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5 Best Detours to Take on the Way to La Union

If you're coming from Manila.
5 Best Detours to Take on the Way to La Union
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/mtcloud, FACEBOOK/Baguio Craft Brewery
If you're coming from Manila.

These days, everywhere we turn, there are tiny pockets of people imagining their next beach trip. Some are eyeing a quick respite at the nearby beaches of Zambales or Batangas, while others with a lot to get away from are hatching careful travel plans to one of the many beautiful islands in the Philippines. This list, though, is for the ones on the prowl for a charming drive through the Luzon terrain and a taste of its native delicacies while on the way to La Union. After all, some of North Luzon’s best-kept secrets are already on the road to our favorite surfing hotspot.

Here are our top picks for detours that will make the best of your drive to La Union:

Editor's note: Business hours and accommodations will vary according to IATF protocols in the area

1. Baguio Craft Brewery

Business Hours: Everyday from 1 p.m. - 11 p.m.

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What to do: Taste the wide range of craft beer varieties named after Ifugao mythological figures like Pugaw (India pale ale), Lagud (strawberry beer), and Kabunyan (American wheat beer). Combine that drinking experience with the rustic interior of the establishment, a full platter of grilled food, and a top view of Baguio forestry.

Best feature: The cool Baguio climate improves the fermentation process of craft brewers and creates an enriched beer flavor that attracts barkadas and after-work gatherings from all over Benguet.

manila to la union itinerary
PHOTO BY INSTAGRAM/baguiocraftbrewery
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Location: 4 Ben Palispis Hwy, KM 4, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

2. Mt. Cloud Bookshop

Business Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

What to do: Feast on the idyllic and cozy ambience of the reading nooks, a wooden ladder that leads to the second story, and the mixed media art installations that change once in a while.

Best feature: Mt. Cloud is a champion of Philippine literature and culture. About 80 percent of their stock is reserved for Filipiniana titles ranging from general fiction, to independently published comics, to children’s books about regional curiosities. 

manila to la union itinerary
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Location: 1 Yangco Road, Corner Brent Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

3. Echo Valley 

What to do:  See the well-preserved indigenous tradition of the Igorot and learn about why they pay respects to the departed by hanging their coffins against cliffs. 

Best feature:  Getting there requires a breathtaking trek through a pine forest surrounded by a humbling view of limestone cliffs and untouched forestry.

Location: 15-20 minute past the Church of St. Mary, Staunton Rd, Sagada.

4. Salt and Pepper Diner 

Business Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

What to do: Take a breather and enjoy an iconic Sagada comfort meal while waiting for homegrown coffee or Sagada beer at their photogenic bar.

Best feature: It is the home of inutom, a type of chicken dish native to Sagada.

manila to la union itinerary
PHOTO BY Roplyne Palma
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PHOTO BY Roplyne Palma

Location: Above the Ug-ugo Souvenir Store, South Rd, Sagada, 1619, Mountain Province

5. Lomboy Farms

Business Hours: Everyday from 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.

What to do: Take a stroll down the photogenic vineyards of the farm, pick the best grapes with the help of the friendly farmers, and dine al fresco at Uvas Cafe where they serve Grape Pizza and Grape Float. 

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Best feature: For a modest entrance fee of P100, you can go grape picking, take an educational farm tour, and even attend a wine tasting session. 

Location: Manila North Road 2501 Bauang, La Union

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