The Philippines is considered by many to be one of the best places to surf in the world. Surfers come for the waves and stay weeks and even months for the quiet, laidback island vibe.
Most of the beaches on this list are known primarily for their surfing, so you won’t find yourself jostling for beach space with other tourists. But keep in mind that while some may require at least an 8-hour bus ride, others like the world-famous Cloud 9 in Siargao, are easily accessible.
Between July and October, the offshore typhoon brings big breaks on Cemento Beach that is suitable for mid-level surfers. The annual Aurora Surfing Cup is also held every February on Sabang Beach which is also best known as the location for a surfing scene in Apocalypse Now.
Pagupud, North Luzon
For many, this picturesque and lonely coastline is the next big thing on the surfing circuit. Big waves form on the idyllic Blue Lagoon. Peak surfing is to be had between August to October. There’s also great snorkelling for those who want to do more than surf.
Bagasbas Beach in Bicol
Surfing here is best when the typhoons churn up the Pacific’s waters between August and October. This is also a good spot for newbie surfers as the waves are pretty small throughout the year. Be warned though, the locals love a good karaoke and this laidback, surfer town transforms into a party beach at night.
Calicoan Island, Samar
Sleepy Calicoan is known primarily for its surf breaks. But some also come for its sleepy town and lazy island vibe. The best waves are on ABCD beach (named during WWII, the abbreviation stands for Advanced Base Construction Depot). It has great left and right reef breaks but there’s a strong current and rip making this, one for the experts.
Cloud Nine, Siargao
This is probably one of the most accessible surf spots in the Philippines – just a flight from Cebu or Manila to Siargao’s Sayak airport. But don’t expect a big tourist scene here. It’s still a well-kept secret among both local and international surfers. Good surfing happens year round but it’s generally best from August to November when typhoon winds bring big breaks.
Majestics Surf Break, Northeast of Virac
It’s an idyllic spot with coconut trees swaying in the breeze, white sand and a coral reef that’s perfect for snorkelling. But when the winds kick up from October to March, the Majestics surf break becomes perfect for expert, die-hard surfers. Things calm down from March to May for beginners.
San Fernando (La Union)
It may be a 6-hour bus ride from Manila but it’s worth the trip. These waves stroke the shore and are perfect for learners. Surf season is from November to March and you’ll find instructors abound on the beaches. Pick one you’re comfortable with and start your lessons.