Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, is home to Baluarte Zoo. Its about 10 minutes outside of the city, heading towards the China Sea. Its not a big budget type of zoo. Don’t expect any extravagant shows or pen areas for the animals. A lot of animals actually roam free within the walk areas as the guests.
Besides its low budget feel, I give it two thumbs up. It’s open everyday to the public for FREE. Not many things are free in the Philippines, let alone an educational place for kids to learn about animals indigenous to the Philippines as well as around the world.
Chavit Singson, the private owner of the zoo, lets people take rides and visit the zoo at no charge. You can bring the family, have a picnic lunch, and learn something new.
Some of the animals at the Baluarte Zoo include:
– Deer (I think it was a deer, haha)
– Birds: Ostriches, Parrots, Peacocks, Eagles and more
– A Butterfly Garden
– And more
There are also some Live Animal Shows and a Petting Zoo. Not only do you get to learn about the animals, they also animal care, science and conservation.
– About 400km from Manila
– Free admissions for everyone
– Open 7 days a week from 7am – 6pm
– Privately owned by Chavit Singson
– Picnic area available, no charge
– Small canteen available to purchase food
How To Get To Vigan City
Bus: Dominion Bus Lines and Partas will run you about 500-600 pesos.
Car: I estimate it will cost around 8000 pesos to hire a car and driver… but that would still take some negotiating.
Air: Flights are available from Seair direct from Manila
Next time you’re in North Luzon, drop by the Baluarte Zoo. Bring the kids and spend the afternoon with the animals.
Map of Baluarte Zoo, Ilocos Sur, Philippines
I’ve been to Vigan last October, 2010 and felt the fun roaming around the city via a Calesa. Yes, I was able to ride the cart pulled by small horses in Baluarte for free. Chavit’s building was so imposing.
Thanks for the comment Edsan. May I ask.. How was Chavit’s building imposing? I last visited in January of 2009. Maybe its different now?