Planning a trip to the Philippines but not sure which destination to explore first? We would suggest starting from Iloilo City. A beautiful and quaint province in the Visayas region, Iloilo is a place that has something for every kind of traveler, from history buffs and adventure freaks to nature lovers and foodies. Read on to know the most amazing things to do in Iloilo on your first visit.
1. Visit Islas de Gigantes
If you are a beach lover, no other place would be better than Islas de Gigantes to kickstart your trip. Islas de Gigantes is a fantastic beach with white sand, clear waters, caves, rock formations and a lagoon. Do not miss the Tangke Lagoon and Pawikan Cave. The Tangke Lake is a saltwater lagoon offering favorable conditions for swimming. The Pawikan Cave is known for its rock formations on the ceiling that resembles turtle eggs.
2. Savor the La Paz Batchoy at La Paz Market
La Paz Batchoy is among the most popular staple food of the Ilonggo cuisine. It is a rich, delectable noodle soup with beef loin, egg, spring onions, crushed chicharon and garlic. The dish was introduced in the restaurants of La Paz Market but the locals believe it to be invented by the Netong’s.
3. See the beautiful churches
One of the most popular sites in Iloilo city is its majestic churches. Start from the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Miagao Church known for its history. Another important church to visit is the 1797 built, Baroque Church having thick walls as a protection from the Moro Invaders. Some of the other churches to visit include San Joaquin Parish Church, Jaro Cathedral and Molo Church.
4. Pay a visit at the Calle Real
This one is for all the history buffs out there, if you want to know about the rich history of Iloilo, Calle Real is the place for you. There is an array of historical buildings at Calle real, some even dating back to 1800s. You can know about their year of establishments by checking out the signboards in the premises. Do not miss out seeing the Panay Railways Train that is preserved since years at Plaza Libertad.
If you want to have a look at the ancestral houses, there are many like Nelly’s Garden, Molo Mansion, Casa Mariquit, Magdalena Jalandoni Mansion and Avancena House.
5. Go hiking at Bucari Pine Forest
If you are the adventurer kind of traveler, you will love hiking to the Bucari Pine Forest, also famous as Iloilo’s summer capital and Little Baguio. You can go hiking to the top of the forest mountain, click pictures of the spectacular view.
6. Reach the gates to Heaven by Garin Farm’s Stairway
Imagine you are surrounded by angels and angelic music standing near a Divine Mercy Cross. Wouldn’t you feel it is heaven? It is one of the iconic scenes in the city that must be included in your Iloilo tour package – Garin Farm’s Stairway to Heaven. It is a pilgrimage site having 480 steps that leads to the Divine Mercy Cross. There are also pedal boats, zip-lining and horseback riding.
7. Chill at Iloilo River Esplanade
If you are thinking where to chill in Iloilo, the best place is the Iloilo River Esplanade. You can spend your afternoon relaxing with some delicious snacks and coffee. If you have company, a perfect evening is waiting for you at the River Esplanade. Wait for sunset and capture the breathtaking view forever in your camera.
8. Explore the Bulabog Putian National Park
Iloilo is home to a protected rainforest, Bulabog Putian National Park that shelters a wide range of flora and fauna. The place also holds historical importance for being the hideout during Spanish occupation. Look at the cave walls carefully to see, “the republicans swear to die before surrendering” by the revolutionaries. You can enjoy trekking through the mountain and also explore the caves around. It is over 30!
9. Visit the Kuliatan Marine Sanctuary
If you are a marine person, go see the Kuliatan Marine Sanctuary! You can enjoy snorkeling and see the beautiful underwater life. You can also go there for a picnic with your friends and family – relax looking at the sea from the view deck and appreciate the beauty of the island.
Go to the other islands at Concepcion
At Concepcion, you can explore various other islands of Iloilo. Yes, we are talking about island hopping! There are around 16 islands at Concepcion with hilltops, mountains, white and a beautiful blue sea. You can relax with your group, get a tan, and enjoy snorkeling.
Explore these awesome attractions on your visit to Iloilo. Book flights to Iloilo with iEagle and fly to this beautiful city.