Where better to experience the sun, sea and sand this summer than in ILOCOS NORTE? Soak some rays and catch some waves in the beaches of PAGUDPUD. Bask in the golden sun and be blown away by the towering windmills in BANGUI. Beat the summer heat and rest your tired feet in a heritage resort in CURRIMAO. Flex those muscles and take the ride of your life in the sand dunes of LAOAG. I enjoyed all these and much more in my northern exposure trip in Ilocos Norte.
A peaceful respite in Ilocos Norte
Located in the small town of CURRIMAO lies an enchanting heritage resort where art and bucolic life meet.
In Sitio Remedios, you can stay in vintage houses with pieces salvaged from various local towns, buy handicraft made of the local weave called abel iloko, or just sit back, chillax and witness the sunset and moonrise.
An overnight stay here is highly recommended given its charm, romantic sunsets and peaceful vibe.
The Desert of the North
If you are the adventurous type (not me) or someone who wants to try out new things at least once in their life (like me), La Paz Sand Dunes in LAOAG offers sandboarding, ATV and 4×4 rides!
Nothing can prepare you for this 4×4 adventure. Prepare to be tossed around like popcorn on a hot flame, so hold on for your dear life. No matter how loud you scream, the driver will push you to the limits and make you scream harder.
Don’t forget to leave your big gadgets behind, just take your phone or small camera to take pictures. Not like this someone who brought her huge DSLR camera on this ride. (Yes, me!) Bad idea, bad.
I was shaken to the core, my body sore after all that tossing and turning. My knees were shaking so bad, I didn’t have the energy anymore to try sandboarding.
So I just took this winning photo 😉
Now you can say you’ve been to La Paz Sand Dunes and conquered it. In my case, I merely survived it.
The Wind Rises
Breathe in the fresh seaside air as the town’s cast of characters— fishermen, children, kite surfers and tourists—appears before your eyes. But the real stars of the show are these giant windmills that rise dramatically from the ground, lording over the landscape at 230 feet high or as high as a 23-storey building. They flank the shoreline of BANGUI like a row of majestic soldiers.
Feel the strong wind and the sea spray on your face on the shore. Look up and get hypnotized, watching the rotating blades of these giant wind turbines.
Off to the SEAS we go
It’s past lunchtime and my muscles still ache from that 4×4 ride. Now my body screams for food. To reward ourselves, off to the SEAS we go.
SEAS is a charming rustic restaurant, nestled in the last town of Ilocos Norte, PAGUDPUD. It’s owned by sisters Sonia, Elizabeth and Anna. S.E.A, get it?
They serve a selection of comfort food that will surely hit home. My recommended dishes are roasted chicken, Mexican-style pizza and paella.
The relaxed environment, complete with wooden tables and chairs, is the ideal place to enjoy a meal before you hit the beach. A hidden gem that is truly worth the trip. It’s a by-reservation-only restaurant, so be sure to call ahead.
To the beach we go!
Once fortified, it’s time to kick back and enjoy the sun, sea and sand in the Saud White beach in PAGUDPUD.
The beach is family-friendly you’ll see people of all ages enjoying the warm ocean, playing by the shore and having a picnic in the small huts. Grab a drink and watch the sun disappear into the sea.
Sitio Remedios at night
As our perfect day near its end, we make our way back toward the direction of CURRIMAO, stopping in again at Sitio Remedios.
Sitio Remedios was beautiful during the day, but at night, it’s simply magical.
Have you had an interesting experience in Ilocos Norte? Tell us about it on the comments section below.
*Disclosure: The Lakbay Norte trip was organized by the North Philippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB) in partnership with NLEX Corporation, Tarlac Convention and Visitors Bureau (TCVB), and Victory Liner Inc. Lakbay Norte is an annual media familiarization trip that aims to promote Philippine provinces in the North.
Special thanks to:
La Paz Sand Dunes
Brgy. 33 La Paz, Laoag, Luzon 2900, Philippines
Brgy. Victoria, Currimao, Ilocos Norte
Telephone: +63 0917 332 0217
Facebook: Sitio Remedios
Barangay Burayoc, 2919 Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
Operating Hours: 8 AM-5 PM, by reservation thru Facebook. Closed on Tuesdays
Facebook: SEA’s Kitchen
The Lakbay Norte series is a collaboration with Jazel Kristin.
Visit her blog TheArtofEveryday.wordpress.com.
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