Around the world, the Philippines is renowned for its amazing beaches. With over 30,000 kilometers of warm waters lapping onto soft sand, it’s no wonder visitors and locals alike flock to our shores. Still, most people end up in Boracay, El Nido, and lately, Siargao. And rightfully so—they are gorgeous destinations. However, for those interested in discovering something more off-the-beaten-path, this list will give you some insider knowledge on the best unknown beaches around the Philippines.
Kalanggaman Island, Leyte
Known for its clear waters and picturesque sandbar, this tiny island in Palompon, Leyte is only accessible by boat. That said, it’s a pretty easy weekend getaway if you’re coming from Tacloban or Cebu. Just head towards the coastal town of Palompon and grab an affordable bangka. Once there, you can rent a cottage for P500 a night. But be sure to pack your own food and water—they’re hard to come by on the island.
Higatangan Island, Biliran
Hidden among quiet fishing villages, this white beach with a shifting sandbar offers visitors tons of fun activities. You can hike, scuba dive, cliff jump, kayak, or simply lounge on the sand.
Bonbon Beach, Romblon
Bonbon Beach in Romblon is everything you dream a tropical paradise to be. Without having to travel to Tahiti, you can experience the stunning blue waters and deserted shoreline right in the Philippines. From the Romblon airport, you do have to transfer to a smaller island by boat—but transportation and accommodations in this province are unbelievably budget-friendly. Just remember to bring cash to the smaller island, as there are no ATMs available.
For adventurers who love to be underwater, the Tubbataha Reef has an otherworldly beauty. It can be accessed via the municipality of Cagayancillo—an island on the farthest limit of Palawan’s archipelago. But it’s not just the sea that is worth the visit. The untouched beaches, the breathtaking sunsets, and the starriest night sky you’ve ever seen are just a few of the reasons to put this on your summer itinerary.
Panampangan Island, Tawi-Tawi
Known as Tawi-Tawi’s Boracay, this island—which is closer to Borneo than to Mindanao—doesn’t look anything like the party beach we’re familiar with. However, it is lined with coconut palms, with teal water lapping gently lapping onto its powder white sand. This is the place to go if you miss the “old Boracay” and want to avoid crowds, without giving up any natural beauty.
Pink Beach San Vicente, Northern Samar
Yes, Pink Beach on Northern Samar’s Sila Island is pink. Or more accurately, it is a white beach with a pink tint due to the red corals that have broken down and washed ashore. So, don’t expect fuschia sand! Instead, just enjoy the isolated beach, fresh seafood, and spectacular underwater scenery. With few boat rides to the island, this isn’t just a spontaneous getaway. It takes some planning to get to this destination, so start early.
Poctoy White Beach, Marinduque
Popular among Marinduque locals, it’s time the rest of the Philippines recognize this gem. It has everything beachgoers need: fun activities, local food, beachfront huts for rent, and available AirBnb accommodations for a no-hassle stay. Plus, it’s a great option for budget travelers. Our tip: bring a tent to save even more!
Borawan Beach, Quezon
With its powdery beaches shaded by cliffs jutting out of the sand and water, it’s understandable why some locals claim that Borawan’s name is a combination of Boracay and Palawan. Just a few hours from Manila, this tiny but gorgeous beach can be accessed via public transportation. However, because of its narrow shore, it can start to feel crowded, even with just a few people. So, book a locally-guided island hopping tour in the off-season, if you’d rather have the place to yourself.
Maconacon Beach, Isabela
This getaway on Isabela’s coast is covered in a long stretch of beautiful black pebbles. Because the tall Sierra Madre Mountain Range creates a natural border between the area and the rest of Luzon, visiting here truly feels like a getaway. It’s the perfect destination for travelers who enjoy off-the-beaten-path adventures, whose priority is meeting locals and getting immersed in their culture. Additionally, the town of Maconacon boasts beautiful waterfalls and rivers. You can either take a 12-hour bus ride from Manila, or book a 30-minute flight.
Patar Beach, Bolinao
For those who love sunsets, Patar Beach is a great place watch the sun sink into the West Philippine Sea. Located on the edge of Bolinao, it is just a few hours drive from Manila. The beach itself has huts for rent, and comfortable, affordable accommodations nearby. It also makes for a great alternative surf spot to its neighboring La Union.
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