It’s only a few hours away from Manila, and so is the closest surf spot from the capital. With the fifth longest coastline on the planet, San Juan has dozens of surfing areas waiting to be explored.
For starters, try Barangay Urbiztondo. This is the entry point to the surf spots of the Ilocos region. Beginners love this area known for its peeling waves and short rides. There are plenty of accommodations you can choose from, and many of them are beachfront. You can do pricey villas or budget-friendly homestays.
Learning to surf here is very inexpensive compared to other surf spots around the world. And although it is quite commercialized, the surf turf is still run by locals, which makes all the difference. The town’s surfers have organized themselves into a club, and they give lessons to pretty much everyone they talk to. There are surf schools and tutorials for every level.
Another local tradition has put this place on the map: pottery. The famous dalikan or cooking stove, created from red clay and soil, is handcrafted ‘til today as it’s preferred by the locals.