Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wanderlust: Since You VIGAN... (An Ilocos Adventure)




Ever since summer came, me and the hubby have been unstoppable. And for our recent out of town trip, we traveled 253 miles and spent a total of 14 hours on the road to get to Ilocos. First on our hit list is Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

Vigan
Hotel: Metro Vigan Inn
Room: Good for 4 pax with 2 queen size beds and a private toilet
Price: 2,995 PhP/night
Tricycle ride to Calle Crisologo and back to the hotel: 40 PhP/person
Mandatory Empanada at Irene's: 35 PhP (lol)

We were supposed to stay at a friend's house in Vigan but due to a sudden change in her work schedule, she couldn't come with us unfortunately. All hotels were fully booked for the holy week and we had trouble booking a room 2 weeks prior our intended date of stay. Luckily, my friend found Metro Vigan Inn which is 5 minutes away (by tricyce) from Calle Crisologo.

The famous Calle Crisologo

There were an influx of tourists in Calle Crisologo since we went on a holy week. The streets were packed with tourists trying to get their photos taken and it was near impossible to get a decent shot without anyone photo-bombing you. Remind me not to go back on a holiday. lol
Dinner was pleasant though since we were lured by the very convincing wait staff at Bigaa restaurant, the in house bistro of the Vigan Plaza Hotel. We ordered all things Bagnet, because when in Vigan... 

Paoay Sand Dunes
4x4 Rental: 2,500 PhP

On our way to Pagudpud, we decided to stop over the sand dunes of Paoay, Ilocos Norte. It's a good thing that the sun decided to take a vacay that day. The 4x4 ride was a huge thrill since there were steep sand hills and a bonus sand boarding-all-you-can in the middle of the ride.

I will try to post my sand boarding video here soon. ;)



Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
Entrance: 20 PhP/person

On our way to Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, we stumbled upon this open beach that was low tide and we decided to stay a little while to take pictures. This majestic site only proves that the best things in life are definitely free... and on the road side. Hehe.


The rock formation, on the other hand is another thing of beauty.

When we got to the site, you have to walk for about 15-20 minutes before you reach the rock formation. But I bet you have to stop from time to time to take pictures because the place is just breathtaking.



Pagudpud - Blue Lagoon
Resort: Hannah's Beach Resort
Room: Good for 4 pax with 2 Queen size beds and a bathroom
Price: *5,995 PhP/night (2 nights)
ATV ride: 450 PhP/head
Kayak rental: 250 PhP/single kayak

We arrived at the resort before 8:00 PM and it felt like we need to extend our stay for 1 more day. So that's what we did. Instead of an overnight stay at Hannah's, we added another day to our vacay. Yay!

There were many transient houses along the coastline in which you can rent for only a fraction but we opted to stay in Hannah's just for the heck of it and because we also want some pool time. :)


Hannah's Beach Resort offered tons of activities for the guests to enjoy, inlcuding Kayaking, Zipline and ATV rentals. I suggest you try the ATV because the guide will take you to the most amazing ATV trail in the North. We passed through the sea side and went up hill to the most breathtaking view of the Blue Lagoon and the greenest grass in the hillside.

Sorry for the crappy photo. My gopro started fogging up and I forgot to lick it. Boo!


When they say Blue Lagoon, they were not kidding. The sea was like a blue blanket made of glitters and diamonds. It was just a spectacular site!

I am not a fan of long drives but seeing everything Ilocos has to offer and experiencing all of these wonderful sites firsthand made the 14-hour drive worth while. Will I be back? Most definitely, but I'd prefer riding the plane next time. hehe. :)

Stay tuned for my next adventure.
Hint: My favorite city in Asia. :)

<3 D.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wanderlust: Capones, Zambales

I may not have the luxury of time to travel often because of my heavy work schedule, but I made a vow to have time at least once a year to go out of town with the husband and some friends. I think planning for this trip gave me and the hubby the renewed passion and vigor to travel and explore more while we're still young and able.

The travel from Manila to Zambatown took us approximately 4 hours including the bathroom breaks and lunch. We managed to arrive at the resort (Capones Vista Resort) at 2:30 in the afternoon. We pre-booked the Family room which is good for 8 pax, and since we were only 6 in the group, the extra space/towels/toiletries worked to our advantage.


The resort is overlooking the picturesque Camara and Capones island which you can visit by availing the resort's island hopping package. I think it was 350 PhP per head, for 3 islands (Camara, Capones, and Anawangin cove).

Me and my friend Rose

Day 1
Arrival Time: 2:30 PM
-Aside from the beach, the resort boasts two pools (a regular pool and an infinity pool) with a breathtaking view of the islands.
-Dinner at the resort's resto which has an array of delicious seafood dishes
-Bonfire: 9:00 PM 'till midnight

The very accommodating kuya's of the resort helped us set up the bonfire



Day 2
-Breakfast: 8:30 AM
-Island Hopping: 9:00 AM - 12:00 NN
(Camara Island, Capones Island, Anawangin Cove)
-Snorkeling
-Lunch: 12:30 PM
-We extended for a few hours before we checked out
-Departure


The beautiful Anawangin Cove


Breakdown of costs:
Accomodation (1 night): 9,000 PHP/6 = 1500 PHP/person
Island Hopping: 350PHP/head
Breakfast: FREE
Lunch and Dinner at the resort: 500PHP/head
Lunch and Dinner at NLEX: 350PHP/head
_________________________________
Total Cost is approximately: 2,700 PHP/head (excluding gas, toll fees and other misc. items)


The whole trip was a bit pricey but seeing the beauty of Zamba and being in the company of such awesome friends made the trip priceless. I wish we could've stayed a few days longer but duty calls for all of us the following day. We have another trip lined up this April and I will be sure be blogging about it soon.

It's so nice to be back to blogging again.

<3 D.
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