10 Places to Go to for Kayaking and Canoeing

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced kayaker, these places will surely be a delight to explore.

By Mathew S. Chan
October 05, 2016


Kayaking and canoeing can be a very relaxing and challenging. Both are popular watersports and virtually the same in nature, except for the sitting positions and number of blades of the paddle. Canoeing involves a single-bladed paddle, and you either kneel or sit facing forward. With kayaking, you use a double-bladed paddle, and you sit facing forward with your legs stretched out in front.

These watersports have a lot of benefits and uses: recreation, exercise, a means of transportation, and a tool to promote tourism. If you are interested in trying them out, here are 10 places in the Philippines that offer kayaking and canoeing.

1. El Nido, Palawan
Palawan is the perfect place to go kayaking especially in the town of El Nido. With lush rivers and inlets, you can go paddling for days while exploring the different islands and camping out by the shores. If you aren’t that keen in backpacking, you can spend a single afternoon kayaking around the area to simply appreciate the natural wonders of perhaps the most beautiful island destination in the world.

2. Ternate, Cavite
Ternate is a great place to start kayaking as it is accessible any time of the year. You can start of at Maragondon Beach and make your way to the nearby man-made island or even Corregidor Island and Caballo Island. Maragondon is filled with lush mangroves so you are presented with a lovely view as you paddle. Ternate also has a kayak training facility in case you are interested in taking lessons.

3. Moalboal, Cebu
If you are looking for more than just a normal kayaking destination, you can go for a half day tour at Moalboal under Planet Action Adventure. They offer a kayaking and snorkeling tour which starts at Tipolo beach resort at Panagsama Beach and passes through marine sanctuaries like Kasai Reef, Dolphin House, and the popular white beach. It will only take about three hours but you will experience some of the best sites for boating and snorkelling that Cebu has to offer.

4. San Jose, Tarlac
For a more intense kayaking experience, you can head to San Jose in Tarlac, just about a four-hour drive from Metro Manila. You can head to Bulsa River, with Class II rapids that first-timers can easily handle. Don’t be afraid because you will be accompanied by professionals from Rapid Stream Ecotours. For just PHP 2,500, you can get a quick lesson, rental of materials, and snacks.

5. Clark, Pampanga
A nice place for casual kayaking is on a lake as the water is still and you can easily paddle and maneuver around. Clearwater & Country Club in Pampanga happens to have a three-hectare lake, which is the centerpiece of the resort. You can easily spend your day just kayaking around or fishing on a calm spot for tilapia and sea bass.

6. Surigao del Norte
Though the area is popular as one of the best areas for surfing in the Philippines, it is also a great spot for kayaking and canoeing. Surigao has groups of islands and plenty of caves and lagoons, which you can all explore while boating. It won’t take long to jump from island to island, but you might just take your time as the view and sites are just awe-inspiring.

7. Hundred Islands, Pangasinan
If you love exploring and visiting several places at any given time, then the popular Hundred Islands is your ultimate destination. So far, there are only three developed islands namely Governor Island, Quezon Island, and Children's Island. All other islands have barely been touched and ready to be explored. You can even make a challenge and see how many you can visit in a day.

8. Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Caramoan has some of the most beautiful islands and beaches you will see in the country, but some of the hotels and resorts in the area are costly (browse here for affordable accommodations in Caramoan). You can set out and kayak your way to explore the islands and beaches and just bring some camping materials with you. You can go on a budget trip by paddling around the stunning province—it was as if kayaking was invented for the purpose of exploring Caramoan.

9. Biri, Northern Samar
If you haven’t heard of or seen Biri, it is a stunning area located in Northern Samar. It is made up of several islands: Biri, Talisay, Magasang, and Cagnipa. It’s a great location to go kayaking because you get to feast your eyes on unusual but scenic rock formations. You can paddle around and suddenly feel like you are in a strange but beautiful alien planet or a fantasy world beyond your imagination.

10. Camiguin Island
Camiguin Island is located off the northern coast of Mindanao. It is an ideal location to kayak for beginners especially at Taguines Lagoon. More experienced kayakers can venture out farther to discover an ancient mangrove forest and lush pristine beaches. Another place to travel to is Mantigue Island, which is deserted but possesses unadulterated beauty. The best time to kayak in Camiguin is from November to May.