You’d be glad to know that there are some great locations and top destinations in Iloilo for your summer getaway! Iloilo is Western Visayas’ heritage hub and home of native, mouth-watering Ilonggo dishes. But there indeed are other exciting things to see and experience aside from the old churches and delicious servings of batchoy (noodles and pork innards soup).
The following breathtaking sites (which are all budget-friendly too) welcome just about anyone who seeks some thrill, chill, and summer adventure in Iloilo:
Postcard-perfect view of the island on top of a rock formation: Magical!
Image: Albert Manansala
Isla de Gigantes is sure to top the list of the best island-hopping destinations in the Visayas for some sun, sand, and seafood. This Iloilo City tourist spot is situated off the coast of the municipalities of Carles and Estancia; you can reach the island paradise via a two-hour sail from Estancia.
The island is known for its crystal clear water, lagoons, rock formations, white sand, and abundant seafood. Scallops and other seashells are also typically sold by the locals at a very affordable price.
Among the most popular sites to visit are the Tangke Saltwater Lagoon, a blue saltwater lagoon, and the Cabugao Gamay Island, which looks like a giant sandbar straight from a postcard. The island does not house commercial establishments, nor does it have electricity for most of the day, so visitors can explore and appreciate the beauty of the place without modern distractions. Travelers may stay overnight and bring their tent or opt to pay a fee to rent one.
Address:Sitio Tabionan, Brgy. Bucari, Leon, Iloilo
Sleeping with nature and waking up to a mist is ordinary at the campsite.
Image: Lala Calle
There are many things to do and places to visit in Iloilo during the summer season. But, I would always love to see Bucari Pine Forest because of its weather. Locally known as “Iloilo’s Little Baguio,” Bucari boasts of its temperature, which can go as low as 9°C in December and 18°C during the summer season. Among the most popular places to visit in Bucari is the Tabionan Campsite situated on a plateau and surrounded by pine trees.
To reach Bucari, it will take a two-hour trip, or a 58-km ride, via public transport from Iloilo City. Public utility jeepneys (PUJ) at the Jaro Public Market are available. One could then hire a motorcycle and bargain for a reasonable fare straight to the campsite.
According to safety protocols, only 250 guests are allowed in the campsite per day. Bookings are open from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The camp and Mansiga Viewing Deck are open; overnight stays booked in the local tourism office are allowed.
Apart from many destinations in Iloilo you could spend your summer on, you can also try Mt. Napulak for a unique summer experience. The mountain is shaped like a woman’s chest and made iconic by the rock formation at its peak. At 3,936 feet above sea level, Mt. Napulak welcomes trekkers with a 360° view of the nearby province of Antique and the rest of Iloilo. Mt. Napulak is the perfect trekking site for greater heights and steeper trails.
It is, however, required of hikers to coordinate first with the Igbaras Tourism Office. Arrangements will be made to provide trekkers with a local tour guide and brief them before trekking.
From north to south, Iloilo is undeniably a home to many pristine beaches and scenic heights, which are sure to win your heart over this summer.
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