Laoag Travel Guide: Timeless Charm of Ilocandia’s Sunshine City


Welcome to Laoag

The heart and capital city of Ilocos Norte, known as the “Sunshine City” and “City of Lights”, Laoag is a perfect blend of traditional and modern lifestyle, a fusion of Spanish and Ilocano heritage.

Laoag and its neighboring towns of Bacarra, San Nicolas, Batac and Paoay reveal the rich influence of the Spaniards in the province with the century old churches, detached bell towers and beautiful ancestral houses, each has their own stories and histories. These are aside from their natural attractions that guarantee everyone a pleasant and well spent stay in this part of Ilocandia.

St. William’s Cathedral of Laoag

The distinct charm of Laoag and its neighboring towns will surely make everyone fall in love with the north again, again and again.

How to Get There

Manila to Laoag

Laoag is a 6 to 8-hour ride from Manila. Several bus lines serve the route including Florida Bus Line, Partas Liner, Baliwag Transit and Fariñas Transit. The trip is via North Luzon Expressway and Manila North Road passing through the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan, La Union and Ilocos Sur, fare is around P600 – P700.

By air, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific fly to Laoag daily from Manila, travel time is an hour. From Laoag International Airport, there are tricycles and public jeepneys that  can take you to the city proper.

You can book your bus or plane ticket from Manila to Laoag and vice versa below.

Clark to Laoag

For those coming from Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark Field, Pampanga, ride the shuttle or jeepney going to Dau Integrated Bus Terminal, fare is around P50. In Dau Terminal, look for buses going to Laoag.

Baguio to Laoag

There are numerous departures (buses and vans) daily from Baguio City Bus Terminal to Laoag, travel time is not more than four hours, fare ranges from P200 – P300.

You can book your bus ticket from Baguio to Laoag and vice versa below.

Tuguegarao to Laoag

If you’re coming from Tuguegarao, GMW Liner and Florida Liner operate buses to Laoag, fare is not more than P300.00.

The sand dunes of Barangay La Paz, Laoag

Where to Stay

There are wide array of accommodation in Laoag City, ranging from home stays, budget inns to the luxurious hotel and resorts. The popular choice among budget travelers and backpackers are Hotel Tiffany, Texicano Hotel, Java Hotel and Balay ni Blas. Rate ranges from as low as P300 per night for a single fan room with very basic amenities, to by the thousands.

Bangui Wind Mills of Burgos

Other accommodations in Laoag City include the five star Fort Ilocandio Resort Hotel, Aurelius Mansion, Palazzo de Laoag Hotel and Restaurant, Northview Hotel, Isabel Suites, Ilocos Norte Hotel and Convention Center, Grand Octagon Resort, Ilocos Rosewell Hotel, Casa Llanes, Rio Grande de Laoag Resort and Hotel, Hotel Del Norte, Hotel Renzo, Supertram Lodge, La Elliana Hotel, Paradise Lodge and Drive Inn, Viven Hotel, Rivermount Hotel, Parklane Hotel, AA Travellers Pad Hotel and Thalia Inn.

Top-Rated / Highly Recommended Accommodations in Laoag

Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel

Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel
Town Proper
Starts at 3,000 PHP

Java Hotel

Java Hotel
Town Proper
Starts at 2,500 PHP

Rivermount Hotel and Resort

Rivermount Hotel & Resort
San Nicolas
Starts at 2,000 PHP

Viven Hotel

Viven Hotel
Town Proper
Starts at 2,000 PHP

Top-Rated Budget Accommodations in Laoag

AA's Travelers Pad Hotel

AA Travellers Pad Hotel
Town Proper
Starts at 600 PHP

Rosewell Hotel

Ilocos Rosewell Hotel
San Nicolas
Starts at 800 PHP


Things to Do in Laoag and Nearby Areas

  • Walk around the streets of Laoag and see the Sinking Belltower, St. William’s Cathedral, Provincial Capitol, Tobacco Monopoly Monument, Museo Ilocos Norte
  • Try sand boarding in La Paz Sand Dunes
  • Drop by at Fort Ilocandia and Malacañan Ti Amianan (Malacañang of the North)
  • Visit the San Nicolas de Tolentino Church of San Nicolas
  • Visit the brick St. Andrew Church and its old bell tower in Bacarra
  • Go to Paoay and see the UNESCO World Heritage Site Church of Saint Augustine, popularly known as Paoay Church; the Paoay Lake National Park; and Suba Sand Dunes in the same town
  • Try the Ilocano Empanada, Longanisa, Poque-Poque (Poki-Poki) and Bagnet
  • Dine in La Preciosa, Dap-Ayan, Macy’s, Johny Moon Cafe and Saramsam in Laoag; Dawang’s in San Nicolas; and Herencia Cafe  of Paoay
  • Go to northern towns of the province and see Cape Bojeador Lighthouse and Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Burgos, the windmills in Bangui and various attractions in Pagudpud
  • Explore the beaches of Curimao
  • Drive south towards Vigan
The old bell tower of Bacarra Church

Sample Itinerary (3D/2N in Laoag and Vigan)

Day 1: Explore Laoag

Catch a bus to Laoag the night before and be in the morning. Settle in your hotel and have an Ilocano meal at Saramsam Ylocano Restaurant, proceed to La Paz Sand Dunes afterwards. In the afternoon, stroll in and around the historic plaza. See the sinking bell tower, St. William’s Cathedral, Provincial Capitol, Tobacco Monopoly Monument and Museo Ilocos Norte.

Day 2: Heritage Sites Visit: Paoay – Santa Maria – Vigan

Wake up early and pack your stuff. With all your bags on, proceed to Paoay for breakfast at Herencia Café in front of UNESCO World Heritage Saint Augustine Church. Catch a bus to Vigan afterwards and be in the city by midday. Check-in, have lunch and take a short rest at your hotel before proceeding to Santa Maria to visit Pinsal Falls and the other UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ilocos – Our Lady of Assumption Church of Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur.

Day 3: Explore Vigan

Catch the blue hour at Calle Crisologo before indulging on an Ilocano Breakfast at Café Leona. Try to see as much of the the city’s attractions afterwards – St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral, Simbaan a Bassit, St. Augustine Chuch of Bantay, Crisologo Museum, Father Burgos Residence & Museum, Religious Museum, Leona Florentino Ancestral House, Fil-Spanic Friendship Park, Buridek Museum, Baluarte Vigan (Vigan Fortress), Hidden Garden, Plaza Burgos, Plaza Salcedo and Syquia Mansion. Check out of your hotel at midday and walk the stretch of Calle Crisologo one more time to shop for souvenirs before going home.

St. Augustine Church of Paoay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site


  • When in Laoag, the towns of San Nicolas, Batac, Curimao, Paoay, Bacarra, Pasuquin and nearby towns are just short jeepney ride away
  • You can also go to Vigan by riding a bus going to Manila that passes in Vigan
  • Bangui and Pagudpud can be reached in not more than two hours, there are buses and jeepneys going to these northern coastal towns, fare is P50 to P60
  • Laoag is best explored at night when the old structures of the city glow with lights
  • Commuting from city proper to La Paz Sand Dunes, hire a trike for P100 round trip
  • Sand boarding lesson is P2500 for a group of four, transportation via 4×4 from the city to La Paz Sand Dunes and vice versa included, Contact Glenn Guererro: +639088853669

*Originally Published: 12-Oct-2014 | Updates: 28-Dec-2017; 10-Apr-2020


  1. joyce alvarez

    hi where to stay in pagudpud?

    1. Nicole Francesca Daguio

      Hi, Joyce. We offer packaged rates for bakasyonistas who want to see the best of Ilocos. If you are interested, you can email me at [email protected]

      Thank you and God bless 🙂

  2. Gian

    Hi! My friend and a couple of her friends will be having a vacation in the Philippines in December. And as a Tourism student, she asked me to make an itinerary for their vacation. I chose Fort Ilocandia Resort for the accommodation for 3 days and 2 nights. And we’ll be arriving there through plane.

    *Does Laoag Airport offer a shuttle service from the airport to FIT?

    I also planned to take them to Paoay Sand dunes (and other attractions in Paoay) and Bangui Windmills.

    *How can we reach Paoay (primarily the sand dunes) and Bangui Windmills from FIT and vice versa? We’ll be commuting. 🙂

    *And lastly, is Pagudpud beach a surfing site? If yes, do they have instructors and surf board rentals? How can we reach Pagudpud beach if we commute from FIT and vice versa? If no, how can we reach San Juan, La Union from FIT?

    I hope my queries can be answered. 🙂 Thank you! 🙂

  3. Gian

    Hi! My friend (and a couple of her friends) are planning to have a vacation in the Philippines this coming December. And as a friend (and a tourism student) she asked me to make an itinerary of the tour. I decided that we’ll stay at Fort Ilocandia Resort for three days and two nights. I showed her a picture of Paoay sand dunes and she was amazed and she told me that she wanna go there (primarily because of the 4×4 and the sand boarding). She also wanted to see the Bangui windmills. But, I have never been to Ilocos Norte, and my researches aren’t giving me relevant infos about the place (primarily about the transportations from Laoag airport to Fort Ilocandia (But I read some blogs and reviews that the airport as shuttle service that offers trips to FIT)) Secondly, the transportation from FIT to Paoay Sand Dunes (church, etc.) and the transportation from FIT to Bangui Windmills. I don’t want to get lost. HAHA! We’ll be commuting so I have to gather informations about directions from the mentioned attractions. I hope someone could answer my query. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Gian

      ooops. I have posted this even the laptop hung. 🙂 Sorry for the spam. My second post is clearer. 🙂

    2. So many hotel here in Ilocos ..from 5 star to 1 star or a simple but peaceful and comfortable homestay to stay for about 3-7 days or more. Withihn the city of Laoag you can stay at Plaza Del Norte, Pamulinawen, Java, Northview and Mira De Polaris. If you want to go somewhere in North (PAgudpud 1.5 hr drive from Laoag) there are a lot of hotel there, but 1 of the best to stay in Pagudpud is in Hannahs Resort and Convention Center. For your city, Pagudpud and Vigan tour you can hire private vehicle (MB100 or Innova) 3500 per day.

  4. bea anne

    hello, we’re planning to go to Laoag on Holy Week, and we want to see all the tourist destination on Laoag, like pagud pud, the sand dunes, the wind mills, paoay church etc….we want to those in a day or two…do you have a service like transportion who can take us there? and how much?…please do reply…you can also send me an email thru the email address i gave…thanks and Godbless 🙂

  5. Reese


    We are planning to go this March in Laoag, Vigan and Pagudpud. I plan to bring my 2 kids with me and my hubby their ages are 7 and 8. What do you recommend as an itinerary and I am interested with the 1,500 for four. Our budget kinda tight. Hope you could help

  6. […] 8. Travel Guide: Laoag and Suburbs […]

  7. mang mags

    may info ba kayo kung pwede makabili ng ticket sa partas in advance? at hindi ba mahirap makakuha ng ticket pag sem-break?thanks.

    1. Thelma Agullana

      Pwede naman po mag-book kayo in advance, punta lang po kayo sa Partas Station… May ibang bus stations po aside from Partas, may Florida, Maria de Leon, Farinas at RCJ po..:-)

  8. carlal0o

    cool! this is cool! thanks for the helpful info! will be going there in november.. 😉

    1. Thelma Agullana

      If Pagudpud is included in your itenerary, e-mail me for your queries… from accomodation to transportation….:-)

  9. […] was already getting dark when we left for Laoag. After two hours, the bus stopped in front of Museo Ilocos and I was surprised to see the new La […]

  10. hi, i have some questions re the 300/nyt homestay in laoag.
    1. is it near the laoag airport? how do we get there from the airport?
    2. i am travelling with a 10-yr old kid. magiging comfortable naman kaya siya dun?
    3. may paliguan ba?

  11. Thanks for this helpful guide! Will be backpacking around Laoag, Vigan and Pagudpud in January next year, and this guide is super useful. 🙂

    1. Thelma Agullana

      For other queries about your travel in Pagudpud, feel free to email so that I can assist you while you were in Pagudpud.

      1. joyce alvarez

        hi we are going to pagudpud also can you advise me where to stay.thanks

  12. Leandro

    Hi! ilang oras travel from tuguegarao to laoag? thanks..

    1. Thelma Agullana

      Approximately po mga 8-10 hours. E-mail nyo lang po ako pagka may queries po pagka gusto nyong mag-stay sa Pagudpud, I’ll be glad to assist you po..

      1. Joanna

        Mam, I hope you could assist us. We’re having a last-minute trip to Pagudpud this March 28, 2013 afternoon. So we will probably arrive at Pagudpud early morning of March 29. Could you assist us with finding a cheap accommodation? 2 adults and 2 children po kami. Overnight lang sana sa Pagudpud. I would very much appreciate your help.

        Salamat po.


  13. burgerlover

    Hi, following your itenerary how much will it cost per person (group of 4) we are planning to go there on the 14th for the entire weekend. thank you for the help! I’ll be waiting for your response

    1. burgerlover


    2. Vicky M.

      hi. thanks for sharing your laoag tips and all. they are very helpful. my partner and I are flying there from manila and back. we are going straight to pagudpud and on our way back, we want to go around laoag. do you think its possible to do in 1 day? is it easy to commute? are the jeepneys 24 hours or atleast always available during the day or is there time for every departure & arrival? we are thinking of exploring laoag on our last day since our flight is at night going back to manila. how much do you think would be our budget? thanks ah! hope to hear from you. thanks!

  14. […] cities glow at night just as Laoag City does. The street lights, well-lit structures and beautifully illuminated halls draw a unique […]

  15. sayang di ko nasubukan yung sandboarding jan!

  16. Thanks for the tips on hotels. I have always been looking for cheap hotels.

    1. Thanks for the visit DIng 😀

    2. Thelma Agullana

      I have a friend who owns a hotel in Pagudpud with an affordable rate, P1500 good for for persons. Email me if you’re interested…:-)

      1. Joanna

        Mam, I hope you could assist us. We’re having a last-minute trip to Pagudpud this March 28, 2013 afternoon. So we will probably arrive at Pagudpud early morning of March 29. Could you assist us with finding a cheap accommodation? 2 adults and 2 children po kami. Overnight lang sana sa Pagudpud. I would very much appreciate your help.

        Salamat po.


  17. Ganda ng Laoag! I’ve never been to Ilocos. Ilokano kasi yung mga ninuno ko. :))

    1. Parang may mali sa comment ko.

      “I’ve never been to Ilocos. Gonna visit and explore the Ilocos Region soon. Ilokano kasi mga ninuno ko.”

      1. Haha, naguluhan nga ako Renz. Ang layo, taga Davao ka and you have ancestors in Ilocos, parang opposite poles 😀

    2. Thelma Agullana

      Feel free to visit Ilocos Norte… Don’t forget to include Pagudpud in your itenerary . Feel free to email me so that I can assist your stay in Pagudpud…I am from Pagudpud..:-)

  18. hazelgrace


    Do you have any contact info for the sandboarding lesson?

    thanks so much!

    1. Hi Hazel! I updated the post to include the contact number for the sand boarding 🙂

  19. wow! very comprehensive guide… thanks for sharing… 🙂

    1. Thanks Mervz!

    2. Thanks Mervz 😀

  20. Salamat sa mga tips…
    Love the pics, specially the St.Augustine Church ..:)

    1. Thanks Tripper 🙂 Well, St. Augustine Church of Paoay is truly majestic!

    2. Thanks Tripper! Ilocos has some of the best churches in the country!

Comments are closed.