Powered by Jasper Roberts - Blog



La Union: Surf Camp at San Juan!

My friend invited us to go surfing in La Union and since I always wanted to try to surf, I absolutely said yes. San Juan, in La Union is the nearest surfing spot from Manila. We went in December which is the most crowded time in the peak season (October to April). The waves here are perfect for a beginner.

How to get there

Getting to La Union is easy coming from Manila. There are several buses that you can ride to get there. You can take any air-conditioned buses bound to San Fernando, Vigan, Abra, or Laoag. Most bus lines in Cubao and Pasay have these routes. Just make sure to tell the bus conductor to drop you off in San Juan. Bus tickets would cost you around PhP 400++ for a one-way ticket.

If you're going by a private vehicle from Manila, just continue driving on McArthur Highway until you reach San Juan. Surf resorts are just along the highway so you can find it easily. Travel time would be around 5 hours (via TPLEX) for private vehicle and 6-7 if you will take the bus.

Volkswagen Camper owned by lifestyle brand Coast Through Life

Where to Stay

A lot of resorts offer accommodation in San Juan. But take note, that the rooms are always fully booked upon peak seasons. So you need to make early reservations if you're planning to go on a peak season. Any resort would do, it actually just depends on your budget. Some resorts start their room rate PhP 1700.00 (for non peak, will probably go up for peak season) and the expensive ones start at PhP 5000.00 per night (good for 2). If you are on a budget, you can always go for the budget friendly hostels and transient houses. Some transient houses have dorm type rooms which start at PhP 300.00 per person, or a good for 2 fan room for PhP 1000.00 (a/c rooms are about PhP 1500.00) per night.

A lot of resorts along the main road

We stayed at my friend's aunt resort, Hacienda Peter's Surf Resort. There are no available rooms at the moment, since it was a very peak season. So we put up our tents and camp in the resort's Nipa hut veranda. It was near the beach so it's awesome how you hear the waves splashing. By the way, here's the room rate at Hacienda Peters per night:

  • Fan Room(good for 2): PhP 1000.00
  • A/C Room(good for 2): PhP 1500.00
  • A/C Room(good for 4): PhP 2000.00
  • A/C Room(good for 6): PhP 3000.00

  • Surfing 101

    The first thing you need to do to learn to surf is to find a surfing instructor. Our friend arranged our lessons and instructors. You can inquire about lessons from the booths around Urbiztondo beach. Surfing lessons for beginners starts at PhP 400.00 including the instructor's fee and the board for an hour. If you got the basics, and feels that you don't need an instructor anymore, you can rent a board for PhP 200.00 per hour, PhP 500.00 half day and PhP 800.00 for the whole day.
    Surf school booth

    The instructors will begin with the basics, with the proper stance, and how to stand up in the board. When you got the basics, you will proceed to the waves, but don't worry cause the instructor will still assist and guide you. It's not quite easy to stand up, but if you got your timing and balance right, you'll get used to it.

    Our instructor teaching us the proper position

    Standing up in the board

    Beginner's Area
    As early as 7 AM you can already surf, and for me it's the best time to surf since the waves are smooth. When the waves are too high, they won't allow beginners to surf or you can go to other surfing spots:
    • Bacnotan: 10 - 15 minute ride from San Juan surf resorts near a cement plant. This surfing spot is less crowded than San Juan, since there are no resorts around the area but still a nice spot for surfing.
    • Carille: 5 minute ride from San Juan surf resorts, known for the right hand point break. This surfing spot is not recommended for beginners. The water here might get you itchy after since it's near a soft drink plant.
    • Darigayos (Taboc): 25 - 30 minute ride fron San Juan resorts. Also a good spot for beginners. The waves here are not that strong since there is a rock that is breaking the waves.
    Brgy. Urbiztondo

    Continues waves
    Some are also just going for a swim

    So take a break, pack your board shorts, and go surf and have an extreme experience in La Union. Thanks for reading!

    Quick Tips

  • You can surf as early as 7 AM
  • If you don't have a rash guard, you can borrow from the surfing schools
  • A lot of cheap eateries and restaurants along the highway for budget meals
  • Don't forget your sunblock and get stoked!

  • I wish I was this good


    Hey there, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading my article and helped you out with some travel tips and ideas. Please do leave a comment if you have some comments or suggestions and I'll gladly answer it. Cheers!


    1. I see the sea is not stand it ... great. I wish I could be like you!
      teefury , redbubble , threadless.

    2. hi do you have any contact sa hacienda? can I just pitch my own tent too? and for how much? thanks!

    3. Interesting blog and I really like your work and must appreciate for your work for the surf camp.

      surf camps

    4. Surf carnivals attract thousands of spectators, who thrill to races, "iron man" competitions, dummy rescues and spectacular lifeboat displays.
      beach cabana tent

    5. One of the best spot for surfing, Thanks for sharing your experience. Nice blog!