tide and the water had gone a bit murky, we were already spent.

Snorkeling in Ave Maria Island, Guimaras
Snorkeling in Ave Maria.

Snorkeling in Ave Maria Island, Guimaras

Afterwards, we passed by Baras Cave. Baras Cave features two entrances, and given the right weather condition, a boat can enter through the cave. I was looking forward to this, but our boat couldn’t even come close due to the strong waves brought by the habagat season.

Baras Cave in Guimaras
Baras cave, a favorite stop when island hopping in Guimaras.

The next hour was spent touring the remaining island hopping attractions, including Lamurawan Island and Natago Beach.

Natago Beach, Guimaras
Natago Beach.

After about 3 hours of island hopping, we went back to the resort.

Afternoon: Land tour

We actually didn’t plan on doing a land tour since we were quite short on time, but since we finished earlier than expected on island hopping, we decided to go through with it. We’re glad we did because it allowed us to have a more thorough feel of what Guimaras is like… serene, quiet and beautiful.

A land tour in Guimaras requires 5 hours at most, due to great distances between land attractions. Some of these aren’t really worth visiting based on what I read from blogs online. We only chose selected stops from the list.

The Guisi Lighthouse is the farthest land attraction in Guimaras and also my favorite among the places we’ve visited here. It’s an 18th century architectural work built to guide ships steering along Panay Gulf. The lighthouse has turned rusty, the walls in the ruins taken over by plant roots. The Guisi Lighthouse is perfect for photo-shoots.

Guisi lighthouse in Guimaras
Tree roots over the walls add charm to the walls in the old lighthouse.
Guisi lighthouse in Guimaras
I can see how couples would decide to do their pre-nup shoot here.

The Trappist Monastery grounds features a church and a store for buying pasalubong, especially local delicacies. There are assorted mango-flavored delicacies such as mango bars and mango otap, different-flavored crinkles, mango and calamansi jams, among others. There are also religious and souvenir items such as keychains and wallets.

I’d bought a lovely shell-decorated wallet for P135 and boxes of mango bars, which an officemate raved about.

Trappist Monastery, Guimaras
Trappist Monastery.

We’d skipped the Pasalubong Center next and headed to a mango plantation. It’s a short unguided tour of the plantation. There are about 5000 mango trees in the plantation, including seedlings. If you’re a nature person or you’re interested on production of mangoes in Guimaras, you’ll appreciate visiting the mango plantation.

Mango plantation included in Guimaras land tour
This is where Guimaras produces their world-famous sweet mangoes.

Before ending our day tour in Guimaras, we had merienda in Pitstop, a restaurant that offers various meals with mangoes. There are mango bulalo, mango pasta and it’s famous dish — mango pizza. The mango pizza was surprisingly good. The sweet taste of mango blends perfectly with melted cheese. The crust is thin and crunchy, and the cashew bits on top adds the right bite.

Mango Pizza at the Pitstop
Mango pizza served at the Pitstop, a must-try.

The Pitstop was our last stop on our day tour in Guimaras.

Travel Guide to Guimaras

For those backpacking across multiple provinces, one day in Guimaras is good enough. As for us, we only spent one day Guimaras. We allotted the morning for island hopping and then island tour in the afternoon. Here are the details you need to know about exploring Guimaras.

When to visit

The best time to visit Guimaras is during the dry season (January to May) for good weather. During typhoons, boat transfer from Ortiz Wharf (Iloilo) to Guimaras may be cancelled.

How to get here

Guimaras is easily accessible via Ortiz Wharf (Iloilo)-Jordan Wharf (Guimaras) ferry. Ride takes 15 minutes and costs P15 per person.

Schedule from Iloilo to Guimaras is 5:30AM to 7:30PM daily. Schedule from Guimaras to Iloilo is 6:30AM to 6:30PM daily.

Island hopping tour in Guimaras

The most common jump-off point for island hopping in Guimaras is Alubihod Beach since it’s the nearest to the islands. You can also go via Nueva Valencia or other areas in Guimaras.

Island hopping can take 3-5 hours depending on your pace.

Places to see

Here are the standard places to see during island hopping:

  • SEAFDEC or Igang Marine Sanctuary
  • Ave Maria Island
  • Pawikan Island or Turtle Island
  • Baras Cave
  • Fairy Castle
  • Lamurawan Island

Optional:

  • Natago Beach
  • Yato Island

Island hopping package

Raymen Beach Resort along Alubihod Beach offers island hopping tour in Guimaras. Here are the current rates (Updated as of 2019):

  • P600 for the whole boat for the first hour + P200 every succeeding hour (good for up to 10 people)
  • P50 snorkel rent

Raymen Beach Resort: Facebook | Book discounted rooms here

Land tour in Guimaras

You need to rent a tricycle or multicab to tour Guimaras. You can do this in half day or whole day.

Places to see

These are the standard attractions to see during the land tour:

  • Balaan Bukid
  • Smallest Plaza
  • Museo de Guimaras
  • Provincial Capitol
  • The Pitstop
  • Pasalubong Center
  • Mango Plantation
  • Trappist Monastery
  • Guisi Lighthouse and Beach
  • Alubihod Beach

Other places to see:

  • Adventure Park
  • Valle Verde Mountain Resort
  • Camp Alfredo
  • Sadsad Falls

These are special attractions (requires additional fee of P300 or more):

  • San Lorenzo Wind Farm (or more commonly known as Guimaras Windmills)
  • Navalas Church
  • Roca Encantanda

Since we only have half a day, we visited only selected tourist attractions here. In particular, we recommend going to Guisi Lighthouse and Beach, Mango Plantation, Trappist Monastery and the Pitstop.

Take note that visiting Sadsad falls is seasonal, since there are months where there is little stream.

Land tour package

Here is the details of our tour guide:

Contact: Kuya Cherald – 09084748122

Rates:

  • Tricycle (good for 2-3 people) – P1200
  • Multicab – P2000
  • Jeepney – P2500
  • Van – P3500

If you’re a solo traveler, you can also get a motorcycle tour (P1000).

Where to stay

There are several great beach resorts in Guimaras, which is perfect if you want to enjoy it longer. If you’re planning to stay in Guimaras, here are the best resorts you can book:

 

P.S. This post is part of our 5-day Antique-Iloilo-Guimaras trip. See other places we’ve been to in this trip.

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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14 thoughts on “Land of Sweet Mangoes: A Day Tour in Guimaras

  1. Hi. May I know which Pasalubong Center have you visited? We are planning a Guimaras tour and based itinerary on your blog. 🙂

  2. This is a really helpful guide. 🙂 I’m visiting Iloilo and was thinking of a way to maximize going to Gigantes and Guimaras. This helped! Thanks!

  3. Hi. Can we leave our things at the resort? And can we change for swim wear there? We’re only planning for a day tour in Guimaras. Thanks

  4. Hi, does the land tour DIY or you rented for tour package? And how much is your budget for both island and land tour?

  5. Please send one day tour package to guimaras island, including itineraries. Planning to be in Iloilo last week of November. Thank you.

    1. Hi Eva, thanks for dropping by. Obviously we are not tour operators and we don’t plan for other people’s trips, but hopefully this guide helped you. 🙂

  6. Hello.. I just want to ask which place at nueva valencia is worth to visit since we have only a day to roam around in guimaras island? Thank you

  7. Hello! Me and my frends are going to guimaras just for a day tour we want to maximize our time we just want to visit which place is worth to visit we wanted also to go to valencia.. can I ask which tourist attraction in … valencia is beautiful thank you

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