As the trip progressed strangers became friends. Particularly special was the effortlessness: perfect logistics, never having to worry about anything, and, of course, the charming and thoughtful way you organised everything.
The historic city of Vigan, Philippines, is lined with cobblestone streets and charming architectural structures that date back to the Spanish colonial times. Indeed, the city has achieved UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Though once an island, separated by the Mestizo River, Vigan is now officially a part of Luzon island, now that the river has silted over. The city was once a well-known trading port for gold and exotic Asian goods from China, before being captured by the Spanish in the late 16th century.
The city is made of a combination of rolling hills in the south, and plains in the west that border the South China Sea. The lands outside of the city center are mainly used for agriculture. The picturesque Mindoro Beach is only a short cycle away.
Vigan is a small city that has wonderful shopping and recreational areas. It is quite tourist-friendly, with ATMs and banks accepting international cards, as well as internet cafes, restaurants with WiFi, and provincial tourist information points. Two nearby airports serve the city, making it easily accessible.
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Our co-founder Jay Tindall has been visiting the Philippines for over 20 years. His favourite places? The rice terraces of Banaue, Sagada, and the beaches of Palawan.
Only a quick jaunt from the city center of Vigan, Mindoro Beach is a picturesque area that’s ideal for a stroll and is particularly captivating at sunset.
Ride a Kalesa
Visitors to Vigan love to ride a kalesa, or a horse drawn carriage, along the city’s historic cobblestone streets. These rides can take visitors as far as nearby towns.
Visit Ancient Sites
This UNESCO Heritage Site is full of historical buildings, from the Mestizo District, filled with ancestral houses built by Chinese traders, to St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral, complete with eight-sided bell tower, to numerous historical plazas that are social hubs for residents and tourists alike.
The city is an antique-lovers’ heaven, with all kinds of shops selling artifacts from times past, as well as locally-made souvenirs to take home. The Vigan Public Market is a particular favorite for shoppers.
Beginning in the bustling capital of Manila and finishing in the relaxing paradise of Boracay, this 13-day itinerary takes you through the Philippine’s must-see spots. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, hike volcanoes, visit numerous UNESCO Heritage Sites and lounge on the beach on this balanced luxury getaway.
Embark on an exciting 12-day adventure through the Philippines, starting in Manila, where you’ll visit Intramuros city, and continue on to the cobblestone streets of historic Vigan and Bohol’s chocolate hills. Round off the trip with a luxurious stay in Hong Kong, capturing the iconic skyline from Victoria Peak.
This National Geographic Traveler award-winning trip provides an insightful glimpse of the capital, Manila, as well as rice terrace treks in Banuae and excursions to the cliffs of Sagada and tropical forests of Baguio, across 7 adventurous days.
Step back in time with a stay at Hotel Luna, a unique hybrid of hotel and museum located in the city of Vigan in the Philippines. Nestled in the heart of the incredible architecture and intangible history of Vigan, a classified Heritage Village, Hotel Luna itself is a sight to be seen. Located in a decorative, four-storey colonial building, the hotel features fine pieces of Philippine art, from Juan Luna masterpieces to new items from contemporary artists. Guests can explore the artwork or spend lazy post-sightseeing afternoons lounging by the outdoor pool - located in the hotel’s courtyard - followed by a cocktail in the ornate Chula Saloon Bar. Afterwards, they may enjoy dinner at the in-house restaurant Comedor, feasting on Spanish dishes and gazing at the incredible art pieces adorning the walls, and take in a nightcap and a spectacular view of the city from Azotea, the rooftop patio.