Jenny is a girl who loves many things. She loves street foods, traveling, nature, music, cats, and dogs! She's crazy about purple & writing!
I've always known that my country, the Philippines, is a piece of paradise on earth. But it was only when I started working and earning my own money that I got to travel. I quickly realized that my home country is truly unlike any other place. The more I traveled, the more I discovered the beauty of my homeland.
The Philippines is made up of more than 7,500 islands (only 2,000 are inhabited), each one offering a rich biodiversity ranging from tropical rain forests, mangroves, and coral reefs to mountain ranges, world-class beaches, beautiful islands, and a diverse range of flora and fauna. Conservation International identified it as one of 17 megadiverse countries in 1998.
The country also offers one of the longest white sand coastlines in the world, which is one of its many tourist attractions. So, if you’re looking for a tropical getaway and still don’t have a destination in mind, odds are that you’ll find something to like in the Philippines.
The Top 10 Beaches of the Philippines
- El Nido, Palawan
- Boracay, Aklan
- Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
- Samal Island, Davao City
- Panglao Island, Bohol
- Coron Island, Palawan
- Palaui Island, Cagayan Valley
- Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
- Siargao Island, Surigao Del Norte
- Mactan Island, Cebu
1. El Nido, Palawan
According to CNNGo, El Nido in Palawan is one of the Philippines’ best beaches and island destinations because of its "extraordinary natural splendor and ecosystem." It is frequently called the Philippines' last frontier and is ranked No. 14 among CNN's 100 Best Beaches Around the World. For two years in a row (2016 and 2017), Palawan bagged the No. 1 spot for the "best island in the world" according to the international travel magazine Travel + Leisure. Conde Nast Traveller also listed El Nido as the fourth best beach in the world for 2017.
Forests, Marine Habitats, and Limestone Cliffs
There are about 50 white sand beaches on the island, five types of forests, three major marine habitats, and many different species of birds. The water is also rich in sea life, including: marine mammals like dolphins and dugongs (of which six are endemic); over 100 species of coral; and almost 1,000 different kinds of fish.
El Nido is also the largest marine reserve and sanctuary in the Philippines, with a total area of 903.21 square kilometers. It is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the country, and its flora and fauna are protected. It also has amazing 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.
- When to Visit: The best time to visit is December through March, because the weather is nice and dry and there are fewer visitors. If you're traveling during Holy Week or high season (April and May), be prepared for more tourists and higher prices.
- How to Get There (by air): For more private and high-end flights, Islands Transvoyager Inc. fly from Manila to El Nido directly. The small private airport in El Nido is only serviced by a chartered aircraft. The most popular way is to fly from Manila to Puerto Princesa, then drive to the tip of mainland Palawan. You’ll ride on an outrigger boat to reach parts of El Nido. SEAIR also flies from Manila to Taytay daily. You can also fly from Manila to Puerto Princesa, then take a four-hour bus ride to Taytay. (Update: There are now flights available from Puerto Princesa to El Nido and back, so it is now more convenient. Compared to a four- to five-hour van commute, a flight takes only 40 minutes.)
- How to Get There (by car): From San Jose Terminal in Puerto Princesa, there are buses bound for El Nido. Travel time is five to six hours.
- What to Do: Scuba dive, snorkel, relax on the beach, visit a secret lagoon, eat bird’s nest soup, and take an island hopping tour.
- What It’s Known for: Bird’s nest soup, beautiful lagoons, limestone cliffs.
2. Boracay, Aklan
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.
Water Sports, Nightlife, and Helmet Diving
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 10 feet to a (shallow) ocean floor, and walk around as if you were on land.
Important Update: Boracay's rehabilitation is over and it has since been re-opened. The island has new set of strict rules for its visitors to ensure that tourism on the island remains organized and properly handled. It is necessary to check with your travel agency about these rules before going to Boracay.
The White Beach
The best and most famous beach in Boracay is the White Beach, which has been referred to by many as the "finest beach in the world.” In 2012, Boracay Island was named “Best Island in the World” by international travel magazine Travel + Leisure. Puka, on the northern side of Boracay, was also on CNN's 100 Best Beaches Around the World.
For 2017, international travel magazine Travel + Leisure ranked Boracay island as the third best island in the world. In 2017, the famous travel site TripAdvisor ranked Boracay's white beach as the 24th best beach in the world.
While the western side of the island is known for the White Beach, the eastern side is home to Bulabog Beach, which is a great place for extreme sports like kite and windsurfing, since it has strong winds all year round.
- When to Visit: Waters are calm off of White Beach from November through May. Monsoon winds blow June through October. Unless you enjoy being soaked, aim to visit between November and May, though you'll have fewer crowds June through early October.
- How to Get There: There are no direct flights into Boracay. To get there, you either need to fly into Caticlan (the closest airport) or Kalibo (an airport further away that sometimes offers cheaper flights). You’ll then need to take a vehicle to Caticlan Jetty port for the 10–20 minute boat ride to Boracay.
- What to Do: For extreme sports, visit the east side of the island for your fair share of kite and windsurfing. For the resort lifestyle and relaxing on the beach, stay on the west side and party it up at night.
- What It’s Known for: The White Beach, kite and windsurfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, helmet diving, nightlife
3. 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.
- When to Visit: Visit in the high season (April through June) if you don't mind the heat and the crowds, or during the low season if you don't mind slightly colder weather.
- How to Get There: Puerto Galera is pretty easy to get to from Manila by car and only takes about three hours. Simply drive through South Luzon Expressway, turn right to STAR Tollgate, and then head to Batangas Pier. When you get there, you can either park your car and ride a ferry going to Puerto Galera or have your car ride a RoRo (roll on, roll off) ship, so you can take your car with you to Puerto Galera.
- What to Do: The marine sanctuary makes for great diving, which is what Puerto Galera is known for. You can also do your standard beach and resort activities: water sports, spa days, lounging, etc. This is not your best destination for incredible food, however.
- What It’s Known for: It’s often considered a good alternative to Boracay if you haven’t got the money or the time to get there.
4. Samal Island, Davao City
Samal Island is also known as the Garden City of Samal. It’s approximately 2 km away from Davao City, the capital of Mindanao, and a whopping 1400 km from Manila.
It has the distinction of being one of the most developed vacation destinations in the Philippines. It 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 the best, depending on your budget). It also boasts numerous marine reefs and crystal blue waters, both of which are good for relaxation.
- When to Visit: Expect crowds and heat in high season and August, and cooler weather from December through February but fewer crowds.
- How to Get There: Fly into Davao City. From Davao City, it’s very easy to take a ferry to reach the island.
- What to Do: Enjoy relaxing at a resort and exploring the many islets and beaches. Also, check out the vanishing island, which disappears as the tide comes in.
- What It’s Known for: There are some truly excellent places for diving, along with all the other excitements that come with island life, like hiking or lounging on the beach. If you can, you should check out Montfort Bats Conservation Park, where you can see more than 2 million fruit bats, a number which has earned it a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most fruit bats in a cave. Also check out the highest mountain in the country, Mount Apo. Visit the pink beach and indulge in the many tropical fruits that are only found in Davao.
5. 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. Marine species are abundant on the island, with about 250 different species of crustaceans and 2,500 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 it has some great diving. Dumaluan and Doljo beaches are also popular.
- When to Visit: The dry, cool season between December and March is the perfect time to go. The summer heat between April and July breaks up with the onset of the rainy season.
- How to Get There: Panglao Island is accessible from Bohol, which you can reach by flying into Tagbilaran Airport (about 90 minutes from Manila). It takes about 30 minutes by land to get to Panglao.
- What to Do: If you like architecture, you should check out Our Lady of the Assumption Church, which combines Byzantine and Romanesque influences. It has some impressive frescoes, as well as a small well that is believed to hold miraculous healing water. It was slightly damaged in the 2013 earthquake but is still worth a visit.
- What It’s Known for: Explore the underground lagoon at Hinagdanan Cave. Visit the famous chocolate hills in Carmen. Rent a motorcycle and explore the island. Ride a floating restaurant boat, and cruise along the green waters of Loboc river while being serenaded by Filipino musicians and eating delicious seafood.
6. Coron Island, Palawan
Coron is both the name of an island off the coast of Busuanga and the name of Busuanga’s largest town. Coron Island is inhabited by the Tagbanua people and is a gem of natural beauty, with steep limestone cliffs, white sand beaches, and seven mountain lakes. It's actually been listed among the top 10 best scuba diving sites in the world by Forbes Travel magazine.
In addition, behind majestic rock formations, there lies a secret lagoon with crystal blue-green waters encircled with limestone formations and white sand shores. This secret beach is really a paradise! You’ll have to make an effort to get there, however, either by climbing over cliffs or swimming through a sea tunnel. It's totally worth it though!
- When to Visit: Though Coron isn't as packed with tourists as other beaches, visiting in the low season can still be nice to avoid the chance of crowds.
- How to Get There: Fly into Busuanga and then take a van to Coron (takes about 45 minutes). You should also know that no one can stay on the island overnight, though lodging can be found in the city of Coron, Busuanga.
- What to Do: Go scuba diving! This is one of the best places in the world to do it.
- What It’s Known for: Beautiful limestone cliffs and shipwreck diving sites.
7. Palaui Island, Cagayan Valley
Placing Palaui Island at No. 10 of their Top 100 Best Beaches Around the World list, CNN described it as a raw beauty where nature unfolds with flora and fauna, volcanic rocks, powdery white sands, and rich marine biodiversity.
You won’t find hotels or other luxury items here; it is literally an untouched paradise. If you want to stay, you’ll have to find a homestay or camp on the beach (though camping is now prohibited near the lighthouse).
- When to Visit: Similar to Coron.
- How to Get There: Make your way to Sta. Ana, Cagayan, either by bus or car, from Manila. If you fly, you can fly in to Tuguegarao or take a bus the rest of the way. Once in Sta. Ana, make your way to San Vicente, and then you can hire a boat to Palaui.
- What to Do: Hike, beach bum, and see the lighthouse.
- What It’s Known for: Unspoiled beaches and a colonial lighthouse. Also, the popular American television show Survivor filmed a season there in 2013.
8. Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte is often referred to as the Boracay of the North because of its fine white sands, numerous water activities (for those who are staying at private resorts), and of course crystal blue waters.
Unlike Boracay, however, it is a simple municipality. This is not the place to go for shopping or malls. In fact, there aren’t even any ATMs, so make sure to carry cash with you when you visit the place. Its Blue Lagoon beach is now becoming more famous, but not many tourists go there yet.
If you drive to Pagudpud from Laoag City in Ilocos Norte, there are many attractions on the way, such as the Patapat Viaduct and the Bangui Wind Farm. You can also visit the Kabigan Falls and the Kapurpurawan Rock formation.
- How to Get There: You can fly into Laog City in Ilocos Norte, and then hire a bus or a car from there. Many hotels and tour agencies include Pagudpud as part of their itinerary as well. This area is a nice place to drive, so many tourists rent cars as well.
- What to Do: See the Bangui Windmills and the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. Or just relax on the beach! Head to Vigan City, which is a few hours away from Pagudpud, and be lost in time as you explore the old Spanish houses along Calle Crisologo. Eat the famous Vigan empanada and longanisa! Vigan city is now officially one of the wonder cities in the world, so make sure to put it on your list as well.
- What It’s Known for: Its beautiful white sand that is reminiscent of Boracay. It's also one of the top kitesurfing destinations in the Philippines.
9. Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte
Siargao island is a tear-shaped island in Surigao del Norte. It has the largest mangrove forest in Mindanao, which is a source of rich marine biodiversity. The island is a great location for diving, snorkeling, and most specially, surfing.
It's actually a surfer's paradise. Adrenaline-seekers from around the globe enjoy the large waves that form at Cloud Nine Reef, driven by winds that flow uninterrupted over the Pacific Ocean. This reef is where the annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup is held.
- When to Visit: Don’t come between June and October (unless you’re a surfer). Better to come in the offseason or before the big waves hit. If you're a surfer, of course, this is reversed.
- How to Get There: You can fly to Siargao Island, take a boat or a ferry, or take a bus.
- What to Do: Go surfing! Also, anything nature-related. This is the nature-lover’s destination and isn’t overrun with hotels, bars, and shops like some other destinations. Game fishing is also big.
- What It’s Known for: The Cloud 9 waves (the thick, hollow tubes that form at Cloud 9 Reef).
10. Mactan Island, Cebu
Just recently, Cebu island was ranked sixth among the "best islands in the world" by Travel + Leisure, an international travel magazine. Located in Cebu, Mactan Island is home to 430,000 people. It is the most densely populated island in the Philippines and has many tourists spots and attractions. As a coral island, Mactan offers rich marine biodiversity, which is good for diving and snorkeling.
While you’re there, you should be sure to island hop, since the island is composed of numerous islets. There are also numerous water sports activities, like jet skiing, sailing, and parasailing.
- When to Visit: Try to visit in the offseason to avoid overcrowding. January through May are the driest months, and you should expect rain the rest of the year. Even the driest months have rain though, since Cebu is one of the wettest areas of the Philippines.
- How to Get There: You can fly or take a boat to Mactan. Mactan Island is also connected by two bridges to Cebu City.
- What to Do: Live up the resort life in one of several world-class resorts, check out the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary, or visit the aquarium—the only one in the Visayas region.
- What It’s Known for: A popular in-and-out holiday destination with plenty of world-class resorts to choose from. Also, check out other nearby towns, as they offer loads of potential for nature trippers like waterfalls, lagoons, lakes, beaches, and mountains.
The Beaches on the Map
Questions & Answers
Question: Is Boracay still closed? I am planning to visit the Philippines in April-May 2019.
Answer: Boracay has long since been opened and you can enjoy it when you visit in April. But you need to have an advanced hotel booking before you are allowed to set foot on the island. There are some stricter rules now to ensure the protection of the island from mass tourism. I suggest consulting with your travel agency first when planning for your vacation.
Question: I was wondering if the beaches in the Phillipenes are good to travel by the end of September or early October? I know Boracay is closed for a bit. What is the best island that has beautiful resorts for us to be beach bums and for our little one to crawl around?
Answer: The rainy season in the Philippines starts in June and lasts until November, so your plan of going may be subject to typhoons and rainy weather. It can also be bright and sunny depending on where you go. Boracay is indeed closed for six months. I can recommend Panglao in Bohol. There are many resorts in Bohol to choose from. If you have more money to spend, El Nido would be nice. For a more exotic experience, Siargao is highly recommended.
Question: Should I visit both El Nido and Mactan Island? Which island is easier to travel to directly from Manila? Is it easy to travel between these islands?
Answer: Mactan Island is easier to get to from Manila. Traveling to El Nido from Cebu is possible.
Question: Which one do you recommend to spend 2-3 nights leaving from Panglao... Coron or Siargao? From either of these locations, we will be heading to Manila to catch home abroad.
Answer: Both Coron and Siargao are beautiful and lots of places there to explore. It really depends on what you want to see and do. Both have direct flights to Manila so going to Manila is not a problem from both areas. If you love to surf and the beach, Siargao would be a perfect choice. But if you want to go diving, island hopping, and trekking, I would recommend Coron. So it is up to you to decide what you really want to do for three days.
Question: Which island of the Philippines should I visit in June?
Answer: June is the start of the rainy/typhoon season in the Philippines but typhoons can be anywhere in the country so check travel advisories first before traveling. Palawan is accessible all year round as well as Cebu and Bohol.
Question: What would be the best island in the Philippines?
Answer: There is no definite answer to that because the popular islands (Palawan and Boracay) are not always the best and the most beautiful. This question is subjective because what is best for me may not be for others. But they are all beautiful. The people make all destinations memorable. Palawan is a crowd favorite especially El Nido.
Question: What is the best place for soul searching when visiting the Philippines?
Answer: Tanay, Rizal is a good place for soul-searching and it is a couple of hours away from Manila. Tagaytay is also a nice place with temperate weather. If you like to wander off to sea then I suggest Puerto Galera but travel to this place constitutes a ferry ride and quite along road travel. From Manila it is more or less 4 hours.
Question: Have you tried to visit Bantayan Island in Northern Cebu?
Answer: Yes, and I loved it there. It is beautiful and laidback. Exploring the island on a motorcycle made it all the more exciting and awesome.
Question: Where is the best place to visit the Philippines in October?
Answer: October can still be a rainy season in the Philippines but places like Bohol, Cebu, and Palawan are not always battered with typhoons so you can visit these places even in October. I do recommend checking weather advisories first when planning your trip.
© 2013 Jennifer Gonzales
Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on April 16, 2019:
Wow! I feel homesick seeing those stunning beaches. I have been to some of those places you have mentioned. Thanks for sharing.
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on January 01, 2019:
I agree. Bantayan is indeed stunning...I was there last November...With El Nido and Boracay, it is indeed busy now but still not as crowded when compared to Thailand and Bali. Plus there are so many islands in Palawan to go to to escape the crowd..:)
Jamie Farrar on December 30, 2018:
el nido sadly over developed and noisy now, same with Boracay,
Bantayan island is a hidden gem!
Rick marak on May 26, 2018:
God's gifts this beach
Liz Westwood from UK on May 18, 2018:
Wow! Great article and beautiful images. Only yesterday I talked to a friend, who has a son living in the Philippines. Having read your article, I can see why he doesn't want to return to the UK.
T on March 10, 2018:
Try guimaras island a lot of beaches and white sand 2 and sweet and best mangoes n d world try it
HB on February 02, 2018:
try Kalanggaman Island in Leyte
Zippo on January 20, 2018:
Barocay is now overcrowded and over developed. We have been around 15 times over the years and each visit ot gets worse. The beach itself has also deteriorated and is often full of algi. When we first visited the island it had only a few larger hotels and most accom was small nipa huts. The entertainment was one guy with a guitar and an amp singing Bob Marley songs. Now you can't hold a conversation without shouting.
Also Puerto Gallera at number 3, really? You failed to mention it's a sex tourists weekend escape from Manila and is too seedy for us.
We would like to have seen Bantayan island on the list because we haven't been but heard it was like what Boracay was like 20 years ago.
Only our opinion, don't take it personal.
Archie Roberts on January 15, 2018:
We visited Amanpulo Beach Resort in pamalican island for 3 days. It is a wonderful place to relax. I'm just curious you haven't written about it.
G on January 11, 2018:
@Niklas if you are on a budget but wanted diving, there are many diving spot in Batangas. You can search it. :)
Nadia on January 04, 2018:
Hey Jen! Nice article
Jared Stasch on December 26, 2017:
Boracay is definitely not the #1 beach in Philippines. It is the number one tourist trap in the Philippines.
Niklas on December 22, 2017:
firstly, thanks! It looks like you really put effort in it even though these might be well known beaches to some travellers.
I hope you can help me with a question:
Me and my girlfriend are going too travel the Philippines from early January for 2/2.5 weeks and have no plan yet. Maybe you could advise us a nice, eco-friendly and affordable route? :)
We both love diving, quiet and not crowded beaches, waterfalls and snorkelling. Further, we are students and this will be the last days of our SEA trip so we might come with a small budget.
Thanks for your help!
Readmikenow on December 18, 2017:
I enjoyed reading this. I was in the Philippines many years ago when there was a US Navy Base in Subic Bay. I encourage people to see the Philippines as it is a beautiful place to visit. I had a chance to see the Banaue Rice Terraces. Absolutely stunning.
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on December 17, 2017:
Hey Marilyn, thank you for your comment. I have not tried renting a car yet for the whole duration of the trip. I usually rent a van or a car for day tours only and i rent a scooter or a motorbike for our daily use. Scooter rental range from 400-700 per day depending where you are. If you love to explore beautiful beaches I suggest you focus your search in the Visayas region. Cebu Island (not the city) offers a lot of beautiful islands with nice beaches and also Bohol. Negros Island is also high on my list of places to go to.
Marilyn Bilodeau from Abbotsford BC on December 14, 2017:
Hi..first thank you for all the great suggestions you are providing.
We are flying from Canada and going to the phillipines for one month. What can you suggest to make our trip memorable. We love discovering new beaches and would love to get around to see as much as possible
Also how much should we expect a car to cost, or a scooter..trying to work our trip as much as we can from Canada
Thank you so much for all the suggestions we’ve read so far
Adam on September 29, 2017:
dear Jennifer, thank you so much! it helps me a lot! i will look for a place to stay somewhere near Coral Garden. i hope it is not expensive. :)
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on September 27, 2017:
Hey Adam, Sabang beach is not recommended because there is too many boats in the area and the water quality is not that great. The white beach area is also not a good place because it is too busy and the corals there have not recovered yet. I suggest Coral Garden, Long Beach, Manila Passage, Giant Clams, andBig Lalaguna Beach areas. Those are very good for snorkeling...hope it helps.
Adam on September 26, 2017:
Dear Jennifer, which side of Puerto Galero should i focus for the snorkelling? or do i have to do island hopping there? im thinking of staying at Sabang beach. do they have beautiful corals around the beach? thank you :)
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on September 25, 2017:
Hey Adam, for snorkeling (scuba as well if you like), the best and affordable places would be Anilao, Batangas and Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro. Puerto Galera offers a bit of everything like beautiful white sandy beach, beautiful sunsets, colorful reefs and active nightlife. Similar but less expensive than Boracay. Anilao, Batangas is more laidback but under the waters, it is spectacular. It is closer to Manila (just 2-3 hours away by land transport). So it is your choice...
Adam on September 25, 2017:
hey jennifer. what a stunning post you wrote here! quick question, where is the best and affordable place among those to stay and for shore snorkellingaround corals? im planning to stay at one place just to relax and snorkel. thanks :)
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on September 08, 2017:
Hey Sharon, If you love the combination of beach and surfing, i recommend Siargao. And it is best to go to Manila first before heading to Siargao Island. You can also fly to Cebu and go to Siargao from there but the options for flights might be limited...
Sharon on September 07, 2017:
Oh cool, so I want to fly form Hong Kong to Phillipines and want to enjoy the beaches, and maybe learn to surf. Where should I go and should Ibook my ticket to manilla or somewhere else? Any recommendations...
Heidi Sediki on August 28, 2017:
Thank you Jennifer
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on August 28, 2017:
Hey Heidi, Manila has everything. You can buy a lot of cheap stuff in the malls and even branded clothes are quite cheap as well. A lot cheaper compared to western standards. We have wet or open air market just like the ones in Bangkok. If you stay in Makati, i suggest you check Robinson's malls and SM malls because they have terrific discounts. You can buy a dress (branded) for only 6 dollars for example. It just depends on where you look. I do not want to suggest flea markets because it is a bit risky especially if you are a foreigner so for your safety I suggest you stay in the malls. FOr your second question, For me, Bohol has more to offer than Malay because the most famous place in Malay is Boracay island. In Bohol, you can do more than just beach bumming. So from Manila, i suggest you go to palawan and then take a flight from Palawan (Puerto Princesa) to Cebu and from Cebu, you can take a fast ferry to Bohol (Tagbilaran). The ferry ride is 2 hours. If you ask me which is more beautiful between Malay and Bohol, they are both beautiful actually. But I prefer Bohol because it is more quiet compared to Boracay and there are more things to see and do in Bohol. The beaches in Bohol are also very beautiful. I suggest you stay along Dumaluan beach in Bohol. It is more beautiful than the famous alona beach in my opinion. Less busy as well. By the way, if you have more questions, you can email me instead. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heidisediki on August 28, 2017:
Thank you so much for your advise
In the case I rather fly to Manila first for the shopping :)
Do they have like cheap market like bangkop? Like fake brand clothing ?
After that ,What would you than suggest ?
Is bohol similar to Malay ? Which is more beautiful?
Sorry for all those question
I just so happy to find someone like you to help
Thank you in advance
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on August 28, 2017:
Hey Heidi. If you love shopping then Manila is really the best place to go. I suggest you dedicate 2 days in Manila for shopping. Makati or BGC are two safest places you can stay in where malls are everywhere. If you will arrive in the Philippines via Cebu, you only have very limited time slots to go to Bohol or Palawan or Malay. The best and most comfortable way is still to arrive in the Philippines via Manila. Then stay in Manila for 2 days so you can do a lot of shopping. Or you can also do the shopping before you leave the country (whichever you prefer). Anyway, if you decide to arrive via Cebu, then I suggest you head first to Palawan (either Puerto Princesa Or Busuanga) then stay in Palawan for 1 week and then from Palawan you can go to Cebu and head to Malay (Caticlan). You can take a ferry from Cebu to Bohol if you like to see Bohol. Then from Bohol you can head back to Manila (do your shopping for 2 days) or just stay there for a night and then head back to your home the next day. Just remember that flights from Cebu to other places may be cheaper but you will not have more options to choose your flight. Direct flights from Cebu to Palawan, Bohol or Malay are very limited. I suggest you constantly check the website of Cebu Pacific Air and Air Asia for more cheaper options. I hope i was able to help a bit. :)
Heidi Sediki on August 27, 2017:
first of all I would like to thank you for your amazing article.
I still need your advise please.
flights are a bit cheaper to Cepu than Manila but I don't which airport to choose if I like to see so many different places
I am planning to for 2 weeks. I know its not enough but i can't get more off.
I would like to do 2 days shopping but I don't where? Manila or Cebu?
than I would like to see Pawala, El nido, Coron, for a week than the rest Malay as you said its not as crowed to Baracay and Panglo island Boho. Basically I like to see white sand and beautiful beaches. Can I do Maya and/or Panglo in one week or is it too far from each other ?
Thank you so much in advance.
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on August 25, 2017:
Hi Laura. Boracay is indeed too crowded and too lively in my opinion. It is a beautiful place to visit but I suggest you stay on the mainland. What I did before is I stayed in Malay province (the mainland) which is outside Boracay island but very near so you can take the ferry anytime you feel like going on a fancy night out. There are good places outside Boracay island (in Malay) where you can enjoy very good views, nature trips to the waterfalls, and white sandy beaches that are as beautiful if not better than the ones in Boracay itself. If you feel like exploring you can just rent a scooter and go anywhere. But if you are really bent on staying on Boracay, then the other side of the island (Bulabog (eastside) could be a more quiet and less busy option.
laura on August 25, 2017:
Hi Jennifer, I'm thinking to go to Boracay with my partner as we want relaxation mainly but the option to have one or two late nights if we fancy it.
I'm now concerned that Boracay will be too lively, is there another island that has a little bit of both?
wisewolf on August 01, 2017:
nice article, loved it. makes me wish if i could visit the Philippines now.
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on July 29, 2017:
Hmmm, where do you plan to go by the way? Depending on where you want to go, maybe i can suggest a boat owner to you. :)
Elise Cain on July 28, 2017:
Thanks for such a broad and insightful article. My husband and I are boaters. Do you know any local and inexpensive boat owners that would like to charter and guide a couple through some of the islands? We don't need frills and prefer doing as the natives do. Thanks again!
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on June 16, 2017:
I am curious why you said that Boracay is terrible. Pls. enlighten me.
Terry on June 16, 2017:
Boracay is terrible and this is a joke
Octavio Garcia on June 07, 2017:
Great article! I'll definitely go to the Phillipines
nick on May 25, 2017:
I love Pearl Farm
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on May 16, 2017:
My list is not commercial. The beaches featured here are really beautiful. But since they have become so popular over the years, writing about them seemed commercial but it's not. I can add more equally beautiful beaches that are not so popular but they are also not very easily accessible especially to international tourists. I want everyone to be able to go to these beaches easily that is why i picked all these in my list. But it is a good idea to write another set of beaches that are equally beautiful but less popular...:)
j on May 15, 2017:
this list is very commercial
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on April 11, 2017:
Hey Ashutoshhbti, summer is the driest and busiest months in the Philippines (from March to May). But the best season for me is between November to February because the temperature in general is cooler and typhoon season is over so you can enjoy days of beautiful sunshine.
ashutoshhbti on April 10, 2017:
Hey Jennifer, Thanks a lot.. and pardon me for using a wrong name (:
So what I get is that I can skip Boracay and Samal and still enjoy all essence! Great. This will reduce travel and make it even more relaxing! Thanks again..
One more query. Which will be the best month for this trip?As I could understand from all the browsing is that Oct - Dec is best time to visit Philippines.
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on April 09, 2017:
Hey, I am Jenny not Elizabeth, :) but it's okay...2 weeks in the Philippines is long enough for you to cover some interesting places. But of course it all depends on what you are looking for. Boracay is best for summer but it is also heavily crowded. If you want to avoid the crowd but still enjoy a beautiful beach i suggest you go to El Nido in Palawan. There are countless beautiful islands with white powdery sands in El Nido and it is not crowded at all compared to Boracay. Bohol is also a beautiful place and there are so many things to see and do in the province. I suggest you stay one week in Palawan (explore El Nido, Coron and Puerto Princesa) and then head to Bohol for 3 days (explore Panglao, go to the chocolate hills and explore some caves and waterfalls), and then go to Siargao for the last 4 days of the trip (go surfing, explore nature). From Siargao, you can easily fly back to Manila. That is my suggestion. Hope it helps...
Mark on April 09, 2017:
ashutoshhbti on April 09, 2017:
Hi Elizabeth, I am planning a two week visit to Phillipines.. planning to cover the Southern part Boracay, El Nido (may be Coron), Panglao (may be Mactan), Samal (may be Santa Cruz) and Siargao..
This itself looks too much hence north may be too much to ask in two weeks
Can you suggest me the best month in the year for this trip and if I am not asking too much a good itinerary..
email@example.com on January 25, 2017:
Can't wait to go back with my Kids to explore and get educated how beautiful Philippines Island are! There's so much to see & know the culture & food!
Solito on January 17, 2017:
I've been watching Christian Leblanc's videos on YouTube about his extensive travels around the Philippines. I can't wait to ditch this New York winter and head out with my girlfriend and friends to see these beaches you so carefully detailed here. Great article. As a Filipino American, my parents never told me about the beauty we left behind to come here to the US. Maybe one day I'll buy a vacation home on one of the islands.
stephanie on November 21, 2016:
oh my they all look amazing!
ive written them down for the future when i visit the philippines.
thanks for sharing!
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on September 07, 2016:
I recommend El Nido, Palawan. It is not crowded and the beaches are beautiful. You can also find quite a lot of secret beach spots in Palawan. Boracay is already too crowded so if you like quiet then El Nido is the best place for you...You can also explore the nearby islands and municipalities like Coron and Puerto Princesa in Palawan...There are options like renting a car or a motorcycle. We usually rent a motorcycle because it is better in terms of access to rural areas like falls which is usually found on unpaved and narrow roads where cars do not usually go...so if you have driver's license then you can request your hotel to arrange a motorcycle for you...just don't go too fast on the road and be careful driving with helmet and you will be safe...That way you can see more of the islands and the locals and your time is yours unlike when you go with a tour group etc. But it is still your choice...That is how i always do it and i like it that way...i don't usually go with the crowd..:)
Emma on September 07, 2016:
Thanks for this article! Me and my boyfriend are planning a trip in January and we are considering the Philippines. We are going for 2,5-3 weeks and are looking for places that are quiet but has got beautiful beaches. Any places in particular you would recommend?
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on September 04, 2016:
Hey Bart, If you really want to explore Boracay and Palawan 3 weeks will be enough. There is nothing much to explore in Boracay perse but the beach and all the water sports they offer and of course the food and night life...but in Palawan, there is so much more. Palawan is quite big and so travel from one destination to the next may take a lot of time either by boat or by car. The capital city which is Puerto Princesa is also very nice, but i recommend for you to not miss El Nido and Coron if you really like to see nature at its best...:) Good luck.
Bart on September 03, 2016:
Hey, great article.
Could you tell me, approximately how much time is enough for Boracay and Palawan?
moises alcala on August 29, 2016:
Beautiful Philippines! Masbate Buntod reef is another amazing tourist destination.
Deepika on July 31, 2016:
Thank you so much for writing this. Philippines is so beautiful. I am planning a trip mostly to relax and was considering going to Malapascua island. Please share your take on it :)
CHRIS THOMPSON from MOBILE, ALABAMA on March 31, 2016:
Great article and great list as well. Love the photos very stunning. Thanks for sharing
Annabella on March 29, 2016:
Wow! Amazingly articulate and very detailed Hub. It has enough information to show people what the Philipines is like, with it's beaches and lovely environment.
I especially enjoyed reading this Hub as my partner has family in the Philipines in Cebu and Manila and some other islands, and we were considering going there to learn about the environment more, as we are considering moving there to live more self sustainably.
TRXY LOU on March 25, 2016:
i don't think Siargao Island deserves its place on your top list.
it is the most splendid paradise i will always think of spending my forever.
Rune Johansen from Borkenes on March 16, 2016:
British Tours on February 18, 2016:
All are stunning! a very nice post.
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on November 29, 2015:
Sam Shepards, if you are after remote places and island hopping, then Philippines is one of the best chance you have. There are 7107 islands in the Philippines.!
Sam Shepards from Europe on November 29, 2015:
Nice places to visit. I do love the more remote places more instead of the resorts. Would love to do some island hopping in the near future. Seen some pictures of my friends and still some very pristine places.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on November 27, 2015:
I want to visit the beaches up north. Boracay is really beautiful.
shaniel on August 01, 2015:
shane bautista on August 01, 2015:
its so beatiful
ghie05 on July 18, 2015:
been to boracay,samal and pagudpud already..really enjoyed it..7 more beautiful beaches left..want to visit all in the future..love this article so much..
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on May 25, 2015:
Wow, you have been to almost all 10 of them...good for you..! :)
Mon Mats from Philippines on May 25, 2015:
There's one thing common to this beaches, its white sand is as fine as refined sugar. Truly, the Philippines' natural wonder and a tourist's haven.
rina on May 25, 2015:
7/10, but i've been to Surigao, Cebu and Davao but don't have the chance to visit those beaches :-(
pinkhawk from Pearl of the Orient on May 17, 2015:
It's really more fun in the Philippines! :-)
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on May 05, 2015:
i'm happy to help..Have a nice trip Akriti...
Akriti Mattu from Shimla, India on May 02, 2015:
I cannot thank you enough for this awesome post. I am somebody who loves to travel, mostly solo and i keep looking for destinations. I'd surely visit these soon :)
Lester Moore on April 20, 2015:
Thanks for sharing these wonderful beaches. Siargao is really one of the best.
Did you know that there is a famous beach in the Philippines named "Naked Island"? Yes there is. The island is really naked! Find out here http://touristspotsfinder.com/2015/01/top-10-beach...
Hezekiah from Japan on April 16, 2015:
Thanks for sharing, would love to visit the Philippines one day.
M from Canada on April 15, 2015:
Ankit Kaushal from B-27, Second Floor, Dayanand Colony Lajpat Nagar, Part 4 New Delhi, India, 110024 on April 13, 2015:
Great hub, thanks for sharing this post. philippines beaches & resorts are really very beautiful & weekend destination.
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on March 19, 2015:
Thank you for the very inspiring comment readerssquare...:) I am travelling again in the south of the Philippines and yes, i can say that the country is really beautiful...I hope you can visit here one day...your day-dreams will surely become reality...:)
Readers Square from Punjab, India on March 19, 2015:
Wow!!! Already hunting for an alternative word for Paradise because your country, I feel, is more than that. Lucky You…. (Believe me it’s not a hyperbole). With the white beach sand clinched between my toes, I can picture myself cruising, diving, and surfing in some of the world’s best sea shores. You’re hub had caught me day- dreaming at work!
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on March 07, 2015:
Hey George, I am sure you will like your stay in Palawan...Don't forget to visit the subterranean river and cave system and please try to do island hopping adventures...If you have more time, you can go to El Nido and Coron also in Palawan...:)
George Yasbic from Sydney, Australia on March 05, 2015:
I'm booked in for a trip to Palawan in the Philippines. Got a 3 night stay for $139.00 at Princesa Resort with a number of tours and transfers including dinner and breakfast! Can't wait to go!!!
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on March 01, 2015:
Hi choco, Boracay is indeed a very beautiful place but there are other equally beautiful places in the philippines...If you are looking for a beach getaway with kids, I recommend Pagudpud beach in Ilocos Norte or Panglao Beach (dimaluan beach) in Bohol. The waters are clear, the sands are white and fine just like in Boracay and the waves are very calm. It is not very deep which is perfect for kids. Plus there are plenty of water sports activities available in the resorts. If you want amusement parks, the best are in Manila (star city, snow world, ocean park) and laguna (enchanted kingdom). There are also plenty of shopping malls where the whole family can enjoy. If you just want to relax and enjoy the cool climate up in the mountains, Baguio city is the best option for you. There are a lot of other places i can name here but you can start with those i recommended. Hope i was able to help...:)
choco on March 01, 2015:
Hi. Can u help which me choose which one is a best for a family getaway, of course a place where kids will enjoy. Exclude boracay pls, we've been there. We all had a good time there.. tnx
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on February 05, 2015:
hey Lee, it is my pleasure to check your hubs as well...I would love to follow you as well...thanks :)
Lee John from Preston on February 05, 2015:
Great Hub i voted up and i have followed you :) The hub covers all you need if you looking for beautiful beaches in the Philippines.
I write travel hubs check mine out and if possible give feedback ill really appreciate that :)
Alvinet on December 10, 2014:
Good to know it. I was thinking about travel to Philippines :)
Mc Donald Palma on September 10, 2014:
great beaches in the phils. are true gift of our almighty father!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU GOD.
Jessie De lor Casa on August 11, 2014:
ang ganda talaga ng view sa pilipinas try nio din pong pumasyal dito sa pagudpud ..marami pong magaganda dito na pamasyalan..
hemps on August 04, 2014:
proud pilipino... mapagmalaki ako
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on August 03, 2014:
Thanks May...Thanks Kabayan...
may from athens on August 01, 2014:
there is no better place like home. there is no doubt that our country is the best. well done kabayan well done
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on July 12, 2014:
Hey Carina, checked your link and it's quite good...:) Thanks for your comments...
Carina on July 11, 2014:
White Beach in Boracay is the queen of beaches. It looks like one of the stunning beaches you see in Bond movies or TV commercials. White sand, crystal clear blue water, beach bars serving cocktails and plenty of sports activities are all to be found here. Here you can find my personal top list of the best beaches in the Philippines and Thailand: http://aroundtheworldinaday.com/philippines_thaila...
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on July 07, 2014:
They are beautiful indeed. Thanks for your comment! :)
Whirlwindinmyhead on July 06, 2014:
Great hub! We're definitely planning a trip to Philippines soon, the beaches look beautiful. :)
Dan Lema from Tanzania on July 03, 2014:
Wow, so many places to visit...so little time....and i want to visit most of them.....i like places which has clear beaches, makes me feel comfortable because i hate sharks; and in dark-blue places seas thy're practically invisible..:-)......bookmarked/voted up.....thanks a lot....
Pao Sobrepena from Philippines on June 26, 2014:
El Nido! wait for me! :)
There is a good lifetime investment here in the Philippines. http://investbusinessfranchiseph.weebly.com/foreig...
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on June 08, 2014:
Indeed Batangas is also blessed with beautiful beaches and resorts..:) I will include it on my next list...
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on June 05, 2014:
thank you Yen yang...:)
yen yang on June 03, 2014:
hello,im yen from sabah,borneo.i really love about philippines i mean the island and beaches.so amazing.stunning and truly paradise.
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on May 15, 2014:
Thanks Carl, oo tama ka maganda talaga sa Bora..:)
Jennifer Gonzales (author) from The Hague, Netherlands on April 03, 2014:
thank you raquelle...I hope you also visit one of these beaches when you get the chance...:)
raquelle148 on April 03, 2014:
Very nice articles. Lots of beautiful beaches. No wonder it is paradise.