Visit Guimaras Island
Want some peace and quiet during your vacation days? A place where you can relax, see simple but beautiful sites and eat delicious food? Why not try Guimaras Island?
An island province, Guimaras is located in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. It is a 45 minute to 1 hour boat ride from Iloilo City, which is located in the northwest portion of Guimaras Island.
The island is only about 605 square kilometers. It maybe small but it is packed with a lot of sites to see and to visit. One will never run out of things to do while one is on this island.
Just to let you know, here are some facts and figures about this small but beautiful island:
Population: Approximately 150,000
Spoken languages: Hiligaynon
Known for: The sweetest, most delicious mangoes
Guimaras Island Tour
Guimaras Island is very popular because it produces the best and sweetest mangoes not only in the Philippines but also in the world. It is said that the Guimaras mangoes are served at world – famous places such as the White House and Buckingham Palace. The mangoes are not only served as such but also as dried mangoes, jams and other such delicacies.
Around 50,000 mango trees have already been planted on the island. Mango plantations are found all over the island. Some of these plantations are already recognized as eco – tourism sites. You can in fact not only buy the fruit itself, you can also buy mango seedlings to bring home.
In honor of its major product, the island named its annual festival (commemorating its provincehood anniversary) as Manggahan sa Guimaras Festival. Manggahan is from the word “mangga” which is the local term for mangoes. This festival is held every May 22nd and showcases the various products and the culture of Guimaras.
Note: To protect its mangoes, both the tree and the fruit, Guimaras Island has a policy of not allowing mangoes from other places to enter the island for fear that diseases and insects will enter the island and contaminate the mango trees. So if you’re going to visit the island, make sure that you don’t bring any mangoes to the island (although for the life of me, I can’t think why a visitor will bring mangoes when the best mangoes can already be found on the island, but I guess the threat does exist).
Where to Go in Guimaras Island
Mangoes and mango plantations are not the only sites that you will see when you go to Guimaras Island. You can also go to the various resorts found within Guimaras. There are lots of resorts in the island. The sand is not nearly as white as the other known tourist destinations in the Philippines, however, the resorts can rival the best that the country has to offer.
The island is surrounded by crystal clear blue water that houses vibrant marine life such as corals. You can go swimming, windsurfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing and island hopping. Or you can just be lazy and spend the day sunbathing.
If you are tired of going to the beach (something which I seriously doubt), how about going to the various farms within the island? Other than the mango plantations, Guimaras Island also boasts of a bee farm, a salt farm, an aqua-culture farm and a nursery.
Of special interest to the island is its caves, which have various cave openings, width and depth. One such cave is the Hurot – Hurot Cave, which is approximately 50 meters in length and which has two openings. Another is the Higante Cave (higante is local word for ‘giant’), which has 3 entrances, is about 200 meters long and is located on top of the hill. This cave is a rich source of stalagmites and stalactites. There are about 10 caves located within the island.
If you have already gone to all of the above and are still looking for more, check out the Macopo Falls and the springs found in Guimaras. Or go and visit its historical sites such as the Punta Blanco and Camp Jossman. These are the military camps constructed in 1903 by the Americans. Or visit Navalas Church, the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Guimaras which has survived the passage of time.
So there you have it. The small but wonderful island of Guimaras. Next time you’re thinking of visiting the Philippines, why not go and visit GuimarasIsland. I’m sure you won’t regret it. Thanks and Ciao!
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