Surf’s Up Part 2: Budget Surfing Spots in the Philippines and More!
The heat waves of summer make up for a nice surfing vibe. As I’ve mentioned before, surfing is one of the best activities you can enjoy which doesn’t hurt as much financially. In the first part of this cheapskate guide, I have presented several quality surfing locations in the Philippines, many of which are easily the best in the world! Siargao in southeast Philippines is the surfing capital of the nation, and you don’t even have to be a surfer to truly enjoy the visual satisfaction that exists there.
Another place I listed is Baler, a popular place because of its proximity to Manila, and the number of surfing spots you can go depending on your taste. Finally, there’s Bagasbas Beach in Camarines Norte where you can ride the thrilling waves without hurting your pockets.
But the country has so much more to offer, and in this article, I will take you to 3 more locations that will surely satiate your surfing desires. Surf’s up part 2, are you ready for the waves?
For many Filipinos, Pagudpud is a popular sanctuary that only deserves to be hidden in the world. Seated in the northern coastline of the country, it was previously a concealed gem that few people only knew. But just as many wonders in the planet, it had gained attraction worldwide for its attractions featuring the fine white sands of Blue Lagoon Beach, where many surfers take their toil.
Blue Lagoon or Maira-ira Cove is rapidly gaining traction for the adventurous souls all thanks to its beautiful swells. If you’re a novice at surfing, you don’t need to worry because the waves are ideal for beginners who are just learning. You can visit the Kapuluan Vista Resort which is the leading franchise in the coast and avail their services. For as low as Php 200 (that’s $4) you can rent a surf board for a whole hour, and if you want to get taught by the experts, you just need to add another Php 200.
From Manila, you can take any bus to Laoag, Ilocos Norte or take a plane Manila to Laoag. From any point in Laoag, take a tricycle going to Pagudpud terminal. Bus rides to Laoag are usually priced at Php 700 ($14). Be sure to tell the conductor to drop you off at Pagudpud Municipal Hall where in you can see a lot of tricycle you can hire going to blue lagoon. You can also opt to ride a 45-minute flight from Manila to Laoag. That’s faster, and gives you more time to enjoy the place! The best time to go to Pagudpud is from October to April. Better get your planners ready!
San Juan, La Union
Like the previously mentioned Pagudpud, another jewel located in the northern part of the Philippines is San Juan in the province of La Union. Many surfers recognize the province of La Union as Philippine surf’s best kept secret. This is because of its clean waves reaching 8-10ft on a good swell which is appropriate for those who have good knowledge in the sport, as well as beginners who are seeking for adventure.
San Juan is the primary surf beach in La Union, popular among surfers who crave for large and good quality waves. The San Juan Resort resides in the shores of this majestic escape, providing accommodation and surfing needs of its visitors. The Surf Camp in the resort is ranked number 1 surf school in the Philippines, combining an internationally accredited program and finest surf equipment. Surf Lessons are priced at Php 400 ($8) an hour which includes a surfboard already. It doesn’t hurt to know that you are to be taught by the renowned Luke Landrigan, a level 3 judge of the International Surfing Association (ISA). What are you waiting for?
La Union has rather uncommon travel seasons. While most destinations in the Philippines come to life during summer (March-May), San Juan’s peak season runs from October to March, when the big waves make their appearance to play with the town’s growing surfing community. But remember that October and November are rainy months. If you’re surfing but don’t want uncaring weather, December-March is your safest bet.
Going to San Juan from the nation’s capital is very simple. You just have to take a bus ride from Manila to San Juan. Fast forward to 6-7 hours depending on traffic, you’ll get to enjoy the splurge feeling of the environment, without the expensive costs.
Its proximity to Manila is one thing, but Zambales’ true gift is its amazing beaches perfect for the wanderlust soul. And it gets better as the surfing community in the place is continually growing, thanks to its beautiful waves. In fact, there are various surfing spots in the entirety of the region, each providing a specific and unique feel. San Antonio proves to be the most popular among the rest, providing clean waves during the south swell. Another primary location is the San Narciso Area, where strong currents are located directly at the northern part of the Crystal Beach Resort. San Felipe offers exciting waves, a secreted place where waves are consistent and enjoyable year round.
Surf boards can be rented in those locations priced at Php 400 per day ($8) and if you want to be lectured by surf spotters, then you just have to add Php 180 ($3-$4). When you’re not surfing, you can actually avail of the services of the resorts that thrive in the area, each of which providing excellent food and amenities.
To go Zambales, you need to ride a bus to Iba, Zambales. This ride will have you pass by the known “surfing” towns. The 3-hour trip is very short compared to the previously mentioned surf sites, and it covers the rest of central Luzon. Reaching San Felipe requires a tricycle ride from the town plaza, which costs around a dollar. Ask the driver to drop you off in “Garahe”. From here you carry your board and walk a short distance to the beach! If you’re opting to go to San Narciso, you have to ride a tricycle and ask to be dropped off at Crystal Beach Resort. Visiting San Felipe is easier once you’re in San Narciso as it is only a trike ride away. Trike rides usually cost Php 100 ($2).
Surfing in the Philippines is an unusual concoction of extravagant and inexpensive. The country is gifted with one of the best geographies in the world, its islands waiting to be explored by the wanderlust souls reading this right now. So if you’re trying to look for places where you can spend that summer time, then I assure you that the Philippines is a place that you should definitely visit. Pack your bags and ready yourselves, the waves are yours to conquer!
And do drop by Manila, the nation’s capital. Here is your Manila 101 for first-timers here: