Gen Z’s Guide To Summer Roadtripping: A Week In Ilocos

Planning the itinerary as we speak.

Get ready for the ride of a lifetime with this Gen Z guide to planning the trip from Laoag to La Union.

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This season, despite the busy schedules and looming deadlines, many of us are craving one thing: a grand getaway. But fear not, fellow adventure-seekers—with a sprinkle of planning and a dollop of spontaneity, you can turn this summer into a story for the books.

Sure, the South has always been a go-to spot for road trips with countless stops near the metro, but the North is bursting with its own treasures waiting to be discovered. Picture-perfect blue oceans and cascading waterfalls are only the beginning; prepare to dive headfirst into a whirlwind of heritage and Filipino culture that will leave you breathless with wonder. Whether you’re gearing up for your next weekend warrior moment or simply itching for a spur-of-the-moment thrill, look no further than Ilocos.

Strap in, buckle up, and get ready for the ride of a lifetime with this Gen Z guide to planning the trip from Laoag to La Union.

Bangui Wind Farm

The Bangui Wind Farm features wind turbines that are 70 meters tall and are lined up in a single row along a 9-kilometer stretch of shoreline off Bangui Bay facing the West Philippine Sea. With its postcard-worthy scenery, you can capture your best photos with the help of locals at souvenir shops around the area.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

The Cape Bojeador Lighthouse is the country’s highest lighthouse that still serves vessels from China and East Asia, guiding them away from the wide coast of Burgos town—the same as it did when it was built by the Spaniards.

Today, it remains a prominent landmark in Ilocos, offering tourists a chance to channel their inner romantic with its stunning view. A gentle reminder, though: there are a few flights of stairs that you need to power through to get to the top. Totally worth it, BTW.

La Paz and Paoay Sand Dunes

Riding a 4×4 vehicle, you can cruise around La Paz Sand Dunes, also known as Bantay Bimmaboy by the locals—a section of the sand dunes that extends from Currimao to Pasuquin. On the other hand, spanning an area of 88 square kilometers, the Paoay Sand Dunes are a continuation of the Ilocos Sand Dunes, offering a scenic view of the coast from the top.

For this trip, remember to prepare for the summer heat like no other with bandanas, a bottle of water, and sunscreen. Then again, it’s all worth the sweat.

Laoag Sinking Bell Tower

Located 85 meters away from the cathedral, the Bell Tower of St. William’s Cathedral is the highest bell tower in the Philippines. Built by Augustinians after the cathedral in 1612, it features a baroque design with huge columns on each corner.

What makes it a special spot is the belief that the tower is sinking at a rate of an inch every year. There aren’t any scientific explanations for this phenomenon, but a theory suggests that the tower being built on sandy land, along with its heavy and massive structure, is causing it to slowly bury itself into the ground. This theory only adds to the intrigue, making people want to see it before it’s too late.

Patapat Viaduct

With a total length of 1,300 meters, the Patapat Viaduct is one of the longest bridges in the Philippines, located in the municipality of Pagudpud. With its stunning structure connecting two provinces, it’s your best bet to come prepared with your summer style.

Saud Beach

Nestled along the coast of Pagudpud, Saud Beach stands as a shining beacon of natural splendor in the Philippines. With its renowned white sand and multi-colored corals bustling with lively fish, it’s no wonder this coastal paradise is a fan-favorite among adventurers.

Best believe Saud Beach isn’t just another white sand beach—it’s a summer spot waiting to be explored and enjoyed by anyone seeking sun, sand, and endless fun.

Calle Crisologo

Travel back in time along Calle Crisologo in Vigan—a short stretch of road bursting with timeless charm, culture, and historical wonders. Measuring a mere 500 meters, this street boasts centuries-old stone homes, adorned with picturesque lamps that cast a warm glow upon the cobblestone pathways below.

Here, horse-drawn carriages known as calesas offer visitors a nostalgic ride through the city’s history. Step into the past, soak in the sights, and treat your taste buds to the flavors of the region, because no trip down memory lane is complete without a feast for the senses.

Fountain Show at Plaza Salcedo

Step into a mesmerizing night of water, music, and lights at the Fountain Show at Plaza Salcedo—a spectacle that’s sure to delight both young and old adventurers alike. Picture this: towering columns of water swaying in harmony to a mix of traditional tunes and modern beats, all while lights paint the night sky with a kaleidoscope of colors. And here’s the cherry on top: get ready to groove to the sounds of none other than Taylor Swift herself, making this 30-minute extravaganza an unforgettable experience you won’t want to miss.

Surf at San Juan La Union

Of course, swimming in these beautiful beaches isn’t enough. Why not take it up a notch and catch some serious waves in San Juan, La Union? With beginner-friendly breaks and enthusiastic instructors around every corner, you’ll be surfing like a pro in no time. Dive in for a day of exhilarating learning, and we’d bet you’ll be itching to paddle back out for more surf-tastic fun.

Release Some Sea Turtles with Curma

Along the same shores of San Juan, you’ll stumble upon Curma—a sea turtle conservatory that adds an extra splash of excitement to your beach escapade. Dive into the opportunity to become a turtle superhero by volunteering your time to help release rescued turtles back into their ocean home, where they stand a better chance of thriving. It’s not just a chance to lend a fin, but also to make a real difference while soaking up the sun and surf.

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