Elyu: A first timer's bucketlist

La Union or more famously known as "Elyu" among most millenials has been one of the favorite summer destinations and beach go-to's of all time. It also known as the Surfing Capital of the Northern Philippines. Last June of this year, my friends and I decided to explore the wonders of this famous beach and food trip lane. See our adventure? 

Before going there, I searched up the net about the places that we could spot once we get there. I made this DIY itinerary (but don't restrict yourself with the tourist points listed below though).

We weren't able to go to all the places I have on my list huhuhu but that's kinda a good thing too because there's more reason to go back to the north after this semester. Oh yassss.

Where we stayed: Sebay Surf Central (click on the link to be redirected to their site)

ctto of the watercolor pictures❤️️

What I loved most about the place is of course their cozy rooms, beach side dining area, live band at night, and billiard pool table where you can doze off after a day of adventures. Moreover, it is near the beach and the surf school. Definitely recommending them!

Trek to Tangadan Falls

How to get there: Ride a jeepney to San Gabriel (P16) drop off at the market place. From there, you could hire a tricycle that would drop you off to the start of the trail. If your hotel is somewhere in San Juan, there are trike drivers that would offer you a ride for Php 500. Don't get fooled! The Php 500 is good for a one way ride. Plus, when you get to the market place at San Gabriel, they would offer you a habal habal ride one way costs around Php 150 (if I remember it correctly) and that's per person. If you're not the trekking type of person, you could go and take the habal habal ride since they would drop you off near the falls which will shorten your trek from 2 hrs to 30 mins to an hour. My friends and I took the 2 hr trek so that we could appreciate nature and the extra work out hahaha
Our super friendly tour guide Kuya Roy (contact # 0946 0403 556)
He takes good pictures as well! *shout out to the #bloggers

Before getting to Tangadan Falls, you will come across this place where you could rest and enjoy some cliff diving activities. Crossing another one from my bucketlist!

You could rent this pseudo cable car thingy where it would cross you over the river and you could take pictures while suspended 20 ft high up in the air. It only costs Php 20.

After 2 hrs of trekking, we're finally at Tangadan Falls!
Such a beautiful view isn't she?

It was such a refreshing swim! One of my favorite falls so far ❤️️

Excuse the face plus the no kilay look=))) I really enjoyed taking this trike ride sitting on the trike's roof. I was holding on to my dear life while taking selfies. Hahahaha #priorities!

Lunch at Geifseis Greek Grill

The restaurant was just a few minutes from the hostel. The thing I love here in San Juan, La Union, the food establishments offers a variety of food choices and they are clustered near the hostels so you could take a walk and choose your cravings.

We had lunch at Geifseis Greek Grill. It is a Santorini-inspired beach side restaurant.

Surf at Urbiztondo beach

Don't miss out the chance to surf at La Union! This activity was one of the highlights of our trip. However the waves were wild! It was kinda hard at first to balance and feel the wave, but the trainers will surely guide you and you will get the hang of it eventually.
Surfing rates: Surfboard Php 200 ; Surfboard with trainer Php 400.

Chill nights at Flotsam Jetsam Hostel

Looking for some night life? I've been hearing so much about Flotsam Jetsam hostel and I've also been reading a lot good reviews about it. We had our dinner and night booze at this famous food place where you could choose from different food kiosks. I recommend that you go there at daytime or afternoon so that you could take good pictures of the interior. I wasn't able to capture the beauty of the place, but will come back soon! 

Breakfast at Sebay Central Restaurant

I could get used waking up to the sound of the ocean waves and having this view❤️️

Have coffee at El Union Coffee

Shout out to all the coffee lovers out there! El Union Coffee goes on top my list of favorite cafes! I just love the ambiance here! Just imagine, beach side coffee, smores dip, reggae music, and friendly baristas! 

Visit and give prayers at Macho Temple

We left San Juan at around lunch time and en route to San Fernando before heading out to Manila. It's just a 20 minute drive from San Juan. It was my first time to go inside a temple and I can't help but stare at the intricate design and architecture of the structures.

Ma-Cho Temple is adorned with Chinese motif of lions and dragons etched on camphor woods and massive stones imported directly from Taipei.It is located on a hill in downtown San Fernando La Union overlooking the South China Sea, Ma-Cho is the first Taoist temple in the country with the original spider type dome made from interlinking wood carvings of saints piling up one after another for a total of 11 tiers. 

Visit the little 'santorini' at Thunderbird Resort

Before going in to the vicinity of the resort, they will be asking a fee of Php 100 for those who are doing an ocular visit or simply dropping by the place. It is worth your money, swear. I got a glimpse of Greece for a split second. The place was majestic and most definitely relaxing.

And the photo dump begins...

LANY appreciation because you are my favorite everything❤️️ choz!

Will definitely come back after this sem and here's to my last (huhuhuhu hopefully not) post because I'm going on a hiatus for med school. Thanks for reading! A part 2 of this post soon!



kea ortega


  1. Such a wonderful place to explore!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    1. Definitely a must-see beach here in the Philippines! Thanks for dropping by my blog ❤️️

  2. Wow picturesque everywhere. Hope I can explore this too. Looks like truly a memorable adventure.

    1. The view is more mesmerizing when you see it in person. Thanks for reading through my blog post 😘

  3. Looks like such a fun place to visit! Your travel photos are all so dreamy!

    Rina Samantha

    1. It's so much better when you see the beach in person! Thanks for dropping by! Have a nice day Rina!!!❤️️😘

  4. Ang dami kong gustong puntahan at isa na 'to dun, La Union. Parang ang dami pwedeng puntahan and the beach! Omg! :)

    1. i know riiiiight! super chill vibes nung mga restaurants lalo na yung night life❤❤❤❤

  5. This makes me miss my LU trip! Pero di na ko babalik dun ng Labor Union. sobrang daming tao! Nakakamiss yung beach. Kahit di white sand sobrang ganda and relaxing parin. Pati yung malamig na tubig ng Tangadan Falls nakakamiss! Hi Kea! :)

    Angelica|The PolyHobbyist

    1. Hi Angelica! Thanks for dropping by!❤ Sobrang lesson learned na ako hahaha never na ako pupunta ng beach pag peak season para masolo and mas maappreciate ko yung view. Tangadan falls is the best! Like sulit yung trek kasi pagdating sa falls, refreshing yung oa sa lamig na tubig hahahaha

  6. I've been to La Union but only in the San Juan area, specifically just in Flotsam & Jetsam and San Juan Surf Resort. Our visit was very short so we didn't get to see and go to a lot of places. My gosh I'm totally missing out. I have to get back to LU to go to these beautiful places!

    Thanks for blogging about your experience, Kea!


    1. Hi Pearl! Thank you so much for reading my blog post! There's so much to see nga in Elyu that would make you wanna go back every once in a while. Good for you coz you got to appreciate flotsam & jetsam kasi I saw in your blog post you went during the afternoon! Hahahaha we went their night na kasi and it's super crowded! Btw, super love your blog! Would love to read more about your travels soon!❤