Idyllic Guimaras Island is a 15 minute ferry ride from the port of Ortiz in Iloilo. And with flights to Iloilo being one of the cheapest in the country, a trip to Guimaras is your best bet for a budget escape. I already featured Alibuhod Beach in a previous entry. Now, let me take you further to the eastern coast, facing Negros Island.
It takes a grueling hour and a half via tricycle to get to Nagarao Island Resort. From its jump off point on the mainland of Guimaras, it takes around 20 minutes to get to this island escape. The resort arranges the boat for you, so you just have to worry how to get to their port. For first time Guimaras visitors, once you dock at the Jordan port, just hire a multicab or a tricycle or even a single motorbike to get around Guimaras. It will cost you P200 for a motorbike (habal-habal), P400 for a tricycle and P800 for a multicab. So it really depends on how big your group is. If you're alone, the habal-habal would be best. Now, back to Nagarao.
We approached Nagarao before lunch, as we only planned for a day trip there. It cost us P700 per person inclusive of lunch. Nagarao Island Resort used to be very popular back in the days, but the lack of visitors obviously wore it down.
If you opt to stay on the island, there are rustic cottages that dot the shoreline. The staff told us that there was a villa type of accommodation, but it was not maintained anymore.
Despite its un-maintained look, I actually found Nagarao to be very charming. I was saddened that it had to look this way, when the design of the place was amazing. The resort's clubhouse looked like a Mexican villa, with stone walls and wooden structures.
And there were artworks painted on the wall. These murals are found all over the clubhouse's walls. Some look disturbing though. I wasn't able to ask who made these paintings.
There was even a billiard table at the ground floor of the clubhouse. The entire house may be made of stone, but it was surprisingly cool inside.
I just wanted to post more pictures of the clubhouse. I wanted a vacation home like this, very simple yet striking. It's a great design find.
Our lunch consisted of fried fish, steamed crabs and kaldereta (stewed beef). We also had sinigang na hipon (shrimp in a sour broth). They cooked everything under wood fire.
After lunch, I decided to go around the island. There was a map in the clubhouse that situated a look out point and even a pool. The pool, well, is dried up, and it was the path to the look out point was already blocked.
There are two beaches in Nagarao. The one below is calmer side, where a small fishing village is also set. There was also a sand bar, but the stagnant waters near the shore made me hesitatant to get to it.
The next beach shown below is the main beach, where you actually dock from mainland Guimaras. The cottages are behind it. The sand is white and fine, but not powdery. The water as clear though, as with the case in Guimaras.
We were the only guests in Nagarao Island. The staff told us that it used to be busy. There was even a tennis and basketball court. Even former president GMA visited the island before. Now, it has been forgotten, which is sad, considering the huge potential of the resort to offer real relaxation.
The charming Nagarao Island Resort is still a gem for me in Guimaras. I hope the owner revives the resort, and make it an exclusive destination for discriminating travelers. Nagarao Island Resort is best experienced for a day as of now. But if you really wish to be alone under the stars, spend a night and share me the experience.
Tel: +63 33 3290078
Cell Phone No.: +639189080730
Cell Phone No.: +639189080730