Thursday, July 6, 2017

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Guimaras - San Lorenzo Windmills, The Pitstop Mango Pizza, Mango Farm and Island Hopping

in Guimaras Capitol

Guimaras five regions - Buenavista, Jordan, San Lorenzo, Sibunag and Nueva Valencia.


Guimaras Island is located between the islands of Panay and Negros in the Central Visayas of the Philippines. It has five regions which are Buenavista, Jordan, San Lorenzo, Sibunag and Nueva Valencia. There is no airport. But it has a lot of boat ports from Iloilo (Panay Island) and Bacolod and Pulupandan (Negros). Mango is the popular fruit for importation.

How to get to Guimaras?

To know how to get to this Mango-riffic island, please check this link for a comprehensive information.

The route

  • From Cebu to Bacolod,
  • Bacolod to Guimaras via Pulupandan to San Lorenzo,
  • Guimaras to Iloilo via Jordan to Ortiz, and 
  • lastly, Iloilo to Bacolod via Dumangas Port to Bacolod Port

Best time to travel

November to May are the best months to visit the island. These months are not that rainy especially summer season of the Philippines, March to May. June to October usually have thunderstorms and rain shower which will just spoil your trip.

San Lorenzo

Ride a tricycle as you alight off the boat from Pulupandan to San Lorenzo, Guimaras, so it will be your private vehicle to different destinations such as:


  • the windmills
  • the town hall of San Lorenzo where you can see more of the view (P10/head entrance fee)
  • instruct the driver to stop over to eat Mango Pizza in Pitstop Restaurant 
The boat docked at San Lorenzo Wharf , Guimaras coming from Pulupandan, Negros Occidental 

Jeepney, Tricycle and Motorcycle (habal-habal) terminal at San Lorenzo Wharf in Guimaras

Can you spot the windmills behind me?

San Lorenzo Town Hall, Guimaras

The tricycle of Guimaras painted with their pride tourist spots and mangoes

Mango Pizza and Mango shake at Pitstop Restaurant in Guimaras

Nueva Valencia 

Raymen Beach Resort

We chose the resort as they are providing island hopping tour package but there are other resorts that offer a different set of islands. When we booked using travel apps like agoda.com, we got a discounted price at 1,350 php a night.
  • Swim in the sea
  • Have your breakfast booked the day before in their restaurant as that is their rule
  • If you have brought food, you can grill and eat beside the beach with friends.

Raymen Beach Resort in Nueva Valencia Guimaras

Island Hopping Tours

Raymen Beach Resort offers island hopping tours. The islands included are the following with its entrance fee:

1. Fairy CastleSightseeing
2. Baras CaveNo Entrance
3. Ave Maria Island No Entrance
4. Sea Turtle Sanctuary5 php/ head
5. Baras Beach Resort25 php/ head
6. Nagtago Beach Resort50 php/head
7. Solly LunaSightseeing
8. Lamurawan Beach Resortdonation
9. Isla NaburotSightseeing
10. SEAFDEC30 php /head

Boat rental fees:

1 boat (good for 16-20 passengers)1000 php  1st hour and additional 300 php for succeeding hour
1 boat (good for 11-15 passengers)700 php 1st hour and additional 200 for succeeding hour
1 boat (good for 1-10 passengers)500 php 1st hour and additional 150 for succeeding hour

The captain of the boat decided which islands to visit first and cannot be visited due to circumstances but we decided on how long we stay in an island. The crew waited for us as we enjoyed the view. 

Number of hours spent

Overall, we spent 4 hours. We went to the main office to register at 5am, then, we rode at 7am. And, we finished and arrived back at 11am. 

SEAFDEC

What you can do:
  • Learn from the staff the different marine species that the department is taking care of.
  • Feed the fishes
  • Support the SEAFDEC by buying souvenirs or being part of their advocacy
Allotment time: 30 minutes
Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC)

Ave Maria Island

This island is beautiful but a bit crowded when a lot of tourists came together at the same time.
  • Have a picture taken to the sandbar and the island itself
  • Snorkel to see some fish
  • Swim
Allotment time: 30 minutes
Ave Maria Island

Lamurawan Beach Resort

The island was a beach resort ran by nuns before. There were rooms and toilet rooms however, they were not in use.
  • Have your picture taken to the numerous island viewed when you get there
Allotment time: 10-15 minutes

Lamurawan Beach Resort - one of the islands to see in Guimaras

Lamurawan Beach Resort which is abandoned but considered a part of the island hopping tour in Guimaras

Overlooking the islets from Lamurawan Beach Resort Island

Nagtago Beach Resort

This beach resort was for me the best island among the rest. The scenery was gorgeous and the feeling was totally relaxing especially when you rest in the hammock and in the beach rest house's chair looking at the sea.

  • go to the pathway island to see a great view
  • in the pathway turn left to go to the rest house (which you can also rent but it is expensive)
  • down the pathway island, play and swim in the sandbar
  • back to Nagtago Beach dock, go up to the stairs and see the mini-chapel
  • go down and rest in the hammocks
  • buy and drink freshly picked buko/coconut juice.
Allotment time: 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes


Nagtago Beach - one of the islands to see in the island hopping tour in Guimaras

Nagtago Beach Rental House in an islet and the sandbar

Nagtago Beach's Sand bar

the view from the Nagtago Beach rental house in an islet

Nagtago Beach's Main Rental House

The hammock, the sea breeze and the view - what a great feeling!

the little chapel on top of this island

Jordan

Guimaras National Crop Research, Development and Production Support Center ( a.k.a Mango Research Center)

  • you can walk around or better yet let the tricycle driver drive you around the center, just register your name before you enter at the entrance gate which the guard will let you do it.

Allotment time: 15 minutes

The Guimaras National Crop Research, Development and Production Support Center

Our Lady of the Philippines Trappist Monastery

It has a church, souvenir shop, a retreat house and a monastery.

  • Pay visit to the church and pray
  • If you are lucky, a monk is giving a short blessing and prayer to visitors just across the church.
  • Buy some souvenirs to help the people and have yourself some gifts to your friends.

Allotment time: 10 - 15minutes

the chapel in the Our Lady of the Philippines Trappist Monastery in Guimaras

Back to Nueva Valencia

Guisi Lighthouse Ruins

The ruins of the oldest lighthouse in Guimaras and also the new one are standing in Nueva Valencia. It is a beautiful spot to have a pre-nuptial photos because the scenery is really magnificent because there are palm trees aligned along the coast and the ruins give the historical feeling of the place.

  • Unwind after a long trip by watching the waves of the sea and breathe the sea air
  • Take a photo with the oldest lighthouse
  • If you are brave enough, you can try to climb up the lighthouse but it is very fragile-looking as it is so rusty.



Guisi Lighthouse Ruins

the view from the Guisi Lighthouse ruins

Guisi Lighthouse Ruins

another lighthouse from the Guisi Lighthouse Ruins

Here's what we did:

Guimaras Itinerary for 3 days and 2 nights

Day 1


destinationtimevehicle modefareentrance fee
Bacolod City to Pulupandan, Negros Occidental9am - 9:30amtaxi500php
Pulupandan to San Lorenzo12pm - 1pmpump boat90
San Lorenzo port to San Lorenzo town hall1pm-1:30pmtricycle50010
San Lorenzo town hall to Pitstop Restaurant2pm - 2:30pm
Pitstop Restaurant to Capitol2:57pm-3:01pm
Capitol to Raymen Beach Resort3:05pm - 4pm

Day 2


Island Hopping Tour7am - 11ampump boat950php80
Land tour Raymen to Pitstop Restaurant1pm- 1:30pmtricycle700
Pitstop to Mango Research Center2:15pm - 2:40pm
Research Center to Trappist Monastery2:50pm - 2:55pm 
Monastery to Mango Farm  (along the road)3:10pm - 3:14m
Mango Farm to Guisi Lighthouse Ruins3:19pm -3:50pm
Guisi Lighthouse to Raymen Beach Resort4:15pm - 5pm

Day 3

Raymen Beach Resort to Jordan Wharf6am-7amtricycle400php
Jordan Wharf  (Guimaras) to Iloilo (Ortiz Wharf)7am - 7:15ampump boat60


Total :  3200 php + 90 php (entrance fees) = 3,290 php

Tips:

  • We haven't tried to use the public transportation such as the jeepney as we were in a limited time and we would want to visit many places in a day.
  • There is no taxi. Tricycle is the taxi. So negotiate the price to the driver. 
  • Because tricycle is a bit pricey, it is better to travel here in a group of 4 to divide the expenses.


In summary, as a couple, we have enjoyed our short stay in Guimaras. It is still a rural place but I personally liked it because I like the simplicity of an island without being so urbanized. It was indeed away from the metropolitan.


Ready, set, go and share! other posts:

If you want to explore Cebu , check these links:

If you want to see my international trip, check this link:


Remember to READY yourself before travelling, SET yourself to possibilities, GO to your dream destinations and SHARE your experience.


Share this information if it helps!


Wishing you safe and happy travels,

Sarah


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