Philippines Roadtrip

Cagayan Road Trip – Santa Ana and Tuguegarao

This is the third part of our Holy Week road trip. Read the first part here, Ilocos Bound – Road Trip to Vigan and Laoag and second part here, Ilocos Norte Road Trip – Laoag to Pagudpud

Journey to the Boracay of the North

On the third day of our holiday, we opted to drive further up from Lal-lo to Santa Ana which is famous with its fascinating white sand and black sand beaches.

We drove 90 kilometers to Anguib Beach which has the most pristine fine white sandy beach and crystal clear water in the town. After one and a half hours drive, we came into disappointment after we were told hat the resort is fully booked and they don’t allow walk-ins anymore.

I’ve foreseen that this beach resort will be crowded during the Holy Week but I did not expect that it will be fully booked since this place is behind God’s back. Well we continued driving for another kilometer and reached the Nangaramoan beach which is the runner-up to Anguib in the white sand category. And as expected, all rooms and cottages are occupied.

We had no choice but to turn back and check out other beaches. We ended up in Jotay’s Resort which is close to the National road. It is not a white sand beach, but it has a fine black sand and clean water. I am quite satisfied since I have never swum in a black sand beach before. We rented a huge cottage for a big family for PHP 700 (USD 15) but we ended up paying only PHP 300 (USD 6.50) since we only stayed there for 5 hours. We also cooked our own food without extra cost incurred.

Automatic Bitcome

It was raining on that day so the water was a bit cold. Eventually, the weather did improve and we were able to swim and play. The sand is really black yet it’s absolutely fine. The water is not really that salty so it is a perfect beach for families with kids.

If you wish to hop to the nearby island of Palaui, then you can rent a boat for 12 for PHP 2,500 or USD 54. We never went for island hopping since we have some kids and elders with us so we just spent our afternoon in that resort.

road trip to cagayan

Gloomy Weather in the Beach

road trip to cagayan

On the way back to our Grandparents’ place, we passed through the Ghost Airport of Lal-lo. The Cagayan North International Airport is the only operational International Airport in the Philippines which has no airlines flying. This airport was built to boost the tourism in the Northern part of Cagayan Province, but it did not fulfill its purpose yet.

Lal Lo Airport Cagayan

Airport with no Airlines

We also checked out the Magapit Bridge in Lal-lo which is the first hanging bridge in Asia. It runs across the Cagayan River and is 0.76 kilometers long. The hanging bridge links the first and second districts of Cagayan going towards the Ilocos Region via the scenic Patapat Viaduct in Pagudpud. We just took some photos there and called it a day since we planned to leave early the following day to head back home.

Magapit Suspension Bridge

Magapit Suspension Bridge

Cagayan River

Cagayan River

Stopover in Tuguegarao

It’s Easter Sunday and as planned, we left Lal-lo by 4:30am dreaming to arrive home in Cavite by 9:00pm with several stops ahead. Our first stop en-route home is the famous church in Peñablanca built inside a limestone cave. We reached the entrance of Callao Cave by 6:30am only to find out that it is still closed and will only open at 9:00am. I wish that I did more research before driving off-route for 20 kilometers for nothing. We just decided not to wait anymore and visited the Tuguegarao Cathedral instead to offer our prayers.

Tuguegarao Cathedral

Tuguegarao Cathedral

Tuguegarao Cathedral

Tuguegarao Cathedral

We left Tuguegarao City by 8:30am and arrived home in Cavite at 1:00am the following day with few stops along the way. It’s supposed to be a 12-hour journey only but since it was Holy Week, we experience the worst traffic on the road.

It was a tiring yet a very fulfilling long weekend with my family. We travelled for over 1,600 kilometers in this road trip and I would like to do this very often with my family.

Roadtrip to Cagayan

Home (Cavite) > Vigan, Ilocos Sur > Laoag & Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte > Lal-lo, Santa Ana & Tuguegarao, Cagayan > Home

road trip to cagayan

Over 1,600 kilometers traveled with this buddy

Find your hotels in Santa Ana and Tuguegarao here!

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cagayan road trip

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    durhamslovelifetravel
    November 12, 2016 at 12:11 AM

    An operational airport with no airlines, that’s wild! The colors of the cathedral are beautiful! I couldn’t help but think how different it looks compared to other cathedrals!

  • Reply
    daehder
    November 11, 2016 at 6:27 PM

    What a fascinating tour, I do love a good road trip and have put many miles on several vehicles in the past. The red cathedral is pretty stunning and I would be excited to pay a visit to it someday. I really loved the photo of your little girl on the beach, so adorable.

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 11, 2016 at 6:30 PM

      Thank you. Road trips are really awesome especially when done with my family. Happy travels

  • Reply
    gobeyondbounds
    November 11, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    Tuguegarao Cathedral looks stunning with that bright colored facade. It was interesting to know about the Ghost Airport of Lal-lo. Sounds like you had a great time.

  • Reply
    happycoconutstravelblog
    November 11, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    I love having the option of black and white sand beaches to choose from! Looks like a great trip, and we tend to not make reservations ahead of time either and just see where we land. That Cathedral is gorgeous! Happy Travels!

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 22, 2016 at 12:18 PM

      Thank you. 🙂

  • Reply
    lydia@lifeuntraveledl
    November 11, 2016 at 8:05 AM

    Do you mean that you thought people wouldn’t stay at the first-mentioned resort (behind God’s back) because it’s superstitious or disrespectful or something else? I find this very interesting.

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 11, 2016 at 9:30 AM

      Sorry. It is a jargon which means very far and not easy to find.

  • Reply
    Aleks
    November 11, 2016 at 2:56 AM

    What a beautiful family you have!! Thank you for sharing your adventures, it was so interesting and fun to read! Look forward to seeing more!

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 11, 2016 at 7:35 AM

      Thank you 🙂

  • Reply
    taylormfuller
    November 11, 2016 at 1:45 AM

    road trips are great!! iIt’s so interesting to read about a place I’ve never even heard of !

  • Reply
    melbtravel
    November 11, 2016 at 1:00 AM

    I love a good road trip, I always think you get so much out of it and it allows you to take your trip to explore if you want. That is such an interesting fact about the Ghost Airport of Lal-lo, the Cagayan North International. What a waste of money if no flights are going there.

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 11, 2016 at 1:01 AM

      Yes road trip is always awesome. It relieves my stress away and we are going to have 1 this weekend.

  • Reply
    leahshoup
    November 11, 2016 at 12:03 AM

    Seems like an amazing road trip! I particularly enjoyed the shots of the red cathedral ! I’ll have to add this to the bucket list 🙂

  • Reply
    Joy Mendiola
    June 22, 2016 at 8:59 PM

    Wow! Galing! Just like you we like to travel a lot! We travel on a spur of the moment. Hope you can visit at http://www.occasionsofjoy.com

  • Reply
    Rashminotes
    May 6, 2016 at 10:07 PM

    Nice pics!

  • Reply
    Boots
    May 6, 2016 at 9:51 PM

    Thanks for liking my post. My parents opened a business in Tuguegarao. And I grew up there from 3 years old until I was 9. The cathedral wasn’t that nice back then. ?
    Lovely blog! I’ll follow your adventures now. Hope we get to exchange wonderful travel posts!

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