If you are looking for a travel getaway full of historical sites and natural attractions then this Ilocos travel guide is for you. You would see a lot of well-preserved places which were built way back in the Spanish era and beautiful beaches where you can relax and enjoy. The Ilocos region is divided into 4 major provinces. But in this Ilocos travel guide, we will be focusing on Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte.
- 1 How to get to Ilocos?
- 2 Where to stay in Ilocos?
- 3 Where to go in Ilocos?
- 4 Things to do in Ilocos
How to get to Ilocos?
If you want to get to Ilocos much faster, then you go there by plane. If you came from another country there is an airport in Ilocos Norte called Laoag International Airport. If you are here in the Philippines, Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines are offering domestic flights to Laoag. From the airport, you could take a jeepney or a tricycle to get to the city proper.
If you are looking for a cheaper way to get to Ilocos then you go there through the land. There a lot of buses that take trips to Ilocos. Check out some bus companies online to see their trip schedule.
Where to stay in Ilocos?
Here are some suggestions if you don’t know where to stay in Ilocos Sur.
Paradores de Vigan
It is located on Gov. Reyes Street corner Abaya, Vigan City. This is the perfect place for you if you plan to explore Vigan because the most popular tourist attraction is just walking distance from this hotel. The rooms are very clean and the staffs are very friendly.
It is located on Luna Street, Vigan City. This hotel is very convenient since it is close to a popular tourist attraction. If you want to stay in an elegant place on your visit then check this place out.
It is located on #32 Gov. A. Reyes Street, Vigan City. This apartelle is also near most of the popular attractions in Vigan like Crisologo Street. This place is perfect for you if you are traveling on a budget.
Here are some suggestions if you don’t know where to stay in Ilocos Norte.
Palm Grove Saud Holiday Complex
It is located on Sitio Jupiter Saud, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. This place is just walking distance from Saud Beach which is perfect for you if you plan to visit the beach. You would also love the swimming pool especially if the weather is too hot.
Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel
It is located at Barangay 37 Calayab Ilocos Norte, Laoag. This place is perfect if you want to explore Laoag, Pagudpud, Bangui, and Paoay. It might seem old but it is a great place if you want to get away from the urban lifestyle.
Rivermount Hotel and Resto
It is located at Barangay 18, San Isidro, Sarrat. In this hotel, you would have a great view of the Padsan River and Sarrat Bridge. You would also enjoy swimming in their infinity pool especially at night. The restaurant offers delicious food and has a quick serving time.
Where to go in Ilocos?
If you want to know where to go in Ilocos Sur, here are 3 travel destinations you can visit.
Baluarte is a perfect place to visit if you know someone who loves animals. You would see a lot of animals from small insects to huge mammals. And don’t worry about paying the entrance fee because this zoo doesn’t have any. Take a selfie in front of the Baluarte sign with the statues of dinosaurs. Take note that if you will visit Baluarte, do it early in the morning because it can get very hot and sunny around noon.
Calle Crisologo is a perfect place to take a morning walk or evening stroll. The cobbled streets and Spanish houses will make you feel like you went back to the Spanish era. It also makes a great background for your selfies. You would also see a lot of cafés, restaurants and souvenir stores on your walk. And if you don’t want to walk, you could always ride a calesa for 150 pesos per hour.
Sabangan Cove is a white sand beach here in Ilocos Sur. If you are looking for a place to relax then Sabangan cove is for you. The beach is clean and the water is crystal clear. It is perfect for relaxation while watching the horizon, especially in the afternoon. The trees present will also add to the aesthetic of your selfies.
If you want to know where to go in Ilocos Norte, here are 3 travel destinations you can visit.
You can find Bangui Windmills in the municipality of Bangui, Ilocos Norte. The view here will mesmerize you. The wonderful beach and the wind turbines make great scenery which is perfect for taking a picture. The touch of the sea breeze on your skin will leave you feeling refreshed. You should also check out the other wind farm found in Burgos, Ilocos Norte.
If you are looking for a place full of rock formation, beaches, and beautiful scenery then Pagudpud is for you. Saud Beach is the most popular beach in Paagudpud. This is a place for you if you want to relax on a white sand beach without dealing with a huge crowd. There is also the Kaibigan Falls if you don’t prefer going to the beach. Hire a tour guide to help you get to this tranquil and peaceful place. The 30 to 40 minutes hike is worth it because there are beautiful scenery and refreshing waters that await you. Those are just two of the most popular place you can visit in Pagudpud.
La Paz Sand Dunes
La Paz Sand Dunes is located at Laoag, Ilocos Norte. Here, you can ride a 4X4 truck which feels like you’re riding a roller coaster. And if you want to try this but you think it is too much for you to handle, don’t worry because you can choose to ride beside the driver. The amazing view, especially during sunset, will be perfect for your social media. You shouldn’t also leave without experiencing sandboarding.
Things to do in Ilocos
If you are wondering what are things to do in Ilocos, here are some suggestions.
Vigan City is the capital of Ilocos Sur. This is where you will see most of the popular tourist spots in Ilocos Sur. Taking a walk in Crisologo Street would make you feel you went back in the past. You could also buy many souvenirs there. There is also a dancing fountain show at Plaza Salcedo that you can watch on a tour evening stroll. You could also try riding a calesa when you visit Vigan. This is also where you will see the Baluarte zoo.
When you Visit Ilocos you should try some of their local delicacies. Here are some of the popular foods you should try:
Empanada is a famous appetizer in Ilocos. It is a fried dough filled with other ingredients like meat, vegetables, and egg. It is perfect with ketchup or vinegar
Bagnet is a popular dish in Ilocos. It is a pork belly that is boiled then deep-fried until it becomes crispy. It goes perfect with white rice
Miki is an iconic dish in Ilocos. It is a noodle soup that consist of miki noodles, Chicken stock, and atsuete. It is perfect with boiled egg or chicharon
Longganisa is another popular dish in Ilocos. Basically, these are sausages with a more “garlicky” taste. It is a perfect dish for breakfast.
When it is time to leave Ilocos, don’t forget to buy some Pasalubong. Here are some examples of pasalubong you can buy:
Chichacorn is probably the most famous snack you can buy in Ilocos. It is like chicharron but instead of pork belly, they used corn kernels. This snack also comes in a variety of flavors.
Vinegar is a popular condiment in Ilocos. It is made of fermented sugar cane juice and the color varies from golden brown to dark yellow.
Bibingka is another popular pasalubong in Ilocos. Imagine a tikoy with grated cheese on top. This dessert is even more popular during the Christmas season.
Visit Religious Sites
The majority of the people living in Ilocos are god-fearing people. So it is no surprise if you would see a lot of churches here. There is the Church of Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion (Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur) which was declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. There is also St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral (Vigan, Ilocos Sur) which you can visit before strolling on Crisologo Street. And there is also Paoay Church (Paoay, Ilocos Norte) which is one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in Ilocos Norte. These are just some of the many more churches where you can deepen your faith in our Lord.
If we missed something in this Ilocos Travel Guide, please don’t be afraid to reach out to us!