One of the most visited regions in the country today is Ilocos Region. It is composed of 4 provinces, namely: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan. However, the first two, though the farthest of the 4 are the most touristy.
Ilocos Norte and Sur can be reached through daily buses or flights from Manila to Laoag (both Cebu Pacific Air and PAL). If you opt to take the bus, expect an ample amount of time to be scratched from your whole itinerary. Travel time takes almost 13-14 hours from Pasay to Laoag. This includes regular stopovers for meal time and toilet breaks. We boarded the bus from 9/10 AM and finally alight from it in our destination by almost 11:00 PM. However, travelling at night is more advisable since the road will be having less traffic and to save you from boredom through sleeping along the way. It only took us 8-9 hours to reach Manila travelling back from Laoag since we took the evening bus on our way home.
So here’s our itinerary when we took our chances to visit and appreciate 2 of the Philippines’ most historical places: Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur.
We arrived in NAIA from Davao at 8:00 AM and took an airport taxi to Partas Bus Terminal in Pasay. Got in the bus by 9-10 AM, and so.. as I have mentioned, our butts finally took its stress away when we arrive in Laoag at almost 11PM. 😀 We took rest immediately after we checked-in.
ocAnd oh! Before I forget, we contacted a local travel agency based in Ilocos to avail a package tour for the 2 of us (I’m traveling with my friend, Aubrey) a day before we arrived in Manila. This agency was J2F Ilocos Tours, one of the most trusted agency when it comes to Ilocos tour packages which covers almost all of the sites to visit in Ilocos. They offer exclusive tours for those who don’t want to be in a mixed group tour which is quite convenient because the customers have the choice. They will charge you according to the group’s number of pax.
|8:00 AM||Fort Ilocandia Resort|
|9:00 AM||Malacanang of the North|
|10:00 AM||Marcos Museum|
|11:00 AM||Paoay Church|
|11:30 AM||Travel from Laoag to Vigan|
|12:00 Noon||Lunch at Vigan|
|1:00 PM||Baluarte ni Chavit|
|2:00 PM||Pagburnayan (Jar Crafting)|
|2:30 PM||Hidden Garden|
|3:00 PM||Calle Crisologo|
|Bantay Bell Tower|
|5-6 PM||Travel back to inn/hotel|
|7-10 PM||Roam around Laoag City after dinner / Sinking Bell tower|
|4:00 AM||Call time for La Paz Sand Dunes|
|-Sand Dunes 4×4 Ride|
|-Sunrise overlooking Cagayan River|
|-La Paz Beach|
|8:00 AM||Bound for Pagudpud City|
|9:00 AM||Salt-making Factory|
|9:30 AM||Cape Bojeador Lighthouse|
|10:00 AM||Bangui Windmills|
|11:00 AM||Kapurpurawan Rock Formation|
|12 Noon||Travel to Hannah’s Beach Resort|
|12:30 PM||Lunch at Hannah’s|
|Zipline experience on the longest zipline over water in the world|
|Strolling and buying pasalubong|
|3:00 PM||Patapat Bridge|
|Travel back to Laoag|
|4:00 PM||Partas Bus Terminal in Laoag City|
|–WAITING for Bus for Pasay|
|10:00 PM||FINALLY aboard the bus for Pasay|
We spent almost 4 days in Luzon but technically, it took us only 2 days to enjoy Ilocos. The 2 days are set aside for our travel to and from there. And so, number of days to spend will depend on your mode of transportation, place of origin, even the choice how to travel within Ilocos’ tourist sites: exclusive tour or backpacker style.
Enjoy and have fun!
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