Located in the northern part of Luzon Island, just a few hours away from the capital is the fascinating Ilocos Region of the Philippines. Divided into Ilocos Sur (South) and Ilocos Norte (North), the two provinces promise a unique adventure like no other. The attractions in Ilocos are among the most sought-after in all of the Philippines, and it is not hard to see why.
From a once sleepy historic town now known as one of the 7 Wonder Cities of the World to stunning natural sceneries to some of the most powerful windmills in the region, the things to do in Ilocos will have you asking for more.
Discovering the Wonders of Ilocos Sur
Ilocos Sur is the gateway into the region and is where you will find perhaps one of the most visited tourist draws in all of the Philippines—the City of Vigan. Unlike similar attractions in Manila, Cebu, and other parts of the country, Vigan is known the world over for retaining the cobblestone streets and architecture of its Spanish past. Vigan is one of, if not the biggest attraction in Ilocos and mostly because of the famed Crisologo Street. Here, you will find yourself whether you are actually in the Philippines or strolling through the alleys of Madrid or Barcelona.
A few minutes north from the heart of Vigan is the Bantay district where you will find the famous Bantay Parish and Bantay Bell Tower. The latter is said to have played a crucial role during the Spanish occupation and the Second World War as it had a great vantage point to spot intruders or enemies from. Today, the bell tower is a commanding structure against the lush landscape surrounding it.
Taking in the Beauty of Ilocos Norte
If the splendor of Ilocos Sur weren’t enough and you still find yourself wondering what to do in Ilocos, then a trip further up north is in order.
Not to be outdone by Vigan, the northern Ilocos province boasts of The Church of Saint Augustine, otherwise known as Paoay Church, another World Heritage Site in the region. The beautiful church is regarded by many as one of the best baroque churches in the country, making it a must-visit if you are in the area.
After a quick photo op over at the Paoay Church, make your way over to one of the more recognizable attractions in Ilocos, the famed Bangui Windmills. Visit on a good day and watch the windmills turn in full speed, with the rough waters crashing into the shore to match the strength of the air from above. Be careful not too get too close to water because it can be dangerous.
For calmer waters, make your way to the neighboring Pagudpud. If Bangui’s coast features rough waters brought in by the windmills, the calm waters of Pagudpud are the perfect way to cap off your tour of the Ilocos region.
Ilocos is perhaps one of the more culturally significant parts of the Philippines, making it a must-visit when in the country. Plan an itinerary covering all of the top attractions in Ilocos with help from Travease.
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