Where: Coastal Resort Town of Pagudpud
Who: Mr., Mrs. & Little Miss Wanderlust
When: October 2014
What: Explore, Hike, Surf & Chill at the Northern most part of Philippines
The town of Pagudpud is the northern most part of Luzon island... Its pristine white-sand beaches and crystal-blue water makes Pagudpud a haven for tourists. Seasonal changing waters make it ideal for a sporting trifecta of diving, surfing, and kayaking.
Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific fly to Laoag from Manila, travel time is about an hour. From Laoag, there are local jeepneys with Laoag-Pagudpud route or you can take the buses bound to Cagayan that pass through Pagudpud.
By Public Vehicle (BUS)
Manila to Pagudpud is a 10 hour bus ride. There are many bus lines serving this route. Florida Bus Line (Phone No: 731-4473, 781-5894) has a direct trip to Pagudpud daily for 500 PHP (~$12), its terminal is in Sampaloc, Manila. Partas (Phone No: 725-1740, 725-1256, 725-7303, 724-9820), Baliwag (Phone No: 524-7111, 525-1067, 525-3064, 525-6769, 525-2338, 525-2294), Fariñas (Phone No: 743-8582) and other bus companies offer Manila-Laoag trips. From Laoag, it is a two-hour jeepney/bus ride to Pagudpud.
** Protip: If you want more comfort, and don't mind paying extra, you can avail or inquire about their sleeper lines, these buses are going directly to the route without stopping, have its own toilet, and has more space and can recline better, has WiFi on board, and if I recall correctly, they also have electronic 12V plugs for your chargers. How bout that?
By Private Vehicle
Before going on this trip, we would advise you to have your vehicles checked beforehand, esp. brakes, lights, oil, water, battery, air, gasoline, and most of all, driver! Although one can drive the roads, it is more advisable if you have stopovers to stretch and a companion who can drive as a backup or at least talk to you to keep you alert. You can reach Pagudpud from Manila to North route - NLEX-SLEX-TPLEX keep on going north through the Maharlika Highway. It goes up the coast with rolling tropical hills on one side and the blue water on the other. There are no traffic jams here, so if you have a chance to drive, this is the place to do it.
**More Info: a 2.0L engine 24mile per gallon car will approximately consume a total of 2 Full tanks. (with more than enough to spare back to Quezon city). Just make sure you load up your car with gas on La Union area or Vigan area before going to Pagudpud as gasoline stations tend to slowly disappear as you go near to the town.
Inexpensive resorts are located along the shores of Pagudpud, they offer cottage rental for as low as P500.00 (~$12.50) or even cheaper on some home stays. Mr., Mrs. and Little Miss Wanderlust stayed at one of the quiet but stylish surf hotel owned by a local pro surfer in northern most beach in the Philippines, Maira-ira Beach aka Blue Lagoon.
Mr & Mrs. Wanderlust's Review:
Kapuluan Vista Resort & Restaurant
> Quiet but stylish surf resort owned by surfer made for surfers and vacationers surely would appreciate.
> Has a small swimming pool so kids will still have fun.
> They take pride with their restaurant, and value quality, sometimes you may have to wait (so order in advance!) but always delicious and worth it!
> Restaurant's ingredients mostly are home grown, organic and home made, so it is guaranteed fresh.
> Staff are friendly and accommodating.
> Rooms are stylish yet still maintain tranquil coziness even if its in the northern most remote beach of Luzon island in Philippines.
> The vibe is chill, and love their 'beach front lounge' just across their resort that faces the windy and strong waves of the sea
Price: $$ 3,500 for A/C room for 2 pax with bathroom
Service: 5 star They try to make your stay memorable and enjoy every bit of it.
Facilities & Amenities: 4.9 star - Love everything, just no beachfront but close enough to the beach.
Restaurant (foods): 5 star - They take pride with every food and ensure quality with fresh ingredients.
Bar: 5 star have not tried drinking, but their bar looks good and chill surfer vibe.
Overall: 4.9 /5
Facing the West Philippine Sea, Pagudpud’s beaches are nothing short of amazing: Stretches of white sand lined with coconut trees and crystal-blue water. Located at the northernmost tip of the Luzon island, Pagudpud is a sleepy coastal town. But the locals are definitely generous with their smiles. It’s not overrun by tourists yet, but it’s getting there. So head on out — now.
1. Get blown away in Bangui Windmills - You will pass by the town of Bangui before Pagudpud, you can choose to pass by this spot either before or after you've gone to the beaches of Pagudpud, depending on your itinerary. It also holds the largest turbine facility in Southeast Asia. And while their purpose is to provide electricity for the entire province, 70-meter windmills jutting out of the beach also offer a stunning view.
2. Lighten up your trip at the Lighthouse - Since the Philippines has a long coastline, it is only fitting to have a myriad of lighthouses. Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Burgos is a 19th century octagonal structure finished with baked brick. It still works today and also houses a small museum. You can see many signs pointing to the lighthouse before going to Pagudpud and we did this as a quick stop.
3. Fall in love with Kabigan Waterfalls - Trek 30 minutes to Kaibigan Falls. Visit the town of Adams and go to the Anuplig Waterfalls. View the cascading Abang Falls in Bangui.
4. Ride a horse to Kapurpurawan Rock Formation - is located on the rocky coast of Burgos, Ilocos Norte. It is known for its creamy white and streamlined limestone formations, which have been sculpted by different oceanic and weather forces. Burgos is located on the northwestern tip of Ilocos Norte.
5. See Bantay Abot cave - where waves hit the cliffs.
6. Swim the white sand, and crystal clear waters of Saud Beach.
7. Surf or paddle the strong windy waves of Maira-ira (Blue Lagoon) Beach - also the northern most beach in Luzon Island. One should be careful as it sometimes gets windy and waves tend to not be suitable for beginners, but if you have heart and desire of surfer, you can try, but be careful as your surfboard may also be blown by the wind just like a kite surfer! (that is how windy it was!)
8. Drive or rent a tricycle to get you to Patapat Viaduct or locally known as Patapat Bridge - And don't forget your camera as this 1.3 KM bridge that connects Ilocos province to Cagayan looks majestic, knowing that you are at the coastline in the tip of Luzon Islands, where AM radio signals you hear are of either Mandarin or Hokkien languages. Just be careful when striking a pose in the middle of the street and be mindful as buses and other vehicles bound to Cagayan province are still passing through the road.
~protip: try to pick a spot where most of the bridge can be captured by your camera preferably in an angle that sees the whole 1km long strech of the bridge. Take your time and be careful as it is still an open national highway.
9. Witness the majestic sunset and sunrise of Pagudpud. How can one miss the sunrise and sunset in the northern most tip of Luzon island. Always majestic, and somehow spiritual.
Accommodation - Hostel / B&B room - 500 PHP - 1,000 PHP
Accommodation - Homestay - 250 - 500 PHP
Accommodation - Resort Room - 3,500 - 5,000 PHP
Accommodation Family - Resort Room - 4,000 - 10,000 PHP or up.
Food - Dining - 250 - 500 PHP per meal good for 2 with one kid
Shopping - T-Shirt Souvenir - 280 - 350 PHP
Activities - Guide to trek Kabigan Falls - 100PHP for guide (+tip of another 100PHP)
Activities - Surf - 250 - 350 PHP rental of Board + 200 PHP instructor (Kapuluan Vista Resort)
Activities - Banana Boat - 1,500 PHP (3 rounds for 5 people - Hannah's Resort)
Activities - Jetski - 2,300 PHP for 15 mins (Hannah's Resort)
Activities - Speed Boat - 6,800 PHP per hour - (Hannah's resort)
Activities - Massage - 600 PHP per hour
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