VIGAN, ILOCOS SUR – If you are wondering if a barkada Ilocos tour package is worth it, I will definitely have to say yes!
This is one of the most offered tours by travel agencies in Manila. Just google “group barkada ilocos tour package” and you will be directed to a couple of sites offering this package. You can even scout for cheaper tour packages from group-buying sites like Ensogo, Metrodeal, etc.
Overnight Land Travel to Ilocos Sur
The tour will have a meet up place in either Trinoma or SM North. We were there at the meet up point by 9 in the evening. It will be an overnight land travel to Ilocos. We brought some travel pillows and blankets so that somehow it will be a comfortable sleep in the van.
We woke up to know that we have reached Vigan. This was our first stop in this tour. We had our breakfast in Kusina Felicitas. The food was a bit pricey and was just enough fill our hungry stomachs. We had the chance to roam the historical site of Vigan first before heading to Baluarte.
It was nice visiting Vigan in the early morning. At this time, it was not too hot and humid. A lesser crowd also means that you can have that perfect pictures of the cobbled streets of Vigan all by yourself.
Vigan hotels and accommodations worth checking out:
Our next stop was Singson’s Baluarte. I am not particulary fond of caged animals but since this was part of the itinerary we had no choice but to go inside.
We went next to Crisologo House. It was really interesting to know some brutal stuff about local politics in Ilocos.
Sights in Ilocos Norte
We traveled up north to Batac. We went first to Marcos Museum. You will see former President Marcos all preserved but still dead. You cannot take photographs inside his mausoleum.
We had our lunch in Batac town proper. This was on pax-account i.e. not part of the tour package. After our lunch we went to Paoay Church and its Bell Tower. This is a very beautiful church.
After visiting the Paoay Church, most Ilocos tours now offer a side-trip to Paoay Sand Dunes.
For the first day of our barkada Ilocos tour package, we last visited the Malacañang of the North. Just like the Marcos Museum, this was also well preserved and maintained.
Checking in at Java Hotel Laoag City
It was already a late check-in in Java Hotel. This hotel was just recently opened when we did this tour. It was far from the town proper of Laoag City but the hotel offers free shuttle to the downtown area with their tuktuk service.
Other Laoag hotels and accommodations options:
For our first night in Laoag, we had our dinner at Macy’s Diner. You must try their crispy fried frog legs and the local Poqui Poqui (eggplan ensalada).
We capped off the night by having some Shakers’ Mudslide and dipping in hotel’s swimming pool.
Second day of our Barkada Ilocos Tour Package
The first order of the day after our breakfast was to travel to Burgos town. We have visited here Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. We were able to climb at the tower of this lighthouse despite the long queue of visitors.
Current tours will now include a visit to Kapurpurawan Rock Formation before the Bangui Windmills. The wind mills of course, aside from generating electricity, were intended for some good photo shots.
We then drove first to Patapat viaduct before having lunch in some carinderia. After which we went ahead to Pagudpud beach. At that time the area was not fully developed. There was only a makeshift washroom to change clothes and do a quick shower. We were advised to already wear our swimwear on top of our regular clothes before we began our tour for that day.
If you plan for an overnight stay in Pagudpud:
After swimming in the Blue Lagoon beach and getting some tan, we had a short hike to a nearby Kabigan Falls.
On the way back to Laoag, we stopped by an empanada booth along the highway. It was awesome and was able to eat two!
We were dead tired when we reach Java Hotel back in Laoag City. We decided to walk along the road to see any restaurant or food stall where we can have our dinner. We were able to chance upon Crowmwell’s Grill.
Last day of our Barkada Ilocos Tour Package
We were told that we will be going back again to Vigan. This is a good place to buy souvenirs. We checked out a bit early from Java Hotel and then arrived in Vigan around lunch time. The whole afternoon was devoted in hunting some souvenirs.
After this we started our travel back to Manila. We arrived in Manila by around late evening. It was a fun 3D2N barkada Ilocos tour package worth 3999 per pax!