From its well-preserved Spanish colonial structures, to its soft-spoken language and its white sand beaches, Iloilo easily finds its way to anyone’s heart. Nicknamed the “heart of the Philippines” because of its location at the center of the country’s major island groups, Iloilo has a certain charm that always leaves something more to love for the next visit. Here are a few more destinations that might have flown past your radar – add them to your Iloilo itinerary.

The Iloilo River Esplanade. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

The breezy Iloilo River Esplanade. Take a walk along the picturesque, 9.035-kilometre-long esplanade – which is the longest linear park in the Philippines. It flanks both sides of the river and was designed by PGAA Creative Design founder Paulo Alcazaren. In 2018, the park was awarded the “Haligi ng Dangal” distinction for the Landscape Architecture category by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) through the National Committee on Architecture and the Allied Arts.

Bucari Pine Forest. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

The cool climate of Bucari Pine Forest. This forest of pine trees in Bucari Leon is quickly catching the eye of more tourists looking for cooler climates in the province. It also has a campsite and walking paths that let you take magical walks through the trees as if you were right in the clouds.

Madge Cafe. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

Low-key ambiance and high quality coffee at Madge Cafe. Madge This casual, homey coffee shop that has been serving native Iloilo coffee since 1940. Located inside La Paz Public Market, it mostly sells native Arabica coffee and beans harvested north of Iloilo.

Biking around Pueblo de Panay. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

New leisure attractions at Pueblo de Panay. The largest township development in Visayas, Pueblo de Panay is a 670-hectare mixed use township development of Pueblo de Panay, Inc. (PDPI). It is the only integrated community development in the city that connects 2 of 3 highways (Lawaan and Sibaguan Highways). This modern, mixed-use development has plenty of space for outdoor activities such as city biking, off-road biking and motorcycling trails, and more.

Calle Real. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

Well-preserved heritage structures of Calle Real. The province has its fair share of impeccably preserved heritage structures, specifically the ones concentrated in Calle Real. Officially named as J.M. Basa Street, this historic street in the old downtown district is often referred to as the “Escolta of Iloilo” with its American era, neoclassical, beaux-arts, and art deco buildings. The street’s heritage designation by the local government has been expanded into a zone known as Calle Real Heritage Zone.

Fresh seafood from Iloilo Central Market. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

The spoils of the sea. Because the province is located near several bodies of water such as the Iloilo Strait, Guimaras Strait and the Panay Gulf, fresh seafood is bountiful – garnering the title “Seafood Capital of the Philippines”. See why for yourself in Iloilo Central Market, where you can choose from a wide range of fresh and dried seafood that you can bring home and cook as you please, or head over to the nearby seafood restaurants if you want to dig right in.

Discover more destinations to see, experience, and savor in Iloilo. Visit these links to map out your next journey across the Philippines. 

  1. Come and Explore the Fun Farm Life in Iloilo
  2. Walk With Nature in These Eco-tourism Parks
  3. Fall in Love with These 8 Romantic Spots in the Philippines

Travel Safely!

All these tourist destinations have health and safety protocols in place to protect locals and visitors alike. Everyone is expected to comply by wearing face masks, regularly washing their hands, and practicing physical distancing.

To check out up-to-date information regarding local destinations that are open and the safety protocols and requirements needed for each location, you may visit philippines.travel/safetrip or download the Travel Philippines app at app.philippines.travel, Apple Store, or Google Playstore.