Best Beaches in the Philippines

At the mere mention of the Philippines, the mind conjures images of pristine waters, fine white sands and the glorious tropical sun. True to its reputation, this blessed archipelago in Southeast Asia boasts of many stunning shorelines that lure visitors from all over the world.

Made up of 7,107 islands, it is never too hard to experience an exciting beach holiday in the Philippines. Here are our list of the best beaches in the Philippines:

Boracay Island

White sands and palm trees on Boracay Island beach in the Philippines
Named as one of the finest beaches in the world a few years back, Boracay Island is considered as the crown jewel of Philippine tourism. Every year, millions of tourists from all over the world flock to the island to tread on its powder-fine white sand, swim in its turquoise waters and imbibe in the bohemian beach spirit. White Beach, a four-kilometer stretch of sand is the most populated part of the island, with resorts and restaurants catering to crowds by the shore. Sunsets on White Beach are some of the most stunning in the country.

The island has two other major beaches: Bulabog and Puca. Bulabog Beach is one the other side of the island where the wind is stronger than anywhere in the area. On any given morning, you can see a daredevil wind surfing or riding the waves in Bulabog Beach. Puca Beach is a secluded piece of shore still on the other side of the island. It is named for the puca shells that cover its shoreline. Though beachgoers in Puca are assured of privacy, there are no concessions on this part of the island.

Due to its boom in the past decades, Boracay is now not just about the beach. Aside from the cool sand and sea, the island is a throbbing party capital. The parties in Boracay start with cocktails while watching the beautiful sunset and goes well into the wee hours of the next morning. Those who are not into partying can enjoy many adventures like island hopping, helmet diving, parasailing, scuba diving and driving a dune buggy. Others can indulge in simple pleasures like getting seaside massage or a henna tattoo.

Pagudpud Beach, Ilocos Norte

Pagudpud Beach, Ilocos Norte
Those looking to experience a beach comparable to those in Hawaii need not look too far. Pagudpud is another popular beach destination especially to surfers and diehard beach bums. The beach is located in Ilocos Norte, a province that in itself is a cornucopia of tourist attractions. Since it is located in the northern part of Luzon, the Pagudpud Island beaches are known for strong waves and winds.

Pagudpud also has three main beaches: Blue Lagoon, Pansian Beach and Saud Beach. When one says Pagudpud, it often refers to Saud where most of the resorts are located. But unlike Boracay, this beach is lined with palm trees and not with resort buildings. Saud beach is for people looking for a quiet beach holiday. It lacks the noise and hustle of Boracay and compensates with its peaceful ambience and postcard-worthy scenery wherever you look.

There’s really nothing much to do on the beach save for swimming, surfing and tanning. But if you get tired of the sea, Ilocos Norte has plenty of other attractions that are just a short scenic drive away.

Panglao, Bohol

Panglao Beach, Bohol
Located just southwest of mainland Bohol, Panglao is another one of the most popular beach destinations in the Philippines. It is especially popular because of its excellent diving spots and of course, white sand beach. The most visited part of Panglao is Alona Beach, a stretch of white sand similar to Boracay. In recent years, more and more establishments and businesses have made way into the shores of Alona beach, luring in more local and international tourists.

There are a lot of things to do in Panglao aside from diving, swimming and soaking up in the sun. Head to Hinagdanan Cave where you can take a dip in freshwater. Be wary though because it can be pitch black inside; the only light comes from flashlights carried by guides. If you’re up early in the morning, you may join a dolphin-watching tour just off Alona Beach.

There’s really no shortage of adventures when in this part of the Philippines. The main island of Bohol itself offers plenty of attractions and activities for those who want to take a day off from Panglao Island.

Island Garden City of Samal, Davao

Heading south to what is considered as the Land of Promise, the beaches of the Island Garden City of Samal are fast gaining popularity among tourists as well. The island is a boat ride away from Davao City and boasts of miles of and fine white sand and turquoise waters. The island is generally still undeveloped though resorts have been cropping up in some places over the years. The Island Garden City of Samal is home to many private resorts that rival most of the popular resorts in the country. In recent years, the local government has ramped up its efforts to boost tourism in the island by hosting Visit Samal, a series of tourist-friendly events that last for the whole summer season.

Full-service resorts as well as private properties dot the island’s shoreline, waiting to cater to the needs and whims of its sun-worshipping visitors. Depending on what floats your boat, you can take your pick from first-class resorts to simple, back-to-basics camping sites along the beach and everything in between. If you can’t make up your mind, join an island hopping tour and see the best that the island has to offer.

Siargao, Surigao del Norte

This beautiful island faces the Pacific Ocean, making it one of the best surfing destinations in the country. In fact, a lot of surfing enthusiasts from all over the world come to Siargo to ride the board-breaking waves of the Pacific. Cloud 9, a famous surf spot hosts a big international surfing tournament annually.

Siargao’s charm lies in its down-to-earth way of living. People get around the island on foot or on what they call a ‘habal-habal’, a large motorbike with a long slab of wood attached to its rear to accommodate more than five passengers. This sounds quite dangerous for some but a Siargao experience is never complete without riding one. Despite it’s reputation, this surfer’s paradise has remained non-touristy and most accommodations charge dirt-cheap rates.

For non-surfers, Siargao offers a lot of caves, waterfalls and dive sites to explore. The Sohoton Caves are a must see for nature lovers. And since you’re on a seaside town, seafood tripping is never a bad idea. Siargao has some of the freshest seafood served in many of its restaurants and diners.

When in the Philippines, it’s not a question of where to go but where to go first. There are many other well-loved beach destinations in the country waiting to be explored and enjoyed. The Philippines is bursting at the seams with white sand beaches, clear waters, coral reefs and adventures that will never fail to impress even the most seasoned traveler.

Do you agree with our list of the best beaches in the Philippines? Have a favorite beach you would add to the list. Let us know by leaving your comment below.

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