What to Do in La Union?
Not to worry, there are plenty of things to keep you busy while you’re in La Union both on the beach and in the surrounding areas. Most of the people I talk to who have gone to La Union(LU) typically say that they first tried surfing in LU.
Well, count me in! My first time surfing (or as i call it falling…) was in La Union and since them I’ve surfed in Zambales and Baler as well! It can be addicting.
There’s so many other things to see in La Union as well including historic watch towers, a centennial tree, beautiful churches, waterfalls, art galleries, and much more!
- 1 Surfing in La Union
- 2 La Union Land Tour
- 3 How to Schedule Tours in La Union
- 4 La Union Travel Guide
Surfing in La Union
No trip to La Union would be complete without catching the waves! It’s one of the best places to surf in the Philippines. The best location to surf is on the San Juan Beach in La Union. There’s no need to schedule these in advance – just walk out to the beach and you’ll see surf instructors all around willing to teach you (but not for free).
- Surf Instructor: P250/hour (Around $5USD)
- Surf Board: P250/hour (Around $5USD)
Whether you’ve surfed in the past or it’s your first time, I always suggest to grab an instructor for an hour before you go out on your own. It’s very difficult to surf if you’re on your own, but with an instructor they teach you how to watch for the right waves and know the exact moment in which you should stand up.
Even after surfing for 20+ times now, I still get an instructor and yes I still fall all the time but it’s honestly one of my favorite things to do in the ocean.
The beach is also a great area to go for a swim, just make sure you know and understand rip currents so you can maintain safety in the ocean. The waves can get pretty big in La Union.
Don’t forget about the amazing sunsets 🙂
La Union Land Tour
There is a long list of places you can visit nearby on land which you must see. The easiest way to visit these is by approaching a tricycle driver to make a day-tour. While you can take different public transportation routes, it can often take far too long and be very tedious.
Below are my favorite land activities. I suggest you leave by 7-8AM to see most of them in one day.
Baluarte Watch Tower
This watch tower had been long destroyed, but in 2013 the local government decided to restore it to remember their heritage and history. It’s located about 45 minutes north of San Juan beach and it’s best to make this your first stop early in the morning.
Kamay na Bato Stone Hand Art Gallery
Just nearby the watch tower is an art gallery which has a variety of artworks including rock art, paintings, statues, and much more. I was really surprised to see how much amazing stuff we found here. As you can see from the photos, we enjoyed this alot!
The Art Gallery is just next to Pebble Beach which to me looked man-made as it didn’t seem natural for that many large pebbles to be in one place. Either way it was beautiful – just be careful cuz we were falling all the time and the rocks are hot in the sun.
This giant acacia tree has stood for over 100 years and has stood longer than the buildings below it are old. Over the years as the tree grew an elementary school was built below. It is also known as the Victor Ortega Tree.
The most exciting part of the land tour is definitely the waterfalls. In photos it seems so small but when you arrive it is a powerful giant. This is a must see place when visiting La Union. You will need a tour guide for this and costs around P400 ($8USD).
Located in San Fernando city up on a tall hill. The Macho Temple is a Taoist Temple and is dedicated to Mazu, a Chinese sea-goddess. It is a beautiful temple and a great place to visit on your way out of the city when passing through San Fernando.
Grape Farm & Wine Tasting
This cannot be included in a day-trip and definitely needs a secondary trip to visit the grape farm. It’s a wonderful place to see how grapes are grown naturally and what you can do with them – making juice, wine, etc.
The Pindangan ruins is what’s leftover of a church which was destroyed in the 1892 earthquake. A new church was erected next door and the ruins remain to keep the history and spirit alive.
When you’re visiting the Grape Farms, this is a great side trip on the way back.
How to Schedule Tours in La Union
There are plenty more places to visit when you’re here which you can see a full listing by approaching any of the tricycle drivers.
A typical day-trip using a tricycle can cost around P1500 ($30 USD) for them to take you around for the whole day. This can fluctuate depending on the entrance fees for different activities.
La Union Travel Guide
If you want more information on La Union, read my full guide here.