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12 Best Beaches in Philippines


Top 12 Most Beautiful Beaches in the Philippines

1. Coron, Palawan

Coron is the ultimate island destination in the Philippines. This is THE place to go if you have a really short trip in the Philippines and have to choose only one destination. After arriving at the airport, you can easily find a place to stay in the town center or one of many luxury island resorts nearby. Then, hop on a boat to see amazing white sand beaches, lagoons, and snorkeling/diving spots. Coron gets easy aces across the board for gorgeous island views and convenient travel, which is why it’s included first on this list.

How to go — Touchdown at Coron-Busuanga Airport (USU), which serves flights mainly from Manila, Cebu, and Clark. Book a flight with Cebu Pacific/Cebgo, Philippine Airlines/ PAL Express, Skyjet or Air Juan. Travel time by plane is around 1 hour from Manila or Clark…

2. El Nido, Palawan

Matinloc Island in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

El Nido found on the northernmost tip of mainland Palawan can easily rival Coron when it comes to jaw-dropping “over water” scenery. Just off the coast of the town center, you can find stunning islands with towering karst mountains, hidden beaches, and lagoons. The sea views here are similar to Ko Phi Phi/Krabi in Thailand and Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. Even if you’ve been to those places, El Nido is still worth a trip if you want to enjoy pristine, vibrantly blue waters and not-too-crowded beaches.

How to go — Touchdown at Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPS). Flight time from Manila takes 1.5 hours. El Nido is 5 to 6 hours north of Puerto Princesa by land. If you want to skip the long land journey, fly directly to El Nido from Manila (1 hour), Cebu or Boracay-Caticlan. This is the fastest but more expensive way.

3. Boracay White Beach Island, Aklan

Boracay is the top beach destination in the Philippines for vacationers. This is the place to go if you want to enjoy a tropical island experience and you’re not in love with the idea of taking very long road trips. This small island is probably the only tourist destination in the country where you can find lively nightlife, excellent dining, a wide variety of places to stay, shopping areas, and lots of fun activities, all in one sandy stretch. The beach alone is worth the trip. At 4 kilometers long, White Beach has clear blue waters and very fine white sand, compelling enough to earn Boracay a spot on the list of the World’s best beaches & islands by many globally recognized publications. If you want to get away from the crowds, there are still a couple of spots in Boracay where you can enjoy peaceful sun worshipping.

How to go — Touchdown at either Boracay-Caticlan Airport (MPH) or Kalibo International Airport (KLO). From Caticlan, the ferry to Boracay only takes less than 20 minutes. Most travelers transit via Kalibo because the airport serves more airlines/flights/destination and airfares are usually lower. Travel time from Kalibo to Caticlan takes 1 hour by land.

4. Panglao, Bohol

Panglao Island is home to many white sand beaches. It is the perfect base for day tours to Bohol’s best natural and cultural sights and the jump-off point to charming islets, snorkeling/diving sites and dolphin watching tours. Panglao is also very easy to get to and conveniently located near Cebu, the second international gateway of the Philippines.

How to go — Touchdown at Tagbilaran Airport (TAG) located 1-hour south of Manila by plane. You may also take a fast craft ferry from Cebu, which takes around 1.5 hours. A bridge connects Panglao to Tagbilaran in mainland Bohol. Travel time usually takes around 30 to 45 minutes from the airport to popular beaches in Panglao.

5. Bantayan, Cebu

Looking for the most beautiful beach in Cebu? Head to Bantayan Island found off the northernmost tip of the mainland. Here, you can enjoy white sand beaches and calm aqua blue waters that are among the most picturesque not only in Cebu but in the Philippines. Because of the long journey from the nearest airport, Bantayan is without crowds most times of the year. So, it’s easy to find a peaceful spot along its long sandy shores. Cost of living is also not expensive on the island. You can expect many great-value resorts and cheap seafood.

How to go — Touchdown at Cebu-Mactan International Airport (CEB). From Cebu City, travel by land to Hagnaya Port. Travel time is around 3 hours. From Hagnaya Port, the ferry crossing to Sante Fe Pier in Bantayan Island takes around 1 hour.

6. Mactan, Cebu

Mactan Island’s beaches may not be as impressive as other places on this list but it is a very popular beach holiday destination especially among luxury vacationers. The urban comforts of Cebu City are just a bridge crossing away from Mactan. Meanwhile, many islands and diving sites are an easy boat ride away.

How to go — Touchdown at Cebu-Mactan International Airport (CEB), which is conveniently located on Mactan Island. From the airport, travel time to the beach resorts takes 30 minutes or less.

7. Kalanggaman Island, Leyte

Kalanggaman had become popular after drone videos of the island got viral online. On this tiny island, you can find a long sparkling white sandbar surrounded by vast blue waters. This piece of paradise is uninhabited and only a limited number of people are allowed to visit/camp on a given day to protect its natural beauty.

How to go — Touchdown at Tacloban Airport (TAC). The jump-off town to Kalanggaman Island is Palompon, Leyte. Travel time from Tacloban to Palompon takes around 3 hours by land. From Palompon, the ferry ride to Kalanggaman usually takes 1 hour. If you are coming from Cebu, you can also go on a ferry to Ormoc. Travel time from Ormoc to Palompon takes around 2 hours.

8. Caluya & Antique Island

On the open sea between Mindoro and Panay lies the remote islands and islets of Caluya, Antique. The islands and beaches here are among the most beautiful in the Philippines. This is a place to go if you want to get away from tourist crowds. The local ferry to Caluya Island takes 4 to 5 hours, which guarantees you’ll only be sharing the island with friendly islanders. If you are looking for beach spots more easily reached from Panay mainland, you can visit the islands in Tibiao and Culasi including Mararison Island, Seco Island and Maniguin/Maningning Island.

How to go — Touchdown at Boracay-Caticlan Airport (MPH) or Kalibo International Airport (KLO). Then, make your way to the town of Libertad in mainland Antique. Local ferries have scheduled trips to Caluya Island (the main island/poblacion) only on select days of the week. These ferries are actually bound for San Jose, Mindoro. The ferries make stopovers at Caluya Island and Semirara Island. So, you can go to Caluya via Mindoro as well. In addition, there are local ferries that depart from Culasi, Antique that also run weekly trips to Caluya.

9. Gigantes, Iloilo

Before I started blogging about Gigantes on Explore Iloilo, even most locals in Iloilo did not know that this paradise existed within their province. Now, it has become a popular island-hopping destination among travelers seeking new adventures in the Philippines. Famous tourist spots here include Tangke, a hidden salt-water lagoon, scenic island views overlooking white sand beaches, and very cheap seafood. Steamed scallops are sold PHP1 a piece!

How to go — Touchdown at either Roxas Airport (RXS) or Iloilo International Aiport (ILO). The best jump-off point to Gigantes Islands is in Carles, Iloilo. The land trip going there from Roxas takes 1.5 hours, while it may take 3 to 4 hours from Iloilo City. From Bancal Port in Carles, the ferry crossing to North Gigantes or South Gigantes takes approximately 1.5 hours.

10. Guimaras Island

A 15-minute boat ride from Iloilo City center takes you to Guimaras Island. This province is known for growing the sweetest mangoes in the World. There are also beautiful beach coves and islets to see here. The most popular destination in Guimaras is Alubihod Beach, which offers convenient and affordable island-hopping tours. If you want to get away from the crowds, stay at one of many secluded beach and island resorts.

How to go — Touchdown at Iloilo International Airport (ILO). From Iloilo City Proper, go on the local ferries to Jordan, Guimaras. From there, most of the resorts are accessible by land. If you are staying in an island resort, you may consider chartering a boat for direct transfers.

11. Siargao, Surigao del Norte

Siargao island is where you can find many of the best surfing spots in the Philippines. It’s also blessed with many sights worth seeing beyond the surf including stunning off-shore islets, sandbars, tidal pools and rock formations.

How to go — Touchdown at Siargao-Sayak Airport (IAO) or Surigao Airport (SUG). Siargao Airport mainly serves direct flights from Cebu by Cebu Pacific. If you are coming from other parts of the country, you can find more flights at Surigao Airport. From Surigao City, the ferry crossing to Dapa Port in Siargao may take 2 to 3 hours on fast boats and around 3.5 hours depending on slow RORO ferries. Cloud 9 and General Luna is 30 minutes away from Dapa Port by land.

12. Samal Island, Davao del Norte

Samal Island is one of the most popular destinations in Mindanao. Its fine white sand beaches and snorkeling spots are easily reached from Davao City. The ferry ride only takes as fast as 15 minutes to get to many beach resorts on Samal Island and up to 1 hour to the peaceful beaches of smaller Talikud Island. If you have the budget to splurge, the most luxurious place to stay on the island is Pearl Farm Beach Resort, a luxury resort famous for its waterfront stilt cottages.

How to go — Touchdown at Davao International Airport (DVO). If you are going to Talicud Island or Kaputian in the southern part of Samal, you can ride a public ferry from Sta. Ana wharf in Davao City center. Another way is to ride the public ferry from Sasa Wharf, which arrives at Babak Wharf on the northern coast of Samal…

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