10 Spots and Activities to Keep You Busy at Guimaras

What comes to mind when one mentions the words ‘island paradise’? White sand beaches? Shorelines teeming with wildlife? A breathtaking view of an endless cerulean horizon? Idyllic landscapes largely untouched by the modern world? Well, at Guimaras, you get all of these and a lot more. A lot more. This magical island a short roro ride away from Iloilo greeted us with a ton of pleasant surprises.

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

To get to the Guimaras, we flew with Cebu Pacific to Iloilo and took a 20-30 minute pumpboat ride from Iloilo’s Parola Wharf to Guimaras’ Jordan Port. Check out the flights here: http://bit.ly/DiscoverMNLxCEB #CEBTravels

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

Here is a list of 10 spots and activities you can keep yourself busy with at Guimaras:

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

  1. Chow down on fresh seafood goodness. No self-respecting seaside spot would call itself an island paradise without a wide selection of seafood dishes that’ll leave your saltwater cravings fully-satisfied. Shrimp, squid, various kinds of fish, seaweed, and all your other saltwater favorites are seemingly everywhere. Our advice? Keep those belts unbuckled.

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

Get your fix of your favorite seafood dishes at Celian Seafood Resto.

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

  1. Visit the monks at the Our Lady of the Philippines Trappist Abbey. Travelling can be a very risky activity sometimes, so it’s a good idea to ask for guidance and protection from the man watching from above. In this abbey, you may attend mass, or if your schedule doesn’t permit that, have one of the monks bless you personally.

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

While you’re at it, visit their gift shop, where they sell items they made themselves, from pastries to keychains to religious items.

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

  1. Spend quality time with your significant other in the most romantic spots. Have you ever wished to be in one of those romance movies? Well, we’ve found the place for you! Share a wonderful afternoon with your loved one having a home-cooked lunch and watching a golden sunset sky at the Nature’s Eye Beach Resort!

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

  1. Relax in the comfort of your home away from home. Travelling to faraway places can be a great remedy for those needing a break from the fast-paced life of the city, and a great resort to stay in can spell the difference between a slightly-inconvenient time to the ultimate stress-relieving experience. Popular island resorts to look out for are the Cabugan Adventure Resort, Magic Island Resort, Raymen Beach Resort, Alobijod Cove, Costa Aguada Island Resort, and Sto. Nino Island Resort, just to name a few.

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

 We stayed at Cabugan Adventure Resort, and this is the view that greeted us first thing in the morning. Now that’s a sight to behold.

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

  1. Awaken the seafarer in you with an island hopping adventure. The island paradise experience is never truly complete without boat rides from one beautiful island to the next. And trust us, Guimaras has plenty!

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

Swim in nearby sandbars such as the one near Ave Maria Islet. Bask in the splendor of white sand beaches like Tatlong Pulo. Discover many small islands with interesting shapes, such as Crocodile Island, Turtle Island. Heck, there’s even a tiny island cemetery which serves as the final resting place of a couple. There is no shortage of islands in Guimaras, which is always a treat for any fun-loving adventurer!

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

  1. Go stargazing by the beach. Imagine lying by the shore with your closest buddies, talking about the universe as you stare blankly at a sky riddled with hundreds of stars. In the background, you hear the waves gently sliding up and down the shore going side by your favorite chill tracks playing on your phone. This is exactly the kind of soothing night that we had after Day 2 of our Guimaras trip. After all the exhilarating moments of adventure, it’s nice to just lay down and chill in the presence of celestial beauty.

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

  1. Take a break from the tropical landscapes to visit a wind farm. Erected during the latter half of 2014, the wind farm at Guimaras is definitely a thing of beauty. Here you’re going to see miles and miles of San Lorenzo’s lush countryside with gigantic wind turbines scattered across the horizon. It’s a view quite different from the tropical paradise that exists several minutes away.

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

  1. Explore the interesting sights of Guisi Lighthouse. An uphill drive will bring you to one of Guimaras’ most scenic locations, the abandoned lighthouse. Faro de Punta Luzaran, as it is also known, helped guide any sea vessel pass through the Guimaras Strait to safety. Standing beside the Guisi Lighthouse are the ruins of a Spanish-colonial outpost—an Instagram-worthy spot perfect for dramatic portraits.

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

  1. Enjoy a few cold ones around a bonfire with your closest friends. Nothing builds a bond between a group of friends quite like a nice, warm evening around a bonfire. Add some beers and hotdogs-on-stick, and you’ve got a party! The folks at Cabugan Island Resort provided us with a memorable bonfire experience, for sure! (Too bad we forgot to bring s’mores!)

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

  1. Go on a mango-shopping frenzy! We are talking about the island with arguably the world’s best mangoes, after all. These are the same mangoes that are being exported into countries like Australia and Singapore.

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

Surprise your loved ones back home with a box or two of these world-famous fruits. (Make sure mangoes are on season when you visit Guimaras for the cheapest prices; sometime during the second quarter of the year.)

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

Do yourself a favor and check out The Pitstop’s famous Mango Pizza. It’s a unique mix of sweet and savory that you just have to check out.

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

Our 3-day trip was certainly an eye-opener for all of us. Guimaras has proven itself to be so much more than just the land of mangoes. We’ve just scratched the very surface of what the island has in store for eager travelers. So buckle up and get ready for amazing moments that’ll stay in your memory for years to come, because Guimaras is one island paradise you wouldn’t wanna miss out on.

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

BONUS: The trip to Guimaras involves landing at the Iloilo Airport, so why not spend an afternoon (or even a day!) at the City of Love.

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

Enjoy a bowl of authentic batchoy at Netong’s (found at the heart of La Paz Public Market), or enjoy a seaside meal at the Breakthrough Restaurant.

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

If you’re gonna spend the night, we suggest lodging over at one of the oldest hotels in Iloilo, Hotel Del Rio.

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

Here you will wake up to a happy morning with possibly the best breakfast buffet in the province! Pro-traveller tip: Hotel del Rio also serves one of the best Molo Soups in town!

Shot with Sony A7RII | FE 24-70MM OSS by Taryn Navarro

Things to Bring

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  • Since you’re going ~island hopping~, might as well strut that cute new swimwear!
  • Sunscreen, of course.
  • Your travel bags! a sturdy luggage and a versatile backpack or sling bag to bring to your adventures. Check out Delsey Philippines and Outdoor Products Philippines for some of the best travel bag selections out in the market.
  • Your phone – because there’s just so much of Guimaras worth sharing!
  • A trusty camera! – choose a travel friendly buddy to shoot your #instaworthy shots! Our pick is the Sony RX100V for a compact companion and the Sony A6500 with FE 24-70MM OSS or FE 50mm 1.4ZA for those well-curated shots.
  • Caps/Hats to protect you from the harsh sunlight – We get ours from Grind Philippines! Check them out.
  • Cash for transport and pasalubong – trust us, you’d want to bring those mangoes home!

So are you ready to discover #guimaras soon? Tick that off your bucketlist!

To help you get started, here’s our 4D3N travel itinerary for Guimaras:

Guimaras Itinerary

Special thanks to our Official Airline Partner: CEBU PACIFIC

Lens and Camera Partner: SONY PHILIPPINES

Major Sponsors: DELSEY PHILIPPINES, OUTDOOR PRODUCTS PHILIPPINES  & GRIND PHILIPPINES

Tour and Travel Sponsor: GC Travel and Tours | Nature’s Eye Resort | Ms. Anabelle of Cabugan Nature Resort

Local Partners: Cabugan Nature Resort and Hotel Del Rio | Breakthrough Restaurant

 

Written by: Raf Villanueva & Lucky Alabado

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