Iloilo Travel Guide for First Time Travelers
Iloilo is the capital city of Iloilo province located on Panay Island in the Western Visayas region. It is a popular tourist attraction known for its historical sites, colonial churches, beaches, festivals, and food. The geographical location of the city right in the center of the Philippines gives it the sweet moniker “The heart of the Philippines.” If you are traveling to this interesting city for the first time, check out our Iloilo travel guide that is of great help for planning your trip to this “City of Love.”
Best Time to Go to Iloilo:
The city has a tropical climate throughout the year. Considering the risk of typhoons in the wet season, it is advisable to visit Iloilo in dry season i.e. between January and June. If you wish to witness the grand celebrations of the famous Dinagyang Festival, plan your Iloilo tour in the month of January. Having flexible travel dates also saves you huge on flight tickets to Iloilo.
Iloilo travel: Getting to Iloilo and transportation in the city:
The Manila International airport is the main gateway to reach Iloilo for foreign travelers. Domestic flights connect Iloilo with all the major cities in the Philippines like Manila, Cebu, Davao, Cagayan, Puerto Princesa, and Tacloban. From Iloilo Airport, one can take a van, jeepney or taxi to reach the Iloilo city, which is 18 kilometers away. Ferry routes to Iloilo are also available from Manila, Cagayan, Cebu, and Bacolod.
As far as transportation in and around the city is concerned, buses, jeepneys, taxis, tricycles, and public utility vans are the chief means of transportation.
Where to stay in Iloilo:
Iloilo provides many accommodation options such as hotels, beach resorts, inland resorts, inns, pension houses, homestays, and hostels. This Iloilo travel guide helps different types of travelers to choose the best accommodation that suits their needs.
Hotels: Iloilo offers many budget, mid-range, and affluent hotels. Almost all the popular hotels like Richmonde Hotel Iloilo, Injap Tower Hotel, Iloilo Grand Hotel, and Seda Atria Hotel are found in close proximity to the Iloilo Airport. They provide easy access to the city’s famous restaurants, malls, and tourist spots.
Hostels/Inns/Guesthouses/Pension houses: These are mostly preferred by backpackers and budget-travelers for their affordable rates. They ensure a comfortable stay with all basic amenities and satisfactory services. Some of the popular choices are Ong Bun Pension House, The Circle Inn, Riverside Inn, Urban Inn, etc.
Vacation rentals/ Homestays: Wouldn’t it be great if your lodging in a foreign place gives you the homely feel without demand a lot of money? Vacation rentals and Homestays make this possible in Iloilo. You can rent a room at Avida Atria Tower 1 Studio Type Condominium, Tely’s Bed & Breakfast, Green Bamboo Transient House, etc.
Iloilo tourist spots:
Our Iloilo travel guide also lists the top five must-visit places in the city, especially for first-time travelers.
Calle Real: It is an old street that houses the Spanish and Commonwealth era buildings. Visit the imposing International Hotel and Javellana Building, which have been featured on various magazine covers multiple times!
Iloilo River Esplanade: This esplanade stretching from Diversion Road to Carpenter’s Bridge along the Iloilo River is a multi-functional area that is perfect for a peaceful morning/evening walk/ jog, a family picnic, or a romantic hangout.
Molo Church: Also known as the ‘Women Church’ locally, Molo Church has 16 images of female saints that line either side of the church’s main aisle. Constructed in 1831, it is one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in the city.
Jaro Cathedral: This colonial church, one of the historical landmarks in Iloilo, has the 400-year-old Marian image of the Lady of Candles. It is the only female image shrined in this cathedral; whose main walls hold the statues of male saints.
Beaches and Islands: Iloilo is blessed with numerous unscathed beaches! There is a group of 16 islands in the Northern Iloilo featuring white sandbars, clear azure waters, rich marine life, and coral reefs. Go island-hopping and visit the Concepcion Islands and beaches of the Islas de Gigantes.
Meta Description: If you are planning a trip to Iloilo city for the first time, check out our Iloilo travel guide for information regarding when and how to travel, where to stay, and what to do in the City of Love.