Playa Tropical, the resort where we stayed in Ilocos Norte, can help you arrange for Ilocos tours and transportation rentals. There are three tours available: the Ilocandia tour (which we took); the Vigan tour; and the Pagudpud tour.

We didn’t want to feel too rushed or stressed so we decided that we would focus on one area in Ilocos for each trip. So, we intend to return to Ilocos two more times in the future.

The Ilocandia tour is said to last four hours. A minimum of five people are needed to do the tour or if you are less than five (like our family, we’re just four), you can just pay the cost for five people and you are on your way. Each person will pay P650.

So, we had a whole van all to ourselves and although the materials said that the tour would be for four hours, we actually got to use the vehicle from 10am to about 7pm. We had Manong Mako Ancheta as our driver and he was very pleasant and friendly. If you would like to get in touch with him to arrange for your tours to the different areas of Ilocos Norte, please send us e-mail and we will give you his number.

There was no tour guide though. It was really more like van rental and then you could just go around by yourselves. It would have been helpful if someone could talk about the history of each place but we take what we can.

Our first stop was the Marcos Mausoleum in Batac. We wanted the kids to learn about history and so we thought it would be good to see former President Ferdinand Marcos. President Marcos passed away in 1989. It was cold, quiet, dark, and solemn inside the mausoleum and no photos were allowed. There was no bathroom too. It is really mind boggling how a tourist attraction such as this has no working bathroom.

Aside from the place where President Marcos’ body is, there were other areas where his photos and other memorabilia were displayed. His old table was there and I guess old is the way you would pretty much describe the place. While the Marcos Mausoleum is something you would visit for history purposes, we all wished that it could be maintained better.

As for the bathroom issue, we were just thankful that there was a Jollibee nearby so there was a clean bathroom too. So everything worked out in the end.

Coming Soon: Paoay Church and Herencia Cafe in Ilocos Norte

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