Traveling to Iloilo for a full day? Here’s an easy do-it-yourself itinerary that you can follow to get acquainted with the major cultural and historical sights within Iloilo City and towns that dot the southern coast of the province.

Arrival in Iloilo

You can start early by taking a morning flight to the sprawling Iloilo International Airport. A shuttle to the city center takes under 30 minutes.

After checking-in your hotel, head straight to La Paz Market for a hearty breakfast of La Paz Batchoy, Iloilo’s most famous local dish. Get your caffeine fix a few stores down at Madge’s Cafe, a family-owned coffee shop that brews fresh locally sourced coffee, or indulge in a special dessert treat at the row of “halo-halo” stalls near the entrance of La Paz Market.

Iloilo to Tacloban Flight - Iloilo Airport, Iloilo, Philippines

Iloilo Airport Arrival Area

Iloilo, Philippines

Bowl of Hot Batchoy Soup

Halo-Halo at La Paz, Market, La Paz, Iloilo City, Philippines

Halo-halo with Barquillos and Leche Flan

Southern Iloilo Tour

Hop on a jeepney to Iloilo southern coast, where many of the province’s most exquisite centuries-old churches can be found. A morning visit is recommended if you want to take photos of the churches’ facade under the best light. Go the whole stretch to the southernmost town, San Joaquin, or skip to the main course — the Miagao Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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San Joaquin Cemetery is one of the best preserved Spanish-colonial cemeteries in Iloilo.

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Remarkable for its military theme scuptural relief, the San Joaquin Church is a National Cultural Treasure.

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Miagao Church, Iloilo’s iconic landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Iloilo is known as a haven for seafood lovers. Grab lunch at one of many beachfront seafood restaurants lining the highway or at Villa Beach in Arevalo District of Iloilo City. The most popular restaurants along Villa Beach to both locals and visitors alike include Tatoy’s Manokan and Breakthrough. There are also smaller stalls along the whole stretch of the beach for cheaper alternatives.

Iloilo City Tour

The City of Iloilo is home to, not only beautiful old churches, but also other heritage structures like ancestral houses and institutional buildings. Almost all of the city’s districts has a Spanish-colonial church and a plaza because they used to be separate towns before they were merged in one city.

On your way back to the city, drop off at Camiña Balay nga Bato for a tour of the heritage house capped with an invigorating taste of native hot tsokolate. Proceed to Molo District Plaza, where you can find Molo Church, and then explore the many sights of Plaza Libertad in the City Proper District.

Camiña Bahay na Bato, Arevalo, Iloilo City, Philippines

Hot Tsokolate drink at Balay Camiña nga Bato

Molo Church - Molo, Iloilo City, Philippines

Molo Plaza and the Gothic Rennaisance-style Molo Church.

San Jose Church, Iloilo City, Philippines

San Jose Church, birthplace of Iloilo’s annual Dinagyang Festival

Iloilo, Philippines

View from the rooftop of the Iloilo City Hall facing Plaza Libertad and Guimaras Island.

Iloilo, Philippines

View from the rooftop of the Iloilo City Hall facing the Iloilo River.

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Iloilo Customs House (Aduana) built along the banks of the Iloilo River.

From Plaza Libertad, walk down Calle Real, now known as JM Basa Street, for a stroll down memory lane. During the era of Iloilo’s booming sugar industry up until the 1980s, Calle Real was the commercial and shopping center of the city. Many of the city’s heritage commercial buildings and monuments can still be seen along this historic road.

Then, ride a jeep to the Arroyo fountain fronting the Old Iloilo Provincial Capitol and walk your way to Museo Iloilo, one of the city’s iconic landmarks.

Calle Real, Iloilo City, Philippines

Calle Real, the cultural core of Downtown Iloilo.

Iloilo, Philippines

Arroyo Fountain and Old Provincial Capitol

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Museo Iloilo, the first government sponsored museum outside Manila.

Iloilo, Philippines

Lizares Mansion (now the Angelicum School)

Iloilo, Philippines

Casa Mariquit, a heritage house named after the wife of the late Vice President Fernando Lopez, Sr.

Continue to Jaro District, where you can find many old ancestral houses in addition to visiting the Jaro Cathedral and Belfry.

Jaro, Iloilo City, Philippines

Nelly Garden, one of the Lopez Family’s grand old houses in Iloilo.

Sanson y Montinola Antillian House - Jaro, Iloilo City, Philippi

Sanson-Montinola Antillian House

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Jaro Cathedral, the religious seat of power in Western Visayas.

Jaro Cathedral and Belfry - Jaro, Iloilo City, Philippines

Interiors of the Jaro Cathedral

Jaro Cathedral and Belfry - Jaro, Iloilo City, Philippines

Jaro Belfry located across the street from the cathedral.

Iloilo Nightlife

Spend your late afternoon with a leisurely sunset stroll along the Iloilo River Esplanade and then treat yourself with a nice dinner at Smallville Complex or Plazuela de Iloilo, two of Iloilo’s best dining strips.

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Sunset walk along the Iloilo River Esplanade

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Dinner spread at Punot

Overview

TimeDetails
5:00am to 8:30am
  • Arrival in Iloilo
  • Iloilo Hotel Check-in
  • Breakfast at La paz Market
8:30am to 1:30pm
  • Southern Iloilo Tour
    • San Joaquin
    • Miagao
    • Seaside Lunch
1:30pm onwards
  • Iloilo City Tour
    • Arevalo and Molo District
    • City Proper District
    • Jaro District
    • Mandurriao District

Map

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Do It Yourself (DIY) Notes

Arrival in Iloilo

  • Flight to Iloilo
    • Earliest flights from Manila:
      • Cebu Pacific Flight 5J451 – Departs Manila at 4:20am and arrives in Iloilo at 5:25am
      • PAL Flight PR2939 – Departs Manila at 4:30am and arrives in Iloilo at 5:40am
    • Earliest flight from Cebu:
      • Cebu Pacific Flight 5J162 – Departs Cebu at 5:55am and arrives in Iloilo at 6:50am
  • 6:00am – Arrival at Iloilo International Airport
  • 6:00am to 6:30am – Transport from Iloilo Airport to Iloilo City
    • Ride shared van (shuttle) from Iloilo Airport to SM City Iloilo Mall (P50 fare; you may have to wait until the van gets full until it departs from the airport)

Iloilo Hotel Check-in

Breakfast at La Paz Market

  • 8:00am to 8:30am – La Paz Market Tour
    • Breakfast at La Paz Batchoy stalls. Take your pick from Ted’s or Deco’s located on the roadside, or Netong’s found inside the market (P55 to P80 for one bowl of Batchoy)
      • If you feel lost navigating the inner pathways of the market, just ask the vendors how to get around. The locals are almost always willing to help.
    • Halo-halo dessert (P20 to P35 per bowl)
      • The halo-halo stalls are located near the Rizal St. entrance of La Paz Market
    • Coffee at Madge’s Cafe (P20 to P40 per cup; found within the market)

Southern Iloilo Tour

San Joaquin Tour

  • 8:30am to 10:00am – Transport from Iloilo City to San Joaquin
    • Cross the street from the Rizal St. entrance of La Paz Market and ride a “Jaro Liko” jeep to University of San Agustin along General Luna St. (P8 fare). Then, ride a “Villa/Arevalo” jeep and drop off at the jeepney stop near Iloilo Supermart Molo (P8 fare).
    • Ride a “San Joaquin” jeep to San Joaquin town (P60; 45 minutes)
      • Drop off at San Joaquin Cemetery
  • 10:00am to 10:40am
    • San Joaquin Cemetery
    • Ride tricycle (motorized rickshaw) from the cemetery to the town proper (P7 fare; less than 5 minutes).
    • San Joaquin Church

Miagao Tour

  • 10:40am to 11:00am – Transport from San Joaquin to Miagao
    • Walk (5 minutes) or ride trisikad (cycle rickshaw; P7 fare) to highway intersection.
    • Ride a “Miag-ao” or “San Joaquin” jeepney to Miagao town (P10 to P15 fare; 15 to 20 minutes)
      • Drop off at Miagao Church
  • 11:00am to 11:30am – Miagao Church

Seaside Lunch

  • 11:30am to 1:30pm – Lunch and transport back to Iloilo City
    • Ride jeepney to Iloilo City (P50 to approx. P70 fare depending on how many stops you make).
      • While on your way back to the city you can grab lunch at one of the many seaside restaurants and make a few stops to visit more churches that you will be passing by. All jeepneys bound towards the city follows the same route, so you can hop on and off easily.
      • Once you reach the city boundary you will be dropped off at Mohon Terminal, where you can ride a “Villa/Arevalo” jeep to the city.
    • Suggested places to eat (mains from P50 to P300):
      • Miagao: Doming’s Talabahan
      • Guimbal: South Park Grill
      • Oton: Allan’s Talabahan
      • Villa Beach (Iloilo City): Tatoy’s Manokan and Seafood, Breakthrough, Erning’s Lechon
        • To get to Villa Beach. Ride a “Villa/Arevalo” jeep from Arevalo District Plaza. The jeepney stop is located on the other side of the plaza, beside the Iloilo Supermart Arevalo Branch or the covered gym. You may ask the locals if you are having trouble finding it.
    • Optional photostops:
      • Guimbal Church
      • Guimbal Plaza
      • Tigbauan Church

Iloilo City Tour

Arevalo and Molo Tour

  • 1:30pm to 2:00pm – Camiña Balay nga Bato Tour
    • Camiña Balay nga Bato is located a couple of meters away from the Arevalo District Plaza, along the highway.
    • Tour rates:
      • P150 per person (Includes house tour and tsokolate)
      • P200 per person (Includes house tour, tsokolate, and pancit molo)
  • 2:00pm to 2:30pm
    • Ride “Villa/Arevalo” jeep to Molo Plaza (P8 fare)
    • Molo Plaza
    • Molo Church

City Proper Tour

  • 2:30pm to 4:00pm
    • Ride “Villa/Arevalo” Jeep to General Luna Street (P8 fare). Drop off at University of San Agustin Jeepney Stop. Ride “SM City Proper” jeep to Plaza Libertad (P8 fare).
    • Plaza Libertad
    • San Jose Church
    • Iloilo City Hall
      • Enter the city gallery on the first floor of the Iloilo City Hall building and request a tour of the rooftop to get a nice overlooking view of Iloilo City and Guimaras Island.
  • Walk along JM Basa Street to The International Hotel Building (corner of JM Basa and Guanco Streets) or walk all the way to the Plazoleta Gay (rotunda with the obelisk monument in the center).
    • To view the Iloilo Cusoms House (Aduana) along the Iloilo River, you may take a short detour and follow the street beside the Freedom Grandstand.
    • Commercial buildings along Calle Real
  • Ride “Jaro CPU” jeep to the Arroyo Fountain located infront of the Old Iloilo Provincial Capitol building (P8 fare)
    • Arroyo Fountain
    • Iloilo Provincial Capitol
    • Museo Iloilo (P30 entrance fee)

Jaro Tour

  • 4:00pm to 5:30pm
    • Ride “Jaro CPU” jeep to Jaro Plaza
      • Optional stopovers:
        • Nelly Garden (Lopez “white” house)
          • A tour of the house needs prior reservations. You can only take photos from the street.
        • Sanson y Montinola Antillian House
          • Not open to the public but you can also take photos from the street
    • Jaro Cathedral and Belfry
    • Ride “Jaro CPU” jeep from the jeepney stop located on the other side of Jaro Plaza, in front of Andoks (P8 fare). Drop off at Lizares Mansion (Now the Angelicum School).
    • Lizares Mansion
    • Ride “Jaro CPU” (or any) jeep and drop off at the Shell Gas Station near PRC Regional Office (P8 fare)
    • Casa Mariquit
      • You can find it by following the narrow street beside Shell Gas Station.
      • Go inside and look for the caretakers of the house. No entrance fee is charged but tipping the caretakers is expected after the tour.

Mandurriao Tour

  • 5:30pm to 6:30pm
    • Ride “Leganes” jeep to the Benigno Aquino Avenue (Diversion Road) entrance of Iloilo River Esplanade
    • Iloilo River Esplanade
      • The best views are at the middle of the esplanade.
  • 6:30pm onwards – Dinner Smallville or Plazuela de Iloilo
    • Suggested restaurants serving Filipino and Ilonggo food:
      • Punot (Riverside Boardwalk, Smallville Complex)
      • Ramboy’s (Riverside Boardwalk, Smallville Complex)
      • Oceancity (Ayala Technohub, Smallville Complex)
      • Bauhinia (The Avenue, Smallville Complex)
      • Ponsyon (Plazuela de Iloilo)
      • Samurai (Diversion Road; Beside Diversion21 Hotel)
        • Cheaper alternative.
    • The area in and around Smallville, Plazuela de Iloilo, and SM City Iloilo offers a wide variety of dining options from the local flavors to international cuisines.