Iloilo may not be on everyone’s go-to travel destination, and they’re certainly missing out! Iloilo province is famous for its centuries-old churches, museums and ancestral houses that serve as relics of the past, and of course, the celebration of Dinagyang Festival. But that’s not all; it is also an exotic paradise with serene islands, white sand beaches, farm resorts, and delicious food, making the province worth the trip. Here are just a few things that you can do in and out of the city.

Image: Flickr/EisenJiao

Travel Back in Time

Image: Simply Philippines

Iloilo’s city is home to well-preserved Spanish-era mansions, magnificent churches, and other sights that have endured the test of time. There are plenty of these landmarks to see, shop, and walk around in. You can also dine in heritage houses that have been converted into restaurants. Taste and experience it all and travel back in time!

Visit Sicogon Island

Image: Balay Kogon

This island has been a favorite playground of sun-worshippers, even before Boracay became a household name. And now, it’s slowly reclaiming its old glory, calling out to those who want to escape and bask in its beauty. Accommodation is quite expensive on the island as it’s under the Ayala Group. If you can splurge, go for it, but if you’re on a budget, we suggest you stay somewhere else and do a day tour to the island.

Unwind at A Farm Resort

Image: CitiesTips.com

There are a couple of farm resorts in and around Iloilo, and whatever you choose to visit, you won’t regret. You can either stay in a farm resort if you want some peace and quiet and eat healthily, or just visit to relax and be embraced by nature. Most come for a spiritual journey, so give it a try and shoo the bad juju away.

Island Hopping in Conception

Image: Youtube/JamesChua

Conception has 16 islands in total, and the biggest and most popular is Pan de Acuzar, which takes its name from the sugary fine sand in its beaches. Don’t forget to include the beautiful Bulubadiangan Sandbar in your itinerary; it’s definitely something you wouldn’t want to miss.

Explore Islas de Gigantes

Image: Unofficial Guide | Joshua Orozco

This place has recently been generating a lot of noise because of its pure beauty. Views are breathtaking and beaches are untouched. There are basic cottages around, perfect for those who can rough it up. You can also just pitch a tent somewhere if you’re up for camping. Gigantes has natural rock pools and also has a rich coral garden ideal for snorkeling and freediving.

What are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Iloilo and be mesmerized!