Most Breathtaking Beaches in The Philippines

Nov 9, 2019 | ESCAPE, Philippines

by MJ Toledo

Boracay Sunset – Philippines ©Duncan Rawlinson

Want to skip the dull weather and head to a tropical paradise in the Philippines? We’ve rounded up the best beach destinations in the country just for you

Say goodbye to the dull view in your apartment and hello to the vibrant blue hues of Philippine beaches. With over a thousand miles of shoreline sporadically spread in its more than 7,000 islands, you will surely not run out of beach options to visit.

However, with all the possibilities, choosing the right beach for you can be a bit overwhelming. Don’t worry, we’ve done all the work to search for the best spots in the country. With these spectacular beaches, you can surely laze around on the sand all day and go into a state of bliss.

From the party beaches in Luzon, to the tropical paradise in Visayas, and the hidden spots in Mindanao, here are our top picks to make your island dreams a reality.

Boracay, Aklan

Boracay is not a stranger to tourists. In fact, it has been hailed as one of Condé Nast’s Best Islands in the world. However, the popularity of this idyllic paradise has resulted in copious trash on the island as well as issues in business establishments breaking environmental laws. This is why the Philippine government closed it down for a few months to give it time to recover.

Now finally open to accept tourists once more, you can finally stroll in its picturesque coastlines and witness its magnificent sunset. This paradise is also perfect if you want to swim all day long to get your tan on because the waves and current are very ideal for chill activities. If you want to have fun in the evening and go out for a drink, there is no need to worry because the paradise also has a lively nightlife scene. For starters, you can join Pubcrawl.

Boracay Beach ©Chris Parker

Coron, Palawan

If Coron is still missing from your travel bucket list, you need to add it as soon as you can. Coron’s economy was once dependent on mining and fishing. However, with the increase of its visitors, tourism is now considered as its main industry. The mystical island found in Palawan is nothing short of breathtaking. It is also extremely photogenic so prepare to get flood likes on your Instagram photos.

If you are looking for your next diving playground, Coron will be the island of your dreams. Because it is not as popular as other dive spots in the Philippines such as Bohol, you can surely get the peace that you are looking for. Other that astounding coral formations, shipwrecks in Coron also have a huge draw. If you are keen to experience the underwater world of this magnificent island, contact Reggae Dive Center.

Coron, Palawan ©Arthur Nielsen

Bantayan Island, Cebu

It is no secret that Cebu is home to countless exceptional beaches. With its long stretch of white sand, fiery sunset, sumptuous seafood, peacefulness, and friendly locals, its natural beauty makes it stand out from other beach destinations in the country.

Bantayan is a favorite among backpackers due to its cheap accommodation options such as Kota Beach Resort. Far from the busy scene in popular beaches such as El Nido and Boracay, this quaint town offers a remarkable touch of magic that will surely make you want to come back for more.

One thing that you should not miss when in Bantayan is its Mangrove eco-park. Here, you can take a walk in the picturesque bamboo bridge, rent a kayak, or even take a boat out to see the whole place.

Bantayan Island, Philippines ©Angelica Negro

Samal Island, Davao del Norte

If you think that staying in a big city means bidding farewell to clean and unspoiled beaches, you thought wrong. Samal Island is only 15 minutes away from Davao, Mindanao’s biggest city. Whether you want to cliff dive in the wild cliffs of Sabang, snorkel in Angel’s Cove, or take a stroll in the white sand beaches of Pearl Farm, you will surely have the time of your life in this charming island. Samal boasts countless resorts so whatever your budget is, you have tons of options.

Samal Island ©Paul Lewin

San Juan, La Union

The town of San Juan in La Union is a popular choice among millennials thanks to its laidback feel. Known as the ultimate weekend getaway spot for people in Manila, the town has been making waves thanks to its vibrant surf scene.

If you still haven’t tried surfing and want to test your luck with the waves, San Juan is the ideal place to do surf lessons. After you brave the waves, you can cool off in the town’s popular waterfall. The humble surf town also has tons of food options ranging from Japanese, Mexican, and many more. 

San Juan, La Union ©Justin Jovellanos

Palaui Island, Cagayan Valley

Palaui Island lies on the northeastern tip of Luzon, Philippines’ biggest island. This bustling town is rich with remarkable beaches. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked. This island offers a towering waterfalls, a lighthouse that is probably older than your grandmother, one of a kind coves, and panoramic beaches.

What makes the island more unique is that its whole 3,000-hectare land area is made of volcanic debris. Upon arriving in the island, you will immediately feel the power of the ocean thanks to its gigantic waves and ragged terrain sculpted by the sea. However, this island is not for the faint-hearted. It offers no hotels or resort so the only way you can stay here is by roughing it up through camping. Homestay options are also available.

Palaui Island ©Powell Abogado

Siquijor Island

Ask anyone in the Philippines about Siquijor and horror stories will surely come up. However, if you are brave enough to visit the island, you will see that its tales about witchcraft and shamanism are part of its charm. The lure of Siquijor lies in its uncrowded beaches, vibrant waterfalls, perfectly lined coconut trees that dot its shoreline.

Siquijor is not called the Philippines’ Island of Fire for nothing. Aside from the many fireflies that light up the island at night, the place also looks as if it is bathed in fire when the sunsets. Anybody who uses social media knows that the beach and vibrant sunsets are the perfect recipe for the perfect beach photo. You can even add a beer to the equation!

Siquijor ©Allan Ascano

Siargao Island

Known for its world-class surf spot called Cloud 9, the tear-shaped island of Siargao used to be so hard to go to. However, its boom in tourism has made the island more accessible to locals and foreigners alike. Siargao has a wide variety of surf breaks that would be perfect for you no matter what your skill level is.

The captivating island of Siargao is not only a mecca for surfers but for everyone who loves nature. With white-sand beaches, hidden rock pools, and miles of coconut trees, the island is the perfect spot for a getaway. Siargao is also home to vast mangrove forest reserves and other attractions. The place is also a mecca for environmentalists with its plethora of environmental non-profit organizations such as Nature Kids of Siargao.

Siargo Globetrotter Film Location ©Trevor Claringbold

Caramoan, Camarines Sur

Caramoan is a beautiful coastal town located in the east of Camarines Sur. After hit show Survivor filmed on this island, Caramoan’s popularity soared. Whatever your preference is on a beach, Caramoan has got it all for you. From fine white sands, to pebbled beaches, and gigantic rock formations, this untouched paradise needs to be on your radar.

To say that Caramoan is Bicol’s best-kept secret is an understatement. However, be prepared for an adventure to get here. Don’t worry, the effort of getting there would be so rewarding. Because of its seclusion, this is the ultimate island to make you feel at peace.

Minalahos Island, Caramoan Peninsula ©Fabio Achilli