There’s no denying that La Union is famous for surf enthusiasts or those who want to have a quick beach fix. But there’s more to experience in this Northern province!

If this is your first time in La Union (or not!), keep reading to discover everything you can do in this Philippine tourist spot.

What’s inside this blog?

Day 1 – Relax and Rejuvenate 

a female surfing at La Union beach

Have a relaxing stay in Urbiztondo and San Juan Beach  

Spend your first day in La Union by planning a less-hectic stay in Urbiztondo and San Juan! There are numerous activities on these beaches, and it’s really up to you what you want to do. You can spend your days relaxing by the beach, participating in their exciting food scene, watching the sunset with your SO, or letting loose at beach parties! 

Where to Eat in La Union:
  • Halo-Halo de Iloko – Known for their halo-halo which has a polvoron inside the mix and grated cheese as toppings  
  • Tagpuan – a Filipino restaurant that specializes in Filipino rice bowls topped with tapa, pares, and chicken adobo flakes
  • Mad Monkeys – Known for their burgers 
  • Flotsam & Jetsam – THE place if you want to go all out and party the night away
  • El Union Coffee – You haven’t fully experienced La Union if you haven’t enjoyed a cup of coffee here. This cafe is known for their cold brew and horchata
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Day 2 – Tour Extravaganza 

Ready your cameras, captions, and your OOTDs. From lush greenery, ruins, and religious institutions, get ready to explore the different side of La Union. 

La Union Grape Farms 

grape farm in La Union

We bet you didn’t know that La Union is a top farm tour destination in the Philippines! Besides the local eats, stunning views, and surfing lessons, grape farms are also the main attraction in La Union. 

Grape growing has been around for decades in La Union. Hence, you can visit a handful of vineyards around the area. It’s best to do this first thing in the morning when the sun isn’t that hot yet. (Just don’t sample too much of the product as you have more to do during the day!) 

La Union Botanical and Zoological Gardens 

La Union Botanical and Zoological Gardens
Photo from

Plant mom and dads, contain yourselves.

Less than an hour away from the grapes farm, La Union Botanical and Zoological Gardens is a Japanese-themed natural garden filled with various flora. This garden is home to a collection of beautiful plants from the world’s tropical regions.

The famous garden showcases the following:

  • Shade Garden
  • Sunken Garden
  • Evergreen Garden
  • Arid Paradise
  • Fragrance Garden
  • Fernery
  • Palmery

Pindangan Ruins 

Pindangan Ruins tourist spot in La Union
Photo from

After feasting your eyes in greenery, Pindangan Ruins is next in line.

There was once a church where the ruins stood. The church was built to symbolise peace between two old villages, San Vicente de Balanac – a coastal village and San Guillermo de Dalangdang – an inland mountain village. They both came together due to their need for protection from pirates and headhunters. 

The establishment mainly was destroyed due to an earthquake, but it is still an excellent reminder of how it brought two villages together, creating peace and safety. 

Top tip: Try talking to a local to better get to know the ruins. They may or may not tell you spooky ghost stories! 

Ma-Cho Temple

Ma-cho Temple tourist spot in La Union

Another tourist spot nearby is Ma-Cho Temple. This Taoist temple was named after a legendary Chinese deity named Ma-Cho, born in 960 AD during the Sung dynasty.

Here’s a side story: During the first month of Ma-Cho’s life, it is said that she never cried a single tear. She then earned “Mo,” which roughly translates to “keeping silent”. Coincidentally, at the age of ten, she became a monk. It is also believed that she was intelligent, had a photographic memory, and was blessed with healing powers.

Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer tourist spot in La Union
Photo from

Though not as big as Brazil’s, the Christ the Redeemer statue is still worth checking out. At the top, you’ll be graced with a magnificent view of San Fernando. It’s a great way to end your day here before heading back to your accommodation.

Day 3 – Explore the unexplored 

It’s your last day! Here are more tourist spots you can visit in La Union. 

Immuki Island 

Immuki Island tourist spot in La Union
Photo from

If you would like to experience La Union sans the crowd, this place is for you. 

Known as the hidden paradise of La Union, Immuki Island is located in Balaoan – a coastal town that’s approximately 30 minutes away by car from San Juan. 

Immuki Island has become an increasingly popular spot among visitors due to its crystal clear emerald waters and breathtaking rock formations. You can swim in the lagoons where you will see beautiful corals and mangroves. 

The island is open from 6 AM to 6 PM, making it the ideal spot to visit first!

Note: To preserve the beauty of Immuki Island, visitors are strictly prohibited from bringing food, alcoholic beverages, drinks, and cigarettes to the island. Aqua sock water shoes are strongly recommended to be safe from sharp edges of corals around the area. 

Darigayos Beach

Darigayos beach tourist spot in La Union
Photo from Flickr/Belong Tabafunda

Another must-visit tourist spot in La Union is Darigayos Beach, about five minutes away from Immuki Island. You could count the number of resorts and huts on the one hand here.

The 800-meter beach stretch is covered with white, fine sand you’ll mistake it for Boracay. Like Immuki Island, you can have this place all to yourself, so you can go all out here and take the best Instagram-worthy photos!

Baluarte Watch Tower

Baluarte Watch tower tourist spot in La Union

Further up north and only about 10 minutes away is the Baluarte Watch Tower, a significant tourist spot and one of the most important historical sites in La Union. 

The setting may be pretty unexciting, as you can only see a small structure set on the coastline. But doesn’t it feel good to stand at the same historical site that contributed significantly to the community and lives of the people from the past? 

Kamay na Bato Open Art Gallery

Kamay Na Bato tourist spot in La Union

What better way to spend your last day than to buy goodies and pasalubong for friends and family? This 3D gallery and souvenir shop show off all the inspiring locally made artworks and sculptures created from rocks and wood and are designed into creative shapes. 

Here you can buy pasalubong for your friends and family. And if you feel like having some snacks and refreshments, you can easily buy them from the shop. The shop is situated right next to the sea, so you can spend a little more time enjoying your food and taking photos while admiring the gorgeous view. 

Got an extra day to spare? Here are more tourist spots in La Union! 

In case you didn’t know, the province is also known for its ravishing falls. Here are three must-visit waterfalls in La Union.

Tangadan Falls 

Tangadan Falls tourist spot in La Union

Tangadan Falls is situated in San Gabriel, Tangadan. The second level of Tangadan Falls towers at around 50 feet and has a width of about 100 feet. It has a deep natural catch basin perfect for a quick dip. The upper level has a smaller drop but a bigger and deeper pool ideal for cliff jumping.

Bulalakaw Falls 

Bulalakaw Falls tourist spot in La Union
Photo from

Bulalakaw Falls is a drop-dead-gorgeous waterfall that was just recently discovered. According to the locals, a meteorite (bulalakaw) dropped on this part of the mountain during one of their festivals. Hence, the name. Here you can take a quick dip and admire the stunning crystal clear pools and rock formations. 

Tuddingan Falls 

Tuddingan Falls tourist spot in La Union
Photo from

Seemingly from a postcard, this 70-feet waterfall has beautifully layered rock strata and a natural catch-basin ideal for swimming. 

Frequently Asked Questions About La Union

Q: Is La Union open for tourism in 2022? 

A: Yes, tourists are allowed to enter La Union. 

Q: What are the travel requirements needed in La Union? 

A: For fully-vaccinated tourists:

  • Approved QR-Coded Tourist Pass (QTP) from NAPANAM QR Pass
  • Valid ID
  • Confirmed booking from DOT-accredited establishment
  • Complete Vaccination Card or Vaccination Certificate

For non-vaccinated tourists:

  • Approved QR-Coded Tourist Pass (QTP) from NAPANAM QR Pass
  • Valid ID 
  • Confirmed booking from DOT-accredited establishment
  • Negative RT-PCR Test (taken 3 days prior to arrival date) from accredited clinics.

Q: How far is La Union from Manila? 

A: The distance from Manila to La Union is approximately 227.4 km, about a 4-hour drive. 

Q: How to go to La Union? 

A: There are two ways to get to La Union. 

Via commute

From Cubao or Pasay station, you have the option to alight at San Fernando or San Juan, both of which are part of La Union. If you just want to visit San Fernando, you can board a direct bus that takes up to seven hours. The fare for this option costs P436 to P524.

For those who want to go to the beach directly, San Juan is the stop. There are direct buses from either Cubao or Pasay. The ride can take up to seven hours and costs around P524. You can also get to San Juan via San Fernando. From the latter, board a jeep for around P11. The jeepney ride may take 30 minutes.

Via private car

From Manila, take the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), then the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), then the Tarlac-Pampanga-La Union Expressway (TPLEx). Exit at Pozorrubio to McArthur Highway and continue to the bypass road of San Fernando, La Union until you reach the San Juan-San Gabriel Road. 

Q: What are some tourist spots in La Union? 

A: There are many things to do in La Union including grape picking, surfing, participate in their exciting food scene, cliff diving at Tangadan falls, beach bumming and more.

Q: What are some Philippine tourist spots near La Union? 

A: Some tourist spots near La Union include Baguio, Bolinao, and Vigan City. 

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