Top Ten Beaches in the Philippines

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Alona Beach in Panglao Island, Bohol
A shot from Palawan's El Nido Beach
Sunrise in Pagudpud's secluded Maira-ira Beach

With more than 7,000 islands comprising the archipelago, it does not come as a surprise that the Philippines has some of the best beaches in Asia, if not the world. Choices vary from the commercialized to the exotic, to the simply breathtaking. Here are the ten best beaches in the Philippines that are definitely worth sunbathing in.

1. BORACAY ISLAND

Characterized by its fine sand and crystal clear waters, Boracay comes as a no-brainer in this list. Currently it is still the most famous and the most visited beach in the country; the destination of foreigners and Filipinos alike during summer. Boracay locals work hard to maintain the island's prestige as the number one summer getaway in the Philippines. Now highly commercialized, the island not only boasts of its beaches, but is also packed with bars, hotels, shopping areas, and other establishments. Boracay satisfies those urbanites who do not want to get away from the conveniences offered by the city, yet are longing for a relaxing summer by the beach.

2. BACUIT ARCHIPELAGO, PALAWAN

Palawan has always been a favorite getaway to the adventure-hungry traveler, for the province offers not only heavenly beaches, but also possesses breathtaking vistas and exciting biodiversity. One of these places is the Bacuit Archipelago in El Nido, inarguably one of the best beach landscapes in the world. Also awaiting the audacious traveler are features such as Miniloc Island's Big Lagoon, the most photographed sight in Palawan; and Matinloc Island's Secret Beach, only accessible by swimming through a keyhole slot.

Trivia: The American reality game show Amazing Race shot one of their episodes in Bacuit.

3. PANGLAO ISLAND, BOHOL

Panglao Island is a recent favorite among bakasyonistas, for who will not be enticed with some of the Philippines' clearest waters, paired with rich marine biodiversity and sands as fine and white as Boracay's? More importantly, Panglao Island is rarely visited by the volume of people that troop to Boracay, so your dream of a quiet summer by the beach can become a reality.

4. PAGUDPUD, ILOCOS NORTE

Pagudpud is hailed as the “Boracay of the North,” sans the gazillion tourists. The secluded Maira-ira Beach brings the vacationer a most sought-after relaxation, as there are hardly any visitors on these fantastic shores. One can also see a view of the Bangui Windmills, the magnificent power generators situated in Bangui Bay.

5. SIARGAO ISLAND

Siargao, a rare gem found in the province of Surigao del Norte, is steadily gaining popularity as one of the best surfing destinations in the world. Cloud 9, the venue for the yearly surfing competition called Siargao Cup, boasts of waves that can rival those of Hawaii's. Less adventurous tourists can enjoy the sand strip in General Luna, while spelunkers can explore the island's tunnels and caves.

6. MALAPASCUA ISLAND, CEBU

Until recently, this stunning island north of Cebu was not even on the municipal map. Now, Malapascua Island is hailed as one of the country's best beach destinations. It offers the curious tourist white-sand coasts, great food, and a no-fuss, low-key approach to tourism. Divers will surely be spoiled with the fascinating wreckage beneath the marine sanctuary of nearby Gato Island, as well as a rare treat of the appearance of the thresher shark off Monad Shoal.

7. NORTH PANDAN ISLAND, MINDORO OCCIDENTAL

Although Mindoro usually brings to mind the famous Puerto Galera, it is North Pandan Island that takes centerstage in our list. This tropical island gives the relaxing tourist complete escape from the busy city life. The island's laidback lifestyle together with the white sand beaches, prime diving spots, and sumptuous buffets are real treats for any vacationer. The costs are not too pricey, so even the traveler with the strictest budget can enjoy a good vacation.

8. CORON ISLAND, PALAWAN

Hailed as the most beautiful island of the Calamian group in Palawan, Coron Island gives tourists the best of inland and coastal swimming and diving experiences. Its main attractions are Lake Kayangan and Lake Barracuda, which are crystal-clear lakes filled with interesting features. The island also boasts of white sand beaches already typical of the coastlines of Palawan.

9. CAMIGUIN

Camiguin is a volcanic island located north of the main island of Mindanao. Because of its location, Camiguin is often overlooked as a tourist destination. But little do people know that this volcanic paradise offers some of the Philippines' best sceneries. Aside from its powder-like white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, one can enjoy the island's beautiful geography, which include the active Mount Hibok-Hibok and the scenic Katibawasan Falls.

10. ROMBLON ISLAND

Romblon is the must-see destination for one who has a taste for remote yet beautiful places. North of Boracay Island, Romblon boasts its own set of idyllic beaches, but with a more relaxed and simplified atmosphere. It is also a historic province, with its capital, also called Romblon, the site of 17th century fortifications, churches, and lighthouses.


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