PAGUDPUD: A PRACTICAL TRAVEL GUIDE FOR DIY & BUDGET TRAVELERS [UPDATED as of 2021]

Note: As a precautionary measure in this time of COVID-19 pandemic, it is best to check with the authorities the updated travel requirements and possible restrictions that might affect your travel plan. Contact Pagudpud Tourism office at sogoodpagudpud@gmail.com or at +63 920 228 6569 to know the latest update.

Remember to always follow the health and safety protocols imposed from your travel origin to your destination. I wish you a safe trip ahead!

Traveling to Pagudpud for the first time? This detailed DIY travel guide is exactly what you need. Scroll down and take note of the outlined information from sample itinerary and budget, best places to visit, top things to do, recommended tours and transports, budget-friendly accommodations, and other travel tips. Have a fun and enjoyable trip ahead!

START HERE!

PAGUDPUD AT A GLANCE

Dubbed as “Boracay of the North”, PAGUDPUD however, deserves more than a comparison to Boracay and a moniker appropriate for its own beauty. It’s a countryside endowed with picturesque rock formation, long strip of pristine white sand on its beachfront, and nature-based attractions without the horde of tourists that is typical in most of Philippine tourist spots. Simply, it’s the go-to place for a sweet relaxation.

Pagudpud is situated at the northernmost tip of mainland Luzon, and is about a 10-hour travel from Manila by bus. The place is sleepy and observes a slow pace of living. To get around, the main mode of transport is by tricycle, although some locals prefer to ride a bike. The best time to visit Pagudpud is during summer when its seas are calmer and the skies are bluer than usual.

Patapat Viaduct
The Patapat Viaduct which connects the Ilocos region to Cagayan Valley. This tourist spot is included in the tricycle tour for northbound area.

A word of caution: The waves in Blue Lagoon can be crazily powerful during Amihan or northeast monsoon season, which may not be suitable for swimming. The better option during this period is to go to Saud beach where the waves are calmly unruffled.

WHERE TO STAY IN PAGUDPUD

The best place to stay in Pagudpud is near Blue Lagoon where you can find most of the affordable local tours and restaurants. Below are some of the recommended accommodations around the area:

PALM GROVE SAUD HOLIDAY COMPLEX
Rating: 8.0 | Price: P1,604 for a family room good for 6 adults and 3 kids
Click the photo for details.

More recommended accommodations. Click the link for details.

Kite surfing at Kingfisher.
Kite surfing at Kingfisher.

HOW TO GET TO PAGUDPUD

Pagudpud can be reached by land from different areas in Luzon and by air through Laoag airport.

Walang Hanggan Burol
The “Walang Hanggan” hill near the main road of Baloi makes for a perfect viewing point to catch the Lovers rock. Check out the Bantay Abot cave on my far right and the Timmangtang Rock at my back. Sweet, aren’t they? 😉

Getting to Pagudpud By Air

Only Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific offer flights from Manila, Cebu and Davao to Laoag City. Once at Laoag airport, take a tricycle to its city proper where you can find a bus to Pagudpud. Travel time is close to 2 hours, bus fare is P75.

Getting to Pagudpud By Land

  • Via Manila  – Only GV Florida provides a direct trip from Manila to Pagudpud, with fare at P750 for regular bus. Travel time would take for about 10 hours. Alternatively, one may take a bus from GV Florida, Partas , Baliwag or Fariñas Transit bound for Laoag. Travel time is approximately 8 hours, bus fare is around P700. From Laoag, board on another bus or a van going or passing by Pagudpud. Travel time is 2 hours, bus fare is P75.
  • Via Clark – Ride the shuttle service at the Clark Airport and drop off at Dau terminal. Take a bus bound for Laoag, then transfer to another bus to Pagudpud. Total travel time is around 8 hours, total bus fare is around P700.
  • Via Tuguegarao – Take a bus from Florida Liner or GMW Liner that are bound for Laoag, Vigan or Abra. Tell the driver to drop off in Pagudpud. Travel time is approximately 5 hours, bus fare is around P250.

TOP TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN PAGUDPUD

Here are 9 top tourist spots by location that you can cover in a day tour or with an itinerary for 2 to 3 days while in Pagudpud.

NORTH OF PAGUDPUD (NORTHBOUND TOUR)

TIMMANGTANG ROCK

Timmangtang rock

Legend has it that the Timmangtang rock is the lover of Bantay Abot Cave. Both are collectively known as the “Lover’s rock” and are directly opposite few meters away from each other.

Rating: 2.5/5

BANTAY ABOT CAVE

Bantay Abot Cave

“A mountain with a hole,” that’s what Bantay Abot Cave means. The rock is really not a cave but only an opening formed by two leaning rocks after an earthquake hit the area during the 80s.

Rating: 3/5

KABIGAN FALLS

Kabigan Falls

Embark on a 45-minute easy trek to reach the Kabigan falls through a lush forest, lucent streams and harmonies of nature. The waterfall is 87 feet high and showers its visitors with a cold cascade of waters on a shallow catch basin.

Rating: 3/5

PATAPAT VIADUCT

Patapat Viaduct

The coastal bridge of Patapat was constructed in 1986 and stretches for about 1.3 kilometers connecting Ilocos Region and Cagayan Valley. The mountains that serve as its backdrop mark the starting point of the Cordillera mountain range.

Rating: 3/5

MAIRA-IRA COVE (OR BLUE LAGOON)

Blue Lagoon

A vast cove enclosed with hills and mountains at the northernmost tip of Luzon, Maira-ira beach or Blue Lagoon, as it is known because of its clear blue waters, is a public beach with ivory, coarse sands that go easy on your toes as you walk its shores. The cove fronts Hannah’s, a notable beach resort which offers water sport and outdoor activities to its guests including zipline, ATV, surfing, and day tours. Contact them on their website at hannahsbeachresort.com or at +63 928 520 6255 for further details.

Rating: 3/5

SAUD BEACH

Saud Beach

Compared to Blue Lagoon, Saud beach has calmer waters suitable for kids and family. The beach boasts of its white, fine sands that makes for a perfect spot for sunset viewing. Saud beach is off the main road, to get here, charter a tricycle at the Municipal hall or from your accommodation. Entrance fee to Saud beach is P20.

Rating: 3.5/5

KAPURPURAWAN ROCK FORMATION

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Three kilometers away from the main road is a fascinating rock sculpture that teases of its creamy white color sitting beautifully by the shore. The Kapurpurawan rock formation is a one fine art of nature. While here, enjoy the pleasing view of varying rock formations and the windmills which can be seen from a distance. The best time to visit is early in the morning when there is less crowd and the heat of the sun is less scorching.

Rating: 3/5

SOUTH OF PAGUDPUD (SOUTHBOUND TOUR)

BANGUI WIND FARM

Bangui Windmill

The Bangui Wind farm which consists of 20 turbines that form an arc at the shores of Bangui bay is a major tourist attraction in Ilocos Norte. But beyond the charm, its real proponent is the use of sustainable energy. The huge windmills harvest wind power and convert it into electricity for home and office use. This forward thinking initiative is a one big leap for the local government and truly worthy of praise and appreciation.

Rating: 4/5

CAPE BOJEADOR LIGHTHOUSE

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

A cultural heritage structure in Burgos, Ilocos Norte – Cape Bojeador lighthouse is a 20-meter octagonal tower designed by Magin Pers in the year 1887. The lighthouse was declared a national historical landmark in 2004 and a cultural treasure in 2005.

Rating: 3/5

TOP THINGS TO DO IN PAGUDPUD

Here are top things to do and activities that are worth a try around Pagudpud.

Windsurfing at Kingfisher.
Windsurfing at Kingfisher.
  • Windsurf at Kingfisher resort, (if you have the stamina and power for it).
  • Frolic at the beaches of Maira-ira and Saud with family and friends.
  • Visit the windmills of Bangui and stay until sunset.
The Bangui windmills at sundown.
The Bangui windmills at sundown.

PAGUDPUD SAMPLE ITINERARY & BUDGET

The best way to get around the tourist attractions in Pagudpud is to go by a tricycle tour package which is more economical and time saving compared to going by public vehicles. The tricycle tour has two sets: the north and southbound tour, each cost for P600, good for 3 persons.

Here is a sample itinerary for Pagudpud for 2 days with an estimated budget of P1,600.00+ per person for a party of two, excluding expenses for accommodation, souvenir and other incidentals.

DAY ONE

ActivityTimeBudget
Breakfast8:00AMP100
Northbound Tour Part 19:00AMP300
Timmangtang Rock
Bantay Abot Cave
Walang Hanggan Hill
Lunch12:00PMP200
Northbound Tour Part 21:00PM
Patapat Viaduct
Agua Grande
Kabigan FallsP100
Saud BeachP20
Stay at Saud until sunset6:00PM
Dinner7:30PM
Lights out!9:00PMP200
Inside Bantay Abot Cave
Inside Bantay Abot Cave

DAY TWO

ActivityTimeBudget
Sunrise at Blue Lagoon6:00AM
Breakfast7:00AMP100
Southbound Tour8:30AMP300
Kapurpurawan Rock formationP50
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
Bangui Wind Farm
Lunch12:00PMP200
Enjoy Blue Lagoon
Zipline at Hannah’s
Check out2:00PM
View from the inside of Bantay Abot Cave.
The Timmangtang Rock as viewed from Bantay Abot Cave.

Pagudpud Tricycle Tour – Northbound

  • Kabigan Falls
  • Patapat Viaduct
  • Agua Grande
  • Paraiso ni Anton
  • Timmangtang Rock
  • Bantay Abot Cave
  • Blue Lagoon
  • Saud Beach
  • Dos Hermanos Islands

Pagudpud Tricycle Tour – Southbound

  • Bangui Windmills
  • Bangui View Deck
  • Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Things to note:

  • There is an additional courtesy fee of P100 for Kapurpurawan Rock Formation if you will include it on the southbound tour.
  • The tricycle for northbound tour is prohibited to go around the tourists spots in southbound area, and vice versa. Guests will have to transfer to the designated tricycle if going on one tour to another.

Here are tricycle drivers for northbound and southbound that offer tour service:

  • Jose Moreno +63 915 370 3908
  • Glenmark of Glenmark Homestay +63 909 6097586
  • Kuya Arnel +63 926 588 0666

WILLY’S OFFROAD 4×4 JEEP also offers south and northbound tours for P2,500 good for 5 persons. Price is negotiable. Contact Kerwin at +63 908 100 9767.

Sunset at Saud beach.
Sunset at Saud beach.

USEFUL PHRASES

English is widely understood in Pagudpud. 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 Pagudpud)

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…

EXTEND YOUR TRIP

Complete your trip to the north by visiting Laoag and Vigan. Check out the budget travel guides below:

MEET THE BLOGGER

Leaning on our boat at Punta Sibaring 1. This photo was taken during a high tide.

Hey there! I’m Ker, The Fun-sized Traveller. Fun-size because I’m a short guy from the Philippines. Thanks for checking out this virtual block I have started building since my 30th birthday to document my 2nd quarter life. Yup, it’s more of a personal pursuit, but a part of me also wants to give back to the travel community that is why I make it a point to share travel articles out from my trips around Asia.

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