Road Trip to Ilocos Norte 8: Kapurpurawan Rock Formations and Cape Bojeador Lighthouse of Burgos
Before Burgos was named after the martyr priest, the invading Spaniards once called the town, Nagparitan, which means “prohibit”. Early inhabitants of the coastal town, bound by hills and mountains, were called Mumbari, a fierce group of natives who antagonize the Spanish missions. The Mumbari made Burgos a tough town for conquistadores. Today, Burgos is easily accessible to both local and foreign visitors, welcoming them to their town’s famous tourist attractions. Coincidentally during our trip, we’ve encountered slight “prohibitions” but, unlike the conquistadores, circumstances weren’t really made to be a pain in the “a”. See Burgos’ well-known tourist destinations in this Road Trip to Ilocos Norte 8: Kapurpurawan Rock Formations and Cape Bojeador Lighthouse.
Established trail to the rock formations.
Dust rose from the ground as we drove through a dirt road flanked by trees and hills on both sides. We were off to the jagged coastline of Burgos where a spectacular rock formation was said have outshone its neighbors, and that’s what we were about to find out, beginning with a short and easy hike.
Horseback riding also an added feature to Kapurpurawan Rock Formations
Riding a horse to and from Kapurpurawan Rock Formations.
According to a friend who once visited the rock formations, the newly-built path made the hike more convenient and much accessible than before where tourist have to walk on rough terrain made of rocks, shrubs, and small pools of water. And if you’re not the hiking type, a horseback ride is a good alternative. Either way, both routes offers a scenic view of the South China Sea on the way to the rock formation.
Kapurpurawan Rock Formations surrounded by different kinds of rocks
Kapurpurawan came from the Ilokano root word, “puraw“, which means pure or white, such as the creamy white color of Burgos’ Kapurpurawan Rock Formations. Limestone made up this stunning bizarre-looking rock sculpted by oceanic forces and weather conditions and finished with smooth streamlines. Some say it resembles a sleeping dragon, others say its a submarine, I say its simply an amazing sight to look at.
“Bawal Pumasok” sign to Kapurpurawan Rocks.
Jay, instead of getting upclose to the rocks, kept his distance and shot photos from where he stood.
Climbing Kapurpurawan Rock Formations was now prohibited for rehabilitation and avoid vandalism on the natural attraction. Dictating the permissible distance was the rope tied on two rock. However, walking on the rocks, picture-taking, and probably, climbing are allowed on the other face of this rock. The bizarre appeal of the this rock has increased the number of visitors, but I think it would be best seen from a slightly distant vantage point or in any way further damage could beautiful rock could be avoided.
Added man-made rock formations shaped like an igloo in Kapurpurawan.
A large sculpture in Kapurpurawan Rock Formations.
The sun almost met the horizon when we drove on the steep uphill road towards the highest elevated and operational Spanish lighthouse in the Philippines, Cape Bojeador. Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, or Burgos Lighthouse, was majestically perched atop Viga de Nagparitan Hill for over a hundred years, guiding sea vessels of yesterday until today as they pass by the northwestern part of the Philippine archipelago via the South China Sea. The historical treasure of Burgos was declared a National Historical Landmark and National Cultural Treasure by the Philippine Government, and that means Cape Bojeador is a must-visit tourist attraction.
Cemented stairs to Cape Bojeador Lighthouse.
Burgos Lighthouse’ front gates were locked.
Back gates were locked as well.
The front yard of Cape Bojeador Lighthouse.
Unfortunately, access to Cape Bojeador Lighthouse’ pavilion and the 66-foot octagonal tower was prohibited to the public during the time of our visit. Front gate was locked in chains. I remember seeing a gate on the other side when I first visited the lighthouse so I followed the walls but he other gate was locked as well. It was almost 6:00 P.M., and we were just a little too late for touring the museum.
Burgos Lighthouse looked so symmetrical, don’t you think?
I could’ve easily crossed those flimsy ropes to get a close-up shot of Kapurpurawan Rock Formations, no one was there anyway. I could’ve easily climb over Cape Bojeador’s fences to get a very nice sunset shot from the lighthouse, no one seemed to be around anyway. But I’ve chosen not to. If management prohibits visitors on a certain area, it’s probably for some good reason. After all, we could still enjoy these beautiful places without being rude. Rules are rules. If you want to be respected, respect others.
A rope keeps tourist away from the rock.
Here are some fast facts that may help you on your trip:
1. Going to Kapurpurawan Rock Formations. If you’re driving from Laoag, watch out for the dirt road on your left, a few kilometers past Burgos Lighthouse, then just go straight to the coast. I think signs are already posted in the area so tourist could easier locate Kapurpurawan Rock Formations. 45 kilometers north of Laoag, 10 kilometers after Cape Bojeador.
2. Hiking to Kapurpurawan Rock Formations from the jump off point is an easy 15-20 minute hike.
3. Bring water. It was kind of hot during our visit.
4. Entrance is FREE.
5. Going to Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. If you’re driving from Laoag, there’s a sign on your right leading to the uphill road to Burgos Lighthouse. 35 kilometers North of Laoag.
6. Entrance to the lighthouse is FREE, but donations are gladly welcomed.
7. Read more about this Road Trip to Ilocos Norte.
8. Read more about the province in Biyaheng Ilocos Norte.
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11. Drive safe and happy travels to everyone.