Tourist Spots in Ilocos Norte

Tourist Attractions
Laoag City
La Paz Sand Dunes
Photo credit: raymond cruz
Offers a spectacular vista of the South China Sea. It is located in Brgy. La Paz, Laoag City which has been declared as a National Geographic Monument because of its unique land formation. The 85 is a favorite shooting location for local and foreign films.

Laoag Sinking Belltower
This 45 meter meter bell tower is one of the tallest built in the country. A landmark in the city's skyline, the belltower was constructed by the Augustinian Fathers several hundred years ago. The sinking tower is a unique landmark of Spanish occupation in the Philippines. When the tower was new, a man on horseback could pass through its door. Today, a man could hardly pass without stopping. What strikes observers is the peculiarity of its distance from the church is 85 meters which is a rarity among church edifices.

St. Williams Cathedral
One of the biggest cathedral in the country and the seat of the Diocese of Laoag. The construction of the cathedral began in 1612 and was the site of the Diocesan Congress in 1932 and 1949. The Augustinians built the church of Italian Renaissance design in 1612. Its unique 2 storey facade is held by 4 pairs of coupled columns. The deeply recessed niche shows the image of the Patron Saint of Laoag - San Guillermo.

Tobacco Monopoly Monument
Built in 1882 at the foot of the Marcos Bridge to serve as a memorial to the lifting of the Tobacco Monopoly in 1881. It is a gesture of thanksgiving to the Spanish King Alfonso XIII for lifting the tobacco monopoly which from 1872 to 1881 gave the Ilocanos untold miseries as they were obliged to plant tobacco to be delivered solely to the government.

Ilocos Norte Museum
Showcases the varied ethnicity and multifaceted cultural heritage of a sturdy, hardworking people known for their industry, resourcefulness and loyalty.

Batac City
Marcos Museum
The ancestral house of the Marcoses showcasing the memorabilia of the late Pres. Ferdinand Marcos.

Marcos Mausoleum
It houses the remains of the late President Ferdinand R. Marcos laid in a refrigerated crypt. His remains have been lying here since September 1993. Open for viewing from 8am to 5pm daily.

Aglipay Shrine
Built in memory of the patriot-priest, Gregorio Aglipay, founder of the "Iglesia Filipina Independiente" in 1902. The church was founded at the end of the Filipino-American War with its focus upon liberty on religious, political and social terms. His remains were interred here.

Gen. Artemio Ricarte National Park
Inaugurated on March 22, 1997 in commemoration of the 100th year anniversary of the appointment of Gen. Artemio Ricarte (Vibora) as the first Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Paoay Lake National Park
Located 3 kms away from the sea in Suba, Paoay, it is a National Park with an area of 478 hectares. Legend has it that a village lies beneath Paoay Lake's still waters. The lost village was reputedly peopled by affluent families that refused to aid a beggar. As punishment, torrents of rain began pouring over the village. Flood waters rapidly rose until the village was submerged and Paoay Lake was formed. It is said that fishers sometimes catch fish wearing gold earring, a testament to the extravagant lifestyle of the people who lived in the submerged village. Geological studies indicates however that; it was formed by a massive earthquake that caused the ground to sink and be filled with water from underground springs.

Paoay Golf Course
The complex has an 18 hole golf course and has other facilities and amenities. It has a land area of 77 hectares and designed by Gary Player.

MalacaƱang of the North
Built as the official residence of the late President Ferdinand Marcos in Ilocos Norte overlooking the legendary Paoay Lake. This imposing structure is now a museum.

Paoay Church/St. Augustine Church
Built of coral blocks and stucco-plastered bricks, the architecture is a unique combination of Gothic, Baroque and Oriental. Construction of the church was started in 1704 and completed in 1894. A few meters away is the coral stone belltower which served as observation post of Katipuneros during the Philippine Revolution and again by guerillas during the Japanese occupation. The church was officially inscribed to the Unesco's World Heritage List in 1993.

Kullabeng Aglipay Site Shrine - where Monsignor Gregorio L. Aglipay It is sitio kullabeng where Monsignor Gregorio L. Aglipay celebrated his 42nd Birthday at the residence of Don Ignacio Lafradez wherein many Filipino Priests were among those who are invited to grace the occasion. The issue of the abuse and discrimination of the Spanish Friars against the Filipino counter parts became the center of discussion, Mons. Aglipay led the group of the Filipino Priests in their declaration of independence from Rome and as a result they established the National Church, "Iglesia Filipina Independiente". The first mass of the newly-born church was first celebrated in the said venue.

Juan Luna Museum
The restored house is now a repository of the memorabilia and reproductions of the works of the painter Juan Luna who furthered the cause of the Philippine nationalism through his art, earning the respect and admiration of Europeans.

Sta. Monica Church and Convent
Acclaimed as the biggest church in Ilocos Norte and possibly in the whole of Ilocos Region. It is strategically built along the bank of Padsan River, withstanding the elements for the past 220 years. The convent was constructed in 1769 and served as a temporary chapel until the completion of the church and belltower in 1779. A flight of stairs connects the church to the convent. This structural feature is the only one in the country. The facade of the church is simple and a little formal. Of all churches in the Ilocos, Sarrat looks the most neo-classical in style. Its baroque air is expressed by the inverted scroll on the pediment.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
120 foot concrete structure on top of a mountain. It was on March 1892 when it started to send signals to ships passing by the Cape facing the northern portion of the South Chine Sea. This structure was built without steel in its engineering and architectural wonder. To this day, the lighthouse is still being used by ships navigating in the South China Sea.

Kapurpurawan Rock
photo source
Which means "White Rock". After just one visit, this place will stand out in your mind as a natural wonder. It is a massive rock that juts out into a sea. From afar, it looks as if someone has wiped off the top layer frosting and exposed the cake that lies beneath. Up close, it is a dazzling bright white rock that sparkles in the sun. Kapurpurawan is a showcase for the power of wind and water on rock and coral.

Kaangrian Falls
Located in Barangay Paaya, is a 5 kilometer drive from the National Highway to the head of the trail. From there is 1 4 kilometer hike to the falls. The locals bring their cattle, carabao, horses and other animals to graze in the open fields. This treeless area provides a nice view of the surrounding hills, limestone outcroppings and the area of the hike. Along the trail you can search for hoof prints of small deer or identify the many types of plant life, including many varieties of wild mushrooms. The waterfalls create a semi-circle water cascade down multiple layers of rock. The beauty of the area was created by limestone deposits which have created hundreds of small sparkling pools around the base of the falls.

Bangui Wind Farm

33 MW power generation plant consisting of 20 wind turbines rated at 1.65 MW each. All 20 wind turbines are connected to the Luzon grid which deliver power to the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative via TransCo Laoag. This is the first of its kind in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

Saud White Sand Beach
photo credit: The Walking Tripod
The most popular among the scenic spots of the town. It is located in Brgy. Saud and is approximately 2.5 kilometers away from the town proper. It is famous for its creamy white sand which frames the emerald water of the heart-shaped bay. Its white sand beaches and crystal blue water makes Pagudpod a haven for tourists.

Patapat Viaduct
A winding bridge found at the foot of the cliff of the Cordillera Mountain Ranges. It is a viaduct connecting Barangay Balaoi and Barangay Pancian, which is around 1.2 kilometers long. Often referred to as the French Riviera of the North, it is along this winding bridge where you can once find the enchanting Mabugabog Falls but now it already serves as one of the sources of power of the minihydro electric plant. During rainy days, it shows its splendor with its water dropping rhythmically to a precipice on the rocky sea shore below. At the middle of the bridge, you could admire the awesome view of the sea below and the verdant mountains at the other side.

Maira-ira Cove or Blue Lagoon
The prize of all beaches in Ilocos and possibly on all Luzon, is Mairaira Point in Malingay Cove, or "Blue Lagoon" in Balaoi, Pagudpod. This spectacular white sand beach has nothing but a few simple sheds and trees for shade. It is an untouched, wild beach that gives the feeling of being shipwrecked in paradise.