Surfing is a fun water sport that even the most uncoordinated person will enjoy. If you're looking for something new, this ought to be one of them. There are several surfing spots near the metro but La Union has to be my favorite. The locals are very friendly and they have a lot of eating places that are simply mouthwatering and easy on the pockets. Not to mention, if you don't have the budget for high rollin' places like Thunderbird resort, there are a lot other pleasant and affordable accommodations to stay in.
HOW TO GET THERE
By Private Vehicle
You can opt to take the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) then go through the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCETEX) and then connect to the new Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX). Take an exit at Carmen Temporary Toll Plaza which is beneath the Carmen overpass in Pangasinan. Take a left turn following the Carmen-Poblacion Road in Tumana, Rosales and then take a right turn to Teofilo Singson Bridge which is going to Villasis, Pangasinan. Follow the National highway (MacArthur Highway) through Pangasinan then finally, La Union!
By Public Transportation
Go to Partas Transportation Company Terminal then take a bus to San Juan, La Union for .
Partas Transport busses leave hourly 24/7 from Cubao. Simply inform the bus conductors that you will want to go down at Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union. Fare: PHP 380
Partas Transportation Company Incorporated
Location: 816 Aurora Boulevard, Cubao, Quezon City
Telephone Numbers: +63 2 727 8278, +63 2 724 9820
San Fernando City Bus Terminal: Quezon Avenue, San Fernando City
Telephone Numbers: +63 72 242 0465
Estimated Travel Time: 5 hours
WHERE TO STAY
My friends and I stayed at a really nice and affordable place called Isla Bonita Beach Resort. Its one of the less crowded resorts because the beach front isn't one of the known surfing spots. However, it is only a 10-15 minute drive away from surfing spots such as San Juan, Surf Resort or Urbiztondo.
Photo above from Google Images
I think this would be a good option if you're looking for a more peaceful time with friends. The resort has a cute Spanish-themed Courtyard and Cottage touch to it.
Photo above from Google Images
Photo above from Google Images
We booked the Family Suite for only PHP 3,900 per night or roughly PHP 780 per head (group of 5). Ours was a room by the poolside.
2 Double Beds
One shared bathroom with hot shower (it was pretty large)
Flat screen Cable TV
Large sala area with couch
*if you want to use the poolside exclusively, pay PHP 1,500 per day.
If you want more details about their accommodations, visit their website: Isla Bonita Rooms & Facilities
Address: Isla Bonita Beach Resort, 117 Velasco Street, San Juan, La Union, Philippines.
Telephone: +63 72 682 8326 SMART +63 99898 46420 GLOBE +63 91777 08605 SUN +63 925 830 1799
WHAT TO DO
Swim at the Beach
The waves at the beach were actually pretty strong given that La Union is a known surfing spot
However, falling and crashing into the waves made it much more enjoyable
At one point I felt like I was going to get swallowed by the waves. You can't deny though, that I look 100% happy. #TitanicMoment
For our trip, we chose Urbiztondo as our surfing spot. If you're a beginner like me, pay PHP 400 to get rent a surfboard and a 1-hour surfing 101 from one of the local guides. If you ask the locals, it's better to surf in the early morning to catch some really good waves & get that perfect tan!
There are a lot of surfing spots in La Union such as in San Juan or in Urbiztondo
Both Veteran and first-time surfers flock to the beaches of La Union to get a chance to ride the waves
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take much photos of myself because I was enjoying the experience too much!
Rest assured though that the guides will help you balance on that board and get a feel of what it's like to surf.
Despite my uncoordinated moments & falling into the water, I had such a great time especially because I was able to share the experience with my friends.
Food Trip & Drinking Places
La Union is known for so many affordable and delicious restaurants. Most of the restaurants are walking distance and easy to find. Just ask the locals for directions. Here I'll share with you 3 of the eating places we tried; but for more options read: 12 Best Eating Places in La Union by Phonebooky.
1. Mad Monkey's - This restaurant was our first stop for dinner because it serves a lot of juicy and crave-worthy burgers (with fries and drinks) for as low as PHP 250.
Photos above from Phonebooky
2. Olas Banditos - After eating at Mad Monkey's, the boys of the group wanted to devour more food so we headed to this Mexican joint that sells a hefty serving of burritos, quesadillas and many more!
Photos above from their Facebook Page
3. El Union Coffee - El Union Coffee is great for early morning breakfasts. They serve a variety of caffeinated drinks and delicious desserts. Prices of both the food and the coffee range from PHP 120 - 150.
Photos above from their Phonebooky
4. Drinks at Flotsam & Jetsam - During Day 1, we capped off the night with some shots and beers at Flotsam & Jetsam. The place was overflowing with people just having laughs and enjoying youth. I'd definitely say that it's an ideal go-to "chillnuman" place in La Union. They serve beers and shots with prices ranging from PHP 100 and above.
Photo above is from their website
Fun fact: Floatsam & Jetsam is actually a known hostel in La Union. It's usually fully booked especially during the surfing season so make sure that you book ahead if you plan to stay here. Hopefully, I get a room in this place the next time I go to La Union!
In the span of just one weekend, I'd definitely say that an overnight stay simply isn't enough! La Union has so much to offer and depriving yourself of experiencing everything feels like such an injustice. On the other hand, it's an excuse to go back and visit all the other gems of surf spot in the North!
If you're planning to visit this place as well, feel free to copy my itinerary!
Time to make your own memories! Happy Travels!