Lately, La Union or simply Elyu for locals, has become a favorite destination, especially for Metro Manila residents. Travel time from Manila to this province by private car normally took five to six hours before, but with the construction of Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), Waze estimates it at around 3.5 hours only. La Union is now a top-of-the mind destination, specially for surfers. But the province offers more than surfing. It is a home to various kinds of adventures, great foods, budget friendly and luxury accommodations, beautiful beaches, amazing tourist spots, and hospitable people.
For those planning to to visit La Union (make sure you have complete travel documents) you can do the following activities:
- Play Golf at The Cliffs Beach and Golf Club
The Cliffs Golf and Beach Club is 3,372 yard 9-hole all- weather golf course designed by the renowned International Management Group. It was created with challenging contours, well-conditioned greens with breathtaking scenery of the San Fernando Bay and first-rate amenities. The golf course is inside the Thunderbird Resort and Casino, a Santorini-inspired beach resort in Poro Point, La Union. So, playing this golf course is like hitting two bird in one stone. Aside from the stunning ocean view, you will also witness the Greek-inspired architecture.
Dubbed as Santorini of Asia, Thunderbird Resorts & Casinos – Poro Point has 64 hotel rooms, 8 luxury suites and 60 Santorini-inspired 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom villas. Guests have more options for outdoor activities, like playing golf, swimming, and other activities.
The golf course offers world class fairways and greens, but at the same time challenging. The holes are structured along the beach shores as they play the role of deep cliff hazards, that’s why it is named, most likely, “The Cliffs.” The Cliffs Beach and Golf Club offers individual and corporate memberships with a playing right for 20 years.
2. Stay at Aureo Hotel in San Fernando
Aureo Hotel is a first-class luxury resort in San Fernando, La Union. It boasts of 58 rooms, each distinctly designed to provide its guests an indulgent stay paradise. The resort is located on a 400-meter stretch along the golden beach of San Fernando. The development integrates with its natural habitat where the original green landscape was retained to compliment the tranquility of the place.
For a stay, you have the option to book a Villa Room or a Condo Room. The Villa Rooms provide different views: Pool, Garden, and Lagoon. Each room has a private veranda and unique breathtaking views of the courtyard. The Condo Units are furnished and provide ample room to rest and relax after a day of activities in the pool or beach and normally have one or two bed rooms.
3. Go surfing at San Juan
San Juan, La Union is recognized as the surfing capital of the north in the Philippines. For beginners, you can head on to Urbiztondo Beach in San Juan town where you can opt to take a surfing lesson. 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. Just approach the local instructors to get started with your surfing lessons.
For the professionals or advanced surfers, they can go to Monaliza Point. It is the name of the coral surfing area where surfers frequently go to surf. This surfing spot is perfect for the pros, since it 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.
4. Go grape-picking in Bauang
Aside from surfing, beautiful beaches, and stunning views, La Union also offers a myriad of activities. Another must-try activity in Elyu is the grape-picking. Grape farms abound in Bauang town. This is not surprising, since the province is also know as fruit basket of the north. There are more grape growers in Bauang but, but the more popular ones are the Lomboy Grape Farm, Gapuz Grape Farm, Aalica Grape Farm, Manguerra Grape Farm, Orpilla-Obando Grape Farm, and Orpilla-Estigoy Grape Farm. All farms offer Pick & Pay for their grapes. Tours usually happen on a first-come-first-served basis and the best time to visit the site is during summer/ harvest season.
5. Visit Bahay Na Bato in Luna
The good thing with visiting Bahay Na Bato (Stone House) is you get to hit three, not only 2 birds, in one stone. This is literally true because you’re getting three attractions in a single visit: the Stone Hand Art Gallery, the Noble Home, and the Pebble Beach.
Bahay na Bato in Luna, La Union, showcases sculpted or carved arts and crafts made from stones and driftwoods. Residents referred to it as the Noble House, which is nestled in a 3-hectare property that overlooks the sea. The very first things that will greet you as you enter the compound are the thousands of stones scattered all around, along the walkway or path where bigger stones with sculpted faces are lined up. The Stone Hand Art Gallery is open from 6 am until 8 pm. There is a minimal entrance fee, but children 4 years old and below are free. The area around Bahay na Bato is said to be miraculously producing an endless supply of stones which are most probably coming from the depths of the sea. By the way, guests are not allowed to bring home any stone as souvenir.