We recently had our Ilocos family roadtrip and we've got a tour package from Extreme Outdoor Club Travel and Tours. It's December and peak season so the rates are higher than usual, but we still got a pretty good price from Extreme Outdoor Club.
Places to Visit in Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte
Calle Crisologo - Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Calle Crisologo is the Vigan's famous and major attraction where you can find Spanish style houses. It was a morning when we got there and that was our third destination for our Ilocos roadtrip. It's a pity that we have a very tight schedule in the itinerary so we weren't able to witness the beauty of Calle Crisologo at night. If only we have more time to spend, we should have had an overnight in Vigan.
We had an hour ride with the calesa while touring around the vicinity and visiting other tourist spots near the area. I really loved that place because it's like we're turning back in the old times. There are also a lot of local products and souvenir shops along the street like Vigan empanada, bagnet, Vigan longganisa, woodcrafts, bags, blankets, and many more.
Bantay Church and Bantay Bell Tower - Vigan, Ilocos Sur
While having a calesa ride from Calle Crisologo, we had a brief stop at Bantay Church and Bantay Bell Tower. It is still part of the Vigan tour and also a must-see place because of its historical value. Bantay Church is considered as one of the oldest churches in Ilocos region. The Bantay Bell Tower served as a watchtower for possible enemies back in the Spanish era.
Paoay Church - Paoay, Ilocos Norte
After visiting the Bantay Church in Vigan, we also visited another heritage site and one of the baroque churches in the Philippines - the Paoay Church.
I am fascinated to old things so I really loved the appearance of Paoay Church from the walls to facade to buttresses. We didn't stay long at Paoay because it was only a short stopover on our way to Laoag.
La Paz Sand Dunes - Laoag, Ilocos Norte
We considered La Paz Sand Dunes as the highlight of our Ilocos trip because this is where we enjoyed the most despite being tired from a long travel. We loved the extreme 4x4 ride and the sandboarding experience.
Although the 4x4 ride is quite pricey (PhP 2500 per 4x4, maximum of 5 pax), we didn't hesitate to try it and I must say that it's all worth it. Our little one enjoyed it too, as much as we do. When we got back home, he's still requesting to ride the 4x4 - well, he calls it jeep.
After the 4x4 ride, it's not the end of adventure. We tried the sandboarding and the kids did it many times. There are photographers on stand-by taking photos of the 4x4 and the sandboarding. Printing costs PhP 200 each, and if you avail 3 photo printing, you can get all the soft copies transferred to your own SD card or android phone. We loved the shots so availed the printing plus soft copies.
Blue Lagoon - Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
We went to Blue Lagoon in the early morning of our second day in Ilocos. There is a mild rain shower but that didn't stop us from enjoying in the beach. We loved the cold ocean breeze and playing with the waves. The beach is not too crowded when we went there so we appreciate its beauty. There's a zipline in Hannah's Beach Resort but we weren't able to try it because it's too expensive compared to other better ziplines we had before.
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation - Burgos, Ilocos Norte
Another place you shouldn't miss to visit in Ilocos is the picturesque Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. The rock and limestone that are beautifully formed by nature have a creamy white color. My son enjoyed walking and climbing on the big rock but we didn't stay too long there because we have to travel back to Manila.
Going to Kapurpurawan Rock Formation is only a 15-minute walk from the parking area but you can also ride a horse for PhP 100, back and forth.
Bangui Windmills - Bangui, Ilocos Norte
There are a lot of windmills in Ilocos. Actually, there are windmills near the resort where we stayed. But the most popular are those in Bangui because you can have a close-up view of windmills and they're located in the coastline.
The windmills contribute to a percentage of the electrical power in Ilocos province. And yes, like other people said, there isn't much to do there aside from picture taking.
We also visited the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Burgos, Patapat Bridge, Hidden Garden and Baluarte in Vigan and Bantay Abot Cave in Pagudpud. Doing the Ilocos rodtrip in 3 days and 2 nights can be very tiring so we opted not to visit other places like Marcos Museum, Malacañang ti Amianan and Kabigan Falls. Even so, we still enjoyed our Ilocos roadtrip.