Top 10 Beaches of the Philippines!

I love beaches! 

The travel bug bit me while I was sitting and watching the 270-degree view of the sea and sky on Kota Beach in Bantayan, Cebu in 2006. The feeling was surreal — I couldn’t believe that nature could be so awesome that no words could fully describe it. (You’ll know the feeling when you experience it.)

I realized that if there is a place like that one in Cebu, there must be a lot more places like it hidden in the 7,107 islands of the Philippines. This inspired Our Awesome Planet’s advocacy to inspire and touch Filipinos’ hearts and minds, to make them realize that our country is truly a beautiful place.

I’ve been to most of the best beaches in the Philippines, except for one (which is reserved for our 10th year wedding anniversary). Now, I would like to share with you our beach discoveries (after 4 years of traveling almost every other week!)

These are the Top 10 Beaches in the Philippines:

1. White Beach, Boracay Island

Boracay will always be the BEST beach place in the hearts of many Filipinos. The island is a feast for the senses – there’s gourmet food, a variety of cuisines, luxurious hotels, exotic spas, adventure sports, and the best nightlife on any island.

People go to Boracay not only for the powdery white sands and the energetic nightlife, but also to experience the bohemian beach spirit. This spirit lives on in the people who have decided to stay in Boracay despite the overdevelopment on this small island off the coast of Caticlan.

The people of Boracay are now more eco-conscious, and eco-friendly programs are being rolled out to protect the beauty of Boracay for the next generation.


2. Entalula Island, El Nido, Palawan

Entalula Island is the best beach island in the Bacuit Bay group of islands in El Nido, Palawan. It is a small, secluded area with limestone cliffs protecting the beach.

It is a private island owned by El Nido Resorts, but a small portion of the beach can be publicly accessed by island-hopping tourists from El Nido town.

The beach has sugar-fine, white sand that could very well match Boracay’s famous sand. I’m glad they decided not to build a resort on the island to maintain its pristine charm.

The best part of the Entalula Island experience is that you can request the resort to arrange lunch or dinner there for you. That way, you get to enjoy the beach privately and you can savor the time spent with your group or just your special someone.


3. Long Beach, San Vicente, Palawan

Long Beach in San Vicente, Palawan is said to be the last beach frontier in the Philippines, boasting a 14-kilometer stretch of white sand that can rival the best beach destinations in the world. Its beauty is raw and undeveloped (no big resorts yet).

The runway of the area’s international airport has already been developed, meaning it can accommodate the big international planes. People are just waiting for the terminal to be built so that the first official flights to San Vicente can commence.

A lot of people have already invested in the beach lots, but its future remains speculative. On a positive note, this time, we get the chance to develop a beach destination with resorts far away from the shoreline and constructed in an eco-friendly way.

One day, I hope to run barefoot across that entire 14-kilometer stretch – from end to end!


4. Daplac Cove, Boayan Island, San Vicente, Palawan

Daplac Cove is relatively undiscovered and rarely talked about, except maybe for the controversies regarding its ownership. I had the pleasure of visiting the island and the small solar-powered house built by Ditchay Roxas. I was blown away by the beauty of the entire cove.

Just imagine: fine, white Boracay-like sand beside aquamarine waters. You can actually open your eyes underwater and it wouldn’t hurt since there is a mix of fresh and seawater.

Daplac Cove also has a vibrant marine life. Sometimes, you can view the cove’s sea inhabitants very close to the shore.

The island is also a nature preserve for the endangered Tabon Bird and the vulnerable Palawan hornbills and eagles. The people of Boayan are protecting the island from illegal fishing and illegal cutting of the kulasi trees.


5. Matukad Island, Caramoan, Camarines Sur

Matukad Island offers a wonderful combination of the great features of other beaches. Its sandy beach can be compared to Boracay; its limestone cliffs are like those in Palawan; and its location in a group of islands is similar to that of Hundred Islands. It is located across the popular Gota Beach, which is the location shoot for the TV show Survivor. I like how the island is undeveloped and that it will remain that way.

From Matukad, Laos Island can be found nearby. This is quite a unique place because it has two beach coves that face different sides of the island. You can stand in the middle of the intersection of the beach and you’ll have different beach views on your left and on your right. Two limestone cliffs anchor the beach, adding to a visual feast you’ll never forget.


6. Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Islands, Camarines Norte

The next beach frontier: Calaguas Islands. The place is far from being developed but a lot of backpackers are already visiting the island. You have to cross open seas for two hours onboard a big fishing boat (which could carry a carabao from one island to another).

Once you arrive in Mahabang Buhangin, you’ll be captivated by its raw beauty. Its long, uninhabited cove gives you the feeling that you have arrived on the set of The Beach. If you plan to swim, be careful because the beach slopes down drastically. If you want to stay overnight on the island, you have to pitch a tent.

This is perfect for groups of adventurous people who want to bond while enjoying nature. Your only source of entertainment would be your shared life stories and funny misadventures along the way.


7. Club Paradise Beach, Coron, Palawan

The Calamianes Group of Islands in Coron, the northern part of Palawan, is known for its dive spots instead of its beaches. However, there is one island that seems to be blessed with all the white sand that surrounds the area.

The island has a fully developed resort called Club Paradise, which offers urban amenities like good buffet food and modern beach huts (that open to the beach). There, you can also find a dive resort, a videoke room, a jungle bar, and conference rooms for team building sessions.

But the best parts are the hiking trail to the topmost part of the island, the little nature museum, and the secret beach. 🙂


8. Balesin, Polillo Islands, Quezon

Balesin is a forgotten island. This used to be a popular beach escape during the Marcos era. All developments stopped at one point in time and the island became less accessible. There were only two ways to get there: via a 4-hour boat ride or a cost-prohibitive charter flight.

The Balesin resort was not well-maintained and the food needed a lot of improvement. Soon, the island resort was forced to cease operations. With its halted development, the beauty of its beaches became the centerpiece again.

Balesin’s beach is safe for kids because it slopes gradually. I was actually able to visit the place before it closed down. I remember hopping from one secluded beach cove to another on foot. It was very relaxing — all I did was lie down on the beach and enjoy nature’s splendor.

One of my best beach photographs was taken in Balesin. I’m glad to know the entire island is being developed by Alphaland in an eco-sustainable way. For sure, a lot of beach lovers can’t wait for its opening.


9. Kota Beach, Bantayan and White Beach Malapascua Island, Cebu

My first beach love: the twin island beaches of Malapascua and Bantayan. We would often go on an inter-island boat cruise on a rented banca just to experience both beaches on one trip.

Kota Beach in Bantayan is like a corner beach. There, you can view nature on both left and right sides – a great muni-muni spot to reflect on your life and its many aspects.

Malapascua Beach, on the other hand, is the “undeveloped Boracay”, where you can enjoy the beach without the noise of overdevelopment and the nightlife. It’s a place where you can escape, write a book, or simply lounge around incognito.


10. “Blue Lagoon” Maira-ira Beach, Pagudpud

Blue Lagoon in Maira-ira was once the hidden beach that was considered the “Boracay of the North”. It has a natural cove that turns turquoise blue when seen from a high vantage point. The lush foliage and rice fields surrounding it made its pristine condition even more charming.

However, such beauty was not able to escape enterprising developers. A big resort was built very close to the beach, promising urban amenities and beach sports activities. The resort started to destroy the Blue Lagoon by pouring cement over the rice fields and cutting down all the trees in its path.

I wouldn’t be surprised if, one day, most of the rice fields are cemented and, soon, Blue Lagoon will just be a distant memory for those who were lucky enough to experience its raw beauty.


UP NEXT: Amanpulo, Pamalican Island, Palawan

Amanpulo is the ultimate beach destination for beach lovers like me. With promises of secluded beaches, flawless service, and an experience that your mind, heart and pocket will never forget, who can resist?

I’ve never been to Amanpulo, though, so I’m still not including it in my Top 10. I’m reserving this experience for our 10th year anniversary. 🙂

Live an Awesome Life,

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Full Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. I’m not related to, connected with or compensated in any way by any of the beaches and establishments featured in this blog post. I’m not connected with, compensated by, or represented by any PR firm.

P.S. This article is one of the awesome articles in  My Awesome Life Book in 2011 (a Travel Log Planner). Since only 1,000 OAP friends will get a copy, I decided to share the article with all the loyal readers of OAP. 🙂 

My Awesome Life Book 2011 (a travel log planner – collector’s edition) – P599 
It will be available in Mercato Centrale by mid-February. For any questions, please email me directly at



103 thoughts on “Top 10 Beaches of the Philippines!

  1. If you want seclusion, try Pandan Island in Occidental Mindoro. Great dive site too! its a few hours away from the atoll reef. I highly recommend this place 🙂

  2. I so agree with your assessment about the new resort in Blue Lagoon. The place was perfect when we went there in 2005. We were back there just last December and the resort does not mesh well with the surroundings. Sabi nga ng husband ko, masmaganda sana kung kubo-kubo na lang, hindi cemento. 🙁

  3. hi,anton!
    where is the best place to stay in daplac cove?..ANG GANDAAA ng beach!just by looking at the picture I can tell na the place is very serene…
    There are also nice beaches in Siquijor and Camiguin. I was able to watch one episode of Korina’s show in channel 2 and they featured Siquijor..but I forgot to take note of the beach though.

  4. shouldnt it be titled “top ten beaches of the philippines that i have been to”. you have much more beaches to explore.

  5. these are commercial beaches!
    anton, you need to go to places less traveled =)
    boracay is definitely not what it used to be. dig 6 ft into the ground and you smell the sewage despite the “efforts” to rehabilitate it. if you take a photo from a helicopter, you will notice that parts of the beach near some resorts have different colors because of the pollution that seeps to the sand =(

  6. how about panglao island in bohol? the side of dumaluan beach resort is as nice as bora’s white sand..powdery! and not as crowded as bora so there are more fishes there since boholanos protect and develop fish sanctuaries..:D

  7. Hi Jayvee,
    Maybe you are right. I need to dig dipper on this issue and I'm giving the new Mayor of Boracay a chance to change things. Otherwise, Boracay will rot away and sayang naman.

  8. The blog title is a sweeping statement. People might think that these are indeed the top 10 when there’s so much more beautiful beaches not on this list, and yes far more spectacular — Ananwangin, Potipot, Naburot…. There should be a CLEAR & DEFINITIVE qualifier that this list is solely based on your own.

  9. Hi Marishka, I have been to anawangin, potipot, and naburot and I have also visited 6 of the beaches in Anton’s list and I have to say, the beaches you have mentioned all pale in comparison with the beaches in Anton’s list (maybe except for Belasin)…
    On a side note, potipot and caramoan islands beaches have strong potential, but my wife and I were REALLY DISAPPOINTED with the absence of marine life and destroyed corals. It will take a while for them to be noticed…

  10. very nice feature post. this is very timely in preparation for summer outings. i’ll frequent this awesome website from now on. (and yep, i’ve been hearing good feedback about Our Awesome Planet and i’ll be surprised if this blog haven’t won an award yet from any blog award-giving bodies)
    aajao 🙂

  11. Hi Anton, visit these beaches (meaning, got to have sand, and not necessarily an island):
    Guyam Island, Siargao
    Anguib, Cagayan Province
    Tambobong, Pangasinan
    Concepcion Islands, Iloilo
    Quezon Beach, Sulu
    Cantilan, Surigao del Sur
    Isla Reta, Samal
    Calanggaman, Leyte
    Sta. Cruz Islands, Zamboanga
    Malcapuya, Palawan
    I still consider Calaguas the best beach in the Philippines, even in the world.

  12. Hi RJ,
    Now you are talking beaches! I've noted down all your list in my blogging book. I'm visiting all of them this year.
    Thanks for the tip!

  13. Well right now, the only private resort there is owned by Ditchay. Discovery groups has plans to develop Daplac so for now it is an island hopping spot.

  14. El Nido is very very beautiful! I hope to visit that place one day. Oh my, I have some saving to do. I have been to Honda Bay and saw the gorgeous island there, but I am yet to explore El Nido.

  15. Hahahaha, Anton you’re gonna end up having a Top 50 list hehehe, andami kasing beach sa atin eh ‘no.
    Anyways, people can have their own Top whatever but I like yours. So far you’ve been hitting it on the money.

  16. hey anton,
    agree with your list! love it! bantayan is one of my fave too 🙂 you can also explore; coco grove in siquijor.. calangaman in leyte, camotes island off cebu.

  17. hi i’m so glad that you have included mahabang buhangin (long beach) in calaguas group of islands. 🙂 super nice place. 🙂 i hope you get to visit it again. 🙂 i’m from the province of vinzons, cam norte. 🙂

  18. hello you might wanna try to go down south of luzon, in matnog sorsogon… they have a wonderful white beach shoreline =)

  19. agree.. antique beaches illustrate what “crystal blue waters” mean… try maniguin island in culasi (?) antique, you can reach the island via boracay (nice dive sites too!)
    add banol beach in coron, palawan and patar beach in bolinao, pangasinan… interesting list… maganda talaga ang pilipinas! oops… the beaches of the island in Honda Bay might also be worth adding to the list ;D

  20. Honda Bay “islands” pala ;D
    moalboal’s (cebu) white beach would also be a wonderful treat to anyone who loves the beach!

  21. Yes, guyam in general luna in siargao is great. Siargao has hands down the best beaches in the phils. Beside it socorro island/bucas grandes is breathtaking as well.
    I visited beaches in the phils last yr from north luzon to northern mindanao and siargao is my favorite. Britannia surigao sur is a close second

  22. Great article Anton! I’ve been reading and spreading news about your blog since 2007. I find your topics very fresh and informative. I have never even heard of half the beaches you mentioned until now! wow…
    I wish you can publish your 10 best beaches by region though? Not all of us can afford to cross regions kasi? Sana lang…hehe
    What are your 10 best beaches for Luzon? (besides those mentioned above like anawangin, potipot, pagudpud etc…)

  23. hi anton,
    the link for buying the OAP planner online is already’s not available here anymore? 🙁
    I can’t buy one on the stores mentioned, except online, since I’m in Cebu..huhuhu!

  24. You have to include North Pandan Island in Mindoro among your Top 10 … Even Lonely Planet’s Jens Peters says so! And yes, definitely Amanpulo … nothing beats service, luxury, and beauty all rolled into one 🙂

  25. two thumbs up for San Vicente, Palawan! Been there a number of times to visit my relatives. im hoping that years from now it will not be as congested as Boracay. Tourists could also try Port Barton, a 30-minute to 1 hour boat ride from San Vicente

  26. Hi–I’m a woman traveling alone to the Philippines in a few weeks. My number one destination was El Nido, but it’s looking like too much of a pain in the butt to get to in the short time I’ll be there. Can you recommend a few beaches that are good for solo travelers? I’m looking for a place where I can stay in a bungalow or right on the beach, someplace where there will be other travelers to hang out with, and someplace with at least a decent chill nightlife. Live music is a plus, though I’m not interested in anything huge like clubbing or all-night raves. I just want to meet some cool new people (young people without families, hopefully!) and get a tan.
    Thanks so much!

  27. salagdoong beach and kagusuan beach. 🙂 all the beaches there are white sand and you can actually go around the whole island of siquijor in one day. last time i was there, i just rented a motorcycle (p350/day) and followed the shoreline. there are also caves, waterfalls, forests, and marine sanctuaries. too many things to see there. 🙂

  28. amanpulo is the best beach in the philippines, kumbaga pang game over, el nido is not good for honeymoon, they dont have a beach mismo sa resort nila, you’ll have to ride a banca pa, so over all amanpulo talaga, perfect 10, well except for the price pala hehe

  29. Hi Anton,
    Wow nice beaches, I am congratulating you for helping exposed the beauty of the Philippines. You are helping for our economy to go up. I would like to ask you that I will post this on my blog and sites too.
    More power to you

  30. Hi Anton,
    I’ve been searching the web for a nice spot to visit and i’ve been staring blank on all of the pics, wondering myself into it. (2 cents! :), i’m hoping that you can update your Blog and add more info about the places youve been to, more people now are into beach search + saving mode,.
    (this blog is awesome!)

  31. Anton,
    You might want to visit Gumasa in Glan, Sarangani. Powdery white-sand shorelines, crystal clear waters and awesome sunset. Plus, it is facing the Celebes Sea.

  32. Hi Anton and others,
    I am going to the Philippines mid April for two weeks and I have made a list of all your beaches. I am also wanting to do some island hopping, do you have any suggestions for which islands would be the best to see within a 14 day period? Your suggestions are greatly appreciated!

  33. Hi Anton! I enjoyed reading your page! 4 out of 10 for me, not bad! Let us know about Aman Pulo. Hoping to go there next year!

  34. we have a very beautiful island in Palompon Leyte that is called kalanggaman island unspoiled with two white sand bars east and west the island possesed fine white sands and very crystalline waters a true paradise.There is also Canigao island near matalom in leyte a unique island with pink and orange color of sands and a mixture of sea colors blue green and almost violet it’s beauty can be compared to the red sea near israel.There are also Cuatro islas near in hinunangan Leyte.this four islands are very magnificent with it’s talcum powder white sand with many sand bars this is also a paradise to behold with coral reefs abounding underwater.There is also Calicoan island near Guiuan Eastern Samar boasting of 7 kilometer fine sugary powder white sand still unspoiled with virgin forests and 13 lagoon lakes in the island rich with flora and fauna and surfing and diving are best.Calicoan island will be the next Boracay some investors will build condominiums there for retirees and need to include the islands of suluan,manicani,Homonhon island the first island step on by the portuguese navigator ferdinand magellan and after Limasawa island in Leyte where the first catholic mass was celebrated.

  35. i super love beach! its not that i know how to swim (unfortunately im not) but what matters to me is the feeling that as if i have all my freedom to do what i want. while walking on the shore..ohh i really love that..i wish i could go to every beaches that you listed..:) 🙂

  36. This is a good reminder of how beautiful the Philippines is. I’ve lived here for the last 8 years, the last 3 of which have been in Manila. When living in the city i often have days when i ask myself ‘why the hell am i living here’! lol.
    Its easy to forget if you live in manila that the Philippines is a beautiful country.As in mind blowing beauty!Looking forward to exploring the batangas area this easter 🙂

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