If you’re looking for a jam-packed adventure for you and your crew, Ilocos Norte should be at the top of your list. This province at the northern tip of Luzon may be miles away from the Metro; but once you get there, the long trip will be well worth it.
You can immerse yourself in the indigenous culture that the region has to offer through its unique cuisine and historic architectural designs. You’ll also get the chance to bask in the beauty of its pristine waters, panoramic views of the mountains, and the long stretch of desert that it is famous for.
Ilocos Norte Travel Guide 2019
Where to Stay
Sitio Aprot, Barangay Caparispisan, Pagudpud Ilocos Norte
0927 525 8111
This beautiful resort is ideal for those looking for a serene tropical getaway. With less than 70 maximum occupancy, Kingfisher will let you have some much-needed RnR.
The Internet reception there is very weak and only Globe sim cards get some signal, but that’s actually a good thing! You’ll be forced to take a break from social media and bond with your friends instead. They also offer several water activities, plenty of food choices, airport/travel transfers, and more.
North Beach Camp
Situo Aprot Barangay Caparispisan, Pagupud, Ilocos Norte
0927 525 8111
North Beach Camp is also owned by the minds behind Kingfisher. What makes this location different, though, is that you’ll be able to enjoy the exclusivity of this beachfront house.
This gorgeous resthouse sits right in front of the beach where you can hear the soothing sound of the waves as you lie in bed. You’ll also get to see a sunset like no other. Admire the golden rays of light illuminating the house as you watch the sky slowly paint itself into a pastel-colored canvas. You’ll never want to leave the place—I assure you.
What to see
Bangui Wind Farm, Bangui Bay, Bangui, Ilocos Norte
Being at the topmost region of the archipelago, Ilocos Norte is a pathway for fresh breezes coming in from various directions. This makes it ideal for windmills to be placed in the province.
In fact, windmills have become iconic figures of the region. They are also Ilocos Norte’s reliable source of electricity. You can ride a horse for Php100, as well, to get a better view of the windmill farm.
Marcos Ave, Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Long before Paoay Church was declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the Philippines and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this immaculate sanctuary already grabbed the attention of many. Dating back to the 17th century, the Paoay Church stands tall with its magnificent architecture.
Feel free to roam around and appreciate its brick motif, or visit it at night so you can take pictures of its gleaming façade and bell tower.
Where to Eat
J.P. Rizal Street, Laoag
(077) 773 1162
Make it a point to dine at La Preciosa when you go to Ilocos Norte. This restaurant serves homegrown recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Each dish truly captures the authentic taste of Ilocandia which you might not find anywhere in the Metro.
From appetizers to dessert, you’ll crave for the food at La Preciosa indefinitely. You have to try their Dinuguan, Poqui-Poqui, and Carrot Cake.
Smoke Bar + Restaurant
2nd Floor Paseo de Paoay Building, Paoay, Ilocos Norte
0995 141 1303
Located across Paoay Church, Smoke Bar + Restaurant lets you savor Ilocano dishes with a twist while enjoying its beautiful ambiance. We highly recommend dining here at night, so you can see how the church shines as you feast on good food and say cheers with local wine.
Their Smoked American Slab and Laing Pizza are must-tries.
What to Do
Sand Dunes Activities
Paoay Sand Dunes/ La Paz Sand Dunes
There are two known Sand Dunes in Ilocos Norte: Paoay Sand Dunes and La Paz Sand Dunes. Regardless of what you choose, both offer adrenaline-pumping recreational activities that you and your friends are sure to enjoy.
You can opt to ride a 4×4 and let the experienced drivers take you on a bumpy journey around the area (usually Php500/head). If you dare, you can rent an ATV and ride one on your own to create a moment that’s one for the books. Renting one usually costs Php2,000 per person.
After that, you can do sand surfing or sand sliding, and admire the beauty of the wide desert only found in Ilocos Norte.
What’s kite surfing, you ask? It’s a famous sport in other countries that is currently being introduced in the Philippines, particularly in Ilocos Norte. As the name suggests, a surfer attaches a large kite to their body, so that the strong wind in the province can allow them to sail and maneuver through the waves with the strength of the air pressure.
It’s a sport that requires patience, bravery, and a whole lot of balance—definitely not for the faint of heart! Nonetheless, it’s bound to be extremely fun.
There are a lot of places where you can try kite surfing in Ilocos Norte. If you decide to stay at Kingfisher, why not try it there? They actually have kite surfing instructors ready to guide you in this soon-to-be-passion of yours!
Have you tried all of the items on this list yet? Got any other suggestions that we should try? Let us know!