Just last night I got a message from my friend on Facebook, asking for my Ilocos Itinerary. I knew I had a doc file lurking somewhere in my email so I told her that I would send it to her in the morning. She wittingly urged me to start blogging my travel experiences instead! What a doll ❤ Thanks Sette!
Last year I surprised my boyfriend by taking him out to dinner at 12 Monkeys. He thought that I was there for a company event, not knowing that I had planned to surprise him months before. Razorback had a gig there with KJwan for its 24th Anniversary and knowing that my boyfriend had never been to one before, I thought that surprising him with front table seats would really make his day! It did, and he took on his revenge on my surprise by impulsively scheduling our 3 day trip to Ilocos! We scheduled our trip mid November 2014 for 3 days.
It had always been my dream to walk through Calle Crisologo in Vigan and lay by the beach in Pagudpud. I have a soft heart for traditional villages and beautiful architecture. It was the perfect anniversary gift that basically overthrew mine haha!
If you are planning to go on a DIY trip to Ilocos with friends then renting a van is your best bet. We, the adventurous couple, took local transport so we could go at our own pace. We wanted to try out the sleeper bus so we took a taxi to the Florida Bus Lines Terminal for the 10pm Trip. Tickets are at 700p each and it is best to get these before your scheduled trip. You can check out the bus schedules here.
We hardly got any sleep on the sleeper bus, mostly because we were too excited about everything. It was not long before we arrived in Vigan around 4 in the morning, the next day.
Henady Inn (Front desk is on the 3rd floor)
located along the National Highway in Bantay, next to the Caltex Station and just right across the Vigan City Arch.
Tel. +63 77 7228001 or +63 9175158001 Private double rooms PHP 600 with A/C, CATV and toilet.
*Ask receptionist for map of vigan
It is best to make reservations ahead of time since the 600p rooms are almost always taken.
The best way to experience Vigan would be to go on a Kalesa Tour:
Kalesa tour 150/hr, you can visit around 8 popular spots and you also get an instant tour guide! The tour usually lasts for 3 hours so prepare around P450 for the tour. Ours was slightly longer because we had lunch at Hidden Garden. You have to remember that the kalesa is metered, we spent around 900 on our kalesa tour
- Juan Luna Shrine (was under renovation when we were there)
- Burgos Museum
- Baluarte (try the sugarcane calamansi juice for only 40p)
- Heritage Village
- Crisologo Museum
- Burnayan Pottery Making (Try it out! Great experience for picture taking as well)
- Syquia Mansion
- Hidden Garden (Have lunch here, Sinigang na Bagnet (P190), Pinakbet with Bagnet (P150), Poqui Poqui (P100), and Longganisa (P130).)
- Abel Weaving (Scarves here are at 100)
- Bantay Bell Tower
- Bantay Church (buy Tinubong 3 pcs for 100)
You can decide whether or not you would like to spend your whole day in Vigan, we decided to check out first thing in the morning instead. We took a short bus ride to Batac just to try Glomy’s empanada, Tupig and Bibingka. We figured later that we should have done this on our last day instead, haha! This is optional on the first day, not much to try here. A tip here is to be friendly with the tricycle drivers. They have connections in both Laoag and Pagudpud that you can haggle with. They can pick you up and drop you off at your hotel doorstep as well.
From Vigan to Pagudpud, we took the local Bus to the Laoag Terminal and from there traveled to our Homestay at Pagudpud. The ordinary bus trip cost us 150p each from Vigan to Laoag and 80p each from Laoag to Pagudpud. It is a looooong bus drive to bring some snacks and water. From our Batac Tour back from Vigan we were able to get in contact with a tricycle driver in Pagudpud. We haggled the North and South Tours for 1000p for both. It was overcast so we could not visit some places. Since we arrived in the afternoon, we took the North Tour first and the South Tour the next day after checkout.
Pagudpud/Saud Beach: VILORIA HOMESTAY
Natalia Viloria 09215985150
800 per night, double bed, tv, table, private bathroom, free breakfast.
The beach was just walking distance so we lounged on the sand for a while. The November waves and current was just too much for us so we hardly swam. We bought souvenirs at the nearby shops and had lunch at a nearby carenderia. After lunch we decided to take the North Tour.
Pagudpud North Tour
- Kabigan Falls (100p per guide and it is a 30 minute trek)
- Saud Beach
- Patapat Viaduct
- Timmangtang Rock
- Bantay Abot Cave
- Hannah’s Beach Resort
- Maira-Ira Blue Lagoon
- Dos Hermanos Islands
Dinner at Hannah’s before heading back to our homestay to watch some Tagalog movies… We had some drinks and snacks while channel surfing in our room. Still one more day to tour!
Pagudpud South Tour
- Pagudpud Signage
- Pagudpud Welcome Arch
- Paraiso ni Anton (we were not able to go here)
- Agua Grande (did not go here either)
- Bangui View Deck
- Bangui Windmills (don’t forget the souvenirs!)
- Bagong Lipunan (not sure if we went here?)
Burgos Tour (300p)
- Bacarra Ruins Tower (couldn’t make it here)
- Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
- Burgos – Kapurpurawan Rock Formation (try the Dragon Fruit Ice Candy for 10p)
We had lunch at a cafe along the Highway at Burgos. We took a bus from there to Laoag. Having the South tour on our last day was perfect since we are on our way back to Laoag for our flight back to Manila. I made a slight miscalculation on our DIY tour since we spent half of the Laoag Tour on Day 1 and half on our last day. We went on our 4×4 and Sandboarding activity at sunset so it made it difficult for picture taking. Also, Malacanang of the North and the Marcos Museum is closed after 5pm.
- Malacañang of the North
- Paoay Lake
- Sand Dunes
- Paoay Church
- Marcos Museum
- Museo Ilocos
- Tobacco Monopoly
- Laoag Cathedral
- Sta. Monica Church
Our last stop was at the San Nicholas market to buy pasalubong. Bagnet and Longganisa of course!
Will find time to update this post more laterssss 😉