Experience the heritage and culture of northern Luzon with this tour that will take you to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Vigan in Ilocos Sur. This is perfect for travelers wanting to do some historic sightseeing with a ‘kalesa’ (horse-drawn carriage ride) experience in Vigan.
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel in Ilocos Sur and take you to the most famous stop in Vigan, Calle Crisologo. It is best known for the Spanish-era houses that line the cobblestone streets. Here, you will enjoy a kalesa ride, a two-wheeled horse-drawn carriage, around the area’s four blocks while your guide fills you in on its rich history and heritage. Feel free to go down and pose for creative photos while you’re at it.
After your kalesa ride, you will head next to Syquia Mansion, located less than a kilometer away from Calle Crisologo. The mansion served as the residence of former Philippine president Elpidio Quirino. This ancestral house contains paintings of his family, memorabilia, and antique furniture. One of the most recognizable artworks inside is a replica of the Spoliarium by Juan Luna.
From there, you will visit Pagburnayan Pottery Making next where you will immerse yourself in a pottery-making experience. Upon arriving at the site, you will be toured around the pottery place where several earthen jars are displayed. You will then be taught how to make simple jars, which you can also buy afterward.
Next, you will head over to St. Paul Cathedral. Also known as the Metropolitan Cathedral, it is regarded as a significant religious church not just in northern Luzon, but across the country. The cathedral is built in a Baroque style that has been renovated by Ilocanos to make it more earthquake resistant.
You will then proceed to the nearby Vigan National Museum. Also known as Padre Burgos House, this museum is the birthplace and ancestral home of priest patriot Fr. Jose Burgos. Discover the various displays and artifacts inside, such as the 14 Esteban Villanueva paintings.
Your last stop will be at Baluarte Zoo where you can see some animals endemic to the Philippines. Some of the animals you will spot here include Bengal tigers, leopards, ostriches, donkeys, camels, zebras, and many more. Enjoy sightseeing and learning more about these species before heading back to the hotel.