Guimaras is south of Panay and north of Negros. It is close to Iloilo City and was once administered as part of Iloilo Province but is now treated as a separate province. It is one of the smaller provinces, with a land area just over 600 km2 (233 mi2) and population around 175,000 as of the 2015 census.
The island is well known for its sweet mangoes, which are one of the main income sources for most families.
- 1 JordanPronounced as Hor-dan, it is the provincial capital of Guimaras.
- 2 Isla Naburot (Naburot Island)
Take a 15-minute boat ride from Iloilo City to Jordan, through the Guimaras Strait. Be careful, because there are two ports in Iloilo that have boats going to Guimaras. One goes to Buenavista and the other one is in Jordan. The port going to Jordan is in Ortiz (near SM Delgado and Robinson's Place) and can be reached by cab. As of August 2013, pumpboat fares going to Jordan cost ₱14.
The boat trip may be dangerous, as squalls (pugada or subasko in Hiligaynon) are known to form over the strait during rainy season, and on August 2019, over 30 died after three pump boats capsized under strong winds caused by a severe squall. There are also long-term plans to replace the boat service with a road bridge across the strait, with construction to start by 2020, while an interim roll-on/roll-off ferry service will replace the smaller wooden-hulled boats for the short term until the fixed link is completed.
Upon arriving in Jordan port, proceed to the Tourism Center just a few meters from the drop-off point. From there, you can ask for assistance about budget accommodations and how to get around. There are also several mini-van and tricycle drivers who offer tour rides.
There are several driver-guides who can be contacted prior to arriving in Guimaras:
- Lindon Monreal, ☏ .
- 1 Balaan Bukid Shrine (Catholic church), Balaang Bukid Shrine Trail, Jordan. 8AM-5PM. Hike to the 14 stations of the cross. Take a ferry bound for Jordan Wharf in Ortiz Port (Iloilo City). From Jordan Wharf, take a tricycle ride to the foot of Balaan Bukid. It's a 30-45 min hike to the top. During the Holy Week (Easter), there are special trips that transport visitors directly to the foot of Balaan Bukid. Free.
- 2 Guisi Light House, Nueva Valencia. 8AM-8PM. From Guisi Beach, follow a trail 15 minutes uphill to the Guisi Lighthouse for a great view of the beach. At the top of the hill are the ruins of a Spanish-colonial outpost and the rotting remains of the metal lighthouse structure. Free.
- 3 Trappist Monastery, Guimaras Circumferrential Road, ☏ .
- 4 Oro Verde Mango Plantations (Tree farm), Aguilar, Buenavista, ☏ . 9AM-4PM.
- 5 Guimaras Provincial Capitol (Local government office), Guimaras Circumferential Road, ☏ . 8AM-5PM. Free.
- 6 Roca Encantada, San Miguel. A summer house built on top of a huge rock, possessing a magnificent architectural design, overlooking the Legendary Seven Isles or Siete Picados and fascinating beautiful seascape of the northern part of Guimaras Strait. It was built as a pledge of the great Lopez matriarch, Doña Precentacion Hofeliña Lopez in 1910. It was declared by the National Historical Institute as a Heritage House or one of the National Historical Landmarks on August 14, 2002.
- 7 Holy Family Hills, San Lorenzo, Tamborong. Free.
- 8 National Mango Research and Development Center, Guimaras Circumferential Road. 7AM-5PM. If you want to learn more about the sweetest mangoes of Guimaras, go here. The ideal month to visit it towards the end of summer where the mangoes are ripe and they offer picking activities. The arrangement of the mangoes are also very good for pictorials.
- 1 Capitoguan Beach Guimaras, Cabaling Coast. Open 24 hours. Free.
- 2 Cabaling Coast, Cabaling Coast, Espinosa. Open 24 hours. Free.
- 3 Sunrise Valley Ocean View Resort, Basketball Court, Barangay, San Lorenzo, ☏ . 7AM-7PM. It was a nice place with many great spots for photos.
There is a souvenir shop located beside the Guimaras Provincial Capitol where you can buy local delicacies.
The best time to buy mangoes is during summer time (mid-April).
- 1 Guimaras Trade and Information Center (GTIC) Pasalubong Center, Guimaras Circumferrencial Road. 7AM-5PM.
- 2 Crossing Piña, Crossing, San Lorenzo, Guimaras. 8AM-7PM. In-store shopping.
- 3 Mango Fruit Stalls Pasalubong, Guimaras Circumferential Road (Guimaras Circumferential Road). 8AM-9PM. Come and visit the mango fruit pasalubong delicacies. Let's taste the sweetest mango here in Guimaras Island!
- 4 Iloilo Divisoria, Guimaras Circumferrencial Road. 9AM-7PM. Outlet mall.
Guimaras' pride are is its mangoes which are known to be among the sweetest. Mangoes are grown in such massive numbers that they are made into dried mangoes, jam and surprisingly, mango ketchup.
- 1 Danz Batchoy, Guimaras Circumferential Road. 7AM-7PM.
- 2 The Pitstop (Pizza restaurant), Guimaras Circumferential Road, ☏ . 8AM-8PM.
- 3 Olivia's Kitchen and Island Brew, Guimaras Circumferential Road, ☏ . 9AM-6PM.
- 4 The Mango Island Cafe, Guimaras Circumferrencial Road near BJMP Road.
- 5 BIKING'S Seafood Resto, Guimaras Circumferrencial Road.
- 6 Tansyong "Thin Crust" Pizza, Guimaras Circumferrencial Road, ☏ . 9AM-7PM.
- 7 Isla Kusina, Guimaras Circumferrencial Road, ☏ .
- 8 SaBowl (Higop ta Pre!), Ortiz Compound, ☏ . 10AM-10PM.
- 9 Butchock, Guimaras Circumferential Road.
- 10 Ceian Sea Foods and Resto, Guimaras Circumferrencial Road. 8AM-7:30PM. ₱200–400.
- 1 D&Js Cafe And Resto Bar, Guimaras Circumferrencial Road. 11AM-11PM.
- 2 The Mango Island Cafe, Guimaras Circumferrencial Road near BJMP Road.
- 3 Sta. Hildegarda Cafe, Trappist Gift Shop, Guimaras Circumferential Road, ☏ . 9AM-5PM.
- 1 Zemkamps Chalet, New SIte, San Miguel. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon.
- 2 Casitas de Palma, San Lorenzo, Tamborong.
- 3 Guimaras Mountain Resort, Guimaras Circumferrencial Road, Pina, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 4 Marceily Point Inland Resort, Guimaras Circumferential Rd, San Lorenzo, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon.
- 5 Valle Varde Mountain Resort, Ravina Norte Sibunag, ☏ . Check-in: noon, check-out: 10AM. Fan double room with own bathroom. Has a nice swimming pool. ₱650 per day.
- 6 J M Backpackers Hometel, JTM Building San Miguel, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Fan double room with own bathroom and cable TV. ₱995 per night.
- 7 RedDoorz @ Southern Suites Guimaras, Inday Leah, San Miguel, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM.
- 8 Pine Haven Hotel, Guimaras Circumferrencial Road, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM.
Nearly anyone leaving Guimaras will start with a ferry ride to Iloilo City. There are no other routes unless you have your own boat or charter one.
Iloilo has an airport, a seaport, and bus connections to anywhere on Panay. It serves as a regional transport hub; from there you can reach anywhere in the Philippines and there are a few international flights as well. One popular destination is the resort island of Boracay, just off Panay and reachable starting with a bus journey from Iloilo to Kalibo.
A short ferry ride from Iloilo gets you to Bacolod, capital of Negros Occidental; from there you can easily reach anywhere on Negros Island or continue to the main urban hub of the entire Visayas region, Metro Cebu.