Best beaches and islands in The Philippines!

Some of the best beaches and islands, in The Philippines!

So it’s known, that Hollywood loves El Nido. Because, scenes for the final installment of the “Bourne” series, were shot here. The island where also used, for setting of a pit stop, on the amazing race.

Therefore the Philippines best assets, is it’s 7,000 islands. Edged by white sand buffering turquoise waters. Filled with some of the world’s most diverse marine life and have some of the best, coral Reefs in the world!

Most of these island’s, are relatively unexplored. Of course, not everyone will agree on which destination is best. But this is a good starting point. If you wanna come up, with a travel plan.


1. El Nido, Palawan

Palawan is indeed, the last frontier of the Philippines. As it’s been dubbed, the coastal town of El Nido. It’s indeed the gateway to wild adventure. Sure, it’s got powder fine beaches and gin-clear waters. But the views, aren’t. what really sell the place.

Off the coast of El Nido, there are majestic karst limestone formations, empty lagoons, marble cliffs, prehistoric caves and waterfalls. All are easily explored and accessible.

So El Nido is a very popular place for scuba divers. The surrounding waters contain more than 50 species of coral. Furthermore attract whales, whale sharks, sea cows, manta rays, dolphins, endangered turtles and many more.

2. Boracay, Aklan

Unfortunately, bad times have fallen upon, the jewel and crown of the Philippines beach destinations. In April 2018, the country announced it was closing Boracay island for six months because of environmental damage. Behind the problem is, of course, the dazzling beauty. That has made Boracay, so attractive to travelers and developers.

So the shutdown is intended to provide time, to clean up the island and surrounding seas. If this proves successful! Boracay should be able, once again. To claim it’s rightful place, on this list. Until then, we’ll keep dreaming of white beach’s and a four kilometer stretch. Which in the happier days, welcomed everyone from beach bums, to adventurers.

At night, under normal circumstances. The beach comes alive with candle-lit sand castles. Cozy restaurants and bars, that stay open until dawn. Away from the white Beaches. There are calmer resorts. There’s always been a less boisterous side of Boracay and even in recent years. It still offers secluded strips of sand, coves, caves and cliffs.

During the early months of the year. Boracay typically attracts hundreds of kite boarders and windsurfers. Who compete in the International Fun board Cup. The rough waves and strong winds, make Boracay the perfect destination, for water sports fanatics. Let’s hope it continues to do so. When it hopefully, reopens for business again.

3. Palaui Island, Cagayan Valley

This isolated island is a natural secret. Only the brave and persevering bother to visit. Glorious white sands surrounded by volcanic rocks on one side kiss blue-green waters on the other. Snorkeling and diving brings you face to face with coral gardens and a rich marine reserve.

So Palaui is all about raw beauty. But it takes some work to get there. Tourist will be blessed with clear blue skies, patient companions and trusted local guides. Getting to the island’s most prized stretch of beach’s. Requires battling thorny grass, muddy ground and a mangrove forest. But never the less, the uncharted Philippines, offers a three-day Palaui Island Photography Tour. For just $240, that includes transportation, accommodation, food and guides.

But with no resorts or hotels, Palaui has only one real option! Camping under the stars. Otherwise, visitors are left to explore home stay options.

4. Panglao, Bohol

Once a sleepy island, Panglao is being roused by travelers in search of gorgeous beaches. Therefore It’s a refuge for those, who appreciate a diverse menu of aquatic attractions. These options include dolphin watching, whale spotting, diving with barracudas, jackfish, sea snakes and among brilliant coral formations.

Natural charms. in addition to it’s beaches. Furthermore, the island of Bohol is famous for it’s Chocolate Hills. An unusual rolling terrain of more than 1,000 dome-shaped hills. The hills are named for their brown color during dry season. When the grass dries up! You’ll be able, to see the world’s smallest primate! The endangered Philippine tarsier, also inhabits the island.

Random fact, ears ago! A number of foreigners came to Panglao on holiday and never bothered to leave. Locals picked up their languages to better converse with the tourists. So in addition to English and the main language. You have a good chance of meeting a local with a handy grasp of German, Swiss or Japanese.

5. Bantayan Island, Cebu

Perfect mix of luxury and seclusion. Courtesy Santa Fe Beach Club Bantayan has remained relatively untouched by modern life. Save place for a smattering of foreigners, who have taken up residence. Sucked in by the island’s white sands, aqua-colored waters and red-gold sunsets.

Beers are cold and cheap, townsfolk are hospitable and the dreary troubles of the outside world are easily forgotten.

If you’re looking for peace and quiet. Don’t plan a stay during the Holy week, just before Easter. The island is crowded with Filipino travelers during this period. With rooms and services booked months in advance.

So if you wanna relax, go shopping or an a action-packed trip, it ain’t here, you should travel. Because, there are no five-star hotels, no malls, no fashion-forward shopping centers.

6. Caramoan, Camarines Sur

Named after the local sea turtle and have stretches of white sand, that runs between huge boulders and rock formations. So therefore it’s a place for. Scuba divers, island hoppers and beach bums, all converge here. Complementing the beaches are caves, waterfalls, freshwater pools, underground streams and lagoons.

Adventure site: 

The Survivor reality show series and similar international programs have used Caramoan as a shooting location. Despite the locale’s popularity with TV production companies, there are enough beaches to go around for everyone.

Mountain climbers can trek to Mount Caglago’s summit and take in a terrific view of the Caramoan islands and islets. The mountain is a pilgrimage site for some, thanks to its gigantic statue of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.

7. Samal, Davao

A burgeoning tourist destination! Samal is on a mission to get the word out on its 118 kilometer coastline, with white sandy beaches. You know the highlights: pristine waters, lush greens, rock formations, mangrove and coconut palms. Numerous resorts provide a range of choices for visitors, from luxurious resorts to backpacker options.

The vanishing island: 

This curious moniker is the nickname of Shanipaan Shoal, a tiny island that literally disappears from sight during high tide. The only thing there are visible, at high water! Is a single breach cottage, poking out of the sea.

The vast Coral Garden Marine Park. A fish sanctuary filled with diverse marine life, makes Sambal a favorite among divers and snorkelers.

8. Siargao Islands, Surigao del Norte

Even if you can’t surf, Siargao is a beautiful beach getaway. Known as the top surfing island in the Philippines. So if you’re a beginner surfer, moderate one and even pro, looking for three-meter high waves.

For those with zero surf skills as well and no desire to acquire any. This could be the destination. Because, there are also pristine beaches with small waves, perfect for sunning and swimming.

Ideal days for surfing are between mid-August and mid-December, when the swell is most consistent. Beginners should visit when waves are smaller, around April or May.

9. Great Santa Cruz Island, Zamboanga

On Great Santa Cruz Island, pulverized red coral washed up from the sea. Floor mixes with white sand to produce a pink-hued beach. It’s a different version of perfection: the powdery beach competes with the blue and green shades of the sea. Some parts of the beach are lovely in their undeveloped state.

There are signs of civilization souvenirs, nipa huts and restrooms. With limited day trips. So you have to squeeze everything into a few hours. Swim, sunbathe, snorkel, dive, even fish for your lunch. Just don’t mistake serenity for safety. There’s a deep drop in the sea just meters from shore.

The island is just a boat ride away from the city proper. However getting there requires extra precautions, due to local threats. Only those with a tourist permit from the Department of Tourism in Zamboanga City can visit. The permit fee includes armed security escorts.

Why the need for security? According to the Department of Tourism’s regional office, it’s a preventative measure. On the security situation in Zamboanga City, there are no militant or terrorism activities recently.

The city is very vibrant and relatively peaceful. As a precaution, check with your embassy for security threats before traveling.

10. Pagudpud/Bangui, Ilocos Norte

Along the northern tip, of the island of Luzon. Sits the coastal town of Pagudpud. It’s a quiet, sleepy and rural community. With little overt commercialism. Perhaps because, it takes time and effort to reach Pagudpud. The wide and inviting beaches are usually empty, making them ideal. For those who enjoy mixing solitude with sun, sand and surf.

A row of windmills down the coast from Pagudpud in the town of Bangui. Makes for a picturesque if not unusual backdrop for a Filipino beach.

Hard winds that blows in from both the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean. Makes the waves ideal for surfers, especially from July to October. Windsurfers and kite boarders are starting to take notice of this northern getaway.

Updated Nov 04, 2020

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