Author Anietra Hamper has extensively explored the Philippines, discovering some of the most stunning beaches across the archipelago.
The Philippines boasts some of the world’s most idyllic beaches, and with its 7,000 islands, there is an abundance of white sands and turquoise waters to explore.
What makes the Philippines’ beaches truly special are the intricate features, such as underwater rivers and cave formations, adding an element of exotic adventure to your vacation. To make the most of this aquatic paradise, plan your visit during the dry season, which spans from November to April.
Witness the enchanting sunset as it transforms the sands of Buena Suerte Beach into a soothing shade of peach or admire the world-class surfers tackling the legendary Cloud Nine waves on Siargao Beach. Can’t decide where to begin your journey? Consider island hopping; it’s one of the best ways to experience the Philippines, given the multitude of beaches and excursions on offer.
Regular domestic flights are available, allowing you to start your trip in Manila for a taste of city life and then fly to Cebu or another island for solitude and a remote beach experience. To assist you in planning your adventure, we’ve compiled a list of the top best beaches in the Philippines.
1. Alona Beach, Panglao
Bohol remains a relatively unspoiled island, free from the overwhelming crowds of tourists. This is precisely what makes Alona Beach so enchanting. Located on the southwest part of the island, it is a popular destination for activities like swimming, snorkeling, and diving along the reef.
Alona Beach offers an excellent vantage point for observing dolphins and whales. However, it’s advisable to wear aqua shoes while wading, as there are sections with coral and sea urchins beneath the water’s surface.
The comfortable villas at the Donatela Resort and Sanctuary and the luxurious suites at the BE Grand Resort, Bohol are conveniently within walking distance of the beach. During your stay on the island, be sure to dedicate a few hours to visiting the sanctuary that cares for the endangered tarsier monkeys and explore the natural wonder of the Chocolate Hills.
2. White Beach, Boracay
The Philippines boasts several beaches bearing the name White Beach, but the one on Boracay Island stands out, and for good reason. Its tranquil blue waters and powdery white sands are an irresistible attraction. What further sets it apart are the natural cave formations that provide a vibrant backdrop.
The vast expanse of the beachfront makes it a hub for water activities and swimming. It’s a favored spot for kitesurfing enthusiasts and photographers who seek the elevated rock, offering the finest panoramic views at sunset.
For those seeking moments of solitude amidst the tourist crowd, you can opt for a beachfront massage, enjoy private beach access at the upscale Plantation at the Coast resort, or reside in your own bungalow at The Lind Boracay. Don’t forget to explore the charming boutique shops in town and take a leisurely beachfront stroll at night, where you may stumble upon candlelit sandcastles.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Boracay: Best Areas & Hotels
3. Honda Bay
Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa on Palawan Island is a well-frequented beach, ideal for snorkeling, swimming, and unwinding by the water’s edge. Embarking on island-hopping adventures from Honda Bay is a popular choice, offering an excellent opportunity to explore multiple beaches while savoring local cuisine. The beach offers a range of water sports options, including jet skiing and wakeboarding.
Whether you prefer leisurely daydreaming along the coast or exploring vibrant coral reefs, Honda Bay caters to your preferences. You can relish a seaside lunch featuring fresh seafood from local vendors. For a comfortable stay, consider accommodations like Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort in Puerto Princesa or the Canvas Boutique Hotel, and opt for a ferry ride to Honda Bay for a day trip. If you intend to partake in an island-hopping tour, it’s advisable to make arrangements through a larger resort.
4. Buena Suerte Beach
Buena Suerte Beach in El Nido, situated on the stunning Palawan Island, ranks among the most picturesque beaches in the Philippines and globally. Palawan, renowned as one of the world’s most beautiful islands, is naturally home to some of the country’s finest beaches.
Reaching this paradise requires a flight, and given the archipelagic nature of the country, air travel is often necessary to reach your various destinations.
The primary allure of Buena Suerte lies in its enchanting sands that transform into a mesmerizing peach or coral hue at dusk. The sand consists of fine, dust-like grains that fringe the crystal-clear waters, supporting a rich and diverse ecosystem.
The presence of cliffs, caves, waterfalls, and a wide variety of coral and marine life makes this beach a favored destination for divers. Numerous resorts on the island cater to those with a penchant for underwater exploration, such as the water cottages at El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island. In addition to exploring the beach’s coral wonders, you can venture to the nearby caves and lagoons for further adventures.
5. Paradise Beach, Bantayan Island
For a classic beach experience, complete with exotic flowers and tropical fish, Paradise Beach on Bantayan Island is a top choice. While it’s a relatively small stretch of shoreline, the visit is absolutely worth it for the opportunity to unwind beneath the swaying palm trees. This secluded and crystal-clear water paradise, although somewhat remote, is regarded as a hidden and romantic gem.
Swimming and snorkeling are enjoyable activities in the inviting waters, yet most visitors come here primarily to relax and relish the tranquil tropical breeze. Given its somewhat remote location, be prepared for a short walk to reach the beachfront and consider bringing snacks for the day as there are only a few vendors. The best approach is to stay at a hotel or resort in the town of Santa Fe, such as the Santa Fe Beach Club, and rent a motorbike for a day trip to Paradise Beach.
6. Anguib Beach
For an authentic encounter with the pristine natural beauty of the Philippines, Anguib Beach in the Santa Ana region is the perfect choice. This stretch of white-sand beach is undeniably stunning, and the mangrove trees that envelop it contribute to its tropical allure.
Conveniently, you can rent kayaks and snorkeling gear right on the beach. The landscape is adorned with volcanic rocks and a rich variety of flora and fauna. Accommodation options in the vicinity mainly consist of small independent cottages or cozy resorts like the Jotay Resort.
It is important to be aware of the high tide and low tide timings, especially if you’re traveling with children, as water depths can vary significantly. Additionally, do not miss exploring the historic town of Santa Ana during your visit to the area.
7. Saud Beach
While many of the Philippines’ picturesque beaches grace the southern islands, Saud Beach in the north, located on Luzon Island, holds its own unique charm. With its deep blue waters, pristine shoreline fringed by swaying coconut trees, and immaculate sands, it defines the essence of a perfect beach.
If you are seeking a serene beach escape, Saud Beach provides respite from the crowds and boasts fewer rock formations and coral compared to other beaches. It’s an excellent choice for families, and you’ll discover that this less frequented area offers more budget-friendly accommodation options.
For a more rustic experience, you can opt to stay at a small resort like the Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel, which is conveniently close to the beach. Alternatively, if you prefer luxurious accommodations, you may choose to lodge farther away from the beach and drive to it when needed.
8. Siargao Beach
You might not be familiar with Siargao Beach, but if you have any knowledge of surfing, chances are you’ve heard about the famous Cloud Nine waves. These iconic waves at Cloud Nine are renowned for their tube-like formations, offering a thrilling challenge for even the most experienced surfers. However, this beach on Siargao Island is not just for surfers; it’s a perfect destination for sunbathing, swimming, and of course, surfing.
When you decide to take a break from the waves, you can escape to the comfort of your poolside room at the Siargao Bleu Resort and Spa or the Isla Cabana Resort, where you can relax away from the sun. If you plan your visit for around September, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the Cloud Nine Surfing Cup competition.
9. Nacpan Beach
This beautiful expanse of white sand at Nacpan Beach is perfect for those seeking a more tranquil beach experience. It’s situated near El Nido on Palawan Island.
The water is excellent for swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. However, many visitors to this beach prefer to bask in the serenity, swaying in hammocks and savoring the island’s gentle breezes. When the mood strikes for some water activities, you can rent snorkeling gear and explore the clear blue waters for reefs and small fish.
The beach is simple yet stunning, with no extravagant frills and fewer crowds, making it truly unique. You can discover small restaurants along the coast or grab snacks from vendors who are typically set up near the entrance.
10. Kalanggaman Island Beach
Kalanggaman Island in Palompon, within the Leyte Province, is an isolated gem in the Philippines, surrounded by stunning coral reefs. While the white sandy shores and turquoise waters that embrace the island are indeed breathtaking, its true treasure lies beneath the water’s surface.
This island attracts day-trippers who seek seclusion, but it’s a paradise for those who relish snorkeling and diving. Just beyond the rugged sandy edges, you’ll discover vibrant reefs and abundant marine life.
The island’s name, with its distinctive shape, is derived from the local word “langgam,” which means bird. There are a few small cottages available for rent on the island, but most tourists visit on a day trip from other places like Malapascua Island, a two-hour boat ride away, or by arranging a flight from Manila.
You can include Kalanggaman Island in an island-hopping tour provided by many hotels and resorts, especially if you’re staying in the city of Palompon and wish to explore it for the day. It’s important to note that the island is regulated, meaning only a specific number of visitors are allowed at any given time, and there are associated fees for visiting.
11. Subic Beach
Picture yourself awakening from an afternoon siesta in a traditional Filipino nipa hut. The gentle breeze wafts in from the beachside, and just beyond your doorstep lies pink sand. This is the delightful beginning to your day on Subic Beach in Matnog Sorsogon, nestled in the Bicol region. While not as renowned as other Philippine beaches, it’s often a featured stop on island-hopping tours in the area.
The crystal-clear blue waters are perfect for snorkeling but remember to bring your own equipment. The pink tint of the sand stands out as one of the beach’s highlights, contributing to its paradise-like ambiance. You will find a few independent cottages available for rent nearby. However, many visitors prefer to stay in resorts like Vitton & Woodland Beach Resorts in the more densely populated areas on the mainland of Luzon and embark on day trips to Subic Beach.
Q: What is the best time to visit the Philippines for a beach vacation?
A: The best time to visit the Philippines for a beach vacation is during the dry season, from November to April.
Q: Are these beaches suitable for families with children?
A: Many of these beaches are family-friendly, but it is essential to research each beach’s specific amenities and activities before planning your trip.
Q: What’s the average cost of a beach vacation in the Philippines?
A: The cost can vary significantly depending on your choice of accommodation and activities. On average, a moderate budget for a beach vacation can range from $50 to $150 per day.
Q: Do I need a visa to visit the Philippines as a tourist?
A: Most tourists can enter the Philippines visa-free for up to 30 days. However, it’s essential to check the specific visa requirements for your country of residence before traveling.
Q: Are there medical facilities available near these beach destinations?
A: Most popular beach destinations in the Philippines have medical facilities nearby, but it’s recommended to have travel insurance to cover any unforeseen medical emergencies.