La Union Photo: Paul G.

La Union

Just a four-hour drive from Manila lies La Union, considered to be one of the best surfing spots in the country. Locals and tourists alike flock to the area in hopes of riding one of the area’s 10 ft (3 m) waves. It’s one of the cheapest places to surf, with lessons running for less than ₱500 (US$11) per session and board rentals for around ₱200 (US$5).

Getting to La Union is fairly easy. You can drive or take a bus for less than P400 (US$10). It’s not hard to find a place to sleep either, there are plenty of resorts and hostels along the beachside.

If you’re just looking for a place to crash, check out The Circle Hostel, where you can rent out a bed for ₱450 (US$10) per night or, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, a hammock for ₱350 (US$8). For those who can’t sleep without air conditioning, you can rent out a private room from one of the nearby resorts for around ₱1,800 (US$40) a night.

One of the best spots to learn how to surf is Urbiztondo Beach, popular among beginners for its short waves and smooth rides. For those who are a little more advanced, you can also try checking out the Bacnotan and Carille areas, both just a few minutes away from Urbiztondo.

The best time to surf is anytime between October to April, but make sure to book early as the area tends to get crowded during those months.

All that surfing will make you hungry so check out a few of the restaurants scattered along the beachside. There’s Surf Shack, famous for their Gourmet Tuyo and Bacnotan Longganisa Pizzas. You can also have dessert and drinks at El Union Coffee.

But a definite must try is Halo Halo de Iloko, located in San Fernando City, just a few minutes away from the beach. Aside from serving the famous dessert, they also have classic Filipino dishes, like adobo and kare-kare.

La Union isn’t just for surfers though. There’s the La Union Botanical Garden, a nature preserve located in San Fernando City. Located in the same area is the La Union Science Centrum, an interactive science museum. There’s also the beautiful Ma-Cho Temple, which is open to all, whether or not they actually practice Taoism.

Top Rated Restaurants in La Union Browse All

  1. Chaya
    4.5 Stars
    Japanese
    61 Reviews View
  2. Hill Station
    4.5 Stars
    Spanish
    119 Reviews View
  3. Vizco's Restaurant and Cake Shop
    4.5 Stars
    Café
    83 Reviews View
  4. Canto Bogchi Joint
    4.5 Stars
    American
    33 Reviews View
  5. Vizco's Restaurant and Cake Shop
    4.5 Stars
    Café
    38 Reviews View
  6. Ketchup: The Food Community
    4.0 Stars
    Asian
    120 Reviews View
  7. Amare La Cucina
    4.5 Stars
    Italian
    43 Reviews View
  8. Chef's Home
    4.5 Stars
    Asian
    21 Reviews View
  9. Cafe By The Ruins
    4.0 Stars
    Café
    223 Reviews View
  10. Good Taste Cafe and Restaurant
    4.5 Stars
    Asian
    55 Reviews View

Top Rated Hotels in La Union Browse All

  1. Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    31 Reviews View
  2. The Manor at Camp John Hay
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    46 Reviews View
  3. Baguio Country Club
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    43 Reviews View
  4. Thunderbird Resorts
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    42 Reviews View
  5. San Juan Surf Resort
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    28 Reviews View
  6. Forest House Bed and Breakfast
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    9 Reviews View
  7. The Circle Hostel La Union
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    10 Reviews View
  8. El Cielito Hotel
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    6 Reviews View
  9. Azalea Residences
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    29 Reviews View
  10. Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    13 Reviews View

Top Rated Tourist Attractions in La Union Browse All

  1. Strawberry Farm
    4.0 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    58 Reviews View
  2. Camp John Hay
    4.5 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    26 Reviews View
  3. Bell House Ampitheater
    4.5 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    6 Reviews View
  4. Tam-awan Village
    4.0 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    16 Reviews View
  5. Mines View Park
    3.5 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    35 Reviews View
  6. The Mansion
    4.0 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    13 Reviews View
  7. Highest Point: Philippine Highway System
    4.5 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    2 Reviews View
  8. Baluarte Watch Tower
    5.0 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    1 Review View
  9. Baguio Country Club Christmas Village
    4.0 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    2 Reviews View
  10. Laperal White House
    3.5 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    4 Reviews View

Top Rated Places in La Union Browse All

  1. El Union Coffee
    5.0 Stars
    Coffee
    47 Reviews View
  2. BenCab Museum
    4.5 Stars
    Museum
    80 Reviews View
  3. Chaya
    4.5 Stars
    Japanese
    61 Reviews View
  4. Hill Station
    4.5 Stars
    Spanish
    119 Reviews View
  5. Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    31 Reviews View
  6. Vizco's Restaurant and Cake Shop
    4.5 Stars
    Café
    83 Reviews View
  7. Canto Bogchi Joint
    4.5 Stars
    American
    33 Reviews View
  8. The Manor at Camp John Hay
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    46 Reviews View
  9. Vizco's Restaurant and Cake Shop
    4.5 Stars
    Café
    38 Reviews View
  10. Ketchup: The Food Community
    4.0 Stars
    Asian
    120 Reviews View

Popular Areas in La Union

  1. San Fernando City

    San Fernando City

    75 Places
    View
  2. San Juan

    San Juan

    36 Places
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  3. Bauang

    Bauang

    31 Places
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  4. Luna

    Luna

    7 Places
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  5. Agoo

    Agoo

    6 Places
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