Where to Stay in La Union (2019 • COOLEST Areas!)

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La Union is a backpacker’s paradise. It has pristine beaches, incredible surfing, fun nightlife, delicious food and interests sights – and all of it comes at a very affordable price!

But La Union is a large province and not all of its towns and villages will be of interest to travellers. That’s exactly why we put together this guide for where to stay in La Union.

Written by travellers for travelers, this guide takes the five best places to stay in La Union and organizes them by interest, so you’ll know exactly which is right for you and your travel needs.

So whether you’re looking to lounge, surf, eat or play, by the end of this article you’ll know exactly which La Union village is the right fit for you.

Let’s jump right to it – here’s our guide for where to stay in La Union, Philippines.

 

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in La Union

  • Where to stay in La Union first time – San Fernando
  • Where to stay in La Union on a budget – San Juan
  • Best area to stay in La Union for nightlife – San Juan
  • Coolest place to stay in La Union – Bauang
  • Best neighbourhood in La Union for families – Agoo

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

San Fernando
San Fernando is our top recommendation for where to stay in La Union if you’re visiting for the first time. Not only is it the capital of the province, but it is the financial, political, cultural and industrial hub. A lot of the best things to do in La Union are nearby.
Places to Visit:
  • Eat delicious Filipino fare at La Famiglia Restaurant
  • See the Occalong Falls, a true hidden gem in La Union
  • Marvel at the sacred St. William The Hermit Cathedral

 

Where to Stay in La Union

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in La Union.

 

Best Hostel in La Union: The Circle Hostel La Union

This great hostel is the ideal place to stay if you’re looking to surf, eat or explore San Juan. It is close to the beach, great restaurants and lively bars. They provide free wifi, a comfortable common room and a relaxing outdoor terrace. You’ll also enjoy free linens and breakfast.

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Best Airbnb in La Union: Self contained chalet in a secluded setting

This self-contained chalet is great for soaking in the philipino beach vibe, expect to wake up to the sound of crashing waves and birdsong, and the aroma of your hosts complimentary coffee. Complimentary wifi access is always nice, and you’re just a short walk from the beach, the surf and the city centre.

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Best Hotel in La Union: China Sea Beach Resort

This exquisite resort is located in Bauang. It has 20 modern rooms with air conditioning, comfortable beds and essential amenities. It boasts a restaurant and a bar, plus there’s a fantastic pool and a helpful tour desk onsite. Enjoy stunning views at this La Union oasis.

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La Union Neighborhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in La Union

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San Fernando

  • San Fernando is our top recommendation for where to stay in La Union if you’re visiting for the first time. Not only is it the capital of the province, but it is the financial, political, cultural and industrial hub
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San Juan

  • San Juan is known as the surfing capital of the northern Philippines. Centrally set in La Union, surfers of all levels can catch a wave and hang ten thanks to the consistent and favourable surfing conditions in San Juan
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San Juan

  • But there’s more to San Juan than just beaches and budgets. This hub of excitement and activity is also where you’ll find the best nightlife in La Union
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Bauang

  • Bauang is a municipality located in central La Union. It is known for its fine-sand beaches, stunning sunsets, its delicious fresh produce, and it’s historic, cultural and religious landmarks
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Agoo

  • Located in southern La Union is the district of Agoo. This small city sits nestled between the foothills of the Cordillera Mountain Range and the shores of the South China Sea
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La Union is a province located on the Filippino Island of Luzon. It is a destination for travellers who are looking to eat, surf, lounge and play in paradise. It’s where you’ll find golden sand beaches and pristine turquoise waters, as well as lush landscapes and historic temples and landmarks.

The province is home to more than 786,000 people who are spread out across 1,497 square kilometres. It is divided into 19 municipalities and one component city and the province is split into a total of 576 barangays or villages. Each village offers something different for travellers, so this guide will focus on the top attractions and activities in the five best places to stay in La Union.

Starting with San Fernando, La Union’s capital city. Set at the heart of the province, San Fernando is also the regional centre for all of Ilocos. It a financial, industrial and political hub, and is home to a great selection of restaurants, bars and sightseeing attractions.

Head north from here and you’ll arrive in San Juan. One of La Union’s up-and-coming neighbourhoods, San Juan is a surfers paradise with golden sand beaches, charming shops and laid-back bars.

Travel south through La Union and you’ll arrive in Bauang. A charming village full of life and vibrancy, Bauang is the perfect place to stay if you’re interested in sampling the local cuisine, culture, or if you’re simply looking to get away from the crowds.

And finally, continue south and you’ll pass through Agoo. It is a great destination for families as it boasts plenty of cultural and architectural attractions, as well as parks, beaches and more.

Still not sure where to stay in La Union? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

 

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La Union’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

In this next section, we’ll take a look in more detail at the five best neighbourhoods to stay in La Union. Each is a little different from the last so be sure to pick the neighbourhood or village that’s right for you!

 

1. San Fernando – Where to Stay in La Union First Time

San Fernando is our top recommendation for where to stay in La Union if you’re visiting for the first time. Not only is it the capital of the province, but it is the financial, political, cultural and industrial hub of La Union and it is bursting with energy and excitement. It’s where you’ll find a great variety of shopping, dining and sightseeing options, perfect for travellers of all ages, styles and budgets.

A must for anyone visiting San Fernando is a trip to the Ma-Cho Temple. Set near the sea, Ma-Cho Temple is a colourful Taoist temple that honours the Chinese sea-goddess Mazu. This 7-storey, 11-tiered temple boasts stunning gates, two circular ponds and plenty of details to take in. It’s as peaceful and relaxing as it is beautiful.

San Fernando, La Union

source: Ramon FVelaquez (Wikicommons)

 

Things to See and Do in San Fernando

– Climb to the Christ the Redeemer Statue and enjoy the view.

– Dine on tasty dishes at Natalna Grille.

– Eat delicious Filipino fare at La Famiglia Restaurant.

– Explore the Pindangan Ruins.

– Lounge in the sun at Bauang Beach.

– Marvel at the sacred St. William The Hermit Cathedral.

– Relax and enjoy the view from Acapulco Beach.

– See the Occalong Falls, a true hidden gem in La Union.

– Sip and sample your way through Night Market SFC.

– Stop and smell the roses at La Union Botanical Garden.

– Visit the stunning Ma-Cho Temple.

– Wander through the vines at Gapuz Grapes Farm.

 

Best Budget Hotel in San Fernando: Hotel Mikka

This budget hotel is ideally located near San Fernando’s top attractions. It is close to the beach as well as the Ma-Cho Temple. Hotel Mika has 42 air-conditioned rooms with private showers and cable/satellite channels. There’s also an airport shuttle and a unique on-site restaurant.

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Best Airbnb in San Fernando: Self contained chalet in a secluded setting

This self-contained chalet is great for soaking in the philipino beach vibe, expect to wake up to the sound of crashing waves and birdsong, and the aroma of your hosts complimentary coffee. Complimentary wifi access is always nice, and you’re just a short walk from the beach, the surf and the city centre.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in San Fernando: Oasis Country Resort

The Oasis Country Resort is our recommendation for where to stay in San Fernando. It provides a peaceful retreat just a short drive from the city and is well-positioned for exploring the area. Guests can enjoy free wifi, an outdoor pool and a variety of amenities, including a spa.

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Best Hotel in San Fernando: Thunderbird Poro Point

This colourful hotel is a fantastic option for your stay in San Fernando. This elegant four-star hotel offers guests a relaxing environment complete with a swimming pool, a private beach and a 9-hole golf course. There’s also a delicious restaurant on-site, and plenty of other options nearby.

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2. San Juan – Where to Stay in La Union on a Budget

San Juan is known as the surfing capital of the northern Philippines. Centrally set in La Union, surfers of all levels can catch a wave and hang ten thanks to the consistent and favourable surfing conditions in San Juan.

This is also our pick for where to stay in La Union if you’re on a budget. This lively and vibrant district is home to a handful of excellent hostels that offer great accommodations at an incredible price. If hostels aren’t your styles, you’ll also find a good selection of hotels, resorts and apartment that let you enjoy paradise without breaking the bank.

San Juan (BUDGET), La Union

source: Jerick Parrone (Flickr)

 

Things to See and Do in San Juan

– Achieve zen while hanging ten with Aquaniumous Yoga.

– Cool down with a refreshing treat from Leche, an ice cream parlour that serves a variety of interesting Filipino-inspired flavours.

– Enjoy beachside drinks, snacks and more at relaxing and rustic Sandbar.

– Explore the world of San Juan’s handicrafts at Red Clay Pagdamilian.

– Indulge in delicious pasta and brick oven pizza at Amare La Cucina.

– Learn to surf with the La Union Surf School.

– Pack a picnic and enjoy a fantastic day of lounging on the beach and basking in the sun.

 

Best Hostel in San Juan: The Circle Hostel La Union

This great hostel is the ideal place to stay if you’re looking to surf, eat or explore San Juan. It is close to the beach, great restaurants and lively bars. They provide free wifi, a comfortable common room and a relaxing outdoor terrace. You’ll also enjoy free linens and breakfast.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in San Juan: Spartan accommodation for the seasoned professional

Let’s be real, you’re not in La Union to be pampered. You’re here for sun, surf, culture and community. This is a great place to meet like-minded travellers on a budget while keeping yourself close to the surf, it features such greatest hits as: A mattress! A shower! A fan! What more could you want?

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Best Hotel in San Juan: The Little Surfmaid Resort

Little Surfmaid is one of our favourite hotels in San Juan. It provides easy access to the beach and San Juan’s best bars, restaurants and attractions. This hotel has 19 recently refurbished rooms with comfortable beds and modern amenities. They provide an airport shuttle, luggage storage, and have a relaxing garden and restaurant on-site.

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Best Hotel in San Juan: Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa

Rest and relax in paradise at this stunning four-star resort. Centrally located in San Juan, this resort is located within walking distance of the beach. It boasts an outdoor swimming pool and offers massage services and a beauty centre. They also provide airport transfers and laundry services.

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3. San Juan – Best Area to Stay in La Union for Nightlife

But there’s more to San Juan than just beaches and budgets. This hub of excitement and activity is also where you’ll find the best nightlife in La Union. Tucked throughout this charming district are a vast array of bars, pubs and nightclubs offering up a great time. Whether you want beachside cocktails or to dance the night away, San Juan has what you’re looking for.

San Juan is also fast emerging as one of the top foodie destinations in La Union. It his home to a wide variety of restaurants, cafes and stalls that serve fresh and delicious dishes from cuisines from around the world. You’re guaranteed to eat very well when staying in San Juan.

San Juan (NIGHTLIFE), La Union

source: Jennie Equiz (Shutterstock)

 

Things to See and Do in San Juan

– Dig into delicious Filipino dishes at Tagpuan.

– Dine on crab, scallops, seafood and more at the Great Gamble Seafood Shack.

– Drink at Drinks Ahoy.

– Eat fresh and refreshing salads and souvlakis at Gefseis Greek Grill.

– Kickstart your day at El Union Coffee.

– Party at Flotsam & Jetsam.

– Sample and snack your way through the Beach Bum Food Park.

– Savour Mexican and Latin fare at Olas Banditos.

– Sink your teeth into a tasty burger at Mad Monkeys.

– Taste incredible tacos at Papa Bear.

– Watch the sunset as you dine beachside at Layag Grille & Kilawen Bar.

 

Best Hostel in San Juan: Lokal Home

This unique hostel is located in central San Juan. It is built in a traditional Kubo hut-style with a natural roof made from Labig leaves. They offer two guestrooms – one private and one dorm. You’ll enjoy comfortable bunk beds, free linens and a social common room.

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Best Airbnb in San Juan: Traditional cabins for evening adventures

If you’re here for a party, why not do it with a bit of old school charm. These simpled weaved bamboo kubo cabins are located a short walk from all the best bars in town and would make the perfect backdrop for a few early evening jungle juices.

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Best Hotel in San Juan: Awesome Hotel

The name says it all – this hotel is awesome! Located in central San Juan, this hotel is close to the beach and plenty of outdoor activities. It has a Jacuzzi, a rooftop terrace and a saltwater swimming pool. You’ll enjoy spacious rooms with spa-like bathrooms. There’s also an in-house restaurant and bar.

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Best Hotel in San Juan: P and M Final Option Hotel

This is one of our top picks for where to stay in San Juan thanks to its wonderful staff, great location, and its delicious on-site restaurant. It provides a variety of services and features to guests, including a tour desk and luggage storage. Rooms are comfortable, cosy, and well-equipped for an excellent stay.

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4. Bauang – Coolest Place to Stay in La Union

Bauang is a municipality located in central La Union. It is known for its fine-sand beaches, stunning sunsets, its delicious fresh produce, and it’s historic, cultural and religious landmarks. Bauang is a stunning town that offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere and a paradise oasis.

It also gets our vote for the coolest place to stay in La Union thanks to the many festivals and events it hosts throughout the year. From large-scale international parties, like Oktoberfest, to regional events and traditional activities, Bauang is a district with so much going on throughout the year.

Bauang, La Union

source: Judgefloro (Wikicommons)

 

Things to See and Do in Bauang

– Admire the detail and architecture of the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Charity.

– Eat tasty dishes surrounded by beautiful nature at The Farm Agoo.

– Enjoy delicious Filippino food at an excellent price at Makkan Ilokano.

– Learn about the history of the region at the Museo de Iloko.

– Run, jump, splash and play at the colourful and fun Splash Town Waterpark & Resort.

– Spend a day at the beach.

– Take a relaxing stroll through the lush and luxurious Agoo-Damortis National Seashore Park.

– Take part in all kinds of outdoor activities, including horseback riding, biking, fishing and camping at Agoo Eco-Fun World.

 

Best Resort in Bauang: China Sea Beach Resort

This exquisite resort is located in Bauang. It has 20 modern rooms with air conditioning, comfortable beds and essential amenities. It boasts a restaurant and a bar, plus there’s a fantastic pool and a helpful tour desk onsite. Enjoy stunning views at this La Union oasis.

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Best Airbnb in Bauang: Cheteau on the beach

A great place to unwide and see a quieter side of La Union, and holy moly, look at that view! Wake up, lift up the bug screen, hang your arm of the side of the bed and you’ll literally be touching the beach! Couple that with great decor and great transport links and this place is a steal.

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Best Hotel in Bauang: Hotel Ariana Bauang

The Hotel Ariana is a three-star property located in Bauang. They provide clean and spacious rooms with private showers, cable/satellite channels and plenty of necessities. Guest can enjoy a delicious meal at the on-site restaurant at the end of an action-packed day. This hotel also provides easy access to top tourist attractions.

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Best Hotel in Bauang: Marand Resort and Spa

This hotel is a great place to stay in Bauang. It is located within walking distance of the beach, and San Juan and San Fernando are just a short drive away. This hotel boasts delightful rooms with air conditioning. They also offer a sauna, a swimming pool, free wifi and luggage storage.

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5. Agoo – Best Neighbourhood in La Union for Families

Located in southern La Union is the district of Agoo. This small city sits nestled between the foothills of the Cordillera Mountain Range and the shores of the South China Sea. It’s home to a vibrant yet easy-going community, as well as some of the best seafood in the Phillippines.

Agoo is our top choice for where to stay in La Union for families. The town is home to a friendly and welcoming community of locals and expats. It’s also where you’ll find a good variety of attractions and activities, including cultural, historical and natural highlights. From stunning parks to towering cathedrals, Agoo is awash with plenty of things to see, do, eat and enjoy.

Agoo La Union

source: Judgefloro (Wikicommons)

 

Things to See and Do in Agoo

– Admire the detail and architecture of the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Charity.

– Eat tasty dishes surrounded by beautiful nature at The Farm Agoo.

– Enjoy delicious Filippino food at an excellent price at Makkan Ilokano.

– Learn about the history of the region at the Museo de Iloko.

– Run, jump, splash and play at the colourful and fun Splash Town Waterpark & Resort.

– Spend a day at the beach.

– Take part in all kinds of outdoor activities, including horseback riding, biking, fishing and camping at Agoo Eco-Fun World.

– Wander through the lush and luxurious Agoo-Damortis National Seashore Park.

 

Best Apartment in Agoo: Affordable La Union

This property is located in nearby Caba, a short drive from Agoo. It has a terrace, and garden views. Each air-conditioned apartment comes with two separate bedrooms, a well-stocked kitchen and a flat-screen TV. The property also includes a BBQ area and a relaxing shared lounge.

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Best Airbnb in Agoo: Crazy uniqe property for a memorable holiday

If you’ve got a big brood, or want to spoil a small one, look no further. This si one of the more unique Airbnb’s we’ve found. A self-contained farm with its own campground, outdoor cinema, and pool. The price is a STEAL if you take a large group, while still affordable for a family of 4 or 5.

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Best Hotel in Agoo: Sea of Dreams Resort – Spa

This resort is our top pick for where to stay in Agoo. It offers comfortable accommodations in nearby Caba and is well-positioned for exploring the region. Rooms come with wireless internet and modern amenities. There’s also a restaurant on-site, perfect for relaxing after a long day.

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Best Apartments in Agoo: Baguio City TH Apartments

These apartments are situated in Baguio. They are a short distance from central Agoo, great restaurants and the beach. These apartments offer four-star accommodations, comfortable and relaxing rooms, and a variety of great features. Each comes complete with a kitchen, private bathroom and access to a garden.

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in La Union

La Union is a stunning region. It has amazing beaches, delicious food, vibrant nightlife and a variety of diverse and interesting historical and cultural attractions. From towering temples to fine-sand beaches, La Union is a region that has something for travellers of all types.

In this guide, we’ve looked at the five best places to stay in La Union. If you’re still not sure which is right for you, here’s a quick recap of our favourites.

The Circle Hostel La Union is our favourite hostel thanks to its close proximity to the beach, its comfortable rooms and delicious free breakfast.

Another great option is the China Sea Beach Resort. Located in Bauang, this hotel has modern rooms, a stunning pool, and exquisite views of paradise.

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below!

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

 

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