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Guide to visiting 5 jewel beaches of Antique

Antique Philippines

A gifted province located in the region of Western Visayas. Enchanted—mysterious—magical, these words are only few of the many descriptions you’ll hear when people would talk about Antique.

There’s so much more to this place than what I have compiled on this blog, yet with all the travel stories scattered on the net, I wish to point out the splashing waves uniquely elaborating the fine beauty of Antique.

Below are the list of the top 5 crown jewel beaches of Antique, Philippines.

*Listed in random order*

SECO ISLAND

(c) Mariane Tagaca of Trip ni Mariane (Youtube)

(c) Mariane Tagaca of Trip ni Mariane (Youtube)

A hidden paradise standing in the middle of an open sea. Fine powdery sand and clear aqua marine waters. No wonder this island is considered as the crown jewel beach of Antique. 3 hours away from the mainland and only accessible or visited by day trip. The island is untouched, non commercialised and beyond imaginable.

Things to do

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(c) Mujee Gonzales of Eats in the Philippines

•Swimming: The Islands beach has a lagoon beside its sandbar which is definitely best for swimming.
•Volleyball / Frisbee: Fine white sand beach, perfect to play games like beach volleyball or frisbee. Best time to get those priceless tan lines and shades of unforgettable summer stories.
•Pump boat ride: If you are in to explore the surrounding areas, you may also hire a boatman to take you around via a pump boat ride.
•Kite surfing: The consistent strong winds could propel kite boarders up to 50-150 feet. Shallow and clear waters and sand banks are also made for your awesome jump tricks and areal tricks. Seco Island is also known as a favorite destination among kite enthusiasts.
•Trekking: The island has an area of vegetation which I find as a good location for trekking. A few reminders though, during your visit, please be cautious with animals that lives in the island. Respect and protect wildlife.

Needs

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(c) Jonathan Espiña of Jon to the wolrd

If you’re visiting the island in a DIY way, I suggest you bring food, water and other needs for yourself prior to leaving the mainland.

If you’re booking a guided tour, in our case with Katahum tours, things were easier and less hassle. Katahum tours prepared a hearty island breakfast and lunch included in the package along with drinks and water to survive the heat of the sun. Environmental fee and entrance fee is also included.

(c) Mujee Gonzales of Eats in the Philippines

(c) Mujee Gonzales of Eats in the Philippines

There are numerous stunning beaches in the Philippines yet Seco Island’s location and it’s ability to stand in the middle of an open sea sets it apart. A destination that can make you feel alone and empowered — alone to rule the whole island by yourself.

MARARISON/ MALALISON

Being based in Iloilo for almost 8 years, I have been hearing a lot about Mararison. A lot has been said about this place, one of which that has totally got my attention was the place being labelled as “The Batanes of Antique”. I have never been to Batanes, yet I have been eager to experience it. Having said that Mararison is something that looks like it got me giddy and excited.

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(c) Celine Murillo of Celineism

Accommodation, Electricity and technology
We stayed at Enrique de Mararison, the signal was weak. No contact to the outside world can be possible (For me, that is). The resort offers a wi-fi connection for a reasonable price per gadget. Air conditioned rooms are available but then due to the island life, electrical power can still be quite challenging especially by night time. Water supply is a little bit in shortage too. Some said that home stays are also available in Mararison for accommodation— you may also give this a chance. The resort is situated at the beach near the rolling hills which resembles the enchanting Batanes too.

 

Trekking

Photos from our trekking adventures

Photos from our trekking adventures

( Magical Sunrise as our backdrop )
A 4:30 AM trek up the hills of Mararison has caught me off guard. It’s been quite a while since I last did something that totally had my jaw dropped, that day was definitely one of the few. Here I found a simple trail with drop dead gorgeous sunrise. The hills are more accessible when you stay at Enrique de Mararison.

(c) Ferdz Decena of Iron Wulf

(c) Ferdz Decena of Iron Wulf

Other things to do

•Swimming
•Picnic by the beach
•Explore Guiob Cave

Things to bring

•Sunscreen
•Mosquito repellent
•Power bank
•Flashlight
•Medicine
•Toiletries
•Hygiene kit

ANINI-Y

Anini-y (pronounced as “An-Ni-Ni-ee”) Antique surprised me with their black beach. The story behind the dark colour of the coarse sand suggests that the area is volcanic in nature.

(c) Desa Tayting of When in Manila

(c) Desa Tayting of When in Manila

Things to do

(c) Potpot Pinili of Travel Trilogy

(c) Potpot Pinili of Travel Trilogy

•Relax in Siraan Hot spring
•Go scuba diving, free diving or snorkelling in marine sanctuaries and other dive shops near the area.
•Charter a boat to Nogas Island and visit the lighthouse

NOGAS Island

(c) Astrid Alvarez of The Poor Traveler

(c) Astrid Alvarez of The Poor Traveler

A 20 min. boat ride from Anini-y mainland is a 24 hectare government naval reservation island named Nogas. Surrounded by mangroves, white sand beach, healthy coral reefs. Right after reaching the shore, a parade of ‘calachuchi’ trees welcomed us to the island.

(c) Desa Tayting of When in Manila

(c) Desa Tayting of When in Manila

Stroll a little further and you may reach the lighthouse. Explore and wander around and you may find the gigantic ‘Banyan’ tree quietly dominating a huge part of the island.

(c) Sandy Jones Pilarca of Lost Juan PH

(c) Sandy Jones Pilarca of Lost Juan PH

(c) Mariane Tagaca of Trip ni Mariane (Youtube)

(c) Mariane Tagaca of Trip ni Mariane (Youtube)

Things to do

•Visit the lighthouse
•Picnic by the beach (Important reminders: Nogas Island has no resort or establishment, just a number of cottages to give you the right amount of comfort during the visit. Bring your food or water if you haven’t purchased a guided tour. Be responsible and take your trash with you back to the mainland. )
•Snorkelling (Tip: Bring your own snorkelling gears, mask and fins. There are limited gears for rent in Sira-an Hot spring)

Some handful tips

If you plan to go overnight, there are available resorts found in Anini-y Mainland and near by towns.

Restaurants may also be available in the other side, specifically near Sira-an hot spring or in Anini-y mainland.

The only mode of transportation in the area is a public tricycle which can accommodate 5 passengers maximum.

PANDAN BEACH RESORT

Tired of all the heart racing beach activities? Looking for a good accommodation and a way to relax, yet still not getting enough of the beach? Pandan Beach resort perfectly fits as your next destination.

(c) Mujee Gonzales of Eats in the Philippines

(c) Mujee Gonzales of Eats in the Philippines

Highly recommended for “Staycation”. Pandan Beach Resort is the only beach front resort in the municipality of Pandan, Antique. Rooms ranging for budget travellers to upper middle class tourists are available here.

Massage area

Massage area

Accommodations are comfortably designed for travellers looking forward to get some good rest after a long adventurous trip. Television is available for non-shared rooms and a great private bathroom is provided. A number of verandas are also available to some rooms, gorgeous couches and a touch of native outdoor decorations may also get the guest’s attention while staying at this resort.

(c) Janford Bonifacio (Youtube Vlogger)

(c) Janford Bonifacio (Youtube Vlogger)

A few steps more and you’ll find the beach and enjoy the sunrise or the sunset, a private time with a good company.

Drinks like tequila sunrise may also be available for guests at the resorts restaurant. Free wifi connection and public sockets to plug-in your gadgets is also available in every room and public areas.

 

Things to do

•Foot/ full body massage
•Breakfast- Dinner by the beach
•Play beach ball
•Catch the sunrise or the sunset

HOW TO GET TO The 5 Crown jewel beaches of Antique

From Manila:

Philippine Airlines (PAL) flies three times a week between Clark to San Jose de Buenavista Antique *Operates Q- 400 new generation aircraft Top of the line turbo prop PAL 86 seater*
From Iloilo:

Take the bus or van from Molo Terminal to San Jose de Buenavista ( Capital Town of Antique)
From the Capital town of Antique— SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA

SECO ISLAND and MARARISON – Take the bus from San Jose to Culasi port.

From Culasi Port charter a boat to take you to your desired destination:

Seco Island (2 1/2 hours to 3 hours travel time from the mainland) or Mararison (20 min. travel time from the mainland)
ANINI-Y Antique and NOGAS ISLAND – From San Jose, transfer to a jeepney (1 hour ride) to Anini-y , then take a tricycle to your desired destination.

For Nogas Island: Charter a boat from Anini-y for as low as ₱500 good for 6 pax 20 min. boat ride.
PANDAN Beach Resort- Take an available ride (Bus/ Jeep) From San Jose De Buenavista to Pandan (Drop off is Pandan Terminal).

Take a tricycle going to Pandan Beach Resort approximately 15 minutes away from the terminal.

 

Recommendation:

If you are not an experienced traveler, but would still love to explore and discover the stunning beaches of Antique, I strongly recommend you inquire a much guided trip and a hassle free tour. I highly recommend you book with a trusted travel partner. In our case, we had our trip brilliantly arranged by Katahum Tours.

Keep hugging horizons and see you on my next blog! Happy and safe trip everyone!

Love,
Levy Amosin

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