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Province:  Ilocos Norte
18° 37.248N   120° 51.711E
Listed in Gallery:   Beach

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Maira-ira point is the name given to Luzon mainland's northernmost tip. Nestled in its confines is an unspoiled, white-sand cove that has yet to become popular with the mainstream beach-combing crowd. The beach is known simply as Maira-ira or blue lagoon. On calm days, when the notorious Ilocos surf is taking a break, the waters off the cove can be still as a pond, mirroring the azure sky to form a stunning blue loch. The sparkling fine sand is even better than its well-known neighbour, Saud beach (or Pagudpud). With virtually no tourist accommodations, save for a couple of simple nipa huts, the whole place exudes a charm of isolation. Hemmed by hills around its perimeter, swimming and basking on the crescent cove can be a very private experience. It is a serene place, lending much to the feeling of being at the frontier.

Boatmen can be hired to take you to the nearby Dos Hermanos Islands.

Getting there

From Manila: Take any bus to Laoag, Ilocos Norte through Maria de Leon or Fari?as transit (P430/9 hrs). From Laoag, take any bus going to Claveria, Aparri, or any part of Cagayan. Tell the conductor that you will disembark at Gaoa, pronounced Ga-wah, without the glottal stop (P80/2 hrs). This is a very small market area a few kilometres from the Pagudpud clamshell monument. Once in Gaoa, ask for tricycle drivers who can take you to the blue lagoon (P15 per head/15 mins). You may ask the driver to pick you up later. Those with their own vehicles may take the access road at Gaoa and follow it all the way to the beach.

From Saud, Pagudpud: If one is billeted at any of Saud beach?s resorts, you can take a tricycle to the highway, to the clamshell monument (not more than P30/10 minutes) and wait for any Cagayan-bound bus. Again, get down at Gawa (P20/15 minutes) and take a tricycle to the beach. Direct tricycle transfers from Saud to Maira-ira can cost anywhere from P300-P500.

Alternatively, there may be boatmen at Saud who can take you by banca around the point to the blue lagoon. It may be quite pricey and, if the swells are strong, may not be a leisurely ride?


Since January 2004, the caretakers have begun charging an entrance fee of P15 per head. This includes the use of the table and as well as the rinsing rooms. Nipa huts rent for P100. There are no stores so bring your own provisions! Buco is available though.
Heavy rains can render stretches of the access road to the beach a virtual 4x4 mud track. You have been warned. Better take the trike.
Since there are no overnight accommodations, it is a good idea to bring camping equipment if you plan to spend a quiet night on the beach.
On your way to the beach, you will pass by notable sights including Bantay Abot Caves, Timmangtang Rock, and Nacatnagan Cliff (which overlooks the blue lagoon). Gawa is also a few minutes before the picturesque Patapat Viaduct. On your way back, you can ask the trike driver to take you there. Laoag-bound buses are abundant for your return trip.

Waypoint narrative by: Jay_J 2004     follow Jay_J on Facebook



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