Amazing Beaches in The Philippines (That Aren't Boracay)

Philippines wooden sign with a beach on background
Philippines wooden sign with a beach on background | © Gustavo Frazao/Shutterstock

Despite its pristine waters and incredibly fine white-sand shores, Boracay is in danger of losing its charm if the public will continue to neglect its present environmental issues. As the Philippines finds ways to clean and save Boracay (they might even close it to tourists), here are 11 beaches which look just as amazing as the world-class island:

El Nido

Hidden beach in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

In recent years, El Nido has become a popular tourist destination when visiting the island of Palawan down South. Its jagged limestone landscapes, crystal clear waters, and immaculate beaches instantly catch one’s attention. Apart from enjoying the view and surrounding yourself with the bright blue waters on its beaches, you can go island-hopping, visit the hidden beaches, or go snorkeling. If you’d like to get a glimpse of the amazing sunset in the area, head over to the beachfronts of Nacpan, Las Cabañas, and Marimegmeg.


Tropical beach background from Alona Beach at Panglao Bohol island

Only a ferry ride away from the Queen City of the South, Panglao, Bohol Island is considered a top beach destination within reach of Cebu. Connected to the mainland home of the famous Chocolate Hills, Panglao has beautiful white-sand beaches, stunning coral reefs, and world-class diving spots for beach lovers. Its clean waters are also said to be ‘better than Boracay,’ according to the Philippines‘ Environmental Secretary Roy Cimatu. The most well-known beach in the area is Alona Beach, as tourists fall for its long stretch of powdery-white sand, tourist-friendly activities, and get a chance to witness the best sunset on the island.


Beach of Santa Fe in Bantayan Island, Philippines

When you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life in Cebu City, head over to the peaceful island of Bantayan situated on the province’s Northern tip. Made up of three municipalities, namely Bantayan, Madridejos and Santa Fe, Bantayan is known for its fantastic sunset view and colonial churches whereas Madridejos is a fishing village. Among the three, the municipality of Santa Fe welcomes guests with its shimmering azure waters and white-sand beaches. Apart from enjoying the island’s sea paradise, it would definitely be hard to resist exploring the mangrove gardens, cave pools, and lively underwater environment.


Pagudpud Beach, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

Planning a trip up north anytime soon? The beaches of Pagudpud are an attraction not to be missed on any traveler’s bucket list. Apart from the area being one of the best spots for surfing in the Philippines, its white-sand beaches and crystal waters would remind you of Boracay. And, unlike the crowded Boracay, this coastal resort town on the northernmost tip of Luzon is more tranquil because there’s minimal tourist development. Of course, there’s a lot you can do aside from swimming or surfing. There are areas perfect for jump-off points and other touristy attractions to visit, such as the Kapurpurawan Rock Formations, Bangui windmills, Burgos Lighthouse, and Patapat Viaduct.


Palaui Island

Within the rural town of Sta. Ana in Cagayan lies a remote yet mystique island of Palaui. While it’s often an overlooked paradise in the northeastern tip of Luzon, it’s definitely a must-visit island given that it’s truly unspoiled – hotels and resorts are nowhere in sight and the only option is to go camping. Thus, Palaui gives travelers the chance to reconnect with nature while enjoying the simple life. The scenic views of its undisturbed greens, white sandy beaches, and cool waters for swimming indeed make the trip worth it.


Boat and trees in the Caramoan Islands

If you love the beauty of Boracay yet are hoping for an island that is serene, less crowded and still well-preserved, then there’s no doubt you’ll fall in love with the islands of Caramoan. Sounds familiar? The islands became popular after it served as home to the contestants of the reality show ‘Survivor’ in 2012. Located on the southern end of Camarines Sur in the Bicol region, its group of beautifully unexploited islands and islets within the Pacific Ocean leave one in awe. Its fine white-sand beaches, limestone cliffs, lagoons, and rich marine life promise a perfect tropical adventure on the island!


Camping on the beach in Calaguas, Philippines

Next to neighboring province Camarines Sur, there lies Camarines Norte. And, one can definitely say that Bicolandia is blessed with hidden gems – unspoiled wonders of paradise are also found on the islands of Calaguas. Almost a two-hour boat ride away from the mainland, powdery-white sand beaches and pristine waters welcome guests, immediately introducing them to a relaxing ambience. While Calaguas is becoming a favorite among beach adventurers and the once quiet coastline is now full of life, its locals are all for protecting and safeguarding the natural paradise. If you’re planning to go there soon, don’t forget to visit the Halabang Baybay/Mahabang Buhangin (Long Beach)!

Apo Island

Apo island, Philippines

For the perfect beach vacation, one definitely looks forward to the fine, white-sand shores, crystal clear waters, and a refreshing environment. Negros Oriental’s Apo Island has more than that and it offers the best snorkeling and scuba diving sites in the Philippines. That’s because it has a protected marine sanctuary and if you take a chance to plunge into the waters, you’ll see the rich, colorful marine life and brimming coral reefs with over 600 species of fish underneath. Plus, get a chance to experience swimming with the sea turtles and it’ll definitely be the highlight of your Apo Island adventure!


White island, Camiguin island, Philippines

If the island groups of Luzon and Visayas take pride in some of their unspoiled, beautiful beaches, the majestic Mindanao has its own fair share of admirable natural wonders. Located in the northern tip of Mindanao, this pear-shaped volcanic island is home to a beautiful sandbar that you can refer to as uninhabited or naked. That’s because there’s no man-made structure nor trees found within Medan Island, which is also known as White Island. If you’re not visiting Boracay’s White Beach, maybe you should consider heading to Camiguin’s White Island instead! Apart from its powdery white sand and crystal clear waters, there are a lot of activities to do – go hiking, discover a marine treasure, or chase waterfalls!


Samal Island of Davao, Philippines

Another island in Mindanao that’s teeming with vacationers and sun worshippers, especially during the summer season, is the Island Garden City of Samal. Situated right at the middle of Davao Gulf, Samal has been blessed with pristine white-sand beaches, marine wonders, and wildlife attractions. Resorts on the island range from budget-friendly ones to pricey, exclusive ones. And while there are areas where Internet signal is quite poor, you won’t mind because this so-called ‘little paradise on earth’ will surely give you a much needed detox from life’s complexities and let you have a fun, relaxing getaway!


Sunset in Siargao

Of course, the list won’t be complete without including the teardrop-shaped island of Siargao. Because of its strategic location along the country’s eastern coast facing the Pacific Ocean, the island gets solid swells that surfers definitely enjoy. Hence, it earned the title as the ‘Surfing Capital of the Philippines.’ Its gorgeous beaches, aquamarine lagoons, lush mangroves and the famous surf spot called Cloud 9 continue to lure in travelers to explore what the island has to offer. Away from the surf spots of General Luna, you don’t want to miss out on visiting the surrounding scattered islets which are as beautiful as the main island.

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