Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Top surfing areas in the Philippines

Unknown to many in the country, the Philippines has a long list of great surfing areas. Here are some of the more popular surfers' haunts where you could ride the waves or simply get lessons if you are a beginner. The Philippine Surfing Federation gave me the first eight and I added two more.

1. Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte (Cloud 9)
On top of the list is none other than the "Surfing Capital of the Philippines." The Cloud 9 wave can be found in the town of General Luna and has put the Philippines in the world surfing map. Other popular breaks in and around Siargao Island include Jacking Horse, Tuason Left, Rock Island, Stimpies and Pacifico. Check out the Sagana Resort website for detailed information. Thanks to Sagana Resort for the Siargao photos.

According to Sagana, the best months for surf in this area is from August up to the start of November when the area gets the most typhoon swells and the best winds. From May to July, the surf is generally smaller. From December to April the winds are often strong and cross shore. But they say that the swell is always pretty big and some surfers prefer this time of year.

2. Puraran Beach, Baras, Catanduanes (Majestics)
Puraran Bay in Baras, Catanduanes is home to the famous mighty Majestics reef break that produces awesome long-barrel waves. The waves are at their finest in August and September. The place itself is a picturesque backdrop of coconut trees and small hills. Although course, the white sand is clean and the water is crystal clear. But as they say, if you are a surfer, "Puraran equals Majestics period!"

3. Cemento Beach, Baler, Aurora
Most have heard about Sabang, a beach break 5 to 10 minutes away from the town proper where most of the tourism establishments are found. Cemento on the other hand is a reef break which is 30 minutes away from the town proper. But you can easily get lessons in Sabang Beach. Check out my Baler surf adventure: More summer fun in Aurora.

4. Calicoan Island, Guiuan, Eastern Samar
Calicoan Island is home to The Surf Camp. And the great news for surfers is that ABCD Beach has both left-hand and right-hand waves. The season runs from April to November, with the summer months perfect for beginners (with gentle 2 to 3 foot waves). Latter months offer bigger and more challenging waves.

5. Maira-Ira Beach, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
Few people know that way beyond the resorts of Pagudpud is a secret hideaway called Blue Lagoon, the best beach in that part of the country. Saud Beach may be great, but Maira-Ira is astounding! And what's great is that on a windy day, the beach is perfect for surfing!

6. San Juan, La Union
Home to the Billabong San Juan Surf School of Luke Landrigan, San Juan is a perfect place for longboarders. And it's very accessible too since you can take any bus to Ilocos and get off just a few meters from the San Fernando-San Juan boundary. This is another surfing haunt I got to try for myself.

7. Lanuza Bay, Surigao del Sur (Doot Poktoy)
According to the Surf Lanuza website, "Doot Poktoy is endowed with some of the best waves in the world. And when the waves are good, they can measure up to the world renowned waves of Siargao and Hawaii. Located on the southern edge of the Northwestern Pacific typhoon belt, the waves driven by the winds of the typhoons are unpredictable. If a strong typhoon passes close enough, surf can reach almost 15 feet, with 9, 11 or 14 waves per set and up to twice as many waves per hour as a long groundswell like affecting Indonesia and Hawaii.

The Surf Report Magazine describes Lanuza as "a place with a flawless river mouth. Its waves spin long perfect rights on a big swell at low tide. There is a hollow tube section at take-off and there are long section walls up to 200 meters."

8. Cabugao, Ilocos Sur (Kido's Point)
Kido's Point has been a popular site for surfing competitions in Ilocos Sur, attracting participants from surfing areas all over the country. The place got its name from Cabugao's local surfing hero Kido Cabasug.

9. San Narciso & San Antonio, Zambales
The Canoe Beach Resort in Pundaquit, San Antonio is where professional surfer Joseph "Joe" Villatora from Kauai, Hawai conducts his surfing lessons.

10. Bagasbas Beach, Daet, Camarines Norte
This is another great surfing area located on the Pacific coast of Luzon. When you're hungry, check out Alvino's Pizza, a popular surfers hangout.


  1. Anonymous20.2.08

    Meron din pala nito satin.

  2. Anonymous22.2.08

    I'm surprised with San Antonio, Zambales. Since it faces the South China Sea, the waters there are usually rather calm.

    What about Infanta, Quezon? I heard they hold surfing competitions there as well?

  3. La Union, Cabugao and Pagudpud also face the South China Sea. But they are all popular surfing destinations as well. I included San Antonio in the list because it is a popular surfing destination owing to its close proximity to Metro Manila.

  4. Anonymous14.4.08

    Great blog!

    Travelers should be aware that they may need specialized travel insurance if they plan on surfing. If your insurance carrier considers surfing an extreme sport, you will not be reimbursed for your medical bills unless you have specific Adventure Travel insurance. As every company is different, check your travel insurance policy before leaving to see exactly what is covered and what isn't.

  5. Anonymous5.5.08

    hi ivan!

    Would you know if there are swells right now in La Union? I am planning to get there this weekend kasi... ;)

  6. Anonymous31.12.08

    Hi Ivan,

    Just a quick suggestion on how to make this entry better: say something about the "best time to go" for surfing.

    Surfing can't be done all year round in all or most of these places so knowing the time of the year that people can consider planning a surfing trip to these sites is important.

    Or have a separate entry on where and how they can find out about the wave situation on each of these specific places.


    P.S. - can I ask what is/was your day job? what you're doing now is amazing!

  7. BOLIN2.4.09

    hey ivan, this been helpful. we have a family reunion next year march and ive been browsin and browsin wher i cud go for a nice surfing spot malapit sa abra. ill check it out when i get there. would there be any surfing news website for these places? let me know

    hey thanks man! this is great

    god bless

  8. wow di papatalo ang Pilipinas!

  9. puraran is the best!!! sobrang tahimik! tapos 300php lang ang cottage! may pink sand pa! rar..
    kung hilig mo lang tumunganga o magbasa ng libro ok d2 isang linggo.. hehe mura eh =)

    ang ganda pa pag low tide! sobrang layo nung tubig ahaha ganda nung lakaran . kapagod nga lang kung wala kang footwear skit nung corals eh haha.. kasing haba ng ust field. di ko alam anu in meters un eh haha..

    pero bawal daw magsurf sa mga di pa magaling.. delikado eh.. nanlalamon ung mga alon..

  10. Anonymous15.7.09

    hi, can you also incluse CRYSTAL BEACH, SAN NARCISO ZAMBALES... maganda rin poh sa surfing plus very clean beach.. thanks

  11. I've been in Bagasbas and it's a public beach BUT is very simple yet the water is amazing. I have a friend who's living in Daet Philippines. By the way you nice blog...

  12. Anonymous22.9.09

    sir ivan,have u been to cam sur surfing?i need some photos for cam sur surfing and i dont have any of it..can u help me?thanks alot..

  13. Anonymous13.11.09

    Hi! Please consider Punta de Uian Hotel and Beach Resort. We are offering a special package for team building, convention, seminar, corporate outing and day tour. Contact Ludy at 047-252-2692 or 0917-251-0231.

  14. Anonymous30.7.10

    try something new! visit and experience dahican, mati, davao oriental. to see is to believe! come with your camping gears and experience nature at its best.

  15. this is a great list. It's really nice to visit these places if ever you want to travel Philippine's great vacation spots from Luzon to Mindanao. Great fun and adventure awaits even in one of her cities like Cagayan de Oro City.

  16. Anonymous3.1.11

    Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

  17. We are looking for the best surf spots when we arrive on March 4th. Any recommendations on where we can find a consistant wave and a surf shop . Thanks

  18. Jose Rast5.2.12

    Just got back from Siargao, had a great trip! I stayed at Siargao Surf Resort Very good value and laid back accommodation. And there are many surf spots other than cloud 9 there =)

  19. Anonymous5.2.12

    Hi guys! Headed outbid Manila around March 10-15 and want to hit any and all surf spots on our way to San Fernando and Banaue- any info would be awesome!
    Thanks for the heads up!

  20. Anonymous9.6.12

    Try to surf in Baler...D'best....!

  21. Anonymous9.6.12 in summer...!

  22. Anonymous14.6.12

    i will try to visit baler soon, but were ready to go san juan la union this 23rd of june..nice blog guys

  23. The most popular surfing site in Philippines is in Cloud 9 check this site for more info

  24. Anonymous26.7.12

    Hi how far away is the closet surfing beach from angeles city

  25. Anonymous30.7.12

    an hour west from angeles

  26. Thanks for this blog. I really want to explore all these beautiful surfing sites. It will be fun there.

  27. any fellow travellers heading there from singapore between 22 Feb to 1st March'13, please contact me......

    Looking for companions...

  28. Great site .... I really never knew there were great surfing areas in the Philippines. Where we live, on the island of Bohol, the water is pretty calm as it is in Cebu....I happened to see on the Asia Living channel people surfing in the Philippines....


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