Jude The Tourist

Ilocos Norte 2023: A Captivating 3-Part Journey into Northern Philippines, where History, Nature, and Culture Collide!

ilocos norte 2023 tourist spots
Ilocos Norte

Welcome to Ilocos Norte, a land immersed in legendary stories, timeless beauty, and a spirit that echoes through the ages. 

Ilocos Norte is located in the northern part of the Philippines, a province that beckons travelers with its culture and attractions. Explore those must-visit destinations, from its iconic landmarks to its hidden gems. Ilocos Norte offers a wealth of experiences that will leave you awestruck. Join us, as we embark on a journey through this mesmerizing province and unravel the secrets it holds.

Historical Gems of Ilocos Norte

Ilocos Norte was established in 1818 when the Ilocos region was divided into two provinces, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. The Ilocano people, known for their hard work and resourcefulness, whose remarkable skills and unwavering commitment have enriched the province’s economy and culture. Let their vibrant legacy inspire you, as you cherish the intricate traditions and celebrate the remarkable achievements that have made Ilocos Norte a captivating destination.

Discover their historical places.

Museo Ilocos Norte

The Museo Ilocos Norte, situated in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines, strives to safeguard and enhance the cultural heritage and artistic customs of the region. Doing so, offers visitors an opportunity to delve into the history, culture, and people of Ilocos Norte, enabling a more profound comprehension of the province.

Museo Ilocos Norte

As you delve into the museum’s interactive exhibits, immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and stories of Ilocanos.

Paoay Church

Paoay Church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an exemplar of the Baroque architecture that flourished during the Spanish colonial period. Its massive coral stone walls, meticulously carved details, and distinctive buttresses create a captivating visual spectacle, showcasing the fusion of European and Filipino design elements.

Paoay Church - Ilocos Norte

A visit to Paoay Church is not only a feast for the senses but also a spiritual journey and a connection to the collective memory of the Ilocano people. It serves as a reminder of the enduring legacy left by our ancestors and a testament to the timeless beauty that emerges from the hands and hearts of Filipino artisans in Ilocos Norte

Domeless Bell Tower of Bacarra

Domeless Bell Tower of Bacarra, Ilocos Norte has unique features as its iconic domeless, leaning bell tower. Standing at a slight tilt, this architectural marvel has captivated visitors and authorities alike. It adds an iconic charm and intrigue to the church’s silhouette, becoming an emblematic symbol of the site and drawing countless admirers to witness its striking presence.

Bell Tower - Ilocos Norte

In the presence of this National Historical Landmark and National Cultural Treasure, you are offered a glimpse into the vibrant chapters of the Philippines’ past.

Malacañang of the North

Malacañang of the North offers a curated collection that highlights President Marcos’s accomplishments and controversial legacy, allowing visitors to reflect on the complexities of his presidency and its impact on the Philippines.

Beyond its historical significance, the Malacañang of the North also offers breathtaking views of Paoay Lake, Ilocos Norte, further enhancing the allure of this cultural landmark. Stroll through the well-manicured gardens, soak in the serene atmosphere, and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds this stately mansion.

Malacanang of the North - Ilocos Norte

A visit to the museum is not only an opportunity to dig into the political history of the Philippines but also a chance to appreciate the architectural marvels and the legacy of a substantial era. It serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving our collective heritage and understanding the complexities of our country’s past.

Seven Natural Wonders of Ilocos Norte

Ilocos Norte is a province brimming with breathtaking natural wonders that leave visitors in awe. From cascading waterfalls and pristine beaches to enchanting rock formations and lush mountains, this province is a treasure trove of natural beauty. Embark on a journey to explore the wonders of Ilocos Norte, where nature’s splendor awaits at every turn.

Paraiso ni Anton

Paraiso ni Anton is located in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Excels the boundaries of mere physical beauty, embodying a sense of ethereal enchantment that touches the hearts of all who encounter its presence. The healing powers attributed to the spring water continue to inspire hope and awe, carrying on the legacy of Anton’s enigmatic influence.

Paraiso ni Anton - Ilocos Norte

Stories abound of Anton’s miraculous abilities, as he would visit this very site and harness the healing powers of the stream’s water to alleviate people’s ailments. However, the enigma deepens as no concrete evidence of Anton’s existence or whereabouts has been unearthed.

Kabigan Falls 

Kabigan Falls is located along the Pan-Philippine Highway, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte and this breathtaking waterfall stands tall at approximately 87 feet.

Kabigan Falls - Ilocos Norte

The path to Kabigan Falls unveils a picturesque route, mostly consisting of gentle, flat terrain. As you traverse this memorable trail, you’ll be treated to the soothing melody of nearby streams and breathtaking vistas of rolling hills and lush rice fields.

Bantay Abot Cave

Bantay Abot is located in Barangay Balaoi, in the province of Ilocos Norte, Philippines. Facing the majestic West Philippine Sea and partially embraced by its waters, this site boasts a breathtaking backdrop that sets the stage for unforgettable memories.

Bantay Abot Cave - Ilocos Norte

Its name, Bantay Abot, translates to “a mountain with a hole,” reminiscent of a half donut when viewed from a distance. Locals fondly regard Bantay Abot as the feminine counterpart of the Lover’s Rock, adding a touch of romance to its mystical allure.

Kapurpurawan Rock

Kapurpurawan Rock in Burgos, Ilocos Norte is a stunning natural wonder that captivates all who visit. Its white color, size, and unique structure make it a standout feature along the coastline.

Kapurpurawan Rock - Ilocos Norte

Formed over thousands of years by the relentless forces of waves and wind, no human creation can match its natural beauty. Visitors are drawn to its picturesque location, where they can admire the rock and take memorable photos. Horseback tours and exploration of the surrounding area are popular activities for tourists.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, also known as Burgos Lighthouse, stands as a historic and iconic structure in Burgos, Ilocos Norte. With its origins dating back to 1898, this lighthouse has guided ships for over a century. Its architecture remains intact, representing the Spanish colonial period. 

It holds significant cultural value, recognized as a National Historic Landmark and a National Cultural Treasure. Located in Vigia de Nagparitan, Burgos, visitors can access the lighthouse for a small entrance fee. 

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse - Ilocos Norte

Climbing to the top offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, including Vigia de Nagpartian Hill and the azure sea. Experience the allure of Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, a remarkable piece of Pagudpud’s history and a visual delight.

Tanap-Avis Falls

Tanap-Avis Falls in Ilocos Norte is a renowned tourist spot that attracts visitors with its captivating beauty. Despite being located on the outskirts of Brgy. Tanap, Burgos, accessing this picturesque destination is surprisingly convenient, and even beginners can embark on the trek easily.

Tanap Avis Falls - Ilocos Norte

With its accessibility and manageable trek, Tanap-Avis Falls presents an enticing opportunity for an unforgettable adventure in Ilocos Norte.

Patapat Bridge

Patapat Bridge in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte is a renowned 1.3-kilometer concrete bridge elevated more than 30 meters above sea level. 

As the fourth-longest bridge in the Philippines, it connects the Ilocos Region to the Cagayan Valley, serving as a continuation of the Maharlika Highway. Offering breathtaking views of the West Philippine Sea, Pasaleng Bay, and the picturesque coast, it has become a famous landmark in Pagudpud.

Patapat Bridge - Ilocos Norte

Additionally, it serves as a gateway to other regional attractions like Kalbario Natural Park and Mabugabog Falls. Whether crossing it on foot or by tricycle, experiencing the awe-inspiring Patapat Viaduct is a must for visitors in Ilocos Norte.

Experience the Culture of Ilocos Norte

In Ilocos Norte, food holds a significant place within its culture. The culinary customs of the province showcase a rich tapestry of flavors, stemming from the region’s distinct ingredients, cooking methods, and cultural influences.

So, loosen your belt, prepare your palate, and embark on this delectable journey as we explore the world of appetizing food, one bite at a time. Get ready to satisfy your cravings and experience the sheer joy of Ilocos Norte’s Iconic Food Scene.

Here are the five Iconic Food Delicacies of Ilocos Norte you should try.


Empanada - Ilocos Delicacies

These empanadas are celebrated for their distinct bright orange color, achieved through the use of rice flour and annatto seeds. Stuffed with a flavorful combination of green papaya, longganisa, and hard-boiled eggs, they have become a beloved local delicacy and are showcased annually during the Empanada festival held on June 23rd.


Longganisa - Ilocos Delicacies

Ilocos Norte’s longganisa stands out as an iconic Filipino sausage with its bold flavors and unique qualities. Made from finely ground pork seasoned with garlic, vinegar, and local spices, it offers a symphony of savory goodness. The addition of native suka (vinegar) adds a tangy kick, balancing the richness of the meat and enhancing its overall taste.


Bagnet - Ilocos Delicacies

Bagnet, also called chicharon, is a beloved pork dish in Ilocos known for its crunchy texture and rich flavor. Prepared differently from lechon kawali, it involves boiling, air-drying, and deep-frying the pork multiple times to achieve its signature crispiness. This labor-intensive process contributes to making bagnet a highly regarded and delicious food in Ilocos and throughout the Philippines.


Tupig - Ilocos Delicacies

Tupig, a beloved Ilocano snack, is a festive treat enjoyed during the holiday season. This glutinous rice cake is wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over charcoal, resulting in a delightful combination of flavors with a hint of smokiness. To experience the authentic taste of tupig and other native delicacies, visit the stalls in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte.


Pakbet - Ilocos Delicacies

Pinakbet is a healthy and delicious Ilocano dish consisting of mixed vegetables cooked with fish bagoong sauce and tomato sauce. It features a combination of bitter gourd, long beans, eggplant, squash, and tangy tomato flavors. This unique culinary creation is a flavorful and nutritious choice for those looking to savor the taste of Ilocano cuisine.

Aside from these iconic delicacies, you should never miss the two big events that happen yearly in Ilocos Norte.

Himala sa Buhangin

“Himala sa Buhangin” is a captivating fusion of arts, music, and nature in Ilocos Norte that goes beyond mere performance. It serves as a remarkable celebration of the human spirit, bringing dreams to life and unleashing the power of collective creativity. This immersive experience invites visitors to witness the enchanting magic of Ilocos Norte unfolding on a sandy stage, where art and nature harmonize in breathtaking ways.

Himala sa Buhangin - Ilocos Norte

For those yearning for an unforgettable cultural encounter in Ilocos Norte, “Himala sa Buhangin” serves as a testament to the province’s vibrant arts scene, its profound cultural heritage, and its unwavering commitment to preserving and honoring the intrinsic magic within its boundaries. Prepare to be transported, inspired, and profoundly moved as you bear witness to this extraordinary event that will leave an indelible imprint on your soul.

Tan-Ok ni Ilocano

Immerse yourself in the vibrant celebration of heritage and culture by experiencing the annual “Tan-Ok ni Ilocano” festival. This highly anticipated event takes center stage during the Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival, showcasing the rich traditions, artistic talents, and unwavering spirit of the Ilocano people.

Tan-Ok ni Ilocano - Ilocos Norte

At the heart of the festival is a grand competition, where passionate contingents compete for the prestigious title of champion. Through awe-inspiring displays of creativity, skill, and unwavering dedication to Ilocano heritage, the participants captivate audiences and ignite a sense of pride and unity among all who attend.

Beyond its entertainment value, the Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival plays a crucial role in preserving and promoting Ilocano culture. It serves as a powerful reminder of the traditions that have shaped the province of Ilocos Norte’s unique identity, while also fostering cultural appreciation and understanding among locals and visitors alike. Prepare to be swept away by the electrifying energy, cultural splendor, and profound significance of this remarkable festival.

Both Himala sa Buhangin and Tan-Ok ni Ilocano offer unique visions of the cultural vibrancy and artistic talents of Ilocos Norte. These events provide immersive experiences that captivate audiences, celebrate local traditions, and contribute to the preservation and appreciation of Ilocano heritage.

Whether you’re captivated by the natural wonders, enthralled by the cultural festivities, or simply indulging in the local cuisine, Ilocos Norte promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you with an unforgettable experience and a willingness to be back again.

So, prepare your luggage, embrace the thrill of exploration, and set forth on an expedition that will etch lasting memories in your heart and soul. Ilocos Norte beckons you to create memories that will last a lifetime and instill a desire to return again and again, for there is no place quite like it.


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