Carles, Iloilo: The Pristine Beach Destinations of Islas Gigantes

Antonia Beach Gigantes Island Carles Iloilo Visayas Philippines

The Philippine archipelago holds a never-ending list of remarkable beach finds all over the country stretching from north to south, across the eastern coast to the west, one island to another. But this particular group of islands and islets situated off the coast of northeast Panay will certainly awe beach aficionados of all sorts. Without further ado, I give you the spectacles of Carles, Iloilo – the paradise islands and beaches of Islas Gigantes.

Each destination possesses unique characteristics and features adrenalin-pumping and astonishing activities that will make you remember how amazing Islas Gigantes for the rest of your life. The itinerary covers Tinagong Baybay, a short strip of white sand beach with a cave somewhere in the middle,  and a sand bar which stretches approximately a few hundred meters from the Bantigue Island. In my books however, three stood out among the rest (no particular order).

Antonia Beach

On the tip of protruding beach sprawling with coconut trees on fine white sand lies a skewed rock formation which complements a picturesque scene of Gigantes Sur’s famous Antonia Beach. Only a few meters offshore is a coral reef teeming with aquatic species serves as a perfect spot for snorkeling and free diving. Swim, climb, dive – Antonia is a haven for adventure and equally a sanctuary to those who seek refuge in paradise.

Cabugao Gamay Island

Gamay, in Ilonggo (and Bisaya) means “small”, thus the name of this petite paradise called Cabugao Gamay. The tininess however make up for its exquisiteness with the clear azure water gently sweeping soft white sands off your feet as you wade into the water, or take refuge under the cool shade of the coconut trees. No wonder Cabugao Gamay is the most popular island, in fact, this is the most iconic destination of Islas Gigantes (referring to the first photo on this post). Cabugao Gamay Island is simply and stunningly marvelous.

Tangke Saltwater Lagoon

The enchanting lagoon walled in by massive limestone cliffs has lured many visitors by Tangke’s spellbinding beauty. Tourists love swimming in the clear waters of Tangke Saltwater Lagoon‘s natural  pool. But beyond the enclave’s earthly wonder, Tangke is also host to many myths and folklore about supernatural beings dwelling in the place.

Amplify the adventure a notch higher with a heart-stopping jump in from a limestone cliff just beside the entry point to Tangke Saltwater Lagoon. The jump was the perfect way to cap my island hopping tour in Islas Gigantes.

Tinagong Baybay white sand beach gigantes island carles iloilo philippines

Cave in tinagong baybay gigantes island carles iloilo philippines

Bantigue Island sandbar carles iloilo beach visayas philippines

Antonia Island beach gigantes carles iloilo philippines

Antonia Beach Island Carles Iloilo GIgantes

Cabugao Gamay Island Carles Iloilo Gigantes island hopping destinations

Cabugao Gamay Island Carles Iloilo Destinations Gigantes

Tangke Saltwater lagoon carles iloilo philippines gigantes island hopping

Some fast facts that may help you on the trip:

1. Save a whole day for the island hopping tour. Don’t rush. Savor the beauty of each destinations.

2. The tour cost around P2,000 for the whole boat with a 10-person capacity. Same thing goes if you’re traveling alone.

3. I brought my snorkeling gear but I think Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn could also provide. For further details and contact information of the resort, please refer to this post.

4. On my next visit, I’d probably spend a night on Cabugao Gamay Island.

5. Check out these equally marvelous destinations in Gigantes Norte.

5. Tangke Lagoon can be visited depending on the wave condition. Sometimes, when the wave is too strong, it might force the boat into the rocks on the entry point.

6. This is the ninth post on my two-week long backpacking journey in Panay Island and Guimaras. Next stop would still be in Roxas City, Capiz.

7. More Iloilo destinations.

8. Please Like Biyaherong Barat on Facebook.

9. Follow @BiyaherongBarat on Twitter.

10. Follow @biyaherongbarat on Instagram.

11. Happy travels and be safe.


31 thoughts on “Carles, Iloilo: The Pristine Beach Destinations of Islas Gigantes

  1. Pingback: Carles, Iloilo: A Prelude To The Ultimate Gigantes Islands Experience | Biyaherong Barat

  2. Pingback: Carles, Iloilo: An Idyllic Escape to Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn | Biyaherong Barat

  3. Pingback: Laguna: Buruwisan Multi Falls | indeliblycurious

  4. hello po!may contact number po kayo ng nirentahan nyong boat?thanks.nagpaplan po kasi pumunta next week. thanks po.

      • This is very helpful, THANKS! I’ll have my solo trip few months from now. Parang expensive pag solo ko ang boat, any contact person/boat man you can recommend po para mainform ko sila ahead of time and baka sakali pwede akong makisabay sa ibang group? Salamat

        • That’s the problem, Len. kase yu yung plano ko initially but ayaw nila pinagsasama, kase let’s say, ikaw hindi mo trip yung gusto nila, or sila hindi trip yung gusto mo. Pero try na rin baka pwede. di ako nakalusot nun, e. hehehe.

  5. Sir ask Lang po ako if ung rent Sa boat Na 2000 Sa island hopping is buong araw Na po ba un? At pwedeng puntahan ung mga island Na gusto nyu? Tnx

  6. Hello just read your post. Is it possible not to charter the boat? like we’re just gonna pay it per head for trip? We’re planning to visit the island this coming May🙂

  7. my Family visited this hidden Paradise Island in the Northern tip of Iloilo just recently (our Easter getaway). We found it so Peaceful and Tranquil…very nice place (7 stars). We will certainly go back and we recommend you people outhere to visit this Paradise Island & feel the fineness of its white/pink sand and the calmness of its Pristine Beaches.
    Go out and Explore Iloilo first and Enjoy, Discover & Savor what Iloilo can offer.

    calling the Attn. of Dir. Atty. Helen Catalbas (DOT6 Regional Director) and the Municipal Tourism officer of Carles, Iloilo, may I suggest to please train the locals to create some souvenirs (t-shirts, tags, key chains, etc.) so that the tourists (foreign & local) will have something to cherish from the Island. This will also be an additional income for the locals.

    one more thing for Dir. Catalbas & the Carles Tourism Officer….pls. send out flyers and posters to remind the locals and the tourists (foreign & locals) to keep the Island clean and rubbish free. “LET US WORK TOGETHER and PRESERVE” this Beautiful Nature. SAVE Isla Gigantes ! ! !

  8. For those interested to visit the enchanting Gigantes Islands, please like the official facebook page of Carles Tourism Information office for information regarding boat rentals, passenger boat fare and schedule, mainland accommodations, and island accommodations. Also, you can send them a private message if you have questions, comments, or suggestions. Thank you!

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