Life feels like a perennial vacation in La Union, especially in the idyllic surf town of San Juan. With friendly waves, party-happy locals, and a vibrant food scene, the close-knit community has blossomed into what is now one of the most popular beach destinations within driving distance of Metro Manila. Breezy locals and happy tourists amble down the road with surfboards tucked under their arms. Every afternoon at sunset, people make their way to the sandy shores to watch the sky explode in vibrant shades of red and orange over the sea.
In the wake of La Union’s tourism boom in the past decade, plenty of accommodations have sprung up in this charming beach destination. For backpackers, one of the best options is hostels as it offers budget-friendly prices and a back-to-basics approach. Another plus: these accommodations allow free-spirited travelers to connect with like-minded individuals. Planning to visit surf town anytime soon? Here are five of the best hostels in La Union and the latest travel requirements for your upcoming beach getaway.
Flotsam and Jetsam Artist Beach Hostel
Nestled on a relatively secluded beachfront property, Flotsam and Jetsam Artist Beach Hostel gives travelers the best of both worlds: a laidback retreat where you can relax without being too far from the option. From shared dormitories to private rooms, there are a number of different types of accommodations available, each one designed to be as spacious and comfortable as possible for all travelers. Dorms feature spacious individual beds equipped with a personal locker, lighting, and even an electrical socket for charging your gadgets. Whether you’re in town for a day, a week, or more, it’s easy to fall in love with the artsy hostel’s whimsical style.
With Vessel Hostel’s crisp architecture of repurposed shipping containers and cozy vintage-style interiors, it has emerged as one of the top accommodations in La Union. Designed by architects Buji Libarnes and Nikki Dela Paz-Libarnes, it’s borne out of the pair’s love for surfing and retro surfing lifestyle. The petite 22-bed hostel features warm, natural materials, cozy pockets of common areas, and a smattering of fun, 60s-inspired décor. And Vessel is as functional as it is stylish. Each individual bed comes with all the essentials, including a night light, an electrical outlet, a locker, and even a small table. All of the dorm rooms are air-conditioning, ensuring a comfortable stay even during blistering summers. Plus, it’s a convenient stone’s throw away from the main beach break, so surfers don’t have to go too far to catch some waves. Book at the hostel’s official website.
Frequent La Union visitors won’t mind calling Lokal Home their “home away from home.” The budget-friendly kubo huts are simple and cozy with roofs made of labig leaves that help cool down the fan rooms on hot tropical days. There are fan and air-conditioned private rooms and shared dormitories available, plus lively open-air common areas to hang out and meet fellow travelers. Lokal Home is on an ideal spot in San Juan with plenty to do—the beach is only a few minutes away, so you can wake up to an early morning surf session and then sample yummy dishes at the assortment of restaurants surrounding the hostel. Book on Airbnb.
Charlie’s Hangar Surf Hostel
Hunting for a fun and one-of-a-kind place to stay in La Union? With a massive airplane in its backyard and an admirable commitment to the aviation theme, Charlie’s Hangar Surf Hostel is definitely a resort worth checking out. And fortunately, Charlie’s appeal goes far beyond the surface. Each of the four-, six-, and eight-bed cabins are bright and comfortable with plush bunk beds, a bedside locker and desk, and electrical outlets. Conveniently, the hostel is only a skip and a hop away from the main surf break with its sprawling lawn overlooking the sea. Check Charlie’s Hangar’s social media pages for great Work From Beach promos.
Everything You Need To Know To Travel To La Union
Hit the dreamy beach in La Union for the sun, sand, and surf—but safety first, always! La Union tourist attractions are already open to tourists from Luzon, but before hopping on the car, make sure you’re updated with the latest travel regulations from La Union tourism.
Who is allowed to travel to La Union? Tourists from Luzon who are 15 to 65 years of age.
What are the travel requirements?
- Booking with a DOT-accredited tour operator or travel agency based in La Union. Check the available operators and agencies here.
- Negative RT-PCR test result issued within 72 hours of your La Union trip. Book a Home Service RT-PCR Test in Metro Manila here.
- QR-coded Tourist Pass (QTP). Register for your QTP and book your travel request at the Tara Na! La Union website.
- Government-issued ID.
What are the requirements to get around La Union? Tourist Access Pass (TAP). Get your TAP by presenting your QTP and ID at any Tourism One-Stop-Shop found at all entry points going to La Union. Also, don’t forget to pack your New Normal essentials: face masks, face shields, and hand sanitizers.
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