In the Philippines, La Union is one of the most popular spots for surfers. But this place is more than just its beautiful waves! We will show you in this blog post our La Union itinerary from surfing, there are other La Union tourist spots to visit and things to do around La Union for your next trip. Read here where to stay in La Union from cheap hotels to luxury resorts.
How to get to La Union
GETTING TO LA UNION BY BUS FROM MANILA
If you are getting to La Union from Manila, you can ride a bus to San Fernando. The most popular is Partas with routes going to Laoag, Vigan and San Fernando in La Union. Prices are around 500 PHP per head. The travel time is around 5-7 hours depending on traffic and where you are coming (from Cubao or Pasay).
Once you are in San Fernando, you can take a jeepney to Urbiztondo Beach or San Juan, where most of the accommodation and restaurants are. The price for the jeepney ride is 11 PHP. There are also tricycles available if you prefer a solo ride.
If you went by bus with Partas, there are a few direct trips to San Juan Beach in La Union. There are a couple of them actually, one in the afternoon and one at night.
Travel Tip: Click here to know prices and schedule to book your bus/boat tickets online with 12Go Asia.
GETTING TO LA UNION BY BUS FROM CLARK
If you are getting to La Union from Clark. We chose this option since we are based in Angeles City and we traveled by bus with Partas. The travel time was around 4-5 hours and there is no fixed schedule. However, we observed that there is a few buses take trips during the day. The price from San Fernando in La Union to DAU Terminal was 333 PHP.
GETTING TO LA UNION BY BUS FROM VIGAN
If you are getting to La Union from Bantay, Vigan, you can take a 2 hours bus ride that costs around 250 PHP to Bacnotan, La Union. There are hourly bus rides to Bacnotan. From Bacnotan, you can finally take a 20-minute bus ride to San Fernando, La Union. It can cost you around 50 PHP.
GETTING TO LA UNION BY BUS FROM LAOAG
If you are getting to La Union from Laoag. There are hourly bus trips in Laoag to Bacnotan, La Union. From Laoag, ride a bus to Bacnotan and it costs around 400 PHP for a 4-hour bus trip. From Bacnotan, finally ride a 20-minute bus ride to San Fernando, La Union which costs around 50 PHP.
GETTING TO LA UNION FROM BAGUIO
If you are getting to La Union from Baguio. As of now, there is no direct connection to La Union from Baguio. Alternatively, you can take the bus to Sablan, Benguet then take the taxi to La Union. From there, you can take the taxi to La Union.
Read here a full blog post how to get to La Union!
ATM’S IN LA UNION
There’s a number of ATM Machines in La Union, but most of them are in the town area. There are different banks as well. There are also hotels that have ATM machines around the vicinity but it is still advisable to always bring cash for emergencies. There are also exchange offices if you are bringing cash.
INTERNET AND WIFI CONNECTION IN LA UNION
Hotels and other establishments in La Union offer free wifi for guests and tourists. The internet in La Union used to be pretty slow, but recently it become pretty reliable but you can still experience slowness at times. Luckily, the connection improved. You can also get LTE connection with Globe and Smart around La Union.
BEST TIME TO VISIT LA UNION
Like any other place in the Philippines there are two kinds of seasons- the dry season from November to April and the wet season from May to October. It is recommended that travelers visit during dry season, especially from December to February when temperatures are much cooler and touring will most likely not be interrupted by rains and will not be really hot going around.
DAILY BUDGET TO VISIT LA UNION
For budget or DIY travelers, you’ll surely choose cheaper options especially when it comes to accommodation.
With 1500 PHP, it can be a good budget with food, transportation and accommodation plus entrance fees to some spots since most of them are with donation or free of charge. You can go for local food for 50-70 PHP in local carinderias and around 150 PHP in local restaurants in La Union, where you will find Filipino and Western food.
For accommodation, a budget room would cost minimum 1000 PHP ($20 USD) and you can go up to 5000 PHP. There are Airbnb options starting from $15-25.
La Union Itinerary
Day 1 Itinerary in La Union: Going Around
The best way to move around La Union is renting a motorbike you can find them 500-700 PHP for a day. Or you can rent a tricycle for the whole day around 1200 PHP and bringing to all the tourist spots in La Union. If you are coming from Manila we suggest you to take a night bus. So you can start early morning your La Union itinerary.
Visiting the main tourist spots in La Union Ma-Cho Temple,
Balay na Bato, Pebble Beach, Baluarte Watchover, Poro Point Lighthouse, Namacpacan Church and finishing your day for the sunset at Urbiztondo Beach. After sunset you have to go out for restaurants and a drink since La Union nightlife is so popular in the Philippines.
This temple prides Taoist architecture overlooking the coastline of San Fernando. Because of this, it is a perfect spot to watch the sunset and to take pictures. Just remember to behave and dress properly because it is still a place of worship.
BALAY NA BATO
One of the tourist spots in La Union is Balay na Bato or Bahay na Bato, or Noble Stone House. It was a rest house that turned into a tourist spot. Balay na Bato is owned by a couple from Baguio and it features a lot of stone sculptures by Vong Kim, a Korean artist. Entrance fee costs less than PHP 50.
In Luna, La Union, locals collect pebbles from the Pebble Beach. They sort out the pebbles and handpick the best ones so they can sell them to other countries. They believe that the beautiful pebbles in La Union won’t run out soon.
Baluarte Watchover is located in Pebble Beach in Luna, La Union. This is a mix of modern and old watchover, with the view to the calm sea. If you love taking photos, the door with padlocks is a great background!
PORO POINT LIGHTHOUSE
This lighthouse was an old one, built in 1905 during American occupation in the Philippines. It is 8 meters high and made up of concrete and it also has a gallery but no lantern. Take note that it is not accessible by visitors because it’s located in a military base. You can just take a photo of the lighthouse for remembrance. However, there are rumors that they will soon develop the lighthouse as a tourist destination. Hopefully, haha!
This church houses the image of Our Lady of Namacpacan, a the title given to the Virgin Mary by the natives of La Union. If you are a Catholic who loves church/cathedral hopping, you’ll definitely want to stop by here to offer your prayers and just enjoy the silence of the church.
The main beach for surfing. You will find shops for renting surfing boards if you want to learn how to surf. Around the area, you will find restaurants and places to stay in La Union depending on your budget and preferences.
NIGHTLIFE IN LA UNION
La Union is one of the most popular provinces for nightlife, apart from surfing. You can go for a beer and dance if you like it. Enjoy the night and socialize with the locals! The option of restaurants is wide, with every restaurant having affordable prices. We enjoyed partying in La Union and meeting new friends.
Day 2 La Union Itinerary
You can start your day early morning going to Tangadan Falls. Trekking and enjoying a swim can be great for the morning. After this you can pass by Thunderbird Resort where you can get an entrance ticket for your day 500 PHP and you can have 300 PHP consumables for your lunch. There is a nice pool, great views and there are a few spots to take pictures if you like it. The Resort is popular because is similar to Santorini with the colors white and blue over the place. It just a few minutes driving from La Union and if your have the budget you can stay overnight. Click here to know their availability and book your stay starting at $199 USD per night!
If you are coming from San Juan Beach or San Fernando La Union, you have to ride a jeep to San Gabriel for around 20 PHP. Just mention to the jeepney driver that you are going to Tangadan Falls and he will drop you off in the tricycle terminal where you can get a tricycle for 50 PHP for two people.
The entrance fee for Tangadan Falls is 30 PHP. You can have a guide for 500-600 PHP (good enough for 6-7 people and you can always join a group to share expenses) and they will guide you around the trek for 50-60 minutes to get to Tangadan Falls.
You can visit Thunderbird Resort in La Union for spending the whole day. The entrance fee is 500 PHP (300 PHP consumables) for adults and 300 PHP (300 PHP consumables) for kids.
You can enjoy of a swim, casino and walking around the property. It’s a nice place to take pictures around. The food is delicious and you can relax with your smoothie in the pool area. If you like taking pictures, you will feel the vibe of Santorini with the villas and the similar white and blue colors Santorini.
More Days in La Union Itinerary
Day 3 La Union Itinerary
Apart from relaxing in San Juan Beach or surfing there are also a few plans that you can do. visiting a Grape Farm, Immuki Island, Tapuakan River one of the cleanest in the Philippines and you can also go to Bacnotan only 20 minutes driving from La Union where you can find calm and relaxed beaches. There is a local market in Bacnotan where you can stop for lunch and having fresh juices.
Yes, there are a number of grape farms in La Union. One of the most famous grape farms is in Bauang, La Union. It is called Lomboy Grape Farm, the one believed to be the first grape farm in the Philippines. Entrance Fee is PHP 100 and PHP 150 for grape picking. It is open from 7AM to 4PM from Monday to Saturday and 7AM to 3:00 PM on Sunday.
This beach has blue-green lagoons and natural pools. It’s just 30 minutes away from San Juan Beach. Immuki is a word derived from the name sea slugs, that can thrive only on dead corals.
Tapuakan River or Tapuacan River is claimed to be the cleanest Inland River of the northern region of the Philippines. It has crystal clear waters flowing from the mountain top towards the river mainstream. It’s definitely a must to visit this place. Just remember to bring your own food as there are no nearby restaurants or stores. Also, if you are bringing kids on your trip, be careful as the place is rocky.
It’s just 10 kilometers North from San Juan Beach where you will find other beaches. Some of them are great for surfing. But if you aren’t a surfer, there are also beaches which are more relaxing where you can just swim, sunbathe or relax at the shore. It’s great to visit Bacnotan beaches at sunset time!
WHERE TO STAY IN LA UNION
If you are looking for affordable options in La Union you will find them. If you prefer relax and luxury apart from the nightlife you can check Thunderbird Resort great for families!
Images from Agoda
To start our list of places where to stay in La Union under the cheap hotels category, there’s Hotel Mikka which will surely make the most out of your money. For only an affordable price, you’ll get to sleep in their neat, air-conditioned rooms with TV and private bathroom. However, wifi is not available in all rooms. For some rooms, you can pay for an additional fee if you want. They also offer airport transfer for a fee. You don’t have to worry if you get hungry because they have their own restaurant where you can dine. What the guests love about hotel Mikka is the service of their staff, who are very polite and friendly to guests.
Hotel Mikka can be found at Quezon Ave., San Fernando, La Union. Click here to know their availability and book your stay starting at $18 USD per night!
LA GRANJA EXCLUSIVE
Images from Booking
A cheaper option in where to stay in La Union is La Granja Exclusive. This one is even more awesome because they have a tent option, which is the cheapest in their place. Their tents are just in the garden where the outdoor pool is, so it is a relaxing alternative if you prefer to stay outside that in their exclusive rooms. For every option at La Granja Exclusive, you may use the barbecue grill, pool, and free parking. They even have free Wifi but for public areas only.
La Granja Exclusive is at Tabtabungao Barangay Road, 2506 Rosario, La Union. Click here to know their availability and book your stay starting at $11 USD per night!
Our choice was the luxury stay at Thunderbird Resort where we enjoyed a villa with views to the golf court. We had amazing time at sunset taking pictures, walking around, and just relaxing. It’s inspired by Santorini and it’s great to experience it! Well, just in case you haven’t gone to Greece yet or you went to Santorini like us and you want to have amazing memories again. And of course, we had amazing time swimming in the pool area since it wasn’t very crowded at that time.
It’s located 5-10 minutes drive away to San Fernando and the area is perfect for resting.
Travel Tip: Click here to know prices and schedule to book your bus/boat tickets online with 12Go Asia.
Are you planning to visit La Union this year? Don’t forget to share our La Union itinerary with your friends and hope you enjoy La Union together!
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