A few months ago, Kaye and I embarked on another thrilling adventure to celebrate my 28th birthday. After braving North Cotabato’s Asik-Asik Falls the previous year, we were set on to visit another up and coming Philippine tourist destination that will surely whet the appetite of thrill-seeking travelers around the world. Hailing from the humble province of Northern Iloilo, I present to you: Islas de Gigantes.
As with my other travel blog posts, this will be an instructional guide on how to get to Gigantes Islands. But, before I proceed with the step-by-step guide, below is the TL;DR version of this post:
Your Destination -to- Iloilo City -to- Gigantes Norte
Step 1. Go to Iloilo City via Plane
Iloilo City is the main gateway to Gigantes Islands. Booking a flight to Iloilo is no problem nowadays due to the abundance of daily flights from Manila, Cebu and Davao. Iloilo is also accessible from Puerto Princesa, General Santos and Cagayan de Oro. From our experience, the flight from Davao to Iloilo lasted an hour.
Step 2. Go to Molo Terminal via Shuttle Van
Upon arriving at the Iloilo International Airport, board one of the shuttle vans outside the airport bound for Molo Overland Terminal. Since Iloilo airport is located in the municipality of Cabatuan, it’s quite far from Iloilo’s city center. The van ride lasts 30 minutes and fee is at P50.00 per head. If you have extra cash to spare, you can always ride the taxi albeit at higher than usual rates (around P400-P500). If you’ll be riding the taxi, skip going to Molo Terminal and proceed directly to Step 3.
Step 3. Go to Tagbak Terminal via Taxi
Once at the Molo Terminal, flag down a taxi en route to Tagbak Terminal. Taxi fare to Tagbak is conservatively estimated at P200.00 with a 15-minute travel time. You have two (2) modes of transport to choose from when going to Estancia via Tagbak Terminal.
Step 4. Go to Estancia Terminal via Bus/Van
You can either ride the Ceres Bus bound for Estancia OR you can choose riding the van bound for Estancia. The shuttle van will take you to Estancia in only 2 hours at P150.00 per head. Do note that vans impose a 4-person per column seating scheme which causes a bit of discomfort. With the bus ride, you enjoy a more comfortable seat though the downside is the longer travel time which is pegged at 4 hours. Pick your poison.
Step 5. Go to Estancia Port via Tricycle
Boarding either the bus or van from Tagbak Terminal will lead you to the Estancia Terminal. From there, hail a tricyle going to Estancia Port. It will only take 5 minutes and fares are at P10.00 per head.
Step 6. Go to Gigantes Norte via Boat
Upon arriving at Estancia Port, proceed to the tourism assistance booth to pay the P15.00 tourism and environmental fee. After that, look for the boats lined up. Only one (1) boat has a daily scheduled trip going to Gigantes Norte (docks at Brgy. Langub). Since we were booked at Jesa Gigantes Beach Resort, Ms. Sally (the owner of Jesa) kindly led us to the boat marked “Arjan”. On alternating days, a boat marked “Gerell” plights the same route. For P80.00 per head, enjoy the 2-hour boat ride to Gigantes Norte filled with literal ups and downs. And yes, I’m talking about giant waves, especially during Habagat season. We should know as we experienced 6-foot waves during our boat ride (really scary stuff). Consider yourselves warned.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Be at the Estancia Port before 12 noon! The lone boat bound for Gigantes Norte leaves Estancia port at 1pm. DO NOT MISS the boat!
Step 7. Go to your desired resort (Jesa, Arjan, Rejohn, Hideaway) via Habal-habal (single motor)
After docking at Brgy. Langub, there are hoards of habal-habal drivers waiting for locals and tourists alike. Ride one and instruct the driver to get to the resort of your choice. Fare is at P10.00 per head. Most of the resorts are only within 5 minutes reach from the port.
Step 8. Thank the Lord for the safe travels and enjoy Islas de Gigantes!
Rejoice! You just reached Gigantes Islands alive and well! By the way, no posting to any social media because in this island, there’s no internet!
But wait, there’s mor! Here’s a little of preview of what to see in Gigantes Islands:
For a rundown of our Gigantes island hopping experience, click HERE. Enjoy!