Wild 4×4 fun at the Ilocos Norte Sand Dunes

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A 4x4 offroad vehicle down a steep sand incline

The Ilocos Norte Sand Dune is one of the best places to go for a wild 4×4 offroad adventure with its wide expanse of sand dunes that stretches for kilometers before bordered by the sea. Of all the places we’ve visited in our Lakbay Norte tour, this was the best experience. Last January 2010, I was invited by the North Philippines Visitors Bureau to join a media tour of travel writers and bloggers to experience North Luzon for seven days starting in Cagayan province all the way to Pampanga to sample the various local cuisines and experience the attractions offered by the various provinces along the route.

Ayoko na please. Tama na!

Mishy pleaded with the driver of the blue 4×4 offroad vehicle that we rode on to stop as she was hugging the horizontal bar at the back. But no one listened. The driver, with a devilish smile, revved it up all the more as he set his sights on a slope with a steep descent. And off we go, screaming and shrieking, both men and women who were aboard hugging for dear life but filled with elation in this wild, wild adventure.

One of th 4x4 offroad vehicles that we used around the Ilocos Norte Sand Dunes

It’s really advisable to start early as the noon sun can be exhausting and blazingly hot in this open space. There are also lots of places to go to considering that the Ilocos Norte Sand Dunes is around 52 square miles stretching from Currimao all the way south to Pasuquin. For this offroad adventure, we were at Brgy. Suba in Paoay. In La Paz, Laoag City, there are also steeper descents compared in Suba.

Going down the steep incline is heart stopping but wildly fun!
Just one of the steep inclines and scenic areas where these 4x4 offroad vehicles go down. CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE.

Just before we wrapped up with our 4×4 offroad vehicle ride, there was this quite steep and longer descent that at first glance, looks kind of scary. When we actually tried it, it was abrupt and really, its not that difficult at all!

The Ilocos Norte Sand Dunes is really expansive and the best way to negotiate the sandy terrain with its many ascents and descents, rolling hills and slopes that are often held together with just ground vegetation is by all terrain 4×4 offroad vehicles.

If you are visiting the place, it’s better to get in touch with the Paoay Off Roaders and Adventure Group (Benny Arce, +63 917 5230331, gd[email protected]). LEAD (Reny Tan, +63 919 8735516, www.wentravelandtours.tripod.com) also offers this one.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London).

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. Open for work, collaborations and inquiries for site features.

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