Guimaras Island, Philippines is famous for producing the sweetest mangoes in the world. Located in the Panay Gulf, between the islands of Panay and Negros, there are over 50,000 mango trees planted in this island and its mangoes were reportedly gained its right at the dining table of White House and Buckingham Palace.
Long ago, I was completely unaware of Guimaras until a college friend told me about it. She said that the sweetest mangoes on earth lie on a inconspicuous beautiful island off the coast of Iloilo — the Guimaras Island. I was intrigued. I thought that the sweet mangoes can just be bought at our local market.
By the time I reached the point where I became travel-oriented, I set a goal that someday, my taste buds will soon devour the “sweetest mangoes on earth.” Guess what, it came true. I’ve had the most delicious mango on earth and there’s really something magical about it. In addition to that, I realized that Guimaras is not just a place for mangoes, it is an exotic island that is rich in agricultural diversity and a sanctum of gracious people.
Guimaras instantly then gained a very special place in my heart. My bestie Mica and I accidentally helped a very generous tour guide/tricycle driver boost his career. As a way of gratitude, he sent delicious mangoes straight to Manila for us and we even became godmothers to his daughter. You’ll know more about him as you go along in this travel guide.
How to Get to Guimaras
There is no direct flight to Guimaras. If you’re coming from Manila, take a direct flight to Iloilo. From Iloilo, ride a jeepney or a taxi going to Iloilo City harbor (Ortiz Wharf), and then take a 15-minute pump boat ride going to Jordan Wharf, Guimaras which is the main port of entry in Guimaras.
A pump boat ride costs PHP 14 (around $0.35 or less) as of 2014. Buenavista is another port of entry to Guimaras.
Pump boat schedules 
Monday to Saturday
Iloilo to Guimaras: 5:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
Guimaras to Iloilo: 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m.
Iloilo to Guimaras: 7:30 a.m., 4:00 p.m.
Guimaras to Iloilo: 8:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m.
Tours and Getting Around
You should see the Guimaras Tourism Office when you arrive at Jordan wharf. They have a logbook for guests which we thought was for census purposes. Make sure to grab a pamphlet from the office because it contains all information about Guimaras such as guide maps, travel agencies, hotel and resorts, etc. It will serve as your reference. However, in our case since we’re on a very tight budget, we chose to have our own itinerary and ended up hiring a tricycle driver and discuss our itinerary.
There are two (2) interesting tours that this beautiful island offers to its visitors — Land Tour and Island Hopping Tour.
The land tour is your best option if you are planning to visit Guimaras for a day and great for visitors who wish to experience the island’s exotic countryside beauty. Land tour includes a visit to Trappist Monastery, Mango Plantations, Guisi Beach and Lighthouse, Roca Entada, Balaan Bukid Shrine, or Valle Verde View Deck.
To avail the land tour, you may contact the most popular and in demand local tour guide, Cherald Padojenog also known as Kuya Cherald. Yes, I was referring to him at the first part of this article. He was our great discovery who offers an honest and reasonable price for the said tour. You may reach him at (+63)908-474-8122. Please also read services from other Tricycle Drivers — pleasant experience as well! If you’re traveling in a large group, there are agencies in Guimaras that now offers multi cab, aircon van, and jeepney rentals.
Land Tour starts at Php 1,200 to Php 1,500 for whole tricycle good for 4 people.
On the other hand, island hopping tour is another activity for visitors who seek a combination of relaxation and adventure experience. Tour includes a sweet visit to SEAFDEC, Ave Maria Island, Baras Cave and Resort, Nagtago Beach, or Turtle Island. And to avail island hopping tour, Raymen Beach Resort is so far the only resort which offers island hopping tour.
Island Hopping Tour standard rate is Php 500 for the first two hours and additional Php 150 for every succeeding hour.
More Things You Must Do in Guimaras
You may also check out my separate entry of Best Places and Things To Do in Guimaras.
- Try The Pitstop Restaurant’s famous Mango Pizza.
- Meet Bro. Peter at Trappist Monastery and offer your prayer and wishes.
- Visit Guimaras during Manggahan Festival (Mango Festival). Held every mid-April.
- Best time to buy mangoes is mid-April.
- Buy souvenirs or famous delicacies at Trappist Monastery Mango products.
- Catch the beautiful sunset at Baras Beach.
- Of course, taste the sweetest mango on Earth!
There are several hotel and resorts that offers a very homey service. The hotels listed below are popular among locals of Guimaras and offers budget accommodation for visit.
Alubihod Beach, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras
Contact: (+63)918-520-7271; (63)927-560-5107
Room starts at PHP 1,350 for an air-conditioned room
Baras Beach Resort
Lawi, Jordan, Guimaras
Room start at PHP 800 for fan room (cottage type)
Sample Guimaras Itineraries
Network and Internet Concerns
Several hotel and resorts in Guimaras, Philippines now offer free WiFi access. If your hotel doesn’t have WiFi, bring your USB dongle broadband and use Smart network. According to the locals, Smart is their preferred network and internet as it works great in most part of Guimaras.
From Strangers to Friendship that last forever
Kuya Cherald and I are still in touch through Facebook.
One day, he sent me a message and I was very surprised when he told me that he gained a lot of customers through my blog and it has helped his family a lot. He kept on thanking me but I actually did nothing. I just blogged about how honest and kind tour guide he was. I heard that his brother became in demand too whenever he’s fully booked. He is worthy of everything that he has right now.“You don’t do kind deeds expecting kindness in return. You don’t do kind deeds because you deem the recipient worthy. You do kind deeds because it’s who you are, and because you understand the powerful difference your gentle hand makes in this dreary world.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich
I haven’t seen him and my goddaughter for years and I owe her a lot of Christmas gift! It has been 4 years since I last visited Guimaras WOW. I cannot wait to see Guimaras again. Some of my readers said there were lots of things have changed.
Tricycle Drivers in Guimaras
It has come to my attention (thanks to one of my readers Keziah, please read her comment below) that other tricycle drivers in Guimaras has shared their sentiments about the number of tourists that Kuya Gerald and his brother were getting because of my blog. I had no intention to promote Kuya Cherald in the first place, it just happened that my blog always rank in Search Engines like Google when you search for “Guimaras Travel Guide” and eventually, people use my guide as their reference. Kuya Cherald’s popularity was purely accidental.
I should have updated my blog about it long time ago to avoid discrepancies between him and other drivers. I have also been receiving several emails from other travelers who have been to Guimaras that nearly 100% of tricycle drivers there are actually like Kuya Cherald — honest, very kind and reliable. So to my dear readers who are planning to go to Guimaras or will go back to Guimaras, it’s still your choice whose tricycle driver/tour guide to choose. Happy travels!!
Have you been to Guimaras lately? Is there any new attraction you can suggest for me to visit next time I come?