From Laoag it’s a couple of hours by bus to PAGUDPUD, a typical provincial town providing access to several wonderfully picturesque beaches. The Pagudpud area is deservedly becoming known as a destination that has all the beauty of Boracay, but only a fraction of number of tourists and none of the nightlife.

Saud Beach (“Sa-ud”), a few kilometres down a narrow road to the north of town, is a beautiful long arch of white sand backed by palm trees. Resorts on the beach hire out snorkelling equipment, and can provide bangkas (P5–600 for half a day) so that you can head to the best spots. Birdwatchers should check out the area behind the Saud Beach Resort. East of Saud (30min tricycle ride; P200–250) is the glorious Blue Lagoon (also known as Maira-ira Beach). The setting is stunning, with dazzling water lapping a sugary crescent of sand; the breaks also attract surfers from July to January. One stretch of the beach has been overdeveloped with a large and incongruous resort, but it’s possible to get away from that and still enjoy the sand and sea. From March–June, boats offer dolphin-watching trips (P300). To the west of Pagudpud and accessible by tricycle (P70–100) is the beach at
Ayoyo. It’s not sandy, but it’s still beautiful and it rarely sees foreign tourists –there’s little here except palm trees and sea, overlooked by a single resort.

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