Five Easy Steps for your Guimaras Island Escapade

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Guimaras is home of the world’s sweetest mangoes and consider as the Mango Capital of the Philippines. Just two reasons why no one will disagree when I say “GUIMARAS”, the first thing that comes to our mind is “MANGOES”. But aside from having sweet fruit produce, Guimaras has more to offer. Its pristine white sand coastlines, lavish marine life and unseen cultural heritage resources are ready to be revealed.

Exploring Guimaras is not as costly and difficult as other tourist attractions. Here is the FIVE EASY STEPS FOR YOUR GUIMARAS ISLAND ESCAPADE.

 

STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR PORT

Either by land, plane or sea, the major entry point is Iloilo City unless if you will be coming from Negros Occidental which there is also an alternative port going to the island.

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To date there are three ports serving Iloilo to Guimaras – Iloilo River Wharf for RORO Vessel Type; and Ortiz Wharf and the Parola Port for Pump boats. Meanwhile, a seaport named Iloilo-Guimaras Ferry Terminal (Near Citymall Parola, Iloilo City Proper) is about to finish and will be served as a centralized passenger pump boat terminal upon its completion. This port is yet to finalize the rate and planning to collect 15 pesos for boat fee and additional 11 pesos for the terminal fee.

 

ORTIZ WHARF (Entry and Exit Point: Iloilo City to Jordan, Guimaras)

This Pump Boat Terminal is located in barangay Ortiz, Iloilo City and the most common entry point to Guimaras. You can hire Taxi directly to the port for a Php. 40 flag down rate. For budgetarians, ride a Jeepney and choose the one with “Baluarte” sign. You are fortunate if the mentioned route of the jeepney is nearby to your location or else you need to double your ride or more; don’t worry the minimum fare is only 7 pesos.

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Then, asks the driver to drop in the port leading to Guimaras. There is an abandoned milky white heritage mansion in the corner of the street and from there walk for approximately 100 meters.

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DESTINATION RATE SCHEDULE
Ortiz Wharf to Jordan Wharf (15 to 20 minutes boat ride) Php. 14.00 Daily trips with interval of 15 minutes from 5:30AM to 7:30PM.

 

PAROLA WHARF (Entry and Exit Point: Iloilo City to Buenavista, Guimaras)

Pump boat trips daily from 5:30AM to 7:30PM (at least one ferry) to MacArthur Wharf, Sto. Rosario, Buenavista. It is being used as an alternative gateway of tourist and locals to Guimaras. Price is Php. 14 for a 15 to 20-minute boat ride.

 

ILOILO RIVER WHARF (Iloilo City to Jordan RORO Port)

This is recommended for those with four-wheel cars. An Approximate 45 minute travel and usually at least once in every two hours (5AM to 6PM).

 

 

STEP 2: REGISTER YOUR NAME

Upon reaching the island, go directly to the Tourism Center located within the Jordan Port to register for free. All your queries and needed information about Guimaras will happily provided and assisted by the tourism officers.

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DID YOU KNOW???

Guimaras Land Area is only 113.7 km2 smaller compared to Singapore

 

STEP 3: BOOK A ROOM

Prior to your visit in Guimaras, this step could be done. If planning to explore the island not on a rush, it is recommended to have a two-day stay in Guimaras; One day of Land Tour and another day for Island Hopping. Most of the white sand beaches and resorts are located in the Municipality of Nueva Valencia. The most common resort in Guimaras is the Raymen Beach Resort in Alubihod Beach; the jump-off point for Island Hopping. There are other resorts to choose that can offer the same accommodation.

 

 

STEP 4: PICK A TOUR

If planning to explore the island, there are two major tours offered.

1. LAND TOUR

First on the list is the Land Tour. According to the Tourism Office, there is still no fixed rate initiated by the Local Government yet the typical price of the Land Tour ranges from 1,200 to 3,500 Philippine Peso depends on your attraction picked and choice of vehicle to use. You can select from Motorcycle, Tricycle, Jeepney, Multicab and Aircon Van. The tour takes more or less 5 hours.

 

LIST OF ATTRACTIONS FOR LAND TOUR:

 

The Pitstop Restaurant (Jordan)

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Pitstop Restaurant Main Branch

Home of the First and Famous Mango Pizza with three branches in Jordan, Guimaras according to our guide.

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Provincial Capitol and Museo de Guimaras (Jordan)

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National Mango Research and Development Center / Mango Plantation (Jordan)

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Trappist Monastery (Jordan)

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It is the only men’s monastery in the country. It is also a good stop-over for “pasalubong” such as Mango Jam, Dried Mangoes, Mango Piyaya, Cashew Nuts, T-shirts, Keychains, Bags and Religious Items.

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Guisi Beach and Ruins of Faro de Punta Luzaran or Guisi Point Lighthouse (Nueva Valencia)

 

“In 1857,  the General Plan for fighting of Maritime Coasts in the Philippine Archipelago was drafted  and implemented by Corps of Engineers for Roads, Canals and Ports. The Guisi Lighthouse (Faro de Punta Luzaran) is the Second Oldest Lighthouse in the Philippines, lighted up for the first time in 1894. The structure is made of prefabricated metals from France, the “tisa” from Portugal and cement from England. This 18th Century Spanish Ruin is very visible during night time to guide mariners passing through Guimaras Strait.”

 

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If just planning to visit Guisi Lighthouse, other suggested to take a Jeepney from Jordan Port to Nueva Valencia for Php. 50 and ask the driver to drop in an intersection leading to the lighthouse. From there, hire a habal-habal from about 5-km motorcycle ride. Price is negotiable.

 

 

See Also: Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Ilocos

 

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The roots remind me of Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap, Cambodia

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Navalas Church (Buenavista)

The oldest Church in the island. Its façade is the only remaining part which still intact.

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📷 stevecordero02.wordpress.com
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A mango flavored products from San Isidro, Buenavista, Guimaras for Php 40 each.

 

Smallest Plaza (Jordan) 

The Smallest Plaza is only meters away from Jordan Municipal Hall (Don’t get confuse with Guimaras Provincial Capitol which is kilometers far to it). It is considered as one of the interesting sites in Guimaras. The plaza is located along the highway and accessible even without a land tour. It was once listed in the Guinness Book of World Record as the Smallest Plaza in the World and still remains as the smallest in the country up to today.

 

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Alubihod Beach (Nueva Valencia)

The most popular beach in Guimaras and the jump-off-point for the island hopping activity in western side.

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Other attractions includes Sadsad Falls (Seasonally offered to tourists), Roca Encantada in Buenavista, Wind Mill Farm in San Lorenzo and Balaan Bukid Shrine in Jordan.

2. ISLAND HOPPING

Island hopping’s location is in the town of Nueva Valencia. You can go directly to municipality’s town proper without booking a land tour.

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There are commuter jeepneys located outside the port worth Php 30. This option is applicable if your destination is along the highway and there is only skeletal trip of jeep that will surely keep you waiting.

You can hire a tricycle to conveniently take you directly to your resort or island hopping location for Php 250 to Php 350 one-way rate.

Take note to bring your own food as it is not part of the island hopping price. The rental of snorkel is P50 to P100.

 

ISLAND HOPPING PRICE FOR THE FIRST HOUR NUMBER OF PAX ADDITIONAL RATE FOR SUCCEEDING HOUR
Php 500.00 6 to 8 Persons Php 150.00

 

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LIST OF ATTRACTIONS FOR ISLAND HOPPING:

  1. Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC)
  2. Turtle Island
  3. Ave Maria Island
  4. Baras Cave and Beach
  5. Fairy Castle
  6. Isla Naburot
  7. Nagtago Island
  8. Yato Island

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STEP 5: TAKE MEMORIES

 

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Enjoy what you need to enjoy in Guimaras – witness Manggahan Festival every Month of May and join the Mango Eating Contest.

Do what you need to do in Guimaras – Go for the Land Tour and experience Island Hopping.

Eat what you need to eat in Guimaras – Try the famous Mango Pizza, taste the Mango Jam and take-home some Mango Piyaya.

As I will say that there is no reason not to do and try something great in Guimaras because you are in an “Island that Fits your Taste”.

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