In need of help for your upcoming Vigan, Ilocos Sur or Baguio City, Benguet tour? Let this article provide the things you should know to plan and create your very own travel itinerary with complete budget guide!
This post is the fifth and the last installment of Vigan, Ilocos Sur DIY Trip + Baguio City Side Trip Series. If you missed the earlier articles or need to go back, use the links below.
The Plan and Itinerary:
Vigan, Ilocos Sur DIY Tour + Baguio City Side Trip
Vigan City, Ilocos Sur:
A Mesmerizing Half Day Tour around Calle Crisologo & Bantay (Vigan Day 1, Part 1)
Get Artistic in National Museum, Cafe Leona and Calle Crisologo at Night (Vigan Day 1, Part 2)
Enjoying Baluarte, Loomweaving, Bagnet Factory and Hidden Garden (Vigan Day 2)
Baguio City, Benguet:
Baguio City: Exploring the City of Pines in One Day, DIY Style
Vigan & Baguio Budget Guide
For a Do-It-Yourself trip, expect to spend P3,500/pax for a 2 days and 1 night stay at Vigan. Make it P5,000/pax if you are planning to take the same trip as ours, including a side trip to Baguio making the trip 3 days and 2 nights. These estimates are quoted for sharing of two persons, and assuming you stay on a regular type of accommodation. It can also be lower if you are travelling with a larger group. If you compare it to a tour package, you may say that 3,500 or 5,000 pesos per head is steep for such trip. But, please note that everything is included here (food and other expenses).
To make your vacation more enjoyable and comfortable, you can add P1,000-2,000 more on top of the original budget so you can have a taste of known good restaurants and a better accommodation. And if you may ask, it isn’t practical to stay for more than two days in Vigan alone. You can do Ilocos Norte or Baguio as what we did.
Vigan: There are several accommodation types you can find in Vigan. It really depends on your taste and how much you are willing to spend. It can go as high as 5,000 pesos per night down to 500 pesos per night rate. For us, we chose HEM Apartelle during our stay. One night stay cost P1,000 good for twin sharing. Regardless of your choice, make sure to book your accommodation in advance to avoid inconvenience.
Accommodation Review: HEM Apartelle: Your Cheap But Comfy Stay in Vigan
Baguio: There are so much more options in Baguio for your accommodation needs. The regular pricing is still at the same rate of P5,000 to 500 pesos, depending on what you like. Good options are Hotel45 (at the city center), Baguio Village Inn, St. John Inn and Old Orangewood Bed and Breakfast, to name a few. If you had read our experience in Baguio during our trip, we failed to book a room/hotel in advance. So we ended landing on a hotel not in our list. It is Hotel Villa Rosal, located inside the city center. It costs us around P2,500 per night for an executive room. This is a last option, since facilities aren’t great and we ended up paying more than we should be. Do not repeat this mistake. Always book yours in advance, especially if there are events in the city.
Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Vigan By Land: Vigan can be easily reach by land via bus. Several bus lines, mainly bound to Laoag passes through Vigan. Partas is the main carrier for this route and has its own terminal near the public market of Vigan. Other bus lines like Farinas and Florida also have routes that will pass by the city. Typical travel time from Manila is around 8 to 9 hours. Cost of one way ticket from Manila is around 600 to 800 pesos, again depending on your taste. More comfy rides cost more.
Vigan By Air: You can ride a plane via Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines that is bound to Laoag. Travel time is around 45 minutes. Then take a bus going to Vigan, travel time is around 2 hours. This is the costly option and only suitable for those that cannot take a long bus ride or wanting to cut the travel time.
Baguio City, Benguet
Baguio: Baguio is so far the top summer destination you can easily reach. Victory Liner, Genesis Bus, Partas and many other bus lines have their route going to Baguio. From Manila, travel time going to Baguio is around 4 to 5 hours and will cost less than 500 pesos for a regular air-conditioned fare. In our case, we reached Baguio from Vigan with a cutting trip in La Union, the travel time took 5 hours too (including waiting times) and costs us around 300 pesos per person.
Within Destination Expenses: How much you will spend here greatly varies on what type of vehicle you want to ride and where you are going. Please check our actual expenses in the last portion of this article so that you will have an idea. For Vigan, your options are riding a tricycle or calesa. For Baguio, it is either you take the jeepney or hire a taxi cab.
Vigan: Cafe Leona is by far the most popular restaurant in Vigan. Other options are Cafe Uno, Hidden Garden and Kusina Felicitas to name a few. We personally tried Cafe Leona during our 1st day in Vigan and also Irene’s e Empanada! For Day 2, we decided to have our lunch in Hidden Garden Restaurant. Check out our Day 1 and Day 2 of Vigan! For a tummy full meal, prepared to spend around 500 to 800 pesos per meal for two. Too high? No worries! There are many carenderias around and your favorite fastfoods are all here! Look for McDonald’s, Jollibee and others near Plaza Salcedo.
Baguio. There are many famous restaurants that serve delicious meals in Baguio. We personally tried Oh My Gulay!. Other must try is Cafe by the Ruins, 50’s Diner, Arca’s Yard Cafe and Good Taste. Check out our experience with Oh My Gulay! here. Too high standard? Then you must go and check Ketchup Food Community!
- Plan your trip ahead of time, list places that is near each other so that you aren’t going into places then going back again, skipping the opportunity to save time and money.
- Book accommodation in advance, and target travel dates that has less tourist coming in. Prices are typically lower during off peak season.
- For trips like Vigan and Baguio, consider leaving Manila (if you are coming from Manila) during dawn so you are arriving in the place early morning, maximizing your time and saving money for accommodation cost.
- Try to walk especially if places are walking distance only. This will not only make you save some money but you might also discover places that you will not be able to see when you are riding a vehicle.
To better help you plan your trip, we listed all the places to visit in Vigan and Baguio and pinned them on the following maps below. You can print or save them for future use.
Detailed information and things you need to know is found on the links of the series provided above.
Below are our actual expenses during the trip. You may want to check so you can have an idea on how much you need to include in your own budget. Do take note that we are coming from Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga making the bus ticket to cost less than about 100-200 compared from Manila.
Bus Fare: Dau Bus Terminal to Vigan (P501 x 2) – 1,002
Breakfast at Plaza Burgos – 50
Tricycle Fare to Bantay Church – 30
Donation at Bantay Bell Tower – 40
Ice Cream Snack (P40 x 2)- 80
Tricycle Fare to Pagburnayan Pottery – 30
Donation at Pagburnayan – 50
Donation at Crisologo Museum – 50
Syquia Mansion Entrance Fee (P50 x 2) – 100
Light Lunch at Irene’s Empanadahan – 70
HEM Apartelle Accommodation (Twin Sharing) – 1,000
Drinking Water – 50
Dinner at Cafe Leona – 550
Tricycle Tour (Vigan + Tip) – 350
Ice Cream Snack (P20 x 2) – 40
Brunch at Hidden Garden – 735
Pasalubong (Tinubong, etc.) – 400
Tricycle Fare to Partas Bus Terminal – 20
Tricycle Fare to National Road Waiting Area – 40
7-Eleven Drinks – 50
Bus Fare: Vigan to La Union (P210 x 2)- 420
Bus Fare: La Union to Baguio (P98 x 2) – 196
Total Expenses for Vigan: P5,343
Baguio Tourist Assistance (for Car Fuel only) – 50
Hotel Villa Rosal (Executive Room) – P2,555 (way out of budget)
Night Market Food – P45
Jeepney Fare (Tour around the city, 5 times x P8.50 x 2 person) – 85
Strawberry Taho (P30 x 2) – 60
Igorot Costume Rental ((P20 x 2) – 40
St. Bernard Dog Pictures (8 shots) – 200
Pasalubong/Scarf/Bonnet – 450
Drinking Water – 45
Late Lunch at Oh my Gulay! – 517
Taxi Fare: Downtown-Hotel, Hotel-Terminal – 90
Bus Fare: Baguio to Dau, Pampanga (P306 x 2) – 612
Dinner at McDonalds (P85 x 2) – 170
Total Expenses for Baguio: P4,919
Grand Total = P10,260
Per Person = P5,130
As you can see, everything we spent is included in this list. The expenses can get lower or higher depending on your own taste and strategy. For us, the accommodation in Baguio took part as our highest expense during the trip. Read the story about it here: Baguio City: Exploring the City of Pines in One Day, DIY Style. I guess, we should all learn from our mistakes! 🙂