Dubbed as the "City of Majestic Waterfalls," Iligan City in Lanao del Norte is a must-visit for every traveler. What to do, where to eat and what not to miss in Iligan City? Check out this interview we had with Christoeffer John Estrada, an Iliganon travel blogger behind www.foureyedlaagan.com. He shared to us some useful travel tips that will surely be very helpful if you're traveling to Iligan City for the first time.
A Local's Guide to Iligan City: 8 Tips and Tricks for First-Time Travelers
1. Best places to stay in Iligan City?
Plaza Alemania (Check rates online) is one of the finest places to stay in Iligan City. They have various accommodation types ranging from P1,600 to P3,100 that gives clean, cozy and best stay in the town. However, budget travelers can also stay at Pension Houses with prices less than a thousand. Famous Pension House, StayLite and D’Morvie Suites are among the top inns you can choose from. All of them are located within the city and is very accessible to public transport.
2. Where to eat in Iligan City?
Iligan City is catching up with the food industry as to restos have been sprouting out. However, the must-try food in the city is the Lechon from Gloria’s Lechon located just adjacent to Mimar’s Spring Pool. Their Lechon is so tasty from bones to skin that could cringe you for more.
Another resto to check is Iliganon Restobar located at Pala-o. Their Durian Shake and Rendang is a must try! Though I’m honestly not a fan of durian shake, my cousins really recommend it to anyone who visits Iligan City and I saw one when we ate there. It is made from real durian fruit blended with milk and some sugar added with durian meat toppings. Definitely worth a try!
3. Places to visit in Iligan City?
If you hear Iligan City, the places that automatically pop up are the majestic waterfalls of Maria Cristina, Tinago, and Mimbalut. They are tagged as the tourism triangle of the city because they are basically among the grandest waterfalls around and they are near from each other.
If you only have a day to stay in Iligan City, go include these three and you will never regret! However, if you have an extra day, you can consider one of the grandest waterfalls in Iligan City or in the Philippines, the Limunsudan Falls at Rogongon. It’s the farthest waterfall but the distance is stunningly worth it. I’ve never been there but I’m longing to visit and be awed by its beauty.
4. Must-do activities in Iligan City?
Tagged as the Majestic City of Waterfalls, travelers should chase waterfalls basically the tourism triangle of the city, Tinago, Mimbalut and Maria Cristina. Nothing beats these three. You can still add up Dodiongan Falls and Hindang Falls but they are located on the other side of the city and would take more than half of your day.
The famous series of cold spring pools in Timoga is also definitely a must-try because the waters are so cold that would seemingly swim to a pool of ice. It is a hundred percent flowing water and no chlorine. A quick dip will suffice to cool down the weather and enjoy the experience of these pools.
For mountaineers, the only mountain for trekking that gives an awesome overlooking view of the city is Mt. Agad-Agad. For almost 2 hours of uphill trek, it’s definitely awesome.
During the night, various resto and drinking spots are open. One of the famous spots is the Paseo de Santiago where there are live bands and stalls to jam and chill out. Also, this place is very well known with its gigantic letter standees of “Iligan City” and “Philippines”. Take some pictures and enjoy the vibe of nightlife.
5. Secret spots in Iligan City?
There’s not much of a secret spot in Iligan City because they were already exposed through the Tourism Office however I would still consider Hindang Caves as one. Why? It’s located in a secluded forest of Brgy. Hindang – 2 hours away from the city. The beauty of the cave and the journey one experiences is exhaustively satisfying. Though I had a small accident, I still had fun and I got to discover another destination in the town aside from the wide array of waterfalls.
6. How to get around in Iligan City?
The main mode of transportation within the city is the Jeepney. However, they tend to close earlier like 8 in the evening and I don’t know why. Also, motorcycle cabs called Racal and even motorcycle taxis are still available throughout the night in case you wanted to stay up a bit late. Please take note that there are no taxi and Uber around the city but only “PU” (old version of a taxi) that tends to ask for higher rates and they don’t have fare meter.
7. What’s the best pasalubong to bring back home from Iligan City?
Cheding’s Peanuts! That’s the first pasalubong every visitor could ever think of! Their peanuts especially the spicy with dried bananas are my favorite. Besides, it does not cost that much for a delicacy like that. It is available at Chedings’ Store near the Sea Port of Iligan City.
Another is the native vinegar mixed with various spices that give surprising feeling when you dip a crispy fried chicken or tasty lechon. The ‘Sukang Pinakurat’ can be bought at the Cheding’s store too.
8. Where to shop in Iligan City?
Iligan City is a small town with few establishments for shopping. For now, the Gaisano Mall is the main spot to shop. However, Robinsons Iligan is now under construction and will be finished sooner.
Ukay-ukay and Tianges are very common within the city and they are costly effective. They offer various products from apparels to traditional tube skirt made of handwoven or machine-made multi-colored cotton cloth or commonly known as “malong.”
Get more tips from John by visiting his travel blog www.foureyedlaagan.com or by following him on his Twitter and Instagram accounts @foureyedlaagan.
Travel Guide : Marawi, Iligan and Ozamiz City - How To Get There, Accommodations, Transportation, Expenses, Itinerary and Contact Details
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