The Long Winding Roadtrip: Ilocos Region, Day 1 – PAGUDPUD

         Planning to explore the province of Ilocos Region? You have to spend at least four to six days for this trip. The fascinating view of this region will surely captivate the heart of every tourist. Ilocos Region is located in the northwest of Luzon, bordering to the east the regions of the Cordillera Administrative Region and Cagayan Valley and to the south the region of Central Luzon. The two provinces famous for tourist attractions are Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, particularly composed of the famous towns of Pagudpud, Laoag and Vigan.

         As backpackers, we were all set for a long winding roadtrip to Ilocos for four days. We started our long journey from Manila to PAGUDPUD which is a fourth class municipality in Ilocos Norte, a popular tourist destination because of its nostalgic resorts and pristine beaches.

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DIRECTIONS:

VIA LAND

  • Going to Pagudpud is 10-12 hours travel from Manila. Just take a direct nighttrip to Pagudpud via GV Florida Bus Line located at Lacson Ave. Corner Earnshaw St., Sampaloc, Manila. The fare is only P700 per person one way. The bus leaves at 7:00 P.M. or 9:30 P.M respectively. You can also take a Laoag-Pagudpud route if you happen to miss the direct trip to Pagudpud. For reservation please contact no. 731-4473 or 781-5894.

Note: You have to be at the terminal at least one hour before the trip since there’s only limited time schedule for Pagudpud direct trip.

VIA AIR

  • You can take Philippine Airlines (PAL) or Cebu Pacific flight to Laoag with one hour travel time. From Laoag airport ride a jeepney going to the city proper with a fare of P60. Then, take a bus or van bound to Claveria, Cagayan that will pass by Pagudpud. Just tell the driver or conductor to drop you off at Pagudpud’s Baduang Market. It takes two hours travel from Laoag.

ACCOMMODATION:

                      Please click Book Now below at TravelBook for discounted rates and reservation of hotels and accommodations.    

         

           As for our trip, we stayed at Villaluz Homestay for an affordable rate of P1,000. It is located at Blue Lagoon Beach, Pagudpud near Hannah’s Beach Resort. It is a fully furnished 2 bedrooms air conditioned house with bathroom, kitchen, and sala set. It is owned by Kuya Roland Villaluz who was also our friendly and hospitable tour guide in Pagudpud. For room reservation and tour guide you can contact kuya Roland at 0927 559 0818.

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photo credit to FB page of Villaluz Homestay

Other accommodations to choose from:

Hotels/ Beach Resorts          

PACKAGE TOUR:

         If you really care about your travel then go to Kuya Roland’s Package Tour because he is not only a driver but he is a good tourist guide and aside from being a driver, he is also a holder of national certificate awarded by TESDA as a proof of being a skilled professional driver for the tourist destinations of ilocos region. He has tricycle rental for a group of 2 to 3 persons and a van & car for a group of 4 persons & more.

         We opted Kuya Roland’s Package tour for a rate of P1,200 for North and South Pagudpud tourist attractions plus P300 for another tour guide going to Kapurpurawan Rock formations.

         Our Package tour includes the following attractions:

*North Bound

1st Stop: Kabigan Waterfalls is worth the 30 minute trek with the silent guide through beautiful scenery. However, we skipped the falls because of time constraint. We don’t have enough time to trek since it was already late afternoon.

2nd Stop: Patapat Viaduct is a must see when going to Ilocos. You’ll not just appreciate the bridge, but you will appreciate more the sea. It is also a great place for photo ops. It is a concrete coastal bridge 1.3 km long and connects the Maharlika Highway from LaoagIlocos Norte to the Cagayan Valley Region. It is the 4th longest bridge in the Philippines.

The long winding road
The long winding road

3rd Stop: Agua Grande is simply a place where fresh and salt water meet and go into the sea. You can see fresh water from the mountains roll down the mountainside.

clean and green ambiance (photo credit to another website)
clean and green ambiance (photo credit to another website)

4th Stop: Paraiso ni Anton a mini falls is located along the road, wherein stalls for souvenir items are sold. The place is somewhat a drop off point by buses plying to and from Tuguegarao. The mini falls is clean and cool. You can drink it and some says the water from the falls is therapeutic.

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the holy place

5th Stop: Timmangtang rock is located only a few meters away from Bantay Abot Caves. It is located along the shoreline and partly by the sea. This rock is a bell-shaped, hence the name Timmantang. The rock is covered with grass and bushes. The area around the rock is quite scenic.

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giant rock along the shore

6th Stop: Bantay Abot Cave is a rock formation created by nature and waves from the sea and not a cave. Good for some photo ops. The place and the view around it are very breathtaking to see.

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the rocky cave

7th Stop: Blue Lagoon Beach is darn blue and clear water. Entrance fees for each person cost 20Pesos. When driving away from the entrance by trike my expression upon seeing the Blue Lagoon was simply breathtaking.  It was really nice to swim here plus cheap foods around the areas. Lots of kubos (nipa hut) to stay for a day trip too.

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the blue lagoon with nipa huts
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pristine white beach at Blue lagoon

8th Stop: Dos Hermanos Islands is a great spot at low tide. Walking along the beach right in front you see the reef meeting the surf with great waves during bad weather. The beach has plenty of washed up articles and objects, if you have the time, walk around and see what you might find. Just make sure you are back before the tides returns.

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view during low tide

*South Bound

9th Stop: Bangui Windmills is one of the so many beautiful attractions that you must visit in Ilocos Norte during your road trips to the North. These windmills are the pride of the coastal town of Bangui and the source of renewable energy in the Province of Ilocos Norte and considered as one of their tourist attractions. Tourist can stop and drop by anytime of the day. Take pictures and buy beautiful souvenirs such as t-shirts and replica of the bangui windmills, key chains and others.

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Gigantic windmills
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the view
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signage

10th Stop: Kapurpurawan Rock Formation – Finally, we got to see this rock formation. We had an awesome view of the smooth, creamy-white limestone flaunting along the shoreline. Wanting to have a closer look, we are restricted from going anywhere near it and only took pictures from the view deck. We were told that it’s not just to prevent vandalism and abuse, but over the years, it has become fragile and must be preserved from further deterioration.

cool waves plus crystal rock formation
cool waves plus crystal rock formation
rock formation
Cryztalize rock formation
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nostalgic view
the statue along the shore
the statue along the shore

11th Stop: Burgos Lighthouse is a must-see landmark when in Ilocos region. Burgos Lighthouse also known as Cape Bojeador Lighthouse is located in Burgos , Ilocos Norte. This old lighthouse overlooks the scenic Cape Bojeador. But in order to see this view, one must climb several steps which are quite steep for elderly. It is a short climb though. The view at the top is beautiful-one side the mountains and the other side the ocean view.

The lighthouse
lighthouse
upstairs
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at the corridor

BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES

       Transportation: 700 x  2 = P1400 per person

       Accommodation: P1000 for a group of 2-4 persons

       Tour:  P1500 for a group of 2-3 persons

 _____________________________________________________

         Total: P3,900

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

Next blog: Continuation of Long Winding Roadtrip: Ilocos Region, Day 2 – LAOAG … =)

 

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