Costa Aguada must have been the largest resort I have seen in my entire travelling life, though much of it is still undeveloped. It also lies in the middle of nowhere, being situated in what is called Inampulugan Island in the province of Guimaras. To go here, you have the choice to either pass by Bacolod or Iloilo. Even then, it is still a good 30 to 45 minute trip by boat. Not to worry because the ride rewards you with the scenic view of the sapphire blue ocean and the adjoining lush islands, exactly as you see in those postcards.
Costa Aguada has actually been existent since the 1990s and is owned by an haciendero family from Negros. Upon arriving, what greets you is a long stretch of wharf fronting the helipad and the Coconut Pavilion which is their main restaurant. A look around and I saw boats moored by the shore, hammocks hanging between trees and cozy lounge chairs fronting the beach. Totally scenic, and it goes without saying that I immediately liked the place!
It seems most of the Philippine resorts adopt the native theme for their rooms and this one was no exception.All the furnitures were made of bamboo, including the bed and the sala in the verandah. Sorry no airconditioning and the power supply had to be cut at something like seven hours a day. It seems the resort was too isolated to have electricity 24/7. But even though it’s the peak of summer, I didn’t seem to have a problem with this as we were too busy roaming around the huge tree-lined compound. I thought the best part was our cottage which was just a few steps from the beach, meaning…I can gaze directly at the placid sea as well as the splendid sunrise and sunset.
When you’re tired of staying in the main resort, an island Tram Tour is strongly recommended. Aside from the breathtaking natural sights, you can see an stone armory left by the Japanese during the Second World War, visit a typical Filipino village or climb The Rock which gives a good vantage point of the whole island. It is quite impressive that Costa Aguada is supported by a self-sustaining community which builds the resort’s own boats and even makes the pure coconut soaps found in our bathrooms. The herbs and vegetables are also plucked from their own organic garden.
The vast resort encompasses a turtle sanctuary, mini zoo and Jungle Park where you can go trekking to view wild species in their natural habitat. Here are just some of the activities you can indulge in while at the resort: badminton, tennis, basketball, volleyball, swimming, biking, horseback-riding, fishing, sailing, snorkelling, kayaking, spelunking, mountain-climbing and of course, island-hopping!
(The resort manager laments that Costa Aguada’s image is too high-end when in fact, a three-day, two night stay can cost as low as 8k (or as little as $155), inclusive of boat transfers and meals (excluding lunch). Ask your travel agent for other discounts)