The 7,640 islands of the Philippines are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With over 36,000 kilometers of coastline, you’ll never run out of places to swim or relax.
With all of that beach area, it’s not surprising that they have fantastic surfing destinations flocked by surfers worldwide. You can find surfing spots from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, each offering unique surfing experiences.
Are you ready to brave the waves of Asia’s pearl of the Orient? Then read on, and we’ll talk about the 6 best places for surfing in the Philippines and how to get there.
6 Best Places for Surfing in the Philippines
1. Siargao Cloud 9, Surigao Del Norte
Kicking off our list is the surfing capital of the Philippines, Siargao. Located in Surigao Del Norte, Mindanao, this place has everything you need: incredible waves and amazing people.
Siargao island is famous because of Cloud 9, its most popular surfing spot. If you’re in for the adrenaline and the thrill, Siargao will give you just that!
Five to twelve feet high, right-handed hollow waves perfect for surfers confident in their skills and talent. Critics describe Cloud 9’s waves as “death rides” for their extreme difficulty, especially during peak season.
Just recently, Siargao’s Cloud 9 has been dubbed as the top 8 among the 50 best surfing spots, according to CNNGo. So, you know that the waves here are the real deal.
In fact, the Siargao surfing cup, held in the months of September and October, is frequented by surfing superstars like Rita Ritazawa (Japan) and Skip McCullough (US).
Siargao’s Cloud 9 is in the Southeast area of the island. It’s super easy to locate: from General Luna town, head north through the Tourism Road and past the Bravo Beach Resort.
For surfing, the best time to visit Cloud 9 is during the morning if you want to avoid the crowd. However, the sunsets here are gorgeous, so keep an eye out for that too!
2. Baler’s Cemento Reef, Aurora
Although Siargao takes the crown as the surfing capital, Baler Aurora was the birthplace of surfing in the Philippines. It’s home to the largest surfing community in the country.
Directly facing the Pacific, Aurora offers some of the best surfing destinations in the country. They have Sabang Point, Lindy’s Point, and Charlie’s Point.
However, if you’re looking for the most frequented spot, Cemento “Cobra” Reef is for you. The right-hand reef breaks of this spot can go as high as 14 feet!
One thing’s for sure, though, is that this wave hotspot is not for beginners. People call it the “cobra” reef because of the appearance and intensity of the barreling waves.
Surfers from all over the world love the challenge of Cemento. Australian, European, and Japanese surfers frequent this surfing spot just for that.
Endless blue sea, white sands, and crushed corals blanket the beaches of Cemento. So really, we couldn’t blame anyone for coming here again and again!
Like Siargao’s Cloud 9, Baler’s Cemento Reef is home to the Aurora Surfing Cup. It’s a three-day surfing competition and festival held annually in September.
To get to Baler’s Cemento Reef, you ride a tricycle from the town proper to the river of Sabang. From the river, you can walk (40 minutes) or hire a motorboat (10 minutes) to Cemento Reef.
3. La Union Surf Spots, Ilocos Region
If you’re looking for surf spots closer to Manila, La Union’s surf destinations are your best options. Home to several surfing spots, La Union will give you everything you need for waves.
Like Aurora and Surigao, La Union’s surfing culture runs deep. People from all over the country flock around this coastal town primarily for the surfing experience.
It’s home to some of the most popular surfing schools you can find. The renowned local surfer, Luke Landrigan, built his surfing school in this place.
That said, it’s a perfect site to visit for both experts and newbie surfers alike.
There are a lot of spots you can surf in La Union. The most popular, however, are these three sites: Monaliza Point, Carrile Point, and The Beach Break.
If you’re just starting surfing, The Beach Break is for you. You’ll get small, punchy swells all year round—which is why you’ll see the most surfing schools and teachers here.
For the more experienced surfers, Monaliza Point and Carrile Point are the best choices. The right-handed waves break over sharp, rocky reefs that can be challenging to cruise.
So, whether you’re up for the adrenaline and thrill of surfing or in it merely for fun, La Union will give you that and more. Blue waters, blue skies, and rolling waves you can ride are here!
Going to La Union from Manila is easy. You can fly from Manila to San Fernando, the capital of La Union province, then hire a ride from town to the beaches.
4. El Nido’s Duli Beach, Palawan
If you mention Palawan, especially El Nido, people will tell you about its renowned emerald beaches and white sands. It’s the region’s most popular tourist attraction, after all.
Unbeknownst to most people, however, is a fantastic surfing spot sitting at the heart of this paradise: Duli Beach. It’s the only place with waves you can ride in this area of Palawan.
Although the barrels aren’t as tall or wide as the other sites, you can expect decent-sized rolls here. Plus, the sand bottom makes it a perfect place for beginner and intermediate surfers.
During the Northeast wind season, that’s from November to March, Duli Beach offers long, clean, and smooth rides for surfers. This condition is ideal for surfing lessons and practice.
If you’re in for the adventure, the resort rents out motorbikes so you can explore the island for other surfing spots. So, you can go out and discover the waves you want to ride!
The Duli beach stretches for a whopping 2 kilometers, with green, lush vegetation as a backdrop. Long, golden beach sands, rich forest, and emerald seas—it’s the picture-perfect spot for surfing and relaxing.
To get to Duli Beach, you fly to El Nido via airplane. From the town, you rent a van for a 40-minute ride to Brgy. Bucana, approximately 25 km from El Nido.
5. Puraran, Baras, Catanduanes
Located on the Eastern side of the Philippines is the Happy Island, Catanduanes. It means their beaches directly face the Pacific Ocean—if that doesn’t spell surfing, we don’t know what is!
However, we’re here to tell you about Puraran, the best surfing spot in Catanduanes. A small municipality with countless surfing beaches and resorts.
Because of this, the local government from the province considers Puraran as their surfing capital. A Hawaiian Surfer Magazine even featured its beautiful waves in one of its issues.
What makes Puraran unique from other surfing spots, though? For starters, the creamy beach sand under green, rolling hills, and mountains are just picturesque.
Who wouldn’t want to surf over clear, blue water and colorful coral reefs? The remarkable rock formations on the ocean are sure to get your attention as well.
As icing on the cake, the island has no shortage of majestic waves. Long-barrel-type waves under the bluest of skies will surely satisfy your surfer’s heart fantasies!
For experienced surfers, the ideal time to visit is from July to October, when six feet high, right-hand reef breaks are in season. For beginners, we recommend February to June.
Every year in October, the local government of Puraran holds a free-for-all surfing cup. Surfer enthusiasts from all over the Philippines flock to enter the competition.
There are many ways you can get to Puraran. If you’re from Manila, the fastest way is by plane to Virac, Catanduanes, then riding a taxi to Puraran surfing beaches.
6. Boracay Beach, Panay
If you’re familiar with the Philippines, you may already know about Boracay. After all, it’s one of the most popular beaches in the whole country—crowded all year round by tourists and locals.
However, the waters of Boracay don’t produce the waves you can ride with traditional surfboards. The island sits between two land masses, so waves break before reaching the bay.
Why did we include Boracay on our list, then? Well, precisely because of its location, the island has constant strong winds that make it perfect for other types of surfing: kite and windsurfing!
Windsurfing uses wind power to propel with a sail attached to the surfboard. Kitesurfing uses the same concept but with a kite and a rope that the surfer will hold to move forward.
That said, both kinds of surfing offer fun and unique experiences. If you’ve never tried these forms of surfing before, then you better get that ticket immediately.
The picture of summer air on a scenic, white-sand beach while surfing over the blue water is just tempting! Enjoy your next surfing vacation here, and you’re in for a great treat.
Getting to Boracay requires less effort than most spots on this list. It’s less than an hour’s plane ride from Manila City.
What Have We Learned?
Surfing in the Philippines has only started to gain popularity. It doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t great surfing spots you can visit.
Where there are waves, there are great places to surf. Be sure to also talk to the locals as they are sure to have some insights into some other great places.
Many resorts in the Philippines also offer surfing right in their backyard, so be sure to plan that as part of your stay.
Terrain Trends is your source of information and resources for travelers and those on worldly expeditions. Whether it’s about the culture, various types of foods and drinks, luxurious resorts, or what you may experience on your travels, we have it here for you.