Table of Content
Kite season & Wind: Winds in the Philippines are dominated by the North Easterly trade wind, known locally as the Amihan, blowing from around November to April, with January and February being the prime wind seasons.
Kites to bring: During the Amihan season, kiteboarders in the 70-80kg range should bring consider bringing a 9-10m kite, as well as a 12-13m kite for light days, in some lighter wind locations a bigger kite or a hydrofoil board may be handy (Lighter / heavier kiteboarders should adjust their kite sizes accordingly).
Water temp: Averaging between 22-26 degrees, so thin overlays are recommended to protect from the sun. On the overcast days, the water temperature can feel cooler, so thin neoprene layer will be useful.
GOOD TO KNOW
Even Amihan season can bring a lot of humid days and rain clouds, therefore many windy and rainy days are expected.
The sun sets at 6pm, give or take half an hour. The Nightlife and entertainment options will vary depending on where you go. From beach parties in Boracay to live music and karaoke in smaller islands, you will be able to find what suits your heart. Please note that if you will choose to go further of the beaten track and explore smaller, less known destinations be prepared to live without entertainment, get woken up by roosters at 3am and forget dinner after 8pm unless you fancy chicken foot on a stick.
Locals are a very friendly bunch and good entertainers, whether you are a group of people or a solo traveller (female or male) you will feel safe here and will always find a smiley face to show you around.
Besides kitesurfing in the Philippines, there is no shortage of other watersports or tourists activities through the islands. From SUP, surf, wake parks to island hopping, tours and diving trips – you will find all you desire.
If you are staying for longer than a week, its highly recommended to get a pre-paid sim with internet allowance to make life a little bit easier while traveling.
For those traveling in and out of Manila Airport, please note that transport between the terminals is somewhat limited and slow therefore is recommended to leave at least 6h between flights.
Citizens of nearly every country can get a visa upon arrival in the Philippines. This will allow you to stay for up to 30 days (Visitors from Israel and Brazil get 59 days). Prerequisites are a passport valid for at least six more months and a return ticket.
You can have this visa extended to 59 days at one of the offices of the Bureau of Immigrations for about 3,000Php.
More information about visas and entry/exit formalities can be found here.
Health and Vaccinations
As in any tropical country the general ‘stay hydrated and be wise in the sun’ is a must. Though temperatures are generally warm here, due to cool, strong winds and rainy days and being in the water the whole time, take care and try not to catch a cold. Most medications are available in the stores and pharmacies. Some of the kitespots in the Philippines that we’ve listed are more remote, so a carrying small first aid kit with essentials is a good idea.
Beer €0.80 to €1.50; food €3+ in less crowded places to €20+ in high-class restaurants per person; equipment rental around €75 (1days); kite lessons package (6h) around €170; private lessons (2h) €100.
What to bring
- Suncream – hard to get the good stuff;
- Wetsuit booties – sea urchins and coral are common at the beach in some locations;
- Neoprene leggings – to protect you from the sun and jellyfish (not that often);
- Earplugs – locals love their loud roosters and karaoke, if you are a light sleeper you will certainly want to have a few pairs of earplugs;
- Rain jacket – due to humidity and overcasting outer clothing doesn’t dry very well and especially if it’s raining it can get cold;
- Kite repair kit and spare fins – hard to get spare parts in the more remote areas;
- First aid kit – especially if you travel to remote areas.
WESTERN VISAYAS - Boracay, Union Beach
BORACAY – Bulabog Beach
One of the most known kitespots in the Philippines and the country’s top tourist destination with excellent infrastructure offering whatever you may want or need.
Boracay is located on the East side of the windy area in the Sulu Sea and gets a good amount of wind regardless of the direction of the Amihan. At the Bulabog beach the wind tends to increase through the day, therefore, you will use your mid-size (12m) to small size (9-8m) kites most of the time.
For more details about kitesurfing in Boracay, check our comprehensive travel blog post and check out the location guide.
Must try: Kite trip to secluded and undisturbed Seco Island, can be done by renting a boat from Tibiao in Antique or 4-5h boat trip from Boracay. For a stress-free trip, join organised adventures with one of the kite centres at the Bulabog beach.
Good to know: Be aware that the beach gets very small at the high tide, so it can be tricky to launch your kite, also as a spoken rule, the kites are set up with the lines up-wind. With low tide, there is no water and it is hard to impossible to get on the water.
Other spots nearby: Seco island & Union Beach
Getting there: The fastest way to get to Boracay is to get a short flight from Manila airport to Caticlan or Kalibo. From Kalibo, you need to go to Caticlan first, which will take you anywhere from 1.5 hours upwards. From Caticlan, you hop on a ferry boat which will take you to Boracay Island, its a short trip as Boracay is not far away from mainland Panay.
Nearest Kite Centre: Many schools to choose from along Bulabog beach.
Nightlife: The island is counted for its parties, head to the White beach for evening/night activities.
UNION Beach – Malay
Union Beach is a beautiful stretch of golden sand with shallow water located on Panay Island about 5 km from Caticlan (Boracay) Airport. It is a great location for beginner and independent riders to gain experience in a less crowded environment bust still close to Boracay.
It has reef-protected flat water that catches the onshore wind, making it ideal for freestyle and small wave riding.
There are only a few restaurants and accommodations located right on the beach: Blue Orange Ville and Bahari Kite Resort. It is advisable to contact them before your arrival, or you are there for a day trip from Boracay bring food and drinks.
Good to know: It takes a boat and tricycle trip to get to the beach from Boracay, but you can also kite a downwinder there that would take around 20 min.
Getting there: The fastest way to reach Union Beach from Manila is to fly into Caticlan (Boracay Aiport) which takes 45 minutes. It then takes a 10 minute tricycle to Union Beach.
Nightlife: few bars in Catalan, or for more action take the ferry back to Boracay.
MINDORO Camp – Bulalacao
If you fancy experiencing the real Philippines but relatively close to Boracay, you should consider at least a 3 day trip to Mindoro kite camp.
The Amansinaya Resort is about 30 min tricycle drive from Bulalacao ferry port in Mindoro and general offer at least a few knots of wind more than Boracay.
Hidden within its own little jungle, this resort offers a full board kitesurfing escape. You can expect to kitesurf every day, and if the wind is not playing ball there will be other activities offered for you like sup tours, hikes and other exploring trips around the camp. When the wind is there than a multitude of organised downwinders are organised almost daily and a group dinner and a beach fire usually follows after a long day in the water.
You will be surrounded by a bunch of likeminded people, have many adventures, have food prepared for you by an in-house chef and experience tranquillity and quality time in nature without contact to the rest of the world.
Getting there: Fast Cat ferry runs twice a day from Caticlan to Bulalacao. The ferry is very clean and modern offering very good facilities, especially for the tourist class. Once in Bulalacao your will find many tricycles that are ready to take you to the camp. If you are traveling with a bigger group it is worth asking the camp to organise a pickup.
Good to know: We recommend taking the early morning ferry as in that case you will have all day in the camp as you will arrive just in time for breakfast. Additionally, we offer to take some extra layers with your and some sea sickness tablets, as you may need them for the ferry journey especialy if its windy.
Nearest Kite Centre: Amansinaya Kite Camp
Nightlife: there is not much around the camp, but drinks around a campfire or some games are organised daily.
NORTH ISLANDS - Kingfisher & Bagasbas
KINGFISHER – Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
In the far North of Luzon lies Pagudpud Peninsula, on the north coast of which is Kingfisher Beach resort. All cater for Kiteboarding place offering everything from transfers to gear rentals.
Being the most northerly part of Philippines this place offers the strongest winds, you will need your small to smallest kites here most of the time. The waves break about 250 to 280 meters from the shore and the sizes range from small to double overhead high. Nonetheless, this is an excellent playground for experienced riders. Beginners and intermediate riders can practice in the shallow area close to the beach.
Must try: Sightseeing surrounding areas.
Good to know: The place is good for advanced kiters who are looking for challenging conditions and want to ride waves. Not the first choice for beginners or people travelling in groups of some kiters and some non-kiters, as there isn’t really a whole lot to do there except water sports.
Other spots nearby: Bangui Beach & Blue Lagoon.
Getting there: The nearest airport is Laoag. The ride from the airport takes about two hours, and there are buses going that way as well.
Nearest Kite Centre: Kingfisher Beach resort
Nightlife: Relative to the resort.
BAGASBAS Beach – Daet
The provincial capital of Camarines Norte, in Bicol peninsula, South East of mainland Luzon. It is a long, wide beach facing northeast to the open Pacific Ocean.
This beach will suit everyone’s needs – at the lower tide and lighter winds the water is relatively flat, with the increasing wind here comes the waves between 5ft to 15ft. If you are a waveriding enthusiast, head couple kilometres to the North a place called Vinzons, where the waves are typically a couple feet higher.
Must try: Downwinders and Island exploring sessions are recommended, hire a rescue boat or get the trip organised by a nearby kite centre.
Good to know: Less explored tourist destination, therefore offering the real Philippines lifestyle and no crowds.
Getting there: Fly to Naga and use a shuttle van to go to Daet or get a private transfer.
Nearest Kite Centre: Bagasbas Kitesurfing & Mikes Kites; Wakeboarding park in CWC (Camsur Watersports Complex in Pili, Naga) only 2h drive from kite beach.
Nightlife: local-style nightlife right there close to Mikes Kites on the beach, and in Daet as well.
WEST ISLANDS - Palawan, El Nido, Coron and Cuyo
PUERTO PRINCESA – Palawan
Puerto Princesa is a well-explored tourist destination in Palawan, best known for the underground river alongside other attractions. A city with half a million people, it has advantages such as choice of accommodation and nightlife.
The wind is on the rather light side here, but when the Amihan is northerly, there is a good side shore breeze—usually around 12 to 15 knots, but days with 20 to 30 knots as well.
Blue Palawan Resort 15 min away from Puerto Princesa main town offers the first and only Kiteboard terrain park in Asia. The park is located at Blue Palawan resort and nesting in a vast lagoon protected by a reef and mangrove sanctuary, making the area a biodiverse environment with perfect flat waters and consistent on-shore winds from November to March.
Must try: Test your kiting skills at Blue Palawan Kite Park.
Good to know: Kiteclubpalawan is a home-based kite school, operating at Emerald Playa Beach and Nature Park, 15 to 20 minutes drive from the heart of Puerto Princesa. The reef is about 500m from the beach and creates a big shallow flat water area, with some small waves outside.
Getting there: Fly to Puerto Princesa, then take a tricycle or private transfer.
Nightlife: Active and laidback, depending on planned events.
EL NIDO – The Calamian Islands
San Fernando beach offers constant side onshore winds, perfect for beginners and advanced riders to exercise kitesurfing skills freely and without crowds. The pristine sea is flat with sandy shores, perfect for wadding in the water, and more so for kitesurfing. El Nido town offers plenty of shopping and bars, so you will find plenty to do.
Must try: Inland tours to waterfalls and archaeological sites plus trips to the town centre of El Nido.
Good to know: Qi Kiteboarding Palawan kite spot is a one hour drive from El Nido, without any other tourist facilities in the immediate area.
Getting there: You can fly directly to El Nido, fly to Puerto Princesa and take a public or private transfer to El Nido.
Nearest Kite Centre: Qi Palawan kiteboarding
Nightlife: You can find more bars in El Nido or beach bar parties in the resorts.
CORON – The Calamian Islands
The Calamianes Islands are located at the northern tip of Palawan, in the very West of the Philippines. The three main bigger islands there are Busuanga, Culion and Coron, but the whole area is also known collectively as “Coron”.
To clear up the confusion, Coron Town—the tourism hub of the region—is located on Busuanga Island and is facing Coron Island. There are hundreds of smaller islands in this somewhat isolated area, most of them absolutely stunning with white beaches, turquoise waters, coral reefs, wild monkeys and limestone cliffs—you get the picture.
Expect open water chop to flat water, with amazingly beautiful mirror-flat kitesurfing spots all around. There are lots of places to kite with different beach angles and setups.
The wind can vary, depending on location. Having someone who knows the area or has quite a bit of experience with kitesurfing in Coron is a great advantage when choosing a spot for the day.
Must try: Diving here is a world-class experience and a good no wind activity.
Good to know: There are so many islands to choose from to kite that you will lose the sight, contact the kite centre to find out more and tell you all about the best locations.
Getting there: Fly from Manila to Coron-Busuanga (USU) and take the transfer to Coron Town (takes about 30 min).
Nearest Kite Centre: 250k kite camp
Nightlife: There are some local-style nightlife and a couple of bars catering to tourists and expats in Coron Town. The islands around are more about having a beer on a beautiful beach at sunset and enjoying the peace and quiet.
This isolated island of Cuyo is located in a remote part of the Sulu Sea, almost equal distance between Puerto Princesa, Iloilo, and Boracay. Over the last few years, it has gathered a reputation for being one the finest kiteboarding spots in the Philippines. Its tourist infrastructure is still undeveloped, accommodation and entertainment options are extremely limited. As a result, the island still retains a peaceful, authentic, community-centred part of Philippines.
Good waves can be found on Cuyo, although it is the flat water spots around Capusan Beach that tend to draw the kiters back year after year. The main spots for kiteboarding on Cuyo are Capusan Beach in the main town, Victoria Beach on the opposite side of the island and reef-protected lagoon in front of Anito Retreat (Quijano Windsurfing Retreat).
Must try: CWA arranges frequent downwinders for kiteboarders wishing to kite the stunning 7km route between Mt. Bombon and Capusan Beach.
Good to know: There are no ATMs and cards are not accepted anywhere so bring cash.
Getting there: Cuyo is connected by ferry to Iloilo, Puerto Princesa, Coron and Manila, and by air to Iloilo, Puerto Princesa, and Boracay.
Nearest Kite Centre: Cuyo Watersports
Nightlife: There is little in the way of nightlife, restaurants or other activities on Cuyo.
CENTRAL ISLANDS - Bohol, Negros, Santa Fe, Guimaras
BOHOL – Panglao Island
Part of the Bohol, Panglao Island has a wide white sandy beach that kitesurfers will surely enjoy.
The crystalline sea is protected with a coral reef, which during low tide is passable on foot. It gets minimal waves and unpredictable days of strong wind. A cosy small town, amazing food, the friendly and relaxing atmosphere will take everyone’s hearts away.
Must try: Scuba diving, whale shark watching and stand up paddle tours.
Good to know: A relatively unexplored area for kitesurfing, but with huge potential. Bring your gear or contact the centres for availability if you are travelling there.
Other spots nearby: Anda
Getting there: Take a flight from Manila to Tagbilaran City, and then take a land transport to Panglao Island.
Nearest Kite Centre: Contact Dumaguete Kitesurfer to book your instructor
Nightlife: Lively party atmosphere in Panglao town.
ZAMBOANGUITA – Dumaguete, Negros
Less known but an amazing location for kitesurfing and other watersports. Zamboanguita (do not confuse with Zamboanga) is the best place in Negros to learn kitesurfing. It is very near to Dumaguete, so it is easily accessible from other big towns in Philippines. With its orientation, the wide beach gives safety for the beginners and a well-exposed flat bay for the advanced kitesurfers.
Due to the position of the spot, it is possible to ride there in any wind direction and year round, making this spot one of the lucky ones in Philippines.
Must try: Kite trips to unexplored sandbanks organised by a kite school is a thing of a lifetime.
Good to know: Negros is well known for its diving options.
Getting there: Flights are available from Manila and Cebu City, the kite spot is 30 min from Damaguete. Ferries are also available from many major cities in the Philippines.
Nearest Kite Centre: Kite in Negros
Nightlife: Beach bar in the kite resort.
SANTA FE – Bantayan Island
Santa Fe on Bantayan Island is a small popular fishing town, and it is growing rapidly. A perfect gateway with an easy connection from Cebu, consistent wind, clear blue water, amazing beaches and many options for active holidays make this island kitesurfing getaway.
You will have the option to relax or kite, and in the evening there is a food court with different Nationalities’ cuisine to choose from. The place is not a party place; however, it has bars and nightlife with live bands playing on the weekends.
Must try: Virgin Island Hopping, Sunset Cruise, Paradise Beach, Ogtong Cave, Kayaking.
Good to know: On the other side of the pier of Santa Fe, there is another kite spot with a flat water lagoon, providing even more space to improve your riding.
Getting there: Hagnaya Port is a 4-5 hour bus or minivan journey from Cebu. Buses/Mini Vans depart from Cebu’s North Bus Terminal. The ferry from Hagnaya Port to Bantayan Island takes around an hour. You can also fly directly to the island from Cebu with a three-passenger charter plane that will give you an amazing opportunity to view the exotic island from above.
Nightlife: This island is packed with ex-pats running bars and hotels, so you will always find somewhere to go.
GUIMARAS ISLAND – Playa de Paraiso, San Lorenzo
This is a secret kite spot in the Philippines. There is only one kite school and resort around.
This spot offers perfectly steady winds and shallow warm water. Beginner and Freestyler can practise in the flat water in the lagoon, and directional riders can practice wave riding on the medium waves.
The lagoon offers a sandy bottom, so no reef shoes needed and you can kitesurf here even at the low tide. You will also have an opportunity to find turtles and Manatee (Seacow) dotted in this lagoon.
Guimaras is also called the Mango Island, so you will get the freshest and sweetest mangoes you ever tasted here.
Must to try: Kite Downwinder, Kite Island Hoping, No Wind Island Hopping & Over Night Kite Safaris organised by the kite school.
Good to know: There is a brand new Wakepark on the main island of Iloilo.
Getting there: The island is 5 min boat ride from Iloilo City. The easiest way is to fly to Iloilo International Airport from Manila or fly there direct from Hong Kong and Singapore.
Nightlife: The main evening activities are organised at the resort or for more action head to Iloilo.