Because of its proximity, Guimaras Island serves as a popular side trip for adventurous travelers visiting Iloilo City. Usually, the side trip is done after experiencing all the fun of Dinagyang Festival. Just 15-minute boat ride, you already escaped the pace and the bustle of Iloilo City.
I admit that I last traveled to Guimaras 4 years ago and I have no idea what’s in there now. But thanks to several bloggers friends and online guides, I’ve managed to see what’s new in Guimaras and already had an idea what to do next time I visit and let me share these things to do in Guimaras.
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The Trappist Monastery is no doubt the very first place you should and must visit, in fact Trapist Monastery was my most favorite place in Guimaras. Its beautiful monastic enclosure reminded me of countryside living and I almost forgot that I was still in the Philippines. A little chat with one of the monks felt like my soul has been cleansed. He blessed us after we wrote down our prayers in a piece of paper. We left the temple with full of insightful thoughts and peace in our hearts.
We didn’t really go to the main site of the Mango Plantation, instead, we went to a high place overlooking the plantation. According tour tour guide/tricycle driver, there are over 50,000 mangoes trees growing in this island and being exported all over the world. A research was done before where they attempted to grow mangoes outside Guimaras but it didn’t produce the same quality. There is something magical about the soil of Guimaras.
Buy Mangoes or Visit Guimaras During Manggahan Festival
Do not ever leave Guimaras without tasting their mangoes. Best time to buy mangoes in Guimaras is during its sweetest month, mid-April which is the Manggahan Festival. The Manggahan Festival is celebrated every April 16-20 for the promotion of tourism in Guimaras and to showcase their world class top-quality mangoes. One of the favorite activities is the eat-all-you-can where you just pay a small amount and eat till you drop.
Overnight or Day Tour at Valle Verde Mountain Sring Resort
With a small Php 10.00 entrance fee, the resort is open for visitors. A tour to the resort requires a small hike through small forest which makes it very enticing to nature lovers. They have an in-house restaurant and conference room great for company or team building events. The Valle Verde Resort is the only place that offers a breathtaking overlooking view of Lawi Bay. If you want to stay somewhere away from the beach, this is a great option.
A 10 to 15-minute trek to the Lighthouse was challenging and for some stubborn tourist, they would make the most out of their lighthouse experience by climbing it to see the splendid overlooking view of Guimaras despite the Do Not Climb Warning sign. Built in the 18th century (1894 to 1896), Guisi Lighthouse is the second oldest lighthouse in the Philippines and the rest of its history is unknown.
Some parts of Guisi Beach was devastated by typhoon Frank in 2008; however, the devastation created an unexpected exquisite rock formation scattered around the beach. Staying at Guisi Beach is a great alternative to Alubijod Beach. This is where I will stay next time I visit Guimaras.
Also spelled as Alubijod Beach, it is a popular beach destination for locals every weekend to play, family picnic, and enjoy. Alubijod Beach is also the starting point of Guimaras Island Hopping. There are several hotels and cottages accommodation around if you wish to stay for a night and relax. It is extremely fascinating that all beaches in Guimaras have white sand. Guimaras is truly blessed.
Balaan Bukid Shrine
On Mica’s come back to Guimaras, Balaan Bukid Shrine was included in her itinerary. According to her blog, Balaan Bukid means “Holy Mountain” and there are 14 Stations of the Cross that are visited by devotees during the Lenten Season. Balaan Bukid is yet, another, trekking location in Guimaras that in the end will offer a rewarding overlooking view of Iloilo and Guimaras that will absolutely blow you away. Check out the Giant Cross and Ave Maria Shrine here too.
The restaurant wasn’t opened the first time I went there, but now, it became popular in Guimaras because of their famous delicious House Specialty, The Mango Pizza (Php 189.00). So, for those who love mangoes like me, this is a must. Stop at Pitstop!
Zip Line or Rapelling at Camp Alfredo
Camp Alfredo is a relatively new Adventure Attraction Guimaras that offers zip line, obstacle course, rapelling, and many more, specifically designed for large groups and family outings. With an entrance fee of Php 50.00 and you get to see and tour around their beautiful landscape inside. For more information, contact them through Facebook Page.
Unique Dining Experience Camiña Balay nga Kawayan
Camiña Balay nga Kawayan is a newly opened family-owned restaurant which offers visitors of Guimaras a unique dinning experience. It aims to contribute to the fast-rising Farm-2-Plate (farm-to-table) tourism thrust. Dining here requires booking and reservations. Php 150 per person minimum of 5 people for a farm tour and fresh fruit smoothies, 2-3 days advance notice. Visit their Facebook Page for more information.
Island Hopping Tour
The tour includes a sweet visit to SEAFDEC, Ave Maria Islet, Baras Cave, Baras Beach Resort, Nagtago Beach, or Turtle Island. Standard rate for the island hopping tour is Php 500.00 for the first hour and Php 150 for every succeeding hour. I strongly suggest to start the island hopping tour an hour before sunset and make Baras Beach Resort your last stop, from there, you’ll be able to chase the perfect sunset of the island — priceless.
Other worth mentioning place: Roca Encantada
Located in Buenavista, Guimaras, Roca Encantada is a summerhouse of the Lopez Clan. Built in 1910, its grand balcony offers a picturesque view of the Iloilo Strait and Siete Picados islands.
If you think I missed a destination or things to do in Guimaras, please leave a comment below and I would be happy to check and update this entry. I hope I was to invite other travelers who haven’t been to Guimaras yet. Meanwhile, you may also read my Guimaras Travel Guide.
Link Love Blogs About Guimaras
The Terraza at Camiña Balay nga Kawayan in Guimaras by Flavors of Iloilo
Guimaras Countryside Birthday Tour by Carla
Camp Alfredo Guimaras, Commune with Nature by Ramzkie
Island Hopping Tour in Guimaras Before Sunset by Mica
Roca Encantada by Marcos
Guimaras by Sarah
Chasing the Sunset in Guimaras by Gael
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