Updated as of January 2020
Summary: This blog shares a budget travel guide for Laoag, Ilocos Norte, estimated budget is P1,900+ per person that is good for 2 days which covers expenses for entrance, food and transportation. All needed details for each top attraction are laid out in the post including operating hours, entrance fee, location and information on how to get there. The Laoag blog is intended for DIY budget travelers, either solo or traveling in group.
LAOAG AT A GLANCE
Welcome to the sunniest region in the Philippines, LAOAG or “lawag”, which means light in local dialect, has been known as the “Sunshine city” for its tropical savanna climate with warm to arid temperature year round.
Located at the northern part of Luzon in the Philippines and being the capital of Ilocos Norte, Laoag is yet another city with a strong presence of Spanish influence from its century old churches and ancestral houses down to its traditional lifestyle and solid awareness of its Ilocano heritage.
The city of Laoag uses different modes of transportation: tricycle or mini-van for short travel with P10 minimum fare while jeepney and bus for long distance. The best time to visit Laoag is during the months of March through May when the place remains warm with only a rare chance of rain, making it a perfect season to surf the vast sand dunes of La Paz.
HOW TO GET TO LAOAG
Laoag can be reached by land from different areas in Luzon and by air from selected domestic destinations in the Philippines.
Getting to Laoag By Air
As of late, only Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific offer flights from Manila, Cebu and Davao to Laoag City.
- Via Manila – There are available buses from GV Florida, Partas , Baliwag or Fariñas Transit that travel to Laoag at their terminals in Cubao and Sampaloc. Travel is via North Luzon expressway which may take for about 8 hours. Bus fare ranges from P700 to P900.
- Via Clark – Take the shuttle service at the Clark Airport and drop off at Dau terminal where you can transfer to a bus bound for Laoag. Travel time is around 8 hours, bus fare is around P600.
- Via Baguio – Buses and vans that go to Laoag are available daily at Baguio City Bus terminal. Travel time is more or less 4 hours, fare is around P300.
- Via Tuguegarao – Buses from Florida Liner or GMW Liner offer daily trip to Laoag. Travel time is approximately 5 hours, bus fare is around P300.
You may book your ticket online using the search box below.
TOP ATTRACTIONS IN LAOAG
Here are 5 top tourist spots that you can cover in a day tour or with an itinerary for 2 to 3 days while in Laoag.
THE SINKING BELL TOWER
A notable attraction at the heart of Laoag city, the 90-meter high Sinking Bell Tower has been drifting further into the earth each year due to its heavy weight digging slowly into the soft soil to where it was built since 1612. As of late, tourists are not permitted entrance to the tower.
LA PAZ SAND DUNES
The sand dunes is a protected sandy coastal desert in Laoag which offers a heart racing ride on a buggy or a 4×4 and a sandboarding activity. Standard rate for both activities is P2,500 good for 3-5 persons: P2,000 for the buggy ride and P500 for sandboarding. Contact the following tour operators: Wilford Cua +639184778877, LaPaz Sand Dunes +63 926 676 4686 and Ilocos Sand Adventures +63 908 885 3669. The best time to visit the sand dunes is in the afternoon to avoid the scorching heat of the sun and to catch the fascinating sunset at the desert after the activities.
MALACAÑANG OF THE NORTH
Soak in the culture and heritage through the different pieces of memorabilia and architecture inside Malacañang of the North. Entrance fee to the museum is P30.
Also called as the Church of St. Augustine, the Paoay Church is one of the Baroque-style churches in Ilocos Norte. It was completely built in 1710 and was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993. Near the church is a big lake where you can freely stroll.
SANTA MONICA PARISH CHURCH
The biggest Baroque church in Ilocos Norte, Santa Monica Parish church or commonly known as Minalin or Sarrat church was built in 1779 and had since served the public for weddings, including the daughter of then President Ferdinand Marcos.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN LAOAG
Here are top things to do and activities that are worth a try around Laoag.
- Go local and indulge in the flavorful Ilocano cuisine.
- Go on a sandboarding adventure!
- Or thrill ride on a 4×4 jeep and explore the vast sand dunes of Ilocos Norte!
- Visit the old residence of the controversial Marcos family.
LAOAG DIY ITINERARY
Itinerary for Laoag can be done on a DIY, but more convenient if done on a tour package. Here is a sample itinerary for Laoag for 2 days with an estimated budget of P1,900.00+ per person for a party of two, excluding expenses for accommodation, souvenir and other incidentals.
|Arrive in Laoag||7:00AM||–|
|Sinking Bell Tower||–||–|
|St. William’s Cathedral||–||–|
|Tobaco Monopoly Monument||–||–|
|Museo Ilocos Norte||–||P50|
|Lunch at Saramsam Restaurant||1:00PM||P200|
|La Paz Sand Dunes||3:00PM||P1,250|
|Rest until sunset at the Sand dunes||6:00PM||–|
|Santa Monica Parish Church||9:00AM||P15|
|Malacañang of the North||11:00AM||P50|
|Back to the city proper||1:00PM||P15|
WHERE TO STAY IN LAOAG
Here are the best-rated and most popular homestays, budget inns and luxurious hotels in Laoag.
Other recommended Laoag accommodations to check out:
- Ziur Inn Check rate and availability here
- Casa Felipa HotelCheck rate and availability here
- UKL Ever Hotel Check rate and availability here
- Texicano Hotel and Restaurant Check rate and availability here
- Bakasyunan Inn Laoag Check rate and availability here
English is widely understood in Laoag. But in case you want to speak the local tongue, here are phrases that proved to be useful.
English to Ilocano ( the most prevalent language among the locals in Laoag)
Thank You – Agyamanak
Good Morning – Naimbag a bigat
Good Afternoon – Naimbag a malem
Good Evening – Naimbag a rabii
How Much? – Sagmamano daytoy?
Where is… – Sadino ti…
Look for discounted deals from Klook from the major destinations in Asia, including the Philippines.
EXTEND YOUR TRIP
Complete your trip to the north by visiting Pagudpud and Vigan. Check out the budget travel guides below:
- Baguio Budget Travel Guide
- Balabac Budget Travel Guide
- Baler Budget Travel Guide
- Batanes Budget Travel Guide
- Cordillera Budget Travel Guide
- El Nido Budget Travel Guide
- Manila Budget Travel Guide
- Palaui Island Budget Travel Guide
- Pangasinan Budget Travel Guide
- Puerto Princesa Budget Travel Guide
- San Vicente Budget Travel Guide
- Sagada Budget Travel Guide
- Zambales Budget Travel Guide
- Apo Island Budget Travel Guide
- Bacolod Budget Travel Guide
- Boracay Budget Travel Guide
- Cebu Budget Travel Guide
- Dumaguete Budget Travel Guide
- Gigantes Islands Budget Travel Guide
- Iloilo Budget Travel Guide
- Negros Budget Travel Guide
- Sipalay Budget Travel Guide
- Siquijor Budget Travel Guide
- Bangkok, Thailand Budget Travel Guide
- Chiang Mai, Thailand Budget Travel Guide
- Chiang Rai, Thailand Budget Travel Guide
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Budget Travel Guide
- Johor Bahru, Malaysia Budget Travel Guide
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Budget Travel Guide
- Penang, Malaysia Budget Travel Guide
- Phnom Penh, Cambodia Budget Travel Guide
- Siem Reap, Cambodia Budget Travel Guide
- Singapore Budget Travel Guide
- Sukhothai, Thailand Budget Travel Guide
BE A RESPONSIBLE TRAVELER
And lastly, don’t forget to be awesome! 😉
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