The Best Surf Spots in the Philippines
The country is one of the best places to surf in the world.
by Jaime Perez-Rubio | April 16, 2016
There seems to be a belief that the Philippines is so-so when it comes to surfing spots. You see all those movie-surfing scenes and just assume that they’re all shot in Hawaii or South Africa or anywhere but here.
A closer look at these beaches will prove that the Philippines is one of the best places to surf in the world. Here are the best surf spots in the Philippines.
Baler is regarded as the birthplace of surfing in the Philippines. It was discovered by the crew of the classic film Apocalypse Now in 1979 during their shoot. When the crew left baler, they left their surfboards to the locals and Filipino surfing was born.
Balers waves are beginner friendly. It is also highly commercialized so there are a lot of places for eating, drinking, and sleeping.
If you’re looking for easy-riding but still exciting Pacific waves, then head straight for Baler—and here’s where you can stay.
Just a few hours before Baguio, La Union is another great place for beginners as well as seasoned surfers. With waves reaching 8-10ft on a good swell, it’s just offers well, oceans of surfing fun. There is an abundance of surf schools and board rentals so newbies don’t have to worry about having no gear. La Union has five surf spots that can be taken advantage of, namely: San Juan, Sunset, Carille, Bacnotan, and Darigayos. The surf is usually good for 10 months of the year, from May-March.
When the sun is down, there are good nightlife places such as Flotsam, very popular with artists and musicians. A place to stay won’t be a problem as well, as there are numerous places open for accommodation all year round— check out this quick guide to exciting La Union.
If you’re opting for a more quiet location to surf, head for Zambales. The locals there are usually in bed at around 8pm and wake up at 4am anticipating the waves. There isn’t much nightlife here during off-season, but when beach tourists flock, parties spring up spontaneously.
A regular day for Zambales feels like it’s all about surfing and not much else. Surfing is in its soul. With popular spots like Liwliwa, Crystal Beach, and Tapat, expect yourself to be surrounded by seasoned surfers. Zambales is not too friendly for beginners due to the current of the South China Sea, but as in other surf spots, there are surf instructors that can teach you and assure your safety.
If you’re not so much into partying and just want a great surf trip, Zambales is the place to be.
Pagudpud is known for having one of the best reef breaks in the Philippines. The waves are considered some of the longest and best waves in the Philippines, consistently rising from October to April, thanks to the north swell.. It’s also one of the least crowded surf spots, a real surfer paradise.
The low influx of people keep accommodations at very accessible prices, ranging from PHP250-500 a night only. You can have your pick of surf schools and board rentals and is all-in-all a beginner-friendly surf beach.
Not only is Pagudpud all-in-all a beginner-friendly surf beach, some of the most beautiful lagoons are found there, too.
Samar is the surfing capital of the Visayas. It has both reef-breaks and beach-breaks.
From October to April, the North-East Monsoon provides some of the largest, cleanest, and most spectacularly tubing waves in the Philippines. And there are really great spots to choose from namely: Parola, Boulevard, Bato, Fish Port, Puro, Bong’s Point, and Anahaw.
From May to September, the South-East Monsoon provides less consistent waves, but more beginner-friendly. Some spots will still thrill you: ABCD, Bridge, Mameng’s, and Talisay.
Accommodations would be a little pricier here but will provide you with a beautiful view of the sand and sea.
Siargao is home to the world-renowned Cloud-9 spot. It was ranked by CNN as the 8th best surf spot in the world. Not anybody can surf Cloud-9 though, especially not a beginner—as it has razor shop corals on the beach bed.
The spot boasts overhead waves that even the most advanced surfers in the Philippines won’t underestimate. Professionals from all over the world frequent this spot for competitions or just for sheer fun.
For beginners to intermediate level surfers, other spots are available in Siargao such as: Caridad, Pacifico, Cemetery, Pilar, and Tuason’s Point. The people in Siargao are very friendly and welcome outsiders warmly.
Siargao the only Mindanao beach on this list but it is also the most beautiful —probably the reason for the locals being famously warm and friendly.
There are enough lodging and eating places here to fit your budget. So whether you want to surf the steady spots, or watch pro’s rip the cloud-9, a fun time is in order in Siargao.