It was late in the afternoon when we arrived in San Juan, La Union. A small town only a mere 6 hours away from the capital city Manila and a perfect place for a getaway. We’d gone after getting advice from locals on some of the best places for surfing in the Philippines. We were ready to spend hours on the water, trying to stand on our boards and looking absolutely silly.
The Philippines best kept surf spot
Surfing in the Philippines is not the main reason tourist visit the Philippines, but it actually has a couple of good spots for surfing. San Juan, in La Union (north of Luzon), is one of them. It’s a hidden gem that hasn’t been overrun with tourists. Only a few international surfers can be found there. Most of the people that are out on the water a local surfers or Filipinos who come from the cities to spend their weekends there.
Doesn’t that surprise you? We knew that the Philippines are famous for it’s amazing beaches, but we had no clue that there would be such great places for surfing too. San Juan offers good waves for both beginners and experienced surfers, which is nice because Miguel and I are just beginners having fun.
Surfing all year around
Although San Juan is a small surf town with a coastline that will offer you decent waves all year around. The best time to visit is from October to April. Which, I have to admit, does not guarantee you will get to surf 8 feet tall waves. We visited San Juan in early February and we didn’t have get great waves. For the 4 days we spent here, we had only one day when the waves were good enough to take a lesson, rent a board, and get in the water.
The town is small, it consists of a few guesthouses and hotels plus a couple of restaurants. As we were unprepared and didn’t know the weekend we were there was a national holiday, we ended up in the last budget room available (unfortunately, no pictures). It was only about 10 m² big and had tiny window. We were happy we brought our silk sleeping bags as the sheets weren’t too clean and didn’t look inviting at all.
Surfing in the Philippines ~ cheapest in the world.
The Philippines not only has great surfing spots, they also offer it at a budget friendly price. Even better: it is said that surfing lessons in the Philippines are among the cheapest in the world. At the time, we paid PHP 400 ($8.90) for a private lesson of an hour. Another great thing about surfing in San Juan is that there are multiple surfing schools that offer classes, all for the same prices though. So there is no need to shop around when it comes down to the money, but it might be worth looking around for an instructor who speaks English well and that you feel comfortable with.
Where are you favorite places to surf? Leave a comment and let us know where we should try surfing in the future.