There are few countries in the world as picturesque as the Philippines. It is a country that is made up of over 7000 islands and features a diverse cultural population that takes pride in being a friendly and enthusiastic host to those that come to explore there. It is also a land that attracts thousands of tourists each year who come to relax at some of the most beautiful beach locations in the world.
Here is a list of 15 of the best beaches in the Philippines
Laiya Beach, San Juan, Batangas
Batangas is just a 3 – 4 hour bus ride after landing in Manila and features a variety of the best beaches in the Philippines and many popular Batangas beach resorts. Laiya beach is a long stretch of sandy white beach that sits on the edge of the crystal clear blue water. It as an area that is also very popular for snorkelling and diving. When not at the beach be sure to visit the historic San Juan Nepomuceno Church that was built in 1894 or grab a bite to eat of the local favourite sticky lomi and a bowl of hot sinaing na tulingan.
White Beach, Moalboal, Cebu
Another one of the best beaches in the Philippines is located about a 3.5 hour bus ride from Cebu Airport or a 2.5 hour bus ride from Dumaguete airport. Moalboal not only boasts the clear blue water and pristine sand than can be found at White Beach, but it is also considered one of the best diving and snorkelling areas in all of Asia. You will probably find it to be one of the most affordable beach vacations in the Philippines too. The scenic setting and cool waters of Kawasan falls are only a short 30 minutes away too.
Taal Lake Beach, Talisay
One of the best beaches of the Philippines is not even located on the ocean or the sea, but on the freshwater lake that surrounds the Taal Island Volcano. Taal Lake has the dubious distinction of being the largest lake on an island in a lake; try saying that three times fast. If you are looking for one of the best all-around beach getaways, then Taal Lake is the place for you. It’s just two hours by bus or passenger van from the Manila Airport and the area features many fine Tagaytay resorts, horseback riding, trekking, kayaking and a host of other fun adventures.
Bulabog Beach, Boracay
If you are looking for a Philippines vacation at one of the best beaches in Philippines, then Boracay is the place for you. There are many hotels in Boracay that cater to all different budgets. The white sand and sparkling blue water of the world class Bulabog Beach is on the quieter side of the island but still only a short few minutes’ drive from the exciting nightlife that Boracay is famous for.
Try to take the flight from Manila to Caticlan airport because it is only a short 15 minute ferry ride to Boracay after you land. This only works if you travel with light luggage: Check the baggage restrictions, before booking a flight there.
You will have to take a two hour van ride to get there from the Kalibo airport, but therefore have no travel luggage restrictions.
Personally I’m not such a fan of Boracay. There are too many buildings and too many people on this small island. The infrastructure can hardly catch up with all this. But if you are a party animal it’s a good choice. 😉
El Nido, Palawan
If you are looking for one of the quieter beach getaways in the Philippines then El Nido is just what the doctor ordered. You can sit on the beach during the day, relax and take in the magnificent scenery of the cliffs that surround this little slice of paradise. There is an abundance of things to do near El Nido, such as snorkelling in the clear blue water or taking a boat ride and viewing the many incredible rock formations which line the coast. Getting to El Nido is an adventure as you will have to fly from Manila to Puerto Princesa and then go overland 5 – 6 hours by bus or take a lengthy small boat trip after flying into Coron, but once you are there it will be well worth it.
Coron Island north of Palawan
Coron Island is known as one of the best snorkelling and diving areas in the world and you can get there with a direct flight from Manila. It’s not one of the best-known Philippines tourist spots, but definitely one of the best places to visit in the Philippines. The area features many nice beaches and a host of Coron Palawan resorts to choose from. When not at the beach there are many boat trips that will hop you around the smaller islands to see all the magnificent scenery the area has to offer.
Another of the best beaches in Philippines is Malapascua Island which is located in the far North-eastern part of Cebu. It is not as quiet as El Nido, but still a place where relaxing is the main focus and definitely one of the best pure beach getaways in the Philippines. The area also boasts many Malapascua resorts and you can partake in some excellent diving and snorkelling after hiring a small boat to take you around at a very reasonable price. To get there you would fly into the Philippines second largest city of Cebu, take a 3 – 4 hour bus ride north and then take a short ferry ride over to the island.
Mactan Island, Cebu
If you don’t want to be far from the entertainment and nightlife of a big city then spending a few days at the Cebu Beaches is perfect for you. There are a host of Mactan resorts to choose from and among the best of them is the Tambuli beach resort. When you arrive in Cebu you are literally only minutes from the beach and a short 30 minute taxi ride from all there is to see and do in Cebu, which is one of the most interesting places to visit in the Philippines.
Sugar Beach, Sipalay, Negros Oriental
Another one of the more relaxing beach getaways in the Philippines is a trip to Sugar beach in Sipalay. After landing at Bacolod Airport and travelling by bus for 5 to 6 hours you will arrive at this laid back and picturesque destination on the scenic island of Negros. It is also one of the most affordable beach vacations you will find in the Philippines. You can spend the days sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling or diving. If you don’t already know how to dive you can learn it there for a reasonable fee.
The colourful Taratuka lodge is situated directly at sugar beach.
Panglao Beach, Bohol
Bohol is one of best all-around places to visit in the Philippines for sure. The island is graced by many beautiful beaches like Panglao Beach and there are a variety of nice Bohol hotels to choose from. If you get tired of swimming and diving along the white sandy shores, you can tour around the island and see historic old churches and the famous chocolate hills. A short one hour flight from Manila to Tagbilaran Airport will put you within a 45 minute taxi ride of just about any place on the island.
The chocolate hills in Bohol
Salagdoong Beach, Siquijor
After arriving in the scenic port city of Dumaguete by air it is just a short one hour ferry ride to the mysterious and timeless island of Siquijor. If you are looking for a quiet Philippines vacation then scenic Siquijor will give you just that. You will relax your days away lying on the beach and snorkelling and swimming in the clear blueish-green water. If you need a little adventure you can tour around the island and see all the beautiful scenery and don’t forget to stop at the beautiful old San Isidro Labrador Church; it’s considered a national treasure of the Philippines.
White Island, Camiguin
Camiguin is quickly becoming one of the premier Philippines tourist spots. What once took numerous hours by ferry to get to is now only a short 30 minute plane ride from Cebu. White Island is actually a sand bar that is located just 15 minutes by boat from the popular resort areas and it features beautiful white sandy beaches that are surrounded by crystal clear water. Camiguin Island itself has many attractions such as hot and cold springs, a giant clam farm, a rare soda water spring and of course the famous sunken cemetery. You can also find some of the best food in the Philippines on the Island.
Matabungkay Beach, Lian, Batangas
Another premier beach in the Batangas area is Matabungkay beach. You can find excellent accommodations at places such as the Matabungkay Beach Resort and there are many good seafood restaurants in the area too. If you need to get away from the beach for a day you can tour around and see the superb architecture on many of the old buildings in the area or visit the popular Fantasy World Castle for some fun times. Again, Batangas is a 3 – 4 hour bus or van ride from the Manila airport.
Bantayan Island, Cebu
Another one of the beautiful Island destinations in the Philippines is Bantayan Island. Although it does not feature the nightlife of Boracay, it too is surrounded by crystal clear blue water and pristine white sand beaches. It is the perfect setting if you want to trade a busy city life for a few relaxing days of not doing much of anything. There are also some very good snorkelling and diving spots not far off shore. You can get to Bantayan Island by flying to Cebu and then taking a 3 – 4 hour bus ride to the Northwest corner of Cebu Island; a short ferry ride across to Bantayan Island will complete your journey.
White Beach, Sabang, Puerto Galera
Puerto Galera is one of the most popular spots in the Philippines for both tourists and locals alike. It is well known not only for the exceptional White Beach, but also as the home of some of the finest seafood in the Philippines. It does not have as robust a nightlife as Boracay but there are plenty of clubs to listen to live music and have a few cocktails while passing the time with friends. After taking the 3 – 4 hour bus trip from Manila to Batangas a one hour ferry ride will get you to this great Philippine beach destination.
When is the best travel time?
Keep in mind that the best time to travel to the Philippines is between Mid-November – March; it is unbearably hot from April – July (considered summer there) and August through the beginning of November is the rainy season including the peak time of the infamous tropical storms.
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