When a beach trip becomes as stressful as commuting in Metro Manila, we’re out. The goal this time was to avoid throngs of people, persistent touts and overrated touristy spots.
Don’t get me wrong, we love chaos (the good kind, that is) but work has been taking a toll on our nerves and we just wanted to get away, please!
And Guimaras came calling.
Guimaras is a little island in the western Visayas region, less than 20 minutes away from Iloilo by motorized boat. It is primarily known for its heavenly mangoes and pristine beaches. While its sandy shores may not be as powdery white as that of Boracay’s, its serenity and unique waterscape (and mangoes) are worth the trip.
I didn’t want to take any chances so I did my research and booked the quietest, most remote resort that I could find – La Puerta Al Paraizo.
La Puerta Al Paraizo is located at Nueva Valencia, approximately an hour away from Jordan wharf. The road to the resort was a bit bumpy, good thing we arranged for a round trip transfer. The resort driver promptly met us at the wharf and gave a brief orientation of Guimaras.
The moment we entered the winding path to our resort, I knew it was going to be the vacation we longed for.
The place was peaceful, all we could hear was the sound of nature at its best. The staff who greeted us were warm and very accommodating, I immediately felt right at home. We were the only guests that day, so we practically had the whole beach to ourselves. Yay!
What I loved most about La Puerta Al Paraizo, and Guimaras in general, was its
unpretentious and raw beauty. You don’t need to be in a luxurious place just to
experience this kind of heaven. Traipsing along the beach without a care in the world, no people to mind, no gadgets to check (because there’s no signal) – it’s the perfect escape.
We consciously avoided the usual tourist trail as we just wanted to laze around but the resort owner, David, encouraged us to go island-hopping so we could see some secret beaches nearby. He offered to personally take us and even became our boatman. It was definitely a smart choice to take his offer.
Guimaras is beautiful without trying too hard, take it or leave it. I love how the
locals do their best to promote tourism but at the same time preserve the island’s natural resources. Maybe it has become a bit underrated lately but this small island has a lot to offer: secluded beaches, private and public resorts, mangrove parks, picturesque rock formations, friendly locals and sweet sweet mangoes.
How to go to Guimaras:
From Iloilo, go to Ortiz wharf and take a boat to Jordan port. Boats leave
every 15-20 minutes. Trip is more or less 20 minutes.
La Puerta Al Paraizo Beach Resort
Barangay San Roque, Nueva Valencia,
Facebook page link
Contact Number: 09275079024