Thursday, June 28, 2012

13 Tourist spots in under 8 hours -- Only in Ilocos Norte (Pagudpud, Burgos, Bangui)

It’s a must to take both the North and South tours when visiting Ilocos Norte. So with that in mind, book early on the services of a tricycle driver/tour guide. They should be able to offer you one tour for only PHP600 (this is already a fixed rate for 2-3 people). And for a great recommendation, stay at Cathy’s Homestay by Saud Beach, and hire Raphie Respicio for his day tours. You can read my recommendation of Kuya Raphie here

Day 1 

Due to unfortunate events, Rubel and I arrived late in the area of Saud. So for our first afternoon there, we just decided to eat our late lunch/dinner at Evangeline’s Beach Resort. It was still drizzling when we finished eating our meals. But we’ve managed to squeeze in some down time by swimming by the beach. We initially thought that the water was going to be cold since it was raining. Surprisingly, it was warm at that time so we stayed for a few more hours before heading back to our lodging. 



Day 2  

S O U T H T O U R 

We left Cathy’s Homestay at exactly 8 am. And then went straight to Pagudpud’s Welcome Arc, which was then followed by a 20-minute ride towards the Bangui View Deck. We stayed here for a while before traveling another 28 minutes to the famous Kapurpurawan Rock Formation site. We actually geared up for the trek, walked the short trail towards the rock formation, and climbed up the Kapurpurawan rocks while Kuya Raphie took countless photos of us hopping from one rock to another.


Our next stop was Cape Bojeador Lighthouse – a 20-minute ride from Kapurpurawan. We were able to stay here for a good 15 minutes. And from this brief tour, we were taken aback with the grand stature of the lighthouse. Sadly the entrance was closed since the officials there wanted to avoid further accidents from happening.


Anyway, the trip from the lighthouse to the Bangui Windmills took us about 25 minutes on the road. So upon setting foot on the windmill farm, Rubel and I started posing for the camera yet again. A few of these minutes were allotted just staring at these white, majestic sources of renewable energy. I loved the windmills so much that I ended up buying several miniature replicas of it.


N O R T H  T O U R 

Our north tour started with a 30-minute trek towards Kabigan Falls (it took us 40 minutes to get to this point just coming from the area of Bangui). The rainy trek with our tour guide really killed my legs. Nonetheless, it was an exhilarating experience, especially when we finally gained sight of the majestic falls! And eventhough the water from it was icy cold, we still managed to take a 5-minute dip to relieve our aching feet and legs. The rain actually stopped right when we were heading back to the Kabigan HQ.  


A trip to Patapat Viaduct came next (only 20 minutes away from Kabigan). We were able to take only a few photos since there were vehicles passing by. We just opted to continue admiring the bridge right after checking out Paraiso ni Anton and Agua Grande

Patapat Viaduct
Paraiso ni Anton
Agua Grande Park

We no longer stayed in both of these places. But instead, just took photos. We left immediately for two more famous tourist spots: the Timmangtang Rock and Bantay Abot Cave. We stayed here for a bit as Kuya Raphie was telling us a story of how both rocks were said to have been past lovers –-- now isolated from each other. :)

Bantay Abot Cave

Our last destination was Blue Lagoon. We stayed here for a good two hours before heading back to Saud Beach. So to help kill time, we swam by the beach while waiting for our paluto (cooking service). 

Blue Lagoon Beach

What/Where To Eat 

If you’re staying at Saud beach, make sure to try Evangeline’s Beach Resort's EMOHROU BEACH RESTOBAR and order a delicious and healthy platter of Buffalo Chicken Salad. But if you’re staying at Blue Lagoon beach, try having a few of your meals cooked at Mekeni De Iloco Cooking. You should order their flavorful Grilled Squid, Adobong Squid and a platter of their fresh Ensaladang Talong. You can check our review of their food here.


Where to go 

Play with the waves of Saud beach in the afternoon, especially right after your day tour. The strong waves may be a bit startling, so also swim with caution. 

Trivia-Trivia!

The 4th longest bridge in the Philippines can be found in Pagudpud – the Patapat Viaduct. Really glad to have taken a few of my pictures there! :)

Get your street-smart tips here! 

Make sure that you’re geared up for both water and land activities (wearing a pair of Aqua shoes and bringing a Dry Sack may come in handy). Both tours will certainly require some trekking and swimming, so it’s best to come prepared.

If you're coming from Vigan, the only way to go to Pagudpud is to ride the bus from Laoag (you can ride the Partas Bus for only Php133/person). So from Laoag, ask to be dropped at the Pagudpud Terminal, as several ordinary buses alight from this station. Also, going to Pagudpud will only cost you Php60/way.

Anyhow.. here's our 5-day TRAVEL EXPENSE SHEET. Hope it helps with one of your future trips in Ilocos. :)

UP NEXT: LAOAG

Explore & Be Free!
Mai

*Cathy's Homestay, Saud, Pagudpud
Look for Cathy Respicio 
(63) 919-5716680

*Raphie Respicio
Tour Guide/Tricycle Driver
(63) 905-7256500
(63) 929-1462505
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