Long known for its white-sand natural beauty and beautiful beaches. The country attracts large numbers of tourists to its coastline across the archipelago. Which stretches from Luzon in the north to Mindanao in the south. In between, there are many tropical paradises in various island groups such as Palawan, Mindoro, and the Visayas. Last month, Travel + Leisure magazine ranked Boracay, Palawan, and Cebu among the top 25 islands in the world.
The Philippines is an island nation with a staggering 7,640 islands, around 2,000 of which are inhabited. This has resulted in a rich coastline and many beautiful beaches.
Below, we’ve listed our picks for the most and best destinations for beach life in the Philippines. You just want to lie back on a sun lounger with a cocktail in hand. Take part in an exciting water sport or watch the amazing underwater marine life. There is something for you.
Where To Stay? Central Visayas Region 7
The area around the town of El Nido is on Palawan Island. A small archipelago of about 45 islands spread across Bacuit Bay. The Bacuit Islands are the best beaches in the Philippines. We also know it for its towering limestone karst cliffs.
There are dozens of beautiful white sand beaches on the mainland and nearby islands. You will need to rent a Banca boat to travel and explore the various islands.
You can elect to remain in mainland resorts near El Nido, such as Caalan Beach and Corong Corong. Some islets have several leisure resorts, such as Miniloc, Pangalusian, Matinloc, and Lagen Peninsula. A reasonable preference for sleeping on the enclave is a transitory camp.
Air Swift, part of El Nido Resorts, takes departures to El Nido from Manila, Clark, Caticlan, and Cebu. However, many get economical trips to San Vicente or Puerto Princesa and later select a van to El Nido.
Although Boracay is a small island, it is a major tourist attraction in the Philippines. It is famous for its white sand beach. A large stretch of sand surrounded by a small town of resorts, restaurants, bars, and shops. However, there are other beaches to explore here, such as Diniwid Beach and Puka Beach.
Boracay closed for six months in 2018 for clean-up. It put a lot of pressure on its surroundings because of the influx of tourism. It reopened in October 2018, making it affordable again for leisure travelers following the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.
Please note that there are some new restrictions in place to protect the environment in Boracay. For example, tourists must book an approved hotel with a government-approved sewerage system. And alcoholic beverages, sun loungers, and umbrellas are not allowed on the beach. Still, plenty of water activities, such as helmet diving, jet skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, and windsurfing.
The closest airport to Boracay is Caticlan Airport, renamed Boracay Airport, which is not in Boracay. But in the Panay mainland, receive flights from Manila and Cebu via Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. From there it is 10-15 minutes to Boracay by boat.
Mactan Island is the major tourist center in Cebu City, the capital of the Visayas region. It is located off the coast of Cebu and connected to the mainland by two bridges. Mactan-Cebu International Airport is right on the island. So if you arrive by plane, it’s easy to get to your resort by road.
Compared to other beach attractions in the Philippines, Mactan’s beaches are nothing special.
But the facilities at the hotels and resorts are amazing. The best of these resorts is the Shangri-La Mactan Resort. The island is significant, as the Battle of Mactan in 1521 took place. When the local king Lapu-Lapu killed Ferdinand Magellan, the envoy of Spanish colonists.
Known as Mactan for making guitars. You can see how the guitar is made in the factory or even buy it straight from the studio.
Mapa Loofah is another beach gem on Cebu Island, on the northern tip of the mainland. The southern part of the island has hotels on beautiful sandy beaches.
We know Malapascua for its world-class diving, most notably the chance to spot thresher sharks that congregate at Monad Shoal. We can also see here manta rays.
There is no way to reach Malapascua from the mainland by road. Bangka boats transport passengers between Mayan villages on the mainland and Logon Beach in Malapascua. Maya is 3.5-4.5 hours by van or bus from Cebu City.
Amanpulo Resort on Pamalican Island is an ultra-high-end luxury resort and one of the most expensive destinations in the Philippines. Prices range from $1,450 a night for a hillside cottage to more than $7,000 a night for a four-bedroom villa. We dedicate the entire island in the middle of the Sulu Sea to Amanpulo Resort.
The island has powder-white sandy beaches and beautiful turquoise waters, and resort facilities. It includes a spa, fitness center, yoga studio, diving center, and tennis courts.
The resort is only accessible by private jet from Manila. Amanpulo staff will pick up guests at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Take them to a private hangar, from where they take a 70-minute flight to Pamalican.
This beach town is a surfing mecca on the west coast of northern Luzon. Most travelers here live in the towns of Barangay or Urbistondo. But those looking for solitude rather than the waves. Can head to the small town of Montemar, 1km to the north. They concentrated on restaurants and services in Urbiztondo. But visitors to Montemar can travel between the two barangays by tricycle for as little as 50 pesos per trip.
San Juan Beach is low-key, but the town is a base for surfers, both beginners and more experienced. The surfing season runs from November to March. And local instructors offer beginner lessons from as low as P400 per hour.
To get to San Juan, take a bus operated by Partas from Manila to San Fernando, a 7-hour drive; from the San Fernando bus station, take a tricycle to Urbiztondo.
On the east shores is Baler of Luzon, another surfing hotspot. And one of the unique shores in the country that looks out on the Pacific Ocean. The place featured in the acclaimed 1979 film Apocalypse Now.
Like San Juan, most visitors to Baler surf there. But there is a place for non-surfers in Costa Pacifica Baler. A large luxury resort for those just people who enjoy surfing there, a beautiful coast.
The bus can reach baler from Cubao in Quezon city via Cabanatuan (6 to 8 hours). Or Baguio via San Jose (7 hours).
Puerto Galera is a resort town nestled in a beautiful bay and island on the northern tip of Mindoro. It’s an attractive beach destination for those who don’t want to travel too far from downtown Manila. 20 minutes by Air Juan seaplane from Manila and an hour by ferry from Batangas. Luzon to an hour and a half.
Many of the beaches around Puerto Galera vary to crowd and class, so choose. The popular Playa Blanca gets very crowded during the high season. Lonely Planet recommends Aninuan and Talipanan as the quieter, more elegant beaches west of White Sands. East of Puerto Galera are the beaches of Sabang, La Laguna small and La Laguna Grande. To the south are Tabinay and Dulangan.
Diving and yachting are options here, and nature lovers can visit the nearby waterfalls. You can venture over Apo Reef off Mindoro’s west coast to swim with turtles, sharks, and rays.
Dimakya, a small island north of Busuanga in the Calamian Islands, is where the best beaches in the area are located. The cozy Club Paradise complex is on the west side of Dimakya, where a magnificent beach stretches along the coast.
Besides hanging out on the beach, the area also offers good reef diving and snorkeling. Dimakya will delight wildlife lovers, too; lizards roam the Club Paradise bungalows, and the island is home to a swarm of rowdy fruit bats. If you dive off the northeast coast of Busuanga, you might spot the endangered dugong, a docile herbivorous marine mammal.
To get to Dimakya, fly from Manila to Busuanga Airport with Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, or Skyjet. From the airport, you can take a van or boat to Club Paradise.
The dazzling white sand beaches of Bantayan Island are among the best in Cebu. The island has a laid-back, laid-back vibe. And most visitors live in the laid-back town of Santa Fe on the South Shore.
There are no excellent diving sites around Bantayan and snorkeling is limited. But there is plenty to explore, including the beautiful Paradise Beach and nearby Hilantagaan and the Virgin Islands.
There are several options for getting to Santa Fe. The Air Juan flies twice a week between Mactan-Cebu, Airport, and Bantayan Airstrip. Which is located 4 kilometers north of Santa Fe. A ferry departs from Hagnaya Port in Cebu to Santa Fe, a one-hour drive. Ceres buses run 3½ routes between Hagnaya and Cebu City.
Panglao in Bohol is famous for Arona Beach, a busy resort known for its nightlife. And popular with international tourists and Filipino cruisers on weekend getaways. For those who prefer a quieter getaway, Danao Beach is far less hustle and bustle. And offers an idyllic tropical setting with powder-white sand and coconut palms.
Panglao suffered some damage from Typhoon Odette in December 2021, but tourism at Arona Beach appears to be picking up. Water activities are one of the major attractions here: great diving and snorkeling are available at Alona Beach. And the underwater paradise of Balicasag Island, just a short boat ride away. You can also book dolphin-watching tours at most resorts and dive centers.
Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines operate flights between Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Bohol’s Panglao Airport. Which is just a stone’s throw from Arona Beach.
Siquijor, a small rural island province at the southern tip of the Negros, is known for the mountain-dwelling Mangkukulam healers. Who use herbs and spells to heal ailments in the occult and shamanistic traditions. Aside from the magic and mystery, however, the principal attraction of the island is its beaches.
Most Siquijor resorts are small, local businesses centered on the beach town of San Juan with warmth and charm. There is another concentration of beach resorts in Sandugan near the northern tip of the island. Attractions include scuba diving, snorkeling, waterfalls, caves, and forest walks in the mountains.
Most travelers arrive in Siquijor by boat from Dumaguete in Negros. Ferries also depart from Cebu, Bohol and Mindanao. The island’s two chief ports are in the town of Siquijor, near San Juan, and La Reina, near Sandugan.
Siargao Island is not only the main surfing area in the Philippines. But also the main surfing area in the whole of Southeast Asia. It is especially famous for the cloud 9 surfing spot on the south coast. They have developed a tourist town around it, and it is also expanding nearby General Luna.
Most tourists come here to surf, but Cloud Nine has some nice little beaches; non-surfers can also take a Banca boat to explore more beaches on the southern island, including Guyam and Daco.
Typhoon Odette damaged many parts of Siargao Island in December 2021. So you may still see damaged buildings and rebuilding on the island.
You can travel to Siargao Island by plane or boat. There are daily flights to Siargao from Manila and Cebu. Upon arrival at the airport, transportation to the resort comprises a habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) or a minivan. You can also arrange transportation with the property in advance.
Boats to Siargao arrive at Dapa Port from Surigao and Socorro. From Dapa, you can take a tricycle or habal-habal to General Luna.