Monday, January 5, 2015

Close Encounters at Vigan's Baluarte

One more stop before the flight home...

Bengal tigers, spotted deer, miniature horses, and a smart parrot...up close at Vigan's famed Baluarte. A mini-zoo and park, the attraction is open to the public, with no admission charges. Inside the expansive park, prepare for close encounters with some of Baluarte's collection of exotic animals.

Located in Salindeg near the historic town of Vigan, Baluarte is part of the private property of former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson. As you enter the park, you will find miniature horses, spotted deer, ostriches, swans, flamingoes, and one-hump camels grazing on the open field. Like a scene straight out of Animal Planet, the wide open fenced area allows you to get up close for a better view. Bring a camera on your visit to Baluarte...

...and within minutes, some of Baluarte's residents come up close, oblivious of the clicking sounds of your camera's shutter as you snap away.

In another section of the field, a miniature horse lazily grazes on the field. If you really want to get up close, just look for some of the park's volunteer guides and go on a feeding activity with the kids.

The park also offers cart rides drawn by miniature horses along the property, a real treat for the kids.

Then, there are the park's parrots, and they're not camera-shy at all...

...simply purchase a banana or some fresh fruits at the shops lining the entrance, and you'll get this parrot in a "talking" mood.

In one section of the park, one can find huge cages holding some of Baluarte's exotic collection, including Bengal Tigers. Other attractions include lions, pythons, iguanas, and civet cats, and a butterfly garden offering the perfect spot to just sit and relax.

The historic town of Vigan offers a variety of attractions, and a visit to Baluarte is an excellent stop to cap your visit. After another hour and half on the road, we arrived at Laoag International Airport for the flight back to Manila.

For more on Vigan and its attractions, check out my previous posts on the well-preserved mansions, including the stately and historic Syquia Mansion here at, the iconic cobblestone street of Calle Crisologo here at, and the famed art collection at the elegant Hotel Luna and its facilities here at and

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