20+ Tourist Spots in Ilocos Norte ( Your Complete DIY Travel Guide)

Here is your complete and ultimate travel guide to the eco-tourist spots in Ilocos Norte.

Ilocos Norte is one of the northernmost provinces in the country. You must have heard of it because of the famous Bangui Windmill, the biggest of its kind in the Philippines. It is also home to the late former President Ferdinand Marcos.

Visiting Ilocos Norte will lead you to a memorable historical and cultural immersion. Add to this a unique gastronomical experience. But there is more to that. Unknown to many, Ilocos Norte also hosts fascinating natural wonders. Most of which lie in remote locations. That means if you visit there, you’ll have an opportunity for a lifelong adventure.

Let’s go.

Tourist Spots in Ilocos Norte

1. Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Kapurpurawan rock formation is one of the tourist spots in Ilocos Norte.

This limestone rock formation is named as such because of its whitish appearance. The name is derived from an Iloco term “puraw” which means white. From a vantage point, the rock takes the form of a giant dragon overlooking the seashore. The rock formed after years of gradual erosion because of the crashing ocean waves.

  • Location/Jump-off: Burgos, Ilocos Norte
  • Trekking Time: 20-30 minutes from the national highway
  • Entrance Fee: Php 15
  • Guide Fee: Donation
  • Best time to visit: Early morning and late afternoon to avoid the scorching sun

2. Lapaz Sand Dunes

If you love watching the sceneries of Africa’s vast deserts, you might also want to gaze on Lapaz Sand Dunes. With heights ranging from 10-30 meters, these spectacular formations were created by the interactions of wind, sea, and a river. Because of its desert environment, it became a popular site for both local and international filmmakers. It’s just a 15-minutes of tricycle ride from the city proper.

  • Location/Jump-off: Laoag City, Ilocos Norte
  • Tricycle Rate: Php 500 per tricycle
  • Things to Do: Go for a 4 x 4 ride or an ATV ride, Sand Boarding, Sightseeing
  • Rates: P2,500 for the 4×4 ride (with unlimited sandboarding)
    P2,000 per person per hour for the ATV

Read: La Paz Sand Dunes Laoag Travel Guide: Why Visit?

3. Paoay Church

Paoay Church is one of the tourist spots in Ilocos Norte.

Paoay Church is one of the few designated UNESCO world heritage sites in the Philippines. It is one of the recognized historical and cultural tourist spots in Ilocos Norte. Built in 1896 by Augustinian missionaries, the church showcases a Baroque architecture. It features huge and intricate buttresses on the sides and back of the building.

  • Location/Jump-off: Paoay, Ilocos Norte (30-minutes of ride from Laoag City)
  • Entrance Fee: None
  • Reminder: Respect the Church. It’s a worship and sacred site.
  • Tip: Try the pinakbet pizza at Herencia Cafe in front of the church

4. Bangui Windmill

Bangui windmill is one of the tourist spots in Ilocos Norte.

Bangui Windmill is one of the iconic tourist spots in Ilocos Norte and is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. Standing along the Bangui Bay, the windmills generate renewable energy for around 108 000 households in the province. Experience the power of the windmills as you gaze on the beautiful sight of the seashore.

  • Location/Jump-off: Bangui Bay, Bangui, Ilocos Norte
  • Opening Time: 24 hours

5. Patapat Bridge

Built along a dramatic mountain’s slope facing the ocean, Patapat Bridge connects two barangays in Pagudpud. It measures 1.2 km long, making it the fourth-longest bridge in the Philippines. Visitors and commuters can relish a spectacular view of the sea and the adjacent mountains while crossing the bridge.

  • Location/Jump-off: Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
  • Opens: 24 hours
  • Entrance Fee: None

Read: Must-Visit Attractions In Pagudpud Philippines

6. Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

The lighthouse is one of the historical tourist spots in Ilocos Norte. Similar to many other lighthouses in the country, Cape Bojeador Lighthouse features brick walls made during the Spanish regime. Today, it still serves as a guiding light to ships entering the Philippine coast from the north.

  • Location/Jump-off: Burgos, Ilocos Norte
  • Entrance Fee: Php 20 per person

7. The Sinking Bell Tower

Ever heard of the famous leaning tower of Pisa in Italy? Ilocos Norte has its version of that called the Sinking Local Tower. Located at the center of Laoag City, this structure is one of the tallest bell towers in the Philippines. It measures around 45 meters tall. Because of its heavyweight and its sandy site, it’s gradually sinking at a rate of an inch per year. The tower offers an imposing view when it’s lit up at night.

  • Location/Jump-off: Laoag City, Ilocos Norte
  • Entrance Fee: None

8. Malacañang of the North

Malacañang of the North served as the official residence during the Presidency of the late Ferdinand Marcos. Adjacent to the scenic Paoay lake, it is a two-story building complete with bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining area, an office, a modest ballroom, and even an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Outside, you can find an expansive terrace and a beautiful garden complementing the stunning view of the lake.

  • Location/Jump-off: Brgy. Suba, Paoay, Ilocos Norte
  • Entrance Fee: Php 30 for adults, Php 10 for children
  • Opens: Monday to Sunday (9:00 am to 4:40 pm)

9. Juan Luna Shrine

The shrine was designated in commemoration of Juan Luna, one of the acclaimed heroes during the Spanish revolution. It is a two-story building that houses the memorabilia of the Luna family. Among the items found here are Juan Luna’s paintings, of which the most prominent is the Spolarium.

  • Location/Jump-off: Badoc, Ilocos Norte
  • Entrance Fee: None

10. Bacarra Domeless Tower

Bacarra Domeless Tower is one of the tourist spots in Ilocos Norte.

Built in 1830, the Bacarra Domeless Tower towers for some 50 meters. An earthquake caused it damage in 1931. In 1983, a 7.8 intensity earthquake caused its dome to collapse; thus, it was dubbed as the “Dignified Domeless Belltower in Asia.” Near the tower, you can find Museo de Bacarra, which houses numerous artifacts portraying the culture and history of the Ilocanos.

  • Location/Jump-off: Bacarra, Ilocos Norte (15 mins from Laoag City)
  • Entrance Fee: None
  • Tip: Visit Bacarra Museo near the tower

11. Tanap Avis Falls

Tanap Avis Falls  is one of the tourist spots in Ilocos Norte.

Tanap Avis Falls is a series of small cascades that formed beautiful pools. It is one of the remotest tourist spots in Ilocos Norte. But it is one worthy of exploration for nature lovers and adventurers. The pools are crystal-clear, reflecting the limestone forests around. Because the pools are deep, you can jump or even dive from the top of the waterfalls.

  • Location/Jump-off: Brgy Tanap, Burgos, Ilocos Norte
  • Tricycle Fare from Burgos: Php 300
  • Guide Fee: Donation (Ask the tricycle driver to guide you)
  • Trekking Time: 30 minutes
  • Contact: 0909 449 5299 (Burgos LGU-Tourism Office)

12. Kaangrian Falls

Kaangrian Falls is one of the tourist spots in Ilocos Norte.

“Kaangrian” literally means smelly. But the word is ironic to the waterfall’s mystic and stunning beauty. In fact, it is considered as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country. Just like Tanap Avis falls, Kaangrian falls consists of different layers, some have deep and wide pools where you can take a plunge. Beautiful forests surround the falls.

  • Location/Jump-off: Brgy Paayas, Burgos, Ilocos Norte
  • Tricycle Fare: Approximately Php 600
  • Best Time to Visit: July to November
  • Contact: 0909 449 5299 (Burgos LGU-Tourism Office)

13. Darna Falls

Darna Falls is one of the tourist spots in Ilocos Norte.

Darna Falls is hidden beneath the mountains, making it one of the unspoiled tourist spots in Ilocos Norte. It’s a perfect getaway for those chasing adventure and relief. The towering waterfall carved a beautiful pool with cold and crystal-clear waters that emanate from pine and mossy forests upstream. Ferns and other native plants surround the falls, giving it a rustic view.

  • Location/Jump-off: Brgy San Isidro, Dumalneg, Ilocos Norte
  • Trekking time: 1-3 hours
  • Guide Fee: Php 300
  • Nearby Sights to See: Butubut falls, Ar-aro Picnic Site, River

14. Kabigan Falls

Kabigan Falls is one of the tourist spots in Ilocos Norte.

Kabigan Falls is one of the most visited tourist spots in Ilocos Norte, owing to its proximity to other prominent destinations. It measures around 85 feet high and cascades on a concave pool. Don’t miss the plunge on its icy-cold and rejuvenating waters. Pristine rainforests surround the falls. It’s just 1.5 kilometers away from the national highway.

  • Location/Jump-off: Brgy Balaoi, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
  • Trekking Time: 30 minutes
  • Entrance Fee: Php 20
  • Guide Fee: Php 100 (5 pax)
  • Contact: ommpagudpud@yahoo.com (Municipal LGU of Pagudpud)

15. Paoay Lake

Paoay lake comes with an interesting legend. It’s best to hear this from the locals. To get the best view of the lake, you can visit the Malacanang of the North. Paoay Lake is around 386 hectares and has an average depth of 6 meters.

  • Location/Jump-off: Paoay, Ilocos Norte
  • Entrance Fee: None
  • Contact: paoay.kumakaway@gmail.com (Paoay Tourism Office)

16. Nueve Era Eco-Cultural Park

Have you ever thought of staying overnight in a treehouse? You can do that at the Nueva Era Eco-Cultural Park. It’s one of the newest tourist spots in Ilocos Norte. The park showcases the rich Tingguian culture who are among the indigenous peoples inhabiting the hinterlands. Here, you’ll find tree houses and native huts and bungalows. All these offer modest accommodation amenities such as beds and an electric fan. There is also a campsite, a bonfire area or dap-ayan, a swimming pool, a restaurant, and trekking trails.

  • Location/Jump-off: Nueva Era, Ilocos Norte
  • Contact: 09152582512 (Ria Rivera, Nueva Era Tourism Officer)

17. Bantay Abot Cave

Bantoy Abot cave is a must-see destination when visiting the beaches in Pagudpud. It’s a majestic rock formation formed by the crashing waves of the sea. From a vantage point, it resembles the shape of a whale. Assaulting the cave is relatively safe though take extra caution because of the wind blows which might cause you to slip. Make sure you are in comfortable hiking gear. After conquering the cave, you can now enjoy the scenery of the beach.

  • Location/Jump-off: Brgy Baloi, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
  • Entrance Fee: None

18. Kalbario-Patapat Natural Park

Kalbario-Patapat Natural Park covers more than 3,800 hectares of pristine primary and secondary forests. It hosts numerous endangered species such as ferns, frogs, and the Philippine Eagle Owl. Mountain springs and waterfalls abound. The park needs sustainable management, given its vital role to both wildlife and the surrounding communities. It is a potential hiking spot. Unfortunately, illegal logging and hunting are still rampant.

  • Jump-off: Pagudpud and Adams, Ilocos Norte
  • Status: Newly-Opened

19. Mt. Sicapoo

Mt. Sicapoo presents one of the most challenging hikes in the Philippines, but it also offers one of the most rewarding views. It is one of the few recognized hiking tourist spots in Ilocos Norte. Before reaching the summit, expect river crossings, steep ascents and descents, a daring rugged terrain, miles of narrow knife-edges, cliff-kissing ridges, and a lot more. Atop, the mountain, you’ll glimpse of the iconic “Penguin” rock formation. From here, you can have a panoramic view of the mountains and forests of both Ilocos Norte, Abra, and Apayao.

  • Location/Jump-off: Solsona, Ilocos Norte
  • Entry point: Gasgas River, Brgy. Manalpac, Solsona
  • Exit point: Solsona Dam, Brgy. Manalpac, Solsona
  • Days required / Hours to summit: 4 days / 16-18 hours
  • Contact: Mt Sicapoo Coordinating Officer (Via Messenger)

20. Adams Wildlife Critical Habitat (AWCH)

Dubbed as the “last frontier of dipterocarp forest” in Ilocos Norte, the Adams Wildlife Critical Habitat (AWCH) is home to different flora and fauna species, many of which are critically-endangered. Among the premium species here are the giant hardwood trees such as mahogany and yakal. It also hosts the Philippine falconet, Philippine hanging parakeet, deer, wild pigs, and many others. Jade vines and giant tree ferns are also found here.

  • Location/Jump-off: Adams, Ilocos Norte
  • Things to do: Hiking, Biking
  • Sights to See: waterfalls, crystal-clear rivers, orchids, wildlife

Knowing Ilocos Norte Tourist Spots More:

If you need more information that will help set your itinerary to the tourist spots in Ilocos Norte, do contact Ilocos Norte Provincial Tourism Office through the following:

  • Contact Number: +63-77-772-1211 loc 119 + 63-77-770-4242
  • Email: ilocosnortetourism@yahoo.com

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