Islas de Gigantes, Iloilo: The Plan

Did you know that in the northeastern part of Iloilo (Carles) is a hidden gem -- a group of beautiful islands called Islas de Gigantes? Well, I didn’t know about it either until a fellow blogger, Chito, invited me Q1 of 2012 for the first ever trip he was organizing. As much as I wanted to join, I was already scheduled to go to Palawan in February and the March schedule was too close (budget-wise). They pushed through with the trip. And as soon as Chito posted pictures of it, I knew I had to go there as soon as possible.

Cabugao Gamay Island

Fast forward to May 2012, I found out two of my colleagues are from Iloilo. Surprisingly, they aren't familiar with these islands, but were very enthusiastic when I pitched the idea. We scheduled it for October since two of us share this birth month. Coincidentally, one of my fellow GirlTalkers and her hubby were also heading there and were looking to join a group to split the cost of boat rent and island hopping.

So what happens when you go on a trip with a couple you’re going to meet for the first time, and with colleagues from different teams with different shifts? Well, you ‘coordinate’ via Facebook, agree on the dates, file your vacation leaves, and book different flights. -_- 

It is important to note that the only boat trip from Estancia Port to Gigantes leaves at 2:00 pm. Knowing this and the flights we booked, we informed Joel Decano^ we'll need a chartered boat so we can start the island hopping early morning the following day. The couple, and me and my cousin spent a night at Paon Beach Club while my colleagues went to their respective homes when they arrived.

If you can book the earliest flight from Manila to Iloilo and want to head to Estancia Port directly, follow Chito's instructions here.

Here’s how our first day looked like:
  • The couple arrived in Iloilo at 7:00 am via Seair. They did a city tour that morning.
  • Me and my cousin flew via PAL and arrived at 1:00 pm.
  • My colleagues took a Zest Air flight and arrived at 6:00 pm.


  • Arrived at Iloilo International Airport
  • Rode a van (parked at the airport grounds) going to SM Iloilo – Php50.00, about 30 minutes
  • Met with the couple at SM Iloilo. Crossed the footbridge, rode a jeep going to Leganes, and got off Tagbak Terminal – Php10.00, about 10-15 minutes
  • Rode a van going to Estancia – Php150.00, around 2-2.5 hours
  • Took tricycle to Paon Beach Club – Php15.00
  • Overnight at Paon Beach Club – Php300.00/head
  • Dinner – Php114.00
Total expense for Day 1: Php639.00


  • Checked out from Paon Beach Club, took tricycle to Estancia Port – Php10.00
  • Breakfast – Php62.00
  • Island hopping*: Pulupandan Island or Gakit-Gakit Island, Tangke Saltwater Lagoon, Cabugao Gamay Island
  • Checked in at Gigantes Hideaway Inn**, lunch***
  • Resumed island hopping: Antonia Beach, Bantigue Sandbar
  • Went back to Baranggay Asluman and rode a habal-habal - Php10.00
  • Caving****

*This is a chartered boat that includes service to and from Estancia Port and island hopping that's why the price is higher -- Php4,500.00/7 pax: Php643.00/head
**Overnight accommodation -- Php200.00/head
***Full board meals -- about Php400.00/head
****Additional Php400.00/7 pax -- Php57.00/head 

Total expense for Day 2: Php1,382.00

GRAND TOTAL: Php2,021.00

^Joel Decano -- Tourism officer and owner of Gigantes Hideaway Inn
Facebook page: Isla Gigantes


Next post: Islas de Gigantes Island Hopping

Credits to my fellow GirlTalker, Loreen, for coordinating with Paon Beach Resort and with Mr. Joel Decano for the island hopping and accommodation.


  1. Hi Kat, thanks for this. Would you know how much the boat ride is when you don't charter? Too bad 2 PM lang sya umaalis. Am I right—once you get to Gigantes, you do island hopping, then return same day coz there are no accommodations in the island? We're passing by Iloilo next week, and this isn't part of our plan, but if it looks workable, baka we may try to squeeze it in. Thanks so much! :)

  2. Hi Nikka, from what I remember sa blog ni Chito...Php80.00 yung boat to Gigantes Norte. For the island hopping, you have to coordinate with Joel Decano since siya lang yung may accommodation dun. You have to stay overnight kasi the following day na ata babalik ang boat sa Estancia. I think 2,500 ang quote niya sa kin before for island hopping if hindi chartered yung boat. Minsan matagal siya mag-reply kasi walang signal sa island so he can only respond pag nasa Estancia siya so you might want to contact him as early as now. :)

    Excited ako sa pictures niyo kung matuloy kayo hehe

  3. Awts mahal ng island hopping! Sige will contact him. Thanks Kat! Can't wait for the rest of your posts on this. :)

  4. How long did they stay in Iloilo? :-)

  5. 3D2N but overnight lang sa Gigantes. On the third day nag-Boracay na kami ng pinsan ko :)

  6. quote samin halos 5,000. very rough sea. dapat talaga icheck muna before magsail.
    swerte nyo nakita nyo ang gigantes. ;)

  7. sobrang swerte namin kasi maganda panahon nun. halos wala ngang alon. tapos kinabukasan paggising namin bumabagyo na hehe

  8. i really admire travel bloggers who really value money's worth up to the last centavo!
    and that cost for this island adventure's a steal to me!

  9. syempre dapat sulit hanggang sa huling sentimo, diba doc? hehe

    wait 'til you see the full board meals! we had scallops for lunch, dinner, and breakfast! and that alone costs a fortune in Manila.

  10. 2,500 is for the whole tour na? :) Too bad ako lang mag-isa pupunta hehe. Pero worth it naman siguuro :)

  11. 2,500 is for the boat/island hopping but food and accommodation is not yet included.

  12. ang ganda ng isla de gigantes ng iloilo kaso ang mahal ng island hopping. Mas mura yung sa Concepcion pero mid-range yung price naman nun...

  13. Hi Ian, I don't think it's expensive kung hindi naman chartered yung boat. If you're 4 or more in a group, hindi naman ganun kalaki yung magiging expense niyo.

  14. Yung 4,500 rate pang-ilang tayo na kayo nun?

  15. Like I mentioned in the post, we were 7 pax and the only reason why it's P4,500 is because it's a chartered boat. If you want to take the only pump boat from Estancia Port that leaves at 2:00 pm and then book island hopping with Joel, the boat will only cost P2,500. Best to contact Mr. Joel Decano for the cost of the tour.

  16. thanks for the share.... what municipality does islas de gigantes does really belong - carles or estancia? I'm confused.

  17. When I researched about this before, I found the answer here:

    'Although part of Carles town, the main jump-off point to Islas de Gigantes is Estancia Port'

  18. After I saw the pics of this place online I really wanted to go already. Thanks for this info!

  19. You're welcome, Joshua.

    You should visit it this summer. :)

  20. this i would want to visit soon! bookmarked this for reference :)

  21. Thank you, Armel. :) You should definitely visit this group of islands.

    Happy travels!

  22. Nice plan.:D Any reccomendation for Hotels in Iloilo?

  23. Hi, ask ko lang po if magkano nagastos nyo from estancia to boracay? Kasi my friends and I are planning to go to boracay after sa gigantes. Thanks

  24. Hi Nichole,

    I can't remember exactly how much. I think it's around Php500.00? Basta I remember we rode a van from Estancia to Kalibo then another van from Kalibo to Caticlan.

  25. Hello po! Ask ko lang po ung Accomodation niyo po na 200 per pax , pwede po ba yun ng 2 nights? magbayad nlng po ulit ng 200? atska ano po ba kapag chartered boat? thanks

  26. Hi Chako,

    Chartered means inarkila namin yung boat.

    For the accommodation, please coordinate with Joel Decano of Gigantes Hideaway Inn. His contact number is 09184685006. Not sure if it's still the same, though


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