Last Updated: December 2, 2019
TEXT & PHOTO: Kaycie Gayle
Baluarte is an interactive wildlife park in Vigan that is home to rare animals from different regions in the world. Tourist would normally visit this park to see live animals and even preserved ones.
Stations in Baluarte Vigan
To explore Baluarte, you have to first choose the features you want to see and the manner you want to tour around the complex. You may explore the park by walking or riding an electronic cab with a Hop-on, Hop-off riding system. As for me, I chose to ride the big cart to save time to be able to explore more. The moment that the e-cab starts, you will begin to notice the vastness of the area. In a few minutes, the driver will tell you that you have reached the first stop. As you look around, you will see animals roaming around freely.
STATION 1: Animal Feeding in an Open Area for Animals
On this station, I was able to come closer to an ostrich, a sheep, and a pony. Here, visitors can have the chance to interact with the animals by feeding and gently touching them. Taller animals like camels and zebras can also freely move since they are placed in a somewhat natural setting with boundaries up to where they can wander. From your vantage point, you can observe what they naturally do and how they do things.
STATION 2: Safari Gallery
The second stop is a structure that is filled with displays of preserved wild animals and hunting trophy collection of the owner. Baluarte in Vigan is owned by a previous governor in the province whose hobby is hunting. When his collection has grown too big, he has set up the gallery and included the zoo. This part of the park may not be appreciated by people who are not into animal hunting but if you wanted to see how exotic animals look like up close, then this is worth a visit. This gallery gives you an actual idea of the animals’ size, skin texture, and how big and pointy their fangs are.
STATION 3: Close Encounter with a White Lion
On the third station, you will have a photo op with an albino lion. If you fear this creature and seeing fangs intimidates you then worry not, because the caretakers ensure that it is tame. Since the lion is my favorite feared animal, and have always find it so fascinating, this part is my most favorite station in the park. While waiting for the electric cab that will fetch you to bring you to the next station, you may as well look at the big cats in the other cages like Bengal tigers and leopards.
STATION 4: The Tiger’s Haven
The last stop is the station where the tigers are. Compared to the lion, I was more uneasy sitting next to the tiger though it is tame. Since the animal caretakers assured me it is safe, I was able to have an awkward smile for my photo op. Pay attention to what this area offers, as you may miss other features. You will also see here reptiles on cages and even a real albino snake shedding skin.
Before leaving the home of the big cats in Vigan, take some time to strike a pose on Baluarte’s signage for your photo souvenir. This is a good way to conclude your Baluarte tour.
Baluarte Vigan is located at Quirino Boulevard, Vigan City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. All expenses were shouldered by the author. All photos are from Kaycie Gayle
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