When the Poor Traveler was planning this trip to Ilocos, I did not have much expectations. Sure I had heard about Ilocandia and all the raves about it before on TV but in all honesty, it did not really appeal to me. I just wanted to see the Bangui Windmills, Pagudpud and Vigan. That was all I wanted.

But I got more than I bargained for.

The Ilocos Region is home to the most amazing tourist destinations in the country. I was pleasantly surprised that even up to now, this trip to Ilocos remains on my short list of my best domestic travels. Ilocos is pure love.

One of my friends was right. Each place has its element. Each place offers an intimate relationship with nature. He believes, for obvious reasons, that wind is the element of this wonderful region. He’s right. Yes, the Bangui Windmills is a proof but really, when you’re in Ilocos, you’ll feel like it is a “wind realm,” not just because of its presence and power but also there’s this constant feeling of being embraced by the wind. I don’t know, the wind there seemed to welcome and entertain us.

For example, during visit to Cape Bojeador Lighthouse — my favorite part of the tour — I was standing on the top of the tower, looking over this awesome terrain and it made me realize just how wind changes landscapes and shapes cultures. That’s just me.

Day Zero

Our trip began with a meet up at the Trinoma parking lot at around 9pm. We were a group of 7 and a tour guide-slash-driver was with us. We were able to leave the place 30 minutes later. We had several stopovers starting at a gas station along NLEX. Truth is, I actually don’t remember much about our moments inside the van because I was sleeping most of the time. However, every time we stop (which happened 5 times so some of us could buy food, pee, buy food, and pee) I would wake up but would go back to dreamland after 2 seconds.

Day 1

The next time I woke up we were on the parking lot of Bantay Church. Here’s our itinerary for Day 1:

We spent the Night 1 at Java Hotel in Laoag City. We actually arrived at the hotel around 4:30pm but we were sooo tired that we all went to sleep right after checking in. We woke up at around 8pm for dinner and went back to bed.

Day 2

Our Day started earlier than 6am. With renewed energy, we were more than excited to hit the road again especially that we already had an idea on what was in store for us that day.

It was already dark when we got out of the woods. It was a bit scary but there were many of us so it was not really a problem. We checked in at Polaris Beach House that night. It wasn’t really a luxury accommodation but we were just there to sleep anyway so we didn’t complain. After all, the tour was so cheap we actually believed we got what our money was worth. We had buffet dinner and hit the sack at around 9pm.

Day 3

La Funeraria Baquiran

Vigan was the only item on our itinerary for that day. We explored the city particularly Calle Crisologo, had lunch at Cafe Leona, bought a tonne of pasalubong and hit the road back to Manila at noon.

We arrived at around 8pm in Manila.

EXPENSES

Here’s the rough estimate of our expenses:

  • P3300 — 3-day, 2-night tour inclusive of transportation, accommodation and entrance fees.
  • P1500 — total food expenses including incidentals (drinks, snacks)

TOTAL: P4800

Note that this does not include pasalubong yet. I spent around P1200 on pasalubong, mostly longganisa. Hehe. That makes the total P6000. That’s it. I hope this helps!

Overall, I love Ilocos. I think it’s one of the best and most gorgeous places I have visited EVER. Ilocos is just very easy to fall in love with.


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Yoshke Dimen
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rgee

Hi, this is cool! Where did you get the tour package, “P3300 — 3-day, 2-night tour inclusive of transportation, accommodation and entrance fees.” ? Thanks

edz

hi! great post! i also wanna go in Ilocos w/ my frnds.. may i ask where did u avail the package? thanks! =)

Anonymous

6000 ? i hope u r not shitting us thats a good deal. booked me in.

shen

hi!did you rent a van?how much?thank you

Anonymous

i hope you could post a vacay trip for two. mostly kasi group of 4 or more palagi ung nakikita ko.

J.Gi Federizo

Oh, wow, thanks for this! Makes me remember the first – and ONLY – time I was there. That was way back in college when my class Humanities class took a trip to Ilocos. I wish I had brought a camera. I don’t even remember the names of the places we went to :(

Kaya salamat!!!! =>

grace capistrano

I will be there on June. But 6k is way more than my budget. hehe.

Cherrey

I wonder which part you were reading.. He’s actually praising your place.. I tried to re-read where he could’ve gone wrong.. pero I can’t read anything bad that he said..

The Poor Traveler

Hi Cherrey, as always, thanks for explaining on my behalf. I love you na. LOL

Cherrey

What he meant po, before pa po niya napuntahan ang Ilocos, yun po ang tingin niya kasi hindi pa po niya napuntahan dba?

So when he got there, he finally saw how worthy it is..

naku… naman..

Cherrey

ahmm.. Hindi po ata ang poor traveler ang nagnenegosyo.. sila po nag hire ata nung which u think is mahal..

Cherrey

hindi po travel agency ata ang poor traveler.. dili travel agency si poor traveler..
nag-abang ra xa atong imong gikalagutan nga mahal kaayo.. kanang mga budget iyang gipanghisgot. mao na iyang mga gasto paglaroy2x.. tsk tsk..
wa na xa nag-negosyo.. share lang niya kung pila iyang gigasto..

Anonymous

Thanks a lot for posting

The Poor Traveler

Hi Roque, I guess you only read the first paragraph. I have ONLY POSITIVE things to say about Ilocos and it remains one of the best places I have visited ever. Thanks for your very passionate comment but I just wish that you read the whole article. Thanks.

ana tougan

where did you get the tour package? planning to go there this sept :) thanks

cherry

Where did you get the tour package, “P3300 — 3-day, 2-night tour inclusive of transportation, accommodation and entrance fees.” ? Thanks

The Poor Traveler

Hi Cherry, unfortunately, they are not operating anymore. :(

desiree

hey there poortraveler… i am literally poor however i want to go to ilocos also. can you give me a rough estimate of budget for a trip for two. wala kasi akong friends eh. hahaha kidding aside , waht’s the best accomodation which is affordable lang? thanks

Tina

Hi Poor Traveler!

I just love Ilocos! I’ve been to Vigan back in 2002 during college but wasn’t able to explore. We plan to go there this May and your blog really helped! I’m so excited for our trip! Thank you for inspiring us to travel far north :)

God bless.

:)

Jay

This is sooooo coooooollll….ever! We’re going there on Friday and I’m so excited to visit the sites you’ve featured here in your blog. BTW, we’ve got 3500 per pax for 3 day / 2 nights tour with accommodation, transpo and entrance fees. I think PoorTrav, they just reopened their business. :))

Shel

hi Jay! would appreciate if you can share your contact for your tour. P3500 is great deal! my friends and i were also planning to visit Ilocos soon. thank you very much! :)

hi Poor Traveller! your photos are awesome. thank you for sharing your experiences and the sites you visited. astig! :)

edz

hi poor traveler! i love your blogs. Great work here. I would just like to ask if the 4800 you mentioned above was good for the group (7 heads) or that was a per pax estimated rate?

January Roads

You’re right, Ilocos is a wonderland. Just made a weekend trip. Everything’s there: old heritage churches and houses, good food, great white sand beaches, windmills, waterfalls and really nice people.

Veren

Ayna, basaem gamin amin a dayta write-up ading ko, bago ka agkomentar iti madi. Kababain payen ta sikan ti rimuar nga tanga.(Oh my, you should read the whole write-up first my brother, before you give a negative comment. Its so shameful because you are the one who appeared stupid.)

Ina Kristin Lao

HI! can ask where you booked your tour? I’m from Iligan City, Mindanao. I’ve always wanted to go there and I am planning to go there by next year. Hope you could help me…thanks :)

Happyislandgirl

Hi!

Planning to visit the Philippines and would love to visit Ilocos. Where did you booked your tour?
Thanks!

David

We had a grand tour of Ilocos Norte and Sur with the help of our kind guide+driver. Best driver around Ilocos. Drives really fast. Took him 2hrs 45mins to reach Pagudpod from Vigan. During the last Holyweek, we were able to go through most of the sights in 2 full days. Knows all the best places to eat and the best viewpoint to take your souvenir pictures. His name is Jason and you can contact him at this number: 0915-232-5349

yoshke

Thanks for sharing, David!