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Country > Philippines > Iloilo > Carles
Date > 2016 > Dec
Section > Traveling | Caving


Exploring Bakwitan Cave of Gigantes Island Dec 30, 2016

Exploring Bakwitan Cave of Gigantes Island

Location Google Map: Bakwitan Cave, Gigantes Island North (barangay), Carles (municipality), Iloilo (province), Philippines

Evacuation Cave
Exploring Bakwitan Cave in Gigantes Island North is one of the itineraries in the land tour offered by the locals. After a short hike up the cave opening in the mountain, human bones could be seen. It is not sure how far they date back but this cave has traditionally been sanctuary to the locals against the onslaught of devastating typhoons or to ward off against pirate attacks even before Spanish rule.

Cave Interior
Probing deeper into the cave revealed spacious caverns, connecting stalactites and stalagmites, ceiling openings allowing a ray of sunshine, and for those with vivid imagination, you see forms resembling wings, cross, and even a shark!

Exploring Bakwitan Cave of Gigantes Island
this is the only section where you crawl down to get through

Huge Passage
Halfway through is a steep climb onto the slippery rocks through a huge passage resembling another cave opening (within a cave) to another chamber that exits to the top of the limestone mountain. We stopped at this point and headed back instead of doing a traverse.

Deep Digging
On one section was a noticeable digging...about 6x6 feet in diameter, going about 7 feet deep. My guide speculated that treasure hunters must have been digging here long before the cave became a tourist destination.

Secret Hideaway
On a discreet section of the cave is an obscure opening where cool fresh air comes out. To enter, you have to crawl down. It leads to a bigger chamber. According to my guide, when pirates attack the town, the children and the women will hide in that chamber while the men would cover the opening with rocks to hide the entrance.

Some parts of the cave, specially the delicate stalactites have been ruined by careless tourists. What used to resemble human rib cage is now rubbles.

Ending Thoughts
Bakwitan Cave is deep enough to warrant an exploration with interesting formations that took a few thousand years to take place. It's also a friendly cave - you don't go crawling through mud or wade through an underground stream or endure the stench of bat dung. You actually explore the cave standing up on a flat solid surface and come out still clean! This cave is worth a visit if you are in Gigantes.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit Yoga by Gigit | Learn English Learn English | Travel like a Nomad Nomad Travel Buddy | Donation Bank Donation Bank for TheLoneRider

Bakwitan Cave FYI / Tips

How to Get to Bakwitan Cave from the town center

Bakwitan Cave Cost Index

(US$1 = Php 52 as of Apr 25, 2022)

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Google Map Gigantes Island, Carles, Iloilo, Philippines

tourist attractions in Gigantes Island tourist attractions
  • Bakwitan Cave in Gigantes Island Bakwitan Cave - deep cave with high chambers and connection stalactites and stalagmites
  • lighthouse in Gigantes Island Lighthouse - scenic view, abandoned Spanish-era building with patina and nostalgic architecture
  • Antonia Beach in Gigantes Island Antonia Beach - white sand beach, limestone rock face you can climb on | 11°35'07.88"N 123°21'18.58"E
  • Bantigue Sandbar in Gigantes Island Bantigue Sandbar - long, extended and winding sandbar
  • Cabugao Gamay Island in Gigantes Island Cabugao Gamay Island - small island with white sand beach and viewpoint
  • Tangke Lagoon in Gigantes Island Tangke Lagoon - inland lagoon that goes with the tide
hotels in Carles hotel

Bancal Port, Carles FYI / Tips

How to Get to Gigantes Island, Carles from Roxas City

  1. from the city proper, take a tricycle to the bus terminal P10/pax, 10 mins
  2. at the bus terminal, take a Ceres bus bound for Estancia but get off at the Balasan Crossing P69/pax, 2.5 hours. Ask the bus conductor to let you off at the junction bound for Carles. Better, at the bus terminal, if there is a bus heading straight for Carles, take it - but there are more buses leaving for Estancia
  3. at the Balasan Crossing, take a tricycle to the market P10/pax, 10 mins
  4. at the market, take a jeep for Carles town proper P15/pax, 30 mins
  5. at the Carles town proper, take a single motorcycle to the Bancal Port P15/pax, 10 mins
  6. at Bancal Port, you can board the boat for Gigantes Island (departs 10am)

Bancal Port, Carles Cost Index

(US$1 = Php 49.62 as of Jan 2, 2017)

Gigantes Island FYI / Tips

Alternative way to tour Gigantes Island from Estancia

Paon Beach ClubIf you only want a day tour to Gigantes Island and stay the night in Estancia where there are more offerings - restos, cafes, night life, etc., you can check-in at Paon Beach Club and book a tour package with them. One payment takes care of everything - boat ride, guide, lunch, water, island fees. It's a lot easier to get to Estancia from Roxas City or Iloilo City than it is to travel all the way to Gigantes Island to book the tour there.

Carles/Estancia, Iloilo Blogs by TheLoneRider

  1. 3 Days in Estancia, Iloilo Jan 2-4, 2017
  2. Gigantes Island Boat Tour Dec 31, 2016
  3. Visiting the Lighthouse of Gigantes Island Dec 30, 2016
  4. Exploring Bakwitan Cave of Gigantes Island Dec 30, 2016
  5. Overnight in Carles, Iloilo Dec 29-30, 2016
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