Travel Budget: ₱6,600 (US$132)
How to get to La Union
We boarded Partas Bus at Cubao, Quezon City, it’s bound for Ilocos – Vigan, you just need to tell the driver to drop you off San Juan beach. It’s a 6 to 7-hour travel up North so I suggest bring snacks and movies with you along the way. Or if you’re like me, just sleep.
Here are Partas Bus schedules and rates. You can arrange reservation through phone.
Image taken from PHbus.com
Where to stay in La Union
There are a lot of options on where to stay in Urbiztondo beach, there are groups that offers tent for Php300/night complete with portable gas range (butane) and some small kitchen tools that you can use for cooking, there are stay-in rooms for rent which would cost you around Php350-500 per night, it would really depend on what kind of traveler you are, and since we were a big group and it’s our first time in La Union, we decided to get a big room in Sebay.
Sebay Surf Central — A few steps away from the beach front and a well-known hotel for surfers and tourists alike. Room rates are affordable as well, Php800/head for a big room with 3 double beds and 1 double deck. It has a smoking area outside the room and a balcony.
The hotel has a restaurant and it also has a gaming room. It also offers surfing lessons. For more details about Sebay, you check-out their website here.
Don’t expect much about what the beach and the sand look like in La Union. The sand isn’t white and the water isn’t green or blue enough, be there for the waves, there are waves that are just right for amateurs and beginners, and there are big waves for pro-surfers.
If you’d like to experience surfing, there are booths and tents that offer surfing lessons, Php300 for an hour and Php1,200 for unlimited surfing lessons, they will provide the board and the rash guard, but I suggest you bring your own rash guard because you don’t know who else wore it before you.
There are restos and bars along side the shoreline of the beach, mostly BBQs, burgers, sausage and beers are available. Live band is set up to perform as well, I’m not sure if it’s because it’s weekend or because of the event ‘Surfing Break’
Santorini-inspired resort and it’s open for public viewing, the only time you need to pay is if you’re checking-in. We were there just to take pictures. It’s a 20-minute drive from Urbiztondo beach and it’s worth the travel. To check their rates you can visit their website.
This place is so creative and it has been featured on many travel shows. They don’t just serve different kinds of halo-halo, they also have other Filipino food and pastries. The price ranges from Php80 to Php190, it might be too pricey for a halo-halo but the taste is not like the ordinary halo-halo you can buy somewhere, plus, the place is like a museum, there are classic paintings, antique crafts and furniture.
Check their facebook page.
About 1 hour and 30 minutes road trip via Bauang road we’ve reach the summer capital of the Philippines, Baguio City (See my separate post about it here). We didn’t stayed long because we we’re just visiting a friend of a friend and we just bought some sweets for our families back home. We traveled back to Manila via McKinley road.
- Bus Fare: ₱800 (Manila to San Juan and vice versa)
- Accommodation: ₱1,600/head for 2 nights.
- Surfing at Urbiztondo: ₱300/hour or ₱1,200 for the whole day.
- Food and Booze: ₱2,000 budget.
- Miscelleneous: ₱1,000 budget.