It took an hour of turbulent plane ride, 3 hours on the road and another 2 traversing the rough seas before we finally reached our ultimate stop -- Islas de Gigantes. Located off the coast of Carles and Estancia towns, this once offbeat town is becoming a popular destination for beach lovers and adventure seekers evading mainstream beach havens in the nearby provinces of Aklan and Cebu.
As soon as we step foot on the island, I understood why people kept on calling Islas de Gigantes as the Scallops Capital of the Philippines.. the beach was literally covered with scallop shells!
Traveling to Islas de Gigantes is like coming home to your family in the province. Since the town is still underdeveloped, don't expect a hotel-like accommodation with full amenities. Roaming around the town on board a habal-habal, I noticed that most resorts were houses converted to homestays with several rooms offered to tourists at very affordable prices. Of the three most popular resorts in town, only Dela Vega Beach Resort had an available air-conditioned room on our trip.
Our group availed of the resort's 3days/2nights package at Php3,585 per person that includes the accommodation, full board meals, island hopping tour and boat transfers from and to Estancia. Good thing I was on a seafood diet because our meals were overflowing with scallops and crabs throughout our stay! In the 3 days that we were in the island, I was able to try scallops cooked in every possible way you can imagine like adobo, sizzling, steamed, fried, bicol express, boiled etc.
The people in Islas de Gigantes are very welcoming that we never felt the need to hike up to what the locals call as "call center" being the only place in town with a signal! In fact, it was refreshing to go on a day without checking my mobile phone every so often just like the old times.