Ilocos Region, administratively designated Region I, or simply called Ilocos, forms the northwest part of the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It is known for its old towns, historical sites, beaches, and nature attractions.
Ilocos Region occupies the narrow plain between the Cordillera Central mountain range and the South China Sea. It also occupies the northern portion of the Central Luzon plain, to the northeast of the Zambales Mountains.
Lingayen Gulf is the most notable body of water in the region and it contains a number of islands, including the Hundred Islands National Park. To the north of the region is Luzon Strait.
Local languages spoken here include Ilokano and Pangasinan (also called Pangalatok, considered derisive). Tagalog is also spoken by everyone, and some are proficient in English.
Though slower, buses are the most common way of reaching the region, especially from Manila.
The major carriers serving the region are Victory Liner (and sister bus line Five Star), Dominion Transit, and Partas. Victory and Five Star primarily serves destinations in Pangasinan, while Dominion and Partas serves much of the region through the Manila North Road.
The only airport with scheduled flights from the Philippines' major airlines is in Laoag (LAO IATA). The other airports in Lingayen (no IATA), San Fernando (SFE IATA) and Vigan (no IATA) only sees general aviation and flight training, except for Vigan airport which is served by charter carrier Platinum Skies.
- Hundred Islands Natural Park in the Lingayen Gulf in Pangasinan is a watery is dotted by 123 small, pristine islands. Three islands have been developed for tourists.
Vigan colonial houses Vigan City is famous for its cobblestone streets and Spanish-style houses, an architectural remnant of its colonial past. The Mestizo District displays mansions typical of the era. They were owned by prominent Ilocano-Chinese merchant families of that time, hence mestizo or "mixed race."
Ancient churches The region is dotted by old Catholic churches built by natives for the Spanish. Famous churches can be found in Vigan City, once the seat of the Bishop of Nueva Segovia, and in Manaoag, Pangasinan.
- [dead link] Island hop and Snorkel in Hundred islands. Hire a bangka for the day, hop between islands and snorkel to your hearts content