A desert would be one of the landscapes you’d least expect to see in the tropical archipelago of the Philippines, but along the northernmost province on Luzon island there are, indeed, sand dunes! The La Paz Sand Dunes cover 85 square kilometers of sandy coastal desert and beach in Laoag City, the provincial capital of Ilocos Norte. The coastal desert stretches from the towns of Currimao to Pasuquin.
The undulating sandy landscape makes for beautiful sceneries, but visitors may also up the thrill factor by exploring the area on four-wheel-drive trucks and sandboards. Local outdoor group Laoag Eco-Adventure Development Movement (LEAD Movement) first introduced off-road driving over the sand dunes, an outdoor activity that’s also nicknamed dune bashing, and later on established sandboarding in 2009.
The 4X4 tour takes visitors on a thrilling off-road joyride across the sand dunes over viewpoints with sweeping vistas of the river valley and along the desolate coastline. The most exciting part is when the truck careens around the dunes and descend very steep inclines like a rollercoaster. The tour package ends with ride-all-you-can sandboarding near the headquarters. Beginners can first sit on the boards on their initial attempts, before trying to surf down the slope while standing.
Rates of Activities
4X4 ride for 4-5 persons, 20 minutes, with unlimited sand boarding: PHP 2,500
Unlimited sand boarding: PHP 500 per person
ATV ride, 60 minutes: PHP 2,000
Laoag Sand Dunes Experience
Address: Barangay 31 Talingaan, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte
Contact Numbers: +63 9279053111 or +639198233335
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/laoagsanddunes
How to Get There
Laoag City is 10 to 12 hours by bus from Metro Manila. Victory Liner buses depart from Cubao, while Partas Bus departs from Cubao and Pasay. From Laoag City, hire a tricycle to take you to Laoag (La Paz) Sand Dunes in 15 minutes.
If you need to spend the night in Laoag, here’s a list of recommended hotels in the city.
This trip was made possible through Lakbay Norte 7, a media tour held from January 30 to February 5, 2018, and organized by the North Philippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB), a non-stock, non-profit organization spearheaded by the Manila North Tollways Corporation, builder and concessionaire of the North Luzon Expressway.