Exploring Carles

By A Not So Secret Life and Randomly Candid

Carles, the second class municipality in Iloilo, has become one of the top summer destinations mainly because of its white-sand beaches, sandbars, and all sorts of fresh seafood, all epitomized by the famous Isla de Gigantes. Just recently we were invited to experience the newly renovated New Beach Head Resort and their Island Hopping Tour Package that includes visiting the remote islands while promising great adventures. Aboard a pump boat, nature’s splendor laid before us with the sun’s rays illuminating the crystal clear waters. The air was humid, but who cares.

Our first stop was this really remote islet called Pulupandan Island, a really small white-sand beach with amazing rock formations characterized by a lone palm tree proudly standing in the middle of the islet. It is said that it’s the only tree left after super Typhoon Yolanda destroyed all the houses and trees there.

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After a series of photoshoots, we headed to our next destination, the Cabugao Gamay Island which is among the three minor southern islets in the Isla de Gigantes archipelago and one of the “can’t miss” islands in Carles. One of the mandatory activities on the island was to climb its mountain and taking a selfie of the whole island. Countless selfies of tourists on social media are proof of this claim.

The famous Bantigue Island Sandbar was next on the itinerary. A real island paradise with a great sandbar surrounded by clear waters, there are also mini eateries on the island that serve fresh seafood at a very affordable price.

And then there is the Tangke Saltwater Lagoon or the secret lagoon. Its name comes from the fact that you have to enter the lagoon by going between large boulders. One has to climb up and then slowly descend if they want to swim in the lake. Expect monkeys as well, as they sometimes descend from the top part of the boulders. And if you’re the adventurous type, you can go cliff-diving facing the open sea. We weren’t that adventurous though and settled on taking a dip in the lagoon while others fed the monkeys.