Ilocos is probably one of the tourist destinations that I have gone to for a number of times. Yet, there are still so many things to explore, to see, to taste. These are the things I’ll never get tired of checking even if I’ve already tasted or seen it.
- The historical Calle Crisologo. A famous street in Vigan where stood the Spanish-styled houses. A walk in the four-block cobblerstone path feels like being transported to the 1500. Considered as UNESCO World Heritage Site, this street is well maintained. I have seen it once closed for a major clean up.What to see: Hotels, Bars and Cafes, Souvenir shops where you can buy the pasalubongs.
- The food. Skip the fastfood. Try the local delicacies available. Okoy and Empanada in Plaza Burgos, Vigan; grilled Vigan Longganisa (go for Tiongson’s), Pakbet Pizza in Herencia’s at Paoay, Ilocos Norte, Malunggay Pan de Sal from Durong’s, Oh that sinful Bagnet and Poqui-poqui.
- The magnificent church structures. Need I say more?
- Cape Boujeador. The breathtaking sight of the South China Sea captured my heart. Visit this site by April then you’ll know what I mean. No entrance fee.When not to visit: Holy Week – it could be too crowded, Rainy days as going up to the foot of the lighthouse can be slippery.
- Bangui Windmills. Take a slow drive along the dirt road of Sitio Kangkang to come closer to these environmental friendly monsters. I enjoy having my feet soaked in Bangui Bay while running away from the strong waves. Be careful with the stones washed ashore as they can puncture your sole. Take a sip of coffee at Kangkang’s Cafe where you can also purchase a miniture windmill.As of December 2013, few more cafes and home-stays have been erected in this site.
- Drive along a scenic route . Ilocos Norte is preferred over Ilocos Sur. There are more to see and I feel more one with nature. The stretch of the blue sea peeping over the tiny trees along the highway never fails to make me smile. Unless it’s raining, the trip is never complete without stopping over at the famous Patapat Bridge – a bridge that runs along a mountain overlooking the South China Sea.
- Kapurpurawan Rock Formations. I first went to this spot few hours after the last sunrise of 2013. I was like, “WOW!”. The forces of nature have chiseled and carved these amazing rock formations. Inhale fresh air as you trek the rocky trail. Or if you want to experience it in another way, ride a donkey. In 2 years time, windmills will become part of this attraction.
- The Beaches. White. Black. Rocky. You name it. There is a beach for every adventure you seek.
How much does it cost to explore Ilocos? It depends on the adventure that you want to take. My travels to Ilocos is usually in groups. Sharing with you our budget for a 3-day get away to Ilocos for 10 pax.