Cover La Union, Philippines | Photo: Vernon Raineil Cenzon

La Union is a paradise that is only a drive away from the busy metro. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, this place was a gem treasured by lovers of the beach. In this article, Tatler lists a few of the things we miss about the place.

When rehabilitation efforts for Boracay began in 2018, many restaurants and casinos in the area were ordered to cease operations, the establishments within the 30-meter shoreline were demolished, and tourists were temporarily banned from stepping on the fabled white sands. 

Thalassiophiles thronged the shores of La Union to seek refuge. The place is more accessible as it is only six hours away from the noisy streets of Metro Manila. In this mini paradise, people mingled with their peers, surfed and enjoyed the calm sea.

When travel restrictions were imposed in the Philippines, beach lovers missed the following activities in La Union: 

More from Tatler: 3 Exciting Places Local Tourists Can Travel To In The Philippines

1 / 5

Surfing in Urbiztondo

Although Urbiztondo is not the surfing capital of the Philippines, many people flock to the area from October until March when the best waves arrive. The place is also the main tourist spot in La Union as the beach party culture is alive in this place at nighttime. 

The surfing fee for Urbiztondo usually ranges from PHP200 per hour to PHP400 per hour (with tour and surfboard). A half-day rental typically costs PHP500.

How to get there: From Manila, tourists can ride a bus bound to San Fernando, La Union. Ask the driver to drop you off at the jeepney stop for San Juan, then ride a jeepney to Urbiztondo Beach. 


2 / 5

Cliff Diving in Tangadan Falls

Diving in the cold waters of Tangadan falls is one good way to beat the summer heat. The falls is one of at least 10 waterfalls in La Union. 

Tangadan Falls is 50 feet high with a width of about 100 feet. It features a deep natural catch basin perfect for first-time cliff divers. The entrance fee is around PHP30 per head. 

How to get there: From Manila, tourists may ride the Ilocos or Abra bound bus. Get off at the People's Park in San Juan; from there, ride a jeepney going to San Gabriel. 

Related: Take A Peek Inside This Dusit Property In La Union

3 / 5

Climbing Mt. Puraw

Swimming and surfing aren't the only things you can do in La Union. If your eyes want to witness a sea of clouds, then you should head to the peak of Mt. Puraw. 

How to get there: Mt Puraw is located in Bauang, La Union; to get there, ride a tricycle to Brgy. Limmansangan-Palugsi and register at the barangay hall.

Read more from Tatler: 7 Majestic Peaks You Have To Conquer In Your Lifetime


4 / 5

Touring Ma Cho Temple

Ma Cho Temple is the very first and the biggest Taoist temple outside China. The place is located near San Fernando, La Union where you can see the South China sea. It was built by former Tourism Secretary Jose D Aspiras together with the Chinese community in the Philippines.

The temple stands seven storeys high and 70 feet above sea level.  

How to get there: From the city plaza, tourists may ride a tricycle heading to the Ma Cho temple along the national road leading to Ilocos. 


5 / 5

Appreciating Art At Kamay Na Bato Art Gallery

There are many out of the ordinary art pieces that you can enjoy in Kamay Na Bato art gallery, La Union. The museum is home to the craft of Korean artist Vong Kim. Inside, stone sculptures that resemble animals and phallic items and attention-grabbing woodworks are waiting for you.

The admission fee to Kamay Na Bato is PHP50. It is open from Monday to Sunday, from 7:00am to 6:00pm.

Address: Nalvo Norte, Luna, La Union, Philippines