The Philippines attracts thousands upon thousands of tourists per year, and with good reason: aside from its heavenly - albeit sometimes strange - bites and wonderful, welcoming people, the Philippines is home to many gorgeous beaches that effortlessly take your breath away. If you’re a beach bum looking for a getaway, check out these 10 places you absolutely must visit in the Philippines.
Named the best island in the world in 2016, Boracay is a hotspot for tourists from abroad and from other parts of the Philippines alike. Its fine, white sand and deep blue waters make for a perfect stroll against a backdrop of a gorgeous sunset by the ocean, and its shoreline is peppered with many restaurants and cafes where you can get a hearty grub no matter the time of day. Boracay is a mix of urban and beach side, with many henna tattoo artists, water sports service providers and even massage parlors nearby. At night, Boracay transforms into a beach with an amazing party scene too. Here, you can go island hopping, scuba diving and para sailing.
Accommodations here range from humble hostels, guest houses and budget hotels to grand 5-star luxury resorts.
Address: Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, Western Visayas, Philippines
Access: Take a plane to Caticlan, then ride bus/van to Caticlan jetty port, or take a ferry to Boracay
2. El Nido, Palawan
If you’re a nature lover at heart, get ready - El Nido will leave you in a dreamy haze after your trip here, as this beach is full of nature’s wonders galore. From limestone cliffs to caves waiting to be explored and to majestic waterfalls filled with fresh water running down streams, El Nido is perfect for those who are seeking a laidback adventure exploring all that nature has to offer. Here, you can go exploring caves and waterfalls, island hopping, snorkeling and swimming by the beach.
Accommodation here is a little more limited than Boracay’s, but just like Boracay’s, El Nido has a wide range of accommodation options available from budget hostels to luxury resorts.
El Nido, Palawan
Address: El Nido, Palawan Island, Philippines
Price: For reference, island hopping costs around PHP 1,200 (24.00 USD)
Access: Take a plane to Puerto Princesa, then flag down a tricycle (about 50 pesos) to go to the bus terminal. Ride a bus to El Nido for 6 hours, or get a shuttle van if you prefer a more personal trip.
3. Siargao, Surigao Del Norte
The Philippines has many beaches primed for surfing - you have the beaches of La Union, Baler, and Zambales, to name a few. But while there are indeed many surfing beaches, none quite come close to Siargao. Dubbed as the surfing capital of the Philippines, Siargao is no stranger to the avid surfer looking for some adventure amongst the waves. With Siargao’s lagoons and clear waters, this beach makes for the perfect beach destination for those with a penchant for water activities: here, you can go island hopping and snorkeling too aside from surfing. Siargao is not a highly commercialized beach, so you can expect to find hostels to stay in while in Siargao.
Siargao, Surigao Del Norte
Address: Siargao, Surigao Del Norte, Caraga, Mindanao
Price: For reference, island hopping here starts at PHP 750 (15.00 USD)
Access: Take a plane from Manila to Siargao
4. Isla Reta, Talicud
Isla Reta is one of the lesser popular beaches in the Philippines, making this beach a stretch of truly pristine, white sand with blue crystal waters. At Isla Reta, you can expect a serene and secluded getaway - leave behind your troubles in the hustle and bustle of the city and come to Isla Reta to clear your mind and breathe easy. Here, you can go snorkeling, have a picnic by the beach, or take a peaceful stroll along the shore. If you’re exploring Davao and want to go on a spontaneous beach trip, you’re in luck as Isla Reta is easily accessible.
Isla Reta, Talicud
Address: Isla Reta, Talicud Island, Samal, Davao Del Sur, Mindanao
Price: For reference, rates to enter the resort are around PHP 75 (1.50 USD)
Access: Fly to Davao City, take a taxi to Sta. Ana Wharf, then take a boat to Isla Reta
Website: Isla Reta
5. Anguib Beach, Palaui island
Be careful treading Anguib Beach’s virgin beaches: you might not want to leave after coming here. Located in Palaui Island, Anguib Beach is more known for its almost untouched feel with its lack of commercialization in the area, making it a dream hideaway for many beach lovers. As if the seclusion of the beach isn’t enough, Anguib Beach is also filled with white sand, beautiful volcanic rock formations, and pure waters you can almost see through, all making for stunning scenery. As Anguib Beach is mostly untouched, there aren’t many watersport’s activities to be done here - but you can swim, have a bonfire or wait for the stars to blanket you at night.
In true hideaway fashion, Anguib Beach doesn’t have hotels or hostels, but there are camping facilities and cottages available on-site.
Address: Anguib Beach, Palaui Island, Santa Ana, Cagayan
Access: Go to Tuguegarao either by bus or plane. From Tuguegarao ride a bus to Sta. Ana, Cagayan. From Sta. Ana, ride a tricycle to San Vicente Port, from San Vicente Port, ride a boat to Palaui Island.
6. Gota Beach, Caramoan
If you watch Survivor, Gota Beach might seem familiar to you - after all, this is where they filmed. With its beautiful limestone, pure white sand and clean waters, Gota Beach is not only an eye-catcher but is also host to many activities that can fill your beach outdoor adventure. At Gota Beach, you can unleash the inner explorer (and Survivor) in you as you explore its limestone formations and caves, visit nearby islands via island hopping, and swim to your heart’s content. Gota Beach is also located in Camarines Sur, so it’s more accessible if you’ll be coming from Manila. You can also check out where Survivor was filmed! For places to stay, you can find many resorts and hotels here fit your budget.
Address: Gota Beach, Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Access: Take a bus from Manila to Naga, or fly to Naga, then take a bus to Caramoan
7. Alona Beach, Bohol
Aside from being a breathtaking beach in itself, Alona Beach in Bohol is perfect for beach lovers who not only love the sand, sea and sun but also the aquatic wonders that live under the sea. You can go dolphin watching, diving with barracudas and sea snakes, whale spotting, and snorkeling to explore Alona’s prized coral formations. Aside from these aquatic attractions, Alona Beach is also near enough to Bohol’s famed Chocolate Hills where you can marvel at a thousand dome-shaped, brown-colored hills. You can also check out Bohol’s tarsier, dubbed as the world’s smallest primate, which lives on the island. Accommodations here are also hotels and resorts.
Address: Alona Beach, Panglao, Bohol, Visayas
Access: From Manila, fly to Tagbilaran, then take a tricycle to Alona Beach
8. Saud Beach, Pagudpud
Located in Ilocos Norte, Saud Beach is an all-in-one: if you find that you and your friends can’t decide what beach to go to, consider checking out Saud Beach. It’s located in Luzon and is very accessible by bus from Manila, which means you can spend a weekend here well. You can also expect occasional big waves here, so you can surf, and its shore is lined with restaurants and areas shaded by coconut trees for you to hang out and relax in. Accommodation options here include hotels, resorts, and homestays, so you can be sure that staying at Saud Beach won’t hurt your wallet.
Address: Saud Beach, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, Luzon
Access: By land: take a bus to Cagayan, then ask to be dropped off at Pagudpud Junction, then take a tricycle. By air: take a plane from Manila to Laoag city, then take a bus to Pagudpud.
Explore Philippine beaches suited to your taste
Whether it’s some quiet, low-key R&R you’re after, or it’s some exploration and adventure under the sea or in caves, the Philippines’ beaches have you covered. All of these beaches are stunning in their own right and have so much beauty to offer that it truly takes more than words to describe them. Make sure to check them out on your next beach trip!
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