#TheHappyFeetBackpacker: San Juan that got away (elyu)

Unplanned travels are better than planned trips. Spontaneous best describes this trip, since I’m bored and had nothing to do I decided to go to San Juan, La Union (Elyu) and visited the famous Tangadan Falls and surf for a day.

Aside from surfing in San Juan, there’s another tourist spot that Elyu can offer and that is Tangadan Falls, which is situated in the town of San Gabriel.

Trekking and hiking are the activities to reach the falls. It passes through a scenic trail that gives you different views.

From San Fernando old market to the jeepney drop off, there are tricycles in the area that will ferry you going to the starting point of the trekking. The trail is easy to follow but it is safer to get a tour guide. Tricycle drivers are also the guides so you can rent their services and their ride at the same time.

Since I’m a solo traveler, I need to have a lot of money to pay for the tricycle and guide rent, but thanks to my Best in Friendship award, I talked to two groups to just tag me along and did the negotiation, instead of two guides we just had one to cost us less. One of the best things in traveling solo is meeting new friends and they are from Bulacan, Negros Occidental and Tarlac and shared experiences.

Before reaching Tangadan Falls, you will pass by a cliff jumping area that offers a 10 ft. or 20 ft. and a cable cart.

I decided to jump at 10 and 20 ft. to just feel the adrenaline rush. Don’t worry because at the area, you can rent a life vest that cost P50.

Moving on, after an hour and a half, I reached the majestic Tangadan Falls. I was amazed how humongous it is.

Riding a bamboo raft costs P300 for a group.

After soaking wet, I went to San Juan to surf but unfortunately the waves are big so they won’t let us surf for safety purposes. So the best way to kill time is to find comfort food and COFFEE!!! One of the famous coffee shop in SAN JUAN is the EL UNION COFFEE, located at Barangay Urbiztondo, San Juan. With happy and polite baristas, you will just feel home when you’re there, a place you can chill and just drink coffee.

Their food and coffee is to die for so it is highly recommended to visit their shop. I ordered THE DIRTY WHITE coffee and BUTTERMILK PANCAKES with BACON JAM.

Now, maybe you’re thinking why my title for this blog is San Juan that got away. It’s just that I’m in the process of moving on (too personal but that’s the purpose why I decided to go here)


From Manila

  1. Ride a bus going to La Union, PARTAS BUS have daily trips going to VIGAN or LAOAG that passes by SAN FERNANDO, LA UNION.
  2. Upon reaching San Fernando, tell the conductor to drop you at Greenwich.
  3. Walk through and turn left going to the old market and go to the jeep terminal.
  4. Ride a jeep going to San Gabriel, (fare is 26.00 pesos) tell the driver to drop you off going to Tangadan Falls.
  5. At the tricycle lane, ride a tricycle going to the starting point of the trekking. Since we’re 7, we paid 230.00 each (Tricycle rent + Guide)
  6. From starting point of trekking, tricycle will drop you to the jeep terminal of San Gabriel going to San Juan (fare is 18.00 pesos)

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About the Author

Kenette Brill Rabago
Kenette Brill Rabago
Brill is a true blooded Ilocano/Bigueno. He is a traveler and coffee lover. He is passionate about culture and arts, and in music. He believes that unplanned trip is the best.