“If you feel anxiety or depression, you are not in the present. You are either anxiously projecting the future or depressed and stuck in the past. The only thing you have any control over is the present moment; simple breathing exercises can make us calm and present instantly.”
After Garin Farms, I took a bus going to Ortiz Wharf located in the city proper to catch the boat ride to going to Guimaras Island because according to some articles I read, the last boat ride is about 6:30 pm. I also asked some friends from Iloilo City to at least provide me the correct information and according to them they normally extend depending on how many passengers. My plan was to go to Nueva Valencia to have an overnight stay Raymen Beach Resort then island hopping the following day.
How to get to Nueva Valencia, Guimaras
Nueva Valencia is one of the coastal municipalities of Guimaras Island. It lies along the southwestern part of the island. There are boat rides from Ortiz Wharf in Iloilo City going to Jordan Port in Guimaras from 5am-6:30 pm daily. The travel time is only for 15 minutes with fare of php14. From Ortiz Wharf, you can already view the island.
Once you reach Jordan Port in Guimaras, you can either take a jeep via Sibunag. However, it may take you longer to reach your destination because the jeep stops over every municipality. You have an option to take a tricycle and will only take you 45 minutes to an hour going to Brgy. Alubijod, Nueva Valencia with a fare of php250. Since I arrived at Jordan Port around 5:30 pm coming from San Juaquin, Iloilo, I opted to take the tricycle so I can arrive at the location early.
Raymen Beach Resort
I arrived at Raymen Beach Resort around 7pm and asked the receptionist if there is still an available room. Good thing, it was a Friday so there were less guests in the resort. So, I had a bamboo room with fan for php 700 with a double deck bed good for 2. I did not mind that it was just a fan room because other resorts are more expensive and I did not have any advance booking. I slept around 8:30pm and did not take dinner anymore because I already ate mango pizza before going to the resort. The mango pizza from the Pit Stop is a must try food when you in Guimaras.
Island hopping is one of the major activities when you are in the island. The resort offers a cheap island hopping price for travelers.
- 1 boat (good for 16-20 pax) – php1000 for the 1st hour then php 300 succeeding hour.
- 1 boat (good for 11-15 pax) – php 700 for the 1st hour then php 200 succeeding hour.
- 1 boat (good for 1-10 pax) – php 500 for the 1st hour then php 150 succeeding hour.
Island Hopping Itinerary and Entrance Fees
- Baras Cave – No Entrance
- Ave Maria Island- No Entrance
- Natago Beach Resort – php 50 per head
- Fairy Castle – Sight Seeing Only
- Solly Luna- Sight Seeing Only
- Lamurawan Beach Resort – Donation
- Isla Naburot – Sight Seeing Only
- SEAFDEC- 30 head
I started the island tour at the SEAFDEC (Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center) Aquaculture Department or Aging Marine Station. It is an independent intergovernmental to promote fisheries development in Southeast Asia.
It develops the fishery potentials in the region through training and to improve the food supply by rational utilization and development of the fisheries resources. Its services cover the broad areas of fishing gear technology, marine engineering, fishing ground surveys and stock assessment, post-harvest technology as well as development and improvement of aquaculture techniques.
With an entrance fee of php30, you will enjoy in fish feeding and a tour guide will be providing a short over-view on how they do the process of aquaculture. It normally takes an hour to finish all the fish cages with different types of fishes such as grouper fish (sigapo), milk fish (bangus), sea turtles and more.
The Ave Maria Island was my next destination. I was really amazed of the live corals and healthy marine life of the island. It also has a small sand bar where you can take great photos, have your moments and snorkeling since there are a lot of fishes.
I personally enjoyed my free dive at the Ave Maria Island because the corals are not destroyed, there are a lot of fishes under water and surprisingly the water was cold. One of the islands that I will visit again.
The Baras Cave is few meters away from Ave Maria Island. The boat will dock near the cave then the boatman will assist you in getting inside the cave. There are bats inside and be careful because the rocks are slippery.
The Nagtago Beach Resort is also one of must visit islands in Nueva Valencia. They call it Natago from the word Tago meaning hidden because the beach is surrounded with small islands.
My island hopping experience in Nueva Valencia was one of the memorable activities I did because I got to visit wonderful small islands and fed large fishes at a very low price. When you are in Guimaras Island, do not forget to go to Nueva Valencia.
- Boat Fee (Iloilo to Jordan Port)- Php14 (RT Php 28)
- Jordan Port to Nueva Valencia via tricycle – Php250 (good for sharing)
- Raymen Beach Resort – php700/night good for 2 pax (bamboo and fan room)
- Island Hopping- Php750 (3 1/2 hours)
- Nueva Valencia to Jordan Port via tricycle – Php 250(good for sharing)
- Boat Fee (Iloilo to Bacolod) – Php 120
- 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Arrived at Raymen Beach Resort in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras.
- 8: 30 pm – 9: 00 pm – Dinner at the resort restaurant
- 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm – Stayed at the beach while drinking coffee
- 10:00 pm – Lights off
- 5:00 am – woke up and stayed again at the beach front for sunrise watching
- 7:00 am – 11: 30 – Island hopping including fish feeing at SEAFDE
- 12:00 pm – check out at the resort and rode a tricycle going to the sanctuary
- 12: 30 pm – 1:00 pm – Visited the Trappist Monastery.
- 1:30 pm – 2: 00 pm – Visited the Guimaras Mango Plantation
- 2:15 pm – 2: 30 pm- Visited the Guimaras Provincial Capitol
- 3:00 pm – 3:45 pm – Went back to Jordan Port for boat transfer to Iloilo City.
- 3:45 pm – 4:00 pm – Going to the new Port in Iloilo City for boat transfer to Bacolod
- 4: 00 pm – 5:30 pm – Traveled from Iloilo City to Bacolod City, Negros Occidental thru ferry boat.