13 Top-Rated Beaches in the Philippines

With the 7,000 islands that make up the archipelago of the Philippines, there is no shortage of white-sand beaches. The intricate details, like underwater rivers and cave formations, at the beaches in the Philippines add an element of exotic adventure to your vacation. The best time to visit the Philippines to take advantage of this aquatic paradise is the dry season, which runs from November to April.

Soak in the majesty of towering monoliths protruding from the blue and green water, and walk the narrow paths through mangrove forests to access hidden coves. Watch the sunset turn the sands of Buena Suerte Beach to a mellow color of peach, or marvel at the surfers from around the world as they tackle Cloud Nine waves on Siargao Beach.

All the beaches in the Philippines are stunning, with soft sand and tropical breezes, but what they offer compared to other beach destinations is a collection of unique and accessible add-ons like caves, coral, and marine life available in so many locations so close together. Island hopping is one of the top things to do in the Philippines for this reason.

It is easy to make a base on one island and book day trips to the beaches on other nearby islands. Domestic flights also run on a regular basis, so you can book part of a trip to Manila for a taste of city life then fly to Cebu for some solitude and a remote beach experience. To help you figure out where to go, we've compiled a list of the top beaches in the Philippines.

1. Kayangan Lake

Kayangan Lake

One of the most stunning and memorable beaches in all of the Philippines is at Kayangan Lake on the island of Coron. For the most well-rounded aquatic experience, from swimming to scenery to cliff diving, this is your beach.

Coron is a popular island for shipwreck diving and viewing marine life and its coral gardens, but Kayangan Lake is a tranquil base and a good place to mix-up the activity with relaxation. The clear water and views are nothing short of astounding. Climb the stairs of the overlook for the best aerial view or book a boat tour to see the scenery.

The water is ideal for swimming and snorkeling, although it can get crowded in the peak tourist seasons. Busuanga Bay Lodge is a boutique hotel that offers some privacy and the Sangat Island Dive Resort has villas and beachside chalets for those looking for ecological ambiance.

2. Alona Beach

Alona Beach

Bohol is still a relatively primitive island that is not overrun with tourists, which is why Alona Beach is so charming. It sits on the southwest part of the island and is a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling, and diving along the reef.

Alona Beach is the perfect spot to keep an eye out for dolphins and whales, but you would be smart to wear aqua shoes while wading as there are sections under the water with coral and sea urchins.

The cozy villas at the Donatela Hotel and the luxury suites at the BE Grand Resort, Bohol are within walking distance of the beach. While you are on the island, be sure to take a few hours to see the endangered tarsier monkey at the sanctuary that raises them and the Chocolate Hills natural wonder.

3. White Beach

White Beach

There are several beaches in the Philippines with the name of White Beach, but the one located on Boracay Island is the one that gets all the attention, and rightly so. The calm, blue-water and white-sand beach is an easy draw for visitors, but the natural cave formations that surround it add a colorful backdrop.

The expansive beachfront makes it a popular beach for water activities and swimming. This beach is popular for kitesurfing and for photographers, who visit the elevated rock that looks over the island for the best panoramic view at sunset.

The best way to carve out some secluded moments while you are among the tourists is to opt for a beachfront massage, gain private beach access on the upscale plantation at the Coast resort, or stay in your own bungalow at The Lind Boracay. Be sure to visit the small boutique shops in town and walk the beach at night, where you often find candlelit sandcastles.

4. Buena Suerte Beach

Bacuit Bay

One of the most picturesque beaches in the Philippines and in the world, is Buena Suerte Beach in El Nido on the island of Palawan. It requires a flight to get here, but since the entire country is made up of islands, you will require flights to most of the items on your agenda.

The main attraction of Buena Suerte is the magical sands that turn a hypnotic peach or coral color at dusk. The sand is made up of fine, dust-like granules that line the clear water and support a diverse ecosystem.

The cliffs, caves, waterfalls and vast species of coral and marine life make this beach popular with divers. There are a number of resorts that cater to the aqua-ambitious on the island, like the water cottages at El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island. When you are not exploring the beach coral, you may want to explore the nearby caves and lagoons.

5. Saud Beach

Saud Beach

Most of the idyllic beaches of the Philippines are found in the southern islands, but Saud Beach in the north, on the island of Luzon, stands on its own. The dark blue water, pristine beach lined with coconut trees, and clean sand make it the perfect beach.

If you are looking for a quiet beach scene, Saud Beach gets you away from the crowds and it has fewer rock formations and coral than other beaches. It is an ideal beach for families. You will find that this less populated area comes with better deals on lodging.

If you want a more primitive experience, you can stay at a small resort like the Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel that is close to the beach. You will need to stay farther away and drive to the beach if you prefer luxury accommodations.

6. Pearl Farm Beach

Pearl Farm Beach

Samal Island is made up of resorts with their own private beachfronts, but Pearl Farm Beach is one of the most desired because of the pink hue of the sand. The deep blue water and reefs in the area make it an iconic beach experience.

Pearl Farm Beach is tranquil enough to just sit on the sand and feel the breeze, but it also calls to water sports junkies who want to take in kayaking, snorkeling, paddleboarding, and even flyboarding.

There are more than 70 resorts on the island to match nearly any budget, so it is easy to stay in one location and make day trips to different beachfronts. The Pearl Farm Beach Resort is where many people stay because of its large resort area, private beach, and modern accommodations.

7. Anguib Beach

Anguib Beach | Owen Allen / photo modified

To experience the untouched natural beauty of the Philippines, Anguib Beach in the Santa Ana region fits the bill. The white-sand beach is beautiful, but the mangrove trees that surround it add a tropical ambiance.

You can rent kayaks and snorkeling gear beachside, which is convenient. The scenery is filled with volcanic rocks and diverse flora and fauna. Most of the lodging in the area is comprised of small independent cottages or small resorts like the Jotay Resort.

Be mindful of times for high tide and low tide, especially if you are traveling with children as drop-offs in the water can be quite deep. The historical town of Santa Ana is worth a visit while you are in the area.

8. Puerto Galera Bay

Puerto Galera Bay

A few hours south of all the attractions in Manila is the UNESCO-protected area of Puerto Galera and the unforgettable Puerto Galera Bay. The unique ecosystem that exists in the bay makes it a gem for scientists and a treat for tourists.

The beach makes for great swimming and snorkeling along the coral reefs, as well as diving and sailing in deeper water to observe the marine life in the area. Casual beach-goers enjoy the waterfront villas at the Out of the Blue Resort. If you are an avid diver the Badladz Dive Resort can arrange sea turtle and marine life dive trips.

Puerto Galera Bay is an ideal beach that is secluded and scenic, with enough beachfront for lounging, yet is large enough for traditional watersports. Due to the historical significance of the beach area, plan some extra time to hike in the area and explore the ancient city.

9. Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach

For a classic beach experience, with exotic flowers and tropical fish, Paradise Beach on Bantayan Island is a top pick. It is a small stretch of beach but well worth the visit to rest beneath the palms. The secluded and clear-water paradise is somewhat remote but considered a hidden and romantic gem.

You can swim and snorkel in the water, but most people come here just to relax and enjoy a calm tropical breeze. Since it is somewhat remote, plan to walk a short distance to reach the beachfront and take snacks with you for the day as there are few vendors. It is best to stay at a hotel or resort in the town of Santa Fe, like the Santa Fe Beach Club, and rent a motorbike to go to Paradise Beach for the day.

10. Honda Bay

Honda Bay

Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa on Palawan Island is a popular beach for snorkeling, swimming, and relaxing by the water. Island hopping tours are popular out of Honda Bay and a great way to experience several beaches while dining on local fare. The beach has plenty of water sports, like jet skiing and wakeboarding.

You can daydream by the coast or explore coral reefs - whatever fits your mood. Enjoy a beachside lunch of fresh seafood from one of the local vendors. It is best to stay at a resort like Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort in Puerto Princesa or the Canvas Boutique Hotel, and catch a ferry to Honda Bay for a day trip. If you plan an island-hopping tour, book it through a larger resort.

11. Siargao Beach

Siargao Beach

You may not have heard of Siargao Beach before, but if you know anything about surfing, you have likely heard of Cloud Nine waves. The Cloud Nine waves are famous for their iconic tube-like appearance, giving hard-core surfers the ultimate challenge. But, even non-surfers can enjoy the scene at this beach on Siargao Island that is an ideal location for sun, swimming, and definitely, surf.

When you need a break from the waves, you can retreat to your poolside room at the Siargao Bleu Resort and Spa or Isla Cabana Resort and unwind out of the sun. If you visit around the month of September, you can take in the Cloud Nine Surfing Cup competition.

12. Subic Beach

Aerial view of Subic Beach

Imagine waking up from an afternoon nap in a traditional Filipino nipa hut with the soft breeze blowing in from the beachside and pink sand waiting just outside your doorway. This is how the day starts on Subic Beach in Matnog Sorsogon in the Bicol region. It is not as popular as other beaches in the Philippines but it is usually a stop on island-hopping tours in the region.

The clear blue water is ideal for snorkeling, but be sure to bring any gear you need with you. The pink hue of the sand is one of the highlights of this beach because it completes the ambience of paradise. There are some independent cottages to rent nearby, but many visitors prefer to stay in resorts like the Vitton & Woodland Beach Resorts in the more populated areas on the mainland in Luzon and make day visits to Subic Beach.

13. Kalanggaman Island Beach

Kalanggaman Island Beach

Kalanggaman Island in Palompon in the Leyte Province is an isolated island in the Philippines surrounded by coral reefs. As stunning as the white sands and turquoise waters are around the island, its true treasure lies beneath the surface. The island draws day-trippers who want to feel secluded but it is a gem for anyone who enjoys snorkeling and diving because of the reefs and sea life that exist just beyond the jagged sandy edges.

The unusually shaped island got its name derived from the word "langgam," the local word for bird. There are a few small cottage rentals on the island, but most tourists visit as a day trip from another island like Malapascua Island, a two-hour boat ride away, or arrange a flight from Manila.

You can include Kalanggaman Island in an island-hopping tour offered by many hotels and resorts, especially if you stay in the city of Palompon and go for the day. Be aware that the island is regulated, so only a certain number of visitors are allowed at a time, and there are fees to visit.

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