Things to do in Iligan – The Philippines

Things to do in Iligan – The Philippines

Welcome to Iligan, a hidden gem in the Philippines that boasts natural wonders, historical landmarks, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. Our city, known as the “City of Majestic Waterfalls,” offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions that will satisfy every traveler’s wanderlust. In this travel guide, we’ll take you through the top things to do in Iligan that will make your trip a memorable one.

Key Takeaways:

  • Iligan is a hidden gem in the Philippines that offers natural wonders, historical landmarks, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality.
  • The city is known as the “City of Majestic Waterfalls” and boasts several beautiful waterfalls like Maria Cristina Falls, Tinago Falls, and Mimbalot Falls.
  • Iligan also has stunning beaches like Timoga Spring Pools and Dalipuga Falls, must-visit tourist sites like St. Michael’s Cathedral and ancestral houses.
  • It offers comfortable accommodations, delicious food, vibrant local culture, and exciting outdoor activities like hiking and biking.
  • Visitors can explore surrounding areas with day trips and excursions, and practical information on transportation options and safety tips.

Exploring Iligan’s Breathtaking Waterfalls

If you’re a nature lover, Iligan is the perfect destination for you. The city is home to some of the most breathtaking waterfalls in the Philippines, each with its own unique charm. From the majestic Maria Cristina Falls to the enchanting Tinago Falls, and the picturesque Mimbalot Falls, there’s something for everyone.

NameDescriptionHow to Get There
Maria Cristina FallsThe Maria Cristina Falls is the most famous waterfall in Iligan. It is a grand sight to see the water cascading down from a height of 320 feet. The waterfall supplies hydroelectric power to Iligan and neighboring cities. It is surrounded by lush greenery, which makes the scenery even more beautiful.The best way to get to Maria Cristina Falls is by taking a jeepney from the city center to Buru-un. From there, you can take a short walk to the entrance of the falls. Admission fee is Php 75 per person.
Tinago FallsTinago Falls is a hidden gem in Iligan. It is located in a deep ravine, surrounded by towering cliffs and lush greenery. The waterfall cascades down 240 feet into a crystal-clear pool, which is perfect for swimming and diving. It is named “Tinago” which is a Filipino term for “hidden”, as it was once difficult to find and reach the waterfall.To reach Tinago Falls from the city center, take a jeepney or habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) to Buru-un. From there, you can hire a local guide to take you to the falls. There are multiple steps to reach the falls, but the view is worth it. Admission fee is Php 50 per person.
Mimbalot FallsMimbalot Falls is a picturesque waterfall located in the town of Barangay Buru-un. It is surrounded by lush greenery and cascades down into a shallow pool, perfect for swimming and lounging. The waterfall is also known as “Mini-Maria Cristina” because it is much smaller than the Maria Cristina Falls, but just as beautiful.To get to Mimbalot Falls, take a jeepney or habal-habal to the town of Barangay Buru-un and hire a local guide to take you to the falls. Admission fee is Php 35 per person.

Keep in mind that the best time to visit these waterfalls is during the rainy season, preferably from June to September. During this time, the water flow is at its strongest, making for an even more spectacular sight. Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture these awe-inspiring natural wonders.

Discovering Iligan’s Stunning Beaches

When it comes to beaches, Iligan might not be the first destination that comes to mind, but the city has its fair share of beautiful coastal spots that are worth exploring. Two of the most popular beaches in Iligan are the Timoga Spring Pools and Dalipuga Falls.

Timoga Spring PoolsA series of crystal clear pools fed by natural springs, perfect for swimming, relaxing, and picnicking. There are also several resorts in the area that offer amenities such as water slides, hot tubs, and restaurants.
Dalipuga FallsA scenic waterfall that cascades into a pool surrounded by lush greenery. Visitors can swim, take a refreshing dip, or simply enjoy the view. There are also picnic tables and restrooms available for visitors.

Other notable coastal spots in Iligan include Kalilangan Beach and Pampalona Beach. Kalilangan Beach is a secluded and serene stretch of sand that offers stunning views of the sparkling blue sea. Pampalona Beach, on the other hand, is a popular spot for surfing and other water sports.

In addition to swimming and sunbathing, visitors can also explore the nearby mangrove forest or take a boat tour of the surrounding islands.

Exploring Iligan’s Best Tourist Sites

When visiting Iligan, it’s impossible to miss some of the city’s top tourist sites. These attractions offer a glimpse into Iligan’s rich culture and history, providing visitors with a deeper appreciation for the city and its people. Here are our top picks for the best tourist sites to visit in Iligan:

St. Michael’s CathedralThe St. Michael’s Cathedral is a historical landmark in Iligan, known for its beautiful architecture and religious significance. The cathedral’s stained glass windows and intricate carvings make it a must-visit destination for tourists.
Ma. Cristina Ancestral HouseThe Ma. Cristina Ancestral House is a well-preserved mansion that offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of the city’s affluent families during the Spanish colonial era. It’s a testament to Iligan’s rich history and a great way to learn about the city’s cultural heritage.
Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral HouseThe Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House is another mansion that offers visitors a chance to glimpse the past. The house was built in the early 1900s and has been preserved to maintain its original charm and elegance.
Iligan Tourist Sites

Exploring Iligan’s Best Tourist Sites

If you’re interested in learning more about Iligan’s history and culture, be sure to add these top tourist sites to your itinerary. From historical landmarks to preserved mansions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city.

Best Places to Stay in Iligan

When it comes to finding comfortable accommodations and convenient locations, Iligan doesn’t disappoint. Here are some of our top recommendations for places to stay in the city:

Casa RoyaleMahayahay, Iligan CityOutdoor pool, fitness centre, restaurant
GV Hotel – IliganRoxas Ave, Poblacion Iligan CityAffordable rates, convenient location
Primavera ResidencesUpper Carmen, Cagayan de Oro CityStylish apartments, fitness centre, rooftop garden
Tune Hotel – Iligan3rd Floor Robinsons Place, National HighwayAffordable rates, modern amenities
Best Hotels in Iligan

Whether you’re looking for a luxurious stay or a budget-friendly option, Iligan has something for everyone. Book your stay in advance to secure the best deal and enjoy your time in this beautiful city!

Best Places to Eat in Iligan

When it comes to dining in Iligan, foodies are in for a treat. The city offers a range of local delicacies and international cuisine to suit all tastes and preferences. Here are some of our top picks for the best places to eat in Iligan.

Kambingan sa Iligan

If you’re a fan of goat meat, then Kambingan sa Iligan is the place to be. This no-frills restaurant prides itself on serving the best grilled and stewed goat dishes in town. Try their signature dish, kalderetang kambing, a spicy goat stew that’s packed with flavour.

Jacko’s Kan-anan

For authentic Filipino cuisine, head over to Jacko’s Kan-anan. This local favourite is known for its delicious selection of grilled meats, fresh seafood, and hearty stews. Don’t miss out on their specialties, such as crispy pata and kinilaw na tangigue.

Café Laguna

If you’re in the mood for something a little more upscale, Café Laguna offers a fine dining experience with a Filipino twist. Indulge in their modern take on traditional dishes, such as adobo risotto and seafood kare-kare. Pair your meal with a glass of their signature mango juice for the perfect combination of sweet and tangy.


For a taste of fast food, Jollibee is a must-visit. This popular chain offers a variety of Filipino-style fried chicken, burgers, and spaghetti. Don’t forget to order their famous peach mango pie for dessert.

Whether you’re looking for a casual meal or a fine dining experience, Iligan has something for everyone. Be sure to add these top restaurants to your itinerary for a truly satisfying culinary adventure.

Experiencing Iligan’s Local Culture

When visiting Iligan, it’s important to take the time to immerse yourself in the local culture. The city is filled with traditions, festivals, and customs that reflect the unique heritage of the Philippines.

Iligan’s Festivals

One of Iligan’s most celebrated festivals is the Diyandi Festival, which takes place in September. The festival is a celebration of the city’s patron saint, San Miguel, and includes parades, street dancing, and colourful costumes. Another popular festival is the Diyamanti Festival, which takes place in May and celebrates Iligan’s rich agricultural heritage.

Iligan’s Traditions

Iligan is known for its rich tradition of weaving, and visitors can witness the intricate process of creating traditional fabrics at the city’s weaving centres. The city is also home to the unique Kampilan dance, a traditional dance that originated from the Maranao people in the Lanao del Sur region.

Iligan’s Customs

When in Iligan, be sure to experience the local customs, such as trying the traditional Maranao delicacies like the piaparan and satti, or taking part in the popular pagana or bayle, social events that involve music, food, and dance.

By taking the time to experience Iligan’s local culture, visitors can gain a deeper appreciation for the city’s unique heritage and traditions.

Outdoor Activities in Iligan

If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, Iligan has plenty of options to choose from. From hiking to exploring nature trails, there’s something for every outdoor enthusiast.


Iligan is home to several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the city and surrounding landscapes. One popular trail is the Maria Cristina Falls Eco Park trek, which takes you through lush forests and over streams before reaching the majestic Maria Cristina Falls. Another great option is the trek to Tinago Falls, which involves a steep descent through a narrow staircase before reaching the hidden waterfall. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water!


For those who prefer to explore on two wheels, Iligan offers a number of scenic biking routes. The Timoga-Buru-un Loop is a 20-kilometer route that takes you through picturesque countryside and past several waterfalls. Another popular route is the Iligan Bay Loop, which takes you along the coast and through the city’s bustling markets and commercial districts.

Nature Trails

If you’re interested in exploring Iligan’s diverse flora and fauna, there are several nature trails to choose from. The Iligan City National High School Nature Trail is a great option for families with children, as it’s an easy, short hike that offers plenty of opportunities to spot birds and other wildlife. The Dalipuga Falls Nature Trail is another great option, with a longer, more challenging hike that rewards you with stunning views of the falls.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely hike or an adrenaline-pumping adventure, Iligan has plenty of outdoor activities to keep you entertained.

Best Places to Eat in Iligan

When it comes to dining options, Iligan has a lot to offer. From local delicacies to international cuisine, there’s something for every taste and budget.

For a taste of traditional Filipino cuisine, head to the city’s central market, where vendors sell a variety of street food. Some popular dishes include balut (boiled fertilized duck egg), kinilaw (raw fish marinated in vinegar and spices), and lechon (roasted pig).

For a more upscale dining experience, check out some of Iligan’s popular restaurants. One such place is the Artisan’s Grill Cafe, known for its gourmet burgers and pizzas. Another favorite is the Mediterraneo Restaurant, which offers Mediterranean-inspired dishes like falafel and shawarma.

If you’re looking for a cozy and inviting ambiance, head to the Cafe Hermoso. This cafe is known for its delicious coffee and pastries, as well as its intimate atmosphere. Other cafes to check out include The Coffeehouse and Cafe San Francisco.

Pro tip: If you’re a fan of seafood, be sure to try the grilled tuna belly. It’s a local delicacy and is often served with rice and vegetables.

10. Nightlife in Iligan

When the sun sets, Iligan comes alive with a variety of nightlife options for visitors and locals alike. Whether you’re looking for a quiet drink or a night of dancing, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the best places to experience the nightlife in Iligan:

Bars and Pubs

If you’re looking for a casual night out with friends, Iligan has a number of bars and pubs to choose from. Check out venues such as Brewpoint, Gracie’s Grill and Resto, and D’ Bar to enjoy a few drinks and socialize with the locals. These venues offer a relaxed atmosphere and a wide selection of beers, wines, and signature cocktails.

Live Music

Iligan’s live music scene is thriving, with a number of venues hosting talented local artists and bands. The Mango Tree Restobar and Grill, for example, hosts regular performances and is known for its laid-back vibe and great food. If you’re looking for something a little more upbeat, check out Iligan’s discos and clubs, such as Illusion Music Lounge, which features a DJ and a dance floor.

Shows and Performances

Sometimes, a night out calls for something a bit more refined. Iligan offers a variety of shows and performances, ranging from traditional music and dance to modern theatre. The MSU-IIT Cultural Center is a great venue for catching a performance, with a calendar of events that includes theatre productions, ballet performances, and classical music concerts.

No matter what your idea of a great night out is, Iligan has plenty to offer after the sun goes down. Make the most of your time in Iligan by exploring the city’s diverse nightlife scene.

Exploring Iligan’s Surrounding Areas

While Iligan itself has plenty to offer, there are also fantastic day trip options to explore nearby attractions. One popular destination is the neighboring province of Lanao del Norte, home to the stunning Maria Cristina Falls. Considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Philippines, it boasts a 98-meter drop that is sure to take your breath away.

Another nearby city worth visiting is Cagayan de Oro, known for its beautiful beaches and adventurous water sports. Take a day trip to the city and spend time relaxing on the sand, swimming in the sea, or indulging in local cuisine.

For those who prefer a more cultural experience, a trip to the ancient city of Marawi is an excellent choice. Located just an hour from Iligan, Marawi is known for its rich history and stunning architecture. Visit the grand mosque and experience the city’s vibrant Muslim culture and traditions.

No matter what you choose to do outside of Iligan, make sure to plan your trip ahead of time. Consider transportation options, recommended itineraries, and any necessary permits or fees. With so much to see and do in the surrounding areas, it’s worth taking the time to explore beyond Iligan’s borders.

Getting Around Iligan

When it comes to getting around Iligan, there are several options available to visitors. Public transportation, such as jeepneys and tricycles, is affordable and widely available, but may be crowded and unpredictable. Taxis are also available, but it’s important to negotiate the fare before getting into the car.

Renting a car or motorbike is also an option for those who prefer to have more flexibility and independence. However, it’s important to note that traffic can be congested and driving can be a bit chaotic, particularly in the city centre.

If you’re planning on exploring the waterfalls or beaches outside of the city, hiring a driver or booking a tour may be your best bet. It’s important to do your research and choose a reputable company to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Best Time to Visit Iligan

Planning a trip to Iligan? The best time to visit depends on your preferences and travel style. Here are some factors to consider when planning your trip:

  1. Weather: Iligan has a tropical climate, with temperatures averaging around 30°C throughout the year. The wet season typically runs from June to December, with the heaviest rainfall occurring from July to September. If you prefer drier weather, consider visiting from January to May.
  2. Seasonal events: Iligan celebrates several festivals throughout the year, including the Diyandi Festival in September and the Sarimanok Festival in May. If you want to experience the city’s vibrant culture and traditions, plan your visit around one of these events.
  3. Tourist crowds: Iligan is still a relatively undiscovered destination, so crowds are not typically a concern. However, if you want to avoid peak tourist season, consider visiting outside of major holidays or events.

No matter when you choose to visit, be sure to pack light, breathable clothing and comfortable shoes for exploring the city’s many attractions. If you’re planning to do outdoor activities, such as hiking or swimming, don’t forget to bring appropriate gear and sun protection.

Safety Tips for Iligan Travelers

When visiting Iligan, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Keep your valuables safe and secure at all times. Use a money belt or hidden pouch to store your passport, money, and other important documents.
  2. Avoid walking alone at night, especially in unlit areas or unfamiliar neighborhoods.
  3. When using public transportation, only use trusted and licensed taxis or public transport services. If possible, arrange transportation through your hotel or a reputable tour company.
  4. Be cautious when accepting food or drinks from strangers, especially in social settings or nightclubs.
  5. Take note of emergency numbers and the location of the nearest hospital or medical facility.
  6. Leave copies of your travel itinerary and important documents with someone at home.

By following these safety tips, you can help ensure a safe and memorable trip to Iligan.


As we come to the end of our Iligan travel guide, we hope we’ve convinced you to visit this hidden gem in the Philippines. Iligan is a city rich in natural beauty, cultural heritage, and exciting activities that will provide an unforgettable travel experience.

From exploring breathtaking waterfalls to discovering stunning beaches and experiencing the local culture and traditions, Iligan has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, historical landmarks, or delicious cuisine, Iligan won’t disappoint.

So, why not plan your trip to Iligan today? With our recommendations for the top things to do, places to stay, and dining options, you’re sure to have a fantastic time in this beautiful city. And with our travel tips and safety advice, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.

Visit Iligan and Discover Its Hidden Treasures

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore Iligan’s hidden treasures. With its stunning waterfalls, beautiful beaches, historic sites, and exciting activities, Iligan is a city that deserves to be on every traveler’s bucket list. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and prepare for an adventure of a lifetime in Iligan, the Philippines.


Q: What are the top things to do in Iligan?

A: Iligan offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Some of the top things to do in the city include exploring breathtaking waterfalls, discovering stunning beaches, visiting tourist sites, experiencing the local culture, engaging in outdoor activities, shopping for souvenirs, and enjoying the vibrant nightlife.

Q: What are some famous waterfalls in Iligan?

A: Iligan is known for its magnificent waterfalls. Some of the famous waterfalls in the city include the mesmerizing Maria Cristina Falls, the enchanting Tinago Falls, and the picturesque Mimbalot Falls. These waterfalls offer stunning views and unforgettable experiences for visitors.

Q: Are there any beautiful beaches in Iligan?

A: Yes, Iligan is home to some stunning beaches. The popular Timoga Spring Pools and the scenic Dalipuga Falls are among the beautiful beach destinations in the city. Visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and picnicking while taking in the natural beauty of these beaches.

Q: What are the must-visit tourist sites in Iligan?

A: Iligan has several must-visit tourist sites that showcase its rich history and culture. St. Michael’s Cathedral, Ma. Cristina Ancestral House, and Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House are some of the sites that visitors should explore to gain insights into the city’s cultural heritage.

Q: Where are the best places to stay in Iligan?

A: Iligan offers a range of accommodations, including hotels and resorts that provide comfortable stays and convenient locations. Some recommended places to stay include hotels known for their exceptional service and unique amenities, ensuring a pleasant experience for visitors.

Q: What are the best dining options in Iligan?

A: Iligan boasts a diverse culinary scene, offering a range of dining options. From local delicacies to international cuisine, visitors can indulge in delicious food at popular restaurants known for their quality, service, and inviting ambiance.

Q: What is the local culture like in Iligan?

A: Iligan is known for its vibrant local culture, which is reflected in its festivals, traditions, and customs. Visitors can immerse themselves in the city’s heritage by participating in annual events and gaining insights into the local way of life.

Q: What outdoor activities can be enjoyed in Iligan?

A: Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of activities to enjoy in Iligan. The city offers opportunities for hiking, biking, and exploring nature trails. There are popular spots that cater to outdoor activities, and visitors can also find equipment rental and guided tours.

Q: Where can visitors shop for souvenirs in Iligan?

A: Visitors can indulge in shopping experiences in Iligan, with options ranging from local markets and souvenir shops to malls. These places offer unique souvenirs and gifts that reflect the city’s culture and traditions.

Q: What is the nightlife like in Iligan?

A: Iligan offers a vibrant nightlife scene, with various bars, clubs, and entertainment venues. Visitors can enjoy live music, dancing, and socializing in these venues, providing a lively and enjoyable experience after dark.

Q: Are there any nearby attractions to explore from Iligan?

A: For those looking to explore beyond Iligan, the city offers day trips and excursions to nearby attractions. Visitors can consider visiting the stunning Maria Cristina Falls in neighboring Lanao del Norte or the captivating beaches of nearby Cagayan de Oro City.

Q: How can visitors get around Iligan?

A: Iligan provides various transportation options for getting around the city. Visitors can utilize public transportation, such as buses, jeepneys, and tricycles. Taxi services and car rentals are also available for convenience. Navigating the city’s streets and landmarks is made easier with helpful tips.

Q: When is the best time to visit Iligan?

A: The best time to visit Iligan depends on factors such as weather conditions, seasonal events, and tourist crowds. It is recommended to consider these factors when planning a trip to ensure a pleasant and enjoyable experience in the city.

Q: What are some safety tips for Iligan travelers?

A: It is important for travelers to prioritize their safety when visiting Iligan. Important safety tips include safeguarding personal belongings, being vigilant during transportation, and taking general precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.