Because we wanted to as much as possible take advantage of the lovely summer weather before the rainy season begins, we went to San Juan La Union last weekend to surf! This was my third visit in San Juan and I really enjoy myself every time I go there. It is a go-to place for surf enthusiasts, both beginners and professionals.
San Juan is barely 2 hours away from Baguio and 7 hours away from Manila (by bus). If you’re coming from Manila, you can ride a bus (e.g. Partas) in Cubao going to Laoag and ask the bus conductor to drop you off in San Juan. You can also get off in San Fernando La Union and ride a jeep or a tricycle (a bit pricy at P50-P70) going to San Juan. (San Fernando to the San Juan resorts is about 20 minutes). It would help if you already know which resort you’re going to stay at and just tell the driver. But if you’re a first-timer and you don’t have anywhere to stay yet, San Juan Surf Resort and the Kahuna Beach Resort are very well-known.
We left Baguio at around 11am and got to San Juan by 1pm. We asked around checked out accommodation rates because we didn’t have any reservation. Unfortunately, the first three hotels that we went to were all fully booked. The good thing about San Juan is that there are lots of transient houses which you can rent. Lucky for us, just beside Kahuna Beach Resort was Aplaya Lounge. Their only air-conditioned room was not occupied that time. It could fit as many as 6 people at P3000/night. Since there were only 3 of us, we asked if we could rent it at a lower price which they agreed. Nice! They also have free WiFi access and they have a carinderia just downstairs so no problem about finding food when you’re on a budget. If air-con is not a necessity for you, you can stay at their non-aircon huts for a much cheaper rate.
After having our late lunch, we decided to rest for a bit and waited for our other companion who was coming from Manila. She arrived around 3:30pm then we stayed in our room a bit longer because the heat outside was unbelievable.
About quarter to 5 we finally went to the beach. There was an ongoing surf camp so most surfers were beginners. Though there were waves, they were not as high as when I first went here (though, moderate waves are all you need if you’re a beginner).
We had our dinner at San Juan Surf Resort and headed to hang out by the beach some more.
The best season to surf in San Juan would be during the months of October-January. Surf board rental including the instructor is P400/hour. Kayak rental is P200/hour.