Guimaras is the youngest and smallest of the six component provinces of the Western Visayas Region (Region 6). Known as the “Mango Country”, Guimaras Island has 8,000 hectares of mango orchards managed by corporations and individual growers. The province’s mango orchards produce the best mango variety certified as pest-free by the United States Department of Agriculture. Guimaras Island is a favored destination by both foreign and domestic tourists because of its picturesque beaches, waterfalls, springs, off shore islets, and its famous mangoes, which is considered one of the sweetest in the world.
Declared as a full-pledged province on May 22,1992, Guimaras has also been proclaimed as the “island to watch” due to unspoiled natural beauty as for its potential.
The province is composed of five municipalities, namely: Jordan, the provincial capital; Buenavista; Nueva Valencia; and the newly created Sibunag and San Lorenzo. Guimaras occupies about 3% of the region’s total land area.
Alibuhud Beach is the usual jump-off point for island hopping. Your first stop should be the Pawikan Sanctuary. Then it’s off to Ave Maria Island in Sitio Lusay, Jordan. There aren’t any resorts in the area, but the swimming and snorkeling are worth it.
Located at Bgry. Lawi, Jordan, Baras Beach offers activities like boating, bird watching, beach volleyball, trekking and wind surfing. The glimmering waters are also special.
Sitting on top of two mountains, Natago Beach has interesting rock formations. Its most prominent landmark is a mansion nestled on its cliff. Isla Naburot has a stunning white sand beach, and is a go-to spot for snorkeling and diving in Guimaras. Its cliff is lined with modest chalets and the Balay ni Boy cottage.
Constructed by the Spanish government in 1894-1896, the Faro de Punta Luzaran (Guising Lighthouse) is nestled on top of a cliff. It gives visitors a panoramic view of Guisi Beach. Also within the area is the modern white lighthouse. Guisi also has white sand beaches, and natural springs along its shoreline. Labi-labi Springs in Daragan, Buenavista, is amazing. Also try to visit the Orang, the Tarug, and the Panaluron Falls.
Another beach resort you should try to go to is Villa Igang Beach Resort. It’s known for its grotto, serene surroundings and pigeons. Cliff-dive into its turquoise waters, and explore a nearby cave.
Guimaras also has waterfalls. Trek up a hilly trail to the refreshing Macapo Falls. It’s ideal for swimming and communing with nature. Sad-sad Falls is clad by dense jungle.
A picturesque mansion sits quietly in Buenavista. Built in 1910, the Roca Encantada was originally a vacation house of one of the prominent local families — the Lopez family. It has a stunning vista of the Iloilo Strait and Roca Encantada Beach.
Guimaras houses the only male monastery in the country — the Trappist Monastery, built in 1972. The monks abide by St. Benedict Rules, and thrive on agriculture. They produce delicious fruit jams.
Another religious landmark in Guimaras is the Balaan Bukid Shrine. On the trail to the summit, you’ll find 14 Stations of the Cross. The chapel at the top, the Shrine of Ave Purisma, is marked by a gigantic cross.
Adrenaline junkies will enjoy the Guimaras Adventure Park. It’s more modern adventure around here, from rappelling to paintball to target shooting to horseback riding.
Iloilo is the primary gateway to Guimaras. The island province is 15 minutes by motorboat or ferry from Parola and Ortiz Wharf in Downtown Iloilo City. A roll on – roll off (RORO) facility is available four times from Monday to Saturday and two times on Sunday from Iloilo to Hoskyn, Jordan.