Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, a coastal resort town at the northernmost tip of the island of Luzon, embodies my idea of an idyllic tropical paradise — a stretch of pristine, white sand beach, crystal blue waters, and no crowd.
It was the month of December when we visited Pagudpud. We stayed at Saud Beach, the most popular beach in Pagudpud. Since it was off season, we were able to bargain for lower room rates.
Pagudpud is not nearly as developed as Boracay, and the local government wants to keep it that way. It is being build up as a vacation hideaway where peace and serenity is waiting for you to be experienced.
Pagudpud has been dubbed “Boracay of the North” for its fine white sand that is similar to that in Boracay, but the tag may be misleading because the throng and activities you will find in Boracay are missing here.
Aside from not having fishing boats marring the stretch of the beach, their absence also means safety to snorkellers and divers.
There are some rock formations long the beach, so better avoid them if you want to take a lazy stroll. The waves can also be pretty strong at times, so stay close to the shoreline if you are not a strong swimmer.
It was drizzling when we visited Pagudpud, but despite the rain our stay was still enjoyable. If you are the type who can’t enjoy the beach without the sun, then the best time to go is during summer.
Summer in the Philippines is technically March-April, but with the unpredictability of the climate, this can easily change. Pagudpud, being located in Ilocos Norte, would be extremely hot during the summer though, with temperatures reaching up to around 35 deg C. Normally, dry season is from November to April, and it would be during this period that it’s best to go to the beach.
Guests who long for isolation should try the Blue Lagoon in Maira-ira Point, a 20-minute drive from Saud beach. This unspoiled, white-sand cove is perfect for lazy activities such as strolling or lying down on a good spot with a book.
There are nipa huts for rent at the parking area. The only resort that is close to Blue Lagoon is Kapuluan Vista Resort. The beach in front of the resort is not conducive to swimming, but it is to surfing as it offers fairly good reef breaks.
How To Go To Pagudpud
Going to Pagudpud from Manila is a 10-hour bus ride. Florida Bus Line (Contact No: 731-4473, 781-5894) has direct trips to Pagudpud daily. Its terminal is in Sampaloc, Manila.
Bus lines that offer trip from Manila to Laoag are: Partas (Contact No: 725-1740, 725-1256, 725-7303, 724-9820), Baliwag (Contact No: 524-7111, 525-1067, 525-3064, 525-6769, 525-2338, 525-2294), and Fariñas (Contact No: 743-8582). From Laoag, you can then ride a bus to Pagudpud. This would be a two-hour jeepney/bus ride.
From Tuguegarao, GMW Liner and Florida Liner buses bound to Laoag, Vigan or Abra pass through Pagudpud.
Travel time from Manila to Laoag take an hour or less. Book a flight with Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific. From Laoag Airport, board a jeep to take you to the town proper and go to the terminal for buses going to Pagudpud.
My friends and I opted for air travel on our way to Pagudpud because it saves so much time. But on the way back to Manila, we decided to take the bus and make stops along various destinations along the way. Our road trip through Ilocos Norte took us to Bangi, Laoag, Batac and Vigan.
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