Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte are two of the four provinces in the Ilocos Region (Region 1 – the two others being La Union and Pangasinan). It is rich in historical and cultural sites ranging from the UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the 7 New Wonders of the World – Vigan, to the white rock formations in Burgos and the wind mills in Pagudpud and Bangui.
While it entails a 10-hour bus ride to Vigan, the butt-aches and leg cramps will have been compensated by your ultimate 4×4 adventure in the sand dunes of Paoay, and the majestic Patapat Viaduct in Pagudpud.
If you’ve read my other Ilocos adventures in Vigan, Laoag-Batac-Paoay, Pagudpud, and Bangui-Burgos, then you will surely want to know the cost for planning your own adventure. Let me share with you my itinerary exactly how I did it in 2012. Some itineraries in other blog sites may differ and that’s fine, you can even compare notes. My aim here is for you to have the same (if not more) awesome experience I had, and for you to achieve the stuff I wasn’t able to do due to planning and budget constraints.
So here are some tips, along with the itinerary and bus schedules.
TIP #1: Pack light. A backpack full of shirts and shorts would be fine. Packing light allows you to move from one town to another even at uncommon hours (like the usual check in and check out time in most hotels) without worrying where to leave your suitcases, or paying for a room when you’re only going to spend less than 12 hours in the place. This is of course, unless you have a lot of time to spare per area.
TIP #2: Plan and book ahead. This goes for transportation (I suggest Partas but you may also take Dominion), accommodation, and tours. Most of the tours in Ilocos are through their accredited “traysi-tour” packages, where tricycle drives slash tour guides will take you to the tourist spots in their area. My guide (Jayson) in 2012 who became a friend in facebook, can be contacted at 0905-303-3915 and 0918-687-2603 and he’d be sure to respond to your inquiries. My Pagudpud tour spanning the Kapurpurawan White Rock Formation, Bangui wind mills, Burgos lighthouse, Patapat Viaduct, Timmantang Rock, Bantay Abot Cave and Blue Lagoon – for a day, and good for 2 pax, is only at PhP 1200 then (2012) and still is until now (2015) – as shown in the photo below. Kuya Jayson’s friend, Romel – is a traysi-tour guide for Laoag. You may reach him at 0935-540-0000.
My first night was spent in the bus from Manila to Vigan (10 hours) as you can see in my itinerary below. My last night too, was spent in the bus from Laoag to Manila (12 hours) – talk about saving 2 nights’ worth of accommodation.
For bus tickets, you can book your tickets here or call the Partas terminals below. Planning which trip to take impacts a lot of things – you don’t want to arrive in Vigan at 3am unless you know someone there.
TIP #3: Bring cash – and know WHEN to spend it. At the time I was in Pagudpud in 2012, there was no ATM around. If you’re looking for things to buy as “pasalubong”, buy them in Vigan or Pagudpud. Everything is more expensive in Laoag.
TIP #4: Eat local delicacies – apart from their very own empanada and famous bagnet, you can also try the Vigan Longganisa, tupig, puque-puque, and pakbet. Forget about fast food for the mean time.
TIP #5 – Don’t just take pictures. Experience it. While social media has been really great in promoting tourism in this day and age, it has also hindered us from making a real connection with the people who shared the trip with us and the townspeople of the place we might be visiting for the first and last time in our lives. Observe. Immerse.
So, enjoy your trip, and be your own footloose! Feel free to comment below if you want to share your own Ilocos adventure.
25 thoughts on “Ilocos Series: Your 4D3N DIY Itinerary and Budget Forecast for Vigan, Pagudpud, Bangui, Burgos, Laoag, Batac, and Paoay”
This is indeed helpful. I was able to reach out to your guide and he looks forward into guiding us with our Ilocos trip. Thanks bro!
That’s great, Bitz. He is one good man. And takes good photos too! Thanks for reading, and please say hi to him from me 🙂
baka po gusto nyo i try ung 4×4 rides and sand boarding dito sa ilocos txt or call lang po for more info 09123714439
LAOAG SAND DUNES Ilocos Escapade
hi i want to ask if you have tour guide po in vigan?and if you have po can i get the contact number? thanks so much… 🙂
Hi Inday Dora, I did not have a guide in Vigan. I just hailed a tricycle driver and asked him to take me to Baluarte. But that’s also why I missed going to the Bantayan Bell Church because I didn’t know about it. Let me get back to you on a contact, I’ll my friend / tour guide in Pagudpud if he can refer anyone. Thank you for reading!
Hello, oh i see, thanks much for your response 🙂
Hi! Any update on your contact for a tour guide in Vigan? I’m interested too. Thanks!
Hi, i didn’t get a tour guide in Vigan because it was too small you can take a tricycle from one place to another even to Baluarte. Magkakalapit lang sila and mas economical na magbayad ng saktong fare lang kesa package. my thoughts lang. 🙂
Hi! This one is very helpful. I’m planning to have a roatrip there too sometime on the weekend. Is there buses leaving from manila between 9pm-10pm?
Hi Lloyd, thank you for reading. The best time to leave Manila is at night. I have listed a few bus lines in th article that ply that route. I have limited access though as I’m mobile but wanted to respond to you right away. Good luck!
How much yung accomodation mo sa Resort in Saud? wala po kasing nakalagay sa itinerary niyo kung kasama po yung accomodation niyo. I’m planning to have a tour in Ilocos po kasi this October. Thanks in Adavance.
I’m not sure if I already answered this question in a different forum. But I checked it at Kingfisher Resort which is not in Saud itself. My friend / guide may have some recommendations. Let me know if you need his number (I know it’s also in the blog post itself). Thank you!
Hi! Any additional details sa transpo?
Hi Bam, thanks for reading. No I haven’t updated the blog for a few months. What kind of updates would you like to see? When are you going?
Feb 21-24 sana. Di ba mahirap magcommute from one place? We’re alao plannig to start sa north? Ok lang ba?
it’s also ok to start from the north going down kaya lang parang ang ganda kasi na huli ang pagudpud para makapag chill and rest ka sa beach.
hi! would you recommend bringing your own car going there?
Oh yes I would. The roads are pretty easy to drive at and your car will give you advantage to really customize your trip. Good luck!
Hi mas okay ba from vigan darecho pagudpod then laoag? Plano ko kasi vigan laoag then pagudpod. Thanks
Hi Charm sorry for the late reply. Yes that’s a good plan too. That’s exactly how I did my trip too. Wala kasing bus from Pagudpud straight to Manila. Not sure now though. Tsaka usually ung mga nagpe-plane going there, sa Laoag din either and first or last stop Nila. Kasi ung airport. Good luck!
Hello, thanks for sharing the details of your Ilocos trip. Very informative. I’d like to ask though, would you know if we can take a van from Vigan to Pagudpud? I’d like to go straight to Pagudpud from Vigan sana (and not ride a bus to Laoag then Pagudpud). Can you share some info on this please? Thank you so much! 🙂
Hi Lei, thank you for reading the blog. Yes, you can take a van. In fact, it would be more convenient for you, as long as you have waze or google maps you should be okay. Otherwise, you can ask around. You don’t want to drop by Laoag? There are beautiful places to see from there too. Paoay and Batac shouldn’t be missed.