One of the newest tourist destination in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur is
Baluarte owned by governor Chavit Singson that is open for
public. It is named after the spanish word meaning territory or fortress.
Baluarte was once a rest house of Mr. Singson. However, having
been elected as a political leader, people here in Ilocos often visit
him. Unfortunately his rest house cannot accommodate all those
people, so he launched a construction of Baluarte. Due to his love
for nature, Governor Singson added a zoo filled with domestic and
wild animals. Some of these animals can roam free during the day
and some perform for the visitors.
I give it two thumbs up because of the low budget feels. Most of the
travel destinations here in the Philippines are expensive so be
thankful because Baluarte is open for free. Good thing for Ilocanos,
Its about 10 minutes outside of the city of Vigan.
What animals can be found in this zoo?
They have deers, horses and pony (that is available for riding), deer,
camels, parrots, peacock, ducks, midget chickens, ostrich, llama and
buffalo. For caged animals they have some reptiles like iguanas, snakes,
monitor lizards, crocodiles, pythons, and then the tigers (visitors can
enter in the baby tiger’s cage) Other caged birds like – owls, eagles,
and peacocks are also here in Baluarte. There’s also a butterfly farm
inside the garden of Baluarte.
(photo by: Azrael Coladilla)
How to get to Baluarte:
There are two travel options – ride the 8 hour bus from Manila to
Ilocos Sur or ride the plane go Laoag City Airport in Ilocos Norte +
1 1/2 land travel to Vigan.
Bus: Dominion Bus Lines and Partas will run you about 500-600
Air: Flights are available from Seair direct from Manila
Car: I estimate it will cost around 8000 pesos to hire a car and
driver… but that would still take some negotiating.
Next time you’re in Vigan City , drop by to Baluarte Zoo.