Iloilo is truly a rich destination to visit. NO! We are not talking about the internal revenue allotment or the fiscal standing of the province but the wealth in culture and folklore, natural resources and tourist destinations.
One of the not-so-widely known tourist destinations in the province is the “Isla Gigantes” which is located north of the province near Carles and Estancia. Isla Gigantes (Spanish term for “giant islands”) consists of many islands both privately and publicly owned.
The municipality of Carles is vigilant of the blooming tourism in the area thus they assure the travelling folks that more means of transportation will be provided, problems with electricity be solved, and the development and maintenance of the islands be strictly regarded.
When I was invited by my pal Dexter for a summer adventure with his family in Carles, I immediately said a booming “yes.” I prepared all my things straightaway because it was a shotgun invitation and I didn’t want to miss this valuable chance of a lifetime.
It takes an approximate amount of 2.5-3 hours worth of travel time from Iloilo City to Carles via private car but if via bus it can take more likely 3-hours. When we arrived at the Carles Port, immediately we loaded the ferry boat and made ourselves comfortable. Then we were off!
Our first stop was the well-known hidden salt water lagoon popularly known as “Tangke.” Watch out though since some rocks are slippery and pointy. You can hear birds chirping beautifully and there were also monkeys hiding in the shadows but alas they were too afraid to come down and be fed because of our noises. Swimming in the cool waters of the lagoon was a great experience and while floating and looking at big rock formations and the big blue sky, you can imagine how beautiful this planet really is especially with all its natural wonders and creations.
Our next stop was the Kabugaw Island. It is a small island with white sand, clear waters, and beautiful corals and pebbles. Photographers are able to take a full shot of the island once they climb the rocky formations up to its peak.
Next destination, we made a quick stop in Pasil Island where we witnessed a trail of sand. Ferry boats can drop off tourists from the end of the trail and let them walk the sandy path to the island.
Next, we made a stop at Atoneya Island where we were able to discover a cave that residents say may be a tunnel that leads to Pillar (an area in Capiz popularly known for its big statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary n top of a hill). We were not able to go deep inside the cave though because we didn’t have a tour guide to assist us.
Thereafter, we arrived at Granada Island. In the island, tourists can visit the lighthouse and another cave that is said to be a tunnel network to Negros Occidental. Being at the top of the lighthouse is breath-taking and inside the cave gives you goose bumps all over.
We were able to visit those islands in approximately 8 hours and we had our lunch and snacks inside the ferry boat while sailing. This strategy conserved a lot of precious time to be used for adventure time. I give my Isla Gigantes two thumbs up for the awesome scenery and amazing adventure. If I was only able to explore the caves then I would have given it 4 thumbs up (including my toes).