Surfing is quickly picking up in the Philippines, with more than a thousand island in the country, it would be surprising if you can’t find at least one if not two surf spots in every region to surf to. Here is my list of my favorite surf spots in the Philippines and a few info on the vibe and how to get there.
1. San Narciso Zambales
The spot is 3 hours away from Manila. There are 3 main surfing spots in the area. Crystal Beach, Liwliwa and Magic Left. Timing is the key if you are planning a surf trip here. November to February are the perfect time to visit when the winter waves starts coming in. If you are ever in Manila at this time of the year and would like a quick surf trip, this is a good spot to drop by. There are other nearby islands to go to during your surf breaks or if you’re still looking to discover more surf spots around the area.
Board Rentals: Php 200 (5USD) for 1 hour, 10 USD for the whole day.
Surf Instructor/ Buddy: 200(5USD) for 1 hour
Accomodation Around the Area : PHP 800 (USD 20++ )
2. San Juan La Union
San Juan La Union is 6 hours away from Manila. Waves here are the same as in Zambales, Swells kick up during monsoon season which is from June-September up until December until February.
3. Baler, Aurora
5 hours away from Manila. There is a big surfing community in Baler. Locals and foreigners flock here year round to surf their days away. This is a good place to go to for hard core surfers and newbies alike. Surfing out here can be a little tricky though because of the hordes of surfers in the beach. Beginners can head out early in the morning for a better spot to avoid surf traffic. Advanced or more experienced surfers can hire a local to take you to a clearer spot for a more challenging breaks and a better line up.
Board Rental: Php 200 an Hour (Php 500 full day), (USD 5, USD 10)
Surf Lesson/ Surf Buddy: Php 200 an Hour (USD 5) full day negotiable
Accomodation: Php 500 – 2000 ++ , (USD 10-30++)
4. Pagudpud Ilocos Norte (Maira- Ira, Blue Lagoon)
Beautiful places are always hard to get to, Way up in the North, Pagudpud is 12 hours away from Manila by car/bus. 1 hour away by plane and another 2 hours by car to get to the surf spot in Maira- Ira. Maira- Ira is in the tip of Luzon, it faces the South China Sea, this is one of the places where the typhoon enters and exits the Philippines, so you can imagine the waves that swells up here year- round. Kapuluan Vista rents boards and gives surfing lessons in the area. Swells here are quite big and there’s a strong undertow. Hire a buddy for semi-beginners and semi-advanced surfers. For you hard core surfers, surf away in awe in this beautiful blue lagoon.
Board Rental/ Surf lessons, Surf Buddy/ Accomodation:
5. Siargao Island, Cloud Nine
Cloud Nine the Holy Grail of surfing in the Philippines. Siargao is in Mindanao. Cebu Pacific has direct flights here from Manila and Cebu. This place is absolutely stunning. They have waves here year round. Every September, quicksilver hosts a surfing competition here, and you can witness its surfing community in full throttle. Locals and foreign surfers here are world class. Local surfers here as young as 9 years old are amazingly good. Don’t be intimidated though, they have a very friendly and easy going surfing community there. I stayed for a week and it felt like it wasn’t long enough, seriously I can live there, it’s that beautiful. Sleep, eat, surf, repeat, yep this is the perfect place to do it. It’s surfing paradise. There are surf spots in the area other than cloud nine if you want to avoid the crowd . Cool off sessions from surfing can be spent island hopping around the island or cliff jumping and swimming in the tide pools nearby. Board rentals and surf lessons are everywhere in the island. Get your lessons from the surf shacks around the area though, almost everyone in Siargao knows how to surf, so don’t be surprised if your tricycle driver offers a lesson.
Board Rental: 200 an hour (USD 5), 500 fullday (USD 10)
Surf Lesson/ Buddy: 300 an hour (USD 7)
Accomodation: Php 500 -Php 2000++ (USD 10- USD 30++)