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Apr 30, 2008

Pagudpud: Haven of the North (Pagudpud Travel Guide)

11 hours drive away from Manila, Pagudpud is located at the northernmost tip of the Philippines. Despite its location, tourists sought this small coastal town of Ilocos Norte as a number one destination when one is seeking a one of a kind adventure and perfect unwinding spot. Pagudpud’s peaceful rural communities, rich, unspoiled natural resources and the absence of mass tourism make the place even more visit worthy.
Below is a 3 days and 2 nights Tourist Itinerary Guide if ever you want to experience an exhilarating quest to the “Haven of the North,” Pagudpud.

Photos courtesy of: Liz Reyes

Getting There

By air: There’s no direct flight to Pagudpud so one needs to take the flight to Laoag then take the mini bus going to Pagudpud for about 2 hours.
By land: There are various bus companies that travel to Ilocos but most of them are up to Ilocos Sur only. If you want a bus that will travel from Manila all the way to Pagudpud, go for Florida bus. Don’t fret, the bus has its own rest room so going to the CR is not going to be a problem anymore.

Contact number: 731-4473

Things You Need To Know

Accommodation: There are lots of resorts and rest houses in Pagudpud so if you want to see the place first before booking, you can do so. However, during peak seasons like December, April, May and June, almost every resort in the area is fully booked. Resorts or Inns usually start at 1,500. If you are on a tight budget, you can also stay in transient houses.

Tel. No: 63-77-7641005
Mobile: 0918-9371752; 0920-2558377
Tele/fax: (077) 7721845
Email: terrarikadiveresort@yahoo.com
Tel. No: 63 919 3078803/09202396138
Mobile: +63 920 553-4161
Tel. No: 077 676 0438
Mobile: 0917 5100671/0918 9334464
Email : apoidon@hotmail.com
Mobile: +63920 220-5089
Mobile: 632 646-9020
Tel. No: (+6372) 888-2809
Mobile: (+63920) 952-2528

Meal: The usual cost of meal in Pagudpud, or Saud Beach to be specific, is like that of any restaurants. One order of Sinigang na Baboy that’s already good for 2-3 persons has a rough estimate of Php 220.00 already. If you want to save, you can bring noodles or canned goods with you because there’s nothing really extra ordinary on their menu.
Tour: Resorts usually offers or has their own recommended tour guides so better ask the resort staff about their touring. If you want, you can check websites and forums and ask their recommended tour guides like the ones below.

  • Kuya Lenzer: 09068185735
  • Mang Joseph: 09217615459

Important Things You Need

  • Cash- There’s no ATM machine in Pagudpud. The nearest one is in Laoag, which is two hours away from Pagudpud. You wouldn’t want to travel back to Laoag and waste time would you? So, remember to always stash extra cash with you.

  • Chips and lots of water- The trip to the north is approximately 11 hours so it is expected that you will get hungry and thirsty. Though there will be at least 2-3 stop overs, it is still safe to pack lots of food and H20. Chips and finger foods are recommended because they’re not messy and easy to dispose.

  • Medicine- For people who have motion sickness, don’t forget to take a medicine one hour before travel. Bring some paracetamol and analgesic with you as well.


* Good for one person only

  • Fare - Php 1,600
  • Accommodation- Php 3,000
  • Food- Php 1,500
  • Touring- Php 1,000 (depends on where you want to go or visit)
  • Entrance Fees- Php 200 (includes payment for the tour guide in the Kaibigan Falls)
  • Pasalubong- Php 500

You need to have: Php 8,000/person is the safest budget one can allot for this trip because there might be other places you want to visit that may require additional payment for the touring. Also, this usually depends on the number of pasalubongs you want to bring home. Again, it is always advisable to travel in groups to save more.

Daily Itinerary

First Day

If you leave Manila at 12:00 midnight or 1:00 a.m., it is expected that you will arrive in Pagudpud before lunch. Unpack your things first, check the water supply and beddings then when you are all settled, find a place where you can have lunch. If you will stay along Saud Beach, Polaris Beach Resort can cook food for you for a price of Php50.00 only. However, raw foods should be bought by you unless you ask them before hand to do the marketing for you.
After a hearty lunch, you and your friends can while away the hour by staying in your room, watch television if provided, or ask the resort administrator about their touring. If a tour guide was referred by a friend, better let him know about your plans for the next day’s touring.
Granting you stay in a resort along Saud Beach, 5: 00 p.m. is the perfect time to stroll along the beach to watch the sunset. Facing the west, the south portion is where you can see the Bangui Windmills. You can actually see all the 15 windmills and take a picture of them all if you have an ever trusted DSLR with a zoom lens of at least 70-300mm, then it is already enough to capture the mill's beauty.

Second Day

Wake up early to catch the sunrise and breakfast before leaving for the tour. Start the tour at 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. Always keep your camera handy because you’ll never know what you will see along the way. Some things, places or sceneries might capture your interest so always keep those video cameras and DSLR ready. Be sure they are fully charged as well.
Touring in Pagudpud is usually Php 800.00 though you can still haggle. FYI: Bangui Windmills and Cape Bojeador are already outside Pagudpud so the tour guide will charge an extra amount if you want to visit the places, it usually ranges from 100-200 pesos. Also, don’t expect a van or car for a service since all the touring in Pagudpud always have a tricycle for a service. Anyway, you will be able to take good pictures and enjoy the view more when riding the trike. On the other hand, if you will be traveling in a big group, ask your tour guide if he knows someone where you can rent a van even just for a day.

1st stop: Cape Bojeador is located in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, 45-1 hour away from the town of Pagudpud. It is known for being the highest lighthouse in the Philippines that is still functioning since its completion on March 30, 1892. To date, the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse still gives signals to passing ships along the Cape. The place is perfect for viewing the sunset but since this is your first stop, you would definitely miss it, not unless you have decided to make it your last stop.

2nd stop: Bangui Windmills is also outside Pagudpud, as the name implies, it is situated in the town of Bangui, Ilocos Norte, 30 minutes away from Pagudpud. Seeing the windmills for the first time will definitely leave you speechless, not to mention giant windmills that look like white robots or aliens. These giant electric fans are used to generate electricity in the province and at the same time, serve as a major tourist spot in Ilocos Norte.

3rd stop: Trek for almost 30 minutes to get to Kaibigan Falls. Not so steep falls in the middle of a forest but still worth the trek. Water is freezing cold. Entrance fee is Php 10.00 and there’s a hired tour guide for the trek. Any amount for the guide, as long as it’s reasonable, would do. Php 50 is enough but if you are feeling a little bit generous, Php 100.00 is much better.

4th stop: After taking a short dip in the falls, you can ask your guide to take you for lunch at Bing bong’s eatery. It was said that it’s the only canteen at Pagudpud.The food is just the usual karinderya or turo-turo. Nothing special at all and just enough to fill your empty stomach so don’t expect a lot.
5th stop: After lunch, journey to Patapat Viaduct and marvel at the view of the South China Sea. This is the only road you have to pass through in order for you to reach Cagayan from Pagudpud. This elevated concrete highway constructed along winding/rocky headlands is constructed to solve the problem of landslides in the area that have caused many vehicular accidents in the past.

6th stop: You can opt not to enter or enter Aqua Grande because there’s really nothing special about the place. Just a freezing cold river full of big rocks that meets the sea. Entrance is Php15.

7th stop: Near Aqua Grande is the Paraiso ni Anton. Don’t ask who Anton is because no one knows who he really is. Like Aqua Grande, nothing’s very special about this place so this might just bore you. It is just a mini fall with steps to the grotto where one can drink from the water coming from the falls. Travelers who pass by to go to Cagayan usually get water here. There are also mini stalls there where you can buy some pasalubongs.

8th stop: Bantay Abot Cave is a must see tourist attraction in Pagudpud. Bantay Abot is a natural sculptured cave which has a hole in the center. The place is very nice for picture takings and offers a great view of the sea as well.

9th and last stop: The last stop for the day and the tour’s highlight is at Blue Lagoon, which is commonly known as the "Boracay of the North." The water is crystal blue as the name implies. The powdery, white sand is very fine like that of Boracay and to top it off, the place is not overcrowded. But if you are someone who loves parties, rubbing elbows with strangers and seashore orgies, then this place is not for you. Read this, Pagudpud has NO NIGHT LIFE. Waves are really big so if you’re not a good swimmer, better shun away from the idea of swimming far from the shore.

Optional: Since Blue Lagoon is facing west and if ever you are not staying in Saud Beach but still want to see a perfect sunset, you can ask your friendly tour guide to drop by at Saud Beach just in time before the sun bids farewell.

Third and Last Day

Rest, eat, stroll and bask under the sun all you want while waiting for lunch time. The usual check out time is 12:00 noon but you can ask the resort administration if you can leave your things in their hotel while you shop for souvenirs and pasalubongs. You can also drop by Florida station, located at Pagudpud’s town proper, to buy or reserve a ticket for the 6:00 p.m. trip.

Manila Bound: Approximately, when there’s no hustle during your travel, you’re expected to arrive in Manila by 5:00- 5:30 a.m. the next day. Take a rest and pray you won’t have any jet lags.

* Also posted in WikiPilipinas Travel Guide


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I should've seen this before! we spent about 10,000/person when we visited pagudpud. Almost the same amount when we gone to boracay beach. Nevertheless, one of the best experience we ever had.