Located in the geographic center of the country, along the southern coast of heart-shaped Panay Island, Iloilo has a lot to offer for travelers who want to explore beyond the Philippines’ typical tourist trail.

The provincial capital, Iloilo City is well-known for its traditional food, rich history, colorful festivals, and progressive yet laid-back vibe. In the northern part of the province, you’ll find stunning islands with gleaming white-sand beaches and a hidden lagoon.

Head south to see centuries-old churches and well-preserved heritage sites built during the Spanish-colonial era. Iloilo is blessed with scenic mountains too!

Here’s a list of beautiful places to visit in Iloilo including top things to do & the best Iloilo tourist spots.

To make your trip planning easy, I’ve added links to the locations on Google Maps. Feel free to click/tap on the links posted. Then, use the “save” feature on the Google Maps app. Seeing all your saved locations on the map will help you get started on planning your Iloilo itinerary and know the best areas to stay, near places you want to go.

See also: Iloilo Itinerary, Best Travel Apps.

View all travel tips on: Iloilo.

Things to Do in Iloilo

1. Explore Iloilo City

Iloilo River Esplanade view from Muelle Deli, in Iloilo City, Philippines

Location: Iloilo Province, Western Visayas region, Central Philippines. Save on Google Maps.

Iloilo City is one of The Philippines’ oldest cities and most popular tourist destinations. This charming city is famous for its mouthwatering food, Spanish-colonial heritage sites, and World-famous festivals Dinagyang Festival. Explore centuries-old churches and ancestral houses like the Molo Church, Molo Mansion, Jaro Cathedral, Camiña Bahay na Bato & more. Walk along historic Calle Real (downtown area) and see the sunset from the Iloilo River Esplanade. Iloilo Airport serves direct flights to major cities all around the Philippines.

Bacolod-Iloilo Ferry

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Iloilo Private Transfers

Airport/hotel transfersFort San Pedro

Iloilo City Tours

Iloilo City Heritage Tour

Iloilo Mysterious Private Half Day Tour

Iloilo Culinary Half Day Tour

Book your trip to Iloilo

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2. Island Hopping in Gigantes & Northern Iloilo

Antonia Beach in Gigantes, Carles, Iloilo, Philippines

Location: Northern Iloilo Province, Philippines. Save on Google Maps.

Surrounded by one of the country’s most abundant fishing grounds, the northern coast of Iloilo is dotted by beautiful islands with white sand beaches and captivating rock formations. Gigantes Islands is Iloilo’s most popular island hopping destination. Here, you can find Cabugao Gamay Island, which offers a 360-view overlooking the pristine blue sea, and Tangke, an enchanting hidden saltwater lagoon. Nearby, Sicogon Island beckons with its natural beauty and luxurious resorts developed by Ayala Land. Another tropical paradise worth exploring is the Concepcion group of islands, which offers offers one of the most scenic seascapes in Northern Iloilo.

Gigantes Island Hopping Day Tour from Iloilo

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Gigantes & Carles Resorts & Hotels

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Sicogon Island Resort and Hotels

Where to stay

3. Visit Southern Iloilo’s Heritage Sites

Garin Farm in San Joaquin, Iloilo, Philippines

Location: Southern Iloilo Province, Philippines. Save on Google Maps.

Iloilo flourished during the Spanish-colonial era. This is evident in the exquisite centuries-old churches dotted across the province. Along the Iloilo’s southern coast, the well-preserved Miagao Church stands magnificently as one of the Philippines’ prized architectural gems. In 1993, the church was included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. Miagao is often visited as a day trip from Iloilo City along with other interesting attractions in Southern Iloilo. Including Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort, San Joaquin Cemetery, San Joaquin Church, San Joaquin pebble beaches & marine sanctuary, Guimbal Church, Tigbauan Church, and more.

Southern Iloilo Day Tours

Iloilo Southern Countryside Tour

Iloilo City Heritage and Southern Countryside Half Day Tour

Iloilo Private Pilgrimage Day Tour

4. Side trip to Guimaras Island

Piagau Beach in Taklong Island National Marine Reserve, Brgy. La Paz and San Roque, Nueva Valencia

Location: Western Visayas region, Central Philippines. Just off the coast of Iloilo City. Save on Google Maps.

Guimaras is known as the “Mango Capital of the Philippines” & it’s famous for producing one of the sweetest mangoes in the world. The island province is very easy to visit from Iloilo City. The ferry crossing from the heart of the city only takes 15 minutes! Go on a tour around the island & visit Guimaras’ tranquil white-sand beaches & top tourist spots like the Oro Verde Mango Plantation, Trappist Monastery, Guimaras Windmills & more.

Guimaras Day Tour from Iloilo

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Guimaras Travel Essentials

Where to stayTours + discounts

5. See Central Iloilo’s natural sites & countryside

Upper Imoy Falls near Bucari in Leon, Iloilo, Philippines

Location: Iloilo Province, Philippines. Save on Google Maps.

The central part of Iloilo is home to vast farmlands, where you can enjoy the peaceful countryside life, and beautiful mountainous areas teeming with nature. Bucari, Leon (Iloilo’s summer capital) offers a cool climate, a pine forest, picnic/camping grounds. Towns like Tubungan, Igbaras and Miagao are popular hiking destinations, renowned for their majestic waterwalls and refreshing views overlooking the Central Panay mountain range.

Iloilo City Tourist Spots

Iloilo City Tours

Iloilo City Heritage Tour

Iloilo Mysterious Private Half Day Tour

Iloilo Culinary Half Day Tour

6. Molo Church & Molo District

Molo Church in Molo, Iloilo City, Philippines

Location: Molo District, Iloilo City. Save on Google Maps.

Molo Plaza is the central landmark of Molo, one of the seven districts of Iloilo City. This area is where you can find many of the city’s iconic tourist spots including Molo Church and Molo Mansion. The district is also the birthplace of Pancit Molo (a popular Filipino wonton soup dish). Order a hot bowl of Kap Ising’s signature Pancit Molo at the tiny cafe at the plaza. Molo Church (St. Anne Parish Church) dominates the district’s skyline with its towering bell tower and signature red spires. Constructed in 1831, this Neo-Gothic colonial church is known as the “feminist church” because of the all-women ensemble of saints represented in 16 statues perched on the aisle pillars. The Molo Mansion is one of Iloilo City’s finest old homes. It was built in the 1920s and was reopened as a tourist spot and pasalubong store by SM’s Kultura.

7. Jaro Cathedral & Jaro District

Jaro Cathedral in Iloilo City, Philippines

Location: Jaro Disitrct, Iloilo City. Save on Google Maps.

Constructed in 1874, the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral is the first cathedral in Panay Island and an important pilgrimage site among devotees of the miraculous Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria. Her statue, perched atop the façade of the cathedral, was canonically crowned by a Pope and Saint John Paul II. The bell tower is located across a busy street from the church, which makes it distinct from other churches in Iloilo. Another feature of the church is its all-male ensemble of saints placed on the main pillars, except for the Virgin’s icon. The arrangement is in response to Molo Church’s all-female theme. The Candelaria’s feast is celebrated every 2nd of February, which draws a huge crowd of devotees.

8. Iloilo River Esplanade

Iloilo River Esplanade view from Muelle Deli, in Iloilo City, Philippines

Location: Iloilo River, Iloilo City. Save on Google Maps.

The Iloilo River Esplanade is the Philippines’ longest linear park. This beautifully landscaped riverside park is a popular tourist spot where visitors can appreciate peaceful views along the Iloilo River. The best time to go is during the early morning and late afternoon hours when the sun is low and the sky is filled with a golden glow. Locals usually head out to the esplanade around this time for a hearty jog or bike. Muelle Deli & many other riverside cafes/restaurants offer a place to chill & have a fine meal while enjoying the scenery.

9. Calle Real & Downtown Iloilo

Calle Real in Iloilo City Proper, Philippines

Location: Iloilo City Proper, Iloilo City. Save on Google Maps.

Take a walk down memory lane in Iloilo City’s old downtown & heritage district. Calle Real (Royal Street in Spanish) served as the city’s main street from the Spanish-colonial Era to around the early 1990s. Start with a tour of the Museum of Philippine Economic History, which shares the history of economic history of the country as well Iloilo’s past as a prosperous port city. With its naturally-protected harbor and river wharf, the city developed as the center of commerce south of Manila during the sugar boom years. Take a photo stop along J.M. Basa Street, where many historic buildings still stand. Have a taste of the famous Queen Siopao at Roberto’s while you’re there! At the Iloilo Provincial Capitol complex, you’ll find the Museo Iloilo and the Western Visayas Regional Museum.

10. La Paz Batchoy & La Paz Market

La Paz Batchoy at La Paz Market in Iloilo City, Philippines

Location: 18 Huervana St, La Paz, Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo. Save on Google Maps.

La Paz Batchoy (noodle soup) is famous all over the Philippines & it originated in La Paz district of Iloilo City. There’s no better place to get a steaming bowl of La Paz Batchoy than at the La Paz Public Market. If you want to taste more of the local flavours try the halo-halo stalls, also found at the market, and Madge Cafe, which serves traditional local coffee.

11. Camiña Balay Nga Bato

Camiña Balay Nga Bato in Iloilo City, Philippines

Location: Near Villa Arevalo Plaza, Osmeña St., Villa Arevalo District, Iloilo City. Save on Google Maps.

Iloilo is famous for its grand colonial-era mansions and ancestral houses. If you’re interested to experience how the prominent Ilonggos lived in the past, Camiña Balay nga Bato is one of the best places to go. Built in the 1860s, it is an ancestral house of the Avanceña clan. Don’t leave without trying their signature Tsokolate and Pancit Molo.

Northern Iloilo Tourist Spots

12. Gigantes Islands

Tangke Lagoon in Gigantes Sur Island, Carles, Iloilo, Philippines

Location: Carles, Northern Iloilo. Save on Google Maps.

Gigantes is a group of around 10 islands sprinkled across the sparkling seas off the northernmost coast of Iloilo. This island chain is a paradise for nature lovers seeking a beach destination with a rustic vibe & not yet highly commercialized. Island hopping is the most popular activity. Follow the short trail up the rocks at Cabugao Gamay Island for an amazing 360-degree view overlooking the pristine white sand beach and the Visayan Sea Gigantes Sur Island (South Gigantes) is home to Tangke, an enchanting hidden saltwater lagoon, and Antonia White Sand Beach where you can have your picnic lunch of fresh seafood. Make sure to get your fill of scallops, which is abundant in Gigantes and sold very cheap. Gigantes Norte Island (North Gigantes) is an interesting place to see as well. Explore the Spanish-colonial era lighthouse and the not-so-frequently visited Bakwitan Cave. According to local lore, coffins containing oversized human bones were found in this cave, the discovery of which led to the name Islas de Gigantes (literally, the “islands of giants”).

Gigantes Island Hopping Day Tour from Iloilo

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Gigantes & Carles Resorts & Hotels

Where to stay

How to go:

The Gigantes Islands is best reached by boat from Bancal Port in Carles town. The sea journey from Bancal Port to Gigantes is around 1.5 to 2 hours. Travel time by car from Iloilo City to Bancal Port is 3 – 3.5 hours.

13. Sicogon Island

Tumaquin Island and Brgy. Buaya Beach in Sicogon Island, Carles, Iloilo, Philippines

Location: Carles, northern Iloilo. Save on Google Maps.

Sicogon is one of the many beautiful islands of northern Iloilo. It is blessed with crystal clear waters and long stretches of white sand beach lined with coconut trees. Sicogon Island is being developed by Ayala Land as a world-class tourism estate. The company operates two high-end properties, namely Balay Kogon and Huni Resorts. Mt. Opao, recognizably crowned by a bare rock summit, is the highest point of Sicogon. The summit is accessible by trekking and on the summit, the entire coastline that surrounds the island. Sicogon Island is located south of the Gigantes Islands. The boat journey between Sicogon and Gigantes takes around 1 hour.

Sicogon Resort and Hotels

Where to stay

Huni Resort Sicogon

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14. Concepcion Islands

Malangabang Island & Pan de Azucar view in Concepcion, Iloilo, Philippines

Location: Concepcion, northern Iloilo. Save on Google Maps.

Farther south of Gigantes Islands and Sicogon awaits another tropical paradise. The Concepcion group of islands offers one of the most scenic seascapes in the whole Province of Iloilo. Mount Pan de Azucar, named because of its resemblance to Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), is the highest point and island chain’s best known landmark. Island hopping day tours and overnight trips can easily be arranged from the municipal tourism office at the mainland. Some of the best spots to visit here include Bulubadiangan Sandbar Island, Agho Island, Badiango Island Resort on Danao-Danao Island, Lumpatan Rock Formation on Pan de Azucar Island, Bago Sipol Beach Resort (Chico Island), Malangabang Sandbar, and Balas Kayo Beach on Malangabang Island.

15. Damires Hills Farm Resort

Damires Hills in Janiuay, Iloilo, Philippines

Location: Janiuay, central Iloilo. Save on Google Maps.

Spend a day of pampering in the midst of nature at Damires Hills, one of my favorite places in Iloilo! Located in the hilly countrysides of Janiuay town, this sprawling farm resort is a must-visit for nature lovers. A highlight of Damires Hills is its gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the lush natural landscape and terraced rice fields. Experience the 2-hour Hilot sa Ilaya traditional signature massage & other natural spa treatments by trained Ilonggo manghihilots. Balay Uma, the resort’s in-house restaurant serves delicious Filipino-Ilonggo comfort food. Damires Hills is also popular for its organic farm tour, ATV rides, canopy walk, zipline, and the Bahay-Kubo inspired cottages.

Damires Hills Resort

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Southern Iloilo Tourist Spots

Southern Iloilo Day Tours

Iloilo Southern Countryside Tour

Iloilo City Heritage and Southern Countryside Half Day Tour

Iloilo Private Pilgrimage Day Tour

16. Miagao Church & Miagao town

Miagao Church in Miagao, Iloilo, Philippines

Location: Miagao, southern Iloilo. Save on Google Maps.

Iloilo flourished during the Spanish-colonial era. This is evident in the exquisite centuries-old churches dotted across the province. Along the Iloilo’s southern coast, the well-preserved Miagao Church stands magnificently as one of the Philippines’ prized architectural gems. The highlight of the Miagao Church is the artistic sculptural relief carved on its facade, which exemplifies the unique blending of Western styles with native motifs. In 1993, the church was included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. When in Southern Iloilo, you can also visit other interesting attractions like the Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort, San Joaquin Cemetery, San Joaquin Church, San Joaquin Pebble Beaches, Guimbal Church, Tigbauan Church & more.

17. Garin Farm

Garin Farm in San Joaquin, Iloilo, Philippines

Location: San Joaquin, Iloilo. Save on Google Maps.

Gardin Farm Resort

Book room discounts

18. San Joaquin Cemetery & San Joaquin town

San Joaquin Cemetery in San Joaquin, Iloilo, Philippines

Location: San Joaquin, Iloilo. Save on Google Maps.

Central Iloilo Tourist Spots

Central Iloilo Tours

Iloilo Farm Agricultural Day Tour

19. Bucari & Leon

Bucari in Leon, Iloilo, Philippines

Location: Leon, central Iloilo. Save on Google Maps.

Breathe the fresh mountain air and relish the cool climate in the summer capital of Iloilo. Located in the mountainous area of Leon, Bucari is known for its verdant pine forest and panoramic vistas overlooking terraced vegetable farms, lush mountains, and even a glimpse of Iloilo City on a clear day. A hiking trail from Brgy. Camandag follows the river to Imoy Falls. The short cascade drops into a small natural pool that is perfect for swimming.

20. Tubungan Mountain View

Baldan View in Tubungan, Iloilo, Philippines

Location: Tubungan, southcentral Iloilo. Save on Google Maps.

Tubungan is another beautiful highland destination in Iloilo. It has recently become quite popular among local tourists after the construction of good roads made it more accessible. Popular spots to see in Tubungan include the Baldan Viewdeck, Bato Sumpit falls & Mt. Lingguhob.

21. Igbaras Waterfalls & Hiking Trails

Location: Tubungan, southcentral Iloilo. Save on Google Maps.

Home to Mt. Napulak, the iconic “nipple top” mountain, Igbaras is one of Iloilo’s most popular hiking destinations. There are many waterfalls to see along the trails including Nadsadjan Falls and Guiritsan Falls. If you are lucky, you might even stumble upon a rare Rafflesia (among the world’s largest flowers) blooming along the mountain slopes.

Beyond Iloilo

Boracay

White Beach in Boracay Island, Aklan, Philippines

Location: Western Visayas region

Located off the northwestern tip of Panay Island, Boracay Island is the Philippines’ top beach destination, home to 4-kilometer White Beach. From Iloilo City, the land trip to Caticlan Port takes around 5 hours. Boracay Island is a short 10 to 15-minute ferry ride away from Caticlan.

Boracay Travel Essentials

Where to stayTours + discounts

Bacolod City & Negros Occidental

Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines

Location: Negros Occidental, Western Visayas region

Bacolod, the City of Smiles and gateway to Negros Occidental province, is known as Iloilo’s twin city because of the close social and economic ties shared between the two Western Visayas cities. Travel time by fast craft ferry from Iloilo to Bacolod is 1 hour and 40 minutes approx. This ferry route is one of the busiest in the entire country.

Bacolod & Negros Occidental Travel Essentials

Where to stayTours + discounts

Capiz & Roxas City

The Ruins of Alcatraz in Roxas City, Capiz, Philippines

Location: Panay Island, Western Visayas region. Save on Google Maps.

Capiz province and its capital, Roxas City, is known as the Seafood Capital of the Philippines. The land journey from Iloilo City to Roxas City takes around 2 hours.

Roxas City & Capiz Travel Essentials

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Aklan & Kalibo

Marcos at Hinugtan Beach, in Buruanga, Aklan, Philippines

Location: Panay Island, Western Visayas region. Save on Google Maps.

Discover Aklan beyond Boracay Island. Kalibo, the provincial capital can be reached from Iloilo City on a 3-hour land trip.

Aklan Travel Essentials

Where to stayTours + discounts

Antique

Location: Panay Island, Western Visayas region. Save on Google Maps.

The neighboring province of Antique, the land ‘Where the Mountains Meet the Sea”, is a worthwhile place to go for nature lovers. Travel time by car from Iloilo City to San Jose, the capital town of Antique, takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Antique Travel Essentials

Where to stay

What places have you added to your bucketlist? Have you been to beautiful places in Iloilo that should be on this list? Feel free to share your thoughts!

Places to visit in Iloilo

Iloilo tourist spots, things to do in Iloilo, where to go in Iloilo & more.

Note: Destinations featured above are not listed by rank.

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Where to Stay in Iloilo

Click below & search recommended Iloilo hotels/hostels/home rentals within your budget. Remember to set your min/max price, travel dates, and sort by review ratings. I often book online with these trusted booking sites below for rock-bottom prices & convenient bookings.

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Book sooner rather than later if you already have your dates set. Cheaper-priced rooms and hotels with high reviews tend to get fully booked faster, especially during busy days like weekends, holidays & peak tourist seasons.

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