3 Days Ilocos Itinerary: Pagudpud, Laoag, Paoay & Vigan

ilocos itinerary pagudpud laoag vigan

Exploring Ilocos Region particularly Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur is one of my bucket list of places I wanted to visit. Finally, I was able to with my friends Joy and Ivann. Together with Ivann’s workmates, we rented a van to tour us in Laoag, Pagudpud, and Vigan. If you wanted to know how we did it, here’s how.

Ilocos Region (aka Ilocandia)

The Ilocos Region (aka Ilocandia) is located at the northwestern tip of Luzon. It is one of the most amazing tourist destinations in the country. It has four provinces La Union, Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur, and Ilocos Norte.

Our trip focuses on Ilocos Norte (Pagudpud, Laoag, Paoay) and Ilocos Sur (Vigan).

  1. Pagudpud is the farthest among the three and is already at the tip of Northern Luzon.
  2. Laoag and Paoay are two towns, the latter of which is known for St Augustine/ Paoay Church—a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in Paoay we wanted to try the 4×4 ride in Paoay‘s Sand Dunes
  3. Vigan is known for the old heritage houses lined up at Calle Crisologo.

Laoag, the “Sunshine City,” is full of religious, historic, and cultural sites.

Day 0: Manila

We left Manila at around 8 pm. As I said earlier, we rented a van for our tour.

Day 1: Paoay and Laoag (Morning) – Pagudpud (Afternoon)

Sikat-Tuna Inihaw & Restaurant

Our day started with breakfast at Sikat-Tuna Inihaw & Restaurant. This restaurant has a nature-vibe that I like. It can also be crowded as others are stopping over here for breakfast as well.

We hit the road right away after having our breakfast because our schedule is very much packed for the day.

Marcos Museum and Mausoleum

Marcos Museum and Mausoleum also known as The Ferdinand E. Marcos Presidential Center is located in the city center of Batac, Ilocos Norte. The museum used to be the ancestral home of the Marcoses. It is open from Monday to Sunday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

The highlight of our visit is when we lined up to go inside the late dictator’s mausoleum. Inside the room is the glass-encased coffin that displays the wax replica of the remains of Marcos. They said that the body of Marcos was preserved in a crypt inside this Mausoleum before his controversial burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Taguig in 2016.

Entrance Fee: P50 for adults, P30 for students and senior citizens with their ID, and P10 for children aged 10 and below.

How to get to Marcos Museum and Mausoleum : Going to the museum is not that hard, since it is located near to the city center of Batac. You can ride a jeepney or tricycle going to Marcos Museum and Mausoleum at the address of 10-N Lacub, Marcos Ave., Batac, Ilocos Norte. 

Paoay Church

The Saint Augustine Church commonly known as the Paoay Church, is a Roman Catholic church in the Municipality of Paoay, Ilocos Norte in the Philippines. It is National Cultural Treasure and was was classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Entrance Fee: None

How to get to Paoay Church: Paoay Church is located at Marcos Ave, Paoay, Ilocos Norte. The Church is 45 minutes to an hour away from the bus terminal. You can ride a van or tricycle, just ask the driver to drop you off at the church.

Malacañang of the North

Malacañang of the North is a 5-hectare property that overlooks the serene Paoay Lake. The place used to be  the residence of the Marcoses here in Ilocos Norte during the regime of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. What stood out for me is the grand staircase made of narra wood. It opens from 9am-11:30am and 1pm-4:30pm daily except on Mondays.

Entrance Fee: 30 per person

How to get to Malacañang of the North: Malacañang of the North is located in Brgy. Suba, Paoay, Ilocos Norte. The best way to get here is by joining a guided tour or riding a jeepney or van bound for Paoay. Ask the driver to drop you off at the historic attraction.

La Paz and Paoay Sand Dunes Culili Point

It was very exciting, thrilling and enjoyable to ride a 4×4 and go through the terrains of the sand dunes… It is very similar to the sand bashing of Dubai.

Entrance Fee: It’s FREE to visit Paoay Sand Dunes but it costs 2500 pesos to rent the 4×4 jeepney which includes the sandboarding activity. Or you can book via Klook – Paoay Sand Dunes Adventure on 4×4 Jeep in Ilocos

How to get to La Paz Sand Dunes: From Laoag City, hire a tricycle to take you to Laoag (La Paz) Sand Dunes in 15 minutes. 

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

This late 19th century lighthouse is worth-visiting. The lighthouse of Cape Bojeador is the Philippines’ highest elevated lighthouse that is still active and kept in the original structure dating back to the Spanish-Colonial period.

Entrance Fee: 20 per person

How to get to Cape Bojeador Lighthouse: Cape Bojeador Lighthouse is located in Burgos, Ilocos Norte. If you’re coming from Burgos City Hall, ride a jeepney that will head northeast on the M. Perucho St, It will turn right onto Pres. Ignacio St then left on the Pan-Philippine Highway. Ask the driver to drop you off at Cape Bojeador Lighthouse Road.

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

The word kapurpurawan is derived from Ilocano, meaning white, particularly when the sun is on the natural sculpture because of its colour. It is an emblem of Ilocos Norte, a place of prestige, one of the province’s must-visit places.

Entrance Fee: There are no entrance fees to visit the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, but the local community charges an “environmental fee” of 50 pesos. 

How to get to Kapurpurawan Rock Formation: The rock formation is about 3 kilometers from the main highway. Find your way to Laoag, Northern Ilocos and then pick or ride from there to Burgos or Pagudpud. Ask the driver or driver to drop you off on the road to Kapurpurawan near Burgos City. The Laoag travel time is about 1.5 hours.

Bangui Wind Farm windmills

Bangui windmills is my favorite Ilocos Norte tourist spots. We arrived here just enough for the beautiful sunset.

Entrance Fee: None

How to get to Bangui Wind Farm windmills: If you’re going to drive from Laoag City, take the Pan-Philippine Highway / AH26. You’ll be able to see Cape Bojeador and Wind Farm Burgos. After passing the Burgos Wind Farm, turn left for a few metres. Travel straight ahead until you enter Estress Resort, then turn right to arrive at the destination.

Bangui windmills

Day 2: Pagudpud

Kabigan Falls

Our first spot for the day needs a 30-minute easy trek before reaching Kabigan Falls. This waterfall is deeply tucked away somewhere in thick forest terrain, it cascades water from an 87 ft (26.5 m) height and the water is refreshingly cold.

Entrance Fee: 20 per person, Guide Fee is 100 pesos

How to get to Kabigan Falls: You can hire a tricycle or van to get to this place. 

kabigan falls
Bantay Abot Cave

Bantay Abot Caves means “a mountain with a hole.” The naturally sculpted hole was steadily eroded by waves until it was wrecked by an earthquake during the 1980’s. It’s sort of like a giant donut! The waves continue to wash through and shape the hole.

Entrance Fee: None

How to get to Bantay Abot Cave: You can hire a tricycle or van to get to this place. Going to Bantay Abot Cave will take about 30-45 minutes from Bangui Windmills. You have to get down from the main road to get close to the spot.

bantay abot cave
Patapat Viaduct

The coastal bridge of Patapat stretches for about 1.3 kilometers connecting Ilocos Region and Cagayan Valley. It was constructed in 1986. This bridge has an amazing view of the mountains and the sea on each side.

Entrance Fee: None

How to get to Patapat Viaduct: The Patapat Viaduct is a highway—more than 30 meters above sea level. The 1.3-kilometer long coastal road in Ilocos Norte municipality can be located in Pagudpud district. It is a busy street found at the coastal areas of Pagudpud linking Cagayan Valley Highway in Laoag to Maharlika Highway.

patapat viaduct
Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon earned its other name due to its shimmering bluish water.

Entrance Fee: 20 per person

How to get to Blue Lagoon: From the Laoag Bus Terminal, ride a tricycle to the bus station offering the Laoag-Pagudpud route (around P60). If you are coming from Vigan, take another bus ride to Laoag (P120, per way). From the city proper, the best and most recommended way to tour different parts of Ilocos Norte is by hiring a tricycle. Paoay, Batac, Pagudpud, and Burgos are popular destinations. Rates vary per destination.
Blue Lagoon can be reached by taking the North Tricycle Day Tour package (P600).

Day 3 Vigan

Bantay Bell Church Tower

Bantay Bell Tower served as a watchtower for raiding pirates during the Spanish era. There is no entrance fee here but they accept donations. There is a church nearby for those who wanted to visit.

Entrance Fee: No entrance fee but donations are greatly appreciated for the maintenance of this heritage site.

How to get to Bantay Bell Church Tower: Aside from riding a tricycle or jeepney going to the church, you can join a guided tour that will also take you to other destinations.

Baluarte Zoo

Baluarte zoological park in Vigan is owned by the politician businessman – Chavit Singson. Operating hours are from 6:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Entrance Fee: There is no entrance fee. You can either walk inside or get a shuttle for only 50 pesos per head. 

How to get to Baluarte Zoo: From Calle Crisologo, you can hire a tricycle going here.

Calle Crisologo

Whenever I search for Vigan on the internet the first thing that comes out is Calle Crisologo. Me and my friends enjoyed our stroll here. There are a lot of old structure houses that for some reason bring charm to the city. It is beautiful during day time but more lively during nighttime. It was our first time here so we did a local tour in a calesa.

Entrance Fee: None

How to get to Calle Crisilogo: CLICK HERE TO CHECK THE CHEAPEST FARE FROM MANILA TO VIGAN. From the bus terminal, you can take a tricycle going here.

Plaza Salcedo

Plaza Salcedo is just a walking distance from Calle Crisologo. At night there’s a dancing fountain held daily at exactly 7:30 p.m. (another at 8:30 p.m. on weekends) for 30 minutes.

Entrance Fee: None

How to get to Plaza Salcedo CLICK HERE TO CHECK THE CHEAPEST FARE FROM MANILA TO VIGAN. From the bus terminal, you can take a tricycle going here.

Where to Stay?

Assuming that you are following this 3 Days 2 Nights itinerary and that you are a budget traveler. Below are the places I recommend for your stay.

Pagudpud – Palm Grove Saud Holiday Complex Hotel
Vigan –  Hotel Luna

Here’s the rough estimate of our expenses:

  • P4200 — 3-day, 2-night tour inclusive of transportation, accommodation and entrance fees.
  • P1500 — total food expenses including incidentals (drinks, snacks)

TOTAL: P5,700

Overall, I love Ilocos. I think it’s one of the best and most gorgeous places I have visited EVER. Ilocos is just very easy to fall in love with.


You might want to continue reading: CEBU ITINERARY – 3 Days Travel Guide + Expenses

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