The fourth quarter is upon the Philippines, and for surfers, that can only mean one thing: surfing season is here!
For surfing fanatics, the go to destination is Siargao. Sure the big waves are there even more so the bigger crowds! I’ve been to Siargao a few times, and just getting there requires a whole lot of effort. Siargao is a separate island after all, and sure, Cloud 9 boasts of world class waves, but it’s not exactly like it monopolizes these big waves. Other areas have them too!
Below is a list of Siargao alternatives if you’re in the process of planning your surfing vacation.
I prefer beach breaks to reef breaks so first in my list is Cantilan, Surigao del Sur.
Cantilan definitely have the Siargao crowd, and it’s rare for it to appear in any world-class list of surf spots. But if you’re going for privacy with enough wave action to satisfy your surfing addiction, this is definitely the spot. The Parola surf spot can even be divided into 3 levels with level three having ferocious waves. The coastline is looooong. And it’s not rare to be surfing the area by your lonesome. I’ll have a map posted here somewhere so those interested can see where Cantilan is. The spot for now is free of commercial establishments so it’s practically untouched.
Next one is Lianga, Surigao del Sur. This one is gaining (not rapidly) popularity because of its proximity to Butuan City. A few folks have bonded together and actually created a surfhouse for those who want to have a go at the spot. Just look for Ocean Point resort and you should see the structure there. Better if you know some locals or somebody who knows somebody related to the surfing group there so you can just bring your hammock and chill with the rest of the brethren. Again, this area is free. Sure you can probably make a donation to show your appreciation but as of writing, I know they don’t charge a thing. You can also get food there if you wanna stay a couple of days.
Some pics from friends enjoying Lianga waves:
Lanuza is definitely already known to the Siargao going crowd. They have their own competition right after the international surfing festival in Siargao is over. This year the Lanuza surfing festival happens from November 6-13, 2016.
One outlyer in the Surigao surf spots is Ayoke Island. This is a 45-minute boat ride from Cantilan, Surigao del Sur. As it’s name suggest, it is a standalone surf spot with ferocious waves that would leave even experienced surfers weak in the knees. It does have tamer spots though, good enough for beginner to intermediate surfers to enjoy. But if you’re looking for that adrenaline pumping experience, this island won’t fail your expectation. One thing about Ayoke though, there’s no electricity. They do have solar power, but it’s only enough to power small appliances. If you’re charming enough, you can charge your mobile phones there. Just don’t go around looking for airconditioned accommodations. There’s also a surfhouse there, and even a place that can accommodate surfers if you want a room and all that. They just don’t charge folks. You just have to make a donation. Send me a note in the comment area if you want to know more details.
So there you go! If you want a brand new surfing experience, and you’re tired of Siargao, these surfing locations are worthy alternatives.