15 BEST ILOILO TOURIST SPOTS (Heritage & Islands)

With 7,641 islands, the Philippines has always been one of the top countries explored by both local and international tourists. The Pearl of the Orient Seas will never run out of spectacular places to discover and thrilling activities to try on.

Such as Iloilo City,  which has been recognized as one of the best vacation spots to visit in the country. The province is known for its authentic and rich history – from historical sites such as Spanish-inspired churches, old houses, European and American-inspired old buildings, to breathtaking islands, lively festivals, and mouthwatering delicacies, Iloilo City is a perfect glimpse of the life of the country before and after the 20th century.

As many tourists would commend, visiting Iloilo is like traveling back in time and being at the present time all at once as you’ll be surrounded by both old and modern infrastructures that depict the evolution of the province over time. If you’re someone keen to discover more about the history of the Philippines or eager to learn more about the culture of the country, Iloilo should be a good starting place to visit.

Here are some of the best places you wouldn’t want to miss on your trip to Iloilo City.

Isla de Gigantes

explore, travel, 15 best iloilo tourist spots (heritage & islands)

Photo Credit: Panay News

Popularly known as Gigantes, this remote group of islands is worth the five-hour travel time from Iloilo City. Upon reaching the place, you’ll be welcomed by one of a kind sand beaches, spectacular rock formations, and hospitable locals who’ll even share with you mystical tales of the islands.

Aside from its magnificent scenery, the Gigantes has also the sumptuous delicacies that will make you crave for more. It’s known for its affordable yet superb seafood. Other activities such as visiting the old lighthouse built during the Spanish era and rock climbing in the Gigantes Sur for the thrill-seekers would give you an awe-inspiring view of the island.


Dinagyang Festival

explore, travel, 15 best iloilo tourist spots (heritage & islands)

Credit: EdseastresD600 / Wikipedia Creative Commons

The Dinagyang Festival embodies the Ilonggo community – from their lively and warm traits to their enthralling history and culture. The festival originated as a form of celebration for Senor Santo Niño.

The festival usually starts with festival highlights which include: the Fluvial Procession, it showcases the arrival of the Spaniards in the islands of the Philippines through a boat, followed by Kasadyahan Cultural Parade, a cultural dance parade, and Dinagyang Ati Competition, a warrior-dance themed competition where performers are smeared with dark brown body paint that represents folkloric scenarios. After the festival highlights, there will also be a vigorous and engaging street dance parade.

Miag-ao Church

explore, travel, 15 best iloilo tourist spots (heritage & islands)

Credit: Alienscream / Wikipedia Creative Commons

Built around the 1800s, the Miag-ao or Saint Thomas of Villanova Church is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. As one of the earliest and withstanding Baroque Churches in the Philippines, the Miag-ao, as of to date, manages to maintain its sculptural relief carved on its facades.

Most people who have visited the church considers the Miag-ao Church as one of the most important architectural structure of the city and the country for its authentic designs and ornaments. Its unique theme may root from the process it went through on the cultures that have had influence in the province such as Spain, America, and China. Reaching the church should be easy for anyone as it’s only a half-hour ride from Iloilo City.

Iloilo River Esplanade

explore, travel, 15 best iloilo tourist spots (heritage & islands)

Credit: Cpparreno / Wikipedia Creative Commons

Also known as Esplanade, the river is best to be visited during sunrise and sunset as it gives you a surreal feeling when you’re strolling alongside the Iloilo River. You’d also appreciate the initiatives of the locals to preserve the beauty of the river and the city itself.

This should also be a perfect place for athletes and alike to go for a jog while you indulge your eyes with the mesmerizing sceneries. You may also visit the Esplanade with your friends and loved ones while having memorable conversations over lunch or dinner as the place is nearby coffee shops and restaurants.

Calle Real

A favorite spot for photographers, the heritage street, Calle Real, has been shown in several magazines for its Spanish-themed infrastructures. The place once became the central shopping and entertainment district for Spaniards and where most elites used to live during the said era.

Over time, the place still serves as a shopping area for both locals and foreigners. It’s one of the most visited places in Iloilo City as it takes the tourist to a different era and ignites their imagination of the life people used to have in here. It also shows how the Ilonggos are passionate about their roots as they thoroughly preserved the place despite natural calamities it had to endure.

Garin Farm

explore, travel, 15 best iloilo tourist spots (heritage & islands)

Credit: GarinFarm Pilgrimage Resort Facebook Page

Lies in San Joaquin, Iloilo, the Garin Farm is different from a typical resort – it emphasizes on agriculture while serving its purpose as leisure and religious destination. A trip to this place should fill both your mind and soul as you’ll be introduced to the following activities: insightful practices in agricultures, guide on farming, recreational activities such as zip line, kayak, fishing, golf cart, pedal/rubber boat, and swimming pool, and definitely not the least,  its Pilgrimage Hill that seat at the top of 456-stairs.

A day in the Garin Farm would not be enough to take in all its activities as well as the places you can wander on while gaining a handful of knowledge on protecting and preserving the natural wonders.

Molo Church

explore, travel, 15 best iloilo tourist spots (heritage & islands)

Credit: Allan Jay Quesada / Wikipedia Commons

Dubbed as the Feminist Church, the St. Anne “Molo” Church is one of the most popular churches in Iloilo and also listed as UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The Gothic-inspired design of the church and its renovations to preserve its original structure made it a frequently visited place in the city.

Upon visiting, the two red spires will instantly catch your attention, as well as its coral rocks and limestones surrounding the church. On the inside, you’ll five gothic-inspired altars made of wood and the main altar that has gold linings making it distinct and different from all churches in Iloilo City.

Museum of Philippine Economic History

Opened on the 1st quarter of 2019, the Philippine Economic History Museum situated at the Elizalde Building showcases several abacas, pottery, boat-making materials, body ornaments, blacksmithing materials, textiles – a picture of the economic and political history of the Ilonggos.

Aside from being the third museum to open in Iloilo, the Philippine Economic History Museum is the only gallery in the country that shows the economic history of a city. It is fitting for Iloilo City back in the day it served as the central area of retail and trade between the Philippines and other countries such as China, Spain, and Japan.

Jaro Cathedral

explore, travel, 15 best iloilo tourist spots (heritage & islands)

Credit: Americana22ount / Wikipedia Creative Commons

Finished around the 1800s, the Jaro or St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church had been restored in the 1900s after it had been hugely affected by an earthquake. Up to this date, the church managed to maintain its Baroque and Gothic design elements.

Among its attractions is the Lady of Candles as it is frequently visited by religious individuals for its acclaimed miraculous deeds. It has a festival, the Jaro Fiesta, that happens every 1st week of February to commemorate the 400-year-old shrine. As the only cathedral built in Panay, the church is continuously being taken care of by the community as it symbolizes the devotion of the Christian community and the history of the city.

Museum of Contemporary Art

Started in 2018, the Contemporary Art Gallery is a dedication to all contemporary artists in the Philippines. It also features some of the best pieces of foreign modern and contemporary artists.

Situated at the Casa Emperador Building, your eyes will be mesmerized by several artworks – from Hiligaynon that shows the eccentric visions of some artists, to the Philippine flag that was first raised in Santa Barbara, Iloilo, to the artworks of Gerran, a famous artist during the colonial era – the museum will ignite the inner artist in you and at the same time became more appreciative of the life we live in.

Camina Balay nga Bato

This Stone House, standing still after more than 100 years, is preserved by the Camiña family. Found in Osmeña, Villa de Arevalo, anyone is welcome to explore the Balay na Bato from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM. You may either take a cab or jeepney to reach the place, so visiting it would be easy and convenient for you.

Aside from the house tour, the PHP 150.00 entrance fee includes unlimited hot cocoa, toasted bread, and other food that you may dip in their homemade chocolate. For an additional PHP 50.00, you may also fill your stomach with their delicious pancit molo. Such expenses would also help in the continuous preservation of the ancestral home.

Eat La Paz Batchoy

explore, travel, 15 best iloilo tourist spots (heritage & islands)

Credit: Kawaling Pinoy 

You wouldn’t want to leave the Iloilo without trying their signature dish – La Paz Batchoy. This noodle soup that has pork, chicken stock, beef loin, shrimp stock, and pork cracklings can be found in the La Paz Market. Due to its popularity, restaurants such as Ted, Deco, Netong, and Inggo have all made their signature La Paz Batchoy to cater to its demand.

Most people who’ve visited Iloilo would praise how the dish tastes different compared to other places. May it be because of the freshness of ingredients, the place, or the chefs themselves, the Iloilo City serves the La Paz Batchoy you’ll never taste anywhere else in the country.

Nightlife in Smallville Complex

Aside from day time activities of the Iloilo, its nightlife at the Smallville Complex will make your evenings more memorable. This is a favorite hangout place for dining and entertainment.

The Smallville actually refers to the variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants that you may find from Iloilo Business Hotel to the Iloilo River Esplanade. If you’re a night owl and can’t think of anything else to do, you may invite your friends or enjoy some alone time walking alongside the Iloilo River and enjoying the scenery of people having some good times at the Smallville Complex.

Side trip to Guimaras

The Mango Capital of the Philippines, Guimaras, will not only fill your stomach with the sweetest mangoes but will also fill your hearts with the desire to go back to the place over and over again for its several Instagram-worthy sceneries.

The Guimaras has the Guisi Beach and Lighthouse that had been built around the 1800s. It also has the Alubihod Beach where you can do island hopping and sunbathe while lying at the fine white sand. It also the home of the Sand Lorenzo Wind Farm that has 54 windmills. You can also find here the Guinness Book World of Records’ smallest town plaza.

Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network