Some call it as the ‘Boracay of the North’ because of its fine, powdery white sand. However, Pagudpud has a distinction of its own. The place has this quiet and beautiful simplicity that will pierce through one’s soul.

Located at the northernmost tip of Luzon, it will take about 10-12 hours of traveling by bus from Manila to reach Pagudpud. Upon entering the place, one will notice a sleepy and lazy vibe; a rather slow pace of living. A weary soul will find here a respite—a breathing space in this paradise.

Summer is the best time to visit Pagudpud when the skies are blue, and the seas are calmer.

A small beach in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte: Migo Santos [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

How to get to Pagudpud?

If you are coming from Manila, head on to the G.V. Florida Transport terminal which offers a ride that will take you directly to Pagudpud, though the bus ride will take about 10 hours, fret not as you will be riding a sleeper bus designed to make this long ride comfortable. You will also get to enjoy the sceneries as you pass by several provinces on your to Pagudpud.

On the other hand, if you are coming from Pampanga or Clark, you must proceed to the Dau Integrated Bus Terminal in Angeles City. Ride a bus going to Laoag. Once there, take a van or bus with a Laoag-Pagudpud route or a bus bound to Cagayan and advise the conductor that you are bound to Pagudpud.

The must-see places in Pagudpud

There are certainly a lot of beautiful spots in Pagudpud, and it will take more than a day to see everything. Here, we list down 10 of the best places in Pagudpud, but this list is by no means exhaustive. Nonetheless, here are your ten must-see places in Pagudpud.

1. Saud Beach

Perfect for soul-searching or just communing with nature, the Saud Beach is not as crowded and commercialized unlike other famous beaches in the country. The Saud Beach boasts of fine, white sand and cold water. Let time slip by as you lie on the beach and take a rest from everything that has been bothering you. The beach is also easily accessed by riding a tricycle from the town center of Pagudpud. You may also ask your hotel to arrange your transportation going to Saud Beach.

Sindre Helvik [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

2. Bantay-Abot Cave

A beautiful rock formation found in Barangay Balaoi, Pagudpud, it may leave you wondering how the sea was able to carve such in the mountain. It is not a cave but a hole that was created when two rocks leaned with each other. Though a guest may never get to enjoy swimming at this area of Pagudpud, since such activity is dangerous due to the strong currents, he or she may sit back and enjoy the stillness of the moment while listening to the lapping waves. Visiting this spot is free of charge, and is open to the public at all times. However, it is recommended to visit this place during the daytime.

What is even breathtakingly beautiful in this place is the way the sunshine through Bantay Abot Cave. This is the perfect spot to take that obligatory IG-worthy selfie.

Bantay Abot Cave is not really a cave but a hill that was wrecked by an earthquake in the 80’s leaving a hole in the middle: Edbon3000 [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

3. Timangtang Rock

As you go towards Bantay-Abot, you will first see a smaller rock formation. This is the Timangtang Rock, and it is said to be the male partner of Bantay-Abot. The two rock formations are locally referred to as the ‘Lover’s Rock.’ With a shape like a sloped hill, the Timangtang Rock Formation is located along the seacoast of Sitio Gaoa, Balaoi, Pagudpud.

4. Maira-ira Beach

Probably, one of the popularly known destinations in Pagudpud is the Maira-ira Beach. It a stretch of white shoreline and crystal clear water that reaches up to the West Philippine Sea. In this part of Pagudpud is a cove or bay that is called the Blue Lagoon. Hovering about this body of water is the 1.2-kilometer long Hannah’s zip line, which is also known as the world’s longest zip line in the overwater category.

There are several luxury and budget resorts along the strip of Maira-ira Beach that also offers activities and water sports that the guests can enjoy while they take in the scenery around them.

5. Dos Hermanos Island

The name of the islands means ‘two brothers.’ Legends speak of the story of two brothers who promised to stay together, despite all odds. One stormy day at the sea, the brothers got lost, as they went fishing, and never to be found again. After they disappeared, the two islands ‘grew’ out of the sea, reminding locals of the two brothers and their vow to each other.

Still part of the Maira-ira strip, the Dos Hermanos Islands can be reached through a sandbar that appears during low tide. It is quite slippery and rocky, so visitors who want to explore the island should be extra careful.

6. Kabigan Falls

From the main highway of Pagudpud, it is a 30- to 45-minute trek to reach the 80-foot tall waterfall. However, it isn’t a tedious trek, as you get to see and take photos of the fantastic views.

Once there, visitors will have to pay a preservation fee, and there will be local guides to accompany groups of guests inside the area. The guides will lead you through the rustic trail of the tropical forest until you reach the waterfalls. Visitors will feel refreshed and relaxed, as they take a rest and dip into the cold water from the falls.

Perry A. Dominguez [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

7. Patapat Bridge

The Patapat bridge is a viaduct or a raised bridge that forms part of the highway that connects Pagudpud to the rest of Ilocos Norte and Cagayan Valley. It is 31 meters above sea level and, at 1.3 kilometers long, it is considered as the fourth longest bridge in the country. At one point, the entire stretch of the bridge may resemble the shape of a snake along the coast and the mountains of Pagudpud.

8. Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

What makes this rock formation unique is its distinct white color; hence, the name ‘puraw’ which is an Ilocano word for the color white. The calcium carbonate in the rocks glows white when hit by sunlight while it turns ivory on a gloomy day. The stones are smoothly beautiful, thanks to the water and wind tandem that carved this structure. Visitors can take a closer look at the rock formation and may reach the area by foot or by riding a horse. However, some people would prefer seeing the view from a distance, as it is still as exquisitely marvelous at that point. As such, the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation is also one of the most-photographed sites in Pagudpud.

9. Burgos Lighthouse

Still functional up to this day, the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, or known as the Burgos Lighthouse, is already a cultural heritage structure in Burgos, Ilocos Norte. The lighthouse served as one of the beacons for the Spanish galleon or trade ships during its heyday for those traveling from the Pacific Coast going to the Babuyan Channel. Today, the lighthouse is still used to guide foreign vessels entering the Philippine waters even though; it has been converted into a public museum. If you are headed towards Kapurpurawan, you may drop by here first.

10. Bangui Windmills

Serving as an energy source utilizing the force of the wind converted into electricity, the Bangui Wind Farm is said to be the biggest in Southeast Asia. It supplies 40 percent of the electricity requirement of the Ilocos Norte, Visitors also enjoy having their picture with the windmills at the background, and one has never been to Pagudpud without this particular mandatory shot. Beauty and substance—that is the windmills at the Bangui Wind Farm.

Iandelgado [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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