Currimao: The ‘black-sand’ beach town that’s so often overlooked

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Currimao
What locals describe as the “black sand” of Currimao beach is one of the reasons it never gets overcrowded. Picture via WikiCommons.

It was about seven years ago that I first arrived in the small town of Currimao, in Ilocos Norte… more by accident than by design.

I had been on a trip to nearby Batac to visit the mausoleum of President Ferdinand Marcos, and after this bit of “culture” I fancied some time relaxing at the beach. 

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Currimao was chosen because it was right next to the sea and had at least two “resorts” to chose from. 

I’ve visited many times since, and often Filipinos express surprise that I would visit such a beach — it’s “black sand” they tell me, disapprovingly. 

Well, that’s true, it doesn’t have the glittering whiteness of places like Boracay. But almost anywhere else in the world, such an expanse of almost empty beach — black or not — would be considered a true paradise. 

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As for hotels in Currimao, there are a number of cheap-and-cheerful Filipino options. 

But the big “player” is Playa Tropical. I have stayed there a number of times and enjoyed it… but I’m sad to report that standards have been slipping since it came under Mainland Chinese ownership. But there are other options popping up all the time. 

As for things to do in Currimao… well, it’s all about the beach really. The bar at Playa Tropical closes early, but with enough nearby shops it’s not difficult to pick up some food and drink for a late-night beach picnic. 

Overall, I wouldn’t claim that Currimao is a destination worth travelling from the other end of the Philippines to visit, but if you find yourself in the north of the country it is definitely worth a look. 

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