Abra Bucket List: Tourist Attractions and Best Places to Visit in Abra Province, Philippines
What was once a civil war battleground has become an upcoming premier tourist destination for everyone to discover. Abra is a great combination of history and mother nature. The province’s wonders can be seen through the body of waters, caves, and museums.
How to Get There
There are plenty of routes you can take on the way to Abra Province. Some of the roads you can take are the Abra-Ilocos Sur Road, Abra-Kalinga Road, Abra-Cervantes Road, Abra-Ilocos Norte Road, Bangued Cadre Road, and Lagangilang Access Road. The route you should take depends on your geographical location. Here are some of the activities you can do during your visit:
Swim in Kili Falls
Tourists cannot afford to miss the waters of Kili. Kili Falls is a place to swim and be isolated from the world as you are surrounded by rocks and cliffs. This is because Kili Falls is located in the remote city of Tubo in Abra.
You can expect that the waters will be cold and clear. While swimming in Kili Falls, you will notice how the scenery is complemented by smooth gray rocks and the continuous bursts of water near the cliff edge. You might also encounter locals who are looking to catch fish from the falls.
Relax in Kili Hot Spring
If you prefer a more relaxing swimming experience, then the Kili Hot Spring is located around the corner. The Kili Hot Spring happens to be located on the right side of Kili Falls. This hot spring is a man-made Spa. However, the water comes from below the Earth’s surface, heated by the surrounding local rocks.
Kili Hot Spring is a great place to relax as you can dip in warm water as you watch the fast-flowing Utip River. Staying in this hot spring is also a good way to obtain possible health upsides.
Pass by the Kili Rice Terraces
Before you reach Kili Falls and Hot Spring, you get to pass by the Kili Rice Terraces. This tourist spot is complemented by the scenic view of mountains, trees, and river banks. What makes the rice terraces sustainable is the retainer walls, which make the passing by possible. There are also plenty of rice terrace linings in this area.
If you plan to see more and take pictures of the rice terraces, you can ask your habal-habal driver to pass by certain viewpoints to get a better look at this tourist spot.
Experience Kaparkan Falls
Kaparkan Falls is a sight to behold because of its unique structure compared to other bodies of water. The falls consist of multi-layered white limestone terraces as waters flow continuously downwards. This tourist spot is similar to a set of stairs on the way to aqua blue lagoons. The usual color of the waters is emerald-green.
However, Kaparkan Falls should only be visited during the rainy season from July to September since the water flows will be constant. Visiting this spot is not recommended during dry seasons because the waters will be muddy. Kaparkan Falls is locally recognized as the Mulawin Falls.
See the Apao Rolling Hills
The Apao Rolling Hills is the city’s most majestic hills. The hills provide a panoramic view of the entire scenery. One of the things you will immediately notice is the hills have a wave-like pattern. These hills have a consistent color of brown land and green grass.
The Apao Rolling Hills has become such an attraction that tourists will need to register in the Municipal Hall for a visit and local tourism officials’ advice. You need to be mindful of not littering to conserve the hills’ natural beauty during your visit.
Swim at Pinsal Falls
Pinsal Falls is a body of water produced by another tourist spot known as Tugot ni Angalo. Tugot ni Angelo represents a historical belief in the minds of Abra’s locals. Tugot ni Angalo is footprints around Abra by a giant named Angalo. In Abra’s view, Angalo was the first human.
According to the local myth, the footprints are products of Angalo’s search for his woman named Aran. During his search, he drank water and occasionally rested, which resulted in the giant footprints. As of now, some of the giant footprints have given birth to new tourist spots. One of these is Pinsa Falls, which is located in one of the footprints.
Take Pictures at the Piwek Rock Formations
The Piwek Rock Formations provide some of the most picture-worthy spots in Abra. Given that you are headed onto a rocky area expect the journey to be an arduous one. Some of the obstacles you will encounter are crossing the Binongan River and climbing huge boulders for an approximate half-hour.
The best spot to take pictures is the white limestone area, which has peaks and valleys. After climbing boulders, you can go to the cliff jump area to dive towards the cool blue waters. Since your journey requires a tremendous amount of physical activity, do not forget to bring climbing and swimming gear.
Take a day trip to Bangued.
Bangued is the capital city of Abra Province. This city serves as the perfect spot to visit historical museums and parks. To get a view of Abra’s natural wonders, you can visit Bangued’s Cassamata Hill National Park.
The park has a section known as Victoria Park, where you can admire the province’s plains, mountains, and rivers. This city also serves as a special place for Catholics because of its special heritage sites, such as the San Lorenzo Ruiz Shrine.
Cross the Don Mariano Marcos Bridge
The Don Mariano Marcos Bridge is one of the best places to get a scenic view of Abra’s natural gifts. This bridge also happens to be the third-longest of its kind in history, with a measurement of 889 meters.
Some of Abra’s natural wonders you will see are mountains and riverbanks such as the Abra River. The Don Mariano Marcos Bridge is also a good way to reach some of Abra’s local towns. Some of the nearby towns are Dolores, Tayum, Tineg, and Lagangilang.
Visit Tayum Church
Tayum Church is locally known as the Santa Catalina de Alejandria Parish Church. This church was created in the 19th century by Augustinians who dedicated this monument to commemorate Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Tayum Church has a baroque structure that carries a cultural significance to locals.
This church also has burnay jar motifs. Burnay jars have been common to locals ever since the 1500s due to Spanish influence. Later on, the church was recognized as a National Cultural Treasure by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
Explore Sibud-Sibud Cave
Sibud-Sibud Cave is a must-visit for cave enthusiasts and beginners as well. The cave has plenty of mineral deposits, chambers, and caverns. Trekking this cave doesn’t be difficult given that there won’t be much climbing during your journey.
You can also notice multiple mineral deposit formations, such as in the shape of a heart, banana blossom, and golden walls. Also, Sibud-Sibud Cave was placed under the protection of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. This means that the cave can be utilized for economic activities such as gathering bird nests.
Visit the Gabriela Silang Gallery of Fine Arts
The Gabriela Silang Gallery of Fine Arts provides a glimpse of Filipino history, especially during colonial times when Spaniards ruled the Philippines. The gallery is located in a house that was formerly the refuge home of one of the country’s national heroes, Gabriela Silang.
This house is where Gabriela Silang hid when his husband, Diego Silang, was betrayed by his friends and slain by the Spaniards. This gallery contains books and other authentic art pieces made by famous Filipino and foreign artists such as Pablo Picasso, Juan Luna, and Fernando Amorsolo. Some of the other relics are furniture, ceramics, and chinaware.
Buy Gourd Hats in San Quintin
If you are looking for something that helps you withstand the weather’s sunlight and storm, then you should buy the province’s locally made gourd hats. Gourd hats are weatherproof equipment that is part of Abra’s local culture. Gourd Hats were commonly used during times of civil unrest in Abra.
These hats are sold by Teofilo Garcia, who happens to be a National Living Treasure Awardee. However, he is the only maker left of gourd hats as the public has gained access to mainstream hats. As a result, there is a strong chance that Teofilo’s hats will soon become the last of their kind.
See Abel Loom Weaving in La Paz
Abel Loom Weaving is a practice that is central to the culture of Abra Province. La Paz is known for traditional loom weaving, a fabric known as Abel. The practice of loom weaving is important because such a habit has been passed among women from generation to generation.
Loom weaving originated from the indigenous Image Tribe. To participate in loom weaving, you can visit Leila’s Loom, which happens to be one of the largest producers of Abel. You will have the opportunity to experience the process of loom weaving and buy finished products.
Swim in Lusuac Springs
Lusuac Springs offers the perfect family fun, especially for swimmers. Lusuac Springs is a picnic resort with all you need, such as spring water, water slides, and cottages for your convenience.
The spring water is refreshing to the point that it is potable and safe for human consumption. You can also opt to get a foot spa massage from fishes as you dip your feet in a pool’s shallow part.
St James the Elder Cathedral
St. James, the Elder Cathedral, is one of the most historic places in Abra. The church took approximately 80 years to finish as construction began in the 18th century and ended during the 19th century.
It also faced destruction during World War II as the church was bombed by Americans. Later on, reconstruction was completed in the 20th century with the help of American Aid. As of now, it has become a cathedral with a unique architectural design with an off-white color.
Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Abra hotels and resorts via Agoda, Booking, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.