Ilocos Series: Pagudpud

December 06, 2015

Pagudpud Landmark

Pagudpud is a coastal resort town located in the northernmost part of the main island of Luzon.  This place is far (about 1.5 - 2 hours drive from Laoag depending on the traffic), but it is known to be a popular tourist destination because of its natural beauty and charm.

Here are the tourist attractions that we went to, which made our travel all the way up North really worth it:


Pagudpud Welcome Arch
Don't forget to take that obligatory groupie or selfie at "The Most Photographed Welcome Arch" in the country for your souvenir!

I don't know exactly what's with Pagudpud's welcome arch that makes it so popular among tourists. It seems like everyone I know who had been to this place never missed the chance to take a snapshot of this most photographed welcome arch in the Philippines.  Well, I guess, seeing this landmark just gives them and every traveler the thrill of anticipating the fun and exciting experiences this place has to offer.  So yeah, I suppose that's enough reason to pull over and pose for a "buwis-buhay" shot on the middle of a busy highway!


Patapat Viaduct
The Patapat Viaduct is elevated 31 meters above sea level and stretches 1.3 kilometers -- making it the 4th longest bridge in the Philippines.

According to our tour guide, Mang Mario, before this causeway bridge was constructed, motorists used to drive along a dreaded one-way road perched on a mountain slope, which had been a common site of accidents especially during the rainy season when landslides were more common.

In order to address the said problem, the Marcos administration headed the construction of the Patapat Viaduct along the coast of the Cordillera Mountain Range to serve as a safer alternate road that would connect Maharlika highway from Laoag to Cagayan Valley.  Eventually, this ordinary highway had turned into a favorite tourist attraction because of the breathtaking view offered by the Pasaleng Bay to all the motorists passing by.

Patapat Viaduct
Make sure to pull over to the side of the road and take a moment to appreciate the beauty of nature.  It's such a scenic view that's definitely worth the stopover!


Bantay Abot Cave
Bantay Abot Cave
This weird looking hill with a hole in it is another tourist spot that you'll notice as you pass by the shore of Baloi, Ilocos Norte.  

Bantay Abot is an Ilocano phrase, which literally translates to "a mountain with a hole."  But contrary to its name, Bantay Abot Cave isn't really a cave, but a hill that was damaged by a strong earthquake back in the 80s.

In order to fully appreciate this attraction, as well as the amazing view it offers, you have to actually park by the roadside, go down a narrow staircase, and trek a few meters of a rocky coast.  It's a fairly easy hike that can become a bit tricky because of the slippery rocks that you have to walk onto in order to reach the cave, so be extra careful!

Frankly speaking, there's really nothing much to do here except to take photos and enjoy the view of the restless waves splashing along the rocky shore.  Nevertheless, if you're a certified nature lover, I'm pretty sure that you'll certainly love this jaw-dropping place and also find it very relaxing, just like we did!

Bantay Abot Cave
The beach's rocky coast and the waves' strong current make this place not practical for swimming.


Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon a.k.a. Maira-Ira Beach of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, has been a popular tourist attraction among locals and foreigns because of its beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear blue waters.  They say that the beauty of this paradise is comparable to that of the famous Boracay Island in Aklan.  Hence, this place has been widely known as "The Boracay of the North."

Entrance fee is actually PHP 20.00 per head, but during our visit, we were only charged PHP 100.00 for a group of 9 adults (including our driver) and an infant.  That's almost 50% discount huh!?!  

Blue Lagoon
My little one, Rafa, is trying to conquer his fear of the strong waves in Maira-ira Beach.  

Anyway, aside from swimming, you can also rent a cottage by the beach for PHP 200/hr and enjoy a picnic with family and friends.  Bringing in of food and drinks is also allowed without any corkage, so feel free to organize a potluck lunch or merienda anytime you wish to visit this place!  

No need to fret if you can't bring your own food because there are also a number of restaurants in the area that offer freshly caught seafood, which can be cooked to your preference. Just be aware that the price of seafood here is 2-3x more expensive than its regular or normal price in any wet market in Manila.  

***So that's where the first day of our Ilocos tour ends.  Please do visit in the coming weeks for more travel posts about our Ilocos Sur and Laoag adventure!

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