A laid back weekday as I learn how to surf, let the waves took me far and the striking sunset that made everything more perfect. More than this activity, an escapade to the Grape Farm, a soak in the falls, sight seeing on Temples, food binging plus a perfect hostel place to stay at made this Elyu Trip of mine, one of my favorite.
La Union known as the Surfing Capital of the north, located in the Ilocos Region of the Philippines.
La Union or “Elyu” has that sense of joy and fulfillment that even I can’t explain the feeling after my 3 days 2 night trip. It was really special and I had the sense of urgency to return back to this province.
In this blog, I’ll be sharing with you my itinerary for 3D/2N, sites to see, budget and full guide, resto and food choices to try out, the hostel where we stayed all for a chilling weekday vacation with two of my favorite office buddies.
HOW TO GO TO LA UNION FROM MANILA :
- Ride a bus bound to La Union via Partas Bus Line | Bus Fare P576 per way | 5-6 hours travel time
- Booked ticket in advance via Partas Bus Line website earliest schedule was at 5:30AM and paid thru my card (Debit Card is also possible for payment)
- what is good about this, is you get to secure a sit for you in advance, also less the hassle in waiting for your bus on your way home
- alight at San Juan Terminal (*or in my case, we alight in front of our accommodation area — Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel)
- Tricycle is other mode of transportation in Elyu, so may ride one to take you at your accommodation area
HOW TO GO BACK TO MANILA FROM ELYU :
- From Elyu, ride a tricycle and take you to Partas Bus Terminal (since we booked for 2 way we have reserved seats in the bus)
- Bus normally passes thru San Juan bound to Manila on a regular basis so you may also want to wait for a bus home instead of advance booking
WHERE TO STAY IN ELYU?
- There are actually many options to choose from in Elyu and it depends on your budget and convenience.
- Chose Flotsam and Jetsam as it is widely known in Elyu, the place is very artsy, Bali feels and inspired, very comfortable and it is such a nice place to spend a vacation at.
FLOTSAM and JETSAM HOSTEL – in our case, I booked a private room for 3 person worth P1,133.00 per person per night. It might be somehow expensive but it comes with a free breakfast already. AC and it is a private room. F & J is famous of its hostel and bunk beds available for solo or budget travelers with a stay for as low as P600 – P800 pesos per night. *Detailed Post Here :Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel – An artsy place to stay in El Yu (La Union)
After a 6 hour bus ride all the way to Elyu, we immediately checked-in at Flotsam by 12nn (*lucky for us as it was not a peak season, and since I usually travel on a weekday I get this as a privilege *wink)
DAY 1 – LEARN HOW TO SURF IN URBIZTONDO
One thing that would make you wanna travel to Elyu is due to its Beach Area perfect for surfing. One on my list as I wanted to learn how to surf as well.
From Flotsam we rode a tricycle going to the beach area (Fare is P10 per person) you may just walk going to the beach area so it actually depends on you. Once in Urbiztondo, you’ll see a lot of instructors all over the place with a surfing board. You may approach one and ask for assistance.
Rates in Elyu for 1 hour usage of the surf board plus the basic training with the instructor is worth P400.00 // if you feel like you already know how to surf after an hour you may extend your surf board rental for additional P200.00 per hour.
Here’s the contact number of our instructor – Kuya Alex 09554425678 you may text him or call him if you like.
I was amazed that after 3 tries I made to maintain my balance in the surf board, and it was pretty much fun than I expected.
It was my first time to go on surfing and I love the experience, it seems scary at first but just make sure to listen to your instructor well and apply every part of it then you’re good .
Basically, our first day was spent by the beach and surfing.
Here’s our Day 1 Actual Expense in Elyu, please do take note that 2 way bus transfer and the 3 days accomm. stay is part of the expense below. *Where to eat in Elyu? Also Read :
DAY 2 – CITY TOUR IN ELYU
Stayed pretty much late on our first day as we enjoy our comforting bed and chitchat as we savor dinner. Early morning we rise up, seeking for a sumptuous breakfast as what F & J is also offering.
Then we headed to the tricycle stand and barter for our plans for the entire day. Our tricycle agreed to bring us to all the land destination for the entire day for P1,200 pesos // this is good for 3 pax. There is actually no standard rate to date and you may ask and commute each site for yourself. However, it’ll be more efficient and convenient to have a service to join you as well the entire time.
Bauang Grape Farm
From San Juan, we headed to Bauang in a tricycle for 30 – 45 minutes. There is Lomboy Grape Farm, Gapuz Grape Farm and more in the area however they have an entrance fee of P100 per person.
We headed at Orpilla-Estigo Grape Farm instead, as our trike driver knew the owners of the farm. You may enter for free, take photos with the Grape Farm, pick all you want and pay it after weighing it (price ranges from P250 – P350 pesos per kilo)
I was so amazed when I discovered this place, who would have thought that a grape farm is available in the Philippines. I was pretty much happy when apart from the grapes they also do sell Grape Wine for only P100 per bottle.
We had the wine tasting and that made me bought 3 more bottles of the Grape Wine to bring it at home. It has low alcohol content but the longer it stays the better it’ll taste as per the locals.
On to our next site, is the Ma-cho Temple. Entrance is FREE! and it felt like China in La Union.
Avoid making too much noise as it is still a temple of worship. After staying and roaming around for an hour, headed to our next destination.
Visited Occallong Falls in Luna, it was roughly more than an hour of tricycle ride from San Juan. There is an entrance fee of P10 pesos per person.
What is good about this falls is you may have the entire place for yourself. Swim all you want in fresh water and savor its cold pristine water.
Bahay na Bato
Same way back to San Juan, you’ll be passing thru Bahay na Bato but be sure to make it before 6PM as it closes already by that time.
It was named Bahay na Bato as everything is literally surrounded and made of “Bato” or Rocks. All of which were pretty fine and it seems that the locals use it as a form of living.
We decided to watch over the sunset here in Bahay na Bato. It was definitely so quiet and very relaxing. Please take note that swimming is not allowed in this area as it is dangerous.
Here’s the summary of expense on our Day 2. From the agreed P1200 pesos of trike ride we added additional P200 pesos to our driver as he serves as our guide during the entire trip as well.
DAY 3 – BOUND HOME
As for our last day in Elyu, we initially planned to visit the beach once again, however, F & J was really comforting to stay for the entire morning, after our heavy breakfast prepared for our stuff and headed for check-out by 12NN.
We then passes thru a Coffee Shop and had our lunch before heading back home to Manila.
Here’s the summary of our full expense for 3D/2N in Elyu. Please take note that all expense here is based on my personal trip. You may save on food if you want to skip the resto houses, or opt for a non-AC room to save on accommodation. If you have a bigger group to join the trip could be more cost-efficient as well as you get to divide the expense more.
As a whole, I totally enjoyed this Elyu Trip!! It was fun-filled with everything. And it was nice to have for 3 Days so you don’t feel tired after the trip. I was energized and was pretty happy with every part of our itinerary.
- They say it’s the new Boracay as it is a perfect go-to place
- Restaurants were everywhere and you may check each to try out based on your preference
- it was relatively cheap in Elyu, but it depends on how you’ll manage your itinerary
- my itinerary may just serve as a guide for your next trip 🙂
Looking forward to spend more vacation leaves in Elyu!!!! Surely be back in this province ❤
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To more travel destinations. – xoxo