Pagudpud is a coastal municipality located at the northernmost portion of Ilocos Norte. Dubbed as the "Boracay of the North," it became a popular tourist destination for its pristine beaches, resorts, and surfing sites. Saud Beach, in particular, was named as one of the top ten beaches in Asia by the Sunday Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne, Australia.
Twenty minutes away from Saud Beach, you can also find another tourist-favorite beach in Pagudpud, the Blue Lagoon, also known as the Malingay Cove. The beach is known for its white sand and bluer-than-blue water.
The town is also home to the first windmill farm in Southeast Asia, which also serves as their source of renewable energy. Tourists flock at the Bangui Bay to view and admire the municipality's 20 wind turbines.
The fourth longest bridge in the Philippines is also located in Pagudpud, commonly known as the Patapat Viaduct. It spans at 1.3 km in length, connecting Ilocos Region to Cagayan Valley. Tourists usually drive along this bridge to fully enjoy the scenic view of the ocean.
The closest airport to Pagudpud is the Laoag International Airport, serving as a terminal for both domestic and international flights. The following airlines offer flights to Laoag International Airport:
- Cebu Pacific
- Philippine Airlines
The travel time takes around 45 minutes - 1 hour to and from Manila. The fare usually ranges around PHP 3000 to PHP 4500, depending on your date of booking.
Once you land at the airport, you can take a tricycle to the bus terminal in the city proper. You can take a bus or van straight to Pagudpud, or take a 90-minute bus ride to Claveria and drop-off at Pagudpud. The bus fare costs around PHP 75. Be sure to let the driver know to drop you off the town.
You can reach Pagudpud from Manila to Pagudpud via land, although the travel time can take 10 -12 hours long.
You can take a bus from Manila going to Pagudpud. The travel time takes around 12 hours, and the fare starts at PHP 750. The following bus lines offer direct routes to Pagudpud:
- GV Florida
- Maria de Leon
- RCJ Transit
Alternatively, you can take a bus going to Laoag and travel to Pagudpud from there. You can take a bus from these following bus lines:
- GV Florida
- Fariñas Transit
The travel time will take around 8 hours, and the bus fare starts at PHP 700. Once you arrive at Laoag, you can take a tricycle going to the city's bus terminal, then take a bus bound (or will pass by) to Pagudpud.
To enjoy the most out of your trip, you must visit Pagudpud during the dry season, between December - January and April - May. The weather is warm enough for comfortable traveling.
The summer season (June - August) is also a good time to visit the northern town if you want to experience all activities in the area. Tourism is high in this period, and accommodations are cheaper.
Local residents speak Tagalog and Ilocano. Most locals understand English and can speak it, at the very least, in bits and pieces.
Bus fare from Manila to Laoag and vice versa cost around PHP 1500 ($31) per person. The bus trip from Laoag to Pagudpud and vice versa costs PHP 150 ($3.09).
For food expenses, it's ideal to allot at least PHP 300 ($6.17) /pax per day.
If you're renting a tricycle to tour around Pagudpud, the average rate is around PHP 600 ($13). That already covers the following north-bound destinations:
- Kabigan Falls
- Bantay Abot Cave
- Blue Lagoon Beach
- Patapat Viaduct
- Paraiso ni Anton
- Aqua Grande
Accommodation expenses depend upon your preference, but you can score a good rate at around PHP 1000 ($21)/night.
You should also take into account the entrance fees for some of the destinations in Pagudpud:
- Kabigan Falls - entrance: PHP 20 ($0.41) , tour guide fee PHP 50 ($1.03)
- Agua Grande - entrance fee: PHP 50 ($1.03)
All in all, a trip to Pagudpud for two people for three days and two nights cost an average of PHP 7,820 ($160.94).
No, a tour package is completely optional when visiting Pagudpud.
It is recommended to stay at Pagudpud for 2 - 3 days to enjoy the town, coast-to-coast.
No, and it's not highly recommended. Ideally, you can start your itinerary with at least a whole day stay in Pagudpud and visit Vigan or Laoag the next day.
If you want to fully enjoy the beaches and nature in Ilocos, you should start with Pagudpud. Vigan is more suitable for sightseeing, so you could save it for the last day of your itinerary. You can always interchange this if you prefer history and sights over the beach.
The trip from Pagudpud to Vigan would take 2.5 hours since they're both at the opposite ends of Laoag.