Tourist Spots in the Philippines

Top 10 Iloilo Tourist Spots

Iloilo is home to some of the most beautiful beaches and churches in the Philippines. But the province’s beauty doesn’t end with these sites. There are so much more places to visit and things to do in this culturally rich province. From natural saltwater lagoons to having its own Christmas village, there’s a diverse variety of Iloilo tourist spots to enjoy!

If you’re within the city proper, you’ll enjoy visiting some historical sites. Check them out below:

1. Calle Real

Calle Real

(photo via Commons, @Ryomaandres)

Iloilo city is rich in history and this is evident when you take a stroll along JM Basa Street, aka Calle Real. The local government has preserved the old charm of the city by restoring the enfeebled buildings that line this historic street, reflecting the architecture during the Spanish and American era.

Most establishments date back to the Commonwealth era (1930-1950), while some were built in the late 1800s. Aside from the retro-themed buildings, Calle Real and its bordering streets are impressively clean too — a nod to how the old Philippines was back in the years.

  • Type: Local street, Heritage site
  • Location: JM Basa Street, Iloilo City
  • Budget: FREE
  • Activities To Do:
    – Stroll along the streets of old Iloilo and appreciate the picturesque stretch of buildings — all displaying their nostalgic beauty. It’s like a walking through a museum.
    – Take photos of the buildings! The area is perfect for photoshoots or even just for your Instagram.
  • Don’t Miss: Most buildings have the year of establishment etched on them! It’d be interesting to see when these old buildings were built and which ones are the oldest.
  • Travel Tips:
    – While you’re at it, make a stop at Plaza Libertad where you’ll find even more historic artifacts and antiques, including an old Panay Railways train.
    – The old city theme doesn’t end at JM Basa Street, adjacents streets have also preserved the architecture of old buildings. Visit Iznart Street and the Filipino-Chinese Friendship arch.


2. Molo Church

Molo Church in Iloilo City

Known as “the Feminist Church” because of an all-women ensemble of saint statues decorating the church, Molo Church is one of the most popular Iloilo tourist spots. Built in 1831, it features gothic architecture highlighted by the two pointed belfries on both sides of the church. The interiors are decorated with murals painted by Mariano Mabunay and Jesue Huervas.

  • Type: Historic Church
  • Location: San Pedro Street, Molo, Iloilo City
  • >Budget: FREE
  • Activity To Do: View the 16 women saints featured in the church, including the church’s patron saint, St Anne, in a retablo.
  • Don’t Miss: The belfries have around 30 bells, that create a symphony of sounds when rung.
  • Travel Tips:
    – Molo Church is just a short walk from the Iloilo River Esplanade where restaurants and cafes are located. The esplanade is a great place to hangout and unwind.
    – Make sure you snap photos, especially at sunset when the afternoon sun shines over the Molo church belfries.


3. Iloilo River Esplanade

The Iloilo River Esplanade is a communal area where families and friends can come together to hangout, stay healthy, eat, or just unwind. A favorite among locals during early mornings and late afternoons for its cool breeze, the esplanade serves as an area for recreational activities or a hangout spot with its stretch of cafes. Make sure to pass by the open area at sunset, the view will stun you.

  • Type: Community area
  • Location: Mandurriao, Iloilo City
  • Budget: FREE
  • Activities To Do: Join the daily recreational activities held at the esplanade. Go for a jog, join a zumba session, or go biking. There’s a ton to do at the open community area.
  • Don’t Miss: The view of the sunset as it hides behind the river scape is a must see.
  • Travel Tips:
    – There are restaurants and cafes just steps away from the esplanade so you won’t have to worry about getting hungry while taking a stroll.
    – The Iloilo River Esplanade is just steps away from other Iloilo tourist spots like the Molo Church and Smallville Complex.


Have more time to explore? You shouldn’t miss these other top Iloilo tourist spots that will leave a great memory for you.

4. Islas de Gigantes

More and more tourists are heading to northeastern Iloilo for a patch of paradise in the country. Gigantes Islands have become a favorite summer destination because of its fine white sand, clear blue waters, and breathtaking views. However, unlike Boracay or Palawan, Islas de Gigantes remains underdeveloped, leaving its raw beauty intact.

  • Type: Beach
  • Location: Carles, Iloilo
  • Directions: To reach Gigantes Island, take a bus or van at Tagbak Terminal at Jaro District, Iloilo City to Carles and Estancia Port. Travel is around 3-4 hours. From Bancal Port in Carles, you may rent a boat or take one of the commuter pump boats to Langob Beach, Gigantes Norte.
  • Budget: P500 (Excluding boat rental w/c is around P2,500 to P5,000 per group)
  • Activities To Do: Enjoy panoramic beach views and go island hopping.
  • Don’t Miss: The sunset plus the view makes for the perfect photo. Don’t forget to bring your cameras!
  • Travel Tips:
    – Electricity in the islands is limited, with most lasting only until 9:00pm. Depending on where you’ll be staying, the hotel management may shut down power at night until early morning.
    – Make sure you bring all essentials on your trip since Islas de Gigantes are limited to just sari-sari stores. No 24-hour convenience stores.


5. Pawikan Cave

  • Type: Nature, Cave
  • Location: Gigantes, Northern Iloilo
  • Directions: To reach Pawikan Cave first take a trip to Bancal Port or Estancia Port from Iloilo City. Take a commuter boat or rent a private boat at the port to Gigantes Islands. From the port, it will take about an hour to reach the cave area. You’ll then have to take a short hike up to the cave entrance.
  • Budget: P500 to P1,000
  • Activities To Do:
    – Explore the crevices and chambers of the cave, as you enjoy the stunning limestone rock formations.
    – Take awesome pictures inside the cave as you don your inner Indiana Jones!
  • Don’t Miss: Spot the large egg-shaped rock inside the cave, resembling a giant turtle’s egg. This is where Pawikan Cave got its name.
  • Travel Tips:
    – Make sure you’re dressed appropriately. Footwear is very important as the trek is rocky and rough.
    – Ask your travel guide about the folk tales surrounding the area — from being home to enchanted spirits to being the resting place of the Yamashita treasure.


6. Concepcion Islands

Concepcion Islands

(photo via Commons, @PaintedCarpet)

Beach lovers will probably have Islas de Gigantes in mind when visiting Iloilo. However, not many know, there’s another set of islands that are just as stunning as those of the giants — welcome to Concepcion Islands. Made up of 16 white sand islands, surrounded by crystal clear waters. Majestic mountains and rock formations make the site even more breathtaking. It’s one of the must-visit Iloilo tourist spots!

  • Type: Beach
  • Location: Concepcion, Iloilo
  • Directions: From Iloilo City bus terminal, you can take a Ceres Liner driving directly to Concepcion for P110 to P150. If you’re driving, take the National Highway from Iloilo City, pass Barotac Nuevo Municipal Hall, Anilao Public Market, San Vicente Chapel, Banate Municipal Hall, Barotac Viejo Trade Center, Luca Elementary School, Culasi Barangay Hall, Arujay Public Market straight to Concepcion.
  • Budget: P135 (excluding boat rental fee which is around P800 to P2,500 per group)
  • Activities To Do:
    – Go island hopping! All the islands offer white sandbars, blue waters and scenic views unlike no other. However, each one still has something new to offer — find it out by visiting each one.
    – Go swimming! When you see how clear the waters are, you’d can’t help but take a dip in the deep blue.
  • Don’t Miss: Concepcion Islands have rich marine life, featuring impressive coral reef formations and colorful fish species.
  • Travel Tips:
    – You can also go snorkeling, but make sure to bring your own equipment.
    – Electricity is limited in the islands, much like in Gigantes Islands. Most areas only have power until 9pm.


7. Tangke Lagoon

As if beaches at Gigantes Islands aren’t enough, the postcard paradise offers yet another gem. Tangke Lagoon is a saltwater pool surrounded by giant rock formations. The lagoon is highlighted by its blue-green water that changes hues depending on the tide. If you’ll be heading to the islands of giants, Tange Lagoon shouldn’t be missed.

  • Type: Nature, Lagoon
  • Location: Isla Gigantes Sur, Carles, Iloilo
  • Directions: From Iloilo City, take a bus ride to Estancia Port where you can rent a boat to take you to the lagoon.
  • Budget: around P1,600
  • Activities To Do:
    – Go swimming in the clear waters of the lagoon.
    – Conquer your fears and go cliff diving! You can jump into the lagoon (just make sure the water is deep enough) or into the sea!
  • Don’t Miss: The color of the water changes from blue to a more greenish hue as the tide rises later in the afternoon.
  • Travel Tip: While you’ll be there to swim, make sure you’re still wearing proper footwear as you’ll be climbing up limestone walls to reach the lagoon.


8. Miagao Church

Miagao Church

(photo via Commons, @Jsinglador)

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Miagao Church is part of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines. Its intricately designed facade, coupled with its rich history, makes it a favorite tourist spot in the province. Its yellowish-brown color is caused by the materials used in the building — adobe, eggs, corals, and limestone.

  • Type: Church
  • Location: Zulueta Ave, Miagao, Iloilo
  • Directions: From Iloilo City, you may take a jeep bound for “Miagao” from the Mohon Terminal or the Iloilo Terminal Market. The trip will take 30 to 45 minutes. The church is steps away from the Miagao Municipal Hall.
  • Budget: FREE
  • Activities To Do:
    – Appreciate the sculptures that decorate the exteriors of the church — from the stone statue of St. Thomas of Villanueva to the sculptures on the facade.
    – Try to spot the gold-plated retablo and tabernacle. It is finished with 98% gold and silver.
  • Don’t Miss: Make sure you read through the historical marker to understand the historical significance of this church.
  • Travel Tip: Miagao Church is steps away from the Miagao Town Plaza and is also conveniently surrounded by restaurants and commercial establishments.


9. Nadsadjan Falls

Nadsadjan Falls is one of most visited Iloilo tourist spots because of its might and beauty. The 100-foot waterfall flows into what locals call a “cauldron-like” pool where locals and tourists can swim in. The fresh cool waters make the trek up to the falls a treat.

  • Type: Nature, Waterfall
  • Location: Brgy. Passi, Igbaras, Iloilo
  • Directions: To reach the Nadsadjan Falls, tale a jeep from the Iloilo Terminal Market to Igbaras. From the Igbaras town proper, take a tricycle to Brgy. Passi, a 30-minute ride. From the drop off point, you would have to trek along the river to the falls.
  • Budget: P25 (entrance fee)
  • Activity To Do: Swim in the cool fresh waters of the falls. The rushing waters showering over you will make the experience even more exciting!
  • Don’t Miss: The trek to the falls is an adventure in itself, as you pass by the river and its surrounding landscape.
  • Travel Tips:
    – While at Igbaras, you may want to visit the picturesque Igbaras Church ruins. It looks like a level of the video game “Temple Run.”
    – Best to contact the local tourism office before going on a trip to the falls. They can help with transportation and tour guides.


10. Pototan Plaza

Iloilo Provincial Capitol

(photo via Commons)

If you’re planning to visit Iloilo during the holidays, you should take a trip to Pototan — the Christmas Capital of Western Visayas. The town plaza is glittered with lights, Christmas decors, and banderitas during their Iwag Festival of Lights. Pototan is so festive during the Christmas season that it serves to be a Christmas village in Iloilo.

  • Type: Plaza
  • Location: Pototan, Iloilo
  • Directions: Pototan Plaza is a 30-minute ride away from Iloilo City. You may take a bus or jeep ride from the Tagbak Terminal, traversing the National Highway. The town center is situated adjacent to the Iloilo-Capiz Highway, Barotac Nuevo-Pototan Road, and Janiuay-Mina-Pototan Road.
  • Budget: FREE
  • Activities To Do:
    – Enjoy the lights, decorations, and festivities during the festival! It will transport you to Whoville!
    – Stroll along the town plaza and appreciate the many amenities of the area! From the tall mahogany trees to the man-made lagoon, the gazebo, and the Pototan Coliseum.
  • Don’t Miss: Senor San Juan Parish is just steps away from the plaza and is one of the most beautiful churches in the province.
  • Travel Tip: Best to visit the area during the Christmas season, when every corner is lit up by Christmas lights and decorations.


Enjoy a fun experience and check out other restaurants, things to do and more in Iloilo City. Discover cheap hotel deals and cheap flights from carriers like Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, and more with Traveloka!

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