Where to go in Laoag Ilocos Norte: 5 Thrilling Things To Do for Your Next Family/Friends Trip

Photo by Brett Andrei Martin on Unsplash
Photo by Brett Andrei Martin on Unsplash

Are you planning your next getaway with family and friends? Look no further than the charming city of Laoag, nestled in the heart of Ilocos Norte, Philippines. Laoag City is fondly called the Sunshine City of Ilocos Norte for several reasons. It’s rich in historical landmarks, attractions, and cultural heritage.

It’s also accessible by land and air travel from Manila and other cities, making it one of the best travel destinations for family and friends. When you visit Laoag City, you’re welcomed to a treasure trove of exciting activities that cater to all ages and interests.

From cultural adventures to adrenaline-pumping experiences, Laoag tourist spots offer something for everyone.

Read on as we explore five thrilling things to do and where to go in Laoag, Ilocos Norte on your next trip.

1. Time travel to centuries past in San Agustin Church

With roots stretching back to the 16th century, the San Agustin Church has seen it all – the history of Ilocos Norte, earthquakes, and the test of time. The church is also known as the Paoay Church and just so happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage site (one of the two in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte province).

Picture this: a stunning blend of Spanish colonial and Baroque architecture, enough to make your jaw drop. There are also intricate details on the church walls and ceilings that have been painstakingly completed by hand through different eras in Ilocos Norte and Philippine history.

The Churches in Ilocos Norte

The Paoay Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines, featuring a 17th-century bell tower – a true sentinel of the past. However, as the years wore on, the bell tower had to survive earthquakes, World War II, and long years of exposure to the elements.

The Laoag Cathedral which is canonically known as Saint William’s Cathedral built in 1612 by Augustinian priests. The first Laoag Church was originally made of wood and thatch when it was first established by the Augustinians as a parish in 1580. Laoag church has a mark in history as it was occupied by revolutionary forces in 1898 and American troops in 1899.

The Sinking Bell Tower

Today, it is fondly called the ‘sinking bell tower’ because it sinks about an inch each year. You can even climb up the sinking bell tower if you and your family and friends are up for the challenge.

Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture aficionado, or just someone up for some serious eye candy, the San Agustin Church or Paoay Church is where you need to be.

Tip: Visit the church on weekdays instead of Sunday to avoid big crowds. Like most old churches, the Paoay Church follows strict dress codes, so dress appropriately.

Located in Aurora Park in Laoag City is the Tobacco Monopoly Monument, a brick obelisk commemorating the abolition of the tobacco monopoly during Spanish time, forcing farmers into hard and abusive labor. An inscription on the obelisk reads “erected by the people as an expression of joy” over the termination of the monopoly. 

Within these destinations are amusement park where food stalls offering local delicacies and refreshments can be had after hours of walking and exploring.

2. Sandboarding Adventure in La Paz Sand Dunes

Conquering the sandy soil of the La paz Sand Dunes

For an adrenaline rush like no other, head to the breathtaking La Paz Sand Dunes. Feel the wind in your hair as you embark on a heart-pounding sandboarding adventure across the rolling dunes and steep slopes. The sand dunes adventure can equal a rollercoaster in theme parks.

Whether you’re a seasoned sandboarder or a first-timer, the dunes offer an exhilarating experience that will leave you craving more.

Local guides are available to provide safety instructions and assist you as you glide down the sandy slopes. Don’t forget to capture the stunning panoramic views of the coastline and the West Philippine Sea for an Instagram-worthy moment!

Tip: Wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes to fully enjoy the sand dunes. The best time to visit is early or late afternoon to avoid the scorching midday heat.

A Cultural Treasure

Step back in time as you stroll along the charming cobblestone streets of Calle Crisologo. This national cultural treasure is renowned for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture, with ancestral houses that exude an old-world charm.

Calle Crisologo may be one of the best things to see in the entire Ilocos region. You can take leisurely walks, shop for souvenirs, and indulge in local delicacies as you soak in the nostalgic atmosphere. It feels like a compact city transported from the colonial period, filled with historical sites.

Calle Crisologo is not only a feast for the eyes but also a shopper’s paradise. You’ll find an array of local products, from handwoven textiles to intricate woodcrafts, perfect for bringing a piece of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte back home with you.

Tip: Capture the essence of the place by visiting early in the morning or late in the evening when the streets are less crowded, and the lighting is ideal for photography.

4. Wind Down at Paoay Lake and Malacanang of the North

The Bangui Windmills

Lining the coast of the Bangui Bay shoreline in Ilocos Norte, Philippines, are the Bangui Windmills. They stand as both a marvel of engineering and a beacon of sustainability. A visit to this iconic wind farm offers an enlightening experience that blends environmental consciousness with awe-inspiring beauty.

Comprising 20 colossal windmills, the Bangui Windmills harness the region’s strong coastal winds to generate clean and renewable energy. As you walk among these towering giants along the black sand beach, you’ll witness firsthand the innovative strides made in the field of sustainable technology.

The wind farm contributes significantly to the power requirements needed by Ilocos Norte. By visiting, you’re not only immersing yourself in a visually stunning landscape but also supporting the global shift toward greener energy alternatives.

The Bangui Windmills offers an extraordinary journey into the realm of eco-friendly innovation and natural beauty in the Ilocos region. It isn’t just another attraction, Bangui displays how the Philippines is taking steps towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Tip: Pack sunscreen and head protection like hats and umbrellas because there is very limited shade from the sun.

5. Marvel at the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Wonder with awe at Limestone rock formations

Nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers will be delighted by the otherworldly beauty of the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation.

Sculpted by the forces of nature, these stunning white limestone rock formations stand against the crashing waves of the sea, creating a surreal and breathtaking sight. They look like large coral stones aboveground.

Embark on a short trek to reach the rock formations and witness nature’s masterpiece up close. The rugged terrain adds an element of excitement to the journey, making it a memorable experience for hikers and explorers.

Tip: Wear comfortable shoes suitable for hiking and bring a camera to capture the awe-inspiring landscapes. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and respect the natural environment by following designated paths.

Start Exploring From Your Home in Camella in Laoag City

Laoag City, Ilocos Norte is more than just a destination; it’s an adventure waiting to happen. From centuries-old churches to adrenaline-pumping activities, this charming city offers a diverse range of experiences for your next family or friends trip.

Even better than looking for hotels to stay in for your next visit up north to Ilocos Norte, owning a home in Camella in Laoag City can provide you with a closer and more immersive glimpse of the Ilocos Norte province.

Camella in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte is reminiscent of the strong Spanish heritage in the north. Taking inspiration from the colonial past of Ilocos Norte, Camella Laoag has kept the rustic town charm while integrating modern luxuries for the modern family.

The master-planned community is cleverly located near Laoag’s commercial areas, hospitals, transport hubs, schools, and several Ilocos Norte attractions.

This includes the Santa Monica Parish Church, Museo Ilocos Norte, Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, the Malacanang ti Amianan, the Marcos Museum (the home of former President Ferdinand Marcos) in Bagac which used to be the ancestral home of the Marcos family, and the Bacarra Church on top of the tourist sites listed above.

The Rizal Amusement Park is also a must stop for anyone visiting Laoag City. It is ideal for for daytime or night time strolls with friends and family or even alone. Surrounding the Rizal Amusement Park is the City Hall and Capitol, as well as a shopping mart where you can grab souvenirs.

So, gather your loved ones, pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable journey filled with culture, excitement, and memories that will last a lifetime. Laoag City awaits – are you ready to embrace the thrill?

Compare listings