Guimaras Island, like Bohol, is a neighboring island to a highly urbanized city. It is an island destination for anyone who is coming to Iloilo City. Home of the most delicious mangoes of the world, Guimaras Island welcomes you with beautiful beaches and mountains.
It is one of the most beautiful paradises in the Philippines but is not well advertised compared to Bohol and Siargao Island. So, what’s there to see in Guimaras Island?
Guimaras is a twenty-minute boat ride from Iloilo City that holds a lot of tourist spots. The boat ride is cheap as it only costs not more than P20. So, you’ll spend P40 going back and forth to Iloilo City.
There are many activities you can do while in Guimaras. You can hike up its mountains or sit on the sandy beaches. You can also immerse with the people in Guimaras. They are one of the most accommodating people you’ll meet.
When in Guimaras, you can opt for a longer stay and go island hopping or if you’re just visiting for a side trip to Iloilo City, then you can opt for the countryside travel and do it in four hours.
From Iloilo City, you can go to Ortiz Wharf and grab a boat ticket going to Jordan Wharf which is in Guimaras. It is better to be there early in the morning as the line gets too long.
Upon arriving at Guimaras, you’ll need to register on their tourism center. They will ask if you have an itinerary and show you the map of Guimaras Island to help navigate the area. If you don’t have any itinerary, they will help you make one. Once, you’re all set, they will endorse you to a driver to help you travel from one place to another.
If you’re traveling with not more than four people, the tourism officers will endorse you to a tricycle. But, if you’re more than four, then they might endorse you to a multicab. The minimum price to hire a tricycle driver is not less than P1,300 for a half day tour. This is dependent on your itinerary and the time. If you’re traveling with four people then you can divide the expenses to save some cash.
Your first stop in Guimaras is their famous Smallest Plaza. It is the smallest plaza in the entire archipelago of the Philippines. It’s the pride of Guimaras because it used to hold the Guinness Book of World Records as the smallest plaza in the world until it got dethroned.
The smallest plaza has the statue of Philippines’ national hero – Jose Rizal.
Your next stop would be Guimaras’ municipal hall. You can take pictures at the renowned landmark. But, aside from that, you’ll see nothing there unless they re-opened the museum.
Guimaras is a vast land. Most of your travel will be spent on riding the tricycle and enjoying the view of the horizon. So, find yourself road trip games to get your mind working.
The third stop for the Guimaras adventure is at Mango Research and Development Center of the Philippines.
Guimaras is one of the only provinces in the Philippines that has the capability to export high-quality mangoes. Guimaras exports mangoes to Australia and United States of America. Guimaras mangoes also held the Guinness Book of World Records for the sweetest mangoes in the world in 1995.
After the Mango Research and Development Center, you’ll get to go to one of Guimaras’ holy places – the Trappist Monastery. The monastery is run by monks that follow the rule of St. Benedict.
Trappist monastery is the best place to buy your souvenirs and try out delicious local delicacies such as dried mangoes, piayaya mangoes and all sorts of goodies with mangoes in it.
The farthest on the itinerary is one of the most beautiful ruins you’ll ever see. It is almost an hour ride from Trappist Monastery.
After traveling an uphill road, there lies the beautiful gem of Guimaras – Guisi Lighthouse and Ruins. The ruins stand beautifully in the midday sun. Its charm never ceases to amaze you.
Guisi Lighthouse is an 18th-century gift from the Spanish era. The lighthouse is the second oldest in the Philippines next to Cagayan’s lighthouse in Aparri. Guisi lighthouse was built to help guide mariners passing the strait between Iloilo and Guimaras.
The lighthouse is a picturesque view along with the Guimaras seascape.
Going back to Jordan Wharf, there are some picturesque views you can take pictures from. Since Guisi Lighthouse is uphill, you’ll have more view of the island and you’ll get to have more seascape pictures plus the sky is beautiful and calming.
Last but not the least, stop over at Guimaras famous restaurant – The Pitstop. Never miss the chance to try out their renowned mango pizza. It’s definitely worth the try!
There are other things you can do in Guimaras especially if you love beach bumming and water adventures. But, if you’re just planning a side trip, you can finish touring some of Guimaras’ beautiful spots in about four hours. There are other tourist spots in the countryside waiting for you to venture if you want to have a longer stay. Also, try out island hopping if you have plenty of time.