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Define epic. Define adventure. Define epic adventure. It’s not always that you get to experience an epic adventure. La Paz Sand Dunes will give you just that – an exhilarating journey that will mark deep in your memory.

Welcome to Laoag Sand Dunes

Welcome to Laoag Sand Dunes (also known as La Paz Sand Dunes)!!!

Just a few months ago, I had a short business trip in Dubai. Surely, the traveler in me made a way to see as much destinations whenever time would permit me to. I knew Dubai’s desert safari would be way out of schedule.  As it crossed my mind, I thought of La Paz Sand Dunes – a place I’ve still never been to at that instance.

Our first stop.

Our first stop – photo op of course! 🙂

A desert experience intrigued me. I’ve seen majestic sunsets in lovely beaches. Few occasional hikes inspired me with stunning views. But I’ve never been in the solitude of a desert. Maybe I fancy the Little Prince too much that his desert misfortune sat at the back of my mind. The ashes of Pinatubo was the closest thing I can relate to and dug out from the past.

Each 4x4 ride ideally suits five passengers.

Each 4×4 ride ideally suits five passengers.

Not until our Lakbay Norte trip to Ilocos. La Paz Sand Dunes finally.

My happy look before the bumpy journey.

My happy look before the bumpy journey – La Paz Sand Dunes finally!

About La Paz Sand Dunes

Located in Laoag City, La Paz Sand Dunes is part of the Ilocos Norte Sand Dunes that spans from Curimao to Pasuquin. Its unique desert environment having an area of 85 square kilometers made it as a National Geological Monument. The height of the sand dunes ranges from 10-30 meters formed by the interaction of the wind, sea, and river.

La Paz Sand Dunes is part of the Ilocos Norte Sand Dunes that spans from Curimao to Pasuquin.

The unique 85-square-kilometer desert environment of La Paz Sand Dunes made it as a National Geological Monument.

The unique 85-square-kilometer desert environment of La Paz Sand Dunes made it as a National Geological Monument.

View of Laoag River.

View of Laoag River.

Thrilling 4×4 Ride

Our La Paz Sand Dunes started with a 4×4 ride. After experiencing Pinatubo’s similar 4×4 expedition, I thought the bumpy drive of La Paz Sand Dunes will be a piece of cake. But I was wrong.

La Paz Sand Dunes' 4x4 ride.

La Paz Sand Dunes’ 4×4 ride.

For every steep sand hill we passed through, it felt like being thrown to the air had I loosen my grip even just a bit. But in between my loud screams, I was totally blown by the beauty of the place. I didn’t expect it to be that exquisite. Apart from the thrill, La Paz Sand Dunes was painstakingly stunning. It felt like I was in a different part of the world.

Hold on tight!!! 🙂

Epic Scenery

Our driver let us absorbed the desolated beauty of La Paz Sand Dunes as we halt our journey every now and then. The few times we got off from our ride were priceless moments. Surely, we took some snapshots and we engulfed ourselves with the epic scenery laid before our eyes.

Only in the Philippines!!!

And just as we thought the seemingly roller coaster ride was about to end, we drove farther until we saw blue waters from a distance. How would you expect that somewhere beyond the dunes was the sight of a gorgeous shoreline and the sea? Fantastic!

Beyond the dunes – beautiful waters!

Sand Boarding

Our La Paz Sand Dunes finally ended with an exciting sand boarding which you can do either in a sitting or a standing position. Whichever you choose, the local guides were very encouraging and helpful. They will carefully instruct you how to do it. And voila! Whether you stumble in the sand or not, it will surely be one for the books.

Sand boarding- standing position.

Sand boarding- sitting position.

My epic sand boarding face!!! LOL.

Overall

I had bruises in my arms after our La Paz Sand Dunes visit, one almost as big as my palm. But will I do the agonizing ride again for that impressive desert? Definitely! Aside from the thrill of the 4×4 ride and amazing scenery, sand boarding was a lot of fun. I hope to come back one day.

The amazing Lakbay Norte 7 squad.

The amazing Lakbay Norte 7 squad.

Photo Credit: All unwatermarked photos by Martin San Diego via North Philippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB).

Disclosure: This Lakbay Norte trip was organized by North Philippines Bureau (NPVB) in partnership with NLEX Corporation, Bulacan Tourism and Convention Visitors Board (BTCB), Tarlac Convention and Visitors Bureau (TCVB), Ilocos Norte Convention and Visitors Bureau (INCVB), Victory Liner Inc., Department of Tourism Region 1, Department of Tourism Region 3, Jollibee Foods Corporation, and Merrell Philippines.  Lakbay Norte is an annual media familiarization trip aiming to promote Philippine provinces in the north.

February 17, 2018

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