Title: Discovering the Hidden Gem: Gigantes Island, Philippines
In the heart of the Visayan Sea lies a hidden treasure waiting to be explored – the Gigantes Island. Situated in the northern part of Iloilo province, this stunning archipelago is an ideal destination for adventure seekers and those who want to escape the bustling city life. With its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, captivating rock formations, and lush green landscapes, Gigantes Island promises a memorable tropical getaway.
Composed of two main islands, Gigantes Norte and Gigantes Sur, along with several smaller islets, the Gigantes archipelago is part of the municipality of Carles, Iloilo. The islands were originally called “Sabuluag” or “Salauag,” named after a tree species found in the area. The name “Gigantes” or “Giant” was inspired by the local folklore of giant inhabitants, which was further supported by the discovery of enormous human bones in Bakwitan Cave, one of the islands’ many attractions.
- Tangke Saltwater Lagoon
This enchanting natural pool, located in Gigantes Sur, is enclosed by towering limestone cliffs. During high tide, the clear turquoise waters of Tangke Saltwater Lagoon are replenished by the sea, making it a perfect spot for swimming and snorkeling.
- Cabugao Gamay Island
Cabugao Gamay is a postcard-perfect destination, offering a picturesque view of white sand beaches and azure waters. The island is also known for its iconic viewing deck perched on a rock formation, providing a breathtaking 360-degree view of the surrounding area.
- Antonia Beach
Located in Gigantes Sur, Antonia Beach boasts powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters, ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling. The beach is fringed with palm trees and dotted with distinctive rock formations, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere.
- Bantigue Sandbar
This stunning sandbar, situated between Gigantes Norte and Gigantes Sur, appears during low tide, revealing a stretch of powdery white sand surrounded by clear blue waters. Bantigue Sandbar is a favorite spot for picnics and enjoying the sun.
- Bakwitan Cave
Bakwitan Cave, located in Gigantes Norte, is a historic site where large human bones were discovered. The cave also served as a shelter during World War II, and today, it offers visitors an exciting spelunking adventure.
- Local Fishing Communities
Gigantes Island is home to several fishing communities, where travelers can interact with locals and learn about their daily lives, culture, and traditions. Visitors can also indulge in the island’s fresh seafood, such as the highly sought-after “wasay-wasay” (giant scallops).
Getting There and Accommodations
To reach Gigantes Island, visitors can fly to Roxas City or Iloilo City, and then take a van or bus to Carles town proper. From there, boat transfers are available to the islands. A range of accommodations, from budget-friendly homestays to more luxurious beach resorts, are available for a comfortable stay.
Gigantes Island remains an unspoiled paradise, offering a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. For travelers seeking a tranquil and authentic experience, this captivating destination is truly a must-visit.