You won’t run out of options in choosing your weekend getaway in the Philippines. You can either opt for a Do-It-Yourself Tour. The most important thing is to know the place very well and book your hotel at the center of the Tourist Spot for ease of travel. Availing the ready made travel and tours is another option Its also a good deal if you’re a busy person and want an all-in package for tours and accommodation. With this you’ve a ready made itinerary. The only downside is that you’ve to strictly follow the schedule and have limited time in enjoying the view. Unlike the DIY, you manage your own time. Good thing some travel packages has included accommodation so you don’t have to worry where you’ll spend your night.
Anyway, enough of the introductions 😛 Here’s how I spent my Labor Day Weekend travelling Ilocos with my friends. Our Agency was Q10 Budget Travel and Tours. It only cost 3700 inclusive of hotel accommodations for two nights. Below is our itinerary:
Our meeting place is on McDonalds in front of Trinoma Mall. It’s funny because most of the customers in McDo at the time of our departures are all backpackers. The place looks like a bus terminal or something. Anyway we rode an airconditioned van going to Ilocos and at around 10PM, Thursday night. Vans are equipped with wireless radios. Drivers travel in groups so you won’t worry much if your driver will lost or feel sleepy because they keep themselves busy. 😛 And they drive really fast, so always buckle up your seat if beside driver’s seat and sit comfortably if your in the passenger’s sit. There’s no defined stop-overs so you’ve to discipline yourself especially the call of nature.
We arrived in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte around 8AM and have our breakfast at Raphael’s Resto. Afterwhich we went straight to our first stop which is the Bacarra Town. We visited museums and galleries showcasing the history of the region as well as the Marcoses for the 3-Day Tour. Here are the places we visited in Ilocos Norte:
Museo de Baccarra – It has Old relics donated by people of Baccara. Taking Picture is allowed. 🙂
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation – Natural limestone rock formation. You’ve an option to explore the place thru horseback riding or walk all the way to the rock formations. Btw, its extremely hot in there specially if you plan your trip in summer. Bring your sun protect paraphernalia 😛
Blue Lagoon – found at the northernmost tip of Luzon. Popular water sport activities like surfing, kite surfing, etc.
Note: Each location are far from each other. Approximately 2-3hrs ride.
At the end of the trip we rest at the Sabrina Beach Home, looking at the sunset version of Pagudpod.
On the side note, the hotel is nice. Though we experience power fluctuations. It might be caused by surge of visitors because of the long weekend. I hope they could manage it well thru power generators to avoid hassle to the visitors or provide some electric fan if possible.
From Pagudpod, we went to other parts of Ilocos Norte. Again another 2-3hrs ride from our hotel. Below are the places we visited on Day 2.
Paoay and Batac Tour
Paoay Sand Dunes – This is really for thrill seekers. Experience the excitement on a 4×4 ride for 2500 good for 4-6 pax. Along the trail, you’ll have the chance to try sand boarding. A must try.
Marcos Ancestral Place – A place which showcases his birthplace. His parents are Doctorate degree holders which is amazing.
Due to time constraints we wasn’t able to do the Laoag City Tour. Good thing our hotel is in Laoag so we’re able to visit some as well after we freshen up. To get there we rode a Tricycle. They have different price ranges depending on the driver. Our first tricycle ride from hotel going to Plaza costs 15 pesos each while our ride going back to our hotel was 50 pesos for 4 pax.