Sunday, April 3, 2011

Iloilo-Gumaras Tour (Part 1): Guimaras Town Tour

Iloilo is a business center than a tourist spot. So if you're planning to have an all sea, sun and sand vacation, plan your vacation somewhere else. Guimaras may provide this but personally one night in the island is already enough. There's nothing much to do if you're looking for some relaxation coupled with activities.
So anyways, I'll just write about my personal experiences and leave it up to you if you still want to go.

My boyfriend and I decided to go to Iloilo because of Guimaras. Aside from the oil spill that happened years ago, it is also famous because of its mangoes and its shores. The locals claim that Guimaras has the sweetest mangoes in the world. Since our idea of vacation is beach, beach, beach, we decided to go there first and see if we want to extend our stay.

Day 1: Guimaras Tour

We arrive at Iloilo airport at 6:30 am via Airphil Express. This is your gateway to Guimaras. From the airport, we took a cab to Ortiz Wharf. The cab cost us P350. It was offered to us in fixed rate. Caution: Do not agree for a shuttle because they are offering their services at P600+. The wharf is just around 30-40 minutes away from the airport.

From the wharf, we bought tickets to ride the pump boat for Jordan Wharf  that costs P13.00. We saw that they are petitioning to have it a higher price. It only takes 15-20 minutes of travel from Ortiz to Jordan.

Upon arriving at Jordan, Guimaras, we are met by Kuya Gerald, our tour guide. He drove us around Jordan through his tricycle.  Tricyles in Guimaras can seat 6 people but if you can spare some cash, hire a muticab for comfort. Note that in Guimaras, transportation is pegged on a hourly basis not on distance. We spent P700 for a 4-hour tour, from 8 am to almost 12 nn. Honestly, the tour was just okay. Not much to see except for endless trees and greenery.

Kuya Gerald first brought us at Ambakan Falls. If you're not a hiker, I suggest don't go anymore. We're supposed to go to another falls-Sadsad, but we opted not to. We have to carry all our luggages for a 15 minute uphill trek. No thanks. Good thing about the place is its fairy-like atmosphere. You can bathe but if you're pressed for time, reserve your urges for the beach.

We also passed by Balaan Bukid Shrine which I wasn't able to take a picture of. This is the smallest plaza, according to the locals. After the falls, we went to the Trappist Monastery and met the only Filipino monk. According to Kuya Gerald, the monastery was named Trappist because the first monks were trapped in the island. You can write your prayers and give some donations.

After the monastery, we passed by the Museum which was closed for renovation. The facade was good though so we stopped and took a picture. Kuya Gerald said that saints can be seen inside the museum.

Along the way, we also stopped at the Valle Verde Resort. You have to pay P20 for entrance fee. You can swim at their pool. There's also a spring way way below the resort with a fee of P10. The place looks deserted when we visit so we just took pictures. There's also a 300-step to get to the spring. Since we felt lazy already, we opted not to see it anymore .

Before our trip ends, we stopped at some fruit stands and bought mangoes. The cost was P55 per kilo. Just a word of advice, if the mangoes are meant to be pasalubong, buy the ones in the boxes and buy the ones that are not too ripe. They will be ripe by the time you get to Manila.

Our last stop was the Guisi Lighthouse and Guisi Clearwater Beach. The Lighthouse is one of the oldest in the country which is quite obvious with its rusting facade. There's a resort in Guisi but our guide says that there's nothing much to see if we'll stay there. The sand is yellowish and rocky but the waters are really clear. You have to pay P10 to Guisi Lighthouse but the beach is free.

Our tour ended at around 12 noon without seeing Sadsad Falls. Kuya Gerald gave us a lift at Raymen Beach Resort in Alubihod Beach. Nueva Valencia where we will stay for the night.

Cost of a Half-Day Tour:

P350- Cab fare from Iloilo to Ortiz
P  13- Pumpboat Fare from Ortiz to Jordan Wharf
P700 - Tricycle Hire
P  50-  Tip for the Guide
P  20 - Entrance at Valle Verde Resort
P  10-  Entrance at Guisi Lighthouse
P1133 -total

Allot some more for pasalubong such as dried mangoes, mango biscochos, mango jam and other mango products.


  1. why 50 pesos only? thats too cheap

  2. Hi! I think my tip was not too big but I think it was just okay. It's a matter of opinion I guess. :)


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