Guimaras Island is more than just where you can get the sweetest mangoes in the world. This island in the Panay Gulf is also known as one of the most important tropical destinations in the Visayas region. Guimaras is only a 15-minute ferry ride from Iloilo City, so tourists often include Guimaras on their day trips.
The best time to visit this tropical island is during the dry season, from December to May. Of course, you can go there in other months but be ready for light rains and thunderstorms. Guimaras may be small, but if you can, it is best to spend more than a day on the island to see what this island has to offer.
Going to and Around Guimaras Island
If you are coming from Metro Manila, you may take an hour’s flight to Iloilo City. From the Iloilo International Airport, go to SM City Iloilo; you may take a 15 to 20-minute taxi ride to Ortiz Port. From Ortiz Port, take the passenger boat going to Guimaras’ Jordan Port. The fare is only around PhP 14.00 per person, and the ride lasts only 15 minutes. Take note that the fare might change without prior notice.
Upon arriving at the port in Guimaras, you may ride a tricycle or jeepney to your accommodation. You may also rent a tour guide with a tricycle to go on the island tour.
Places to Visit in Guimaras Island
Taklong Island National Marine Reserve
This reserve includes two main islands and 37 smaller islands. Together, they are known as the South Point Islands. It has powdery beaches, sandbars, mangroves, limestone rock formations, corals, and a wide variety of fish. This place is perfect for swimming and snorkeling because of its clear waters.
Alubihod Beach is another place of interest famous for its sand. The red-tinted pebbles that mix with its creamy sand sometimes give off a pinkish hue that stands out, especially when it blends with the beach’s clear blue waters. This beach is often the starting point of the island hopping tour going to Ave Maria Beach and Buho Ramirez Cave.
Guisi Beach and Lighthouse
Guisi Beach is known for its yellow golden sand, emerald green waters, and rock formations. This beach is perfect for swimming, and its rugged coastline makes it more alluring to tourists. Guisi is also known for the 18th-century Spanish-colonial lighthouse built to guide mariners passing the Iloilo and Guimaras strait. This is the second oldest lighthouse in the Philippines. It only takes a 15-minute uphill trek to reach this lighthouse and see the beautiful view of Guisi Beach.
Suppose you want to enjoy solitude in Guimaras Islan. In that case, head over to Natago Beach. You can also rent the entire bamboo house located on top of the limestone rocks to enjoy the unspoiled view of the area. The beach has grainy, cream-colored sand, rock formations, and crystal clear waters. A short sandbar connects the two islets with huge rock formations you can only see during the low tide.
Ave Maria Islet
This small islet is notable for its fine, white sand and crystal blue-green waters. This beach is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, fishing, fish feeding, and cliff diving. However, there are no cottages here except for some dilapidated nipa huts on its rocky side. This islet is submerged in water if you visit during the high tide.
Tatlong Pulo Beach
If you want to experience the raw beauty of nature, head over to Tatlong Pulo Beach on Guimaras island. This place is a favorite location for photographers wanting to take amazing photos of sunsets and sunrises. If you want to unplug and disconnect from the online world, this is also an ideal location as the beach does not have shops, electricity, or internet. There are huts on the beach you can rent for overnight stays.
San Lorenzo Wind Farm
Visiting this wind farm is perfect if you want to appreciate the island and the sea. Aside from the windmills, the wind farm has numerous viewing decks where you can watch the beautiful sunset. During your visit, you can bring food and enjoy a simple picnic. You can also enjoy a drive through mango farms and plantations.
Roca Encantada, or “Enchanted Rock,” is a summer house of the Lopez Clan built in 1910. Years later, the house was declared a Heritage House by the National Heritage Institute. Nestled atop a huge rock, Roca Encantada offers a view of the beach and Iloilo Strat with “La Islas de Siete Picados.”
Buho Ramirez Cave
One island hopping destination in Guimaras Island is Buho Ramirez Cave or the Baras Cave. This cave is home to hundreds of fruit bats and rock formations. This small cave has three openings with gushing water, and its waters are around 40 to 50 feet deep. Depending on the tide, you can walk around the rocks or swim in its clear waters.
This waterfall is located three kilometers from the Jordan Wharf. To reach this stunning tourist spot, trek along a muddy and slippery trail, pass several bamboo hanging bridges, and walk over running creeks. This place is perfect for those who thirst for adventure and photo walks. Aside from swimming, Ambakan Falls is a great sport for picnics.
Trappist Monastery and Gift Shop
If you want to pause and reflect, visit the Trappist Monastery. Light a candle, say a prayer, and bask in the tranquil ambiance of the monastery. Afterward, head to the gift shop where you can buy local items, including wines, organic jellies, and salt dips. There are also numerous mango products you can purchase here. It is also perfect for families as it houses a min zoo and vast mango orchards.
Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC)
If you want to learn about marine life and aquaculture, SEAFDEC is the best place to visit, as this research center is where different fish species are bred and studied. Some of the sea life they have include milkfish, giant grouper, sea urchins, and clownfish too! They also have an aquarium museum, broodstock tanks, hatcheries, and research labs.
The Smallest Plaza in Guimaras Island once held the title of the world’s smallest plaza. This plaza is a few minutes away from the port, and a small statue of Dr. Jose Rizal stands in the middle.
Pit Stop Restaurant
If you love pizza and mangoes, don’t miss Pit Stop Restaurant. This famous restaurant in Guimaras invented the Mango Pizza. Aside from their delicious pizza, this restaurant also serves local dishes infused with mangoes, including Mango Bulalo and Mango Sisig.
Accommodations in Guimaras
Playa de Paraiso Resort
Playa de Paraiso Resort feels more like a mansion turned into a hotel. This resort has a private beach area and a spacious outdoor pool. Their rooms are equally roomy and have air conditioning, WiFi, and a television. It is safe too and perfect for families who want to unwind and enjoy the beauty of Guimaras Island.
Jannah Glycel Beach House
This stylish hotel is one of the most beautiful hotels in Guimaras. The house is recognizable for its terracotta-colored walls paired with large pebbles. There are plenty of picture-worthy spots and benches where you can relax. This accommodation also has a private beach area. In addition, the staff can organize Guimaras Island tours for you.
Kenyama Beach Resort
If you want to visit Guisi Lighthouse, stay at Kenyama Beach Resort. Aside from its proximity to the lighthouse, the views from the rooms are a favorite among guests. This affordable accommodation also has a restaurant that primarily serves Filipino cuisine. The staff may also organize island hopping tours for you.
Czech Beach House
This accommodation is for adults only, offering simple yet elegant accommodations. They have a 24-hour front desk, a restaurant, bar, garden, year-round barbecue, and an outdoor pool.
SunSea Resort has spacious, clean, and comfortable rooms you can stay in with a flat TV, air conditioning unit, and private bathroom. It also has a private beach area and a garden you can roam around during your stay. They have an outdoor swimming pool if you do not fancy swimming on the beach.
Andana Resort Guimaras
If you want to stay in a classy resort without spending much money, stay at Andana Resort Guimaras. Their rooms are air-conditioned with free WiFi, television, telephone, and toiletries. The resort has a private beach area and a swimming pool. Aside from recreational activities, Andana Resort in Guimaras Island can also arrange airport transfers.
Nature’s Eye Beach Resort
There is beauty in the simple yet tasteful craftsmanship of Nature’s Eye Beach Resort. The resort’s simple architecture and accommodations are aesthetically pleasing, especially for those who want to enjoy the wabi-sabi of nature. Another thing you’ll love here is the view of the pristine blue sea and the towering trees around. This resort has a restaurant, a private beach area, and a garden.
Raymen Beach Resort
If you want to stay in Alubihod Beach, book your stay in Raymen Beach Resort. Because of its location, this resort is often fully booked, especially during the peak season. However, if you visit during the off-peak season, you can enjoy the privacy and peace this resort offers. This resort has a private beach, and the staff can also organize your Guimaras Island tour on your behalf.
Costa Aguada Island Resort
If you love wood and bamboo aesthetics, you will surely love staying in this resort. Each room at Costa Aguada Island Resort has a view of the sea, a private bathroom, and air conditioning units. Inside, you can enjoy swimming in their private beach area and outdoor swimming pool. The resort also has a terrace where guests can play pool, darts, and go hiking.
Valle Verde Mountain Resort
Staying in Valle Verde Mountain Resort will make you feel like you’re at the heart of nature. The resort is not extravagant, but its accommodations are clean, safe, and comfortable. The resort also has an exclusive swimming pool surrounded by towering trees and various sheds. What makes this an ideal accommodation is its proximity to other tourist attractions in Guimaras.
Clara Beach offers simple yet comfortable accommodations in Guimaras. Their rooms have a touch of native wood elements for guests to experience rural life. You can enjoy their private beach, outdoor pool, and in-house restaurant for a memorable stay on the island.
Lara’s Guest House
This villa-style, rustic accommodation is perfect for groups of up to 13 people. The villa has two twin beds and four sofa beds. Staying here gives you access to indoor and outdoor kitchens and dining areas. This simple villa allows you to enjoy the typical life in the province and get in touch with nature comfortably.
Visit Guimaras Island
Indeed, Guimaras Island may be small, but it packs a punch, especially when it comes to tourist destinations you can visit during your stay. Because of its serene surroundings and natural beauty, it is no wonder that Guimaras is also a perfect retirement destination, especially for those who want to enjoy a simple life surrounded by nature. There are numerous houses and lots for sale in Guimaras you can consider investing in if you want to start a business or stay here for good too!