Kapurpurawan Rock Formations (Burgos, Ilocos Norte)

April 2, 2012
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Some 30 kilometers from Bangui, the town of Burgos cradles the majestic rock formations of Kapurpurawan. If you usually equate Philippine tourism with white sand beaches and swaying palm trees, think again. This is a different kind of white. And a different kind of beautiful.

Kapurpurawan, which comes from the Ilocano word “puraw” meaning “white”, can be easily reached from the national highway. From there, it is a short but bumpy ride on a sloping dirt road.

It was so uncomfortable inside the cramped tricycle and we got all sweaty from the ride. But all of that was forgotten as soon as we sighted Kapurpurawan. These rocks…well, they rock!! \m/ Sorry for the stupid pun but nothing could have prepared me for the beauty in front of me.

To my left is the raging West Philippine Sea, crashing endlessly against the rocky shore. To the right are the gigantic rocks that have been beautifully hewn into their current shapes by Mother Nature herself.

From this side, I think the rocks form what seemed to me as…the Sphinx! Then there is a sort of a pyramid behind it.

There — can you imagine the Sphinx??

Before we got to the rocks, we had to walk along a rocky, moon-like landscape covered with small water-filled pools. Judging by the amount of vegetation flourishing and the number of sea creatures swimming about, this area is most probably submerged during high tide.

Moon-like landscape

Parts of the rocks are still covered with dark layers of soil and vegetation. The sides facing the sea had their top layers eroded by water and wind, exposing soft waves of creamy white.

It was due to these white layers that made the short trek to the other side a little difficult as it can get slippery. For the most part, I had to hold on to the cliff walls and ended up with chalk-like white dust on my hands and clothes.

From this side, the head of the Sphinx now looks like a snake head.

Also from this side, the view is even more breathtaking as we were higher up.

Now, does that look like a snake’s head? Or a turtle’s?


The rock walls up close

Manong Vincent pointed to us a group of men and a bulldozer and other heavy construction equipment in the vicinity. According to him, they are making a boardwalk for visitors. I thought it is a great idea. Tourists can still enjoy the view of the rocks and the sea, while doing away with the unnecessary erosion caused by hundreds of human feet. No need to accelerate the erosion process — let Mother Nature do the art herself.

This is part of the Pagudpud Southbound Tour, which includes the following:

  • Kapurpurawan Rock Formations
  • Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
  • Bangui Windmills

The tour costs P600 (for a maximum of 3 people). To book a tour with our friendly driver, Manong Vincent (tricycle #166), call or text 0921-983-6637 or 0926-273-5210.To book a tour with our friendly driver, Manong Vincent (tricycle #166), call or text 0921-983-6637 or 0926-273-5210.


I love my Super Mario T-shirt :P


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7 Responses to Kapurpurawan Rock Formations (Burgos, Ilocos Norte)

  1. September 29, 2012 at 13:28

    its a beautiful rock formation in the Philippines

  2. April 3, 2012 at 05:03

    Hi Cat, I enjoyed looking this and other posts so I thought that I’d say hi rather than just lurking. I’ve not yet visited the Philippines although I hope to remedy that in the not too distant future. I enjoy reading blog posts on travel by people travelling in their own countries. Keep blogging!
    Pete recently posted..Scoring non-additivityMy Profile

    • April 7, 2012 at 19:52

      Thanks Pete! Glad to see you here. Do you also do a lot of traveling in your country? :)
      catchan1980 recently posted..Bangui Windmills (Bangui, Ilocos Norte)My Profile

      • April 13, 2012 at 17:07

        My home country (Trinidad & Tobago) is actually very small. I used to do a lot of hiking when I lived there but these days I just tend to go up to the North Coast when visiting. Blogs are a valuable resource to the traveller and it’s really good to get some local insight. I’ve been doing a (still unfinshed) travelpod blog (you can see it from the blog that is linked to this comment)from my big trip a couple of years ago but it does take a while. I do have pics from trips back to Trinidad on fb so just let me know if you’re interested in seeing them and I’ll sort something.
        Pete recently posted..Scoring non-additivityMy Profile

        • April 16, 2012 at 20:40

          I used to have a penpal from Diego Martin and I love her hometown, very beautiful. :) I saw your travelpod blog and your pictures are gorgeous! I am going through each entry one by one but my favorite so far is Ushuaia. Just curious, why is Rose Dewitt Bukater your least fave movie character? :)
          catchan1980 recently posted..The Voice season 2: Team Adam and Team Ceelo ready for the semis with their 4 artistsMy Profile

          • April 17, 2012 at 06:41

            Glad you liked the travelpod pics and thanks for the kind words. Ushuaia is indeed a special place and was one of my favorites for the whole trip. I certainly hope to get back there sometime although I might take the plane next time.

            I’m not sure exactly why I disliked the Rose character so much but I did. This not a reflection on Kate Winslet who is a very likeable actress.

            I see that you show your fb profile in your ‘about Cat-chan’ so I’ll send you a connection invitation. I have some more travel pics there.
            Pete recently posted..Scoring non-additivityMy Profile

          • April 24, 2012 at 17:28

            Thanks Pete, got the FB request. Will add you up as soon as I log on to FB. I am on a month-long FB fast so I will be back on May 1 :) I cannot wait to see your travel photos :)
            catchan1980 recently posted..The Voice season 2: The surprising twist with instant eliminationsMy Profile

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