Time Travel in Vigan

To those traveling to Ilocos Sur to get a glimpse of the Spanish Heritage Town, I have made a list of things to do that would guide you as you make your travel itinerary.  

Create your own walking tour. It's way better than the hop on hop off 15-minute stop of the usual Ilocos Norte Pagudpud route offered by tour companies. A complete weekend stay in this Spanish Colonial town strolling along Calle Crisologo day and night.  Try riding the "kalesa", "caruaje" or carriage up and down the street.

A short stop at Irene's Empanada is a must! Skip a regular lunch by  trying out all the Empanada stalls you can find and rate which one is the best.

Stop for a heavy lunch at Cafe Leona along Calle Crisologo to try out the region's specialty like Bagnet - deep fried pork belly, Ilocos Longganisa- plump sausage, Dinuguan which I call "vampire soup" that is extraordinarily darker than the other versions, Higado - please don't ask me what it's made of haha! Dinakdakan , sizzling sisig or grilled pork bits with mayo. You can burn all these off by continuing the walking tour. 

Enjoy the sound of the horse hooves. Relax and watch the heritage town scenery from the carriage. An hour ride is Php 150 / USD$ 4.

A night stroll at Calle Crisologo  and Plaza Burgos before heading back to your hotel  and if you're up for it, a  drink of Basi, a native wine made of sugarcane.

Vigan Plaza Hotel and Dulcelise Dessert Shop (on the rightmost corner)
Embrace Wildlife in Baluarte, an interactive wildlife sanctuary with an open zoo concept. Entrance is free!

Climb the Bantayan bell tower and enjoy a 360 degree aerial view. The other sites to visit are Filipino-Spanish Friendship Park Buridek, Plaza Salcedo and check out Handloom Weaving.  The tour is not complete without buying food to take along with you. 

How to Get to Vigan ?
An 8-9 hour by bus via Partas Bus, Florida Bus, Farinas Transport, RCJ Bus Lines or Maria de Leon sleeper buses from Manila. We took the last one at night, an air-conditioned bus with a lot of leg room equipped with a toilet.  Approximately 408 km from Manila. We arrived in Vigan at 6:30AM in the morning. Bus fare per person each way costs Php 750 / USD $ 19.  

Where to Stay?
There are numerous hotels mostly restored Ancestral homes converted to bed and breakfasts and inns to choose from.  We chose Hotel Felicidad, it opened in December 12, 2012. Check out my Trip Advisor review here. We booked a superior room inclusive of breakfast, it has free Wi-Fi and very homely interior (espcially if you're not into horror film looking suites). Hotel Felicidad has really warm and welcoming staff. We'll definitely stay there again upon our return.

I've been writing a lot about the Philippines lately. 
Happy Wednesday!

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  1. What a beautiful city! Thanks for the tour, I would go for the empanadas alone :)

  2. What a beautiful place to visit. Wish I was there!

  3. thank you so much for stopping by and for your sweet comment! you have such a beautiful blog, and this looks like an amazing place to see. loving the cobblestone streets and history that seems to ooze from the buildings. looking forward to reading more :)

  4. Arni, love love love this! I am not sure if I have said this before but the Philippines has never really been on my radar but it sure is now. This place looks so charming and quaint!

  5. Oh, I loved this.

    My mother's name is Leonida, and I often think Leona would be a pretty name for a daughter.


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