ILOILO, Philippines – On the northern coasts of Iloilo lies Islas de Gigantes, a set of islands that make up a paradise of pristine beaches, clear water, and huge rock formations. It's a place visitors to Iloilo will not want to miss.
Nikki Luna reports.
Iloilo's Islas de Gigantes is a place that should be on every traveler's bucket list.
Clear blue water, unique rock formations, and fresh seafood mark it as dream destination. But what truly sets it apart are its pristine, secluded beaches. Located off the coast of Carles and Estancia in Northern Iloilo, it's a five-hour trip from the city. It's untouched beauty is one of Iloilo's best kept secrets.
One of its islands, Cabugao Gamay is home to a distinct rock formation tourists can climb. Nearby is Bantigue Island - a long stretch of white sand in the middle of the ocean. The sandbar only appears during low tide, giving it an air of mystery.
There’s also Pawikan Cave named after the huge turtle-shaped stones at the heart of the cavern. Getting to the cave requires a steep hike, but the otherworldly feel of the grotto is its own reward. Inside, chambers are lit by openings hundreds of feet high up. Adding to the allure of Pawikan Cave are the local folk stories of hidden treasure.
A must-visit attraction in Islas de Gigantes is the Tanke Lagoon, a natural salt water pool just behind Islas de Gigantes Sur. It’s well hidden from the outside by high natural rock formations and high limestone cliffs.
Iloilo offers one of the best off-the-beaten-path tours this side of the archipelago. It’s not pricey but the sites are breathtaking. There are ideal snorkeling sites and the local shellfish, harvested and cooked before your eyes are just perfect.
The raw simplicity of Islas de Gigantes will bring you back to your roots. It's a place to awaken the inner tourist in you.
Nikki Luna, Rappler, Iloilo.
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