For those who prefer off-the-beaten path destinations to party beaches, Antique has plenty to offer. This province in the Panay Island of the Western Visayas Region is often overlooked compared to its more popular neighbors Aklan and Iloilo. Dubbed “where the mountain meets the sea” because of its mountainous ranges that lead directly into the ocean, there’s no shortage of natural wonders here!
Here are just a few of the highlights.
Kawa Hot Bath
One of the most unique things you can do here is to get cooked alive in a kawa or jungle hot tub bath. This unusual spa experience uses large woks as your primitive hot tub. With flowers and leaves sprinkled on the water and a fire burning below the tub, this just makes an awesome photo op! Kawa Inn, a native resort in Tibiao, offers variations on the hot bath treatment, including Kawa Beer Baths and Kawa Milk baths!
Seco Island is one of the most stunning remote islands I’ve ever been to in the country, reachable by a two and a half to three-hour boat ride from the mainland. Named after the Kinaray-a (local language) word for ‘elbow’ because of its shape, the island’s 1.5 km long stretch beach is covered with fine white sand and surrounded by crystal clear waters near the shore. The small reef atoll is located within a Marine Protected Area in Tibiao and surrounded by hectares of corals, making it ideal for day tours, beach outings and kitesurfing.
For a closer beach and mountain escapade, there’s Mararison Island, located just 15 minutes away from the mainland of Culasi. This 55-hectare hook-shaped island is blessed with a spectacular sandbar as well as picturesque hilltops you can easily hike to get a majestic view of the coast below.
Antique Rice Terraces
For those who prefer hiking in the mountains to beaches, the Antique Rice Terraces offer a challenging getaway. This cluster of rice terraces spread in a combined area of 600 hectares has been preserved by the Iraynon Bukidnon, an indigenous group in Barangay (village) General Fullon, a remote mountain village in San Remigio, Antique.