Siargao Surfing – Everything you need to know | 2020 Guide

The picturesque island of Siargao is known for many things, including friendly locals, endless hours of sunshine, and pristine white-sand beaches. However, it’s also made a name for itself by being one of the best-surfing destinations in the Philippines.

From August to December, you’ll enjoy world-class waves of all lengths and sizes. Not only will be surrounded by lush, tropical palm trees and clear, cobalt waters, but you’ll also be treated to epic waves and barrels unlike anywhere else on the planet.

With your board in tow, you’ll want to try out as many of these spectacular surf spots as you can. One dip in the water, and you’ll immediately see why many people consider the beautiful island of Siargao to be a surfer’s paradise!


Why Siargao is a Good Surf Destination

There are over 15 different surf spots around the island. From mellow right-handed waves to giant mind-boggling barrels, Siargao is the perfect spot for surfers of all skill levels. Whether you’re hopping on a short or longboard for the first time or shooting for gold in a surfing competition, there is a destination in Siargao for every type of surfer.

This stunning island is even home to Cloud 9, which is arguably considered one of the top ten waves in the entire world. With its large, picture-perfect swells, Cloud 9 has put Siargao on the map as one of the most desirable surfing destinations.

As one of the best places for surfing in Asia, Siargao attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Despite its popularity, you can still find many spots where you have the ocean all to yourself. These lesser-known treasures are just waiting for you to explore.

Best of all, Siargao is a small island, which means you can easily try out every spot on this list if you want. Head out into the ocean and see for yourself how spectacular the breaks at Siargao can be.


Best Places to Learn How to Surf

If you’ve never ventured into open waters before, you’ll want to take a few lessons before hitting the waves. There are plenty of surf schools in Siargao to choose from, depending on your location and budget.

Kermit Siargao is considered one of the best places to learn how to surf. Depending on your learning style, you can choose between individual or group lessons. You’re also closest to the best surfing destinations for beginners, so you won’t have to feel intimidated by the giant waves.

1-day Surf Package = 2,900 PHP

Fat lips is another great option for beginners. They’re the island’s longest-running surf school, and each class is taught by a SISA qualified instructor. You’ll learn surf theory in a classroom setting and get land-side practice before jumping into the water.

1-day Surf Package = 1,200 PHP

At Haran Surf school, you’ll have several options to learn how to surf. You can take their intensive surf class, which includes a classroom theory lesson as well as in-the-water training. You can also choose a 1-on-1 surf lesson with an instructor to perfect your surfing skills.

1-day Surf Package = 2,500 PHP


Siargao Island Surf Map - Surfing in Siargao Philippines - Image showing all of the Best Surf Spots

Best Surf Spots in Siargao

As one of the best places in the Philippines for surfing, Siargao has dozens of spots to choose from. Whether you’re a first-time surfer or advanced professional, you’ll find something off the shores of Siargao to fit your style.


Burgos – Expert

Located on the northern part of the island, Burgos tends to attract more locals than tourists. However, its rarely crowded, which means you’ll get to paddle out without bumping shoulders with other surfers.

The exposed reef break guarantees that you’ll get massive, consistent waves at almost every time of the day. This is an excellent spot for expert-level surfers looking to catch both left and right-handed waves.


Pacifico – Expert

With some of the craziest waves on the island, Pacifico is a surfer’s dream. Between the double and triple left-handed waves, you’ll get to enjoy long rides through some of the largest waves in Siargao. Despite its world-class waves, Pacifico is rarely crowded. Even during the busiest times of the day, you might only be surfing alongside two or three other people.

Paddling out can be a tricky task on its own because the waves appear much smaller from the beach. Don’t let the sight fool you; the waves are incredibly strong and can be dangerous. Pacifico should be strictly reserved for expert and advanced surfers.


Salvacion – Intermediate

If you’re looking for mid-sized clean waves, then look no further than Salvacion. Most of the waves only reach between three and eight feet high, which is an ideal size for intermediate surfers. However, the water remains knee-high and easy to tackle, even in winter months when other surf spots are closed.

Its off-the-beaten-path location means that Salvacion is not overly crowded with surfers or boaters. Once you make your way through the unpaved roads and unmarked signs, you’ll come across a small parking lot on the coast. From there, you’ll need to hire a boat to take you ten minutes to the middle of the break.

Once you reach the pristine waves, you’ll see why it’s worth the long journey!


Stimpy’s – Intermediate/Expert

Stimpy’s is one of the most famous surf spots in Siargao for intermediate and expert surfers. Depending on if you go during low or high tide (low tide is considerably better), you can expect to see swells anywhere from two to eight feet in height. However, the water can be unpredictable, and waves can be much, much taller than yourself.

Shortboarders will also find Stimpy’s to be a great choice. The left-handed waves are neither too slow or too fast, which makes for a fun and relaxing ride in the ocean.

Since it’s one of the island’s busier spots, you might have to wait in line for your turn. However, if you’re a more advanced surfer, you can come during high-tide and practically have the beach to yourself.


Two surfers walking on Secret Beach in Siargao

Secret Beach – Beginner/Intermediate

As one of the most picturesque spots on the island, Secret Beach is great for sunbathers, swimmers, and surfers alike. Surrounded by swaying palm trees, you’ll feel completely secluded – like you’re alone in the middle of a tropical paradise.

The beginner-friendly waves also make Secret Beach a great place if you’re just learning how to surf. The shoulder-high swells are easy and protected by the wind, which means the waves are relatively consistent and calm during all hours of the day.

The location alone makes Secret Beach worth a visit during your trip to Siargao. There isn’t a paved road or marked path. Instead, you’ll need to trek through the coconut trees to find this little slice of surfing heaven.


Rock Island – Intermediate

If you’re looking for a different type of swell, head to Rock Island, which is only a short boat ride away from the popular Cloud 9 surf spot. Here, you’ll find fast, choppy waves that can reach anywhere from four to twelve feet in height. These right-handed barrels are ideal whether you visit during low or high tide.

It’s important to keep in mind that you should be at least an intermediate level surfer before jumping in the water at Rock Island. The swell is incredibly strong, and you’ll be faced with one powerful wave after another. If it’s too dangerous, you can hop over to the neighboring Stimpy’s spot for a relaxing day out at sea.


Jacking Horse – Inner: Beginner | Outer Intermediate

If this is your first time on a board, you’ll want to head over to Jacking Horse. The mellow waves and proximity to the Cloud 9 village make it one of the most popular surf spots on the island.

You can expect mid-sized right-handed waves (anywhere from two to six feet) that guarantee you a long and enjoyable ride. They may not be the coolest or gnarliest swells on the island, but they’re pleasant enough for people just starting out. The best time to go is during high tide, although this tends to be the busiest time of the day.

The only downside is the strong current. Many beginner surfers have a difficult time paddling back out to the break without the help of a friend or surfing instructor. For that reason, the outer area of Jacking Horse is better suited to intermediate level surfers.


Quicksilver – Inner: Beginner | Outer Intermediate

Although Quicksilver is relatively smaller than the infamous Cloud 9, it’s still one of the best surf spots in Siargao. If you come during off-peak season, the waves are less dangerous and only waist-high, which makes it a great place to learn how to surf.

However, some of the swells can become complicated, very fast. If you are more of an intermediate surfer, you can paddle further out to enjoy the cleaner, right-handed waves.

Keep in mind that it can get crowded, especially during mid to high tide. However, you won’t find too many tourists, since Quicksilver is often only frequented by locals. Either way, Quicksilver is worth visiting if you have the patience to wait for the perfect waves.


Drone photo of a sunset behind the Cloud 9 Surf Break viewing platform

Cloud 9 – Expert

All types of surfers will have heard of Cloud 9. The waves here are some of the best not just in Siargao, but in the entire world. Come from September to November and see some of the most powerful and picturesque waves you can imagine.

Despite Cloud 9 being one of the most well-known spots on the island, the giant waves should only be tackled by expert surfers. While the swell may be short, they are also extremely powerful and can be dangerous if left to beginner or inexperienced riders.

If you’re up for the challenge, you can’t visit Siargao without having a go at Cloud 9.


Tuason Point – Expert

If Cloud 9 gets too busy or chaotic, you can always take the short walk over to Tuason Point. Although you won’t get the same dreamlike waves that you would at Cloud 9, you can still enjoy some giant left-barreling swells that even the most advanced surfers will want to test out.

You will need to have a little patience to catch the right wave. Tuason Point is somewhat inconsistent, and if there are strong winds, the ocean can be very unpredictable. With three different breaks, you shouldn’t have to wait too long for the perfect wave.

Once you do paddle out, you’ll be treated to steep, fast waves that are guaranteed to make your heart stop. Beginner and intermediate surfers stay back on land – Tuason Point should be reserved only for expert surfers.


Cemetery – Intermediate

With both left and right swells, Cemetery sounds far scarier than it actually is. The waves can be unpredictable and hard to catch, which means there’s a large variety of barrels, sizes, and currents. On the other hand, they are rarely choppy or sloppy, which makes it an ideal spot for intermediate surfers.

Unlike other destinations in Siargao, you won’t need to hire a boat every time you want to head out in the water. If you go during low tide, you can walk to the middle of the swell by foot. If you can’t make it during low-tide, you can rent a boat to take you to the waves.

Cemetery is also fairly unheard of to most tourists, so you won’t have to fight with others for that perfect wave.


Aerial Photo of Daku Island - 3 Island Day trip from Siargao - Top things to do

Daku – Intermediate

Slow surfers will find exactly what they are looking for at Daku. Located right off the boardwalk in General Luna, Daku is one of the most popular spots for intermediate surfers. If you catch the right wave at the right time, you’ll have the opportunity to cruise through the decent-sized right-handed barrels.

The calm waves reach three to eight feet and are relatively easy to ride. Make sure to visit during August and November during high tide. This is when you can slow surf your way through those spectacular mellow waves that never seem to end.


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Pink sunset with surfers at Cloud 9 in Siargao

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