CARLES, Iloilo -- For families and barkadas looking for a new getaway this summer, how about heading to Isla de Gigantes or the Island of the Giants?
This remote group of islands located off the coast of Carles and Estancia towns in the northeastern tip of Iloilo is one of the province’s best-kept secrets. Tourists come to marvel at the beautiful seascapes, white sand beaches and sandbars, karst rock formations, a secret lagoon and underwater sights.
However, getting there takes the extra mile. The jump-off point to this rising tourist destination is roughly 3 to 4 hours nonstop land travel by bus or van from Iloilo City. A more convenient option for travelers is to fly to Roxas City in the province of Capiz, which cuts land travel time significantly to just 1 hour and 45 minutes. From the mainland, guests will have to board a boat at the port for a whole-day’s worth of island-hopping.
For adventurous travelers looking for a seamless balance of luxury and comfort before or after their island-hopping trip, the newly opened Solina Beach & Nature Resort is a great option.
Located along Balasan-Carles Provincial Road, in Brgy. Guinticgan, just 15 minutes away from the port, this newly opened 7.8-hectare property is the first and only resort in Carles that offers world-class accommodations, excellent service, and top-notch facilities.
The beachfront resorts has eight duplex villas totaling to 16 rooms, eight pods good for two persons each, and 25 glamping-style Kamalig Cabins perfect for outdoorsy couples, families and small groups of four to six.
All rooms at Solina Beach & Nature Resort have their own private comfort room with hot and cold shower, complete with vanity and toiletry kits, and face and body towels.
Checked-in guests also get complimentary breakfast, free use of the resort’s facilities including the stylish infinity pool, jacuzzi, kiddie pool and mountain bikes which can be used around the property and beachfront.
The resort also offers eight day-tour cabanas for family and barkada picnics and get-togethers this summer.
Solina has a full-service restaurant called Angga, which serves excellent international and Filipino dishes highlighting the local flavors like Kilawing Hipon (shrimp ceviche), Beef Lauya (an Ilonggo stew flavored with batwan), Baked Scallops, and Seafood Platters.
A beachside tower bar with a view deck called Dalayanon is also in the works, where guests will be able to enjoy grilled seafood dishes and alcoholic drinks.
“As summer closely beckons, we want to show that Carles can compete with other popular tourism destinations in the Philippines,” Solina co-owner Joseph Solis said. “At Solina, we are bringing world-class accommodation and luxurious amenities to complement your rejuvenating Gigantes island-hopping escapade.”