The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, boasts a vast coastline dotted with beaches of varying landscapes. Surf enthusiasts from all over the globe journey to this Southeast Asian paradise to ride its waves and explore its pristine beaches. With a unique blend of culture, nature, and adrenaline-packed surf scenes, the Philippines has emerged as a must-visit destination for wave riders of all levels. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the ten best surf spots in the Philippines, providing you with all the information you need to plan your next adventure.
10 Best Surf Spots in the Philippines
- Siargao Island – Cloud 9
- La Union – Urbiztondo Beach
- Baler – Sabang Beach
- Zambales – Crystal Beach
- Puraran, Catanduanes – Majestic
- Lanuza, Surigao del Sur
- Calicoan Island, Samar
- Bagasbas Beach, Daet
- San Juan, Siquijor
- Gubat, Sorsogon
Siargao Island – Cloud 9
Located in the northeastern part of Mindanao, Siargao is often touted as the surfing capital of the Philippines. Its most renowned break, Cloud 9, provides a consistent right-hand reef break that attracts professionals and beginners alike. Known for its thick, hollow tubes, Cloud 9 is a marvel for those seeking to conquer its powerful waves. The wooden boardwalk and three-story viewing tower give spectators a vantage point to witness the mesmerizing action while enjoying the picturesque surroundings.
La Union – Urbiztondo Beach
Situated in the Northern Philippines, La Union is a favorite destination for surfers from Manila due to its proximity and consistent waves. Urbiztondo Beach is the heart of La Union’s surfing scene, featuring a sandy beach break suitable for all levels. Beginners can get their feet wet at the smaller waves near the shore, while advanced surfers can head further out to catch the bigger breaks. The vibrant local community, coupled with a plethora of cafes and eateries lining the beach, ensures that there’s never a dull moment in La Union.
Baler – Sabang Beach
Regarded as the birthplace of surfing in the Philippines, Baler boasts a rich history and an equally rich surf scene. Sabang Beach offers a mix of left and right-hand breaks over a sandy bottom, making it an excellent spot for those looking to improve their skills. Besides its appeal to surfers, Baler is steeped in history, with local tales suggesting that surfing was introduced here by American soldiers in the 1970s.
Zambales – Crystal Beach
A mere three to four-hour drive from Manila, Zambales offers a refreshing escape from the urban grind. Crystal Beach stands out with its grayish-black sand and consistent waves, making it a favorite among weekend warriors. The beach break here is ideal for beginners, and numerous surf schools are available to provide lessons and board rentals. Apart from surfing, Zambales is also renowned for its stunning sunsets and laid-back beachfront accommodations.
Puraran, Catanduanes – Majestic
As its name suggests, the Majestic break in Puraran is nothing short of spectacular. Known for its powerful right-hand reef break, this spot is best suited for intermediate to advanced surfers. When the conditions are right, Majestic offers long, barreling waves that can provide an exhilarating ride. The relatively remote location of Catanduanes ensures that the beaches remain uncrowded, offering a serene ambiance to those who make the journey.
Lanuza, Surigao del Sur
Nestled on the eastern side of Mindanao, Lanuza remains a hidden gem in the Philippine surfing scene. With its coral reefs producing consistent left and right-hand breaks, Lanuza caters to surfers of varying skills. Beyond the waves, the area boasts a rich marine ecosystem, making it a haven for divers and snorkelers. The annual Lanuza Surfing Festival, held in November, is a testament to the region’s growing prominence in the surfing community.
Calicoan Island, Samar
Tucked away in the Eastern Visayas region, Calicoan Island is an unspoiled paradise for surfers in search of adventure. The island’s six surf spots cater to a range of skill levels, with ABCD Beach being the most popular. Here, the consistent waves break over a reef, ensuring thrilling rides for those who dare. Calicoan’s remote location ensures fewer crowds, allowing surfers to truly connect with nature and the waves.
Bagasbas Beach, Daet
Located in the Bicol Region, Bagasbas Beach offers a sandy beach break that’s perfect for beginners and longboarders. The long shoreline ensures ample space for everyone, and the onshore winds can sometimes create favorable conditions for kite and wind surfing. The local community in Daet is warm and welcoming, and the annual Daet Surfing Invitational attracts both local and international talents to its shores.
San Juan, Siquijor
Siquijor, often referred to as the “Island of Fire,” is steeped in mystique and folklore. Its beaches, particularly San Juan, have gained popularity among surfers for their consistent breaks. The laid-back vibe of the island, combined with its crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life, makes it a unique destination for those seeking a blend of surf, culture, and natural beauty.
Rounding off our list is the tranquil town of Gubat in Sorsogon. Its main surf spot, Buenavista, is a consistent beach break that’s ideal for those new to the sport. The serene ambiance, coupled with the area’s untouched beauty, ensures a relaxing experience both in and out of the water. Gubat’s surf scene is on the rise, and with local initiatives to promote sustainable tourism, it’s set to become a favorite among eco-conscious travelers.
The Philippines, with its diverse range of surf spots, is undeniably a surfer’s paradise. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie with a surfboard, there’s a wave waiting for you on these islands. Beyond the surf, the rich culture, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality of the Filipino people add to the allure. So, pack your bags, wax your board, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the Philippines’ best surf spots!