13 Best Things To Do In San Fernando, La Union, The Philippines

things to do in san fernando la union philippines
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Most of the time, the first thing that comes to mind upon the mention of La Union is the beach - after all, if there’s anything La Union is famous for, it’s the waves and pristine shores. But beyond being a crowd favorite among surfers, San Fernando in La Union actually plays host to more things to do than meets the eye. La Union is actually one of the best staycation spots in the country. Beach holidays in the Philippines are always top-notch. If you’re feeling the need for one, then you should definitely consider San Fernando, La Union. Check out these best things to do in San Fernando, La Union, the Philippines.

1. Admire the view at the Ma-Cho Temple

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ramon FVelasquez used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Outside of China, where would you find the biggest Taoist temple in the world? The answer is right here, in San Fernando, La Union. If some alone time with your thoughts is in order, better head to Ma-Cho Temple while you have the chance: its serene atmosphere is sure to draw you in. Aside from burning incense and saying a prayer, you can get a gorgeous view of the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea or take a walk in Ma-Cho Temple’s peaceful garden.

Ma-Cho Temple

Address: Ma-Cho Temple Driveway, San Fernando, La Union

Traveler's tips

Once you've explored the temple, make your way to the viewing deck for a breathtaking panoramic view of the South China Sea. It's a peaceful spot to take in the beauty of the ocean and capture stunning photos. Don't rush through your visit; instead, savor the tranquil moments and enjoy the temple's serene surroundings and the vast expanse of the sea beyond.
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2. Indulge over at Gapuz Grapes La Union

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Gapuz Grapes Farm on Saturday, July 7, 2018

If you’re a fan of wine, Gapuz Grapes should be on your itinerary. From March to May, Gapuz Grapes lets visitors go on a grape picking adventure during their farm tour, where you can take home an entire kilo of grapes for only 9.00 USD. Other fruits are available too depending on the season and what’s more, you can go wine tasting too. If you want to take home some of their wines, you can purchase a bottle at the store as well. There’s no entrance fee and you’re only charged 0.40 USD if you wish to take photos.

Gapuz Grapes La Union

Address: 78 National Hi-Way Brgy. Urayong.

Facebook: Gapuz Grapes La Union

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3. Take a stroll around the La Union Botanical Garden

Bask in all that mother nature has to offer at La Union Botanical Garden! The La Union Botanical Garden is filled with a mini zoo and gardens, including one that sits right on top of the mountain (imagine the view of that one!). Here, you’d also find the Children’s Park and Japanese Park, both with different types of plants, trees and flowers. Take a slow afternoon and come here for a relaxing picnic. Entrance fee is only 0.40 USD.

La Union Botanical Garden

Address: Cadaclan, San Fernando La Union, Luzon, Philippines

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4. Climb up Pagoda Hill

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ramon FVelasquez used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Filipino and Chinese people have had a longstanding relationship lasting for many centuries as the Chinese were one of the first to form trade ties with the Philippines. It’s no surprise then that such a park as Pagoda Hill - a Filipino-Chinese Friendship Park - exists. Adorned with Chinese-inspired architecture, Pagoda Hill is a great place for couples looking for a place to go on a leisurely walk in - its fresh air and access to a gorgeous view of San Fernando City is one to beat.

Pagoda Hill

Address: National Highway in Pagdaraoan, San Fernando La Union, Luzon, Philippines

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5. Sample the local cuisine at Night Market SFC

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by NIGHT Market SFC on Thursday, September 18, 2014

If you truly want to travel like a local, San Fernando’s Night Market is a must-visit. Its aisles are lined with local street food and delicacies, and here, you can finally satisfy your craving for balut and fish balls. There’s grilled food too if you’re looking for more grub, and you can cap off the night with local desserts and fruits. Not only is the food here highly affordable and diverse, the vibe is laidback too, and you can eat right under the stars.

Night Market SFC

Address: Osmena Street Brgy. 3, San Fernando La Union, Luzon 2500, Philippines

Facebook: Night Market SFC

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6. Explore the Pindangan Ruins

Maybe you’re hungry for a little bit more adventure than the usual food + beach + parks combo. If you’re brave enough, head over to Pindangan Ruins - this place is not for the faint of heart, but definitely for those who are fans of a good ghost story or two. Pindangan Ruins is a remnant of an old church, with a monastery situated behind it. There are rumors that headless priests roam the vicinity too, so watch out! For the best stories of Pindangan Ruins, it’s highly recommended that you bring a tour guide along with you. Entrance fee is around 2.20 USD.

Pindangan Ruins

Address: Brgy. San Vicente, San Fernando City, La Union

Traveler's tips

Immerse yourself in history and culture

Pindangan Ruins offer a glimpse into the region's rich history. Take some time to explore the ruins and imagine the stories of the past. Don't forget to bring a camera to capture the picturesque setting. Additionally, if there are any informational signs or guides available, be sure to read and learn more about the historical significance of the site. By doing so, you can fully appreciate the cultural heritage of this unique attraction and its importance in the local history.

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7. Discover the Occalong Falls

Occalong Falls is hidden enough that you can swim in fresh waters in peace, so this is a gem for anyone looking for a bit of alone time. It’s hard to find, so you’re better off asking locals around how to get there, but once you’re in the right direction, the trek to Occalong Falls is short. This picturesque city escape only costs around 0.20 USD, and if you wish to swim, there’s a small additional fee of the same amount. Occalong Falls is open from 5:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Occalong Falls

Address: Brgy. Cabalitocan, San Fernando La Union, Luzon, Philippines

Facebook: Occalong Falls

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8. Visit the Christ the Redeemer Statue

While the famous Christ the Redeemer Statue is all the way in Brazil, you can catch a glimpse of something just like it right here in San Fernando, La Union. There’s an amazing view of La Union too from atop the hill, and since only few people come here, you’re guaranteed that it’s going to be a serene experience. It’s suggested that you go in the afternoon as there’s a bit of a climb, so you don’t get sunburnt.

Christ the Redeemer Statue

Address: Barnagay I Reservoir Hill, San Fernando La Union, Luzon, Philippines

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9. Sit in at William the Hermit Cathedral

Cathedral of Saint William the Hermit (San Fernando, La Union)(2018-11-25)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Patrickroque01 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Still looking for San Fernando, La Union tourist attractions? Made in the 18th century, this historical landmark brings with it a heavy ancestral atmosphere, so it’s perfect for history and architecture aficionados alike. You can come here to pray or hear mass in any of three languages (English, Filipino or Ilocano). There are nearby establishments too should you need anything - there’s a grocery store, drug store, a market, and several food stalls nearby.

William the Hermit Cathedral

Address: Brgy. II (Poblacion) 2500 San Fernando, La Union

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10. Take a stroll along the Poro Point Baywalk

Poro Point Baywalk
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dominiqueflores0514 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

In terms of San Fernando, La Union tourist spots, Poro Point Baywalk is pretty great. Spend a few hours strolling around the Poro Point Baywalk, or run if you prefer. It’s a popular jogging spot in San Fernando La Union. The area is also fun for cyclists. If you’re traveling with kids, there are many activities for them with play areas and amusements. Keep the hunger pains away by stopping in at the shops situated near restrooms. Shady benches and tables are provided, so you can enjoy a takeout and a cold drink. The views of the ocean, ships, and waving palms trees make for photo opportunities. You may even visit at night for a different ambiance.

Poro Point Baywalk

Address: Lighthouse Rd, San Fernando La Union, Luzon 2500, Philippines

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11. Spend a lazy day at Acapulco Beach, walk the shores, take in the sights

Acapulco beach at San Fernando La Union is the ideal place if you want to relax. The beach is set in a long curve of clean, white sand. Greenery grows close to the sand, so if the heat gets too much for you, you can find some relief in the shade. Facilities are dotted along the ocean shore. Stroll along and see the landmarks, or cool off with a dip in the water. If you enjoy jogging, this beach will make for a perfect exercise setting. Take along a camera, especially if you’re there at sunset as the colors are breathtaking.

Acapulco Beach

Address: Munar Residence Road, San Fernando La Union

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12. Chill out at Buang Beach

things to do in san fernando la union philippines | chill out at buang beach
Source: www.klook.com

Buang Beach is the beach for adventurers who enjoy a good drink or two - there are reasonably-priced bars and restaurants right by the beach, so you can definitely have that ice cold beer or margarita with you while you lounge by the shoreline. If you’re not up for some cocktails though, you can rent a boat and head to Hundred Islands, or stay on Buang Beach to go kayaking, swimming, surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving. Make sure you visit this stunning San Fernando, La Union beach. Just watch out for the jellyfish!

Buang Beach

Address: San Fernando La Union, Luzon, Philippines

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Surfing Lesson in La Union

Duration: 1hrs30 Min - 5 Day(s) Duration

13. Shop at CSI City Mall

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Come visit the Maroe Event Trade Fair! See you today until September 30 here at Big Atruim Ground Level, CSIMallDagupan 10am-7pm. #CSIMalls #CSIMallDagupan

Posted by CSI Mall Dagupan - Official on Wednesday, September 21, 2022

CSI City Mall is a thriving shopping center in San Fernando, La Union. With plenty of options in its department store and a host of international brands and local shops, visitors will find an abundance of choices. A number of popular restaurants and cafés are also here, as well as several high-end boutique shops - perfect for those looking to enjoy good food or to splurge on a shopping spree. A cinema, internet café, playground, and entertainment center for kids are just some of the additional recreational options available at CSI City Mall in San Fernando, La Union. It’s a one-stop-shop you should definitely visit when you’re here.

CSI City Mall

Address: Biday, San Fernando, 2500 La Union, Philippines

Website: CSI City Mall

Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)

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Experience San Fernando La Union

SaFernandoCityLa Unionjf462
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ramon FVelaquez used under CC BY-SA 3.0

San Fernando, La Union is full of gems of every kind for every kind of traveler - whether it’s historical, natural, or beach-side - so you’re bound to not get bored at all. Fill your itinerary with these top ten best things to do in San Fernando La Union, and you’re all set!

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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A young Filipina passionate about seeing the world, understanding its people and creating new ways for them to explore their potential and lead more meaningful lives. Also a big fan of beaches,...Read more

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