Journey to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

Second day of our Ilocos tour, yey! We started by checking out at Green R Hotel then walk to Partas Bus Terminal – Vigan to ride an air-conditioned bus. But wait, we need to prepare our backpacks first.

Things to Bring

Activities in Pagudpud includes trekking and swimming, so you might want to bring the following:

  • Water for refreshments
  • Protection against sunlight like umbrella, but hat is recommended because the wind is very strong in Kapurpurawan.
  • Swimming attire.

How to Get There

You can commute from Vigan or Laoag to Pagudpud through:

  1. Air-conditioned bus. You can choose between Partas and Florida, however, bus going straight to Pagudpud are very rare. Instead, you go to Vigan or Laoag then ride a mini-bus to Pagudpud. Fare from Vigan to Laoag costs P157/person.
  2. Mini-bus. I don’t know where is the bus terminal in Laoag and Vigan, but we were able to ride a mini-bus from Pagudpud to Laoag.
Mini bus with Laoag-Pagudpud route
Mini bus with Laoag-Pagudpud route

Tours

Tourist spots in Pagupud are a bit far away from each other and some are also far in the main road, so it is better to take a tour than commute. Pagudpud North and South tours usually costs a total of P1,200.00 (P600 per tour).

South Tour

Coming from Vigan or Laoag, the South of Pagudpud is your first stop. From Vigan or Laoag, commute up to Cape Bojeador Lighthouse where tricycle drivers offers Pagudpud South Tour for P600. South tour includes the following places:

  1. Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
  2. Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
  3. Bangui Windmills.

North Tour

If you wish to proceed to Northern part of Pagudpud, your driver will transfer you to another tricycle driver. This is because the south tricycle drivers are not allowed to enter the north and vice versa. North tour costs P600 too and includes the following places:

  1. Kabigan Falls
  2. Patapat Viaduct
  3. Paraiso ni Anton
  4. Blue Lagoon
  5. Timmangtang Rock
  6. Bantay Abot Cave
  7. Maira-ira Beach
  8. Saud Beach
  9. Agua Grande
The above mentioned tour inclusions may depend on the drivers you meet, as some of them removes far places. Kindly check the latest prices and offers before you travel.
You can reduce the tour price by removing some places you do not want to go.

The Tour we Chose

In Laoag, we met Kuya Jonas (+63 906 395 6176), our tour Guide for the day. He is the cousin of Kuya James, our tour guide in Vigan (though I believe they are just friends helping out each other).

We agreed to have the Pagudpud North and South Package tour, with additional Side Trip of (1) Bacarra Church & Acrobatic Bell Tower, (2) Pasuquin Salt Farm, and (3) Dragon Fruit Farm; at the costs of P1,500.00. It is a bit pricey but still acceptable because:

  • Saved us time in commuting
  • Saved us time in transferring to another driver and haggling again for separate tour (for North and South tour)
  • With additional side trip

Side Trip

Bacarra Church & Acrobatic Bell Tower

According to our guide, the bell tower was called acrobatic after it was ruined by frequent earthquakes that caused it to lean and brought down the top most level. As of today, fallen debris can still be seen on the ground.

Bacarra Church & Acrobatic Bell Tower
Bacarra Church & Acrobatic Bell Tower

Dragon Fruit Farm

Along the way to our destination, you will see small farms of dragon fruit owned by locals, and some of them even have it in their backyard. At the entrance of Dragon Fruit Farm, you will notice a big cement sculpture of dragon fruit and a portrait of the owner. Entrance fee is P10 only with free taste of fresh picked dragon fruit. They also sell processed dragon fruits like ice cream and wine.

Pagudpud South Package tour

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

From few kilometers away, we can already see the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. It was built in a top of a hill with narrow concrete road. Once we are at the peak, the tricycle parked then we climbed up to the lighthouse. Renovation of the lighthouse was ongoing when we came, luckily, it was still open to the public. At top, you will see the stunning view of West Philippine Sea and feel the very cool breeze from the ocean.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

It is a long drive going to Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, and along the way, you can see enormous wind mills. At the jump-off point, you will have to either walk or ride a horse with a fee, up to the rock formation. The rock formation looks an ordinary white rock from distance, but at a close look, you will see the natural smooth streamlined limestone formation created by forces of the ocean.

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Bangui Windmills

This is the highlight of Pagudpud and you should not miss this if you are going to Ilocos Norte. Bangui Windmills are lined up along the beach of Bangui built by Marcos during his time as Governor of Ilocos Norte. It looks like regular sized windmills in pictures, but to my surprise, seeing it up close will reveal its enormous size. Along the beach are stores selling souvenirs and some karenderia.

Beware of the strong waves along the beach of Bangui Windmills.

You will not see anyone swimming along the beach of Bangui Windmills the waves are very strong. Our guide told us that just a week before our visit, a group of local students tried to take pictures of them with the sea as their background. But a big wave came from their behind that took them to the sea. Unfortunately, the only survivor is the person who took the picture. The same incident was also posted in national news.

Bangui Windmills
Bangui Windmills

Pagudpud North Package tour

Kabigan Falls

At the jump-off point, you have to pay Environmental fee P10/person and P100 for the tour guide. Some nearby eatery offers paluto where you can order in advance and they will cook the food while you are trekking. Though expect it to be more expensive than those foods offered in common karenderias.

The trekking will take one (1) hour back-and-forth. The trail follows the river up to the source which is the Kabigan Falls. On the first half of the trail you’ll pass rice fields then on the second half is the forest that hides the beauty of the falls.

Kabigan Falls
Kabigan Falls

Patapat Viaduct

Patapat Viaduct is an elevated concrete highway constructed along winding mountainside in the northernmost section of Ilocos Norte. Footed on the rocky seashore just several meters from the mountain side, it gives motorists a spectacular view of Pasaleng Bay.

Patapat Viaduct
Patapat Viaduct

Paraiso ni Anton

This place is usually not included in the package tour but it is just few minutes away from Patapat Viaduct so you can request this to your tour guide. Good thing is that our guide already included it in our package. Paraiso ni Anton is an altar with a natural clean spring water below which you can drink; I also drank it and refilled my water container.

Bantay Abot Cave

Bantay abot cave is not really a cave but a hill that was wrecked by an earthquake leaving a hole in the middle. Walk down some steep rocky steps and make your way around the rock formation, then you get a view of the cave.

Bantay Abot Cave
Bantay Abot Cave

Maira-ira Beach (or Blue Lagoon)

Maira-ira commonly known as The Blue lagoon, has a long stretch of unspoiled white sands kissed by clear, turquoise blue water. Though, please be minded that accommodation and resorts here are quite expensive. For cheaper alternative, you may stay in Saud Beach.

Saud Beach

After a long day of tiring yet great tour experience, we finally got to our last stop. We choose to stay here for cheaper accommodation than Maira-ira beach. On the coast, you can see Bangui Windmills lined up on the other side.

Have fun!

This post is based on my personal travel experiences and research for this trip. Please feel free to share your experiences, as well as, suggestions or questions on comments below.

I hope this helps you on your next travel. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *