Carles, Iloilo: The Pristine Beach Destinations of Islas Gigantes
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).
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.
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.
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.