Isabela Philippines Complete Travel Guide

If you’re looking for a tropical paradise to explore, Isabela Philippines is the perfect destination. Located in the Cagayan Valley region of Luzon, this province boasts of stunning natural wonders, rich history, and warm hospitality.

Isabela Philippines is known for its vast agricultural lands, which produce a variety of crops such as rice, corn, and tobacco. But aside from its thriving agriculture industry, this province is also home to breathtaking landscapes and natural attractions. From the stunning Magat Dam to the towering Sierra Madre Mountains, Isabela offers a wide range of outdoor activities for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the great outdoors or learning about the local culture and history, Isabela has something to offer. In this complete travel guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to plan the perfect trip to Isabela Philippines. From the best places to visit to the must-try local delicacies, we’ve got you covered.

Getting to Isabela

By Air

If you’re coming from Manila or other major cities in the Philippines, the quickest way to get to Isabela is by air. Cauayan Airport is the main airport in the province, and it operates daily flights to and from Manila via Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific.

Once you arrive at Cauayan Airport, you can take a tricycle or a taxi to get to your accommodation or any other destination in the province. Travel time from the airport to the town center is around 30 minutes.

By Land

If you prefer to travel by land, there are several bus companies that operate daily trips to Isabela from Manila and other major cities in Luzon. Victory Liner, Five Star Bus, and Florida Bus are some of the popular bus companies that serve the Manila-Isabela route.

Travel time from Manila to Isabela by bus is around 10-12 hours, depending on the traffic and the bus company. Most buses have air-conditioning, comfortable seats, and onboard restrooms to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.

Once you arrive at your destination in Isabela, you can take a tricycle or a jeepney to get around the town or to your accommodation. Tricycles are the most common mode of transportation in the province, and they are readily available in most towns and cities.

Where to Stay

Isabela offers a variety of accommodations that cater to different preferences and budgets. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious resort or a homestay with a local family, you’ll find something that suits your needs. Here are some options to consider:


If you prefer the convenience of a hotel, there are several options to choose from in Isabela. Some popular choices include:

  • Cordon Bleu Hotel
  • Hotel Andrea
  • Hotel Delfino

These hotels offer comfortable rooms, modern amenities, and easy access to local attractions.


If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, Isabela has several resorts that offer top-notch amenities and stunning views. Some of the best resorts in the area include:

  • Costa Carina Beach Front
  • Isabela Beach House
  • Villa Diana Resort

These resorts offer everything from private beaches and swimming pools to spa services and fine dining.


If you want to experience the local culture and connect with the community, a homestay might be the perfect option for you. Some families in Isabela offer rooms in their homes to travelers, providing a unique and authentic experience. Some homestay options include:

  • Adelfa Homestay
  • Isabela Homestay
  • Villa San Lorenzo Homestay

These homestays offer comfortable rooms, home-cooked meals, and the chance to interact with friendly locals.

Things to Do

Isabela, Philippines is a beautiful province that offers a wide range of activities for travelers. Whether you’re a nature lover, a foodie, or a culture enthusiast, Isabela has something in store for you. Here are some of the top things to do in Isabela.

Outdoor Activities

Isabela is known for its breathtaking natural wonders. You can explore the province’s stunning landscapes by hiking, trekking, or camping. The Sierra Madre Mountains offer a challenging but rewarding trekking experience, while the Magat Dam is perfect for camping and fishing. You can also visit the Ilagan Sanctuary, a protected area that features a diverse range of flora and fauna.

If you’re looking for something more adventurous, you can try whitewater rafting in the Cagayan River. The river is known for its rapids and is a popular spot for adrenaline junkies.

Cultural Attractions

Isabela is rich in history and culture. You can visit the San Pablo Church, a beautiful Spanish-era church that dates back to the 17th century. The church is known for its intricate carvings and beautiful stained glass windows.

You can also visit the Museo de Isabela, a museum that showcases the province’s rich cultural heritage. The museum features a collection of artifacts, including pottery, textiles, and traditional costumes.

Food and Drink

Isabela is known for its delicious cuisine. You can try the province’s famous pancit cabagan, a noodle dish that is made with fresh egg noodles and topped with meat and vegetables. You can also try the tinubong, a sweet rice cake that is cooked inside bamboo tubes.

For drinks, you can try the province’s famous rice wine, called tapuy. The wine is made from fermented rice and is a popular drink during festivals and celebrations.

Tips for Travelers

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Isabela is from November to May when the weather is dry and sunny. The rainy season starts in June and lasts until October, so it’s best to avoid visiting during these months if you don’t want to be caught in the rain. However, if you’re interested in surfing, the rainy season can be a good time to visit as the waves can be quite big.

What to Pack

When visiting Isabela, it’s important to pack light and comfortable clothing, as the weather can be quite hot and humid. Make sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. If you plan on going to the beach, don’t forget to pack a swimsuit and a towel. Mosquito repellent is also recommended as there can be mosquitoes in certain areas.

Local Customs and Etiquette

When visiting Isabela, it’s important to be respectful of the local customs and etiquette. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Remove your shoes before entering someone’s home.
  • Always greet people with a smile and a friendly “hello”.
  • Avoid public displays of affection.
  • Don’t point with your finger, instead use your chin or a nod of your head.
  • When eating, wait for the host to invite you to start.

By following these customs and etiquette, you’ll be able to show respect to the locals and have a more enjoyable experience in Isabela.


If you’re planning a trip to Isabela, Philippines, you might have some questions about the area. Here are some frequently asked questions:

Q: What is the best time to visit Isabela?

A: The best time to visit Isabela is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. During this time, you can expect sunny days and warm temperatures. However, be aware that this is also peak tourist season, so prices may be higher and crowds may be larger.

Q: What are some must-see attractions in Isabela?

A: Isabela is home to a variety of attractions, including the stunning Tumauini Church, the natural wonder of the Magat Dam, and the historical Ilagan Japanese Tunnel. You can also explore the Callao Caves, which are known for their unique rock formations.

Q: What is the local cuisine like in Isabela?

A: Isabela is known for its delicious cuisine, which includes dishes like the famous Pancit Cabagan and the hearty Bagnet. You can also try local delicacies like the Tupig, which is a sweet rice cake, and the Inatata, which is a savory rice cake.

Q: What is the transportation like in Isabela?

A: Isabela has a variety of transportation options, including buses, jeepneys, and tricycles. You can also rent a car or motorcycle if you prefer to explore on your own. Be aware that traffic can be heavy in some areas, especially during peak tourist season.


Now that you have read this complete travel guide to Isabela Philippines, you are well-equipped to plan your next adventure to this beautiful province. Isabela has so much to offer, from its stunning natural scenery to its rich cultural heritage.

You can explore Isabela’s many natural wonders, such as the stunning Magat Dam, the towering Sierra Madre Mountains, and the breathtaking Tumauini Church. You can also immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the many museums, festivals, and historical landmarks throughout the province.

When it comes to accommodations, Isabela has a wide range of options to suit any budget and taste. Whether you prefer to stay in a luxurious resort, a cozy bed and breakfast, or a budget-friendly hostel, you are sure to find the perfect place to rest your head after a day of exploring.

Overall, Isabela Philippines is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty and rich culture of the Philippines. With its friendly people, delicious cuisine, and endless attractions, Isabela is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.

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