Before this trip materialized, I would often mention ‘Guimaras’ whenever people ask what will be our first destination as soon as we land in Iloilo International Airport. And no, Guimaras is not part of Iloilo but it’s 15 minutes boat away from Ortiz Wharf. Guimaras is popularly known for its Mango as it is the producer of the ‘Sweetest Mango in the World.’
First, let me tell you how I freaked out when Cebu Pacific announced the list of canceled flights from March 6 – March 11 due to some maintenance, and how unfortunate that our flights to and from Iloilo fall within those dates. I immediately went online and checked out our itineraries and I felt relieved that our flight to Iloilo is not included in the list as the canceled flights starts at 6AM of March 6 onwards and ours was at 4:20 in the morning. YES! LOL
So we arrived at Iloilo International Airport and to my opinion, their airport is far way better than NAIA 3 and the other international airports in the Philippines that I have seen. It was clean, fully air-conditioned, not disorganized in a way that will turn you off, and the facilities were all working as expected. I just hope they keep it that way.
We hired a van in the airport (P500) to drive us to Circle Inn Hotel & Suites, this is where we stayed for 2 nights. It was relatively cheap compared to others, but it was a good stay nevertheless as it has a swimming pool and the room is spacious and all equipped with everything we need. Its location is also 5-10 minutes walk to Ortiz Wharf, that’s why Guimaras was first in our itinerary.
The boat ride fare from Ortiz Wharf (Iloilo) to Jordan Wharf (Guimaras) is only P14. You will have to wait till the boat is fully loaded before it starts moving bound for Guimaras Island. You will notice that the passengers in the boat are a mix of traveler, locals, students, and even employed people. It is basically the means of transportation for some.
Our contact for the day tour in Guimaras was Kuya Cherald. We were supposed to be riding a multicab but due to an unavoidable circumstance, we used a van instead. But the rate didn’t change, it was still P2000. So we obviously got the best out of this deal. Kuya Cherald is a very talkative and funny person. He was even up to our craziness the entire day. If you wish to have him as your tour guide, you may contact him thru his mobile phone (+63 908 474 8122).
Guimaras is a perfect location for day tours. It’s quite surprising that in a small island, you will see a lot of tourist spots such as ruins, plantations, beaches, old and new churches, and so much more! You can explore everything in a day!
And since we were on a vacation, it’s only fitting to drown ourselves with seafoods. Yay! That’s like mandatory whenever I go on trips like this. Also, almost every food in Guimaras has a Mango in it, just like the Bangus Sisig in the photo above with Mango bits on top. I was doubtful at first since I’m not a fan but hell yeah, it was really really good!
Below is the itinerary I made for this day. There’s actually so much more to explore in Guimaras. You may tell Kuya Cherald to go to some parts but that will cost you an additional of P500 to P1000, I guess?
DAY 1 – Guimaras Island
7:00 AM – 8:00 AM Hotel to Ortiz Wharf (Iloilo) then to Jordan Wharf (Guimaras)
8:00 AM – 5:30 PM Guimaras land tour
* Smallest plaza
* Guimaras museo
* Provincial capitol
* The Pitstop
* Pasalubong center
* Mango plantation
* Trappist monastery
* Guisi lighthouse and beach
* Alubihod beach
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM Travel back to Jordan Wharf (Guimaras) and then boat ride to Ortiz Wharf (Iloilo)
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM Back to hotel and freshen up for dinner
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM Tatoy’s Manokan and Seafood Restaurant
Please read my blogpost for our Day 2! Islas de Gigantes experience. 🙂