Guimaras Island, Philippines

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An exploration of quiet, beautiful Guimaras Island, Philippines; Alubihod Beach, Raymen Beach Resort, Baras Resort, Isla Naburot Resort, El Retiro Resort, mangrove restoration project and the historic Navalas Church.  Guimaras Island is just a short, scenic and inexpensive pump boat away from Iloilo City. Alubihod beach is the best white sand beach that’s close to Iloilo City.

You’ll leave from rather decrepit docks off General Hughes Street (going to Jordan port on Guimaras) or from the north side of Fort San Pedro to Buenavista on Guimaras.  This is not one of the safest areas of Iloilo City after dark so our advice is that if you arrive after dark take a taxi, don’t wander the streets in the port area.

Once you get to Guimaras you’ll find pretty rural landscapes dotted with Mango plantations.    From Jordan you can take a multicab (small truck with bench seats in back) to Alubihod.  You can wait for the muliticab to fill with passengers or you can arrange a “special” multicab trip trip to Alubihod (or elsewhere).  The driver will take you to the beach and pick you up at a specified time. There’s a tourism office at the Jordan dock which can help with transportation arrangements.

Rico’s Beach Resort, Alubihod Beach, Guimaras Island

Guimaras-bound pump boat at Iloilo - Guimaras Island in the distance

Guimaras-bound pump boat at Iloilo – Guimaras Island in the distance

Loaded pump boat heads for Guimaras

Loaded pump boat heads for Guimaras

Arriving in Jordan, Guimaras Island

Arriving in Jordan, Guimaras Island

We arrange a multicab from Jordan to Alubihod Beach, Guimaras Island

Alubihod Beach, Guimaras Island

Alubihod is the best easily-accessible beach from Iloilo City.  It can be a little crowded on weekends.  When we first visited Alubihod, there were only basic resorts, but now Raymen Beach Resort has expanded.

 

 

Raymen Beach Resort, greatly expanded

Raymens is now quite deluxe

The snack bar at Raymen’s had fantastic french fries!

The beach can be quite busy on weekends

but this young lady is enjoying herself!

From Alubihod Beach we arrange for a pump boat to take our party to locations not accessible by road.  Generally there are pump boats at Alubihod which can be rented.

Our first stop was some beach front property owned by an Iloilo City family.

We rent a pump boat to continue our journey, Guimaras Island

We climb into a rented a pump boat to continue our journey, Guimaras Island

Quiet Baras Resort offers pretty cottages spaced for good privacy away from the hustle and bustle of Alubihod.

Santa Ana Bay as seen from quiet Baras Resort.  Baras offers pretty cottages spaced for good privacy away from the hustle and bustle of Alubihod.  Get there through a previously arranged boat or rent a pump boat at Alubihod Beach. 

We head to a private beach for a picnic lunch, Guimaras Island

We head to a private beach for a picnic lunch, Guimaras Island

Island beauty

Island beauty, Guimaras Island

After lunch we take a short hike - Guimaras Island

After lunch we take a short hike – Guimaras Island

While on our walk we saw evidence of charcoal making, a traditional rural enterprise.  Even urban residents are using charcoal for cooking because the price of bottled gas has risen steeply.  Recently, we were visiting an affluent Iloilo City family.  The maid was ironing clothes with a Chinese-made charcoal fueled iron.  The explanation; it’s cheaper than using electricity which is very expensive in Iloilo City.  The concern is that the deforested, stripped-bare Philippines will suffer further.

Another Philippine economy measure is to avoid the use of electric water pumps on wells and to use hand pumps instead.  Even in upscale Iloilo City  subdivisions, one of the signature noises I hear on my morning walks is the distinctive clack-clacking of maids pumping water to wash the Pajero and do the laundry.

Next we piled back into our rented pump boat for a trip to Isla Naburot Resort.  The resort is on its own island.  You can arrange with the resort to be picked up by boat in Iloilo City.  Isla Naburot is an upscale, eco-friendly resort priding itself on gourmet meals using fresh local ingredients.  By design, there is no electricity, no throbbing generator.  The buildings creatively incorporate architectural material salvaged from old buildings.

Our next stop was the Isla Naburot Resort

Our next stop was super quiet Isla Naburot Resort

Isla Naburot Resort, Guimaras Island, Philippines

Isla Naburot Resort, Guimaras Island, Philippines

Isla Naburot Resort, Guimaras Island

Isla Naburot Resort, Guimaras Island

Carol and Noel, Isla Naburot Resort, Guimaras Island, Philippines

Carol and Noel, Isla Naburot Resort, Guimaras Island, Philippines – even the comfort rooms are artistic

Guimaras Island is famous for its mangos.  We stock up at a fruit stand on our way back.

Guimaras Island is famous for its mangos. We stock up at a fruit stand on our way back.

Trappist Monastery, Guimaras

We stop at the Trappist Monastary on the way back to the ferry.  The monastary sells jelly, jams and other products made on the premises.

We stop at the Trappist Monastery on the way back to the ferry. The monastery sells jelly, jams and other products made on the premises.

A few weeks later we took another trip to Guimaras to visit the more northerly part of the Guimaras, Buenavista. Our pumpboat left the Buenavista pier north of Fort San Pedro on the Iloilo City waterfront.

Buenavista wharf, Guimaras Island

Buenavista harbor, Guimaras Island

Buenavista wharf, Guimaras Island

Buenavista wharf, Guimaras Island, Iloilo City in the distance

Our first stop was

El Retiro Resort, Buenavista, Guimaras

Contact (as of Dec 07) Ma. Lucia A. Cachuela, Manager
63-33-328-0779/3203075
Mobile: 09175470052
email: ejgolez@yahoo.com
Beach front rooms P1500

El Retiro Resort, Guimaras Island

El Retiro Resort, Guimaras Island

El Retiro Resort, Guimaras Island, Philippines

El Retiro Resort, Guimaras Island, Philippines

El Retiro Resort, Guimaras Island

Next stop was a mangrove restoration project incorporating a small resort.
Elevated walkway into mangrove project, Guimaras Island, Philippines

Elevated walkway into mangrove project, Guimaras Island, Philippines

Carol embraces mangrove restoration, Guimaras Island, Philippines

Carol embraces mangrove restoration, Guimaras Island, Philippines

Hall, mangrove restoration project, Guimaras Island, Philippines

Hall, mangrove restoration project, Guimaras Island, Philippines

Then on to Navalas and the Navalas Church
Guimaras Island rice fields from the Navalas Chapel entrance gate.

Guimaras Island rice fields from the Navalas Chapel entrance gate.

Entrance gate, Navalas Chapel, Guimaras Island, Philippines

Entrance gate, Navalas Chapel, Guimaras Island, Philippines

 

 

Exterior capilla (chapel) Navalas Church

Cow oversees our visit to Navalas Chapel, Guimaras Island, Philippines
Cow oversees our visit to Navalas Chapel, Guimaras Island, Philippines
What a pretty country chapel in a quiet, beautiful setting, Navalas, Guimaras Island

What a pretty country chapel in a quiet, beautiful setting! Navalas, Guimaras Island

Comments (14) Write a comment

  1. My wife is a Filipina and I am German. We are interested in retiring in the Philippines. My deceased wife was also a Filipina and we visited Guimaras in 1995. Aside from Boracay, we were wondering if there were any apartments to rent long term in Guimaras?

    Reply

  2. thanks for posting pics, it is sooo beautiful, and it helps me what guimaras looks like…I am planning to visit on one of my next trip:-)

    Reply

  3. Hello Bob.
    In not so long, Zeny and I will return in Iloilo and Guimaras.
    This time, we will try to stay a longer time in Guimaras and we would like to rent a boat to make a full tour of Guimaras Island.

    Do you know where I can rent a boat (with a driver, of course)?
    __________________________________________________________________

    Reply

    • Hi Guy and Zeny,

      Good to hear from you. It should be easy to rent a banca. Actually Guimaras seems really to be making an effort at tourism services. If you take a pump boat to Jordan, there should be a tourist information booth on the dock. They are building a new tourism center near the dock but it’s not done yet. Many visitors want to go to Alubihod. They have established a fixed fare that all the multicab drivers seem to abide by. Inquire about renting a banca at the Jordan dock. If you don’t have luck with that, take a multicab to Alubihod, walk to the beach, and inquire at the bancas at the Raymen resort beach.

      You might even be able to rent a banca at one of the Iloilo City docks which serve Guimaras.

      Please report back so we can include the info for the benefit of others doing something similar.

      Bob and Carol

      Reply

  4. ako c Elsir Calacar ung nk post dito n anak ako ni Erna Calacar ay nd totoo.tita ko sy.my gumamit ng email ko.walang asawa ang tita ko.pki tanngal lng po.thank u

    Reply

  5. i am the son of erna calacar calvario daughter of josiphine and bernabe calacar…

    Reply

  6. taga guimaras kmu tita ruth?aq c elsir calacar calvario apo ni bernabe calacar kag josephine calacar,ari q xbong sgkol jonh b molo,kong guz2 mo mkabalo more info about lolo abing ari # q…09074998111

    Reply

  7. hi ate!ako ung anak ni bernabe calacar 6 kaming magkapatid.ako ang bunso 5 lalaki ako lang mag 1 babae.nalulungkot akong huli na kita natagpuan sayang namatay na ang tatay ko ang kapatid mo c roberto ang cell no. nya ay 639292833268.nasa Pis Anan Sibalom Antique cla nkatira.ako nmn nandito sa USA.ang nanay ko namatay na rin.gusto kitang makausap at makita pahingi po ng contact no.mo.pls add nyo po ako kung mayron kayong facebook.erna.calacar@yahoo.com.masayang masaya ako dahil sa wakas magkikita na rin tau at magkakakilala.pls reply ka nalang sa facebook send ka nlng ng msg.thank po and more power to u.God bless.

    Reply

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  9. GoIloilo is not a reservation agency. Isla Naburot resort has its own website: http://islanaburot.multiply.com/

    That site gives the following contact information:

    CONTACT DETAILS:
    islanaburot@gmail.com
    0918-9098500 (Theresa Saldaña Araneta, MD)
    Isla Naburot, Brgy. Sinapsapan, Guimaras

    You’ll have to contact them directly.

    Isla Naburot is beautiful, so good luck!

    Reply

  10. I would like to inquire about accommodation in Isla Naburot. My friend and I are planning to go there on the 22nd of this month for day tour only. Thanks.

    Reply

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