BEST Things to Do in Ilocos Sur, Philippines
Ilocos Sur, located at Northern Luzon, is a thriving province that is abundant in livestock like crops and poultry, friendly people and beautiful sceneries. Varying places carry unique delicacies and unforgettable attractions. These attractions are sure to leave you breathless and in awe of every sight you’ll see as they are a piece of history.
Here are some of the best attractions found in Ilocos Sur:
- Pinsal Falls
Located at Sta. Maria, this breath-taking falls is popular due to the rumored footprint of the giant Angalo and the myth from Abra, along with the natural and preserved beauty of the water and scenery. This 85-foot falls is also called “Twin Falls”, as it is separated into two. Its mesmerizing landscapes and clean, cool waters attract locals and tourists alike. The picturesque rock formations and the hike up to the top of the falls are sure to thrill adventurers. A go-to spot is the mini Jacuzzi-like pools at the top of the falls. The cottages have no electricity, proper bathroom and dressing room available but the hike and trek are worth it.
- Sta. Maria Church
One of the most beautiful baroque churches of the Philippines and part of the UNESCO World Heritage sits atop of a hill at Sta. Maria and also called “The Church of Our Lady of Assumption”. It was built by Augustinian friars and its Spanish style brick stones, massive buttresses at the side and a hexagonal bell tower is sure to give you a piece of history and a feeling of nostalgia. Its preserved interior, the white walls, high-barreled ceilings, black chandeliers and wooden seats, along with the exterior are sure to leave anyone in awe as it is a local national treasure. Both locals and tourists alike love to go here to experience a piece of history.
- Bessang Pass Natural Monument
Found at Cervantes, is a piece of history between mountains as the trip to get there consists of steep, winding roads, sharp curves and turns and dangerous mountain-side roads that is sure to thrill adventurers and thrill-seekers. It is a protected memorial area that commemorates the victory of Filipino soldiers serving under the US Army against the Japanese Imperial Army during the ‘Battle of Bessang Pass’ which ended the World War II in the Philippines. The picturesque sceneries of nature, flora and fauna along with the wildlife are sure to leave anyone breathless as the monument stands tall and proud and for sure unforgettable to those who visit.
- Bantay Bell Tower
One of the most iconic things to see at Bantay which was built in 1592 that served as Bantay’s watchtower. It was built on top of a hill that gave the most mesmerizing and breath-taking view of the city. The ancient and authentic brick walls and old wooden stairs are sure to transport you back in time. The picturesque scene paired with the backdrop of the beautiful skies, flora and fauna are sure to leave you in awe. Wooden steps and floors not for the feint-hearted are the path towards the top level of the bell tower wherein the most awe-inspiring sight can be seen.
- Banaoang Bridge
Also called as the old Quirino Bridge, this connects the province of Bantay and Santa and is highly praised for its grand architectural design, magnificent engineering and marvelous views. This is a place wherein you can enjoy the sunrise, sunset, jogging, running, biking and many more. The breath-taking and beautiful view of the mountains, sky and clear, luminescent waters are what makes this place famous among locals and tourists alike. A great place to stop by and take pictures of, a great place for dates, family bonding, gala with friends and things like that. You can also clearly see the new bridge form here. The new attraction “Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone” are recommended for adrenaline junkies as the activities include climbing and rappelling up the walls, kayak center and the famous zipline across waters.
- Archbishops Palace
Also called as Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia, this is one of the oldest 18th ecclesiastical palace wherein contained here is a famous museum, residence of some archbishops and some office churches. The palace is well-preserved and popular among locals and tourists as hangout spots. The palace has a museum “Museo Nueva Segovia” that contains collections of priceless ecclesiastical artifacts and relics, old paintings and life-sized monuments. Its rustv design transports you back in time as it lets you be inspired and mesmerized by the architecture and at the museum.
- NOAH (Narvacan Outdoor Adventure Hub)
Located at Narvacan, this is especially built for adrenaline junkies, adventurers and thrill-seekers as NOAH was designed to enjoy the elements and range of terrain that Ilocos Sur has to offer, the myriad of activities experienced in this adventure camp will surely satisfy your craving for the outdoors. The Via Ferrata is sure to thrill rock and mountain climbers along with Bantay Abot hill located just near the shore which has perfect wind conditions for paragliding, sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and cruising on a hobie cat. The aerial view of Ilocos Sur is sure to leave you speechless and wanting for more and the enjoyable boat rides and revving through sand dunes at the back of a 4×4 is sure to satisfy any thrill-seekers.
- Vitalis Villas
Located at Santiago, this hotel is situated on a cliff overlooking the Santiago Cove and Philippine Sea. The chic Greek-style architecture of the villas accommodate 1 – 2 bedrooms featuring Wi-Fi, flat-screens, living rooms, kitchens, terraces with sea views, hot tubs, access to infinity pools and butler services. Around the villas, while exploring through the cobblestone pathways and cool, crisp air, there is an international restaurant, a casual snack bar, pools and water sports. This is well-loved by locals and tourists as the picturesque view of nature and the nearby beach, with its white sand and clear, clean water, is sure to leave you addicted to the view.