When someone mentions La Union or ‘Elyu’, it evokes thoughts of waves, surfers, and a laidback atmosphere. This province in the north provides both and more. Its beaches may not have the whiteness and fineness that its popular counterparts have, but it makes up for it with surf-able waves and a distinct culture. Beginners looking to learn the sport will have many surf shops and schools to choose from.
Other than surfing, the province has a number of noteworthy attractions to add to your itinerary. One of the highlights to a visit here is Tangadan Falls. You’ll need to walk through paved and mostly flat surfaces before you reach the actual waterfall. Ride the raft, swim in its pool and take plenty of photos. You can also go cliff-diving in the pool directly above the waterfall.
Visitors may also watch the sunset after a day of surfing in Urbiztondo Beach. Visit the Ma-Cho Temple or drop by the old churches in the province to learn more about La Union’s culture and heritage. You’ll also find cafes and restaurants that serve local delicacies and Western food. You can also pick grapes during your visit.
Pebble Beach in Luna is a unique destination because instead of sand, you will see pebbles lining the shore. While still in Luna, head on over to Namacpan Church. This Baroque structure in the town center is – simply put – beautiful. Its exterior is worth at least a couple of pictures.
La Union’s accessibility is one of the reasons it is a go-to destination for those who want to surf or just hang out by the beach. Here’s how you get to this province.
WHAT'S IN THIS GUIDE?
How to Get to La Union
Other than Manila, you can reach Elyu from Baguio, Cabanatuan, or Pampanga.
From the Metro (Cubao or Pasay Station), you have the option to alight at San Fernando or San Juan, both of which are part of La Union. If you just want to visit San Fernando, you can board a direct bus that takes up to seven hours. The fare for this option costs P436 to P524.
For those who want to go to the beach directly, San Juan is the stop. There are direct buses from either Cubao or Pasay. The ride can take up to seven hours and costs around P524. You can also get to San Juan via San Fernando. From the latter, board a jeep for around P11. The jeepney ride may take 30 minutes.
If you’re coming from Baguio, the trip to La Union can take up to three hours. Go to Gov. Pack Road and board a bus bound for either Vigan or Laoag. These buses pass Urbiztondo in San Juan. The fare is approximately P104. Alternatively, you can get on an Abra-bound bus on Otek Street. Tell the conductor you’ll get off at Urbiztondo. The fare is approximately P90. You can also catch a bus heading to San Fernando, La Union in the same street. The fare is around P80.
If you’re arriving at Clark Airport, get on a jeep bound for Dau Bus Terminal. The fare for this is around P100. Once at the terminal, you can board a bus traveling directly to San Fernando, the fare is approximately P300 to P400. Alternatively, you can board a bus going to Vigan for approximately the same price. Tell the conductor you’ll alight at San Juan or Urbiztondo. The ride takes about five hours or so.
From Cabanatuan Terminal, board a bus traveling to Baguio. Bus fare is approximately P380 to P550 depending on the company. The ride takes approximately four hours or so. Once in Baguio City, get on a bus bound for San Fernando, La Union, the fare is approximately P110 to P150. This trip takes about an hour.
Exploring La Union
The area of San Juan and Urbiztondo Beach is easy to explore and walk around in. There are buses and jeeps traveling to and from San Fernando and San Juan – it’s easy to shuttle between these places. You can also use a combination of public transportation and hiring a tricycle to visit the province’s attractions. You can bring your own vehicle as well.
Where to Stay in La Union
La Union is a developed tourist destination so you’ll find plenty of accommodations regardless of your budget. San Fernando is a possible base for your trip around the province. The city has a number of places to eat after a day of activities. There are guesthouses and hotels that are affordable and comfortable. It is also a transportation hub that makes it easy to go anywhere in La Union.
San Juan is the likely stop of many because of Urbiztondo Beach and the surf shops that offer lessons and board rentals. This is where you’ll find resorts and hostels from budget to big spenders. Circle Hostel and Flotsam and Jetsam are popular places to stay for backpackers trying to save money. Flotsam and Jetsam has its own bar and restaurant where visitors can dine and hang out in. There are also high-end resorts that have their own swimming pool and restaurant for a comfortable stay. This area is the ideal base for those who want to stay near the beach. You’ll also find plenty of buses and jeeps passing through in this area. To help you decide, you might want to consider these top hotels/resorts as rated by Agoda users (as of January 2019).
- Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Aureo Resort La Union. ✅CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Awesome Hotel. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- P and M Final Option Hotel. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY