One of the most popular activities when coming to Philippines is to visit beaches. With over 1700 islands around the country, Philippines owns numerous stunning beaches which can make your trip memorable.
Boracay is a small island 315 km south of Manila in the province of Aklan. Famous for its powdery white sands and pristine blue waters, Boracay is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. It has over 350 resorts and about 2,000 rooms to accommodate guests, which range from luxury hotels to budget-friendly inns.
This island has something for everyone, from water sports, scuba diving, and snorkeling, to nightlife with great pubs, bars, and restaurants, to a relaxing and tranquil environment.
If you do go scuba diving or snorkeling, you’ll see many species of aquatic life that are indigenous to the Philippines. You could also take the opportunity to go helmet diving, which is where you simply put on a helmet with glass plates, climb a ladder down ten feet to a (shallow) ocean floor, and walk around as if you were on land.
El Nido, Palawan
There are about 50 white sand beaches on the island, five types of forest, three major marine habitats, and many different species of birds. The water is also rich in sea life, which includes marine mammals like dolphins and dugongs of which six are endemic, over one hundred species of coral, and almost one thousand different kinds of fish.
El Nido is also the largest marine reserve and sanctuary in the Philippines with a total area of 903.21 sq. km. It is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the country and its flora and fauna is protected, along with its geologic formations such as its limestone cliffs, home of the swiftlets (apodidae birds whose nests are entirely built from threads of their own saliva, an ingredient also used for the famous bird’s nest soup).
Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
A UNESCO-protected site since 1973, Puerto Galera is located in Oriental Mindoro Province about 130 km south of Manila. The name Puerto Galera is used among travelers to refer to the area surrounding the town as well, including Sabang and White Beach.
Puerto Galera boasts beautiful white sand beaches that are good for swimming, relaxation, snorkeling, and sailing. It also offers one of the most diverse diving sites in Asia and has the densest population of marine species in the world according to research conducted by the University of the Philippines.
Samal Island, Davao City
Samal island is also known as the Garden City of Samal. It’s approximately 2 kilometers away from Davao City, the capital of Mindanao, and a whopping 1400 kilometers from Manila.
It has the distinction of being one of the most developed vacation destinations in the Philippines and has a good number of white and pink sand beaches as well as world-class resorts including Kaputian Beach Resort, the famous Pearl Farm, and the Paradise Island.
With 70 different resorts around the island, you can take your pick from the best (or not best, depending on your budget). It also boasts numerous marine reefs and crystal blue waters good for relaxation.
Panglao Island, Bohol
Located off of Bohol, Panglao is similar to Boracay, boasting fine white sands and crystal clear blue waters. The diving spots around the island are among the best in the Philippines and marine species are abundant on the island, with about 250 different species of crustaceans and 2500 species of mollusks, some of which are newly discovered.
In fact, the Panglao Marine Biodiversity Project discovered that Panglao Island has more marine species and biodiversity than both Japan and the Mediterranean Sea combined. Currently, Panglao Island is being developed and the government has plans to build an airport to further boost the island’s tourism.
Alona Beach, the best-known beach on Panglao island, can be congested and overpriced, but has some great diving. Dumaluan and Doljo beaches are also popular.
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