5 Reasons We Were Disappointed With Pagudpud in the Philippines

Pagudpud was highly recommended to us by fellow travel bloggers and our Filipino readers. It was also described everywhere on the Internet as:

A dream place with beaches which are nothing short of amazing: stretches of white sand lined with coconut trees and crystal-blue water.

Pagudpud boat
Welcome to Pagudpud

After arriving at Manila airport, guess where we headed next… to Pagudpud. The journey was exhausting. We got to the bus station at midnight and found out the first bus going to Pagudpud was leaving at 5 am. We waited 5 hours at the bus station and spent another 13 hours to get from Manila to Laoag. From Laoag we took a direct bus to Pagudpud and we got there before midnight.

local bus from Laoag to Pagudpud
On the local bus from Laoag to Pagudpud

Our bus expenses: Manila – Laoag PHP814/$18 a person (over 13 hour journey); Laoag – Pagudpud PHP45/$1 a person (over 2 hour bus ride).

Tricycle driver, Pagudpud
One of tricycle drivers we saw the next morning

Nearly one day on the road from one bus to another, but we finally got there. The bus dropped us off in the middle of nowhere where we were surrounded by 3 tricycle drivers. It was rainy, cold and, what’s the worst, dark! We asked the drivers for direction, but nobody wanted to help us out. They obviously wanted to give us a ride, but the quoted price seemed to be way too high for us. We decided to walk, but the drivers were shouting “It’s far way! It’s over 5 km walk! It’s dark. Be careful!”

At some point we got scared. There were no lights, we didn’t know where we were going to and a bunch of tricycle drivers were following us. We stopped and decided to take a ride to the “city center.” The driver didn’t listen. He dropped us off at the most expensive resorts and kept waiting for us to book a room (as we guessed, he hoped to receive some commission).

The prices were WOW… very high. The cheapest room for 2 was $50. We walked around the area, but everything seemed to be closed. At last we found a room for PHP800/$18 for two with no hot water, no Internet, no air conditioning, but well… we didn’t mind as we were looking forward to hit the beach the next morning. We went to sleep hungry and thirsty hoping to have an amazing day the day after…

Wooden house in Pagudpud
Our “apartment” in Pagudpud
Room in pagudpud
Our room in Pagudpud

We woke up in the morning and…

1. Rain, rain, go away!

The view from our place

During our stay in Pagudpud, the weather was terrible. It was wet, chilly and rainy every morning. The sun came up late afternoon. We didn’t expect that at all. Manila was hot and quite humid at the same time. There was no way we could go swimming or even stay on the beach. That was very disappointing. So if you are planning to go there in early February, check out the weather forecast!

Unhappy girl
Sun, where are you!?

2. Dirty beach

Pagudpud beach
Pagudpud beach

Where is the white sand? Where are the famous Filipino boats? Where are the palm trees and beautiful view? There were some palm trees, that’s it. Oh, I nearly forgot about garbage strewn everywhere. I was hard to say if I was at the garbage dump or at the beach…

Dirty beach in Pagudpud
Dirty beach

3. High prices

Empty and dirty beach in Pagudpud
Empty and dirty beach

February is off-season month so we thought it was going to be much cheaper than in summer. Unfortunately, not. Staying at the some resorts costed between $50 and $80 a day (the same price people would pay when coming here in June, July or August).  We spoke to some staff members and asked for the discount (as there were no people around), but there was no way to put the prices down.

4. Everything closed

Is anybody there?

The whole area looked like nobody lived there. It was so empty. There was nobody around apart from some workers. Nearly all bars, pubs and restaurants were closed. We could not get anything to eat for the first 2 hours before we finally got to the downtown. There were 2 buses running around, 1 open shop and local market. This was not what we were expecting, seriously.

5. Unfriendly and pushy locals

Ready to leave this place

Our bad experience with locals started from the tricycle driver who took us to the place we didn’t want to go. Nobody smiled there. Everyone looked so miserable. The ladies at the markets were making grumpy faces when they saw us. We didn’t feel welcomed there. Maybe it was the weather, maybe we also had a bad day and everything seemed to be just so disastrous! After two days we decided to leave Pagudpud. Disappointed, but nonetheless full of energy to see the Rice Terraces in Banaue.

Have you ever been disappointed with the beach you were so looking forward to see?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
Do you want to contribute?
Publish your guest post on Etramping!
Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on print

138 thoughts on “5 Reasons We Were Disappointed With Pagudpud in the Philippines”

  1. The Guy @flightsandfrustration.com

    Hi Agness,

    It looks as though you really hit low season here? Poor weather, few workers and facilities? I wonder if the beaches would be cleaner and more activity in high season.

    Also a little bit of a shame on the accommodation prices. At least you looked around to find something within your budget.

    As for the ride, well that was one long journey to explore somewhere which didn’t make a good impression.

    Do you think you’d go back and give it another try in high season?

      1. Hi agness, I think they’re talking about Hanna’s beach resort. Did you went to Hanna’s beach resort also in pagudpud? This is in Saud beach. Hanna’s is way more beautiful than in Saud. you can search. :)

      2. You should have visited HANNAHS BEACH RESORT in PAGUDPUD instead… I think you have gone to the wrong place …

      3. Hi Agness,
        i am very proud that you captured the negative sides of the beaches in pagudpud ..although i live in pagudpud. Good Job Agness : Very well

        for the blah blah blah of pagudpud
        as a commentator.
        about the beaches: :)
        the picture published on this site is true. pagudpud is named as a tourist spots because of views and cleanliness..all of us didn’t know what,where, when the tourist will be arrived at our own beaches/ resorts. we have a tourist everyday.. we should respect them,. OK.

        about the tricycle drivers:
        what is that kind of attitude..that you are showing to the tourist. huh.. before you get your passenger, you should asked where did they go… and after that you will charge them a lot of fare .. what a shame..


      4. Hi Agness,

        I am really sorry for that bad experiences that cause your disappointment. Next time you travel to Pagudpud, i would suggest you better travel on a plane, that’s an hour, then get a bus going to Pagudpud, that is about 2 hrs. and yet visit Hannas, i am certain you’ll enjoy your stay there, sorrounded with the longest Zipline, crystal clear beach, and swimming Pool, and a beaming cottages. Don’t let your bad experience rot your urge to go back one more try. Good luck.

      5. I think philippines just doesnt like you guys as tourist….u guys are very cheap tourist and full of negativeness about philippines thats why lol

      6. Hey!agness,most of your blogs are full of negativeness …being negative in one place is that your way to make people comments so you can earn money from your blogs…u might get lots of attention for being negativeness and earn more money but people think of you are negative too which is not good…i red many bloggers which they wrote mostly positive thats why people feed back with them are positive as well.I might say i can call u a good traveller as backpackers if u leave your negativeness in one place….becoz u just gonna ruin your travel moment if u keep bringing all your negativeness in one place.Well people not gonna follow you if u always like that.They might comment just becoz u attract them of being you as nega person .Wish u luck from a positive blog next time.

      7. You came at the wrong time. So sorry for that experience. If you really did your research, you shouldnt be reacting that way. Pagudpud has a lot to offer and you should be respecting it instead doing this kind of blog. I am really sorry for that experience but i am never sorry for your experience. ;) you’re always welcome here.

  2. I always hear that going to be a place off season is a bad idea…but I didn’t think it was going to be like that. The beach view looks good (if you ignore that trash) meaning like the water and the sky together and everything. Also, I know you make sacrifices when you go cheap but that sounds like a lot of sacrifices to make. Maybe it’s better in the summer? I have no idea. I always get nervous hearing about bad experiences going places, it’s sad to hear about! :(

  3. thats so disappointing. I hate being really excited for a place and then feeling so let down. That’s so strange about the locals not being friendly. I can’t handle being places if I don’t feel wanted.

  4. Andrea Anastasiou

    Oh wow, how disappointing. It’s always horrible when a place doesn’t live up to your expectations…

  5. Vanessa @ The Travelling Colognian

    OMG, I am sorry to hear that you had a bad time in Pagudpud, Agness. It reminds me of my visit to Golfito in the far Southwest of Costa Rica a few years ago. I went there during an extended Easter weekend and the bus also dropped us off in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately there were quite a few others including local people so we managed to find our way to the city. But due to the holidays everything was closed and deserted and you hardly didn’t see any people in the streets. Fortunately I had met an italian guy on the bus with whom I continued to the beaches of Zancudo. Definitely saved this trip, otherwise it would have been a letdown.

    I hope, your time at the Rice Terraces in Banaue was much better.

  6. Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)

    We didn’t go to Pagudpud, but we were similarly unimpressed with the first beach we went to in the Philippines (Alona Beach on Bohol). There was so much trash and it was very overdeveloped, but I must say that at least the locals there were friendly!

  7. sometimes… this happens! what a disappointment for you guys :( but… live and learn right? great post none the less!

  8. Being of Filipino background, I apologise on behalf of the unfriendly reception you received. Honestly, Filipinos (aka pinoys/pinays, filos) are usually more accommodating. Sounds like a low season experience that I’ve read in many blogs. Hopefully, you will have better luck in other beach towns in the Phils. Looking forward to reading more.

  9. I hate going to places only to leave disappointed. Do you think you were just unlucky? Or do you think the locals only keep up their friendly charade during the peak season?

    1. Agness Walewinder

      I was never pleased with the Philippines as to me, people there were very unfriendly. Therefore, I’m afraid they only keep up their friendly charade during the peak season.

  10. Hi Agnes,
    That`s too bad :(
    Yesterday we went to Balicasag Island. Left Alona Beach with a beautiful sun but the weather changed and we got the whole day of rain! My experience in one of my dream islands turn into a cold and wet boat ride :(
    Safe travels,

  11. Anna @ shenANNAgans

    Oh dear, what a shame ya’ll didn’t enjoy Pagudpud. Nothing worse than a bad travel experience, especially being treated poorly by the locals.

  12. Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

    Such a shame Agness – it’s always harder to be positive about a place if the weather is awful and the costs are so inflated! Hopefully, Pagudpud is much nicer in high season!

  13. Rich - RichyFeet

    Such a shame Agness – the Philippines are up there on my list of places to visit, I’ll have to make sure I go in season!

  14. If you have researched enough, you would’ve known that March-May is the best time to go there. And going there without even knowing the schedule of buses and the shortest time possible to reach pagudpud by bus proves that you’re not really an experienced traveller but an ignorant one. Seriously, if you have taken the 8 pm bus to laoag, you would’ve been there at around 4 or 5 in the morning. Just in time for your Laoag-Pagudpud trip. And if you already have some idea where to check in, then the drivers wouldn’t have dropped you out of nowhere.

    1. It’s true we have not researched every single detail of our journey, but I think that would take too much out of fun. Based on our previous experiences in many countries, the best times were when we didn’t plan too much and went with the flow. This time it didn’t go that well, but it’s the risk we’re happy to take.

  15. Toni - Reclaiming My Future

    I don’t blame you for being disappointed – it sounds like you really had some bad luck going there when you did especially with the weather! I get so sad when you head to the place and you feel let down – I often find that going somewhere with few expectations helps because you’re either pleasantly surprised or not too disappointed!!! Hope you enjoyed other places :)

    1. Thanks for your comment. Can’t agree with you more. We always heard that the Philippines are great on so many levels and we hardly heard any other opinion. I bet it’s because Filipinos overreact when someone points out something negative about their country, even when it’s true. We have enjoyed some other places in Philippines though.

      1. You didnt researched enough. Let me give you tips when going to a vacation:
        Research research research.
        By plane is the most convenient way to travel from manila to pagudpod “you didnt now that”
        There are different beaches in pagudpod, the one you’ve been is saud beach, the most ugliest beach in pagudpod. Blue lagoon beach ia way better and kingfisher beach is the best. “Again you did’nt know that”
        You said that you are never pleases in the philippines? Maybe check your attitude. People usually don’t treat other people badly if they are nice.”time for you to do some self evaluation. Maybe the problem is not them maybe its you!!!”

  16. I’m sorry for the bad experince you got in our beloved Pagudpud, well, you did go on an off season and it rains there alot during dec-feb.. I guess you didnt do much research or didnt plan it very well.. Usually what others do is they take a plane from manila- laoag (45minutes) or they take an earlier bus about 8-10pm so your trip would be cut short to 8hours. From laoag usually the bus takes you there for another hour. Usually the bus drops you near the municipal hall or if you took the Buses going to Cagayan they will leave you to the entrance of Pagudpud proper which I guess where they dropped you off. The $50 rooms are yes expensive but you pay for the amenities too. I bet the one you had are those small lodging houses/home stays which are cheaper but with limited ammenities. As for the trash, you cant avoid that as you said it was always raining and I bet you wouldnt go out and clean the beach during those times, right? But anyway, to cut it short, try going there during the peak seson, you’ll be surprised! Or maybe try Hannahs Place located in Balaoi, Pagupid. Its another 30 minutes from Saud Beach. Again i’m sorry for your tri, and hope you will consider going back specially during long holidays and during summer.. Im from Ilocos Norte and usually I take some tourists there during my free time. They’ve enjoyed it with no regrets.. Best regards.

      1. Detailed planning would be my 1st suggestion for foreign tourists coming to the Philippines. It’s today a country of very impoverished people who would grab at any chance of making A BUCK. 2nd will be, best if you have a very trustworthy local(if you might be able to find one, a not-so-close friend, maybe?) so he can give you a really good idea beforehand. Anyway, good or bad, you found your adventure in some way. Better luck next time. IF, you decide for another.

  17. Hi Agnes,

    I am a Filipino and came from Ilocos where pagudpud is located. I am pretty hurt with how you describe the beach but I tried my best to understand your situation. I know how does it feels to end up disappointed when all your expectations are too good and great that you never thought of any flaws based from other people’s expereience from the same place. However, I would like to explain few things, first, for the bus ride as a frequent traveler from manila to laoag will only take 8-10hourse on a night trip and sometimes depending on the bus liner there are some who are pretty fast that will only take 8hours exactly to laoag. (I hope if you would still be interested to come back in Ilocos I would suggest that you search some bus liner who are always on time with their travel time name a few would be Maria de Leon and Fariñas Trans, located in sampaloc manila, these two are the longest running bus liner for this route and I can assure you your safety and their on time performance), second, your overall experience in pagudpud from the drivers, unfriendly locals and the surroundings, I am sorry that you’ve seen the worst however most drivers are not like that, there are many who would be happy to see foreigners and would love to serve, there are even some who would do the extra miles and won’t just get you to your destination but also with give you few advices and where’s the best place you can go (too bad that those tricycle drivers who were there during your visit are frankly no manners and again I am sorry for that), regarding your accomodation I would suggest you search on the Internet where and what’s the best place you can stay depending on your preference and your budget (would like to recommend you this blogger from Ilocos who can give you the best advice in staying here in Ilocos Norte http://www.blauearth.com) and lastly, February is really not the best time to stay at the beach because during this month or season is too windy that people would avoid any water activities as much as they can because most of the locals are not used to a cold weather. I hope that you can come back and will see other side of pagudpud which is the beauty of the place the tranquility you can feel and it’s real people who gives happiness to those who visit the place. Thank you Agnes

    1. Thanks for commenting. Like you said, everyone says it’s amazing, even if at times it’s not. I hope we’ll go there again and this time won’t have too high expectations.

  18. Sorry to hear about your bad experience in Pagudpud, Agnes. I grew up in Laoag City, a city in Ilocos Norte, but I usually go to Pagudpud during vacations especially around March-May (Summer time), since my grandparents also live there :) so I would then consider myself as a local. We had a thing called “Home Stay” before where we’d let foreigners live in our homes, and treat you guys as if you’re part of the family and such, and we’d even cook for you. It’s like your home away from home :) we were really friendly towards any foreigner. Anyway, I really do hope you won’t let your previous experience there stop you from visiting again. Seriously though, there’s a lot of resorts/beaches you could visit in Pagudpud, like Aplaya Ortega, owned by my uncle :) it’s a great resort, and you’re basically sorrounded with nature. There’s a pool there which water comes from the mountain itself, and much more. My advice is that make sure to go there in season so you’ll get a good experience :)

    1. Thanks. The idea of a home stay sounds really interesting and I bet that it could indeed change the perspective.

  19. Hi agness im from laoag and i feel really sorry about your experience.
    From your pictures i think you went at the wrong place theres a better place in pagudpud called “blue lagoon” if ever you wanna give it a try again. You might wanna go there. Maybe google it first.

  20. Joenard Duldulao

    sorry to hear that, im from Pagudpud and yeah, we have terrible weather in this time of the year, oh well, i hope you give it an another chance and seriously, there are way more places here that you did not visit yet, and for the people? i dont know, whats wrong with them?but everyone i know here seems cheerful when im around, :D,

  21. It’s makes me quite sad to read that you’re experience was bad. I am a Filipina living in Laoag. Not all Pinoy are as bad as the people you came across with. I guess there are just very desperate people. As to the beach, I think it’s either you got to the wrong beach or the wrong part of the beach and stayed at the wrong place. Our place still lacks good tourist guides right now.

  22. Hi Agnes,

    Off season means less people. But probably the cottage rents should be less as well. Regarding your 13 hours travel, if you are not comfortable with it, there is a flight from manila-laoag for 1 hour only. Pagudpud is best once you book your travel online… Going there without any local tour guide will end you into more expensive travel. I advice you to find someone (a Filipino) living there to accompany you next time.. Visit HANNA’S Beach Resort, you’ll love it…

    Red of Laoag City Philippines

  23. Im sorry to hear that. Actually, there is a flight from Manila to Laoag for only 1 hour costing you probably $70-80 roundtrip. It is always advisable to travel @daytime going to Pagudpud or anywhere in the philippines. It only takes two hours by bus plus you will not miss the view while on board. Its always common that transport prices are high during after 6. I am also suggesting next time to book your place to stay. Usually, most places in the Philippines will have a starting point at the town proper so from there, you can ask your way to the place. Remember, its better to arrive before sunset. You can also visit the Municipal Hall as they will guide you on your stay and can give you tips. It is a different culture and it doesnt mean people are not smiling, they are already grumpy. Most often than not, they are happy to see you guys but just shy to approAch you plus staring is normal in the philippines. Best time to trAvel is March-May, just get ready with the heat. My tip: do research ahead of time. Have a wonderful travel!

  24. Hi agnes!

    I’m sorry! I’m from Laoag, I’ve seen on your picture that you did not go to the best beach in Pagudpod where you can find white sand, in Hannah’s. The rooms and services their were good as you expected. Next time, contact me when you want to go there again. BTW, next time ride a plane going to Laoag, it’s 25mins only.


  25. Oh, what a shame. Bad weather and terrible service. It wouldn’t have been so bad I guess, if the locals had been friendlier. ‘Hope it’s better whenever you return to the Philippines. Would you go back?

  26. Never expect to be treated so nicely when you have a low budget dear..Much better if you’re planning to have a vacation somewhere in this world, you must have enough money if you want to enjoy the REAL accommodations of people around.Try not to lower their prices before check in ‘coz they will think they wont get enough from you while staying to their place and most of all, be nice to them so that they will also treat you as one of a kind pleasingly tourist and that after, surely they will show you perfect kind of respect and a discount you’re begging with..Pagudpud is a very nice one of a kind living life like to the fullest place to relax while enjoying the ambiance of nature! Ive been there, i know and im sure :)

    1. Well, we’ve been to many places with our budget and most of the people there didn’t have anything against treating us nicely. I think that you suggest that Filipinos only treat people nicely if they can get a lot of money from them. That’s something bad to suggest, and I hope you’re wrong. Also, we have enjoyed most of the places we visited with a low budget, so it is ok to expect that even in the Philippines.

  27. Hello there.my name is ej and pagudpudbis my safe haven. Its a shamethat you havent receive good accomodation among the locals. But maybe you went there in really bad timing. June is a perfect time to go there as well as november.

  28. You should’ve went to Blue Lagoon at Balaoi.. It is nicer there and more activities.. There’s zipline, banana boat. Let me know next time n I can hook u up with good deals for home stay :)

  29. helo ma’am. i am from philippines, near pagudpud. i guest the place you checked into is those cheap resort. i have a friend who owns a resort in pagudpud which offers a good place to stay with at a good price, with internet,food, and very good workeres, and if you happen to love dogs,they also offer a walk with a dog. and before going to pagudpud you should have searched for some resorts there. there’s a lot to choose from. from Hannah’s beach resort which is the most popular, kapuluan vista resort which is owned by a very good man, and casa consuelo which my friends’ family business. the one you checked into ma’am is just one of the small resorts located there. hoping that you will still go and visit pagudpud the second time around.i can provide you the contact number of the resort owner if you want ma’am. God bless. hope to seee you in Philippines.

  30. You have to gi in pagudpud in a summer season not a rainy season…no one go to beach in a rainy season…summer month is april and may…

  31. You were not able to go to the real ivory sand beaches. You were in the untouched part of Pagudpud. Next time travel with a tour guide who knows the place so well so you wont be disappointed.

    1. Thanks for advice, but I think a tour guide would be against our way of travelling. Nevertheless, I hope that next time we’ll find someone to help us find what we’re looking for and recommend few things we don’t know about.

  32. Looks like you went for the cheap resort and took the bus instead of flying. Research online, pick a resort, and book it before hand. Poorly planned/researched vacation will most likely end in disaster and you get what you pay for. I recommend Hannah Resort and Kapuluan Vista Resort.

    1. I can’t disagree with you more. Yes, on this occasion it didn’t go very well, but most of the other times we travelled in other countries, the level of our research and budget was sufficient to have an amazing time and fun exceeded our expectations.

  33. Hi Agnes,

    I believe you failed to prepare yourself and research further about the place. Travelling to Pagudpud/Ilocos Region needs a lot of research such as dates or season to visit, place to stay, transportation, etc. The mistake is within you as you travel directly from Manila to Pagudpud, truly you will become exhausted if you do a 13-hours travel.

    Nevertheless, I recommend you study/research first before jumping to a new place. Ilocos Region is a gem which you failed too appreciate because of poor preparation.

    Goodluck to your new journey, research first and review 100 times before hitting the road.

    1. Thanks for your advice. Although I think you’re missing the point of spontaneous travelling, there is fault on our side (ways that work in other countries, don’t seem to work in the Philippines).

      Thanks for your comment

  34. hi agnes im from blue lagoon pagudpud sorry to hear that you had a bad times when you visited my home town but i guess you’ve been here at the wrong time i mean weather is not good.

    try to come again in the summer and to visit blue lagoon

  35. whenever you take a trip somewhere you’re not familiar with, always bring a tour guide with you or search the place first…..

  36. sorry for disappointing u miss agnes.. try to visit in pagudpud in the month of march-april .. because that is the month dat not rainy season in pagudpud.. so u can enjoy in the next u can visit in pagudpud., and u call some friends so dat u cant alone so dat u can enjpy ur vacation in pagudpud..

  37. Well, a lot of our friends are asking about going to Pagudpud or to any Ilocos beaches, our advise is not to go there during the months of November to February as the weather is unstable, cold to very cold and wet to very wet with constant rains. The best time to go there is March. April and May could be very, very hot. Then June to August are rainy season. September to October are great times to hit the beaches too.

  38. Hi Agnes,
    I am presently residing in Oakville,Ontario.I am Fil-Canadian,sorry to hear your bad experience in Pagudpud,you went there in a wrong season,In the Phil we have only 2 seasons,Summer from April to mid July,and Rainy days from Nov. to Mid march,I hope you read all the comments and I agree to them,go on summer time,Hannah’s resort is the top site, but I can recommend you a cheaper one just beside Hannah,you can talk to me too if you’re interested,I gave you my email.

  39. Wrong place…. go to saud or hannas..
    Wrong month… summer is the best time to go..
    Wrong ride.. take manila laoag via air it will take 45 minutes…
    Wrong plan…. you should took a tour package its cheap….
    Google is just around… lol….

    1. Thanks for your advice. We know understand that place, time and ride were wrong. As to the tour packages, our travels are all about NOT using them.

  40. There are many resorts near that area, why did you choose to go there? I mean, I’ve been to that place, Apo Idon Hotel is expensive but it’s worth it. High class rooms and good service. Summer is the best season to go there. Try to reseach to contact travel agencies next time.

  41. Dear Agnes, I’m sorry for Ur bad experience my dear. I’m from pagudpud. If u wanted to travel again to pagudpud just email me my dear so I can give instruction to any of my relatives, almost all of them are my relatives w/ resorts or home stay. If only I fixed my house u can even stay there. I’m looking forward to fix it anyway if GOD permit. Hoping next time Ur bad experienced will be erased & changed to good. One. Hope to meet u there personally too to be Ur tour guide free of charged. Just email me when u wanted to go again. Pls don’t be disappointed my dear.

  42. hi agnes

    first of all thanks for visiting pagudpud and for this review.. but i see that there are lack of researched and unprepared things that happened in your visit..
    … or simply u did not do it.. FYI u can Google what r the available transportation traveling in that location.. and summer is still in April and may in the Philippines so don’t expect a lot of sun to happen.. and pagudpud is famous with their white sands and great beaches not with this dirty resorts that u posted, and i think your in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    if its spontaneous travelling, Google is always a click away anytime anywhere.
    well anyway good luck in your spontaneous travel and hope u do justice in your reviews.

  43. Ideally, you will have better fortunes in other shoreline towns in the Phils. Anticipating perusing more. That seems like an awful experience! That transport ride alone would have placed me in a foul disposition. You should go to Goa Beaches in India, really these are amazing when i visited recently.

  44. Mike | VagabondingMike

    I was there back in 2010 and found it to be much different from your experience. The accommodations were a bit pricey (as stated) but the beaches were clean.

    Also there is a pretty cool waterfall and another beach about 15 min trike ride away (near a resort/reception hall). That was the best beach. Did you get a chance to check that one out?

  45. wow, the apartment looks quite improvised but its not really bad for $18 except for the lack of hot water. The resort, though seems deserted is beautiful save for the littering.

  46. With regards to the weather, bad timing although it’s been unpredictable lately. Pagudpud is a tourist destination thus being a bit pricey (to my standards). As you know we have over 7,100 islands.. be more adventurous next time, visit places less known.. it’s more affordable, local are more hospitable and there’s less crowd. Cheers!

  47. Shiela Acenas

    I’ve been to Pagudpud twice already. The first time I went there, Blue Lagoon was beautiful because there was no development in that area. But now, I don’t like how Hannah’s Resort built some nipa hut cottages along the beach. Saud beach is beautiful in a way that it is not over developed. The trash you’re talking are dried leaves from coconut trees and other trees along the beach. Yes, no one is maintaining the beach or sweeping the dried leaves. If you explore the entire stretch of the 2 or 3km Saud Beach, at the back, near the Saud Beach Resort, there is a pond there with so many wild duck which I enjoyed watching in silence(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdSWbdtzQLs). You have to be quite in order not to disturb their habitat. The beach sand is not very white like Boracay, it is light cream. For the accommodation, instead of spending much for resort, we opted for home stay which cost us $11.50 a night. Of course there’s no aircon for this rate, but we have a fan. The owner of the house even provided us a free breakfast and they are kind and accommodating. I’ve traveled around the Philippines and been to beautiful islands of Palawan, Visayas, and Mindanao. For me, Pagudpud is worth a visit, if you can’t afford to take a plane ticket to Palawan, Visayas, and Mindanao.

  48. I’m filipino and i don’t recommend every single beach or town here in the philippines. It doesn’t matter if you’re a filipino tourist from another region or a foreigner from another country, truth of the matter is some locals will definitely take advantage of you. We have what you call “dialects”. Tagalog and english is the main language but there are hundreds of dialects and sometimes the “tribal mentality” of some locals are detrimental and intimidating. Don’t get me wrong, filipinos are naturally warm to other people but some are unreasonably protective to their own little cultures and doesn’t want outsiders snooping around. They know you have money so yes.. they want you in their towns but it doesn’t mean that you are forever welcome. They just want you to spend your money and get out. Harsh but true.

    I’ve been to Ilocos province where the most delicious longganisa makers are from but i only recommend Vigan. The whole city is clean, safe to tourist (you can grab a beer with a friend and walk back to your hotel at any time). Price range : P3,000 to P5,000 / $75 to $120 – per person and per night.
    It’s out of your $25 budget but it’s worth the money.

    Avoid going to remote areas when you tour around provinces in the philippines.
    Some locals are so not use to seeing other people that they would start following you with their creepy stares and would even try and approach you to ask for money.
    My advice is to check out the main city for historical buildings, museums, souvenir shops.
    Regarding food, the streets are not meant for foreigners.
    Filipino street food and carinderia/turo-turo(small native restaurant) are not designed for the international taste buds. Food in these places are the cheapest but it’s not always clean. You can sometimes see vendors washing their utensils in front of the gutter. You don’t know where they got the drinking water from and you’re scared to ask because they might get mad. If you want to experience street food without the scare of hepatitis, go to the malls.
    Yes! A filipino shopping mall is where you can see the current filipino culture.
    Filipinos love to “window shop” everyday. After school, after office hours, couples watching a movie, mothers going to the spa, etc.
    You can also catch some good clean native dishes inside a mall.
    My recommendations:
    Reyes barbecue – price range $3 to $5
    Gerry’s grill – price range $3 to $10
    Bacolod chicken inasal – price range $3 to $10
    Jollibee – I don’t recommend everything here. I only order the Jollibee Palabok(filipino thin rice noodles with shrimp sauce and chicharon)
    price : $2 to $2.50
    Andoks – Pork barbecue on sticks and a whole grilled chicken (take it with a light beer and you’re good to go)
    price : $1 to $4

    Beaches like Boracay and El nido palawan are still the greatest in my book but you need more than $25 to enjoy that kind of paradise.

  49. I felt sorry on what you experienced. Whether off-peak or peak season, quality of service shouldn’t be compromized. While there are other sides of Pagudpod that are interesting, I guess there is lack of support in their community that is why people are acting that way. Nevertheless, I think there is lack of research and asking around before you went there. On the upside, experience is the best teacher.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  50. urworstnightmare


  51. Hi guys! I just finish reading your article and comments about Pagudpud. I’m sorry to hear about your misfortune and everything didn’t go according to plan. Hopefully not everything about your tour went the same way. I am from the Philippines and I just finished writing about the same place and I may say that there are instances, our experience is quite the same like when we were there, outages occurred multiple times, my friends and I found ourselves in the middle of the street pitch black. There were also a lot of people that we had trouble finding a place to eat.

    I notice that your photo the beach is somewhat unfamiliar. You might have gone on the wrong side. Anyway, the weather plays a vital role whenever you go on a trip. I remembered going to Subic Bay and got caught in a storm. Same thing when I went to Bicol when a typhoon held me up and I’m forced to stay in a hotel for 3 days. It was really bad that even the photos I took are not worth sharing as the beach is spoiled. I guess spontaneous travelling has its ups and downs. As per other people’s advice, try to visit again in summer. It’ll be more fun.

    I would suggest staying at Saud Beach rather than Blue Lagoon. If you have the chance, you may read my article for travel tips in Pagudpud, only if it’s not much of a bother. If you have any inquiries, feel free to send me a message. Thank you for your visit to my country and we look forward to seeing you again. Cheers!!! =)

  52. I’ve stayed with my family in Pagudpud around new year 2014/15 (at the exact beach from the pictures) and we really liked it. Obviously christmas / new year is different from february – it was quite busy and we had no problems with getting something to eat…

    The weather may be difficult (we also had more rainy days than sun) but hey, you are in the north, surrounded by the sea, in winter, so yeah, it might get chilly.

    A suggestion for fellow readers thinking about going there – everybody seems to be suggesting Hannah’s – I don’t understand why.

    We went to Blue Lagoon for a day trip and saw the Hannah’s, and that is a) definitely one of the most expensive places in the area and b) a huge place able to house busloads of tourists. They even had Nipa Huts on the beach – for me a sure sign to not go there. If you are into ziplining you can do that without staying there.
    If you really want to spend $80 or more per night you get much more value if you spend it at the smaller places (i.e. Kingfisher Resort or Evangeline’s or the Kapuluan Vista).

    To sum it up, Pagudpud definitely has some of the nicest beaches in North Luzon, and we’ll be going there again this winter.

  53. Holy Jesus, I need to come with you on more vacations. Where the hell are you going that $50 a night is VERY high to your tastes? High for the Philippines sure, but sweet shit, I’m used to seeing *$500* a night for beach resorts. Granted they’re nicer, but god damn, man. Plus, you went during the Amihan Monsoon months. That choice is entirely on you.

  54. Pagudpud is like most of the Philippine “resorts” it attempts to pass itself off as 1st world when it is 3rd world at best. People surly and greedy and cockroaches the size of small cars in your bathroom!!!! Never again.

  55. Boh… We stayed in Pagudpud a couple of days at the beginning of January. The weather was fine. The beach is very nice, we did a little snorkelling with a rented boat. Our stay at Apo Idon was a good experience, not very expensive, 3500PHP/night. There is also a good german restaurant, the Bergblick, nearby. From Manila it tooks me about 8 hours of driving (with a rented Toyota Vios). I recommend everyone to rent a self drive car, you have the freedom of moving and the fuel is cheap.

  56. yes agness, I have been disappointed with the beach I was so looking forward to see also in the Philippines (I’m a local here) but in Bicol Region as I was looking forward to the black sand beach. I traveled on Feb 6-10, 2016 and it was cloudy and rainy and basically unpredictable weather. In Philippines, Peak seasons starts from October-May. We are a tropical country so we only have wet and dry season. Feb is supposed to be cold and dry but somehow we missed checking out the weather out there and that’s our lesson for our trips :D

  57. Hi Agnes,
    I just got back from a weeklong trip to the north – Vigan and Pagudpud. I have a diffent experience, though. Agree that the weather isn’t favorable in February but everything else is great. You could have seen the places I’ve been to with a proper itinerary. Would be glad to share tips and tricks and even photos should you decide to give it another shot. add me up on facebook [email protected]

  58. Shaun McKenna

    Sounds like a bad trip, maybe next time plan a little better do your research , I have been coming to the Philippines for 12 yrs love the travel here , but I would never go from Manila to Laoag in one go , Baguio first then to Sagada then go to Candon , Vigan then to Laoag that way you will enjoy your trips. You must become a traveler not a tourist . Good luck in the future .

  59. hi.. i’ve been to pagupud several times. the resort we stayed has alot of palm trees. saud beach resort and actually free entrance. we stayed in a house they called homestay which costs 250pesos per head. i guess you had a bad day going to pagudpud because dec-jan is rainy and a bit cold because pagudpud is near japan china where the climate is winter. not all resort in pagudpud is horrible.. so i disagree for what you said.

  60. I think it was just a bad timing. :) We enjoyed our stay in Pagudpud. We had our accommodation in Casa Consuelo (Cabana Room), went surfing, swimming in Hannah’s Beach Resort, just the transportation was the big challenge. :P Anyway, hope that you will enjoy your next visit there.

  61. It seems that there’s a lot of butthurt Filipinos in the comment section. Lol. I’m Filipino myself, so yeah. There’s no harm in telling the truth. It’s their opinion. Thanks to them, we know what to avoid and what not to do. You Filipino’s should thank them. And for the guys who’s advise is to research, ever heard of ‘spontaneous travel’? Research does take away some of the fun in it. Why not try it instead of complaining too much. I’m out. Peace.

  62. LOL you looked so akward with your pose it looks like it really sucked. And the tricycle driver took you to a shitty resort.

  63. Hi Agnes, im from Pagudpud and if you are planning to visit again our place try to contact me so maybe i can help you a bit with the place, i have an uncle that is a tricycle driver and he could be your tour guide because some people there really would take advantage of you if they see you are a foreigner.
    Maybe next time too, you could pick some other months because September – February is usually the rainy season in our place.
    Email me back if you want.
    Goodluck traveling.

  64. Karsten Sugefitte

    Nobody would like to visit this dump after reading this article. I do not understand why the locals are so stupid. Every bad move is posted to the internet so quick. And then, hasta la vista. Bye bye.

  65. Jedidiah Carosaari

    I think all four of those things can be endured- you can find a way to have an adventure, and enjoy the trip- except the last. When the people around you aren’t welcoming, it’s really hard to make a great vacation out of it.

  66. ive never been to pagudpud but looking forward to have a great experience
    sorry to hear what you had experience but I would suggest take a local with you it still different when you have a local with otherwise they see u a s tourist $$$$; we don’t want them to take advantage of tourist. you can msg me so I can assist you on uor next tour :) enjoy

  67. I never been to Pagudpud. But if what your looking for is crystal blue ocean, nice weather, good accomodations and friendly people. You should try Kalanggaman Island

  68. I was in Ilocos 4 years ago. It is actually one of my most favorite vacations. I went there late February. Sun was blazing that i ended up more burnt than i already am. Lol . As for the hotels, I booked from Laoag last time as we didn’t really intend to swim and made Laoag a whole day tricycle tour.

    Will go there tomorrow. I made reservation in the Blue Lagoon area and the price is really $50. It is indeed true that comfort has a price, local or not.

    I cannot really comment on the local people’s attitude towards you as we were fortunate to have dealt with pleasant folks.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *