Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mountain Getaway around Iloilo

rice terraces, Leon, Iloilo, photo by Ramon Ramirez

Iloilo does not only boast of its rich historical heritage, it also takes pride of its lush mountains, white-sand beaches, and thick virgin forests. There are places in the province of Iloilo that showcase the beauty and grandeur of nature. And because of these, the province has become a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts as much of the land is available for many types of activities.

This summer is an exceptional escape that will have you hooked on its rarely explored wilderness. Most people love the natural beauty and fresh air that outdoor spaces and destinations offer. The province of Iloilo is blessed with an abundance of these places and luckily many are very accessible.

So if you are a nature and wildlife fan or just fed up with cities and beaches here are some of the best natural outdoor vacations in Iloilo Province.

Over the central part of Iloilo province are pieces of land filled with natural wonders, such as caves, waterfalls, forests and mystical hills and mountains. Take a break from the sweltering heat of summer. Try something new for a change. Take a tour and experience all the wonderful attractions on the way. It is a once in a lifetime experience.

photo by Ramon Ramirez
If you are looking for a fun family weekend destination, head over to Leon. It is an old town that is full of fun located approximately 28.2 kilometers from the city. It is known to be one of Iloilo’s most scenic and adventurous summer cool spot. With its cool temperature, Bucari attracts the summer folks to its mountainous terrain for some quality site-seeing during the typical summer months. Leon has a plethora of activities including trekking, bike touring, rock climbing, cave exploration and swimming to its falls. These activities are at your disposal when visiting Leon. Not only do the verdant mountains lure the tourists in, but also embedded in this cozy town is an inland resort where you can pay a room for an overnight stay at the newly-opened PINERIDGE in Barangay Bacolod. This is not your typical campground. Pineridge provides rooms at reasonable prices. The site is shaded with beautiful trees, and a slight breeze to cool off the day. Experience the beautiful outdoors that Bucari in Leon offers. This authentic, natural vacation will have you enjoying life away from the cell phone ringers. If exploring is in your itinerary, embark on Leon, a relaxing jeepney or air-conditioned van ride from the terminal in Jaro market, Iloilo City. For more information, please contact Mr. Nonel Gemora at 09082276719.

photo by Ramon Ramirez

Looking for some adventure, drive 37 kilometers down the road going to Dingle and you will find the Bulabog Puti-an National Park in Barangay Moroboro. You will have fun pretending to be in the jungles of the Amazon on a real adventure. Bulabog Puti-an National Park is a great spot to develop a genuine understanding for the great outdoors and to visit a national landmark. Excluding the island-province of Guimaras, Bulabog Puti-an is the only limestone rock formation in Panay. It was designated as a National Park through Congressional Bill No. 1651, and such is considered a "nationally significant area." It has a land area of 834.033 hectares covering five of Dingle’s 33 barangays. It offers superb hiking where one can marvel to some of its unique caves. The park contains 13 known caves (Lungib, Hapu-Hapo, Ma-arhong, Guiso, Mistranza, Linganero, Lapus-Lapus, Ticondal, Butac, Tuco, San Roque, Pitong Liko and Nautod). Each cave is unique with a mixture of different shapes and sizes of passage. Some are tight and narrow, while others can be very low and wide. Most of these caves are undeveloped, so there are no lights, stairs, nor walkways. Hike up and go cave exploration while enjoying the gorgeous view of the park over its wild and luscious forests. Whatever your interest may be, this subtle yet relaxing getaway will help you appreciate the fresh air in the summer months without the exhausting heat. For more information, please contact Mr. Dane Dizon, the municipal tourism officer at 09477424341To get to Dingle, take a jeepney or van at Tagbak Terminal in Jaro, Iloilo City.

photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes
Breathtaking mountain views, hiking trails that will take your through spell binding scenery and an inland resort await you at MARIA PAZ HILLSIDE RESORT in Alimodian along corner T. Algallar Street, poblacion area. It offers 5 big rooms perfect for a group of 10 and more at a very reasonable rate. It has a pool to cater to children and adults alike. It is perfect for everyone seeking a relaxing time full of fun and adventure in the area. Be it a romantic getaway, a family vacation or a group trip, Alimodian will offer you something that will make your vacation an unforgettable one. For more information, please contact Dr. Marylou Alipao at 09088741929 or Miss Marysol Amarillo, the officer-in-charge, municipal tourism office at 09205674507 or visit their website, www.ma.pazhillsideresort.com. Alimodian is 24.6 kilometers away from the city. It is home to historical and natural attractions such as the St. Thomas of Villanueva Parish, Tinagong Danao, Agua Colonia,Umingan Plateau, Ibagat Spring, Maslog Falls, Bato Dungok, and Oyang Cave. To get there, one can take a jeepney or van at the terminal in Jaro market, Iloilo City.

Stunning Igbaras is another popular vacation area in Iloilo. Explore trails that will take you through magnificent waterfalls and striking sceneries. Spice up your trip by indulging in various activities such as hiking, rappelling, cave exploration and swimming in the falls. Enjoy your stay in LOUVELLE LOUNGE at the poblacion area. Your Igbaras vacation will surely be remembered for a lifetime. Igbaras is 40 kilometers away from the city. It is home to nature’s wonders such as Mt. Napulak, Nadsadjan Falls, Guiritsan Falls, Igcabugao Cave, Passi Cave and rafflesia Gardens in Barangay Igcabugao. The town also prides itself with the annual celebration of the Tangyan Festival every May. For more information, please contact Engr. Wilfredo “Boy” Delgado, municipal tourism officer at 09173080855.

Whether you are a family vacationer or a city slicker seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, Iloilo is perfect for all. Enjoy the beaches in the southern and northern portion of the province. The central part of the province keeps you exploring enchanting trails taking you through diverse landscape.

So this summer, it is time to head out to these offbeat destinations and discover the undiscovered.

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