This is it! The last of the three-part series about Ilocos. We started off in Vigan, a UNESCO heritage site. It recently became one of the New7Wonders. Then, we explored Laoag, the capital of Ilocos Norte with amazing sights. On our last day, we drove up north, way up north, along the Maharlika Highway to Pagudpud while passing by some must-see places.
Where to stay?
There are a lot of accommodations all over Ilocos ranging from the affordable hostels to the luxury hotels. We were lucky to be able to book an affordable 4D 4N tour for 4 pax with a local outfit called Tour Ylocos Travel & Tours. As part of our package, we stayed at Renzo Hotel
Renzo Inn was comfy and right in the middle of Laoag although there wasn’t much to see ‘cos the city wasn’t that developed. Unfortunately, the hotel had no elevator and we were at the topmost floor. Everything else was great. There was a care package everyday with toiletries, fruits and snack items. The best thing about this hotel? The breakfast. The hotel cafe was like a canteen with lots of walk-ins, but the food was amazing – the best of Ilocano home cooking.
What’s the weather like?
Sweltering hot under the sun. Windy by the coast. Cool at night. Dress comfy.
What to do on the way to Pagudpud?
Start off with a quick stop at the sinking Bacarra Bell Tower. It’s a sight to see. The dome fell off and scattered around the site when an earthquake hit centuries ago. If you can’t resist randomly awkward photos, climb to the nearest ledge and pose.
Head on up the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse for a bird’s eye view of the coast of Northern Luzon.
Hike and climb up the rock formations at Kapurpurawan. Take lots of photos but don’t forget to watch your step! Try to spot the mini-rock where I did my Little Mermaid (or rather, Ursula) pose.
Stare in awe at the massive Bangui Windmills. Warning, it’s very windy!
Stop by the side of the road to take photos of the Patapat Viaduct which connects Ilocos Norte to Cagayan Valley. You’re officially at the tip.
On the way back, take a quick trek to the Bantay Abot Cave.
If you visit Hanna’s resort, enjoy the dramatic view overlooking Pagudpud shoreline with a surreal Statue of Liberty in the background.
The beaches in Pagudpud are as clear as crystal but don’t just dive in. Make sure there are no jellyfish signs. If you don’t wanna get stung, go swimming at one of the many resort pools instead.
And just like that, your vacation is over.