Top Must-Visit Beaches in the Philippines

The Philippines, an archipelagic country with over 7,000 islands, is renowned for its stunning beaches that rival even the famed sands of Boracay. From the surfer’s haven in Siargao to the tranquil shores of Batangas, each beach offers a unique slice of paradise. As summer approaches, let’s explore the top must-visit beaches across the Philippines, where natural beauty, adventure, and relaxation await at every turn.

Key Takeaways

  • The Philippines boasts a diverse range of beaches beyond Boracay, offering everything from surfing paradises to secluded retreats.
  • Batangas provides a quick beach getaway from Metro Manila, with destinations perfect for diving, family fun, and stargazing.
  • Palawan’s beaches are nature’s masterpieces, featuring pristine shores, hidden lagoons, and access to the iconic Underground River.
  • Siargao is more than a surfer’s dream, with serene islands like Daku and Guyam offering peaceful escapes and idyllic scenery.
  • Cebu’s coastal charms are highlighted by islands such as Bantayan and Malapascua, known for tranquil waters and unique marine life.

Discover the Hidden Gems: Beyond Boracay’s White Sands

woman in pink bikini walking on beach during daytime

Alegria Beach, Siargao: A Surfer’s Paradise

Nestled on the coast of Siargao, Alegria Beach beckons with its unspoiled beauty and excellent surf breaks. This spot is a haven for those seeking to ride the waves in peace, away from the more crowded areas of the island. The surf line is well offshore, providing ample space for both seasoned surfers and those looking to improve their skills.

Alegria Beach offers a serene atmosphere, with a long stretch of sand set against the backdrop of lush tropical greenery. The beach’s seclusion makes it an ideal location for anyone wanting peace and quiet, with resorts nearby offering easy access to this slice of paradise.

While Siargao is known as the surfing capital of the Philippines, Alegria Beach stands out for its laid-back vibes and pristine conditions. Whether you’re here to catch the perfect wave or simply to soak in the tranquil environment, Alegria Beach is a must-visit destination that promises an unforgettable experience.

Hidden Beach, El Nido, Palawan: Secluded Splendor

Tucked away in the majestic landscapes of El Nido, Palawan, the Hidden Beach is a secluded haven that offers a serene escape from the world. Surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and accessible only by a narrow crevice between rocks, this beach is a true testament to nature’s artistry.

  • The beach is renowned for its powdery white sands and the crystal-clear turquoise waters that invite you for a swim.
  • Kayaking and snorkeling are popular activities here, allowing visitors to explore the vibrant marine life.
  • The sense of seclusion and privacy makes it an ideal spot for those seeking tranquility.

The Hidden Beach is not just a place to relax; it’s an immersive experience that connects you with the raw beauty of Palawan. Its untouched nature and the peaceful atmosphere make it a must-visit for anyone traveling to the Philippines.

Despite its remote location, the journey to Hidden Beach is as rewarding as the destination itself. The path to this hidden gem is an adventure, with the final stretch requiring a swim through a narrow opening between the cliffs. Once inside, the expansive view of the beach opens up, a striking contrast to the hidden approach. It’s a place where time seems to stand still, inviting you to savor every moment in this secluded paradise.

Puka Beach, Boracay: Beyond the Crowds

While Boracay’s White Beach often steals the spotlight, Puka Beach offers a serene alternative for those seeking tranquility away from the bustling crowds. Named after the abundant puka shells found along its shoreline, this beach is a testament to the Philippines’ commitment to conservation efforts, preserving its natural beauty.

Puka Beach is not just about relaxation; it’s also a gateway to adventure. Here, you can indulge in various water activities or simply enjoy the harmony of nature. The beach’s clear blue waters and white sand are reminiscent of the island’s more famous counterpart, yet it holds its own unique charm.

  • Accessibility: Easily reachable by tricycle or boat from the main areas of Boracay.
  • Activities: Snorkeling, paddleboarding, and beachcombing for puka shells.
  • Amenities: Beachfront bars and restaurants offer refreshments and local cuisine.

Embrace the opportunity to unwind and reconnect with nature at Puka Beach, where the whispers of the ocean and the rustling of the leaves create a symphony of peace.

Batangas Beach Bliss: A Quick Escape from the Metro

a beach with a pool and umbrella

Anilao, Mabini: Dive into Marine Diversity

Anilao, located in the coastal village of Mabini, Batangas, is not your typical beach destination with sprawling white sands. Instead, it boasts a vibrant underwater ecosystem that makes it a premier diving spot in the Philippines. The area’s rich marine biodiversity is a magnet for divers and snorkelers from around the globe.

While Anilao’s main allure is its underwater treasures, the surface offers just as much to explore. Visitors can enjoy island hopping, picnicking, and beach bumming. For those looking to stay on land, a hike to Gulugod Baboy presents a delightful side trip.

Anilao is a haven for both novice and experienced divers, offering a range of activities from introductory dive lessons to fun dive sessions. The region is dotted with resorts catering to various budgets, from affordable beachfront accommodations to luxury boutique resorts.

Here are some must-visit spots and activities in Anilao:

  • Sepoc Island and Beach
  • Eagle Point Beach Resort
  • Scuba Diving Experience
  • Sepoc Beach with Sombrero Island Tour
  • Fun Dive Session
  • Anilao Awari Bay 2-Day Freedive Experience
  • Island Hopping at Masasa Beach

For those seeking accommodation, here’s a list of recommended resorts:

  • Vivere Azure: “Luxury Boutique Beach Resort”
  • Eagle Point Beach and Dive Resort
  • Buseo Anilao Beach and Dive Resort
  • Camp Netanya Resort and Spa
  • Sea Spring Resort
  • Planet Dive Resort
  • Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort

Anilao’s charm extends beyond its aquatic life. It’s a place where the sea’s tranquility meets the excitement of discovery, making it a unique and unforgettable beach destination.

Laiya, San Juan: Family Fun Under the Sun

Just a stone’s throw away from Manila, Laiya in San Juan, Batangas, is a beach haven for families and friends looking for a quick seaside escape. With its cream sandy beaches and inviting clear waters, Laiya offers a tropical paradise that’s easily accessible. The area is dotted with a variety of resorts catering to different preferences and budgets, ensuring there’s a perfect spot for everyone.

Laiya’s charm isn’t just in its natural beauty but also in the plethora of activities it offers. From thrilling water sports like jet skiing and banana boat rides to more leisurely options such as kayaking, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy the sun and sea.

For those interested in team building or company outings, Laiya’s resorts provide excellent venues with a mix of relaxation and adventure. After a day of fun, visitors can unwind in accommodations ranging from the rustic to the luxurious. Here’s a quick guide on how to get there and some recommended resorts:

  • How to Get There: From Manila, take a bus to Lipa City, then a jeepney to San Juan. At San Juan Public Market, transfer to a jeepney or tricycle bound for Laiya Beach.
  • Recommended Resorts:
    • La Luz Beach Resort
    • Palm Beach Resort
    • Acuaverde Beach Resort & Hotel
    • The Henry Resort Taramindu Laiya
    • Acuatico Beach Resort & Hotel

Calatagan: Serene Shores and Starry Nights

Calatagan, with its extensive coastline, is a haven for beach lovers seeking tranquility and a touch of luxury. The town boasts a variety of beach resorts that cater to different preferences, from the rustic charm of Crusoe Cabins Beach Resort to the family-friendly Aquaria Water Park.

Calatagan is not just about sunbathing and swimming; it’s a place where history meets recreation. The Cape Santiago Lighthouse stands as a testament to the town’s rich past, while modern amenities like wakeboarding at Lago de Oro Resort add a splash of adventure to your stay.

For those planning a day trip, Aquaria Water Park offers an affordable all-day access package, ensuring a full day of fun without breaking the bank. Here’s a quick guide to some of the recommended resorts:

  • Crusoe Cabins Beach Resort
  • Aquaria Water Park
  • Calatagan Private Resort
  • Beata, Brgy Bagong Silang Calatagan
  • Playa Calatagan Beach House

Getting to Calatagan is a breeze. From Manila, hop on a bus bound for the town and upon arrival, local tricycles are readily available to whisk you away to your chosen retreat. Whether you’re gazing at the stunning sunsets or stargazing by the shore, Calatagan offers a memorable escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Palawan’s Pristine Shores: Nature’s Masterpiece

Palawan's Pristine Shores: Nature's Masterpiece

Nacpan Beach: Twin Beaches Double the Beauty

Nacpan Beach, located in the enchanting El Nido, Palawan, is a destination that epitomizes the raw beauty of the Philippines. With its 4.5 of 5 bubbles rating, visitors consistently praise its pristine conditions and the serene experience it offers. Imagine lounging on the golden sands, captivated by the stunning views, and basking in the glorious sun.

Nacpan Beach is not just about the sun and the sea; it’s a place where tranquility meets natural splendor, offering a respite from the bustling tourist spots.

Here are a few things that make Nacpan Beach a must-visit:

  • The beach is part of a twin beach formation, sharing the coast with its lesser-known counterpart, Calitang Beach.
  • It’s an ideal spot for those seeking a peaceful retreat, away from the more crowded areas of El Nido.
  • The local cuisine available nearby captures the culinary delights of the region, offering fresh seafood and traditional Filipino dishes.

Whether you’re a solo traveler or with family, Nacpan Beach provides a perfect backdrop for creating lasting memories. Its dual coastlines promise twice the beauty and a unique beach experience that stands out in the diverse archipelago of the Philippines.

Coron’s Hidden Lagoons: A Snorkeler’s Dream

Coron’s hidden lagoons offer an underwater adventure unlike any other. The crystal-clear waters reveal a world teeming with marine life, nestled within the ancient limestone cliffs that rise majestically from the sea. Snorkeling here is like swimming in a natural aquarium, with visibility so clear that every detail of the underwater landscape is vividly on display.

The lagoons are accessible by a short boat ride, inviting explorers to discover the rich biodiversity that thrives beneath the surface. The calm waters make it an ideal spot for snorkelers of all skill levels.

For those seeking a deeper dive into Coron’s aquatic wonders, the area is also renowned for its World War II shipwrecks. These historical relics have become vibrant reefs, attracting divers from around the globe. Here’s a quick guide to some of the must-visit dive spots:

  • Lusong Gunboat: Home to the famous Coral Garden.
  • Secret Lagoon Beach: Known for its amazing views and surreal scenery.
  • White Island: Offers clean and crystal clear waters for a serene snorkeling experience.

Remember to waterproof your gear to capture the enchanting beauty of these lagoons. With each visit, the hidden lagoons of Coron continue to enchant snorkelers and divers with their untouched splendor and the stories of the past that lie beneath the waves.

Sabang Beach: Gateway to the Underground River

Sabang Beach serves as the perfect prelude to one of the Philippines’ most mesmerizing natural wonders, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River. With its 4.5 of 5 bubbles rating, visitors often describe the beach as a tranquil starting point for the journey to the underground river. The beach itself offers a picturesque setting with its fine sand and clear waters, making it an ideal spot for relaxation before or after exploring the river.

The beach’s charm is not only in its beauty but also in its role as a conduit to the underground river, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

While Sabang Beach may not be as famous as other tourist hotspots, it provides a unique experience that combines beach leisure with adventure. Here’s a quick list of what to expect:

  • A peaceful atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle
  • Easy access to boat tours for the underground river
  • Opportunities for leisurely strolls along the shore
  • Views of the comings and goings of boats to the underground river

Remember to respect the natural environment and leave no trace of your visit to preserve the beauty of Sabang Beach for future generations.

Siargao’s Surf and Serenity: More Than Just Waves

man surfing during daytime

Cloud 9: Riding the Siargao Swell

Siargao, known as the surfing capital of the Philippines, offers an unparalleled experience for surfers at Cloud 9. This world-renowned surfing spot is famous for its thick, hollow tubes and consistent waves that provide the perfect playground for both novice and seasoned surfers alike.

The pier at Cloud 9 gives spectators a front-row seat to the surfing action, making it a unique spot where the thrill of the sport can be shared by surfers and onlookers together.

While the waves are the main attraction, the area surrounding Cloud 9 is also dotted with cozy surf resorts, laid-back bars, and local eateries, creating a vibrant yet relaxed atmosphere. Here’s what you can expect:

  • A variety of surf breaks suitable for different skill levels
  • Surf competitions and events, especially during the peak season from September to November
  • Surf schools and rental shops for those looking to learn or without their own gear

Whether you’re here to catch the perfect wave or to soak in the surf culture, Cloud 9 in Siargao is a destination that promises an unforgettable adventure.

Daku Island: Idyllic Island Life

Daku Island, nestled in the embrace of Siargao’s azure waters, offers a serene escape from the world’s frenetic pace. The island’s simplicity is its true charm, with no electricity or modern amenities to distract from its natural beauty. Visitors are encouraged to bring all necessary supplies, as the island lacks stores and facilities, making it a perfect spot for those seeking desolation.

  • No electricity or modern amenities
  • Bring all necessary supplies
  • Ideal for a peaceful retreat

Embrace the tranquility of Daku Island, where the gentle lapping of waves and the rustling of palm leaves are the only sounds that accompany your thoughts.

While the island may be devoid of the usual tourist infrastructure, it’s this very absence that amplifies its allure. The journey to Daku Island is an adventure in itself, a reminder of the vibrant festivals, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality that the Philippines offers. It’s a place where time slows down, allowing you to savor every moment of island life.

Guyam Island: A Slice of Secluded Paradise

Nestled in the embrace of Siargao’s azure waters, Guyam Island offers a tranquil escape from the world. This tiny island paradise is perfect for those seeking solitude and a chance to reconnect with nature. With its powdery white sands and lush coconut palms, Guyam provides a picturesque setting for relaxation and introspection.

Despite its small size, the island’s charm is immense, inviting visitors to bask in its serene atmosphere and enjoy the simple pleasures of island life.

Here’s what you can expect on your visit:

  • A peaceful retreat away from the bustling tourist spots.
  • Opportunities for snorkeling in the clear, shallow waters.
  • A chance to witness spectacular sunsets that paint the sky in hues of orange and pink.

Remember to respect the pristine environment of Guyam Island and leave no trace of your visit. Embrace the island’s untouched beauty and let it rejuvenate your spirit.

Cebu’s Coastal Charms: Sun, Sea, and Sand

Cebu's Coastal Charms: Sun, Sea, and Sand

Bantayan Island: Tranquil Tides and Powdery Sands

Bantayan Island is a serene retreat, celebrated for its tranquil tides and powdery white sands. This island, made famous by the Filipino movie ‘Camp Sawi’, has become a sanctuary for those seeking solace and a break from the hustle of daily life. The beach’s crystal clear waters and clean shores are perfect for a day of relaxation or snorkeling adventures.

Visitors to Bantayan Island often comment on the beach’s pristine condition and the peaceful atmosphere that envelops it. Whether you’re looking to mend a broken heart or simply to disconnect and destress, Bantayan’s shores offer the ideal backdrop.

The island’s charm lies not only in its natural beauty but also in the opportunity it provides for rejuvenation and reflection.

For those who wish to extend their stay, the island boasts a range of accommodations, from simple beach huts to more luxurious resorts, ensuring a comfortable stay for all. The island’s local cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh seafood, is a delight for food enthusiasts. Here’s a quick guide to what you can expect:

  • Serene Beaches: Perfect for relaxation and quiet walks.
  • Snorkeling Spots: Explore the underwater world.
  • Local Cuisine: Savor the fresh catch of the day.
  • Accommodations: From rustic to resort-style living.

Bantayan Island is a testament to the diverse beauty and cultural tapestry of the Philippines, offering a tranquil escape with every visit.

Moalboal: Spectacular Sardine Runs and Coral Gardens

Moalboal, located on the southwest coast of Cebu, is a haven for divers and snorkelers alike. The town’s waters are famous for the spectacular sardine runs, where millions of sardines form bait balls and create a breathtaking underwater ballet. This natural phenomenon can be witnessed year-round, just a few meters from the shore.

The coral gardens of Moalboal are equally impressive, offering a kaleidoscope of colors and a habitat for a diverse range of marine life. The Pescador Island, a short boat ride away, is a must-visit spot for its pristine coral reefs and the chance to swim with sea turtles.

Moalboal is not just about the underwater spectacle; it’s a place where the rhythm of the waves harmonizes with the dance of marine life, offering a truly immersive nature experience.

For those looking to explore Moalboal’s underwater marvels, here’s a quick guide:

  • Snorkeling or diving to witness the sardine runs
  • Visiting Pescador Island for vibrant coral reefs
  • Swimming with sea turtles in their natural habitat
  • Enjoying the laid-back beach atmosphere and local cuisine

Malapascua Island: Thresher Sharks and Tropical Dreams

Malapascua Island is a diver’s haven, renowned for its close encounters with the elusive thresher sharks. These magnificent creatures, with their distinctive long tails, are a sight to behold as they glide gracefully through the crystal-clear waters. Diving with thresher sharks is an experience that should be on every diver’s bucket list.

The island is not just about thresher sharks; it’s a mosaic of vibrant coral gardens and a variety of dive sites that cater to all levels of divers. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, the underwater world of Malapascua has something to offer. After a day of underwater exploration, the island invites you to relax on its serene beaches or enjoy the comfort of a private balcony overlooking the sea.

Malapascua’s charm extends beyond its marine life. The island’s pathways come alive in the evenings as visitors stroll to dinner, often accompanied by the sight of baby sharks and stingrays near the shore.

For those looking to enhance their travel experience in the Philippines, Malapascua combines the thrill of diving with the relaxation of island life. Here are some practical tips to make the most of your visit:

  • Plan your dive trips early to catch the thresher sharks during their morning feeding.
  • Explore the island’s dive sites, each offering a unique underwater landscape.
  • Indulge in the local cuisine and fresh seafood after a day of diving.
  • Take time to unwind on the beach or your resort’s balcony, soaking in the tropical ambiance.


The Philippines, with its 7,107 islands, offers a vast array of stunning beaches that cater to every type of traveler. From the serene Alegria Beach in Siargao to the hidden gem of Hidden Beach in El Nido, Palawan, and the accessible beaches of Batangas near Metro Manila, there’s a perfect spot for beach bums, couples, families, and adventure seekers alike. As we’ve explored some of the top must-visit beaches in the Philippines, it’s clear that whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or an extended tropical holiday, the Philippines will not disappoint. With its rich natural attractions, underwater wonders, and the promise of fun under the sun, it’s easy to see why it’s more fun in the Philippines. So pack your flannels or flip flops, and set sail for an unforgettable beach holiday in this archipelagic paradise.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some must-visit beaches in the Philippines besides Boracay?

Some must-visit beaches in the Philippines other than Boracay include Alegria Beach in Siargao, Hidden Beach in El Nido, Puka Beach in Boracay, Nacpan Beach in Palawan, and Anilao in Batangas.

Can you recommend a good beach destination near Metro Manila?

Batangas offers a variety of beach destinations that are a quick drive from Metro Manila. Popular spots include Anilao for diving, Laiya for family-friendly beaches, and Calatagan for serene shores and starry nights.

Are there any beaches in the Philippines suitable for surfing?

Yes, the Philippines is home to several surfing spots. Siargao is known as the surfing capital of the Philippines, with Cloud 9 being one of the most famous waves. Other surf-friendly beaches include Alegria Beach in Siargao.

What are some lesser-known beach destinations in the Philippines?

Lesser-known but equally beautiful beach destinations in the Philippines include Daku Island and Guyam Island in Siargao, Malapascua Island in Cebu, and the tranquil shores of Bantayan Island.

What activities can I enjoy at the beaches in the Philippines?

The beaches in the Philippines offer a wide range of activities including scuba diving, snorkeling, island hopping, surfing, and simply relaxing on the beautiful white-sand beaches.

Are there any beach destinations in the Philippines that are good for snorkeling?

Coron is renowned for its stunning hidden lagoons and vibrant marine life, making it a snorkeler’s dream. Moalboal in Cebu is also famous for its spectacular sardine runs and coral gardens.

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