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Published: December 31st 2008
Guimaras, a tiny island in between Panay and Negros, is absolutely loaded with beautiful beaches and opportunities for exploring areas little-visited by other tourists. One such location is the beach of Tatlong Pulo, a tiny, pristine, stretch of white sand in front of the village of the same name that is almost entirely sheltered from the sea by several rock islands. Near to the beach there's a hell of a lot of undisturbed coral so swimming there is only really feasible at high tide, but locals are happy to lend you a fishing boat to get out to one of the rock islands where the water is much deeper. The only accommodation option is a treehouse which costs 150 pesos per night no matter how many people. Food and drink are prepared for you and are charged only at the price your host pays for them in a nearby market. Great value for money, very friendly locals, beautiful setting, no other tourists, but very small beach and not always easy to go swimming.
Two other beaches which are fairly similar in many respects are Guisi and Alibuha. Both are white sand and theoretically good for swimming, although when we were there Guisi was full of jelly fish but empty of tourists and Alibuha had no jellyfish but was HEAVING with tourists, mainly Filippino and we had the impression that it's water was not so clean as that as Guisi. However, Alibuha's accommodation is very nice and vastly superior to that at Guisi which is old, stinks of rot and mould and is run by a money-grabbing family who charge ridiculous rates which becomemore ridiculous if you are foreign.
My vote goes to Tatlong Pulo if you just want a quiet, beautiful place to relax and chat to friendly locals. If you want to be able to swim 24/7, go for Guisi if you can brave the accommodation, jellyfish and money-grabbers. It's a more beautiful beach,less touristy and less crowded than Alibuha. If you want to be able to swim, eat whatever you want, spend time with other tourists and have clean accommodation, you have to go for Alibuha and brave the dirtier water.
Click here for my website offering advice on independent travel on Panay
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