(SPOT.ph) Ilocos Sur, which is known for the heritage sites in Vigan City, officially reopened to travelers from Luzon on November 15. The province is hoping to jumpstart their tourism while implementing health and safety protocols to avoid further spread of the coronavirus. As of October 22, Ilocos Sur is free from COVID-19.
Here's an updated list of Ilocos Sur travel requirements (as of March 1, 2021):
What to Bring
- Government-issued identification card
- RT-PCR negative test results taken within 48 hours of travel date
- Pre-arranged itinerary with Department of Tourism-accredited tour and travel agents
- Confirmed hotel/resort booking
- Confirmed and pre-arranged transportation (if not using a private vehicle)
- Digital or printed copy of QR code using Safe Pass mobile app
What to Expect
- The number of tourists allowed to enter the province daily is capped at 50 pax.
- No age restriction is imposed, but persons who are 60 years old and above with high-risk health conditions and comorbidities are discouraged to go out for leisure.
- Aside from the spots listed on their pre-approved tour and accommodation bookings, travelers can only make stopovers in four pre-determined destinations: LV & JV Pasalubong in Candon City, Marsha's Delicacies in Bantay, Petro along the highway in Sto. Domingo, and San Esteban Tourism and Youth Development Center.
- Travelers are also required to undergo symptom screening after border checkpoint.
How to Get There
Land travel from Manila to Ilocos Sur takes about six hours. Health-screening protocols are implemented along the borders of the province, which are in Tagudin (south), Sinait (north), and Narvacan (Narvacan-Bangued Road coming from Abra).
What to Do
Only pre-booked or arranged tours with Department of Tourism-accredited tour and travel agents are allowed; strictly no walk-ins. These are the tourist destinations and attractions in Ilocos Sur that are currently open:
- Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone
- Caniaw Heritage and Forest Park
- Vitalis Villa
- Santiago Cove
- Syquia Mansion
- Pinakbet Farm
- Baluarte Zoo
- Icthus Beach Resort
- Nuestra Señora De La Asuncion Church
- Pinsal Falls
- Calle Crisologo
- Bakaan Farm
- Moro Watch Tower
- Hidden Garden
- Balay Meztizo
- Cariño House
- Scuba diving and free diving sites in San Esteban, Sta. Maria, Narvacan, Santa, Caoayan, Vigan, Sto. Domingo, Magsingal, San Juan, and Cabugao
Where to Stay
As of October 7, the provincial tourism office has accredited accomodation establishments in the following areas:
- Sta. Cruz
- Candon City
- Sta. Catalina
- San Vicente
- San Ildefenso
- San Esteban
- Sto. Domingo
Vigan City has the most number of accredited hotels, inns, and transient houses.
Delos Reyes Street corner Luna Street, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Rates start at P5,000
Heritage houses-turned-hotels aren't rare in the historical city of Vigan. This includes Hotel Luna, originally a two-storey structure built in 1882 as a wedding gift from Ilocos Sur's affluent Don Jose Florentino to his daughter. It was later expanded into a four-storey luxury hotel that opened in 2014. It's named after famous Filipino painter Juan Luna, so it's not surprising at all that the hotel showcases important art pieces in its suites, rooms, and halls—from the 20-foot mural wall by Rene Robles at the courtyard to the Benedicto Cabrera piece in the lobby.
1 Bonifacio Street corner Quirino Boulevard, Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Rates start at P1,880
Grandpa's Inn has an interesting backstory. It was originally a house gifted by Don Mariano Favis Donato to his wife Doña Carmen Rivero in the 1800. The property was then sold to the Pasimio family in 1970 and was converted into a dormitory for girls. Nine years later, it was turned into an inn with 19 rooms. In this accommodation, you can find rooms furnished with beds that look like kalesas, farm carriages, and farm sleds.
For updates and the complete list of accredited tourism-related establishments, follow Sure Ilocos Sur on Facebook.