18 Must-Visit Ilocos Sur Tourist Spots for a Trip to Remember

horse carriage at calle crisologo in vigan

Mention Ilocos Sur tourist spots and Vigan always tops the mind. While it’s undoubtedly fascinating, Ilocos Sur is more than the cobblestone streets of Vigan. 

The province is known for its rich culture and history, the heritage sites, adventure parks, and of course, the food. But this time, we’ll be putting the highlight on the beautiful places to visit in Ilocos Sur.

Top 18 Ilocos Sur Tourist Spots to Check Out for Your Next Vacation

Whether it’s for the long vacation or just a quick breather from the hustle and bustle of city life, here are some of the most beautiful tourist spots in Ilocos Sur that certainly won’t disappoint.

  1. Calle Crisologo – A preserved Spanish colonial town
  2. Vigan Cathedral – A major religious landmark not only of northern Luzon but the country as well
  3. Bantay Church Bell Tower – A popular and historic Bantay Ilocos Sur tourist spot
  4. Baluarte Resort and Mini Zoo – Perfect for kids
  5. Syquia Mansion Museum – Home to ancient furniture, relics, and paintings
  6. Pagburnayan Jar Factory – One of the few authentic jar makers in Vigan
  7. RG Jar Factory – Another jar factory that lets you create your own pots and jars
  8. Crisologo Museum – An ancestral home-turned-museum belonging to one of Vigan’s most prominent sons
  9. Plaza Salcedo – Perfect for night trips because of its dancing fountains
  10. Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone – An Ilocos Sur tourist spot that gives you a thrilling adventure
  11. Mindoro Beach of Vigan – A beach for a quick respite
  12. Sta. Maria Church – A UNESCO World Heritage Site
  13. Padre Burgos House – One of the historical places in Ilocos that signifies the heroism of the Ilocanos
  14. Hidden Garden – A garden, cafe, and shop in one
  15. Candon Church – Features an earthquake baroque architecture
  16. Narvacan Church – Known as one of the first seats of Christianity in Ilocos
  17. Sangbay ni Ragsak Falls – The Falls of Happiness
  18. Archbishop’s Palace – The only remaining 18th century palace of this kind in the Philippines

Read this Ilocos Sur travel guide to discover the best attractions in the province—from Vigan to San Emilio Ilocos Sur tourist spot and more!

What’s inside this blog?

Must-visit Tourist Spots In Ilocos Sur

1. Calle Crisologo

horse carriage at calle crisologo in vigan

If you want to travel back in time, Calle Crisologo is the best place to be. This tourist spot in Vigan City is a street of old Spanish structures, mostly houses of wealthy families and Filipino-Chinese traders. This is where you’ll see the famous cobblestone streets that represent Vigan’s image. 

Must-read: Calle Crisologo: Walking Through A Tale of War and Love

Highlights: 

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Cobblestone streets
  • One of the world’s best preserved Spanish colonial towns

Entrance fee: Free

2. Vigan Cathedral

vigan cathedral ilocos sur tourist spots

Another Vigan Ilocos Sur tourist spot to check out is the St. Paul’s Cathedral. Also known as Vigan Cathedral, it is considered a major religious landmark not only of northern Luzon but the country as well. The original structure was built in 1574 with wood and thatch. It was just a mere chapel then. It was only in 1641 when it was turned into a church and was completed in 1800. 

The Vigan Cathedral follows a Baroque architectural design that has been modified by Ilocanos to strengthen the structure against earthquakes which is known as “Earthquake Baroque.” Don’t miss this as it is one of the most beautiful Vigan tourist spots.

Highlight:

  • Earthquake Baroque architecture

Entrance fee: Free

3. Bantay Church Bell Tower

bantay bell church tower vigan

The Bantay Church Bell Tower served as the town’s watchtower in 1591. The magnificent view that this tourist attraction in Ilocos Sur may have been the reason why it was supposedly “Diego and Gabriela Silang’s favorite date spot during the 17th century.”

Highlights: 

  • Located on a hilltop overlooking the province
  • Perfect for picture-taking

Entrance fee: Free

4. Baluarte Resort and Mini Zoo

balaurte vigan ilocos sur tourist spots

Looking for a tourist spot in Vigan City that kids would love? You’ll never go wrong with Baluarte Resort and Mini Zoo. Just 10 minutes away from Calle Crisologo, Baluarte Resort and Mini Zoo lets you get close to nature’s wonderful creatures from cute little birds to big cats a.k.a. tigers. This Vigan Ilocos tourist spot is also dubbed as the “Home of the Big Cats in Vigan,” as it shelters Bengal tigers, white lions, and leopards.

Related article: Top 10 Vigan Tourist Spots You Should Explore Soon

Highlights: 

  • Close encounter with the animals
  • Perfect for families with kids

Entrance fee: Free; PHP 50 per person for an e-cab tour

5. Syquia Mansion Museum

Syquia Mansion Museum vigan ilocos sur tourist spots

Photo credits to Dan Lundberg / Flickr

Want to see how the wealthy lived in the past? Go to Syquia Mansion. Located in Quirino Boulevard, this tourist spot in Vigan City has been decorated with antique furniture, paintings, and exhibits from the time of President Elpidio Quirino, a native of Vigan. The stunning house was owned by Quirino’s wife, who belonged to the affluent Syquia family.

Highlight: 

  • Home to ancient furniture, relics, and paintings

Entrance fee: PHP 20

6. Pagburnayan Jar Factory

Pagburnayan Jar Factory ilocos sur tourist spots

When someone gives you a jar from Vigan City, know that it’s of good quality. Among the most famous jar factories in the province is the Pagburnayan Jar Factory. Here they make the jars from a grade-A clay which is abundant in the area.

Highlight: 

  • One of the few authentic jar makers in Vigan

Entrance fee: Free

7. RG Jar Factory

rg jar factory vigan ilocos sur tourist spots

Another tourist spot in Vigan City that lets you unleash the creativity in you is the RG Jar Factory. Like Pagburnayan, you can also buy jars and pots here and even make your own. The jar makers can demo how it’s done and let you create your own clay pot or jar. The place does not have any entrance fees whatsoever but you could donate any amount, it’s up to you. 

Highlight: 

  • Lets you create your own jars

Entrance fee: Free

8. Crisologo Museum

Crisologo Museum

Crisologo Museum is an ancestral home-turned-museum belonging to one of Vigan’s most prominent sons, the late congressman Floro S. Crisologo. His wife, Carmeling, had their home converted in memory of Floro after he was assassinated in Vigan Cathedral.

Highlight: 

  • A cool museum showing memorabilia and some artifacts of Crisologo family

Entrance fee: Free

9. Plaza Salcedo

plaza salcedo ilocos sur tourist spots

Located between Vigan Cathedral and the Provincial Capitol, Plaza Salcedo is a great spot for picture taking at day and turns to a stage of dancing lights at night. The water in the fountain is always right on cue and dances to the beat of the music. What a sight to catch while munching on the best Vigan empanada. Don’t miss this Vigan Ilocos tourist spot for a fun night!

Highlights: 

  • Dancing fountains
  • Near many food stalls

Entrance fee: Free

10. Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone

Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone

Photo credits to Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone

If you’re looking for some adrenaline rush, add Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone to your Ilocos Sur itinerary. Here you can ride a zip line that  traverses the towns of Santa and Bantay, so you have a perfect view of the Abra River down below as well as the old and new Quirino bridges.

The sports and recreation facility also offers more adrenaline-pumping activities like a giant swing, kayaking, and rock climbing and rappelling at the rocky Banaoang mountains. This is definitely one of the most fun tourist spots in Ilocos Sur that’s hard to miss.

Highlights: 

  • Recreational activities
  • Perfect for family and friends

Entrance fee: Fees vary depending on the activity. Starting from PHP 180

11. Mindoro Beach of Vigan

Mindoro Beach of Vigan

Vigan Ilocos Sur tourist spots are not just about historical places and heritage sites but it also takes pride in sites for RnR. One of the best spots is Mindoro Beach that offers a front-facing view of the West Philippine Sea. The sand there is black fine and smooth as powder. 

Highlights: 

  • Not too crowded
  • Perfect place to relax because of the calming ambiance of the beach

Entrance fee: Free

12. Sta. Maria Church

sta. maria church ilocos sur tourist spots

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Most of the famous tourist spots in Ilocos Sur comprises old churches that are definitely worth visiting. Among the notable ones is the Sta. Maria Church. This Santa Maria Ilocos Sur tourist spot is a UNESCO-listed Heritage Site as part of the baroque churches in the country. The Augustinians had this built in the 1760s. This destination is a historical piece that tells a story about the country’s past. You’ll also see its bell tower several meters away from the church which is a layout that is unique to its time.

Highlights: 

  • Features baroque architecture
  • UNESCO-listed Heritage Site as part of the baroque churches in the Philippines

Entrance fee: Free

13. Padre Burgos House

Padre Burgos House ilocos sur tourist spots

Photo credits to Eugene via Flickr

If you’ve read Philippine history books, you’ll surely be familiar with the three martyr priests during the Spanish times: GomBurZa. Among those three priests lived in Ilocos Sur and that is Padre Jose Burgos. His home is now a famous attraction in Ilocos Sur. Padre Burgos House features different exhibits and a look to the priest’s life. 

Highlights: 

  • Showcases various exhibits and collections
  • Shows how Padre Burgos lived

Entrance fee: Free

14. Hidden Garden

hidden garden vigan

Another attraction in Ilocos Sur that will delight your eyes and tummy is Hidden Garden in Vigan. It’s not just a garden though as there are food stalls and a cafe where you can eat while appreciating the beautiful view. They also sell plants and flowers there.

Highlights: 

  • Lots of souvenir items made from indigenous materials
  • Very Instagrammable spot

Entrance fee: Free

15. Candon Church

Candon Church ilocos sur tourist spots

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Also known as the Saint John of Sahagun Parish Church, Candon Church was constructed with an Earthquake Baroque design like most other churches built hundred years ago. 

What makes this Candon City tourist spot fascinating is its four-storey octagonal bell tower that has alternating open and blind apertures, a balustrade and is topped by a campanile. Don’t miss this as it’s one of the must-visit Candon Ilocos Sur tourist spots.

Highlights: 

  • Earthquake Baroque architecture
  • Octagonal bell tower

Entrance fee: Free

16. Narvacan Church

Narvacan Church ilocos sur tourist spots

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Established in 1576, Narvacan Church, also known as Saint Lucy Parish Church, first served as a visita and a first house of worship for the locals. This church stood the test of time and survived many natural calamities and the two World Wars. This Narvacan Ilocos Sur tourist spot is definitely a must-visit.

Highlight: 

  • Known as one of the first seats of Christianity in Ilocos

Entrance fee: Free

17. Sangbay ni Ragsak Falls

Sangbay ni Ragsak Falls ilocos sur tourist spots

Photo credits to suyoilocossur.gov.ph

If you want to take a break from the historical places in Vigan Ilocos Sur, refresh yourself by taking a quick dip at the Sangbay ni Ragsak Falls. Its name is an Ilocano term which means “Falls of Happiness.” This 30-meter high Suyo Ilocos Sur tourist spot attracts both local and foreign tourists alike because of its picturesque view even if it’s located in a remote area.

Highlights: 

  • Perfect for a quick dip
  • Stunning surroundings

Entrance fee: PHP 20

18. Archbishop’s Palace

Sitting right next to Vigan Cathedral is the Archbishop’s Palace. What makes it interesting is its architectural features that include sliding capiz shell windows, cut-out decorations with flower motifs, and a garden.

This Vigan Ilocos tourist spot miraculously survived the destruction brought by World War II and it is the only surviving example of an 18th century archbishop’s palace in the country.

Highlights: 

  • The only remaining 18th century palace of this kind in the Philippines
  • Museo Nueva Segovia that is home to a collection of priceless ecclesiastical artifacts and relics from other churches from around the Ilocos region

How to Get There

From Cubao, Manila, or Pasay, you can reach Ilocos Sur by bus. There are many bus companies that travel directly to Ilocos Sur. travel time takes around  to 12 hours depending on the traffic. 

Where to stay in Ilocos Sur

OveMar Resort Vigan

OveMar Resort Vigan ilocos sur tourist spots

Price from PHP 1,300/night

Address: 

Amenities: 24h Front Desk, Parking, Hotel Restaurant, Hotel Bar, Baggage Storage, Laundry (Extra Cost), Dry Cleaning (Extra Cost), Outdoor Swimming Pool, SPA (Massage), Garden, Stairs, Air Conditioning, Hot Shower, Free WiFi, Cable TV Channel

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Frequently Asked Questions About Ilocos Sur Tourist Spots

Q: What are the most beautiful tourist spots in Ilocos Sur

A: From Vigan to Cervantes Ilocos Sur tourist spots, here are the best Ilocos Sur tourist spots to visit:

  1. Calle Crisologo
  2. Vigan Cathedral
  3. Bantay Church Bell Tower
  4. Baluarte Resort and Mini Zoo
  5. Archbishop’s Palace
  6. Syquia Mansion Museum
  7. Pagburnayan Jar Factory
  8. RG Jar Factory
  9. Crisologo Museum
  10. Plaza Salcedo
  11. Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone
  12. Mindoro Beach of Vigan
  13. Sta. Maria Church
  14. Padre Burgos House
  15. Hidden Garden
  16. Candon Church
  17. Narvacan Church
  18. Sangbay ni Ragsak Falls

Q: Is Ilocos Sur open for tourists?

A: Yes, Ilocos Sur is open for tourists. Tourists will be required to present several documents upon arrival at the border of Tagudin and Sinait towns, such as a negative swab test result within 48 hours prior to their travel, a digital or printed SafePass QR code, a confirmed itinerary from a DOT-accredited tour and travel agency, a DOT-accredited accommodation and transport booking as well as a government-issued ID.

Visitors will be required to take an antigen test upon arrival. Those who intend to stay for more than three days must take another antigen test on their fourth day, which is valid for another three-day stay.

Source: Philippine Star

For more Philippine travel news updates, read this blog.

Q: How to travel to Ilocos from Manila?

A: From Cubao, Manila, or Pasay, you can reach Ilocos Sur by bus. There are many bus companies that travel directly to Ilocos Sur. travel time takes around  to 12 hours depending on the traffic. 

Q: What is Vigan famous for?

A: Vigan is famous for its well-preserved Spanish Colonial town, historical Vigan tourist spots, and delicious food and delicacies. Because of Vigan’s old-world charm, it has been inscribed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Q: What are the best things to do in Vigan?

A: Vigan is such a great destination where you can enjoy lots of things! Here are some if the most fun activities to try in Vigan:

  1. Take a history tour
  2. Shop
  3. Food trip
  4. Ride the kalesa
  5. Take lots of photos
  6. Visit the Vigan Cathedral
  7. Watch the dancing Fountain

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