15 Best ISABELA Tourist Spots (Rice Bowl of the North)

One great way to appreciate the beauty of the Philippines is by exploring its majestic mountain ranges which are filled with hidden gems like enchanting waterfalls, sparkling rivers, beautiful caves, and many more! That’s why visiting Isabela Province, the one and only “Queen Province of the North” is certainly one of the best decisions you could ever make during your memorable adventure in the country. Isabela is popularly known for its rich agriculture industry being hailed as the “Rice Bowl of the North” and the “Top Corn Producer in the Philippines”.

Agriculture is also the reason why Isabela is considered one of the most progressive provinces in the country, with vast natural resources and land territory as well. Another thing you should know is that Isabela is the second-largest province in the whole Philippines, trailing only behind Palawan!

See? Isabela is indeed one of the most underrated tourist destinations in the Philippines. But trust me, an 8-hour long drive from Manila to reach this breathtaking province will absolutely be worth it in the end. I’m sure that once you witness the incredible beauty that the province of Isabela offers to the world, you’ll want to come back over and over again. With the province’s countless natural wonders, rich culture, and beautiful community, Isabela truly is one of the must-visit tourist destinations in the Philippines.

So, what are you waiting for? Come and join me as we both visit and explore the 15 Best Tourist Spots in Isabela!

1. Dibulo Falls

Absolutely one of the best tourist attractions in Isabela is the cascading beauty of Dibulo Falls. This hidden gem located in Dinapigue, Isabela is the tallest waterfall you can find in the province with a towering height of 100 meters. The giant white crystal clear waters cascading down the side of a majestic mountain are truly a magnificent sight worth remembering as well as the beautiful rock formations scattered all around the area. There’s also a huge pool with extremely cold waters where everyone can take a dip and swim all they want!

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Credit: TripAdvisor

All in all, Dibulo Falls really is a must-visit destination, especially for outdoor lovers. It offers an all-in experience allowing visitors to be closer to nature than ever.

2. Dicotcotan Beach

If your goal is to find someplace where you can peacefully relax and breathe some fresh air by yourself, then visiting Dicotcotan Beach is undoubtedly the perfect choice. With its white-sand beaches, pristine waters, and well-preserved biodiversity, Isabela’s Dicotcotan Beach is nothing short of a tropical paradise. Take your time to enjoy walking along the 3-kilometer white sand beach as the calm ocean waves rustle down your feet! The beach is relatively isolated which is mainly the reason for its tranquil condition.

explore, travel, 15 best isabela tourist spots (rice bowl of the north)

Credit: Philippines FB

A lot of people who have been to Dicotcotan said that the beach is teeming with fresh seafood such as Blue Marlins, Blue Dot Lapu-Lapu, and many more. Oh, and there also have been numerous reports of dolphin sightings near the beach! Some even say that you can swim with rare sea turtles or pawikan making your visit here to Dicotcotan Beach extra special.

3. General Aguinaldo Shrine

Known as where the “Last Stand” of President Emilio Aguinaldo took place, the General Aguinaldo Shrine in Palanan, Isabela proves to be a very significant piece of our country’s history specifically regarding the Philippine Revolution.

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Photo by Province of Isabela

It is said that this was the very place where Aguinaldo surrendered to the American forces in 1901 marking the end of the revolution. The entire shrine is living memorabilia that commemorates the heroic acts of not only Emilio Aguinaldo but all of the brave Filipino soldiers during the war.

The General Aguinaldo Shrine in itself is a must-visit tourist destination in Isabela because of the scenic sights surrounding the shrine consisting of rugged mountains, lush forests, and colorful skies that are perfect for photo ops!

4. Bonsai Forest

Ah, for all the plantitos and plantitas out there, this next destination will surely bring sparkles to your eyes. The Bonsai Forest of Dinapigue, Isabela is known for showcasing thousands of different kinds of trees and plants ranging from 1 to 7 ft high.

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Credit: Tripadvisor

The forest covers an enormous area of 5,000 hectares! Visiting this forest is like traveling to a whole new dimension with unique and even strange-looking trees scattered everywhere. The beauty of Isabela’s Bonsai Forest was also able to impress people from all over the world as it is included in the tentative list of new UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

I suggest that you take your best drone shots during your visit here to Bonsai Forest because the views are absolutely astonishing!

5. Fuyot Springs National Park

Another perfect destination in Isabela for nature-lovers out there is the Fuyot Springs National Park which is located in Ilagan, Isabela. This protected area contains countless natural wonders that attract mountaineers, spelunkers, trekkers, and birdwatchers from different parts of the world!

explore, travel, 15 best isabela tourist spots (rice bowl of the north)

Credit: Tripadvisor

The park’s caves, beautiful rock formations, and exciting mountain trails are definitely special and will bring you closer than ever to mother nature. The famous Ilagan Sanctuary is also situated inside the park where tons of fun activities are waiting for every visitor. From bird-viewing to visiting the mini-zoo, ATV rides, and butterfly park, I’m sure that you’ll definitely have a blast during your adventure here!

Oh, and don’t forget to drop by and witness the sparkling beauty of Pinzal Falls, which is also located inside the 819-hectare paradise of Fuyot Springs National Park!

6. Magat Dam

One of the most prominent and unique tourist destinations found in Isabela is the mighty Magat Dam. Constructed way back in the early 1980s, the dam was so big that it was considered to be the largest in entire Asia during its time. Up to this day, Magat Dam continues to provide Cagayan Valley with irrigation water and hydroelectric power. The dam in itself is already an engineering wonder worth witnessing and at the same time possesses incredible natural features perfect for outdoor lovers! That’s why aside from its conventional functions, Magat Dam also generates local tourism for the province of Isabela through the Magat Dam Tourism Complex.

explore, travel, 15 best isabela tourist spots (rice bowl of the north)
explore, travel, 15 best isabela tourist spots (rice bowl of the north)

The complex is centered on the 4,450-hectare lake formed by the dam where visitors can enjoy fishing, picnicking, and other watersports activities such as boating, water-skiing, and many more! Locals say that the water in Magat Dam is so clear that you’ll be able to catch fresh fish like Biya, tilapia, ayungin, and lots more!

7. Honeymoon Island

Were you intrigued by the name, too? Well, the famous Honeymoon Island of Isabela is indeed the perfect place for beautiful couples out there who are looking for some time alone and away from all the noise of the outside world. The pristine beauty of the white sand beach, the crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean, and the lush natural forest surrounding the island are all simply breathtaking and romantic at the same time. The thriving marine biodiversity featuring the abundant aquatic life and coral reefs of the island is also perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving!

Although it takes roughly about 30 minutes of boat ride from the nearest town of Divilacan, Isabela to reach the beautifully isolated Honeymoon Island, I promise that it will all be worth it. So, what are you waiting for? Book a trip here to Honeymoon Island with your special someone!

8. San Pablo de Cabigan Church Ruins

There’s really something about old structures and ruins that make us feel like we’re going back in time, right? They make us feel nostalgic and appreciate our country’s history even more. Well, that’s exactly what the San Pablo de Cabigan Church Ruins of Isabela will make you feel! This church, which was built in 1625 is officially the oldest church in the entire province of Isabela. And what makes San Pablo Church extra special is that it is made of adobe, which is considered to be a very durable building material. Given that it already existed for almost 400 years, the church witnessed some of the most crucial parts of our history from the Spanish Colonial Era, World War II, and even the Martial Law Era.

explore, travel, 15 best isabela tourist spots (rice bowl of the north)

Credit: Philippine Pride

The ruins in themselves are already a wonderful tourist destination but if you’re a Catholic, I suggest that you take some time to attend the mass here at San Pablo de Cabigan Church Ruins to offer your prayers and wishes.

9. Giant Butaca

For those who don’t know, the Giant Butaca of Isabela is literally a giant version of a traditional Spanish “lazy chair” that actually won the title of the Biggest Armchair in the Guinness Book of World Records. Locally known as Butaca ni Goliath, the giant armchair measures 11.4 ft high, 20.8 ft long, and 9.7 ft wide. It also weighs an astonishing 2,368 kilograms!

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Credit: Isabela Aking Probinsya

A proper armchair for a giant indeed, right? The Giant Butaca has long been a popular tourist landmark in Ilagan City where thousands of visitors drop by just to take pictures and admire this beautiful masterpiece. So make sure to visit this enormous rocking chair and not miss out, okay?

10. St. Matthias Church in Tumauini

The St. Matthias Church or more popularly known as the Tumauini Church is one of the most beautiful and breathtaking religious landmarks not only in Isabela but the whole Philippines. Known by many for its red-bricked Baroque-style architecture, Tumauini Church easily captures the hearts of countless tourists for its incredible beauty.

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Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The stunning facade, the iconic bell tower, and the scenic landscape surrounding the church are indeed a remarkable sight you won’t forget. So if I were you, I wouldn’t miss the chance to stop by this iconic church and take some memorable pictures for my Isabela adventure album!

11. Camp Samal

Located in the eastern part of the town of Tumauini, Isabela, Camp Samal is a 23.5-hectare area dedicated to all the activities of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. The camp consists of its trademark rolling hills along with other incredible natural features like springs, shrubs, trails, and many more.

These are where the routines and training of boy scouts and girl scouts are held so expect to witness some fun and exciting outdoor activities during your visit here! The camp is open for tourists who are interested in exploring the beautiful scenery nestled within as well as the historic memorabilia of the association of the boy scouts and girl scouts.

12. Blue Lagoon in Palanan

The enchanting beauty of Blue Lagoon, the hidden gem of Palanan, Isabela is definitely one of the most beautiful natural wonders you can ever witness in your entire life. With its natural and crystal clear blue waters, you can easily see different kinds of fishes swimming below. The reason why fishes can be seen in this freshwater lagoon is that it is said to be connected to a larger body of water, perhaps the ocean. Although divers and researchers still aren’t able to find this specific connection. So up to this day, it’s still considered a mystery!

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Credit: Taga Palanan Ako

There are cottages set up around the Blue Lagoon where visitors can leave their things or relax while admiring the captivating beauty of Blue Lagoon. Oh, and the best part is that the Blue Lagoon can be reached via a 20-minute tricycle ride from the Palanan town proper!

13. San Mariano Crocodile Sanctuary

The Philippines is home to a lot of rare and incredible things and one of those is the Philippine Crocodile. This species of crocodile is considered to be the rarest in the world and unfortunately, they also belong to the world’s most endangered animal species. But thankfully, you can still see and admire them in San Mariano Crocodile Sanctuary where experts treat and breed them carefully.

explore, travel, 15 best isabela tourist spots (rice bowl of the north)

Credit: Isabela Aking Probinsya

The good thing about organizations like San Mariano is that they also promote the importance of preserving our country’s fantastic natural blessings. So for everyone who’s planning to visit San Mariano Crocodile Sanctuary, let us help each other to protect and love our endangered animal species so future generations can still have a chance to meet them!

14. Queen Isabela Park

And there it is! One of the most amazing facts about the province of Isabela is that it was named after Queen Isabella II of Spain, a prominent figure in Spanish history. And to further honor the roots of the province, the government decided to build a park in her name, the Queen Isabela Park located in Ilagan, Isabela.

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Credit: Isabela Bloggers Society

Today, the park also attracts thousands of tourists who visit the province of Isabela where colorful Christmas decorations, exciting festivals, and sparkling bazaars are held all throughout the year. The outdoor stadium also has the capacity to hold more than 10,000 people!

For tourists, the Queen Isabela Park is a perfect spot to score great deals on souvenirs, delicious delicacies, and even some pasalubongs such as moriecos, tinubong, bibingka, and many more!

15. Landmark of Heroes

Finally, our last but definitely not the least destination for our Isabela adventure is the iconic Landmark of Heroes found in Jones, Isabela. This historical landmark was built to commemorate all of our founding fathers who dedicated their sweat and blood to the freedom of our country. The monument also serves as an important for every Filipino to take care of and protect their freedom. For visiting tourists, the Landmark of Heroes is definitely a must-visit destination in Isabela especially if you’re keen on knowing more about the province’s rich culture and history.

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