Ilocos Norte: Paoay Sand Dunes

Located in the town of Paoay in Ilocos Norte, Paoay Sand Dunes is actually part of the wide Ilocos Sand Dunes which encompasses several towns of the province.

I have once visited La Paz Sand Dunes in Laoag City a few years back with my then girlfriend-now-wife. All we did then was to take photos and pretend to be models just for fun. It was then the most popular part of the Ilocos Sand Dunes. However, just recently, the one located in the town of Paoay started to gain popularity too. This was because of the thrilling Paoay Sand Dunes Adventure.
Check out the terrain

Up we go!

Come at me bruh!

Sand dunes

The Paoay Sand Dunes adventure is the generic term used by bloggers and tourists to refer to the exhilarating 4x4 ride and the exciting sand boarding activity. To experience this kind of adventure, visitors may rent a 4x4 jeep in Barangay Masintoc for P2500. Each 4x4 jeep can accommodate a 4-5 riders excluding the driver. The adventre may take an hour or more depending on your activities and the number of guests in the area. The P2500 also includes the sand boarding activity for each member of your group.
Photo shoot stop over
Ready for the sea of sand?

Going back to the 4x4 ride, you may request the driver to do the "extreme ride". Meaning he would drive faster in rough terrain to the point that you'd think the vehicle would overturn. You would surely enjoy going up and down the 20 -30 foot sand ridges particularly the part they call "roller coaster" in this type of ride. If you have a kid or a senior citizen with you, you may request the driver to do the "mild ride", he will go easy with that accelerator and drive less through the bumpy terrain but that doesn't mean that he will skip the sand hills and the "roller coaster". Don't worry though the drivers are all professionals and have mastered the terrain. Here's a bit of a tip when trying out the 4x4 ride... enjoy and don't forget to let out that scream (it would become a sticky fart if you don't!).  
Hi guys!

For those who love to document their trips, there are several stops where drivers would allow you to do that much anticipated photo shoot. You can also take photos during the ride too but since the terrain is rough it is going to be a challenge in composing the perfect shots. I tried it with my DSLR and as expected, half of my shots are blurred or out of focus.

The sand boarding area as seen from one of the sand slopes

Now, regarding the sand boarding activity, you may choose to try it out our skip it but since it is included in the fee, it is a waste to miss out the opportunity. Sand boarding is pretty basic, you either sit on the sandboard and treat it like a sled or stand on it like a surfer then slide down the 20 -30 foot sandy slope. Don't worry about falling down as there are thousands that did before you and the sand won't break your bones trust me (grin). If you feel that one try is not enough, you can always go for a second one.  I successfully slid down the slope sitting down as I had my 4-year old adventurous daughter with me and for me that was one of the most memorable things I did during this trip.

You would also enjoy it if you are with your family.
Overall, Paoay Sand Dunes is a great place to visit with your adventurous barkada (leave the killjoys and primadonnas at home please). Your adventures there will surely be the main topic of your stories until you get back home. 

Getting there:

From Manila, ride a bus bound to Laoag City. Travel time is usually 11-12 hours. You may choose to ride a plane to Laoag International Airport from NAIA and it will only be an hour travel time but of course it will be a bit pricey. Once you reach Laoag City, ride a tricycle and tell the driver to bring you to Barangay Masintoc or just mention Paoay Sand Dunes, they will surely know the way.

Overall rating


  1. I've long wanted to try the Paoay Sand Dunes. I was offered to try it around 4 years ago, and yet I haven't gone to doing it. This reminds me of my adventures in Mt. Pinatubo via 4 x 4 across lahar. So maybe if I get the chance to go to Paoay, I'll try sand surfing.

    1. Yes that's true! The 4x4 ride to Mt. Pinatubo is longer compared to this though but both presents a unique picturesque landscape and adventure. You should try this one out. =)

  2. I just came back from a holiday visiting the golden sand dunes of Thar Desert in India. I totally loved the dunes as well as the sunrise and sunset that we watched there. The construct of ilocos norte paoay sand dunes looks very different. The sand is so fine and white. I would love to visit this kind of sand dunes next

    1. Wow! I Googled Thar Desert in India and the photos that I saw were all astonishing. Thanks for that, I would surely add that to my bucketlist.

  3. Wow what a fantastic place it is. Nice post and photos.

  4. Sounds like you had a great time with the 4x4's and sandboarding. I can somewhat relate to this post as I've done both in different countries and there's not much more exhilarating than 4x4's through the dunes haha. I will be keeping this post and your information in mind if I ever go to Paoay sand dunes :D

  5. This is one of the few places I wanted to see before I left Philippines. I hope that I can get to see them when I come back :) Hopefully soon!

  6. The idea of sand boarding sounds so much fun.And your pictures have turned out excellent despite the rough terrain I must say.And how is the weather in that area ?

    1. Thanks Harini. It was very windy during our visit thank goodness we got to visit in the afternoon as it was not that hot anymore.

  7. Hi! How many minutes or hours is the 2,500 good for? Thanks!

    1. It's actually an hour pero kung gusto mo magtagal sa sand boarding pwede. =) Kami ata mga 2 hours kami.

  8. Hi! Did you schedule this beforehand? Can you give me the name and contact for the sand dunes adventure? Thank you!

    1. Hi Paula.
      Nope we did not. We just booked upon arrival.
      You can try contacting these numbers:
      +63 920 611 3611
      +63 929 771 9036

  9. Hi po! Just asking if we are six can we have the ride for the 4 to 5 persons? Or hindi po pwede? Thankyou!

    1. Hi there were 6 of us in the 4x4 pero isa or dalawa dun bata. =)


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