Only thirty minutes by road north of Botolan, the provincial capital of IBA was the birthplace in 1907 of popular former president Ramon Magsaysay, who was known as "The Guy". Iba is a busy trading and fishing town, but there's nothing here for tourists. The main attraction is the beach to the west, which you can reach in a few minutes by jeepney from the main road where buses arrive. The sand is brown and there's not much in the way of good snorkelling, but it's a pleasant place to break your journey along the coast for a night. There are a number of reasonable resorts on the beach, the best of which is Ocean View Beach House (Tel:02/895 3560; P500-700) in Balintabog, Amungan, a few kilometres north of Iba at the centre of a gentle crescent beach protected by reefs at both ends. It's a typical concrete barangay home with two bedrooms, a living room and a gate to the beach that you can rent by the day for P3500 at weekends and P1800 during the week. To get there it's an easy tricycle ride from Iba. Five minutes north from Iba by tricycle or jeepney in the barangay of Bantangalinga is Palmera Garden Beach Resort (Tel:047/811 2109; P700-1000), a big place with concrete air-conditioned rooms and a nice swimming pool set in gardens overlooking the ocean.
About an hour north of Iba lies Santa Cruz, with its expansive saltworks and limestone caves. This also marks the southern end of Dasol Bay, where a handful of small hotels have sprung up along beautiful beaches such as Tambobong. To get to Tambobong Beach take a jeepney from the plaza in Santa Cruz. There are two islands in Dasol Bay that you can reach by hired banca from the small wharf in Santa Cruz: Hermana Mayor Island, also known as Miss Universe Island because it was where candidates for the Miss Universe title in 1979 had their photographs taken; and Hermana Menor Island, smaller and untouched by development. Neither island has accommodation, but both have some lovely coves of fine white sand and good snorkelling.