With over 7,000 islands in the Philippines, there's bound the be some wicked surf spots! Especially when you're surrounded by the breathtaking Pacific Ocean, Celebes Sea, Philippines Sea and the South China Sea. With this much salt liquid surrounding you, it's no wonder the Philippines is an epic surfing holiday destination. With over 30,000Km of coastline, those coming to surf the Philippines are in for a real treat. Laid-back island vibes, pumping waves, white sand beaches, perfect turquoise waters and beautiful people, you can see why every surfer is dreaming of surfing in the Philippines.
You can thank the gnarly offshore winds and the typhoon swells, for producing it’s best liquid lumps, especially from August through until May. With less consistent and smaller swells during the middle of the year you will want to plan your next surfing holiday in the Philippines accordingly. Check out our ultimate Philippines travel guide and continue reading as we have just scouted the best surfing breaks in the Philippines.
1. Surf The Philippines – Surfing Real, Quezon
Quezon is home to some of the best waves for surfing in the Philippines and Real is close to the capital Manila (90mins). Real is situated in the Quezon province and unlike Baler and Siargao, surfing the waves here are generally a lot ‘friendlier’. Quezon is a much nicer spot for those looking to learn to surf in the Philippines. Consisting solely of beach breaks rather than coral reefs, Real is an ideal place for beginners to grab a board and surf the Philippines for the first time!
2. Surf The Philippines – Surfing Bagasbas Beach, Camarines Norte
Bagasbas Beach receives a fairly constant sandbar breaking swell, that's ideal for those looking to learn to surf in the Philippines. Bagasbas is the perfect balance of moderately strong waves, offering something for everyone, and it's super easy to get here from Manila too.
The Philippines can get some pretty gnarly storms, especially during typhoon season. Although typhoons are not ideal for the general public, they do wonders for surfing the Philippines! One place that handles the swell brilliantly is Bagasbas Beach in Camarines Norte, located in the Bicol region of the Philippines. The best time to surf the Philippines and Bagasbas Beach is from July until the end of the year. Offshore typhoons stir up the Pacific sending in those top quality sets!
3. Surf The Philippines - Gubat, Sorsogon
Surfing in Gubat is starting to make waves here in the Philippines… Literally! Gubat’s secret wave ‘Breeding’ on Buenavista Beach is slowly starting to gain popularity since they stopped with the ‘locals only’ rule. They now allow surfers from all around the world access to their untouched surfing paradise. The waves here are surrounded by undeveloped coastline and break on the reef. This is an ideal spot for your Philippines surfing holiday. If you are wanting to surf the Philippines I recommend getting here sooner rather than later. Gubat is only going to get bigger and become a more sought after Philippines surfing destination!
4. Surf The Philippines – Surfing Zambales
Zambales province is a popular surf spot in the Philippines amongst both locals and tourists. The surf here doesn’t get as big as some of the other surfing spots in the Philippines. However, it's in close proximity to Manila and has a laid-back reputation, with chilled beach vibes. This makes Zambales the perfect beach and surf getaway from the crazy city of Manila. Zambales province offers 3 of the best-surfing destinations in the Philippines.
- San Antonio is the busiest of the 3. Working wonders with a wicked South swell. If you get a good day you will see why they call it the “magic left”!
- San Narciso is an A-framed beach break, with wicked lefts and rights breaking on the sand. This is a great spot to learn to surf in the Philippines, just be careful as San Narciso is known for its strong currents!
- San Felipe is the 3rd wave to check out whilst in the Zambales province. Although it’s a bit more out of the way, it will be the best bet if the swell isn't in your favour. San Felipe holds fairly consistent waves and offers nice, long rides.
5. Surf The Philippines – Surfing Puraran Beach, Catanduanes Island
Catanduanes, a small island in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. Infamously known as the “land of the howling winds” due to the many storms that pass through the region. Howling winds is not all that this island is famous for…. These ‘howling winds’ are the call to action for surfers. When the storms hit, Puraran (about an hour from the main town) becomes one of the best places to surf in the Philippines!
The waves are fairly challenging and not ideal for your first-timers trying to surf. However, if you do know what you are doing then you'll be ripping! Puraran is home to one of the best, fastest and most hollow right-hand barrels in the world; the “Majestic” break! If your surfing skills are a bit sloppy for these kinds of waves, that's cool. These perfect breaks aren’t the drawcard card here on Catanduanes. The beaches here are some of the best and most beautiful in the world! Here you'll find clear, turquoise waters, white sand and a lot less of a crowd than most other surfing spots in the Philippines like Siargao. The best time to go get barreled surfing in the Philippines on Catanduanes is between Novemeber and February.
6. Surf The Philippines – Surfing Pagudpud, Ilcos Norte
Pagudpud is your surfing hidden gem and the least crowded surfing destination in the Philippines. Here at Pagudpud, you'll find waves and breaks for every level of expertise. There's tons of right and left-hand breaks, both on the beach and reefs. This is an ideal spot for people Philippines backpackers to master the art of surfing. If you’re looking for the biggest and best waves make sure you're here around August-October when it’s pumping!
While you're here in Pagudpud, make sure you get to the Blue Lagoon. Blue lagoon has epic waves, is a great spot to learn and, is also one of the most picturesque beaches in the Philippines. With white sand, surreal turquoise waters and tropical green jungles surrounding you, Pagudpud is every surfer's dream. There's no crowds and tons of frothy liquid lumps to carve up, making Pagudpud one of the best places to surf Philippines.
7. Surf The Philippines – Surfing Eastern Samar
The wild and rugged, unexplored Eastern coastline of Samar is a surfers paradise. The shoreline is somewhat developed, but many of the best spots for surfing in the Philippines remain fairly untouched and vacant. Hardcore surfers will froth on the crowds, making it a great alternate Philippines surf destination for those wanting to visit Siargao. Like many of the surf destinations in the Philippines, prime time kicks off around October and lasts through the new year until about March.
We wouldn't recommend the breaks of Eastern Samar beginners. The heavy lips and hollow, barreling waves, perfect themselves onto some of the gnarliest coral reefs. If you're a more experienced surfer, then go test your skills with the big boys and waves on the reefs of Parola or Talisay. If you are looking for some sandbars and beach breaks, then get out to the sleepy island of Calicoan. ABCD Beach has some wicked left and right beach breaks, although surfers do tend to battle some strong currents from time to time. Guiuan, is the surf capital of Eastern Samar and is not only an epic spot for surfing in the Philippines, it's also a beautiful tropical beach paradise!
8. Surf The Philippines – Surfing San Juan, La Union
La Union is the surfing capital of Northern Philippines. La Union has clean, quality and consistent waves breaking from October through to March. Around December and January, La Union is in its absolute prime. La Union is definitely one of best spots for surfing in the Philippines and only about 5 hours from Manila by bus.
If you want to surf the Philippines around this area, then check out San Juan! San Juan has 3 great breaks; “Beach Break”, “The Bowl” and “The Point”. These are all great, fairly consistent waves. The ‘Beach Break’ offers the best options for those looking to learn to surf in the Philippines. San Juan is home to one of the cheapest surf school in the Philippines!
If you want to get away from the main area and find some sets with least amount of humans around, then check out “Sunset”. Sunset is just 2 minutes from San Juan and offers some good, medium sized left and right hand beach breaks.
You give Carille a crack, it's just 5 minutes from San Juan and has one of the best right handers I’ve ever surfed! Carille can send you surfing down the point for up to 300m.
Bacnotan is another epic surf spot around La Union and offers excellent, fairly consistent long rides for about half the year.
Darigayos is 30 minutes north of San Juan and offers clean lefts and rights. This break only pumps on a South Swell and during the opposite time of the year (May-September). This allows the La Union area to provide pretty consistent waves all year round!
9. Surf The Philippines – Surfing Baler, Aurora
You can't make a list of places to surf in the Philippines, without including the birthplace of surfing the Philippines, Baler. Baler is about 6 hours from Manila and is surrounded by gorgeous mountains and untouched nature. Have you ever seen the Vietnam war movie ‘Apocalypse Now’? Do you remember the surfing in the middle? That was filmed right here in Baler! Since this powerful war movie hit the screens, the local Filipinos have been surfing shredding the waves just like in the movie! Thus giving birth to surfing in the Philippines!
Nevertheless, Baler would have blown up into a popular surfing destinations in the Philippines eventually! Baler pumps out its finest sets between October and April when the North swell kicks in. However, Baler does manage to stay fairly consistent year round. This Philippines surf destination offers waves for all abilities.
Sabang Beach is a great place to learn to surf in the Philippines. It has decent, medium sized swell with gentle waves, that are perfect for those with a bit less surfing experience. If you're looking to push yourself, then make your way to Cemento Beach. Cemento Beach is the top surf spot in Baler and hosts many local comps. Once typhoon season kicks in, the swell steps up here and Cemento Beach handles it superbly. Charlie’s Point is the other recommended surf spot here in Baler.
10. Surf The Philippines – Surfing Siargao Island
Siargao Island is home to the 8th best wave in the world, Cloud 9! For 8 months of the year (October –May) the surfing capital of the Philippines; Siargao island is pumping out world class sets from the Pacific Ocean. Offering both right and left hand breaks all around the island. These are more suited for intermediate to advanced level surfers. This gorgeous island is full of empty beaches, sparkling lagoons and lush mangroves. So not only is Siargao an island paradise but also the number one place to surf in the Philippines!
Sirago has almost no sand breaks anywhere on the island. Therefore surfing the razor-sharp reefs of cloud9 and other gnarly breaks around Siargao shouldn’t be taken lightly! The majestic right hand reef break of Cloud 9 can be quite intimidating. If you know what you’re doing, there's a good chance you'll be hanging in the green room all day! Surfers from around the world dream of the perfectly produced waves of General Luna’s epic Cloud 9 break.
Over on the Eastern side of Siargao are plenty more, quality breaks scattered along the coastline. Surfing Siargao is the ultimate Philippines surf trip! With an endless supply of world class breaks and island vibes, Siargao is the best place for a Philippines surfing holiday!