The Philippines is a haven of white sand beaches and glistening blue waters. Consisting of roughly 7,640 islands surrounded by scenic, sandy beaches, you will never be far from a day of sunbathing and water activities.
Compiled below is a list of the best beaches in the Philippines to visit for a beach getaway or a day trip!
Can’t read now? Pin for later!
The Best Beaches in the Philippines
From turquoise waters to sand bars to scuba diving to water sports, here’s where you can find the best of what Filipino beaches have to offer!
If you are staying at a resort near Manila, take a few hours to visit this beach in Morong Bataan. While Nagalayong is popular for its grey sand and fishing community, it is most well-known as being the nesting ground of sea turtles.
These turtles have a natural lifespan of about 80 years, but only a 1% survival rate for each hatchling. At the Pawikan Conservation Center, or Sea Turtle Conservation Center in English, you can see rescued turtles and learn more about the conservation efforts for this endangered species. This is the perfect Philippino beach for those who want to get up close to marine life.
Take pictures with one of the oldest working lighthouses in the Philippines when you visit Burot Beach. Cape Santiago Lighthouse, or Faro de Cabo Santiago, has guided ships through the Verde Island Passage since the late 1800s, resting southwest of Manila on this luxury beach.
Here you can explore the lighthouse, wade through the shallow waters, and soak in the sun on the world-class white sands.
This beach near Puerto Princesa in Boracay is appropriately named for its ivory sand. Though it is not the only white sand beach in the country, it is one of the most popular beaches in the Philippines, known for its numerous beach vendors and luxurious resorts. Spend a day on the beach snorkeling, exploring the islets, and eating street food, then unwind with a massage.
In the evening you can watch a vibrant sunset from the shore before visiting one of Boracay’s many bars. Nightlife on Boracay island is lively, so this is a great destination for visitors that like to party through to morning.
Hire a private boat or join an island-hopping tour to get to this small, uncrowded beach which is encased in limestone cliffs and lush greenery. One of the most beautiful beaches on Coron Island, you really shouldn’t miss it.
If you are staying at a beach resort near Coron, take the opportunity to visit Atwayan, just off the coast of the island. This is a popular stop on tours of Coron, along with the coral gardens, since it’s one of the country’s most beautiful beaches.
This destination is ideal for serene picnics by the water. You can also enjoy local and international dishes under one of the huts lining the shore.
This exposed coral reef break on Calicoan Island is a hotspot for surfers of all experience levels. There is plenty of open space on the water to catch the waves, and classes are offered for newbies that do not want to miss out on the action. It is best to visit between June and October, as those are the months with the best reef breaks.
When you are done riding the waves, you can stop at one of the handful of restaurants to fill your stomach with a hearty meal.
Also known as Las Cabanas Beach, or Vanilla Beach, Maremegmeg boasts crystal waters and a zip line you can ride over the glistening surface. When you are not swimming there are sunbeds for rental and a few clothing stores to browse nearby.
The beach bars lining the shore offer nights of excitement after calming beach days, and the food is popular with both locals and tourists. The closest ATM is in El Nido City, so bring enough cash to last your stay.
This mystical lagoon hosts anywhere from 30-100 visitors at a time and is surrounded by stunning rock formations. Paddle through the blue waters and swim among shimmering fish during your visit as you take in its natural beauty.
It can get busy depending on the time of year (it’s a must-visit in the Phillippines, so it’s no hidden gem!) so try to visit early in the morning before the crowds come.
Another beautiful white sand beach with plenty of hotels and resorts, boutiques, and restaurants, Nacpan Beach is one of Palawan Island’s treasures.
Despite its popularity, Nacpan is not overly crowded and maintains a relatively calm atmosphere. When you are done in the water, you can go in-land for some fresh seafood or rent a motorbike to ride around the area on a self-led tour
With dozens of places to visit on-land in addition to the hours of swimming, this destination is best as an overnight stay so you can enjoy everything the area has to offer.
Biri Island is a harbor for epic photos that will take people’s breath away. You will be able to spend hours on end exploring stunning rock formations carved over the years by wind and water.
Remember to bring the appropriate footwear, as these rocks can be sharp and slippery. You can also visit two natural swimming holes, Bel-at and Caranas, for a dip away from the shore. Enjoy the rumbling sound of the waves against the rock as you explore the cerulean pools.
The ferry ride to the island costs 50 pesos, as well as additional fees for boat rides to select rock formations. One important Philippines travel tip to remember though is that ferries are weather dependant!
Sandira isn’t nicknamed Paradise Beach for nothing. Located on Bantayan Island west of Cebu, this beach is among the cleanest in the country and perfect for mingling with locals.
Get to the shore by walking down a set of stairs along the cliffs and find a spot to picnic under the picturesque huts lining the water. Explore small beach caves, snorkel through reeds, and take photos under the coconut palm trees.
The entrance fee to the beach is 50 pesos.
Located in San Vicente, this vibrant beach is like a scene out of a movie. The shores are calm and uncrowded, with hammocks to lounge on throughout the day.
With three panoramic white beaches making up the longest stretch in the Philippines, you can watch breathtaking sunsets from any one of them. Rent a motorbike to visit all three expanses and grab some food in between.
You can also stay at one of the hostels on the shore, with options for all budgets, and wake up to the chirping of birds in the morning. For the safest conditions, visit between October-May when the water is calm.
Located in Albay, Buhatan Beach is a must-see for snorkeling enthusiasts as it is home to a Spanish Galleon wreck site. Unlike the other beaches, this destination is a black sand beach in the Philippines. The sands have eroded over time from volcanic rocks, making a stunning spot for sunsets that look like they’re out of a painting.
In the evening fireflies surround the island like a haven of stars on earth. Pictures are encouraged, but flash photography is prohibited; it scares the fireflies.
Walk into an enchanted island off the coast of Caramoan with some of the finest white sand in the Philippines. On this small beach with stunning limestone formations, you can bask under the sun in peace, then trek to the Matukad Lagoon which locals believe to be magical.
According to legend, two giant milkfish appeared in the lagoon out of nowhere. One day, a family caught and ate one, and in the following days, the family perished. There is now one remaining.
Note that the climb to the lagoon is steep, so bring appropriate walking shoes.
This remote destination on Catanduanes Island is ideal for travelers that value solitude. You can go snorkeling through dazzling coral formations, relax on the shore with little noise to disturb you and visit the St. John the Baptist Church.
The stone church was built from 1830 to1833, making it one of the oldest in the province. Atop the building, you can see the bell that locals used to warn villagers of Japanese guerillas during WWII.
This beach is not white, black, or even the customary sandy shade one would expect to see resting upon the shore. When you arrive on this island in San Vicente, Northern Samar, you will be welcomed by a stretch of pink that will take your breath away. Yes, there are pink sand beaches in the Philippines!
The beach gets its unique color from crushed coral and shell remains, mixing with the white sand to create a pink coast along the turquoise shore.
There are no hotels on the island, so if you would like to stay the night you will need to bring camping gear.
Great Santa Cruz Island
The second of two pink beaches in the Philippines can be found in Zamboanga City, Mindanao. Like Sila Island, the fine white sand on this island is mixed with crushed coral to create pink. Bring snorkeling gear to explore the reef offshore, then take a break to enjoy some seafood along the charming coast.
This pink beach does tend to be the most crowded of the two, so your time may be limited. Check with the tourism office beforehand to get the best dates available.
A Few More Popular Filipino Beaches
If you want more ideas, check these out!
This small island beach is known for coral and crystal clear waters. Located between Cebu and Leyte, the bone-white sand here is soft and the waters are inviting.
Famous for Cape Engaño Lighthouse and for being the filming location for the tv show Survivor, this small island paradise can be reached from the Port of San Vicente on Cagayan.
Located on Panglao Island, Alona Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Bohol Province.
Located in the Santa Ana Cagayan Valley on the northeastern part of Luzon, Anguib Beach famous for crystal blue waters, soft, silky sand, and its mangrove trees.
One of the most famous and challenging islands for surfing, Siargao Island is famous for its Cloud Nine waves which are considered one of the surfer bucket-list items in the Philippines. There’s even an annual competition here, held in September, called the Cloud Nine Cup.
Nicknamed the “the Boracay of the North,” Saud Beach is located in the Pagudpud area of Ilocos Norte. Some say that visiting here is what visiting Boracay was like before it became popular: serene beaches without the throngs of tourists.
Located on Siquijor Island, a small island in Central Visayas. Here you’ll find stunning sunsets which you can take in from a rental scooter or tricycle.
Popular for its white sands and coral gardens, Linosutan Beach is located on Samal Island in the Davao del Norte province.
Mahabang Buhangin Beach
Located in the Calaguas Islands in Camarines Norte, Mahabang Buhangin is famous for its scenic drive overlooking its beautiful shores as well as its pristine sands.
While Malapascua Island is famous with the scuba diving set, don’t overlook its beaches. Bounty Beach is famous for its fun entertainment strip that runs along the shore.
Owned by the Antonia Resort, Antonia Beach in the Isla de Gigantes, Iloilo Province, is one of the best private beaches in the Philippines.
Another popular scuba diving spot, White Island in Camiguin is a hidden gem.
Which of the Philippines Beaches will You Choose?
The Philippines is one of the best countries to visit in the world for gorgeous beaches with plenty of water activities like kayaking and snorkeling, magnificent sights, and both calm and lively atmospheres. Even if you visit all the Filipino beaches listed, you will have only scratched the surface of the natural beauty these islands have to offer.
By Catalin Geangos from Travel Trained
More Philippines Travel Resources
Planning a trip to the Philippines? Check out this guide to the best Filipino souvenirs to buy during your trip!
Here are travel tattoo ideas for every country if you think you’ll want to get a travel tattoo during your trip.
5 Things to Pack for Your Trip to the Philippines
The Lonely Planet Philippines guidebook for your trip. It can be kind of a pain to find the major guidebooks once you land, or you’ll find them overpriced. I always like to pick mine up ahead of time.
An Unlocked Cell Phone so that you can use a local sim card while here to help public transportation.
Backup Charging Bank for your cell phone since you’ll be using it as a camera, GPS, and general travel genie.
A GoPro for underwater and action photography. Why go all the way to the Philippines and not be able to capture some of the most exciting parts of your trip?
A Great Day Bag so you can carry what you need with you (like your camera, snacks, water, sunscreen, cash, etc). My current favorite is the Pacsafe Citysafe, which is especially great for cities in the Philippines because it has many anti-theft features designed to deter pickpockets. It also transitions to a night bag more easily and won’t embarrass you if you go to dinner directly after sightseeing all day.
Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!
Before you leave for the Philippines make sure you have a valid Travel Insurance Policy because accidents happen on the road. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’ll be hanging out in the great outdoors where injuries can happen.
I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for three years, and I happily recommend them. If you get sick, injured, or have your stuff stolen, you’ll be happy to have the ability to pay for your medical bills or replace what’s stolen or broken.