I’ve been contemplating if I should write this one or not. Then I asked myself, why not?
So yes, this isn’t my first trip for the year as I went to Manila a month ago but that’s just for a weekend trip, nothing fancy, just a quick catch up with a few friends.
This isn’t my first time visiting the place but it was years ago since the last time I visited.
For this year’s visit I went with my colleagues which I hoped they enjoyed minus the land tour as it was their first time to visit the place.
It was a spur of the moment decision but it was great. We had fun in general even though there were unexpected events.
We booked a tour since travelling in pandemic is quite a hassle and too many requirements needed if we’re going to do it D.I.Y plus last March there’s no public transportation yet going to La Union.
As much as I wanted to refer to the tour agency that we got, sadly, the driver that we had was always in a hurry to finish the tour.
For those first time reading, La Union is a province located in Ilocos Region in the island of Luzon. Although our tour is La Union, we were only at San Juan during the entire duration. Urbiztondo, San Juan may not be the surfing capital but it comes next to Siargao as it’s more frequented to and popular plus cheaper and affordable than going to Siargao.
How to get to San Juan, La Union?
As mentioned earlier we got a tour package to bring us to La Union for a group of 7 pax from airport straight to San Juan, La Union
For those bringing vehicles, waze/google maps will help you on this matter
For Commuters, you may want to check out bus lines/terminals for a schedule trip going to San Juan, La Union (for the rates, I won’t be able to provide as knowing it’s pandemic plus there are Libreng Sakay, a project by DOT-R you may want to check that out).
SAMPLE ITINERARY for people who’s only free during the weekend
I forgot to mention that we were coming from Cebu. We actually managed to get a roundtrip flight from Cebu to Manila back to Cebu for less than PHP2,000/pax via CebPac.
Day 0 – Friday March 18, 2022
From office we headed straight to the airport, MIA II for our departure
arrived in Manila before 10pm and waited
Day 01 – Saturday March 19, 2022
- As early as 5AM we were already in La Union
- We had the land tour (standard land tour but customized)
⦁ Namacpacan Church
⦁ Luna Watchtower/pebble beach
⦁ Bato de Luna – we had our brunch
⦁ Bohol like forest
⦁ Check in
⦁ Free Time
Day 02 – Sunday March 20, 2022
⦁ Morning – Free Time
⦁ Check out
⦁ Stopped at Macho Temple
⦁ Straight to Makati
Day 03 – Monday, March 21, 2022
⦁ flight back to Cebu and back to work
WHERE TO EAT?
- Too many good restaurants in San Juan, La Union but below are the places I visited. Some are a bit pricey considering the situation.
Silong Elyu, affordable and very good. Vouching for the sisig here plus serving is big. I can eat here all day.
Papa Bear, they offered different types of Asian dishes if you want to try other dishes aside from Filipino and the usual SILOG meals
El Union Coffee, tried their dirty horchata. Yum!
Tagpuan, across Silyung Elyu, good food but place is quite small either way burritos and burger is something you’d like to get here.
Flotsam and Jetsam, we didn’t eat here but we had drinks — considering the amount of people coming here the drinks are pricey but good crowd, you wouldn’t miss this place when you’re in San Juan, La Union although music wasn’t that good when we visited
Kabsat, place is IG worthy however too many servers but service is very slow. Waited for more than 30 minutes for a shake. For the brewed coffee, machine was broken that they didn’t inform us and we only knew when I made a followup on our coffee. Sadt.
Halo-Halo de Iloko, not in San Juan. I don’t know what’s the fuss here but their halo-halo is just average nothing special or perhaps it’s beacuse of the long queuing that made special? Waited for 2 hours here, time wasted – too mainstream.
WHERE TO STAY?
There are many accommodations you can stay in San Juan, La Union from hostels to fancy resorts or even Airbnb, you just have to search in Google or ask your friends who already visited the place perhaps they can recommend a place for you.
Ours was provided by the tour package we had, although the place is quite new it’s kind of expensive considering the place is in the residential area, no free breakfast, no towels provided, internet connection was nowhere to be found, but there’s always a first time so perhaps all is well then.
WHAT TO DO IN SAN JUAN, LA UNION?
chill, relax, surfing, food trip, party, meet new friends
Estimated all-in expenses minus the food is:
Roundtrip ticket Ceb-Mnl-Ceb = PHP1,935/pax
Tour package per pax = PHP2,800 (we are 7 all in all)
- 2D1N accommodation in San Juan, La Union
- Van transfer Mnl-LU-Mnl (driver’s fee, gas, toll fee)
- Environmental Fees/ Entrance fee
- Land tour
Airbnb Accommodation in Makati = PHP400/pax
Surfing Lessons = PHP500/hour w/ instructor