GIGANTES ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE + ITINERARY

Gigantes Island’s sheer isolation and laidback atmosphere beckon every artistic soul to preserve its beauty in film, pixels, or paint. Gigantes Island is actually a group of islands situated in Carles, Northern Iloilo. It is studded with palm-fringed islands with dramatic rock formations lapped by denim blue water, rough-hewn coves, jade-colored lagoons surrounded by towering karts, and talcum-powder fine sandbars.

 

Due to its blissful location (it is part of the Coral Triangle), Gigantes Island boasts of biologically diverse marine resources.  The main livelihood here is fishing. It’s the kind of place where you’ll eat the best fresh seafood of your life on the beach with your feet in the sand.

Gigantes Island is accessible from Iloilo, Capiz, and Aklan (Caticlan and Kalibo).  Travelers need to make their way to Carles or Estancia first. Then from there, there are 2 ports where they can take a boat to Gigantes Islands – Bancal Port and Estancia Port.  Read my Gigantes Island travel guide and itinerary below for further details.


WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT GIGANTES ISLAND


gigantes island

The best months to visit is during summer season, late March to early June.  If traveling during the rainy season, always check the weather updates before proceeding for your safety.

Electricity in Gigantes Island:

Generators are  typically used by resorts or guesthouses, and there’s a certain time when electricity is on, depending on where you are staying.  Make sure to charge your gadgets and camera while power is still on. It is also best to bring fully charged power banks, as back up.

ATM in Gigantes Island: There’s no ATM in the island.  Stack up cash before embarking on your trip, as cash is the mode of payment in Gigantes Island. There are plenty of ATMs in Roxas City, Kalibo, and Iloilo City.

Safety in Gigantes Island: Gigantes Island is pretty safe for tourists.  But please follow and respect the local rules to avoid accidents. Always wear life jacket while on island hopping tour for your safety.  In case of emergency though, the major hospitals are quite far.  You have to travel all the way to major cities like Roxas or Iloilo.


HOW TO GET TO GIGANTES ISLAND


 

Gigantes Island is located in Carles town, in the Northern Iloilo.  Here’s how to get to Gigantes Island. You can fly non-stop to Roxas (Capiz), Iloilo, or Caticlan. Then head to either Bancal Port (1.5 hours to Gigantes Norte Island) or Estancia Port (2 hours to Gigantes Island).  Bancal Port is the preferred jumping-off point to Gigantes Island as it is nearer.

GIGANTES ISLAND ITINERARY


ROXAS, CAPIZ TO GIGANTES ISLAND

 Roxas City is the province of Capiz is my preferred airport because it is nearer to Carles, the jumping-off point to Gigantes Island, compared to Iloilo or Caticlan.

1.Fly to Roxas Airport. Several airlines fly from Manila, Clark, and Cebu to Roxas.

 

2.Take a tricycle to the Roxas City Integrated Bus Terminal. Fare is roughly ₱150 ($3,SGD 4, MYR 12). Transit time is about 10-15 minutes.

3.Take a Ceres bus for ₱75 (SGD, MYR)  or van for ₱65 to Estancia. Travel time is about 1.5 – 2 hours. First trip is 6:00 AM, last trip is 6:00 PM

4. If taking the van, the van can drop you off directly at Bancal Port. But if you’re taking the bus, once you get off at Estancia bus terminal, you need to take a tricycle for ₱50 ($1, SGD 1.41, MYR 4) per person or habal-habal/motorcycle for ₱100 ($2, SGD 3, MYR 8) to Bancal Port in Carles, which is the preferred jumping-off point to Gigantes Island. Travel time is roughly 30 minutes. If you opt to disembark at Estancia Port, which is nearer, fare is ₱10 ($0.19, SGD 0.28, MYR 0.86)  and it will only take about 10 minutes.

5.At Bancal Port, pay the environmental fee for ₱75 ($1.5, SGD 2, MYR 6)  at the Tourism Office

6. From Bancal Port or Estancia Port, you have the following options to get to Gigantes Island. Travel time is about 1.5 hours:

 6.1. You can charter a boat to take you around Gigantes Island.  See boat rental fee for Gigantes island hopping below.

6.2. You can join a group tour to Gigantes Island, click the link below.

 GIGANTES ISLAND HOPPING TOUR: RESERVE HERE

6.3. You can ride the passenger boat from Bancal Port or Estancia Port to Lango Beach in Gigantes Norte, where most of the homestays are located.  Then, from there, you can hire a boat for island hopping around Gigantes Island.  The passenger boat leaves Bancal Port at 10:00 AM and arrives at Gigantes Norte at 11:30 AM. Then the same boat departs for Bancal Port at 2:00 PM and arrives at 3:30 PM. Fare is ₱100 ($2) and travel time is about hour.  There’s also a public boat that leaves Estancia Port to Gigantes Norte every day at 1:00 PM, fare is ₱80 ($1.56) and travel time is about 2 hours. The same boat leaves Gigantes Norte for Estancia Port at 1:00 PM.  If you choose this option, you need at least 2-3 days stay in Gigantes Norte and do the island hopping around Gigantes Island.

If you miss the public boat, you can take the shuttle express from Bancal Port to Gigantes Norte. Fare is ₱300 ($6). Here’s the schedule:

      • Monday to Thursday – 7:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 4:30 PM
      • Friday to Sunday – 8:30 AM, 12:30 PM

6.4. Ride a public boat to Lango Beach in Gigantes Norte then hire a boat to  Antonia Island or Cabugao Gamay Island and stay there overnight. If you plan to do this,  you can make your way first to Lago Beach in Gigantes Norte (see directions above), then from there, hire a boat to take you to the island where you plan to stay overnight.  For the island hopping in Gigantes Island, you need to rent a boat.

ALSO READ: CAPIZ TOURIST SPOTS

 


ILOILO TO GIGANTES ISLAND

If coming from Manila, Clark or Cebu, you can also fly non-stop to Iloilo Airport.  If coming from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) you can also fly direct to Iloilo via Manila. Click the links below to find flights. Though Iloilo is farther compared to Roxas, there are more flights to Iloilo and they are cheaper.  So, if you choose this option, follow the directions on how to  to get to Gigantes Island from Iloilo:

 

gigantes island ITINERARY

 1.Fly to Iloilo International Airport.

 2. From Iloilo Airport, you may take a bus or van to Iloilo City.

3.Take a taxi or jeep to Tagbak Terminal in Jaro, Iloilo.

4.Take a Ceres Bus (₱190) or van (₱200) to Estancia or Carles. Travel time is approximately 3-4 hours.

5.Alight at Balasan, Estancia and take a take a tricycle (₱50) or habal-habal/motorcycle (₱100- ₱150) to Bancal Port in Carles.

6.At Bancal Port, pay the environmental fee (₱75) at the Tourism Office.

7.At Bancal Port, you can choose from the following options to get to Gigantes Island. Travel time is about 1.5 hours:

    •  Join a group tour to Gigantes Island.
    • Hire a boat to go island hopping in Gigantes Island.  This is ideal for those wanting to do a DIY Gigantes Island Tour. See the Gigantes Island Boat Rental rates below.
    • Ride the public boat from Bancal Port or Estancia Port to Lango Beach in Gigantes Norte, where homestays abound.  At Gigantes Norte, charter a boat for Gigantes Island hopping.  The public boat departs Bancal Port at 10:00 AM and reaches Gigantes Norte at about 11:30 AM. The same boat leaves for Bancal Port at 2:00 PM and arrives at 3:30 PM. There’s also a public boat from Estancia Port to Gigantes Norte at 1:00 PM. You need at least 2 -3 days to stay in Gigantes Norte and go island hopping in Gigantes Island.

If you miss the public boat, you can ride the shuttle express that travels between Bancal Port and Gigantes Norte for ₱300 ($6). Here’s the schedule:

      • Monday to Thursday – 7:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 4:30 PM
      • Friday to Sunday – 8:30 AM, 12:30 PM
    • Take a public boat to Lango Beach in Gigantes Norte then charter a boat to  Antonia Island or Cabugao Gamay Island for your overnight stay. If you opt to stay in either of the said islands,  you can go to Lago Beach in Gigantes Norte (see directions above) by public boat first, then from there, hire a boat to bring you to the island where you plan to stay overnight.  For the island hopping in Gigantes Island, you need to charter a boat.

 

ALSO READ: ILOILO TRAVEL GUIDE

 


CATICLAN/KALIBO AKLAN TO GIGANTES ISLAND

GIGANTES ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE
 You can also do a side trip to Gigantes Island from Boracay, Caticlan, or Kalibo. It involves transfers though. Here’s how:

1.From Caticlan, ride a bus or airport transfer to Kalibo. Travel time is about 2 hours. RESERVE HERE

2.At Kalibo, take a bus or van to Roxas City, Capiz.

3.Alight at Roxas Integrated Bus Terminal.

4.Ride a bus or van to Carles or Estancia.

5.Follow # 5-7 directions above (under Roxas City or Iloilo).

 

 


GETTING AROUND GIGANTES ISLAND

gigantes island HOPPING
 You can either do a DIY tour of Gigantes Island or join a group tour package for Gigantes Island hopping.

1.GIGANTES ISLAND GROUP TOUR (Private or Join In)

We went with Las Islas for our group tour, the package already includes lunch, water, entrance fees, and tour guide. You can check the rates and book through the link below. This is best for solo travelers, and a party of 2 or three persons.

 GIGANTES ISLAND HOPPING TOUR: RESERVE HERE

 

2.RENT A BOAT AT  BANCAL PORT OR ESTANCIA PORT

 If you decide to do it on your own, you can rent a boat.  This is best for a group of 4 persons up, you can share the cost of  the boat rental, guide fee, and entrance fees.

 Gigantes Island Boat Rental + Fees:

 

BOAT SIZECAPACITYGIGANTES ISLAND BOAR RATE
Small Boat1-10 persons₱3500 ($68, SGD 98, MYR 299, €63)
Medium Boat11-15 persons₱5000 ($97, SGD 141, MYR 427, €91)
Big Boat16-30 persons₱6,000 ($116, SGD 169, MYR 513, €204)
   
OTHER FEES  
Guide Fee ₱500 ($10, SGD 14, MYR 43, €9)
Environmental Fee ₱75 ($116, SGD 169, MYR 513, €204)
 

 

Gigantes Island Entrance Fees:

 

Antonia Island₱40 ($0.78, SGD 1.13, MYR 3.42, € 0.73)
Tangke Lagoon₱20 ($0.39, SGD 0.56, MYR 1.71, € 0.37)
Cabugao Gamay₱50 ($1, SGD 1.41, MYR 4, € 0.91)

 

 

  1. PUBLIC BOAT FROM BANCAL PORT OR ESTANCIA PORT TO GIGANTES NORTE

Here’s the public boat schedule from Bancal Port and Estancia Port to Gigantes Norte, if you plan to stay there overnight where most homestays are located. Then from there, hire a boat for island hopping around Gigantes Island.

Important: Don’t forget to pay the Environmental Fee before proceeding because the caretakers at the islands  you’ll be visiting during island hopping in Gigantes might ask you for the environmental fee ticket before you are allowed to enter.

 

RouteBoat FareDeparture
Bancal Port – Gigantes Norte₱100 ($2, SGD 3, MYR 8, €2)10:00 AM
Gigantes Norte – Bancal Port₱100 ($2, SGD 3, MYR 8, €2)02:00 PM
Estancia Port – Gigantes Norte₱80 ($1.56, SGD 2, MYR 7, €1.44)01:00 PM
Gigantes Norte – Estancia Port₱80 ($1.56, SGD 2, MYR 7, €1.44) 
   

 

 


WHERE TO STAY IN GIGANTES ISLAND


 

Here are some of the top-rated hotels in Carles and Estancia, the jumping off point to Gigantes Island.

CARLES/ ESTANCIA HOTELS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  


PLACES TO VISIT IN GIGANTES ISLAND


 Gigantes Island is riddled with dramatic limestone cliffs, palm-fringed sand lapped by swirling mix of aquamarine water, and tropical island clichés. Easygoing travelers will surely enjoy the laidback pursuits here.  Here are some of the most popular tourist attractions in Gigantes Island, typically included in the island hopping tour:

 

 1.BANTIGUE SANDBAR

 Entrance Fee: FREE

 

BANTIGUE SANDBAR

 This beauty only emerges when the tide is low.  I prefer visiting Bantigue Island during sunset, as the tangerine light makes this sandbar more dramatic. But for most package tours in Gigantes Island, this is the usual first stop, perhaps because of the maddening waves and the strong current in the afternoon.

 

2.ANTONIA ISLAND

    •  Entrance Fee: ₱40 ($0.78, SGD 1.13, MYR 3.42, € 0.73)
    • Tent rental (good for 2): ₱250 ($5, SGD 7, MYR 21, €5)
    • Camping and room reservation: Danilo Cruz +63 947 388 4070, Patroceno Mahipos +63 919 268 5896

GIGANTES ISLAND : ANTONIA ISLAND

Antonia Island is another popular tourist spot in Gigantes Island.  It has coarse, cream sand lapped by azure water.  You can also climb the rock formations here for a scenic view of the surroundings.  It is the best spot for snorkeling in Gigantes Island.  If you forgot to bring your own snorkeling gears, you can rent googles  (₱50 – $1) and snorkeling gear (₱100 – $2) here.

Antonia Island is also known for its cheap seafood. You can indulge on scallops for ₱1 ($0.019) per piece and rocky oysters for ₱200 ($4) per strainer!

 Camping and overnight stay is allowed here.  You can rent a tent with foam and mattress for ₱250 ($5) per head.  Fan room housed in nipa huts are also available for ₱800 ($16) per night, good for 2 persons, and ₱1,200 ($23) for 4 people.

 

 3.TANGKE LAGOON

Entrance Fee: ₱20 ($0.39, SGD 0.56, MYR 1.71, € 0.37)

 

GIGANTES ISLAND: TANGKE LAGOON

Tangke Lagoon reminds me of Coron, El Nido, and Caramoan.  You know the kind of place where the lagoon with green and turquoise water blend beautifully and blissfully clad by towering karts.  It’s the perfect place for photo op in Gigantes Island and flying your drone, just be extra careful you might bump into the karts.

 

 4.CABUGAO GAMAY

Entrance Fee: ₱50 ($1, SGD 1.41, MYR 4, € 0.91)

gigantes island: CABUGAO GAMAY PHOTO

The powdery white island is Gigantes Island’s poster boy – the one with the limestone cliff on the left side overlooking the palm tree-punctuated sand with a backdrop of a forest-fringed hill on the other side.

GIGANTES ISLAND: CABUGAO GAMAY

Here, tourists can climb the limestone cliff through the stairs for photo op and the majestic view of the island below. You’ll also notice a pile of Zen stones on the shore.  The crystal clear water here is best for swimming, it’s the kind of languorous beach that travelers cherish.

 

 5.PULO PANDAN

 Entrance Fee: FREE

This powdery white sand islet serves as the resting place of the fishermen of  Gigantes Island, hence the nipa huts.  The island has a lone coconut tree standing and rock formations slapped by incessant waves.

 


GIGANTES ISLAND ITINERARY


 Here’s a sample Gigantes Island itinerary + sample expenses, which include a trip to Roxas City, Capiz.  The sample budget is assuming, we are 4 persons in a group. Feel free to tweak this depending on your budget, schedule, and preferences.

GIGANTES ISLAND ITINERARY

Take note that the sample budget doesn’t include the airfare, transportation between Carles and your origin city,  hotel,  souvenir, and drinks.

 

DAY 1ACTIVITIES
 ETA Roxas City, Capiz
Tricycle to Roxas City Integrated Bus Terminal. ₱150 ($3)
Van to Estancia or Carles. ₱75 ($1.5)
Hotel check-in
Dinner. ₱300 ($6)
DAY 1 EXPENSES₱525 ($10.5, SGD 15, MYR 45, € 9)
 
DAY 2GIGANTES ISLAND
06:00 AMETA Bancal Port.
06:15 AMEnvironmental Fee at the Tourism Office. ₱75 ($1.5)
06:30 AMJoin in group tour or hire a Boat.
Boat Rental – ₱3500 (S), ₱5000 (M) ₱6,000 (L)
*If medium boat for 4 pax = ₱1,250 ($24) per person
07:00 AMStart of Gigantes Island hopping tour
 Bantigue Sandbar
 Antonia Island. ₱40 ($0.78)
12:00 PMLunch (only included in group tour), if hiring a boat, lunch not
Included.
01:00 PMContinue Island Hopping tour in Gigantes Island
Tangke Lagoon. ₱20 ($0.39)
Cabugao Gamay. ₱50 ($1)
Pulo Pandan
05:00 PMEnd of Island Hopping in Gigantes Island
05:30 PMTricycle to Estancia Bus terminal. ₱50 ($1)
06:00 PMBus or van back to Roxas City. ₱75 ($1.5)
08:00 PMETA Roxas City
08:30 PMHotel check-in
09:00 PMDinner. ₱300 ($6)
10:00 PMBack to hotel. Lights out.
DAY 2 EXPENSES₱1,860 ($36.17, SGD 53, MYR 159, € 34)
  
DAY 3DEPARTURE
08:00 AMCapiz DIY Tour
Manuel Roxas Shrine
Roxas Cathedral
Roxas City Bridge
Roxas City Bandstand
Roxas City Provincial Capitol
Capiz Pilgrimage Site
Sta.Monica Pan-ay Church
DAY 3 EXPENSES₱150 ($3, SGD 4, MYR 12, € 3)
  
TOTAL EXPENSES₱2,535 ($40.67, SGD 59, MYR 178, € 38)

 

 

 


GIGANTES ISLAND TRAVEL TIPS AND REMINDERS


 

 

  • Because the boat rental for Gigantes Island Hopping is quite expensive, best to travel in groups (at least 4 persons) so you can share the cost.
  • If you are traveling alone, try to join a group tour, best to do this over the weekend as the chance to join other travelers is high.
  • If you are doing a DIY tour of Gigantes Island, please include the lunch for your boatman and guide. Tipping is also recommended.
  • Always check the weather updates before proceeding for your safety.  Wear life jackets when taking the boat and swimming

GIGANTES ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE


ALSO READ:

BORACAY THINGS TO DO

CAPIZ THINGS TO DO

GUIMARAS TRAVEL GUIDE

SAN VICENTE PALAWAN ITINERARY

MALAPASCUA TRAVEL GUIDE

SIPALAY ITINERARY

CARBIN REEF ITINERARY

LAKAWON TRAVEL GUIDE

 

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