Tropical beach of Pagudpud in Ilocos, Philippines
The waters off of Salomague port itself are clear and blue, but a quick taxi ride to nearby Cabugao will allow you to experience stretches of coastline unobscured by ships. Pug-os Beach, which is home to several beach resorts, is a popular option with white sands just waiting to be tread upon. Surf in turquoise waters or sip on fresh mango juice in a comfy lounge chair with your favorite book.
Stairway leading up to Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Ilocos, Philippines
If you have at least four hours in Ilocos, consider a day trip to Vigan, a city that's home to dozens of colonial architectural treasures. Ride a horse-drawn calesa buggy past landmarks such as St. Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral and the Spanish-era archbishop's residence. The bright orange roofs reflect the afternoon sun and the clip-clop of hooves on cobblestone streets draws travelers back to simpler days.
An alternative way to hit the beach from Salomague is to take a five-minute ride on a traditional banca boat and head to Salomague Island. Here, you'll escape to deserted white-sand beaches and the kind of solitude you can't find in urban areas. Cruise to Ilocos, Philippines and take a quick dip with a snorkel to enjoy the world-class diving these clear waters boast.
South Iloco is a surprising culinary hot spot, especially when you consider how low-profile it is compared to other regions of the Philippines. Fried food is king here, from melt-in-your-mouth bagnet pork belly, to fatty but sweet and spicy longganisa sausage, which is the Philippines' answer to pan-Latin chorizo sausage.
Even if you can't make it down to Vigan to visit the workshops where super-strong and smooth-to-the-touch Pagburnayan pottery is made by hand, you can still take some home with you. Several vendors around Salomague's cruise port sell pieces large and small, including sizes you can take back on the ship with you.
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