Just a few hours drive away, La Union has become the go-to for a quick getaway for beach lovers and for anyone who’s needed to recharge.
With a tight-knit community of surfers, foodies and travelers, La Union is also where many beginners head over to for their first crack at surfing the waves. If you fall under this category, then here’s everything you need to know about surfing in La Union.
- Best Time to Visit La Union for Surfing
- How to Get to La Union
- Budget for Surfing
- Most Famous Surfing Spots in La Union
- Whereto Stay at La Union?
- Tips for surfing in La Union
The “surf season” is October to April, also known as North Swell Season. This is the time when hanging amihan (northeast trade winds) consistently produces the waves that you need for surfing. During this season, waves in La Union can reach up to 2-3 meters on a good swell.
If you’re driving to La Union, take the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX). Travel time is only three to four hours and will have you surfing in La Union in no time.
But if you’re planning to ride a public transportation, here are a few options for you:
- Bus + Tricycle
One-way bus tickets from Manila to San Fernando, La Union will cost you PHP 400 to PHP 600. You can try out several bus terminals such as Partas (Cubao, Pasay and Sampaloc) or Viron and Dominion – both in Quezon City.
After alighting at the town of San Fernando, you can take a tricycle to San Juan for PHP 25 per person or PHP 50 if you’re by yourself. This ride will take 25 minutes.
- Bus + Jeep
Ride a bus going to San Fernando, La Union. From here, hail a jeepney and go to San Juan or Urbiztondo Beach for only PHP 11. The jeepney ride is around 25 minutes.
Great news for you since Partas Bus can help transport you directly from Cubao/Pasay to San Juan, La Union!
– From Pasay to San Juan, La Union: 12 AM (first trip); 5 AM (second trip)
– From Cubao to San Juan, La Union: 1 AM (first trip); 6 AM (second trip)
Alternatively, you can ride a bus going to Vigan or Laoag. Be sure to tell the conductor that you need to be dropped off at San Juan, La Union. You can also mention the name of the accommodation that you’re staying at. You’ll need to shell out PHP 400 to PHP 600 for the one-way bus fare.
- Surfing Lessons: PHP 400/hour (inclusive of PHP 200 for the board + PHP 200 for the instructor)
- Surfboard Rentals:
– Surfboards/Longboards: P200/hour
– Half day: P500
– Whole day: P800
Here’s where beginners and advance surfers usually go surfing in La Union.
- The Beach Break (Urbiztondo Beach)
- Monaliza Point
If you’re a beginner who’d like to try their hand out at surfing, this is where you should take your surfing lessons.
You don’t need to search extensively in this area. Just walk around for a while and you’ll see several surf shacks on the beach. Flash on your biggest smile and approach the local instructors to get started with your surfing lessons.
The best waves for an advanced surfer – especially during the North Swell Season are located at Monaliza Point.
This surfing spot is not for the faint of heart. Since this is located towards the end of the main beach as it breaks over sharp reef that can be difficult to navigate, make sure that you have a dedicated surf instructor who will be there to assist you.
Since surfing will be your main activity here, it’s suggested that you stay around the San Juan area as it’s the nearest spot to Urbiztondo Beach. Check out these accommodations for a comfortable stay in La Union:
La Roca Villa Resort Hotel
Address: La Roca Villa, Surfers’ Road, Urbiztondo, San Juan
What guests say: “It was more than what we expected. We checked in early and didn’t have any problems, in fact, our room was upgraded from a deluxe to a studio with a balcony, which we really enjoyed. The location was great, it was really near all the food spots as well as near the surfing area but without all the people. Our room was clean and really spacious. Thank you very much for the memorable stay!”
Flotsam and Jetsam Artist Beach Hostel
Address: 12500 MacArthur Highway, Urbiztondo, San Juan
What guests say: “Feels just like home. The vibe is great, staff are friendly. Facilities are clean and well-maintained. Love the coziness and aesthetics of this hostel! I love the benches at the backyard overlooking the sea. Would definitely come back next time.”
Villas Buenavista Hotel and Restaurant
Address: Ili Sur, Urbiztondo, San Juan
What guests say: “The ambiance and amenities are at par internationally. Building aesthetics are mediterranean inspired, a welcome sight for local tourists. Clean rooms, pool and surroundings. Reasonably priced. Food is also great, must try are their pizza and nachos. The owner is there most of the time chatting with guests. Stunning view from the restaurant and the food in there was also satisfying. Great place and I’ll absolutely coming back.”
- Be a responsible beach-goer. Dispose your trash properly. Better yet, pick up the trash that you see laying around.
- To avoid injury and prevent putting your life in danger, it’s recommended that you hire a surf instructor to be with you during your surfing lessons.
- The colder the water, the thicker your wetsuit needs to be. For surfing beginners who will be practicing in hot countries, rash tops are a must-have.
- Choose a bigger surfboard (bigger than 9 ft) with a rounded nose. It’ll help you focus on your balancing skills and catch more waves.
- If possible, use foam boards to protect yourself from being injured in case your surfboard hits you.
- Spend some time for stretching and warm-up while you’re on dry land first.
- Brace yourself for wipeouts all the time. Yes, this means you’ll fall over and over again. Waves will knock you down. You’ll lose your balance. You’ll get confused. And you need to try again.
- Cutting in line is frowned upon. Don’t drop in front of other surfers who are already up and running.
Ready to go surfing in La Union? Before you hang ten, make sure you book your stay with Traveloka!