Famous for its legendary sweet mangoes and virgin pristine beaches, Guimaras is one of the many small paradises in the Philippines.
How to Get There
To get to Guimaras, take a plane to Iloilo International Airport. Personally, I use Cebu Pacific because of its really cheap fares. From the airport, there are cabs just waiting outside that can bring you to Ortiz Port. It’s a 40 minute cab ride to Ortiz Port. Fixed cab rates are Php600 to the port, but you can haggle and most drivers will agree with a Php400 fare instead. From Ortiz Port, it’s just a short 15 minute ride to Jordan Port via this 40 passenger capacity boat to Guimaras Islands. The ride is really cheap at Php15 per head.
From Jordan Port, you can either opt to rent out a multi cab for Php700, or a tricycle for Php500 to get to your accommodations.
Where to Stay
I totally recommend La Puerta Al Paraiso if you have the budget for it. It’s serene, lovely, and quiet. The staff are friendly, hospitable, and try to see to your every needs. The con (or pro, however you might want to look at it) is its basically off the grid with virtually no cell signal (except for one single spot near a tree for crying out loud). But more about La Puerta in another post.
Things to do in Guimaras
If you get to Guimaras before lunch, or lunch time thereabouts, I recommend that you take a land tour (just ask your tricycle or multicab driver) of the area before settling in. Aside from getting a better perspective of the whole island, you can visit all the sites away from the beach and dedicate the rest of your stay to the pristine waters of the beautiful island. You can even have lunch in the main town.
Also try island hopping in Guimaras, although the area isn’t very diverse in coral sites and not a very good snorkeling area, the islands and their different beaches are so amazingly beautiful. The island hopping costs Php500 for the first hour and Php200 for every succeeding hours. The boat can bring up to 8 guests so it’s pretty worth it if you are in a big group.
The Famous Mangos
If you’re wondering, yes, the mangoes are very sweet and tasty, I thought that it smelled quite unripe but when its delicate flesh touched my tongue, it was wonderful.
I made the mistake of settling in before the land tour so I got daunted by the prospect of leaving the beach so I skipped it altogether. Lesson learned.
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