Best places to see in Ilocos

Best places to see in Ilocos

Have you been to Ilocos? If not, are you planning to visit this beautiful northern region of the Philippines? Let us help you out with a short list of some of the best places to see in Ilocos! Short, because I know there’s a lot more to visit and be discovered but this list will help you get started especially to first timers in Ilocos!

12. Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Built during the Spanish period, this lighthouse guided incoming ships in the north western part of the Philippines to cross safely to shore. Now a National Historical Landmark, it’s still active and functioning up to this day. Every traveler would like to visit this place because of its history and timeless charm.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

11. Patapat Viaduct

One of the many man made wonders constructed for ease of transportation in the Philippines. The Patapat Viaduct is a 1.3km long coastal bridge that connects the Maharlika Highway from Laoag to the Cagayan Valley region.

Make a short stop here to take some cool pictures of the snake-like bridge along the coast and the beautiful green mountain in the background.

Patapat Viaduct

10. Fort Ilocandia Resort

The only 5-star deluxe resort hotel in the region. The hotel is huge and it’s really like an old Fort but with luxurious amenities and a golf course.

Fort Ilocandia Resort

Entry to the Hotel

You can explore some parts of the hotel but if you have the budget and want the whole package, then you can book an overnight stay here.

Book your stay here through Agoda.

Book your stay here through Agoda!

Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel

9. Kabigan Falls

I like the name of this waterfall, Kabigan. Sounds like Kaibigan. And truly, it is like a friend who’ll tell you frank advises in life and in the end will support you all the way. Why did I compare it to a friend? Because to reach the falls, you have to walk about 30 minutes from the national road but after that, you’ll be rewarded by its pristine beauty and refreshing cool water.

Kabigan Falls

Water is refreshing and cold

8. Malacañang of the North

“The King in the North!” – Sorry, just have to say that. The Marcoses, definitely are the Kings of the North or just maybe of this region. We do know how powerful they were during the reign of then President Ferdinand Marcos and there’s no doubt too that they have done a lot for Ilocos.

The Malacañang of the North was the home and official residence of the Marcoses during the time of the late president but was eventually turned over to the government and converted it into a museum. It is a two story mansion with an overlooking view of Paoay Lake. Inside you’ll see memorabilia, portraits and even the dolls of Bong Bong and Imee when they were kids. It sure was a beautiful home to stay at.

Malacanang of the North

The view of Paoay Lake inside the mansion

7. Paoay Sand Dunes

We don’t have snow here but you can definitely do sandboarding here in the Philippines! Visit the Paoay Sand Dunes for some extreme sandboarding or go on a thrilling ride on a 4×4 driven by a professional just like in Dubai. If you don’t like any of this, simply take a picture and tell your friends you are in the middle-east! Just kidding of course.

Paoay Sand Dunes

Feels like I’m in an 80s music video here…

6. Bantay Abot Cave and Timmangtang rock

Both located at the shores of Pagudpud, these two rock formations were believed to be as lovers. As expected in Filipino folklores and legends, they usually associate geographical formations to be either lovers or a young beautiful maiden.

Bantay abot cave (not a real cave, but a hill) is much more unique though because of its hole in the center that you can actually enter thus, looking like a cave. Timmangtang rock on the other hand, is a bell-shaped rock where you can actually hike onto the top when it’s low tide.

Bantay Abot Cave and Timmangtang Rock

View of Timmangtang Rock inside Bantay Abot Cave

5. Paoay Church

Paoay Church or Saint Augustine Church is a Baroque style church built and completed in 1710. It’s famous for its architecture most specifically for its huge buttresses that supports the building as a preventive solution for possible destruction due to earthquakes.

The church is one of the most unique I’ve seen and is declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993.

Paoay Church

Postcard photo!

4. Pagudpud Beaches

Crystal clear water, fine white sand, fresh seafood and a serene, laid-back atmosphere… It’s paradise! Pagudpud has a myriad of beautiful and stunning beaches and resorts as well. Check out these resorts:

Agua Seda Beach Resort

Hannah’s Beach resort

Casa Consuelo Resort

Kingfisher Sand Sea Surf Resort

Natsuca Beach Resort

Or search and compare prices of accommodations in Pagudpud here

Blue Lagoon Beach

Blue Lagoon

3. Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Another rock formation but this one is totally different. Naturally formed by the countless crashing of the waves, strong winds and other elements makes it unnaturally wonderful. It’s most distinguished by its beautiful and creamy white limestone formation, sculpted masterfully by Mother Nature herself. Kapurpurawan or “kaputian” in Ilocano dialect is one of the most visited tourist site in Ilocos.

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

2. Bangui Windmills

When you think of Ilocos, I’m pretty sure that the first thing that comes to your mind are the windmills of Bangui. No one can blame you on that. The Bangui windmills have become the iconic symbol of Ilocos. The power generating wind turbines are erected along the shores of Bangui Bay facing the West Philippine Sea, giving people a spectacular sight to see especially when the sun sets.

Bangui Windmills

Sun is setting at Bangui

Related: Windfarm Pililla Rizal; A Big Step on Wind Power

1. Calle Crisologo

To top our list is the historical street of Calle Crisologo. Go back through time and explore this street by walking or by a kalesa (horse-drawn calash) and be mesmerized with the timeless beauty of the olden Spanish colonial times. Included as a UNESCO heritage site, it is famous for its well preserved old Houses and cobblestone pavements. In the evening, lights are dimmed to make the place feels like it’s the 1800s all over again. Take your partner or a friend for a romantic stroll along memory lane and dine at Cafe Leona for some Bagnet KBL Pizza!

Hope this helps you in planning your Itinerary! Remember that this is just a primer on the best places to see in Ilocos because there are still lots of things to do and sights to see there. Share and comment if you like this one! 😀

Calle Crisologo

Calle Crisologo at night

Where to Stay in Vigan?

One Vittoria Hotel
EA Apartelle – Metro Vigan
DaHome Pension
Henady Inn

Or search and compare prices of accommodations in Vigan here


He is a programmer by profession but has a soul of a traveler. Aside from his ultimate dream of travelling around the world, he loves to eat, drink, listen to music, talk about aliens and the occasional secret guilty pleasure of singing love songs in videoke. His favorite superpower is to teleport from one place to another. I guess you know why.