Situated in northern Luzon, the Ilocos provinces are famous for Spanish era churches and historical sites, local delicacies, and natural and man-made wonders. If you don’t have the luxury of time (like me, with no vacation leaves left 😦 ), a weekend trip to the key areas of Laoag, Pagudpud and Vigan is possible.
I only included the fixed costs for reference, and most of the attractions have free admission. Because we were pressed for time, we had to pick out the must-sees and skip the others for next time. For the trip back to Manila, you can return to Laoag and catch a flight instead, land travel time is 2 hours.
To / from Ilocos region – Cebu Pacific and PAL have flights to Laoag from Manila. Tricycles and jeeps are available right outside the airport to take you to the town proper. Buses such as Partas also ply the route (also, Manila – Vigan and vv.), travel time is 10-12 hours with several stops along the way.
Getting around – Laoag to Vigan vv. is 2 hours, while Laoag to Pagudpud vv. is around 1.5 hours. Since I traveled with the family, we opted to rent a van for convenience. The usual rate is PHP 3,500 for a day (either Laoag-Vigan or Laoag-Pagudpud). In our case we paid PHP7,000 for the weekend. This is cheap if you’re a big group since the van can sit 10-12 people. Contact Monette @ 09157020453
Laoag Renzo hotel – We only needed a room to pass the night, and this was a good choice. Rooms were clean and spacious, and hooray for buffet breakfast!
Casa Consuelo – Stunning beach front. Located in Blue Lagoon, stayed here because we wanted to surf in the area. We had to walk a bit though, because the resort’s beach front is a reef and more recommended for snorkeling. Good choice if you want some quiet time since it’s quite far from the public beach.
Saud beach hosts more hotels compared to the Blue Lagoon (Balaoi) area. There are also a lot of homestay options available in Pagudpud.
Don’t miss out on the local specialties: bagnet, longganisa, empanada, sukang Iloko, pinakbet and chichacorn. Herencia in front of Paoay church is famous for Pinakbet pizza. It’s not so bad! 🙂 Dragonfruit is also widely available.
Check out what makes Ilocos worth visiting here 🙂