Holiday season is not yet over but I bet many of us are all preparing for summer. Speaking of summer, here’s 16 of the best beaches you can check out on this season of sun, sand and yes, lots of sea!
16. Nagsasa Cove /Capones island (Zambales)- head up to Brgy. Pundaquit, San Antonio Zambales – the jump off point to the coves Anawangin, Nagsasa and Silanguin and to the small islands scattered within the area. Capones island is the biggest of the islets where you can find the Faro de Gran Capon, or the Capones Lighthouse. Anawangin is the closest and and always the busiest, Nagsasa is the smallest and the most laid-back while Silanguin is the farthest and the biggest of the coves. Island and cove hopping are open almost year round except during typhoon season. Perfect beach getaway for family and groups who do not want to stray off that far from Manila. Sleeping cottages and toilet facilities are present in Anawangin and Nagsasa only. Camping by tents is the way to go.
15. Pagbilao Grande Island (Quezon) – more popularly known by the names “Kwebang Lampas” and “Puting Buhangin” this island in Pagbilao Quezon has been steadily attracting beach goers in the past years. Once privately owned, now you can stay overnight at the island. The name “kwebang lampas” came from the tunnel-like cave system at the right side of the beach if you are facing the sea. Calm and clear waters and its fine white sand are the main draw of the place. The easiest route to go to the beach is via Lucena. From Lucena Grand Terminal, there are vans and jeepneys going to Pagbilao. Head to Lukang Beach (old name of the beach) on tricycle.
14. Siquijor Island (Siquijor) – Witchcraft is the one word that deeply associated with this island, but to be honest, its beaches are far more enchanting and bewitching. Give yourself a treat by hopping on a tricycle upon disembarking (Dumaguete is the nearest port from the island) and do a roundabout on the island. You have a lot of choices from the line of private beaches in the island. Coco Grove is one of the most popular pick by the tourists. Do not forget to stop by at the century old Balete tree and the oldest and the biggest convent in Asia found in Lazi.
13. Mantigue Island (Camiguin) – A smaller island off Camiguin is the #1 must go place in Camiguin beating White Island, according to TripAdvisor. A 4-hectare evergreen forest fringed with white sandy beach where you can find a turtle sanctuary and a small fishing village on the northern part of the island. You can even circumnavigate it within an hour. The island is a good place to snorkel, and a great getaway if you’re already rounded up all the cool places to go in Camiguin.
12. Honda Bay (Palawan) – you should never leave Puerto Princesa without island hopping in these islands only 45 mins from the Palawan capital. Honda bay, contrary to what most people thinks, was not derived from the popular Japanese Motor company but from the local word “tunda” which means deep- owing to the trench-like features of most islands. The rest are protected areas or are now privately owned. Among the islands that you can still explore are Cowrie island, Starfish island, Luli island, Pandan island and Verde island where Dos Palmas resort is situated. Snake island is now privately owned and off limits to the public. You can do a whole day island hopping and other water activities such as snorkeling, diving and even whaleshark watching.
11. Manjuyod Sandbar (Negros Island) – Few kilometers from Bais City in the island of Negros you can find this amazing stretch of pristine white sandbar that comes and goes depending on the tides. Start early so you can catch the whale/dolphin sightseeing tour. You can rent one of those 4 cottages (few more are being built at the moment) if you wanted to spend a night (Php3,000 for 4 pax) You can also do a side trip to Talabong Mangrove Park and Bird Sanctuary within the area.
10. Panglao Island (Bohol) – Who would thought a film star in the 80’s, Alona Alegre would immortalize the fine white sands of Panglao? She was so popular that a stretch of the beach was actually renamed after her when they are done filming on the location. Shallow, cool waters together with powdery white sands are the main draw for Panglao. The best way to experience your Bohol adventure is to include Panglao in your itinerary.
9. Potipot Island (Zambales) – regarded as the “Little Boracay” of Zambales, this tear drop shaped island is just 20 mins away or roughly a kilometer away from the mainland shore of Brgy Uacon, is considered as one of Zambales hidden gem. If you are in for a quick, on a budget getaway, Potipot Island should be on top of your list. Potipot Island is located in Candaleria, Zambales which is about five to six hours travel from Manila and four hours from Clark Freeport Zone. You can circumnavigate the island in under an hour. You have options of staying in the island for the night or staying on the nearby resort on the main island. The island have amenities like toilets and huts that you can rent if you don’t want to pitch a tent.
8. Fortune Islands (Batangas) – Once a posh and luxe resort during the ’90s, Fortune Island now stands in derelict and in total abandonment, but that only adds to the appeal of the place thats why it has become one of the perfect getaway 14km off the main coast of Nasugbu in Batangas. In the island you can find a reconstructed galleon in a state of dilapidation that used to be a museum and a bar. Another popular feature of the island are the Greek columns and statues erected on top of the hill that overlooks almost the entire island. You can easily mistook the ruins as somewhere foreign, given its Greek inspiration. The island can be reached by chartering a boat and you have an option to stay for the night. The island, given its present day conditions have have fresh water supply nor electricity so you have to bring it from the mainland. The area have very rough sea and underneath was some of the sites of modern day shipwrecks.
7. Maira-ira Blue Lagoon (Ilocos Norte) – In the early 90’s, this spot was a secret amongst backpackers and budget travelers. Super hush-hush. Maira-ira point in Pagudpud is the northernmost tip of the mainland Luzon. The unspoiled white sand beach within the Maira-ira cove is known as Blue Lagoon. I would dare say that this is the best swimming beach in the North and more apt to be called the “Balesin of the North”. It has an undeveloped charm that seduces you to stay despite the lack of proper huts and other urban amenities. It is serene and perfect for presence walks and enjoying bonding time with friends and family.“Luzon’s white sand and bluest water conspire majestically to be situated in one place.” thus said Lonely Planet on this place and I quite agree!
6. Hundred Islands National Park (Pangasinan) – Are you having difficulty in choosing which from the 7,107 islands to check first this summer season? Why not explore a hundred of them- 124 islands to be exact, all at the same time? One of the main tourist draw for Pangasinan, Hundred Islands National Park is a group of islands in Lingayen Gulf, Alaminos. Only five hours away from Manila, Hundred Islands is a perfect retreat from the busy city life. An affordable and fun way to experience the tropical Philippines, be it for a day tour, camping trip or overnight stay on any of the three developed islets- Quezon’s, Governor’s and Children’s. With over a hundred other islands to choose from that harbor powdery white sand beaches, caves, limestone formations and a rich marine life, The place guarantees a well worth visit.
5. Caramoan Islands (Camarines Sur) – Even before the reality show Survivor – American, Serbian, Bulgarian, Swedish, French and Indian franchises made the islands one of their favorite location to shoot and introduce these majestic islands to the world, it has been a pride getaway of the Bicol region. Composed of more than ten islands off the coast of peninsula, it is the perfect island hopping get-away where you can do a lot of adventures like snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, limestone cliff / rock climbing, spelunking or just wading and swimming thru its fine white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Going there though is a bit of a challenge because you need to travel by air (if you dont want a 10-15 hr roadtrip) land and water to reach the place, but sure the rewards of experiencing the place is surely worth it.
4. Calaguas Island (Camarines Norte) – Mahabang Buhangin or Halabang Baybay in the local dialect is a long beach with fine white sand, crystal blue waters, with scattered volcanic rock on it’s both ends and valued for its untouched beauty and well-preserved nature. This tropical island paradise is located on the northern part of Barangay Mangcawayan, Tinaga Island (Calaguas group of Islands) in Camarines Norte, the entire beach is facing northwest, best for an inspiring sunset, and it is an image of wonderful paradise with its long stretch sand with crystal clear water perfect for swimming/snorkeling.
3. Bantayan Island (Cebu) – of all the amazing beaches of Cebu, one stood out to be the fairest and whitest of them all – sand-wise. Try to go to the northern-most tip of Cebu during Lenten season and as the whole nation slows down, the whole island turns into a party mecca complete with endless street parties and merrymaking. Going there is not for the faint of heart. May be a test of patience as you need to endure the long travel via air, if you are coming from Manila, land and sea before reaching this island paradise. Located more than 200 kilometers from Cebu City, this island consist of three municipalities – Sta. Fe, known for its white sand beach; Bantayan, the largest municipality and home to the century old Saints Peter and Paul Church; and Madridejos (locals at times use its old name, Lawis), a popular place to watch the sun as it sets.
2. Morong Beach (Batanes) – In Sabtang, there is a naturally made stone arch that is so heavily photographed, it became an icon and a symbol of the island. Sometimes called as “Nakabuang” or “Mahayaw” or just simply “Ahaw“, this arch was carved by geologic forces together with the sea. The arch also serves as a cooling shade under the scorching sun. It has become a favorite stop for visitors because the waves are much more calmer here compared to the rest of Batanes islands.
1. Palaui Island (Cagayan) – in 2013, this remote place bested all other beaches in the Philippines including the perennial favorites, El Nido, Coron, and Boracay to emerge as #10 of CNN’s Worlds 100 Best Beaches. Glorious and pristine white sands meet volcanic rocks and blue-green waters, while coral gardens and a rich marine reserve meet divers under the surface. Palaui Island is all about raw beauty. Treks to get there require battling thorny grass, muddy ground and a mangrove forest. Having no resorts or hotels, Palaui has only two real options: camping under the stars or home stays. In the same year, it was put on tourist map when the Survivor US filmed there for its 27th season.