From Saud Beach, I approached a tricycle driver and asked how much it would cost to visit a few spots in Pagudpud. Turns out, most (if not all of the) tricycle drivers come prepared with a set rate of P600 for the day tours. I had to choose between two itineraries. The driver showed me a laminated pamphlet showing photos of Pagudpud tourist spots. I decided to go with the tour around the tourist spots within Pagudpud town. The other was an excursion to Bangui and Burgos towns, which I planned to visit (do-it-yourself style) on my way to Laoag. I’d been looking forward to exploring the northernmost cape of Luzon Island for the longest time. It was exciting to finally start my afternoon tour of Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte.

On my way to the first stop during my tricycle tour of Pagudpud

Kabigan Falls

Starting at around 1:20PM from Saud Beach, we arrived at the jump-off point going to Kabigan Falls thirty minutes later. The driver dropped me off at a shed where I was supposed to register for the trek to the falls. The ladies manning the booth told me I had to pay P100 for the guide. I was taken aback actually. P600 for the half-day tricycle rental was already expensive since I was traveling solo. Now, I have to shell out P100 more. They didn’t allow me to go on the trek on my own. I didn’t have any choice but to pay extra :( Good thing the views were worth it.

The trail to Kabigan Falls was very scenic. I loved the rugged rural landscapes with the backdrop of lush mountain ranges.

Picturesque view of rice paddies

Finally, a view of the stream

Entering the forested area

I had a long talk with my guide during the 30-minute trek to Kabigan Falls. She mentioned that the residents of the particular brgy/barrio, where the falls is located, had a queue for the “guiding” gig. During low-season, she would sometimes get only one gig for a whole month because of the long queue and the low tourist volume in Pagudpud. Then, I realized P100 wasn’t really a big amount taking that perspective into account. When backpacking, I sometimes make a big fuzz about paying extra even if it’s just a meager amount because I find them outrageously unnecessary. Sometimes they are really something to rant about but oftentimes, I get to calm down thinking how my money will help the locals and their ability to manage the influx of tourists in their place.

Cool tree inside a small meadow

Serene waters sheltered from the heat by a generous canopy

It was refreshing to finally get a view of Kabigan Falls. The waterfalls had a respectable height of 67 feet and a cool (literally) pool perfect for a swim. It started to drizzle while I was taking photos … argh! It seems the perfect weather I enjoyed since morning was over.

Self-portrait at Kabigan Falls

Patapat Viaduct

The Patapat Viaduct was another 15 minutes from the jump-off point at Kabigan Falls. I was definitely more excited to visit the Patapat Viaduct than the famed beaches of Pagudpud. It was aesthetically simple and, like most bridges in the Philippines, very utilitarian-looking. I loved it, though! Even before seeing it with my own eyes, I’ve always wanted to take photos of the Patapat Viaduct. The curvy road and repeating vertical lines of bridge structure coupled with the breathtaking view of the rugged coast was making a strong connection to my photographer self. I was happy that the sky became cloudy, a stark contrast from the clear blue skies just a few hours ago. I liked the gritty feel of the dark clouds hovering over the deserted coast.

Making our way through the Patapat Viaduct

Parked the tricycle along the deserted road

A viaduct is basically a type of bridge with many spans. Don’t take my word for it though since there are debates about naming conventions of bridges and viaducts. The way I see it, a viaduct is just a less boring word for some lengthy bridges.

The Patapat Viaduct is a concrete coastal bridge situated at the municipality of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.

It is 1.3 kilometers long and connects the Maharlika Highway from Laoag, Ilocos Norte to the Cagayan Valley Region.

The Patapat Viaduct is the 4th longest bridge in the Philippines.

Abandoned ship beside the coast

Agua Grande / Agua Paraiso

At the other end of the Patapat Viaduct is Agua Grande, also called Agua Paraiso. It had some pools fed by a fresh water stream. It was really interesting to see the downhill flow of the river clash with the strong waves of the sea.

Rocky coast and strong waves

Where the river meets the sea

View of the Patapat Viaduct from Agua Paraiso

Timmangtang Rock

We traveled to the northern part of Pagudpud’s eastern coast. Timmangtang Rock was an unusual rock formation located a few feet from the shoreline. I really liked the raw feel of the deserted beach overrun with wild vegetation and the irregular coast. The howling wind and cloudy weather filled up the place with a very eerie vibe.

Bantay-Abot Cave

At the northern end of the beach was another unusual rock formation called the Bantay-Abot Cave. Skipped going to the actual cave since I only had time for one more stop. I wanted to spend my sunset at Saud Beach.

Closer view of the Bantay-Abot Cave

Blue Lagoon and Maira-ira Beach

After following an uphill road and taking a sharp turn, we had a great view overlooking Maira-ira Beach and the Blue Lagoon. Even though it was cloudy, I was impressed at how the water still maintained its alluring light bluish color. I could just image how insanely inviting it would’ve looked if the weather was better.

Overlooking Maira-ira Beach and the Blue Lagoon

Closer view of Hannah’s, an upscale resort in Pagudpud.

Tres Marias (Three ladies) Islands.

Maira-ira Beach. 

Loved inviting color of the beach … if only the waves weren’t scary big, would’ve been a perfect place for a swim.

Sunset in Saud Beach

When I got back at Saud Beach, it was already basking in a breathtaking  golden glow. I followed the coast southwards since I felt like having a nice dinner at one of the snazzy resorts. Had a really good day taking photos around Pagudpud. To think that I started my day at 4am with a groggy 6-hour bus ride all the way from Tuguegarao.

The long walk to the southern end of Saud beach

Sunset view of the Bangui windmills from Pagudpud.

Dusk shot attempts. Did not come out as good as I hoped. If only I had a set of neutral density filters I could have taken better shots. Oh well :D

After dusk, I ate dinner at Evangeline Beach Resort. Ordered their Buffalo Chicken Meal + extra rice.

Pagpudpud Tour Tips

  • Tricycle tour within Pagudpud town – P600 per tricycle. Didn’t get the contact details of the driver. There are a lot of options in town. There’s no need to make advance arrangements with the tricycle drivers.
  • Guide to Kabigan Falls – P100 per guide.
  • Trek to Kabigan Falls – 20 to 30 minutes per way.
  • Dinner at Evangeline Beach Resort.
    • Buffalo Chicken Meal with rice and drinks – P186; extra rice – P28.