Zambales surfing, an entire Coastline of Opportunities!

Where is Zambales surfing

Zambales is a province on the west coast of Luzon north of Manila. Zambales is part of the Central Luzon Region or Region 3.

It is bordered to the west by the South China Sea, hence the surf action. To the north is the province of Pangasinan in the Ilocos Region, to the east is Pampanga and Tarlac provinces and to the south is the province of Bataan.

How do I get to Zambales surfing?

Getting to Zambales is not particularly difficult. From Manila it is a two to three hour air conditioned bus trip. The buses leave from Manila roughly every hour from 06:00am. These buses will take you through to Olongapo which is the southern gateway, or further depending on which bus you catch.

From Olongapo buses ply the coastal highway right the way up to Santa Cruz, which is the most northerly town in Zambales. The buses are frequent and easy to ride in, you can even catch a glimpses of the surf out of the left hand side of the bus traveling north.


The opportunities for surfing in Zambales are enormous. The entire coastline offers adventurous surfers many possible surfing breaks.

As with most Philippine surfing breaks the word that comes to mind the most is inconsistency. You are able to surf all year round in Zambales however you may have to search fairly hard to locate ride able decent waves. During the months of May to late November the surf is probably at is most consistent, not necessarily it’s biggest but definitely you will get more consistent waves. The period from December to April requires a lot more help from mother nature, usually in the form of a low depression in the South China Sea, which can whip the swell up to three or four metres. This is a big powerful swell and requires a good level of experience.

If you want to see what the surfing is like at Zambales, have a look here at this video.

Some of the more frequented breaks in Zambales surfing are:

Crystal Beach Break
This wave is located directly in front of the Crystal Beach Resort at San Narciso which is just about the first coastal spot on the way from Olongapo. The surf here breaks both left and right on a sand bank and is a real fun wave suitable for all levels with particular interest for beginner surfers. Be aware the surf can get quite big here under the right conditions.

High 5 Lahar
High 5 Lahar is also in San Narciso at the Macolcol River mouth. It is a great wave that can always be relied upon when all else appears doomed. The break is formed on the Lahar rather than the sand bottom. The Lahar is a by product of the eruption of mount Pinatubo in 1991.

Capones Island
Capones Island can be accessed by banca from the town of Pundaquit. There are a number of breaks on the island which are all reef breaks and should be surfed with a level of caution and experience. On its day can be heaps of fun!

Other Spots
If you see something that looks promising, don’t be afraid to get out and have a look, the entire area is an opportunity for adventurous surfers. Iba the capital of Zambales has some real nice waves as well.

Where do I stay?

There are resorts littering the coast from Olongapo right up to Santa Cruz, you will find any type of accommodation in Zamables that suits your budget.

In San Narciso the very popular Crystal Beach Resort is a favorite of surfers.

The Crystal Beach Resort can be contacted:
Tel.: (047) 913 4309
Cell.: (0920) 250 4008