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The First-Timer’s Guide To The Country’s Best Surfing Spots

Prepare those board shorts, rash guards, and surfboards!
by Gel Dee | Feb 9, 2017
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The Philippines is home to almost 7,500 beautiful islands, blessing locals and foreigners alike with numerous beach getaways and adventures to choose from. And with that comes the equally exciting fact that a lot of these places offer spectacular waves perfect for every surfing enthusiast. Whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or pro, the Philippines boasts a long list of surfing destinations for you from Luzon to Mindanao.

Here are seven surfing spots to help you tick surfing off your bucket list. Prepare those board shorts, rash guards, and surfboards! You're in for one heck of a wavy ride!

1) Baler, Aurora

Surfing culture in Baler, Aurora was born when the crew of the 1979 hit movie Apocalypse Now discovered the promising waves in this province. Locals, using surfboards left by the Americans, took up the sport and the rest is history. Today, Baler is known as one of the best surfing destinations near Manila, with just a six-hour drive separating it from the bustling city.

Sabang Beach, a 10-minute ride from the town proper, is best known for its small to medium size waves. Another popular spot is Cemento, suited for advanced surfers. Cemento beach provides large, clean waves with its right hand reef break. It can be reached through a boat or by walking. Other hot spots for surfing in Baler also include Charlie’s Point and Lily’s Point.

Surf seasons: October to April
Best For: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

2) Siargao

Siargao Island, located in Surigao del Norte, is the leading surfing hub in the country and is considered as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines.” Tall waves averaging 7ft. are likely to greet you during surf seasons. The most popular spot in Siargao is Cloud 9, located in General Luna. Cloud 9 is best known for its right hand reef break, which makes it a must-visit for surfing aficionados.

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Other popular breaks in the island are located in surf spots Caridad, Cemetery, Guyam Island, Jacking Horse, La Janoza, Mamon, Antokon, Anajauan Island, Pacifico, Pansukian Reef, Pilar, Rock Island, Stimpy’s, and Tuason’s Point. Most of these options are recommended for experts. The Red Hot Chili Peppers once surfed in Siargao, too!

Surf seasons: October to April
Best For: Intermediate, Advanced, Expert

3) Lanuza Bay

While Siargao is Surigao del Sur’s pride, Lanuza in Cantillan, Surigao del Norte is gaining acclaim for its constant big waves during surf season. These giant waves come from the southern edge of the Northwestern Pacific typhoon belt. During typhoons, waves can get up to 15-feet high.

Lanuza Bay has reef and beach breaks that range from beginner to advanced. Other places to check out are Doot Poktoy, Punta and Sitio Badiang. During November, local and foreign surfers join together for the yearly Lanuza Surfing Festival.

Surf Seasons: November to March
Best For: Beginner, Advanced


4) La Union

La Union is suitable for catching waves on the weekend. San Juan, which is roughly five hours away from Manila, is tagged as the one of the most visited places for surfers due to its three surf spots: Beach Break, The Bowl, and The Point. During a good swell, waves can go as high as 8 to 10ft.

Carille, five minutes away from San Juan, has its constant right hand point break. Surfers also enjoy spots like Bacnotan, Sunset, and Darigayos. These locations allure with its great swells during surf season.

Best Season: October to April 
Best For: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

5) Samar

Samar has been called the Surfing Capital of the Visayas region because of its promising surfing spots. In Northern Samar, Bobon is ideal for both beginners and advanced surfers. A good swell mostly happens during high tide. The action in Geron, Catarman, and Gamay is also worth a try.

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Meanwhile in Eastern Samar, Boulevard is the nearest spot with a right hand, beach break. Locals recommend surfing here early in the morning or during sunset. Another recommended spot for advanced surfers is Calicoan Island, which has waves ranging from 3ft to 5ft during mid to high tide. Skimboarding is also one alternative activity here.

Surf Season: October to April
Best For: Intermediate, Advanced, Expert

6) Zambales

Zambales has always been a go-to place for island-hopping, beach bumming, and surfing. Apart from its numerous islands and famous coves frequently visited by backpackers, it also boasts of surfing spots located in the towns of San Antonio, San Narciso, and San Felipe.

Pundaquit in San Antonio has its “Magic Left,” which can be perfect during a south swell. San Narciso is slowly gaining traction for its left and right breaks. Its break is located in front of Crystal Beach Resort, a popular camper's and beach addict's paradise. Moreover, San Felipe has its surf spot called Lahar with its consistent throwing of waves.

Surf Season: April to September 
Best For: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

7) Sorsogon

Sorsogon is slowly making a name for itself as a top surfing spot in the country, especially for the novice wave-rider. In Gubat, specifically in Buenavista Beach, a beach break located in the popular Lola Sayong Surf Camp, surfers can catch a few fun rides. Just a short tricycle or boat ride from there is the Breeding spot, notorious for its roaring waves.

Surf Season: September to April
Best For: Beginner, Advanced


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