Sunday, March 30, 2014

Paoay Sand Dunes, Ilocos Adventure

One of the famous places that we visited on our Ilocos adventure is the Paoay Sand Dunes, that obviously my favorite part of our entire trip because I made a separate post for this one.

Paoay Sand Dunes is located in Paoay at the north of Ilocos. It is a huge stretch of dunes or hill of sands where you can go on a 4x4 off road challenge or go sand boarding if you want to get down and dirty. And this place is not only popular for those sports adventures but also been the location for film makers. Movies like Panday, Temptation Island, and Himala were shot in here.

The last activity on our itinerary for day one was to experience this extreme adventure. We weren't supposed to go as it was getting late already and we needed to check in at Pagudpud which will took us 2 hrs before we arrive. And so we were asked by our tour guide if we still want to continue. And of course, we chose to go on because it was just once in a lifetime and we were already there so why miss the chance.

And I can say that we made the right decision. As we moved closer to our destination, we thought that we were transported to another world or should I say to another country. And we quote: “Are we in Dubai???” “No! We are still in Ilocos guys!”

We were really surprised that a tropical country like the Philippines has an amazing desert landscape combined with beach and sand dunes. Added attraction is that when we arrived during sunset. Perfect view it is! 

You need to register first before you can start the off road adventure. Original rate is Php 2,500 for 1 hr maximum of 5 persons, this includes 30-mins ride on a 4x4 and 30-mins sand boarding. But you can choose to only ride a 4x4 for 30-mins with a rate of Php 1,500. And I don’t think you can choose to go for sand boarding only, since you will need to ride a 4x4 for you to reach on the area, because it is on another side or opposite side of the sand hill.

We were a group of eight, so we registered two 4x4 rides 

                                                                  Start of our 4x4 ride

We started off with a smooth ride, feeling only the wind and looking on the views around, but our pace is somewhat faster. Then as the ride continues, there were already steep slope and increasingly changing sand inclines that will excite you.

                                                         Friends on another 4x4 ride

Then once in a while we would stop on the middle to take pictures with the amazing and wonderful view.

Then from the many terrains with drop-offs that we crossed on, there was this last drop downhill that was unforgettable which made our knees trembled at first. We shouted, our stomach fell as we were dropped from an uphill, and our hands were sweat as we grip on tight on the rails.
Or let me describe simply the feeling like riding a roller coaster, but note that we were standing on the back of a 4x4 ride without harness and just holding on the rails.  Extreme isn't it? But exciting!

                                                                About to drop off

Then after the long rough ride, we were brought to a very relaxing place, by the beach at sand dunes. And this was the perfect sunset by the beach I've ever seen.

  Having fun!

And we headed finally on to the sand boarding area. We've gone all the way up on the hill which is our starting point.

And from there, we asked ‘kuya’ or the guide to instruct us or give us some tips first on how to do the sand boarding way. 

When you are on top of the hill, it really looked dangerous and you would really think on how you can balance standing on the board and sliding down the hill. I've tried surf boarding, but this is something different. I think this is because sand is slippery  and hills are steep that it would be harder for you to balance on.

Then one by one we started to ride the board. By the way, you can choose to ride the board either by sitting or standing.  Sitting on the board looked much easier, but of course I chose the more extreme way which is by standing.

It was really hard especially for the beginners like us, we followed what ‘kuya’ told us, but still you need a good balancing skills and more practice.

Unfortunately, no one has successfully board all the way to the end. Nevertheless, we really enjoyed this experience. Maybe when I comeback I can perfectly do this thing already.

After the activities. Our hands were soar

I have never thought that I would experience an extreme adventure in our Ilocos tour. This was one of the highlights of the whole trip, an intense and memorable experience. Definitely a must try activity when visiting Ilocos.

"You can shake the sand from your shoes, but it never leaves your soul."

4x4 Adventures & Sandboarding
Facebook: Culili Pt. Masintoc
Contact Person(s): Michael Alegado -09215517437; Edward Agdeppa-09196210874


  1. Hi Tea! may i request if you can share your tour and accommodations to Ilocos. We are planning to go there on Apr 27-30. Thanks Vel.

    1. Hi Velay,

      Thank you for visiting my page. Here's our tour and accommodations in our Ilocos Trip:

      PHP1,850/pax (8 participants in a private tour)

      3D/2N accommodation (Blue Lagoon Beach)
      Van Transfers [Tour around Ilocos]
      Gas, Toll and Driver's Meals
      Guide and Entrance Fees
      Taxes and Surcharges

      Gertes Hotel Rates
      Standard PHP1,100.00 [Good for 2] x 4
      Extra Person PHP250.00 php
      Extra Bed PHP500.00 php

      - Free breakfast good for two [Hotel Guests] [Except Dormitory Guests]
      - Free use of Swimming pool & Billards
      - Free transport from Airport to Resort & Vise-versa [Except Dormitory Guests]
      - Free unlimited coffee

      Day 00
      08:00PM Pick-up at the aiport
      08:30PM Check-in @ Gertes Hotel and Resort [NOT INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE]

      Day 01
      06:00am Pick up @ Gertes Laoag [Breakfast]
      07:00am Visit the Sinking Belltower
      08:00am Tour around Marcos Museum, Paoay Church, Malacanang of the North, Sand Dunes
      11:00am Tour around Baluarte, Crisologo Museum, Burnayan, Bantay bell tower
      12:30pm Lunch @ Hidden Garden
      02:00pm ETD Vigan to Bangui Wind Mills
      05:00pm ETA Bangui Wind Mills
      05:30pm ETD Bangui to Blue Lagoon
      06:30pm ETA Blue Lagoon

      Day 02
      06:00am Wake-up call. Breakfast
      07:00am Trekking to Kabigan Falls
      09:00am Tour around Patapat Viaduct, Paraiso ni Anton
      11:00am Bantay Abot Cave
      11:30am ETA Blue Lagoon, Lunch
      12:00pm Lunch, Swimming, Explore Blue Lagoon
      05:30pm Return to Accommodation
      06:00pm Dinner

      Day 03
      06:00am Wake -up call
      07:00am Breakfast, Check out
      08:00am ETD from Pagudpud
      09:00am ETA to Cape Bojeador Light House
      09:30am ETD from Cape Bojeador
      10:00am ETA Kapurpurawan rock formation, explore and picture taking
      11:00am ETD to Laoag
      12:00pm ETA to Laoag

      The tour package inclusion is only 3D/2N from Saturday to Monday. But we arrived on a Friday night, so we've just added one accomodation for one night only at Gertres Hotel.

      Please Contact:
      Ms. Rosemarie R. Dela Cruz

      Enjoy your trip! :)

  2. Hi Ms. Thea, May I ask if your tour was with a help of a travel agency? If yes, what travel agency is it?

    1. Yes Alvin :) Our travel agency for our Ilocos Trip is the Michael Angelo Transient House Tours & Sightseeing. You can contact them from the below details:

      Ms. Rosemarie R. Dela Cruz

    2. I hope that answered your question :) Thank you for dropping by! :)


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