La Paz Sand Dunes is a unique attraction in the city of Laoag for being a sandy coastal desert with an area of 85 square kilometers. This is considered to be a National Geological Monument because of its uniqueness being a desert environment. La Paz is just a part of a long stretch of the Ilocos Norte Sand Dunes. It spans from Currimao to Pasuquin. This is locally called Bantay Bimmaboy in which they perceive that the dunes resemble the shape of pigs.
The sand dunes were formed by the interaction of the wind, sea and river that together cause erosion and deposition. The height of the sand dunes ranges from 10-30 meters. Its pretty amazing to see this from a horizon with the South China Sea. There are exciting activities that can be done here aside from trekking for an hour to traverse the entire stretch of the beach, one can drive a rugged 4-wheel vehicle or the exciting all-terrain vehicle. The latest craze is the sand boarding where one can use a board to slide down the dunes. This site is accessible by tricycle and jeepney and its just 15 minutes away from the city proper.
With these activities, one can call it a desert safari just like what I had experienced from Dubai. This was my visit to the site just right after arriving from the Middle East in which I hosted a Canadian friend’s visit to Ilocos. I took Romeo here to experience the desert. I did not fail, he truly enjoyed it. He ran, jumped and climbed the sand dunes on bare foot feeling the heat underneath.
This is another world class treasure of Ilocandia. It was used to be a shooting site for several local and international films. Himala and Panday are the classic local movies that were shot here. And of course segments of the Hollywood films such as Mad Max and Born on the fourth of July where Tom Cruise had a fight scene and rolled over the sand dunes.