Ilocos, Philippines – Hurray to the newly hailed wonder city of the world! As most of you didn’t know, I, Sheila, have an Ilocano blood. My roots, both sides, are from the Northern Philippines, Ilocos and Cagayan Region. Thus, I’m really proud and happy when I heard the news that Vigan City, Ilocos Sur is one of the new 7 wonder cities of the world. Wooohoo!
Though I’ve been in Ilocos and Cagayan multiple times, the last time I’ve been in Vigan was when I was 12 years old, too long that I somehow forgot what it looks like. Thus, I’m so grateful that last year I was able to rekindle my childhood, and of course, glad to share the experience with Rap. Since this was his first time up north, we visited not only Vigan, but we’ve also seen the other parts of the region, both Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte.
How to get there?
Since we took a tour that will pick us up in Ilocos Norte, Laoag. From Manila, we took a bus via Florida Bus line stationed at Sampaloc. There are other buses bound to Ilocos, so transportation shouldn’t be a problem. Travel time is roughly 10 – 12 hours, so it’s best to leave Manila at night to avoid traffic. We booked a Florida executive coach at around 900 PHP each. Budget bus should be around 700 PHP.
If you’re not into long drive, Ilocos is just an hour plane ride away from Manila via Laoag International Airport.
Once you’re in the Laoag or Vigan, getting around shouldn’t be a problem. There are tricycle rides which should cost you around 10 PHP. Some of them offers also a tour around the area. Or, since you’re in the land of Spanish history, try to ride the calesa at around 150 – 180 PHP per hour.
Where to Stay?
Since we booked a tour package, we didn’t worry much on where to stay. But, we suggest that if you’re in Laoag area, stay at the Java Hotel. Location, staff, food, and cleanliness, 4 stars! 😉
If you’re in Vigan, experience colonial vibe by staying at Hotel Felicidad, expensive though.
What to do?
If you’re into FOOD, history, nature, beach and adventure, you’ll have it all.
- Visit not one but 2 of Philippines UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Vigan, Ilocos Sur and Paoay Church, Ilocos Norte
- Go food tripping!
- Marvel into colonial old architectures, from heritage mansions to old churches
- Experience Sand Boarding!
- Be awed by nature
- Beach bummed
We availed our Ilocandia Tour Packaged from A&A Express Travel and Tours for only 5,999 PHP per person. This includes 3D/2N accommodation, bus terminal transfers, food, entrance fees and Ilocandia tour. For transportation from Manila to Ilocos and back, we spent 1000 PHP for bus fees.
To summarize our trip, below is a copy of our itinerary.
|Arrival – Start of Laoag City Tour||Departure for Pagudpud Tour||Departure for Vigan Tour|
|Laoag Sinking Belltower
St, William Cathedral
Sarrat Church and Ruins
Paoay Sand Dunes
Malacanang of the North
|Pasuquin Salt Making
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
Bangui Wind Mill
|Juan Luna Shrine (running tour)
Bantay Church and Belltower
Baluarte ni Gov Singson
Batac Miki and Empanada
Check-in at Java Hotel
Paraiso ni Anton
Check in Polaris Beach Resort
|Calle Crilosolo “Vigan heritage Village”
Pasalubong Hunt (1 hour along calle crisologo)
|Free Time||Free Time||Proceed to Bus station for Vigan-Manila|
See our next posts for more of our Ilocandia Tour