When someone mentions Guimaras, the first thing that comes to mind is the place where the sweetest mangoes in the world are found but the island is more than just mangoes, it offers lots of various fun-filled and exciting adventures and culture-bound experiences that stimulate every traveller’s desire to discover the secret of the island.
The Island of Guimaras may be small, but what it lacks in size makes up for its different tourism circuits, making it a popular destination for foreign and local tourists alike. A circuit that bridges the municipality of Jordan, Nueva Valencia, Sibunag, San Lorenzo and Buenavista within the province will surely give chance for visitors to enjoy their choice of tour.
Agri-eco adventure circuit
Travelers can visit the Province’s best agricultural sites in the five municipalities of Guimaras and learn from their top run-throughs such as Research Development Support Center, Trappist Gift Shop and Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) – Guimaras National Corp, Suba Malawig Eco Tour, GTIC Pasalubong Center, Camp Alfredo, Spring Bloom Farm, Sapal Weaving Village, Mc Nester, Dasal Sibunag Vegetable Growers, Big Furtune Farm, Guimaras Wonder’s Farm, Neptune Pittman Garden Resort and Spa, Guimaras Adventure Park, Guimaras Model Galleon, Our Lady of the Philippines (OLP) Trappist Monastery, JBLFMU Ecological Park, Kati-kati Community, Madroones Garden, Dagsaan Eco Park, Hoskyn CBRT and Salt farm. These places will surely suit every tourist preference.
Likewise understanding the process on how the mangoes’ varieties are developed and discovering how the Guimaras maintains its brand as the world’s sweetest mango will entice one’s heart to know more about the island.
Most travellers and vacationers are enticed with the beauty of white sand and beaches but for those who thirst for something more exceptional, the biking adventure of the island-province proffer a one of a kind experience.
Guimaras is also known as a bike destination not only for bikers in Western Visayas but also those from other parts of the country. The Eco-Park, Atlas Ride, GMBA Track 1 and 2, Down to Coast, Daliran Cave, Happy Trails, President’s Trail 1 and 2, Balaan Bukid Shrine, Galvez, Duffs Appetizer, Rock Garden, Abby’s Fall, Sunset, Swat and Rooftop Rails are the province’s terrains that offers different bike trails for both beginners and professional bikers.
Dubbed as “One Bike. One Island. One Paradise.”, the bike project advocacy was strengthened through the province’s public-private partnership (PPP) agreement with John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University and Woodland Bike Park .The partners undertake bike events that promote bike safety, health and environmental protection advocacies.
Experiential/Community-Based Rural Tourism (CBRT) Circuit
Travellers can experience and enjoy hands on activity through the Experiential or Community-Based Tourism Rural (CBRT) circuit of the province.
The CBRT was established to encourage the Guimarasnons in conserving and protecting nature. It is not only an opening-door for the economic advancement of the community but also a chance for every stakeholders to put up a business and be one of the providers or front liners of tourism industry likewise an opportunity to boost the cultural heritage of locals.
The community beneficiaries were trained on festival management, homestay development, enterprise planning, and customer service and destination management.
San Roque, Hoskyn, Sapal, Salvacion were the existing CBRT sites likewise, Rizal, Suclaran and Tamborong are the emerging CBRT sites of the province.
Educational and research circuit
Travelers who are into education and research can visit Mc Nester, Taklong Island National Marine Reserve, GTIC Pasalubong Center, Bureau of Plant Indutry (BPI)-Guimaras, National Crop Research Development Product Support Center (GNCRPDS), Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), Guimaras Provincial Capitol, Big Fortune Farm and the JBLFMU Ecological Park.
The Igang Marine Station also known as the SEAFDEC is a popular site for educational tour. It consists of four islets and floating fish cages that holds different species of marine life in which the station provides marine-related technical and research assistance to local farmers as well as investors from Southeast Asian countries. Likewise, GNCRPDS is a well-known destination for every researcher that can give them an opportunity to learn on how to graft mangoes in which they can also bring home the grafted seedlings and plant in their own residence.
Travellers who want to visit religious and pilgrimage sites can go to Navalas Church, Holy Family Hills, Consoler’s Immaculate Heart of Mary, Guisi Lighthouse, trek to Balaan Bukid or meditate at the Our Lady of the Philippines Trappist Monastery and discover the story about Roca Encantada, MacArthur’s Headquarters, Punta Blanco Target Range and Camp Jossman Headquarters.
Balaan Bukid is famous for its Way of the Cross (trail with 14 stations of the cross), Trappist Monastery is a peaceful place managed by the monks of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, Holy Family Hills has full-scale station of the cross figures and a large shrine of the Holy Family, Guisi Lighthouse serves as a guide for mariners who pass through Iloilo and Guimaras strait, MacArthur’s Headquarters was built by Lt. Douglas Mc Arthur in 1903 while on duty with the US Army Corps of Engineers, Punta Blanco Target Range was constructed by the United States Army and Jossman Headquarters is a place where the late Gen. Douglas MacArthur stayed during his first assignment in the island.
Like many other provinces, Guimaras Island is rich in history, culture and heritage, the reasons why many travelers are attracted to its beauty and story.
Island hopping circuit
It can be daunting to choose which among the destinations to visit if your time is limited but through Island Hopping you can surely explore the island’s white sand beaches, islets, sand bars, coves, rock formations, mangroves and rich marine life sanctuary.
Suba Malawig Eco Tour, Isla Margarita, Avi Maria Islet, Sto. Niño Island Resort, Islet and Rock Formations, Jordan Marine Reserved Area, Tiniguiban Islet, Isla Naburot, South East Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) and Pirates Cove are some of destinations for Island Hopping.
Guimaras’ Island Hopping Circuit is much known to those who are fond of boat riding, swimming, snorkeling, cliff diving and also to one who enjoys the heat of the sun, bone-white sand and glittering cerulean water.
The Guimaras Island also offers sightseeing circuit which covers Alubijod beach Areas, JBLFMU Ecological Park, Guisi Lighthouse, Valle Verde Mountain Resort, BPI- Guimaras National Corp Research Development and Production Support Center, Neptune Pittman’s Garden Resort and Spa, Our Lady of the Philippines, Trappist Monastery (OLP), 54MW San Lorenzo Wind Farm Project, Holy Family Hills, Navalas Church, Roca Encantada and Guimaras Model Galleon Makers Association.
Aside from a very popular Alubihod Beaches in Nueva Valencia which is the most accessible to all visitors, the JBLFMU Ecological Park is a well-like marine sanctuary that hosts a mangrove forest and other aquatic life will surely satisfy your sightseeing experience.
How to get to Guimaras Island
Guimaras Province is a one of a kind gateway to paradise and a perfect haven for your family and friends, which can be reached by plane from Manila and other origins via Iloilo International Airport, or through ships docking in the Port of Iloilo then twenty to thirty minutes pump boat ride away from any of embarkation sites in Iloilo City- Ortiz Wharf and Parola Wharf, or nearly an hour trip through the Roll-on Roll-off (RORO) facility from Lapuz, Iloilo City and an hour trip of RORO from Pulupandan, Negros Occidental to Sebaste Port in Sibunag and of pump boat from Pulupandan and Valladolid, Negros Occidental to Tumanda, Cabano in San Lorenzo were the other alternative routes to the home of sweetest mango in the world.
The island is located southeast of Panay Island and Northwest of Negros Island. It is separated from Panay by the 1.5-nautical mile wide Iloilo Strait which acts as a natural breakwater for Iloilo, and from Negros by the six nautical mile Guimaras Strait in which Iloilo City is the main gateway to Guimaras.
Meanwhile, If you’re in for a soothing “out of city hassles” atmosphere, with sheer waters and a rustic locale, Guimaras Island is the place for you. This Humble island-province gives an ideal venue for different tourism circuits to those souls who seek adventure.
Give yourself a break and consider it a treat. Enjoy the wonders of nature and unwind, leaving a pack of hassle behind. See the enticing beauty of Guimaras where happiness is in its purest form. Choose Guimaras, the island that will surely fit your taste.