Want to make the most of your stay in Laoag? Don’t miss the La Paz Sand Dunes.
Most famous for its sand dunes, the La Paz Sand Dunes is one of the most visited tourist spots in Laoag. This is estimated to be 85 square kilometers long coastal beach and desert area. Locally, the La Paz Sand Dunes goes by the name of Bantay Bimmaboy because of its shape which resembles that of pigs. Aside from that, it is also called the Desert of the North because of its popularity when it comes to shooting locations for famous films both inside and outside the country.
So far, scenes from the movies Panday, Himala, Born on the Fourth of July and Mad Max were shot here.
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La Paz Sand Dunes
From the La Paz Sand Dunes, you can get a panoramic view of Laoag City and the South China Sea. For our Laoag Adventure, our local guide suggested we start with the La Paz Sand Dunes because of its proximity to the city. So after eating breakfast, we headed out to the dunes by 6:00 AM and rented a 4×4 ride.
At first, I was a bit skeptic whether I’d love the ride or not. Needless to say, I was screaming at the top of my lungs as we moved from one sand ridge to another. I’d say the experience was somewhat similar to that of a rollercoaster ride but better!
All throughout the ride, I was holding onto the car’s bars for dear life. There were moments when the car had to maneuver and go up around a 70 degrees steep slope. Fun memories!
You have to be ready to get squished though. But for every viewpoint, you can ask your designated driver to take a photo of your group. Ours knew how to get the best shots! Just look at the photos he took.
Before the end of the ride, you’ll get to go down the beach shores and enjoy the sea breeze. Unfortunately, when we went there, there was a couple of garbage lying around the beach area. The sand wasn’t white or cream and the waters weren’t clear which was a bit disappointing. But oh well, the exhilarating ride was worth all the money we cashed out.
Before you think it’s over, there’s still the sand boarding experience. If I have to describe the experience, it’s like sliding down a slope using a piece of wood. The good thing is, you have the soft sand as a cushion so you can rest assured that if you’re going to fall, it’s not going to be painful. So don’t worry and just have fun!
The La Paz Sand Dunes will cost you:
- P2,500 for the 4×4 ride (with unlimited sandboarding) – the rate is good for around 4 to 5 people
- P2,000 per person per hour for the ATV
How To Get There
From Manila or Anywhere in Luzon
- Ride a bus heading to Laoag.
- Then look for a tricycle and negotiate with the driver to bring you to La Paz Sand Dunes from Laoag and back. The rate is usually at P500 per tricycle.
- Or you can do what we did and rented a van (with a local driver) to tour us around Ilocos. We rented ours from our transient house in Laoag.
Travel Tip: Check schedules and availability of buses or flights to Laoag to book online with 12Go Asia.
Tips and Reminders
- Always observe the Leave No Trace principle and do not litter!
- Go early. It can be quite hot during the day. Or you could go late in the afternoon and wait for the sunset. I heard it’s stunning.
- Don’t forget to bring water and some snacks.
Our Camera Gear
- Mirrorless Camera: Fujifilm XT3
- Lenses: Fujifilm Fujinon kit lens (18-55mm) | Fujinon 35mm f2 | Fujinon 50mm f2
- Drone: DJI Mavic Pro 2
- GoPro: GoPro Hero Black 7
- Power Bank: Romoss Powerbank
- Camera Backpack: Case Logic Camera and Laptop Backpack
- Monopod: Ifootage Cobra 2 a180
- Mic: Rode VideoMicro
- Gimbal: Zhiyun Weebill-S
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- Ilocos Norte Tourist Spots: 9 Places That You Should Visit
- Palaui Island 2019 Budget Travel Guide (Sta Ana, Cagayan)
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Johanes is a digital nomad and a web content writer who loves to go on spontaneous travels. She also likes to go camp under the stars and play with her dog and cats.