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Islas de Gigantes. Illumelation.

Are you travelling through the Philippines and wondering how to get from Boracay to Islas de Gigantes?

You’re in the right place!

I’m Mel, a Filipino-British travel blogger, and in this post I’m sharing a step-by-step guide of how to travel from Boracay to Islas de Gigantes on a budget.

As Islas de Gigantes becomes less hipster-bait and more mainstream a tourist destination, the number of visitors looking to get there is growing fast. And rightly so. Gigantes is stunning.

I headed to Gigantes after few days in Boracay. Gigantes is closest to Estancia, Carles, Ilo Ilo. The journey, although tiring, was pretty seamless. I spent most of the 9 hours drifting off in various vehicles. And it was cheap!

So in this post, I’m sharing how I got to Islas de Gigantes from Boracay Island – on a budget of less than £20 / $25 / ₱1000. (Post last updated: September 2023)

How to Travel from Boracay to Islas de Gigantes on a Budget: An Overview of the Journey

Duration9 hours
LocationsBoracay (Caticlan)
Roxas City (Lawaan Ceres Terminal)
Estancia (Estancia Port)
Gigantes Norte Port
Islas de Gigantes
TransportationTricycle
Boat/Bangka
Van, Van, Bus, Tricycle
Boat
Habal-Habal
Total Cost₱843 (Philippine Pesos)

TO DOWNLOAD OR SCREENSHOT THE SHORT VERSION OF THIS POST, CLICK HERE.

For my detailed version on how to get to Islas de Gigantes from Boracay, read on!


We got very, very lucky with traffic and transportation (we left at 4am). I’m sure you could find cheaper ways to do the journey, but this got us there safely, comfortably, and with time to spare.

NOTE: This guide works for people with backpacks, not roller suitcases. There’s a lot of moving around involved. Make sure you wear something comfortable, keep properly hydrated, and BRING SNACKS! (Seriously. Snacks and water. DO IT.)

Without further ado, here is my first hand experience of getting from Boracay to Gigantes in order to make the 1pm Gigantes Hideaway Resort pump boat from Estancia Port. The prices mentioned in brackets are for one person.

Islas de Gigantes. Palm trees.

How to Travel from Boracay to Islas de Gigantes on a Budget: A Detailed Step-by-Step Guide

1. From Boracay’s Cagban Jetty, get to Caticlan Jetty (1 hour)

  • Grab a tricycle (₱42) from D’Mall in Station 2 or anywhere else to Boracay’s Cagban Jetty.
  • At Cagban Jetty, pay the Terminal Fee (₱100) and buy a boat ticket (₱150).
  • Take the boat across the sea to Caticlan Jetty.

The sunrise should be beautifully visible on the horizon at this point. Breathe it in.

2. From Caticlan Jetty, take a van to Roxas City  (1.5 – 2 hours)

  • Once you arrive at Caticlan Jetty, there’ll be a bunch of transportation services at your service.
  • You have three options: bus, van, or private van (which costs ₱6000++ – which, if you’re on a tight budget, is yikes! It works out much more cost effective to get a shared van).
  • Hop onto a van bound for Roxas City (₱250). Remember, however, that the faster passengers fill up the seats, the faster the van departs.
  • If you’re in a hurry, roll down your window and hustle for more passengers by shouting “Roxas City!” out of the window to bleary-eyed passers-by.

Travel Tip: Tell the driver that you’re going to Lawaan Ceres terminal rather than Roxas City airport. Halfway through the journey they’ll drop you at another van stop where you can switch to another van.

3. Switch vans at Roxas City to Lawaan Ceres Terminal (2 hours)

  • Just before reaching Roxas City airport, switch to another van (₱200).
  • Get them to drop you off at Lawaan Ceres Transport Terminal. This saves valuable time.
  • Take a quick restroom break (₱5).
  • Find the bus bound for Estancia.

Tip: The buses should have their destinations clearly labelled in the front window. If you’re confused, ask someone to point you to the Estancia-bound bus.

4. From Lawaan Ceres Terminal, take a bus to Estancia (1.5 – 2 HOURS)

  • From the terminal, hop onto the bus bound for Estancia (₱81).

The bus ride was great. The scenery includes gorgeous rolling mountains and hills. Because we were on it from start to finish, we sat down comfortably at the back seats and chilled out – although at one point it got ridiculously packed, with the bus conductor hanging out of the door as we tore down the highway. There was also zero traffic. Win.

Travel Tip: Sit down at the back seats of the bus if possible. The air from the open windows blows the cool breeze towards you and you get to stay away from the ruckus of people getting on and off at the doors.

5. From Estancia, take a tricycle to Estancia Port (10 minutes)

  • Once you’ve arrived at Estancia, hail at a tricycle driver to bring you to Estancia Port (₱20).
  • This takes about 10 minutes.
  • You’ll go through main roads and markets to get to the seaport. Entertaining stuff.

6. From Estancia Port, take a boat to Gigantes Norte Port (3 hours)

  • Woohoo, you made it to Estancia Port! This is the part where I’ve assumed that you have booked your stay with Gigantes Hideaway Resort, where they inclusively (for free) provide the boat Almeria for you to ride to Barangay Asluman in Gigantes Norte.
  • If you haven’t booked accommodation, or are going there on a whim, then you can either hire a pumpboat for the 3 hour journey (around ₱2000++), or see if you can bribe a boatsman/hitch a ride with another bangka headed for the island.
  • The ride takes up to 3 hours, so unless you have arms of steel and a knowledge of the Visayan seas (phone signal and GPS doesn’t work there), hiring your own rowboat probably won’t work out that well for you.
  • Now, hopefully, you have at least 30 minutes to spare before the boat departs.
  • Grab some water or packaged merienda (snacks) from the sari-sari stores along the port front. If you’re prone to LBM, I’d give the caldera meals a miss.

7. From Gigantes Norte Port, take a boat to Islas De Gigantes.

WOOHOO! You arrived! Congratulations. You may or may not need a beer.

Bonus: From Islas De Gigantes, take a habal-habal to Gigantes Hideaway Resort.

  • Look for a bunch of habal-habals (motorcycles). Any one of them will take you to the resort for about ₱20.

Finally, you made it!

As mentioned, phone signal and GPS suddenly cuts out about half an hour into the boat ride. You’re officially off the grid, in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Relish it!

Mel Legarda

Melissa Legarda is the founder of illumelation. She has worked as a travel blogger, creator and writer since 2015, and has collaborated with well-known brands worldwide. She has helped over 1,100+ students improve their travel photography skills since launching her creative courses. Her mission is to encourage and empower others to travel and create more. Find her on Instagram.

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