The islands of the Philippines beckon with beautiful beaches that are perfect for a tropical getaway. The country has destinations that have been highly-recommended by various travel publications, such as Travel + Leisure Magazine and Condé Nast, as the best in the world because of their fine sand, clear waters, and relaxing vibe. These are perfectly complemented by the warmth of Filipino hospitality that is also truly world-class.
Plan your next vacay at these bucket-list beaches!
White Beach, Boracay
Its fine white sand and clear waters have made the White Beach of Boracay one of the most popular destinations in the Philippines. It was first awarded as the 2012 Best Island in the World by Travel + Leisure Magazine, followed by making it to the top of the “Best Islands in the World” list published by Condé Nast Traveler. In 2016, Boracay headed the Condé Nast Traveler list of “Top 10 destinations to watch” and was ranked 12th in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards 2021 for the top 25 beaches in the continent after undergoing rehabilitation in 2018.
Boracay is a fun and hassle-free destination as it offers a range of traveler-friendly accommodations from resorts with luxe amenities to budget-friendly hotel rooms. There are also many activities to choose from, such as watching the gorgeous sunrise on a quiet morning, engaging in water sports, and enjoying the cuisine from the restaurants located along the beachfront.
Siargao Island, Surigao
Epic waves and a laid-back lifestyle have drawn surfers to the paradise that is Siargao. Surf tourism started on this island in the 1980s and it has steadily grown with the help of social media.
While it has become a booming tourist attraction, with Conde Nast readers voting it as The Best Island in the World in 2019 and its subsequent inclusion in Time Magazine’s list of “Greatest Places” in 2021, the tiny haven still remains quaint and charming.
Part of the attraction is its remoteness that has allowed travelers to enjoy more of its natural beauty in the form of white sand islets, breathtaking tide pools, and lush mangrove forests. It is also the local vibe from fellow surf enthusiasts and friendly residents in the nearby community that allow for a memorable and relaxing vacay.
Panglao Island, Bohol
Bohol has many attractions such as the unique Chocolate Hills, the Philippine Tarsier Conservatory, and the Bilar Man-made Forest in which the road is lined with towering Molave Trees, along with historical sites such as its centuries-old churches.
It is also home to beautiful white sand beaches and dive sites on Panglao Island, which have been recognized by Japan’s Marine Diving Magazine in 2020 as one of the best dive spots in the Philippines together with Moalboal in Cebu and Busuanga in Palawan.
The reefs where one can find vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life or one can simply laze on the sand and get a good tan. There are many accommodations that are available at Alona Beach that also has a thriving night life and many local culinary choices.
El Nido, Palawan
El Nido offers a relaxing respite from busy days at the office, with its amazing vistas and gorgeous beaches. It has been named as one of the Conde Nast Readers’ Choice awardees for 25 Best Island Beaches in the World in 2020, and its Nacpan Beach ranked 18th on the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards for 2021.
There are myriads of adventures and activities that are available to travelers, such as island hopping via small boats to get a closer view of the limestone cliffs, kayaking at the Small Lagoon, or swimming through a cave entrance to get to the unspoiled beauty of the Hidden Beach.
Saud Beach, Ilocos Norte
The Northern part of the Philippines is known for its beautiful mountain ranges, but there are also breathtaking beaches that sparkle like hidden gems. It takes a long drive to reach Saud Beach in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte but travelers will be rewarded with an award-winning destination, named as one of the 25 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World by Travel + Leisure Magazine this 2021.
It has been called the Boracay of the North, comparing it to one of the country’s top beach destinations for its white sand and clear water, but owing to its less accessible location, it is quieter and perfect for those who seek beach haven bliss.
Aside from beach bumming, travelers can go on sightseeing trips to the awe-inspiring Kapurpurawan Rock Formations that make you feel like you are on another planet, or take a road trip for a photo op at the Bangui Windmills, which supplies energy to the local communities.
Calaguas Islands, Camarines Norte
Calaguas Islands’ Mahabang Buhangin was listed as one of the country’s top 10 must-see sights in an online survey initiated by Isla Lipana & Co., a multinational consultancy and a member of the London-based PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and this has drawn tourist interest to the area.
The ‘concealed white beach of Bicol’ is a tropical paradise that offers romantic strolls along the shores of Mahabang Buhangin, water sports like kayaking and snorkeling at Pinanakpan Island’s coral reef and trekking to its viewpoint that offers a breathtaking vista of Balagbag Island and Sitio Tinago.
It is one of the destinations that the Department of Tourism is further developing through partnering with the local government to offer tour packages and accommodations that will cater to different types of travelers.
All these tourist destinations have health and safety protocols in place to protect locals and visitors alike. Everyone is expected to comply by wearing face masks, regularly washing their hands, and practicing physical distancing.
To check out up-to-date information regarding local destinations that are open and the safety protocols and requirements needed for each location, you may visit philippines.travel/safetrip or download the Travel Philippines app at app.philippines.travel, Apple Store, or Google Playstore.