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Antique & Guimaras Travel Guide

July 28, 2019

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Antique & Guimaras Travel Guide

July 28, 2019

Western Visayas is where you will find some of the most uncharted places in the Philippines, like Antique and Guimaras. These are the places that I absolutely LOVE to explore. Don't get me wrong though, Antique and Guimaras are already somewhat popular but you will still find a lot of places here that are so beautiful yet are still very low key. Antique is usually known to be the place of "aswangs" but I will always look back to it as a simple getaway where I got to try kawa baths, river tubing and water rappelling. On another note, when people ask me about Guimaras, I can't help but recall the pristine beaches and the best mangoes I've ever tasted in my life. Antique and Guimaras are perfect for people looking for a different kind of adventure — one that will make you appreciate how life can be great even with just simple joys. It's also ideal if you want a quiet escape from the daily grind.

 

 

 

WHAT TO DO IN ANTIQUE

 

 

1. Cool Down at Malumpati Cold Springs, Pandan

My Rating: ★★★☆☆ [ 3 ] 

 

Malumpati Cold Springs is one of the top tourist spots in Antique. If you're one of those people who are interested to try cold springs, you should pay this place a visit. It's surrounded by lush greens and even has a diving board where you can plunge into the water.

Although I wouldn't recommend this place for people who want a bit of quiet (since there are many tourists in this place), it's still a fun place to visit if you want to float around and swim.

 

 

 

2. Kawa Hot Bath in Calawag Mountain Resort, Tibiao

My Rating: ★★★ [ 5 ]

 

Calawag Mountain Resort is my favorite place in Antique. If you're feeling a bit adventurous, you can pay this place a visit because it offers many activities such as kawa hot baths, guided tours and even a chance to dine by the river.

JB and I enjoyed the Kawa Hot Baths in this place. You can try this activity for as low as Php 300. Four our kawa baths, JB tried coffee while I tried the milk bath. I felt like a powerpuff girl being formed in Professor X's laboratory! It was such a relaxing experience just submerging in the warm water and looking out into the river.

Our dining experience at Calawag Mountain Resort was also pretty special because we had a chance to eat delicious meals by the river. I remember thinking in that moment — "wow, it can't get any better than this".

 

 

 

3. River Tubing in Tibiao River

My Rating: ★★★ [ 5 ]

 

Your Antique experience would not be complete without trying River Tubing. Now, just a quick backstory, we went to Antique because we’ve been wanting to try river tubing for a while now. When we got there last June 3, the locals kept telling us that it hasn’t rained in weeks & there wouldn’t be enough water in the river. I got really sad but luckily, that same evening, IT RAINED! So the day we went to Tibiao, we finally got to try it! I couldn't help but feel extremely lucky with how things turned out.

 

 

4. Trek and Water Rappelling at Bugtong Bato Falls, Tibiao 

My Rating: ★★★☆ [ 4.5 ]

 

Bugtong Bato Falls is a great tourist spot if you're up for a little bit of a challenge. I certainly didn't mind trekking to the falls because of the vast fields of green going there. The scenery definitely made the tired feeling worth it. Here, I was also able to try water rappelling by the falls for the the first time! 

 

Now, before I talk about the places to visit in Guimaras, please note that it does take one whole day to travel from Antique to Guimaras because of the distance. If you're in the mood for some backpacking, in terms of location, I would advise to pair Antique with Boracay and Guimaras with Iloilo instead. The only reason why we decided to travel from Antique to Guimaras is because we've already tried Iloilo and Boracay before. Though, if you're still willing to set aside 1 day for travel, I'm pretty sure it's still worth the visit. 

 

 

 

WHAT TO DO IN GUIMARAS

 

 

5. Visit Taklong Sandbar

My Rating: ★★★☆☆ [ 3.5 ]

 

I would describe our experience in Taklong Sandbar as fleeting. I felt lucky because when we arrived, we were able to enjoy the sanbar for a good 10 minutes before it started getting washed up by the waves. The sandbar is quite small if you'll compare it to the ones in Siargao, though it's still very beautiful in its simplicity.

 

 

 

6. Explore Taklong National Marine Reserve

My Rating: ★★★ [ 4.5 ]

 

Taklong National Marine Reserve is certainly not what we expected. My favorite part about this place is the unexpected vast mangrove in the middle of the ocean. 

JB and I were in awe the whole time. We spent a while just staying inside the cool mangrove forest before heading back into the ocean for a swim. 

Fun fact, there is also a lighthouse situated on top of a hill, where you can see a great vantage point of Taklong Island from the top. The photo below shows the alluring view of Guimaras.

 

 

7. Relax at the Floating Cottages

My Rating: ★★★☆ [ 4.5 ]

 

The next part of our tour included the famous floating cottages. I had a great time here because we got to eat some snacks on the floating cottage before plunging into the clear blue waters for a swim.

The floating cottage is also a great place to unwind and spend the afternoon. I would suggest that you bring some snacks / your own lunch to eat at this spot.

 

 

8. Swim at Yato Island

My Rating: ★★★☆ [ 4 ]

 

This small island located off the coast of Guimaras is peaceful and has a beautiful beach. You won't see many tourists here but the waters have some of the deepest blues I've seen.

Yato, to me, feels like a great place to disappear. It has many plantations and most people here fish nearby. You also have zero signal in this island so it's great place to disconnect.  

 

 

9. Sunbathe at Guisi Lighthouse & Beach

My Rating: ★★★ [ 5 ]

 

Guisi lighthouse, to be honest, was quite underwhelming. I would suggest that if you decide to go here, just skip the lighthouse and head right on over to the beach. 

Guisi beach is GORGEOUS and it feels like I place that you could keep all to yourself. I really wondered how the beautiful beach had no tourists in sight because it was absolutely breathtaking. The sand was white and soft and the water was really.

JB and I spent the morning skipping rocks at Guisi beach and I also took the opportunity do some sunbathing.

 

 

10. Tour around San Lorenzo Guimaras Wind Farm

My Rating: ★★★☆ [ 4 ]

 

Guimaras, aside from being popular for its beaches, is also well known for its renewable energy powered by giant windmills! Amazing how the San Lorenzo Guimaras Wind Farm has also turned into a tourist attraction. It was my first time to see giant windmills up close so I was also pretty amazed. 

 

 

 

11. Swim at Alibujod Beach

My Rating: ★★★☆ [ 4.5 ]

 

Alibujod Beach is also another must visit in Guimaras. It's a little bit more populated compared to the other beaches we paid a visit to, however, it still has that same white sand charm. I'd still recommend it if you want to go for an afternoon swim.

 

 

12. Shop at Mango Market

My Rating: ★★★ [ 5 ]

 

One's trip to Guimaras would not be complete without tasting the famous Guimaras mangoes. I swear, these are THE BEST mangoes I've ever tasted. You really have to stop by one of the mango markets and get yourself boxes of mangoes. You really have to do this. PROMISE YOURSELF TO DO THIS IF YOU GO TO GUIMARAS. Do your tastebuds a favor and try them, you won't regret it.

 

 

 

WHERE TO STAY

 

In Antique: Pandan Beach Resort

My Rating: ★★★☆ [ 4 ]

 

When we were in Antique, we decided to stay in Pandan Beach Resort. They offer air conditioned nipa huts and a lot of chill spots to choose from. The location is pretty good because it's close to terminals and restaurants. However, if you are going to spend most of your time in Tibiao, I would also suggest that you can look for places close to Tibiao so that you won't have to travel far.

There are many hammocks and resting areas to choose from in the entire place. You will certainly have an easy time feeling relaxed.

Moreover, I loved Pandan Beach Resort because it has an amazing sunset view. This is probably the 2nd best sunset I've ever seen in my life. (First one is still at Pearl Farm in Davao)

 

 

In Guimaras: Sunsea Resort

My Rating: ★★★☆ [ 4 ]

 

Sunsea offers really huge spaces though it is quite difficult to get to since it's located along the highway. Though the location might not be so great, the food is really good! On another note, they also offer land and beach tours which makes it easier to get around. 

They also have an infinity pool where you can spend your whole afternoon just lazing around. 

 

 

All in all, my trip to Antique and Guimaras was the right mix of exciting and relaxing. I certainly had a great time in these provinces and I was also happy being able to discover new places where I would create new beautiful stories to write about and share with everyone.  

 

 

Time to make your own memories! Happy Travels!

♡, Pat

 

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