Do you plan to visit Ilocos and see the famous Bangui Windmills or walk around the heritage town of Vigan? Do you need a checklist on what to see, where to eat, and where to stay? Don’t fret, I’ve got all this information covered.
For Time magazine, Ilocos Norte and Sur combined cultural allure of old Manila making it one of the most visited regions in the country.
In January, I’ve explored Region 1 as part of my 9-day backpacking trip across Luzon. I thought I’d share the information, so you can plan ahead and have the best vacation you desire.
When is the best time to visit Ilocos Region?
January – May
The weather in this region is a bit colder, especially in the early morning in January. Temperature drops, which wearing jackets are kinda required. Other hand, summer is the best time to visit Ilocos. Beach in Pagudpud is perfect for that weekend getaway. Make sure to bring and apply sunblock though.
Where to Stay?
There are lots of places to stay in Ilocos Norte and Sur. From backpackers rate of P150 to luxurious stay which rates starts at P2500.
We crashed at UKL Ever Hotel, a new hotel in Laoag located in the center of the city and near public market. Amenities include air-conditioned room, with private bathroom and hot and cold shower, phone, cable TV, free Wi-Fi access. For only 800.00/night with free breakfast.
UKL Ever Hotel
Abadilla, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte
(077) 772 2771
For similar rate, you can also stay at Green R Hotel in Vigan. For only 750.00/night. It’s centrally located – walking distance to the heritage village, public market, and bus terminal.
Green R Hotel
Alcantara Street Extension, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
077-632-1149 or 0923-837-5035
Where to Eat?
You can grab some grub at Jhonny Moon Cafe if you’re in Pagudpud. They serve Ilocos cuisine for as low as P50. Or at the iconic Cafe Leona in Vigan. They served mixed Filipino, Japanese, European and other international cuisines with Spanish ambiance.
Do not leave Vigan without eating Irene’s Empanada. Only 75.00 with ketchup or vinegar to add flavor.
To Do List:
- Visit the Bantay Bell Tower early in the morning
- Stroll around Calle Crisologo at night where all street lights light up that adds a dramatic feel to the heritage village.
- Learn jar making and meet Fidel Go, the National Folk Artist.
- Play dress up at the Arce Mansion.
- Visit Crisologo mansion or also known as Crisologo museum.
- Have a picture taken with the Bangui Windmills as background.
- Explore Kapurpuran Rock Formation by horseback riding.
- Climb up the historic landmark and enjoy the view of Cape Bojeador.
- Surf at Badoc Coast.
- Stroll the garden of the majestic Paoay Church – a UNESCO Heritage Site.
- Take the 4×4 ride challenge in Sand Dunes.
- Prepare 1000.00 for the tours around Pagudpud and Paoay (excluding Sand Dunes 4 x 4 ride).
- You can hire a tricycle in Vigan to tour around the city. Cost may vary but usually around 300.00 – 500.00 for half day tour.
- Bangui Windmill keychain and ref magnets are cheaper if you bought it in Burgos. Five (5) pieces for 100.00.
There you have it. Your ultimate guide to Ilocos Region. Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below.