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TBJ TRAVELS: Ilocos Guide Part 2- La Paz Sand Dunes, Patapat Viaduct, Bangui Windmills, Cape Bojeador Lighthouse


Welcome to Ilocos guide part 2; in this post, I'll muse about our dry, rough adventure in Pagudpud and Laoag!

PATAPAT VIADUCT

Patapat Viaduct, one of the longest bridges in the Philippines, was built in the 80's and connects the Maharlika Highway from Ilocos to Cagayan Valley; it is a bridge lying on the picturesque mountain side of Pasaleng Bay. This is one of the highly photographed places in Ilocos Norte; in fact, there's a parking area where you can stop by to take your photos and the nicest part of the bridge; don't forget to drop by when you visit!


BANGUI WINDMILLS

Windmill City is like having another universe on planet earth. Bangui Windmill Farm is one of the popular sights at Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. National Renewable Energy Laboratory conducted a study in 1996 and findings showed that there are certain parts of the Philippines where wind power is feasible, and Bangui is part of the list.

The turbines, more than being picturesque, have been serving the town and neighboring seaside areas for years, providing cost- efficient, natural energy with the power of the wind; an early morning visit is ideal because the sun would still be gentle to the skin. No entrance fee to see the windmill turbines, but you're on your own in exploring the 9km stretch of windmill farm.

BANGUI WINDMILLS IMPORTANT POINTS:

1. Go early to beat the intense seaside heat.
2. Wear sunscreen, hat, and scarf.

CAPE BOJEADOR LIGHTHOUSE

Cape Bojeador, a cultural landmark in Ilocos Norte, is the oldest lighthouse in the Philippines. It was built in Spanish era 1500's to serve as guide for the galleons that dock at Ilocos.

This huge lighthouse also served as home to Spaniards who faithfully waited and guided the galleons that come and go. Believe it or not, the lighthouse still functions up to this day!

View from the top

To get to the lighthouse, you have to drive all the way up, but due to the tight space and narrow road leading to it, you might need to wait at the entrance to the lighthouse before you get your turn; as for how long is the waiting time, I can't say because it depends on the number of visitors and how long they want to explore the area. Good thing there are motorcycles waiting by the entrance that are allowed anytime to take you up the lighthouse so I suggest park at the entrance and take a motorcycle to save time.

Let's go around the lighthouse.

This is one of the main rooms at the lighthouse; check out the old map of the Philippines; the round encircled area is where Cape Bojeador is located!

Some of the rooms at the lighthouse were converted into mini museums; this room in particular showcases the first- ever parts of the light house, particularly the fresnel and pressure vessels.

Here's a bedroom preserved in time; these antique furniture are one of the first furniture of the lighthouse!

Visiting Cape Bojeador is like a step back in time and gives us a glimpse of our rich maritime history; it's definitely worth the hike and sweat!

CAPE BOJEADOR IMPORTANT TIPS:

1. Prepare to climb a pretty long flight of stairs to get to the lighthouse proper.
2. Wear sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, and wear sunscreen as this is located on high ground, thus you are more exposed to the sun.

LAOAG CITY

By Saturday, we headed to Laoag for the Sand Dunes and to complete the rest of the journey all the way to Vigan. We stayed at Isabela Suites.

Isablea Suites is situated at the heart of Laoag City with ample food establishments nearby; the seat of the Ilocos Norte government is also here (don't forget to have your photo taken at the ILOCOS NORTE spell out!). Isabela is a decent hotel: the rooms have warm, ambient lighting and interior, perfect enough to send you to dreamland in no time after an eventful day around the city and at the Sand Dunes; it also features a hot shower so hurrah! This particular room is around P1,200.00+.

LA PAZ SAND DUNES

La Paz Sand Dunes is just 15- 20 minutes away from the city. This desert was once under water, until the water slowly eroded from the land sometime around millions of years ago, leaving a vast land of sand and ocean fossil from the seaside all the way to the top of the hill surrounding it. There are a couple of sand dunes around Laoag, but the most popular is this; the classic Filipino movie, Panday was filmed here.

If you're looking for a different kind of adventure, a must- try is the ATV ride. For plain ATV ride, it's P2,000.00 and P2,500.00 if you want to go sand boarding. For the ATV Ride, I believe one ride can only accommodate around 4- 5 excluding the driver.

The ATV ride is MIGHTY challenging and this is coming from someone who's working out pretty consistently. For about 30 minutes, you will go through bumps, slalom through sand peaks, and slide down steep terrain with just your bare hands and will to survive. A waiver will be signed before you proceed with the ATV ride. This is not for the faint of heart, but I assure you, you will survive; one of my friends doesn't exercise at all and she got through the ride alive and unscathed!

Hold on tight!

There are stop over where you can rest and have a breathtaking view of the sand dunes.

Sorry, just had to do this. :p #StarWarsFan

There's also a stopover by the sea.

Sand boarding time! This now-or-never kind of event is as fun and exciting as it is challenging. 

You can sand board while sitting down or standing up. Try both! It was my first time, but I got the hang of the standing up sand boarding on my third try; of course I've had my fair share of tumbling downhill like a tumbleweed and hitting the sand face first, but it was worth the fun! You can sand board all you want if you opt for the P2,500 package.

LA PAZ SAND DUNES IMPORTANT POINTS:

1. Go for the ATV Ride + Unlimited Sand Boarding package. YOLO!
2. Prepare to get dirty at the Sand Dunes so it is preferred that your hotel is nearby so you can wash up in no time. There are portalets and water in the area, but not enough to get you clean.
3. Bring extra clothes
4. Wear sunscreen and make sure you are already dry when you get there so there won't be too much sand sticking on you.
5. Make sure you are in a fit, healthy state before joining the ATV Ride. If you feel like quitting the ride early on, say so.

Tomorrow, I'll take you to Ilocos' UNESCO World Heritage candidate, the famous Heritage Village of Vigan, and to more sights in Vigan and Paoay!

Check out our itinerary and budget break down:


*Please note that we got the van and driver at a very cheap price because one of our friends owns a car rental service. Regular 4-day rate of a van + driver is around P15,000.00 so standard total per person will be somewhere between P7,675-P8,000.

My other travel guides in the beautiful province of Ilocos:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Beauty. Fitness. Fashion. Food. Travel. Unicorns. World Peace. Digify Corporation.

11 Lovely Thoughts

  1. I want to go there too :( Ilocos is such a beautiful and amazing place. So happy for you Ms. Martha cos you experienced that kind of adventure. <3

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  2. Whoa those wind mills! You're so cool on those sand boarding snaps and can't help to giggle on those star wars pose!

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  3. Whoa those precious furniture is waaaaay older than me. Can't help but to wonder how they keep those in tip top shape considering that the place is near the ocean (I kinda work for an engineering company so keep extra careful in choosing materials if the environment is near the sea).

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  4. I commented on your IG photo that the Patapat Viaduct is such a beautiful sight. Had i been there too, i would stop for awhile and enjoy the picturesque view.
    Riding an ATV and sandboarding are on my bucketlist. I may not physically active nowadays but i'm always ready for an adventure. It was fun seeing your summer adventures and it's nice to know that you had a great time. You deserve it!

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  5. I want to try the sand board! Looks really fun and the Atv ride is a great experience also(^-^) Wow,I've been wanting to see with my own eyes the Bangui windmill, sure I will be amaze if that day comes.

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  6. Hi,

    I will be travelling to Ilocos 2 weeks from now with my family and I would like to try the ATV ride, will they allow my 3y/o daughter to ride? I cannot leave her with the yaya, I also want her to experience the sand dunes.

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  7. Been there during my Ilocos trip last year. The Sand Dunes are the best! Unli sand boarding! :)

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  8. Definitely going there soon! I admire how you took those shots and how you described them. Ilocos is indeed one of the tourist attractions in our country. :) Thanks for sharing this tbj. The star wars pic was awesome! HAHA

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  9. seen that bridge from my sister's trip to ilocos with her officemate, also those windmills! sana sa lahat ng bayan meron nito, ang laking bagay para naman hindi masyado mahal sumingil si meralco hehe.

    ATV Ride and Sand Boarding looks so fun! I wanna try it too!

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  10. It's like...WOW! The views in your pictures po are Majestic! Just seeing it through your photos po is...feel na feel na po naming... WE ARE PROUD FILIPINOS! WE ARE PROUD IN OUR COUNTRY! Pag iipunan ko makapunta diyan Ma'am! :D

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Thank you for your comments!