This town in Ilocos Norte is the home to pristine beaches and strong winds.
From fine, white sand beaches to remarkable cliffs and hidden waterfalls, Pagudpud remains to be a vivid example of a true tropical paradise of Northern Philippines.
In this travel guide, you will know about Pagudpud and its story, things to do and places to visit, itinerary, budget and accommodation, and how to get to Pagudpud.
|Pagudpud Welcome Arch|
Pagudpud situated one and a half hours north of Laoag City, the provincial capital of Ilocos Norte, and about 10 hours by land from the Philippine capital Manila, is fast gaining fame in the international travel circuit staking its claim amongst the pretenders to the throne of having the best Philippine beach which unarguably is perennially held by Boracay in Aklan.
Pagudpud is a town on the north coast of Luzon Island, in the Philippines. Resorts line the long stretch of Saud Beach, on the wide sweep of Bangui Bay.
The towering Bangui Windmills wind turbines are arrayed in a row along the coast. East of town, Pasaleng Bay is home to Bantay Abot Cave, a natural tunnel eroded through the headland, and secluded Maira-ira Beach. Area waterfalls include Kabigan and Anuplig.
STORY OF PAGUDPUD
Pagudpud, the town, was named as Tongotong which was then under the administrative control of the town of Bangui as being one of the barrios.
Just before the outbreak of World War II, a Batangas native, according to a local story, arrived in the area selling mosquito nets and blankets from house to house until he was totally exhausted. He sought shelter in one of the houses, hungry and tired, asking the owner of the house for a simple meal.
After all had settled down, the owner asked the itinerant vendor for his purpose, and the guy, not understanding the local language merely replied, “Ako’y pagud na pagod na at ang sapatos ko’s pudpod,” in heavily Batangas-accented Tagalog meaning “I am very tired and my shoes are all worn out”. The reply became the byword of the Tongotong locals even though they themselves did not understand the meaning of what has been said.
A few months later, a Bicolano (native of the Bicol Region of the Philippines) arrived to seek employment in one of the logging companies in the region (as apparently the area had thick, virgin forested mountains before and logging was still allowed by law).
The guy, not knowing where the office of the company was located got off in Tongotong and asked one of the locals for the name of the place and he immediately replied, “Ako’y pagud na pagod na at ang sapatos ko’s pudpod,” as the bystander thought the man was a Tagalog and those were the only Tagalog words he knew. Our guy interpreted that the place might be called Pagud-pudpod. Tongotong became Pagud-pudpod and later shortened to Pagudpud.
But that was one story. The elders say that Pagudpud is an old Ilocano word which meant soft sandy soil “kuppuoy” a kadaratan. The majority of the population of its 20,385 residents is composed of Ilocanos, whilst a few are a collection of Apayaos, Bicolanos and Visayans.
THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO VISIT IN PAGUDPUD
Just like any other tourist destinations in Ilocos Norte, Pagudpud has many to offer! From beaches to waterfalls and rock formations, there are many to discover here.
Here are top things to do and tourist spots to visit in Pagudpud:
Blue Lagoon (Maira-Ira Beach)
The Blue Lagoon or Maira-ira as it also popularly known is located in Malingay Cove in Sitio Malingay.
The hidden bay is at Mairaira Point, and is situated in a half moon shaped bay along with its fine white sands that contrast so strikingly with the blue and some say cerulean blue waters.
Here you can do beach activities like swimming, starling, etc. If you are adventurous enough, you may want to try their over-the-sea zipline.
The jewel in the crown of Pagudpud is Saud Beach, with its renowned wonderful fine white sand. The waters of the South China Sea are a magnificent blue and crystal clear all the time.
This is bordered by spectacular multi-coloured corals and iridescent fish. Due to its distance, the beach is uncrowded and can be enjoyed with a little privacy. In fact, we had a nice time during our stay here in 2013.
The beach is lined with over hanging coconut palms, creating a scene from a dream. A popular venue for fashion photo shoots.
FUN FACT: Saud Beach is a cove facing the Bangui Bay (west) while Blue Lagoon faces Pasaleng Bay (east) in Pagudpud.
Located in Barangay Balaoi (close to Bantay Abot), Kabigan Falls is one of the favorite spots to visit in Pagudpud. The cool waters cascade some 87 feet into a natural concave basin and its somewhat spectacular when there is plenty of water flowing. The name is derived from the word “kaibigan” or “magkaibigan”.
At Kabigan Falls don’t miss the chance for a swim in the cold and crystal clear waters in the basin surrounded by tall green trees that form part of this lush virgin rainforest when you visit.
Bantay Abot Cave
Derived its name to two Ilocano words “bantay” for mountain and “abot” for hole that is used to refer to it as a mountain hole. Technically speaking, it is in no way a mountain but more of a cave.
Here, you can trek to the cave passing the wavy Pasaleng Bay and take some photos.
This rock by the sea is the other half of the legendary Lover’s Rock. This bell-shaped structure is just a few meters away from Bantay Abot and was said to have been part of it once.
Some say that it was just a small rock before which came rolling down the mountains and grew bigger as the time goes by.
At one end of the bay is the Nacatnagan Cliff in the east and the Dos Hermanos islands in the north, both popular destinations for tourists.
These two features are also highly regarded local attractions which are on the agenda of any local tourist guide and make sure they take you there.
Last but not least, Patapat Viaduct has one of the most scenic spots in Pagudpud. It gives you a beautiful glance of the windy and wavy Pasaleng Bay.
Connecting the Maharlika Highway in Laoag City to the Cagayan Valley, this is a busy street above the coastal areas of Pagudpud. The fourth longest bridge in the Philippines, this winding concrete beauty is said to be the northernmost roadway part of Ilocos Norte.
OTHER TOURIST SPOTS NEAR PAGUDPUD
Aside for having most of the tourist spots in Ilocos Norte, here are some of the places you can also visit near Pagudpud:
- Bangui Windmills: the first of its kind in the Philippines. The wind farm uses 20 units of 70-meter high Vestas V82 1.65 MW wind turbines, arranged in a single row stretching along a 9-kilometer shoreline off Bangui Bay, facing the West Philippine Sea.
- Cape Bojeador Lighthouse: also known as Burgos Lighthouse, is a cultural heritage structure in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, that was established during the Spanish Colonial period in the Philippines.
- Kapurpurawan Rock Formation: are rock formations created by forces of the ocean on the rocky coast of Burgos, located just a few minutes further from the lighthouse.
HOW TO GET TO PAGUDPUD
Pagudpud is located at the northernmost part of Ilocos Norte which is approximately 2 hours ride from the capital, Laoag City. There are buses you can find at the city proper of Laoag offering trips to Pagudpud on a daily basis.
LAOAG CITY can be accessed by the following:
- By Land: Partas, GV Florida Transport, Dominion Bus Lines, Philippine Rabbit and Fariñas Transit have regular trips that will take you directly to Laoag City. Travel Time: From Manila to Laoag City, 10-12 hours. So, I advise you to have a night trip for this.
- By Plane: Take a direct flight from Manila to Laoag via Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines. Travel Time: From Manila to Laoag City is about an hour. Flights are usually at night, so better make the necessary adjustments on your itinerary.
Check bus ticket rates via 12go Asia:
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WHERE TO STAY IN PAGUDPUD
Pagudpud is packed with best and budget-friendly resorts and hostels to choose from. Here's a list of accommodation in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte:
Accommodation in Saud Beach
Accommodation near Blue Lagoon
Other accommodation in Pagudpud
- Natsuca Beach Resort (Sitio Aprot, Brgy. Caparispisan)
- Alta Vista Ilocandia Inc. (Sitio Ayoyo, Brgy. Caparispisan)
- Pannzian Beach Resort (Pasaleng Beach)
PAGUDPUD ITINERARY (TOUR AND ACTIVITIES)
Exploring and touring tourist spots in Pagupud can be done in a day. Here's an itinerary you can follow for your Pagudpud adventure:
06:00 Laoag to Pagudpud
08:30 Start the South Day Tour (Bangui Windmills, Kapurpurawan Rock formations and Burgos Lighthouse)
11:00 Lunch (suggested place: Saud Beach)
12:00 Start the North Day Tour (Kabigan Falls, Patapat Viaduct, Timangtang Rock, Bantay Abot Cove, Blue Lagoon and Dos Hermanos Island)
17:00 Dinner and rest or back to your resort
NOTE: I have allotted at least 5 hours for North Day Tour for you to enjoy your stay at Blue Lagoon.
SAMPLE BUDGET AND EXPENSES
Here are the following fees and rates you need to consider and ready for your Pagudpud Tour:
- Pagudpud South Tour: P1,000 per tricycle (up to 3pax)
- Pagudpud North Tour: P1,200 per tricycle (up to 3pax)
- Environmental Fee: P20
- Kabigan Falls: P20
- Tour Guide Tip: P50-P100 depending to your budget
- TOTAL: P800 per head (approximately)
Note: the above budget breakdown doesn't include accommodation and food.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Pagudpud
- What is Pagudpud known for?
Pagudpud is famous for its white-sand beaches and other beautiful natural wonders. That's why even if it takes more than 10 hours of drive or bus ride, people are still willing to travel there.
- What are the tourist spots in Pagudpud?
Here are the top places to visit in Pagudpud:
- Blue Lagoon (Maira-Ira Beach)
- Saud Beach
- Kabigan Falls
- Bantay Abot Cave
- Timmantang Rock
- Dos Hermanos
- Patapat Viaduct
- Kapurpurawan Rock Formation (Burgos)
- Banguig Windmills (Bangui)
- Is Pagudpud a province?
No. Pagudpud is a town located at the northernmost part of the Province of Ilocos Norte.
- Is Pagudpud worth visiting?
The town is not packed with fancy shops, bars, and clubs. However, it offers visitors wonderful natural attractions like coves, caves, and rock formations. You may not party the night away in Pagudpud like Boracay, but you can enjoy the outdoors and the beauty of nature.
- Is there a bus going to Pagudpud?
Yes, there is a direct bus departing from GV Florida Station Manila station and arriving at Pagudpud. Services depart twice daily, and operate every day.
- How long is the bus ride from Manila to Pagudpud?
Travel time from Manila to Pagudpud takes approximately 12h.
Check out my Ilocos Travel Guide:
- TOP 10 Must-See Sights in Ilocos Norte (Best Tourist Spots!)
- Pagudpud Tourist Spots (Itinerary + Budget)
- The Sinking Bell Tower of Laoag City
- Bangui Wind Turbines, the First Wind Farm in the Philippines
- Malacañang of the North and the Marcoses
- Patapat Viaduct - Connecting Ilocos and Cagayan Valley
- 4x4 Adventure at Paoay Sand Dunes
- Saint Augustine Church AKA Paoay Church
- La Virgen Milagrosa Chapel of Badoc
- Blue Lagoon, The Boracay of the North
- Kapurpurawan Rock Formation of Burgos
- Cape Bojeador Lighthouse of Burgos
- Marcos Museum and Mausoleum in Batac
- 10 Ilocano Food That Will Make You Crave For
Have fun, Juan!
WHAT TO BRING IN PAGUDPUD
Here are some things you might consider bringing with you for your day tour / adventure:
WHERE TO STAY IN ILOCOS NORTE:
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