Tourist Spots in Ilocos Region
From WikiPilipinas: The Hip 'n Free Philippine Encyclopedia
This is a list of tourist attractions found in the region of Ilocos.
- Paoay Church. This majestic church in honor of St. Augustine is one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in the Philippines. It is included in UNESCO's List of World Heritage Sites in the Philippines, together with other Baroque churches in the country.
- Bangui Windmills. These windmills have been steadily gaining popularity not only among the scientific community, but also among travelers to the Philippines. These energy generators standing proudly at Bangui Bay were prominently featured in one of the country's tourism advertisements, firmly asserting its status as a tourist destination.
- Laoag City. The capital City of Laoag is home to a selection of tourist destinations, including Marcos-era mansions and a Spanish-inspired five star hotel. More importantly, the city is rich in heritage amidst its developing economy, making it a significant yet convenient traveler's pick.
- Paoay Lake. This freshwater lake not only offers the tourist a magnificent view of the Ilocos landscape, but it is also a biodiversity hotspot, elevated as a national park and protected area.
- Malacañang of the North. Once the official residence of Former President Ferdinand Marcos in Ilocos Norte, this palace is now a museum showcasing memorabilia owned by its previous occupants. It also presents a great view of the Paoay Lake.
- Marcos Mansion. The ancestral house of the Marcoses has been converted into a museum displaying souvenirs of the late President Marcos' 20-year reign. It also houses the preserved body of the late President.
- Fort Ilocandia. This sprawling complex south of Laoag is a great getaway up north. Aside from the estate's beautiful architecture, Fort Ilocandia also has great restaurants, a shooting range, paintball, archery and a variety of water sports. It also offers a tour of the nearby Suba sand dunes.
- Pagudpud. Pagudpud is hailed as the “Boracay of the North,” sans the gazillion tourists. The secluded Maira-ira Beach brings the vacationer a most sought-after relaxation, as there are hardly any visitors on these fantastic shores. One can also see a view of the Bangui Windmills, the magnificent power generators situated in Bangui Bay.
- Mestizo District. Found in the City of Vigan, the Mestizo district is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Philippines. It contains the largest concentration of ancestral homes and other colonial-era architecture in the Philippines, built by Chinese merchants who settled in Vigan. The houses are still preserved and maintained by the Ilocos Sur Tourism Information Center. The district is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines.
- St. Paul's Cathedral. Also known as the Vigan Cathedral, this church's most prominent feature is its separate belfry, built 15 meters away from the main structure. The structure was built in "earthquake baroque" style, meaning it has thick walls and buttresses that can sustain strong natural disasters.
- Palacio de Arzobispado. The Palacio de Arzobispado, or the Archbishop's Palace, was built in 1783, and it served as the official residence of the Archbishop of Nueva Segovia. Currently it is the only surviving 18th century archbishop's residence in the Philippines. Inside it is the Museo Nueva Segovia, a museum which showcases archdiocesan archives, a throne room, antique portraits of bishops, manuscripts, and other religious artifacts from various colonial churches all over Ilocos Sur.
- Burgos National Museum. The former residence of the martyr Padre Burgos, a member of the GOMBURZA priest triumvirate, is now a museum exhibiting various treasures and antiquities depicting the Ilocano culture and society. A display of Padre Burgos' memorabilia can also be found in the area.
- Santa Maria Church. This Baroque masterpiece found in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was built on a hill elevated from the central town plaza together with its distinctive bell tower.
- Agoo-Damortis National Seashore Park. This is a biodiversity hotspot and a declared National Park in the municipality of Agoo, La Union.
- San Juan Beach. Regarded as the "Surfing Capital of the North," this stretch of white sand beach facing the South China Sea is a must-go place for surfers and watersports lovers. Ideal surfing months are from November to February.
- Hundred Islands National Park. This national park is famous for the beautiful islets dotting the coast of Alaminos City is considered as one of the most beautiful locations in the Philippines.
- Cape Bolinao Lighthouse. This lighthouse standing at Bolinao, Pangasinan was built by the Americans in 1903 on a 300-feet high promontory at the western section of Cape Bolinao. Up to now it still sends signals to vessels passing by the nearby sea.
- Manlaleuag National Park. This forest area was declared as a National Park in 1940, and is a host to both scientists and tourists interested in the environment.
- Our Lady of Manaoag Church. A sure destination for any devoted Catholic, the Our Lady of Manaoag Church in Pangasinan is believed to be a miraculous shrine.