Antique Travel Guide

Overview of Antique

The Philippine province of Antique is situated in the Western Visayas area. Its location on the Panay island and its shared boundaries with the provinces of Aklan, Capiz, and Iloilo are noteworthy. The historical significance, scenic features, and cultural heritage of Antique are well known. There is a historical marker there called the Malandog Marker that honors the first Malay settlement in the Philippines. The province also boasts a number of Spanish-era churches that exhibit both architectural beauty and spiritual value, such the St. Anthony De Padua Church in Hamtic and the St. John the Baptist Church in Anini-y.

Where to Go

Malumpati Cold Spring

Located in the municipality of Pandan, Malumpati Cold Spring is a refreshing natural spring where you can swim and relax in cool, crystal-clear waters.

Kawa Hot Bath in Tibiao

Experience a unique bathing experience in Tibiao by soaking in a large kawa (cauldron) filled with hot water and medicinal herbs.

Antique Rice Terraces

Similar to the more famous Banaue Rice Terraces, Antique also has its own terraced landscapes carved into the mountainsides. The town of San Remigio is known for its scenic rice terraces.

Mararison Island (also known as Malalison Island)

This small island off the coast of Culasi offers pristine beaches, hiking opportunities, and stunning views of the surrounding waters and mountains.

Bugang River

Embark on a river cruising adventure along the Bugang River in Pandan, where you can enjoy the lush scenery, spot wildlife, and even try your hand at kayaking or bamboo rafting.

Culasi Church

Visit the St. John the Baptist Church in Culasi, a centuries-old church built during the Spanish colonial period, featuring beautiful architecture and historical significance.

Tibiao River

If you're a fan of adventure activities, Tibiao River offers opportunities for river tubing, kayaking, and river trekking amidst a picturesque setting.

Sira-an Hot Spring

Relax and rejuvenate in the natural hot springs of Sira-an in Anini-y, where you can soak in warm waters while enjoying views of the sea.

What to Do

Island Hopping

Explore the beautiful islands and islets off the coast of Antique, such as Mararison Island (Malalison Island) and Seco Island. Enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and beach picnics in these pristine locations.

River Adventures

Experience thrilling river activities like tubing, kayaking, and river trekking along the scenic Tibiao River and Bugang River. Tibiao River is also famous for its kawa hot bath experience.

Hiking and Nature Trekking

Embark on hiking adventures to discover Antique's natural wonders. Trek to Mt. Madjaas, the highest peak in Panay Island, or explore the trails around Antique Rice Terraces and enjoy breathtaking views of the landscape.

Cultural Immersion

Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting traditional villages, attending fiestas, and interacting with the friendly locals. Learn about Antique's rich heritage by exploring historical sites like churches, ancestral houses, and museums.

Beach Relaxation

Relax and unwind on the stunning beaches of Antique, such as Malumpati Cold Spring Resort, Sira-an Hot Spring Resort, and the coastal areas of Pandan and Culasi. Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing.

Cave Exploration

Explore the fascinating caves and underground rivers in Antique, such as Suhot Cave and Igbaclag Cave. Go spelunking and marvel at the intricate rock formations and natural wonders hidden beneath the surface.

Food Tripping

Indulge in a gastronomic adventure and sample authentic Antiqueño cuisine. Try local delicacies like kadios (pigeon pea) soup, inubarang manok (native chicken stew), and seafood dishes made with fresh catch from the sea.

Adventure Sports

For adrenaline junkies, Antique offers thrilling activities like cliff diving at Malalison Island, canyoneering in Tibiao, and zip-lining at Bambusa Camp Resort. Test your limits and conquer your fears in these exciting adventures.

Shopping and Souvenir Hunting

Browse through local markets and handicraft shops to find unique souvenirs and pasalubong (gifts) like handwoven textiles, native crafts, and antique-inspired keepsakes.

Religious Pilgrimage

Visit historic churches and religious sites in Antique, such as the St. John the Baptist Church in Culasi and the Patnongon Church. Take part in religious festivals and processions to experience the vibrant faith and spirituality of the locals.

When is the Best Time to Visit Antique

During the dry season, which typically occurs from November to April, Antique enjoys sunny weather with minimal rainfall. This period is ideal for outdoor activities such as island hopping, beach relaxation, hiking, and river adventures. The clear skies and calm seas make it perfect for exploring the stunning beaches, trekking through the mountains, and participating in thrilling water activities like kayaking and tubing along the rivers.

Conversely, the wet season in Antique spans from May to October, characterised by increased rainfall and occasional typhoons. While the wet season may not be ideal for certain outdoor activities like beach outings and hiking, it offers its own unique charm. The lush landscapes become even more vibrant, and the rivers swell, offering adrenaline-pumping experiences for adventure enthusiasts.

How to Get to Antique

By Air

The nearest airport to Antique is the Evelio Javier Airport, also known as the Antique Airport, located in the municipality of San Jose. However, this airport has limited flights, primarily serving domestic routes from Manila and Cebu.

Travellers coming from international destinations may need to fly into larger airports such as Iloilo International Airport or Kalibo International Airport. From these airports, you can then take a connecting flight or proceed with land transportation to Antique.

By Sea

Traveling to Antique by sea is another option, especially for those coming from nearby islands or provinces. The most common ports of entry are the Caticlan Jetty Port in Aklan and the Iloilo City Passenger Terminal in Iloilo. From Caticlan, you can take a ferry or pump boat to Culasi Port or Libertad Port in Antique, which typically takes around 2 to 3 hours depending on sea conditions.

From Iloilo City, you can take a roll-on/roll-off (RORO) vessel or fast craft to the ports of Culasi or Libertad, with travel time ranging from 3 to 4 hours.

By Car / Bus

Traveling to Antique by land transportation is another convenient option, especially for those coming from nearby provinces on Panay Island or other parts of the Philippines. If you're coming from Iloilo City, you can take a bus or van at the Molo Terminal or Tagbak Terminal bound for Antique.

The travel time by road varies depending on your starting point and traffic conditions but typically takes around 4 to 5 hours. If you're coming from Kalibo in Aklan, you can also take a bus or van bound for Antique, with travel time ranging from 3 to 4 hours.

How to Get Around

By Taxi / Ride-Sharing Services

While taxis are not as common in Antique as in larger cities, you can still find them in major towns and tourist areas like San Jose, Culasi, and Pandan. Alternatively, you can use ride-sharing services like Grab if available in the area.

By Car / Motorcycle

Renting a car or motorcycle is a popular option for travelers who want more flexibility and independence in exploring Antique. Several rental companies offer vehicles for hire, and you can choose from a range of options depending on your budget and preferences. Having your own vehicle allows you to explore remote areas, hidden attractions, and off-the-beaten-path destinations at your own pace.

What to Eat

Local Food

Those looking for cheap and authentic local food can visit the stalls and restaurants around the area such as Anot's Galley Grill & Restaurant, Puesto, Antikenyu Takun Grill & Restobar and Balay-Balay Restaurant.

Fresh Seafood

Seafood and Thai food are also famous on the area, and travellers can visit JJ Seafood Restaurant, Jeno's Fishfarm & Seafood and Dodong's Seafood.

Western Food

If you are looking to splurge on your meal, you can visit Anot's Galley Grill & Restaurant, Max's Restaurant, Jesy's Diner Antique and Quinn's Grease Pit Airport Road - Antique.

What to Buy

When visiting Antique, Philippines, there are several unique items you can buy as souvenirs or gifts. Handwoven textiles, such as piña and abaca fabrics, showcase the province's rich weaving tradition and are available in various forms like scarves, shawls, and table runners.

Antique is also known for its intricate handicrafts made from local materials like bamboo, rattan, and coconut shells, including baskets, bags, and home decor items. Another popular purchase is antique-inspired jewelry, crafted using traditional techniques and featuring designs inspired by the province's cultural heritage

Where to Stay

In Antique, Philippines, there are several accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury resorts, ensuring a comfortable stay for every type of traveller.

For those seeking luxury and comfort, resorts and hotels like the Pandan Beach Resort, Mararison Island Resort, and Phaidon Beach Resort offer premium amenities such as spacious rooms, swimming pools, beachfront access, and on-site dining options. These properties provide an ideal setting for relaxation and leisure, with stunning views of the sea and convenient access to nearby attractions and activities.

Travelers on a mid-range budget can opt for boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, and beachfront cottages scattered across Antique's coastal towns. Places like the Antique Rice Farm in San Remigio, and Camp Pagsaligan in Tibiao offer cosy accommodations amidst scenic surroundings, providing a peaceful retreat for guests to unwind and immerse themselves in nature.

For budget-conscious travellers, there are affordable guesthouses, homestays, and hostels available in towns like San Jose, Culasi, and Pandan. These accommodations offer basic amenities at reasonable prices, making them suitable for backpackers, solo travelers, and families looking to explore Antique on a budget. Additionally, many homestays provide an opportunity for cultural immersion, allowing guests to experience authentic Antiqueño hospitality and lifestyle firsthand.

What to Bring

For your journey to Antique, it is advised to pack lightweight and comfortable attire, taking into account the tropical climate. Choose breathable materials such as cotton and linen to remain cool in the heat.

Bring swimwear for beach outings, and consider modest clothing when visiting religious sites. Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are suitable for casual outings, while a pair of sturdy walking shoes may be useful if you plan to explore nature reserves or hike.

Things to Note

  • Stay hydrated, especially in the warm weather, and use sunscreen to protect against the sun. Consider bringing insect repellent, particularly if you plan to explore nature reserves.
  • The local currency is the Philippine Peso (PHP). While ATMs are available in urban areas, it's advisable to have some local currency on hand, especially in more remote locations.
  • Keep a list of important contacts, including the local emergency numbers, contact information for your accommodation, and the nearest embassy or consulate.
  • Filipino and English are widely spoken, but learning a few basic Filipino phrases can enhance your travel experience and interactions with locals.

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