The Philippines Surf Guide

So you want to surf in the Philippines? This Philippines surf guide will ensure you can confidently surf this beautiful country in South East Asia.

Interested in surfing more of Asia? Surfing in Taiwan will always be a surf trip to remember so check it out!

Now, lets begin the Philippines surf guide!

Philippines Surf Guide History

The early stages of Philippine surfing history saw the sport's introduction attributed to U.S. servicemen during the 1960's, but it wasn't until the late 1970's that it gained widespread popularity. This surge can be credited to the filming of "Apocalypse Now," a cinematic masterpiece by the renowned director Francis Ford Coppola, which took place against the stunning backdrop of Baler, Aurora province. As locals witnessed the movie's production, they formed connections with the American crew and adopted the surfboards they left behind, marking the inception of surf culture in the Philippines.

Philippine Surf Guide Quick Facts

  • Continent - Asia
  • Population - 113.9 Million
  • Internet - 6 Mbps (average)
  • Average Trip Length - 15 days
  • Power - 230V/60Hz
  • Currency - PHP 100 = USD 1.76
  • Tap Water - Not Drinkable
  • Cashless - Yes, Cards Okay
  • Religion - Roman Cathlolic (Majority)
  • International Air Carrier - Philippine
  • Dinner - $3.68
  • Beer - $4.29
  • Coffee - $1.18
Siargao Surf Guide - The Philippines

Where To Surf In The Philippines

The Philippines really is a  tropical paradise waiting to be explored similar Bali. On the western side, you'll encounter the legendary Siargao Island, famous for the iconic Cloud 9 break. If you seek a quieter escape, set your sights on the lesser-known gems of Samar and Leyte on the eastern coast, where uncrowded lines are combined with pristine beaches.

Beginners can test the waters at spots like Baler, while more experienced surfers can chase perfection at Cloud 9's world-class barrels. For those who cherish longboarding, the point breaks of La Union provide endless rides and a laid-back atmosphere to enjoy.

Best Time To Surf In The Philippines

In this Philippines surf guide it's important to know generally, the surf season runs from November to April on the western coast, favoured by the southwest monsoon's consistent swells and offshore winds. On the eastern coast, the best time is from September to April, ensuring year-round surfing bliss.

Philippine Surf Guide The Country

The Philippines isn't just a surf destination; it's a realm of diverse beauty waiting to be explored. Hike through lush jungles, ascend majestic volcanoes like Mount Mayon, or dive into crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life. Beyond the waves, the Philippines promises enchantment at every turn.

Culture In The Philippines

Delve into the vibrant tapestry of Filipino culture, a fusion of indigenous traditions and Spanish influences. Witness first hand stunning festivals, wander bustling markets, and savour local delicacies like adobo and sinigang. Alongside your surf escapades, you'll discover the warmth and hospitality of the Filipino people.

Food In The Philippines

Although this is a Philippines surf guide, us surfers get hungry! From savouring street food delicacies like balut to relishing hearty dishes like lechon and kare-kare, each meal is a flavorful exploration. Don't forget to indulge in regional specialties such as Bicol Express and Kinilaw as you traverse the culinary landscape. The food is top of our list of things to try when not surfing!

Philippines Street Food - AMAZING Filipino Food at Aling Sosing's Carinderia in Manila!

How To Get Around In The Philippines

Consider taking domestic flights for longer journeys across islands as they are good value and very accessible. You can also hop on a bike for local exploration, or embrace the unique experience of riding a jeepney. The friendly Filipino locals will gladly point you in the right direction as you navigate your way through paradise.

Attractions In The Philippines When You're Not Surfing

When you're not chasing waves, the Philippines unveils a tapestry of attractions. Dive into the thriving marine wonderland of Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, tread the historic streets of Intramuros in Manila, or embark on invigorating treks through picturesque rice terraces, all adding depth to your exploration beyond the surf.

El Nido, Philippines

How To Get To The Philippines

Getting to the Philippines is quite straightforward, with several international airports serving as entry points. The main gateway is Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) in Manila, which is well-connected to major cities worldwide. Other notable international airports include Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB) in Cebu and Clark International Airport (CRK) in Pampanga. From the airport, you can easily access various domestic flights to reach your desired destination within the Philippines, as the country boasts an extensive network of airports. Additionally, ferry services are available between some islands for those looking to explore beyond the major cities.

Philippine Surf Guide Accommodation

  1. Siargao Island: If you're heading to Siargao, consider staying in the vibrant town of General Luna. You'll find a range of accommodations, from budget-friendly hostels like Kermit Surf Resort to luxury beachfront villas like Nay Palad Hideaway.
  2. Baler, Aurora: Baler offers a mix of surf hostels, cozy beachfront resorts, and budget-friendly guesthouses. Check out The Circle Hostel for a laid-back and eco-friendly experience or Costa Pacifica Resort for a more upscale stay.
  3. San Juan, La Union: San Juan is known for its surf scene. Choose from surf camps like San Juan Surf Resort for an immersive experience or cozy boutique hotels like Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel for a unique and artistic ambiance.
  4. Cloud 9, Siargao: For those chasing waves at Cloud 9, you'll find surf-friendly accommodations like Sagana Resort and Bravo Beach Resort right by the famous surf break.
  5. La Union: In this province, you can explore various surf spots. Urbiztondo Beach in San Juan offers accommodations like Kahuna Beach Resort, while the more tranquil municipality of San Gabriel is home to secluded surf camps and beachfront retreats.
  6. Zambales: Zambales boasts secluded surf spots. Stay at Crystal Beach Resort for direct access to breaks like Magic Left and High 5 Lahar.
  7. Liw-Liwa, Zambales: For a laid-back atmosphere, consider Liw-Liwa Beach. There are rustic beachfront accommodations, such as Kapitan's Liwa Surf Resort and The Circle Hostel Liw-Liwa.
  8. Catanduanes: If you're exploring the waves of Catanduanes, find accommodations in Virac, the province's capital, or along the coast in Puraran Beach. Options include Puraran Surf Beach Resort and Marem Pension House.
  9. Samar and Leyte: On the eastern coast, check out accommodations in Guiuan, Samar, and Dulag, Leyte, which offer a quieter surf experience. There are beachfront resorts, guesthouses, and surf camps catering to various budgets.
  10. Luzon and Mindanao: In other parts of the country, you'll discover a wide range of accommodations near surf spots, from cozy beach bungalows to upscale resorts.

Keep in mind that availability may vary, so it's advisable to book your accommodations in advance, especially during peak surf seasons. Each destination offers a unique experience, so choose the one that aligns with your surfing goals and preferences for a memorable stay in the Philippines.

Philippines Surf Guide Photographers

Best Travel Insurance For The Philippines

This is a vital part of the Philippines surf guide, prioritise your peace of mind by selecting comprehensive travel insurance tailored to your needs. Ensure that your policy covers activities like surfing and provides adequate coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and unexpected travel disruptions during your stay in Philippines. Our go to for a longer stays is Safety Wings, this will keep you covered at an affordable price.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best surf spots for beginners in the Philippines?

Some ideal surf spots for beginners in the Philippines include La Union, Baler, and Zambales.

Are there surf schools offering lessons in Palawan, Philippines?

Yes, Palawan has surf schools that provide lessons for surf enthusiasts looking to improve their skills.

What safety tips should surfers follow in the Philippines during the rainy season?

During the rainy season, surfers should be cautious of strong currents, check weather forecasts, and wear appropriate safety gear like rash guards and leashes.

When is the ideal time for surfing in Siargao, Philippines?

The best time for surfing in Siargao is from September to April when the waves are more consistent.

Can you recommend surfboard rental shops in Baler, Aurora, Philippines?

Sure, you can find surfboard rental shops in Baler, such as The Good Vibes and Charlie Does.

What are the must-visit surf destinations off the beaten path in the Philippines?

Consider exploring less crowded surf destinations like Catanduanes, Samar, and Leyte for a unique and serene experience.

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