San Juan is a small surfing town in the province of La Union in the Ilocos Region of the Philippines.
It is roughly a 5 hour ride from Manila, depending on traffic, and is a very popular destination for locals to spend their weekends and ride the waves in its various spots.
There are 2 surfing seasons in La Union, the north swell (October-April) and the southwest monsoon (habagat) (July-September), during which one can expect consistent waves. If in La Union between July to September, know that it is also rainy season. But if you are going to be in the water anyway… who cares?
If you are in La Union to catch some waves, you have a good selection of spots availabble no matter your level. Beach break is where you will find most surfing schools and is beginner friendly. Monaliza Point is on the north end of the beach and is a very enjoyable right hander over a rocky coral bottom and a little further south of the beach, about a 5-10 minute ride, you will find Carille/Jesus Point, another very long right hander.
If surf is not your thing, lazying by the beach is not in your plans and you are in the mood for hiking, you can check out Tangadan Falls which are located aproximately 20km east of San Juan in San Gabriel. Alternatively, head over to Tapuakan River, just over 50km south from San Juan, in Pugo, where you’ll be able to go for a dip in it’s shallow stream, relax and enjoy the scenery.
If you are out for some great coffee or if you have a sweet tooth, we highly recommend El Union Coffee. Friendly staff, nice atmosphere and its really close to Monaliza Point, if you feel like catching some waves before or after.
If you are up for a good ride, Bessang Pass is one of our favourite roads in the country. Nice winding mountain roads which twist up the mountains on the way to Sagada. It has absolutely stunning views and you will pass innumerable waterfalls and very little traffic.