Surf’s up in La Union: “The Surfing Capital of the Northern Philippines”

Earlier this year, me and my friends traveled to San Juan, La Union for a much needed break. It’s been a while since I last visited this province and I was quite excited for this trip as well to ride again the waves of San Juan. Good enough we were able to catch the last stretch of the surfing months in this part of Luzon, which is October ’til February. Tara! Let’s go surfing in La Union!

Dubbed as the “Surfing Capital of the Northern Philippines,” San Juan, La Union is a favorite destination among surfing enthusiasts. Just 5 to 6 hours away from Metro Manila, its proximity from the metropolis makes it a favorite surfing weekend destination among city dwellers who just wish to take a quick surfing adventure.

The surfing site and surf schools can be found along the shores of Urbiztondo which boasts of consistent swells conducive for surfing. The long sandy beach is known to produce awesome waves suitable for surfers of all levels. It is also an ideal training ground for beginners who wish to learn how to ride the waves.

Since surfing schools abound the shore, we just asked around and picked the one gave us the cheapest rate and great discount. Surfing lessons for 1 hour with the assistance of an instructor and board rental normally costs 400 pesos. But since we’re a group of 4, our “charm” worked to our advantage and the surfing operator gave us a discount! Thank you po! 🙂

All of my friends haven’t tried surfing. So they have to go through the customary lessons off the water before they finally got to try it on the waves. They are so excited! Hahaha!

You cannot hide the fun that we had while learning and trying to stand on the board. WHOA!!! We had so much fun! After so many wipe outs and falling off the board, we got to stand up and enjoyed each ride. I could still remember that it was also here in La Union where I first learned how to surf back in 2009.

Accommodations and restaurants are also available along the beach. So, if you wish to stay overnight, that won’t be a problem.


Where to get Surfing Lessons in La Union?

You may contact John at 0939-4207084. One hour surfing lessons including the board rental and instructor costs 400 pesos. If you already know how to surf, you can skip the lessons and just rent a board for PHP 200 pesos per hour.

How to get to San Juan, La Union?

From Manila, you may take any bus bound for Vigan and Laoag and alight at Urbiztondo in San Juan La Union. The beach is just a short walk from the hi-way. Fare is about 400 pesos and travel time from Manila is about 5-6 hours. I suggest that you leave Manila at night and arrive in San Juan La Union early morning the following day.


  • Gubat Bay, Gubat Sorsogon
  • Bagasbas Beach, Daet Camarines Norte
  • Dahican Beach, Mati Davao Oriental
  • Blue Lagoon, Pagudpud Ilocos Norte
  • Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte
  • Puraran Beach, Baras Catanduanes
  • Sitio Liw-Liwa, San Felipe Zambales
  • Sabang Beach, Baler Aurora
  • San Juan, La Union

This trip happened on February 24-25, 2014.

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