With over 7,641 islands, the Philippines is one of the most frequented beach destinations in the world. Apart from Boracay Island’s famous White Beach, you can find other powdery soft beaches in the Philippines dotting the main island groups of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Aside from pristine white sand, most of these beach destinations offer great panoramic sea views, calm waters, sunset views, while some have less-crowded shorelines for the best relaxing vacation. From secluded beaches to the most popular ones, you will never run out of choices when traveling around the islands and beaches in the Philippines.
For the best beach holiday, we’ve selected 26 best white-sand beaches in the best tourist spots in the Philippines that should be in any traveler's itinerary:
Luzon, the main island group in the country, where you can find the Philippines’ capital city, Manila, is the major gateway to the provinces in Visayas and Mindanao. The beaches in Luzon are among the country’s most notable ones, including those nestled in the world-famous islands of Palawan.
Sprawling 4.2KM-long cream-colored sand, Nacpan Beach is one of the twin beaches of El Nido, Palawan. Beside Nacpan Beach is a smaller yet equally captivating beach, the Calitang Beach. Both are lined with tall coconut trees, small cottages, and huts for overnight accommodation.
Aside from featuring white sand and crystal blue waters, Nacpan Beach is lined with a few restaurants and bars. You can grab a snack and take a sip of your favorite booze while enjoying the breathtaking sunset. The water is great for swimming, but it is not advisable to go too far from the shore because of strong currents.
Another pristine beach in Palawan is nestled on Malcapuya Island, which sits in the beautiful seascape of Coron off the southwestern coast of Culion. Comparable to Boracay’s White Beach, it has a long shoreline with powdery fine white sand and sparkling clear waters beneath breathtaking coastal cliffs.
You can swim to your heart’s content since the water at Malcapuya Island remains shallow for several meters. But, you still have to wear aqua shoes because some parts of the beach can be rocky. You may even snorkel and dive up to 100 meters to see giant clams and clownfishes.
If you’re traveling to the southernmost part of Luzon, make sure to add Calaguas Islands to your bucket list. This remote group of islands is nestled in the Bicol region, particularly in the coastal municipality of Vinzons, Camarines Norte. On top of its quiet beach scene, there are cottages and resorts on the island available for overnight stays.
One of its main attractions is the Mahabang Buhangin (Long Beach), featuring a long stretch of powdery white sand that rivals Boracay and other top island destinations in the Philippines. This immaculately pure white beach has calm blue waters, making it ideal for swimming.
Romblon is geographically located at the heart of the Sibuyan Sea, which separates Luzon from the Visayas region. This quaint coastal province boasts crystal blue waters, powdery white sandbars, and breathtaking sunsets. Among the hidden gems in Romblon is the Bonbon Beach, situated 3KM from the main town of Poblacion.
During low tide, the sandbar emerges and connects Romblon Island to Bang-og Island. You can cross the sandbar, but be careful not to be stuck there during high tide because the water rises rapidly.
Calatagan is a coastal municipality in Batangas province that is widely known for its idyllic beaches and resorts. It occupies an entire peninsula that extends into the Verde Island Passage towards the center of the Coral Triangle, home to over 500 marine species. Burot Beach is among Calatagan’s few unspoiled white sand beaches near Manila, located 138.4KM away.
It features cream-colored sand with giant rocks on the coastline. For those planning to stay overnight, you can set up tents under the trees. Before swimming, you should wear aqua shoes because the bottom can be a bit rocky and some parts are covered with seaweed.
Situated off the northeastern tip of mainland Luzon, Palaui Island is a protected marine landscape located in Sta. Ana, Cagayan. Because of its idyllic white-sand beaches and beautiful sunsets, it was internationally recognized as one of the world’s best beaches and got chosen as the filming location of the hit reality American TV show Survivor in 2013.
One of its main attractions is Cape Engaño, a hilltop lighthouse built during the Spanish era. As the island faces the Pacific Ocean, the sea currents are strong, and the waves can get huge, especially during the typhoon season from July to October.
Photo by @kristynaperri on Instagram
Quezon province, part of the Calabarzon region in Southern Luzon, is famous for its coconut plantations and secluded beaches. One of the must-see attractions here is the Alibijaban Island, a small land edged within the Bondoc Peninsula in San Andres, Quezon.
Home to abundant flora and fauna, the white-sand beach is within a 140-hectare mangrove forest. There are some huts available for accommodation, but you can also bring your own tent. The beach is ideal for swimming, as the sea is calm and the water is crystal clear. You can also capture breathtaking sunsets on the island.
Your island-hopping tours in Coron, Palawan will not be complete without visiting Banul Beach, a powdery white-sand beach that rivals the famous island paradise of Maldives. Tucked behind the shore is a huge limestone formation, which is a sight to behold.
This 160-meter long beach is where boats usually dock so tourists can have lunch in the beach cottages. Banul Beach is also a notable snorkeling spot in Coron, featuring vibrant underwater scenery. Not only is it ideal for swimming, but it is also a great spot to catch great sunset views.
Visayas, the island group in between Luzon and Mindanao, is home not only to Boracay’s White Beach and Cebu’s Bantayan Island but also to the picturesque beaches in Negros. Visayans are known for their sweet delicacies like dried mangoes and colorful Philippine festivals including Ati-Atihan Festival, Dinagyang Festival, and Sinulog Festival.
Famous for its long stretch of white sand, Boracay Island’s White Beach in Malay, Aklan is among the most sought-after Philippine destinations. It is undeniably blessed with azure waters, making it one of the best beaches and islands in the world. Boracay’s world-famous sunset also never fails to amuse tourists every time.
When it comes to looking for the best Boracay hotels and resorts, you'll have plenty of options along White Beach. At Station 1, you will find some of the best luxury resorts in the Philippines, while most of the budget-friendly accommodations are in Station 2 alongside restaurants and bars. Station 3 is much quieter than Station 2 but is also home to some of the budget hostels. For a more private experience, consider accommodations at Station 0, like Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay.
The best time to visit Boracay and enjoy Boracay tours including Boracay island hopping package is during the dry and summer season, from December to May. There are designated swimming areas in each station. However, be mindful and watch out for red flags at certain points where swimming is strictly prohibited.
Oslob is a small coastal town located at the southwestern tip of Cebu province. Oslob is known as the home of Butandings or whale sharks. But, aside from whale shark watching, island-hopping is also a popular activity among tourists.
After seeing whale sharks in Oslob, drop by Sumilon Island to set foot on its powdery white sandbar. It boasts crystal clear waters and fine white sand, perfect for sunbathing and swimming. Moreover, it is also considered the best spot in Oslob to watch the sunset. Book a vacation package to Bluewater Sumilon Resort with airfare from Manila for a hassle-free getaway.
The Gigantes Islands or the Islas de Gigantes is a group of islands situated off the coast of Carles town in the northeastern part of Iloilo province. Islas de Gigantes island-hopping tours usually start at Cabugao Gamay or Selfie Island, a small islet covered with lush greenery. It has a sandbar that boasts fine white sand and crystalline waters.
The next stop is at Bantigue Islet where you can swim and sink your toes into the soft white sand. Lastly, Antonia White Sand Beach boasts a stunning rock formation and a pristine white sandbar shaped like a small cape.
Named after the word Langgam which means bird in Cebuano, Kalanggaman Island is one of the best Southern Leyte beaches. It is located in the coastal municipality of Palompon, which geographically faces the Pacific Ocean. Aside from Kalanggaman Island tours, other beaches in Leyte that are worth visiting include Cuatro Islas and Canigao Island, are also worth a visit.
The jump-off point to the island is at Palompon Port, which is 12KM away from the provincial capital, Tacloban City. Extending on both sides of the island are long white sandbars with turquoise waters. You can swim to your heart’s content, dive, and snorkel to see its abundant marine biodiversity.
Photo by Caluya Gibuangan Beach Resort
Antique, a province where the mountains meet the sea, is situated in the western section of Panay Island in the Visayas. Despite being an underrated and off-beaten destination, Antique is undeniably home to beautiful beaches. One of its hidden jewels is the Caluya group of islands which consist of Sibato, Sibolo, Liwagao, and Nagubat Islands.
Caluya is abundant with coconut crabs since it is within vast coconut plantations. Some of its noteworthy beaches that are ideal for swimming include Caluya Beach and Imba White Sand Beach, notable for panoramic sunset views.
Several white-sand beaches in Cebu are nestled in the municipality of Santa Fe, the gateway to Bantayan Island. Approximately 6.4KM away from Bantayan is the Virgin Island, a privately owned property dotted with cottages and hammocks for rent.
Other attractions in Bantayan include the scenic sandbar of Kota Beach and the white-sand beaches of Hilantagaan and Kinatarkan Islands. At Kota Park, you can witness breathtaking sunset views. Bantayan Island also has its own fishing community that is abundant with fresh seafood and Danggit or dried fish.
Located in the municipality of Panglao, Alona Beach is among the most frequented beaches in Bohol, home to the famous Chocolate Hills and one of the smallest primates called tarsiers. Alona Beach is considered the most commercialized beach in Panglao, where most resorts, hotels, restaurants, and bars are located.
With its azure waters and pure white sand, it serves as a perfect spot for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, kite surfing, and dolphin watching. Alona House Reef is a popular dive site featuring a rich marine ecosystem.
Photo by Higatangan Island Seaside Resort
Blessed with picturesque rock formations and rugged cliffs, Higatangan Island is a tranquil beach spot in the province of Biliran, located next to the northern part of Leyte. To get there, you have to take a 45-minute boat ride from the municipality of Naval, which is 14.1KM away.
It is an underrated destination but is now gaining popularity because of its immaculate beaches and coral gardens. The island features a giant white sandbar shaped like a snake that stretches 200 meters into the sea. Swimming is allowed, but don’t get too far because reef sharks might be lurking in the vicinity.
Mindanao, the second-largest island in the Philippines after Luzon, is home to the country’s surfing capital, Siargao, and the Philippines’ highest mountain, Mount Apo. It also showcases white-sand beaches with the most luxurious beachfront resorts on Samal Island, the largest resort city in the Philippines.
Photo by Hof Gorei Beach Resort
Samal Island or the Island Garden City of Samal is a must-visit spot because of its pristine beaches alongside luxury hotels and budget resorts. Apart from being the largest resort city in the Philippines, it is becoming popular among locals and tourists because of its white-sand shores.
For those seeking a laid-back beach setting, Kaputian Beach offers the perfect spot to set up tents if you’re going to stay for the night. It stands out among the rest of the beaches on Samal Island because of its powdery soft sand. Thanks to its calm azure waters, Kaputian Beach is a favored spot for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.
Popular with surfers and skimboarders, Dahican Beach is a stunning slice of paradise in Mati, Davao Oriental. Its white sand beach is 7 kilometers long and lined with towering coconut trees.
Dahican Beach serves as a sanctuary for sea turtles, and its name is derived from the word dahik which means the act of coming in from the sea to the nest.
Mati beach resorts and camp resorts cater to backpackers who want to stay overnight. Tourists can take a dip into the clear waters, ride the waves, or fly high on an ultralight plane soaring over Dahican Beach. Meanwhile, along the beach are restaurants serving fresh seafood dishes.
Another white-sand beach that draws the attention of local and international crowds is the Santa Cruz Beach in San Jose, Dinagat Islands, located in the Caraga region, northeast of Mindanao. Known for its breathtaking lagoons and caves, Dinagat Islands is a promising eco-tourism destination in the country.
The most accessible beach near San Jose Port is Santa Cruz Beach, which is only 3.5KM away. It is a favored destination among locals because of its panoramic sunset views and soft white sand. Other than lounging on the sand, you can also take a dip into its azure waters.
At the heart of the Bohol sea lies the small and peaceful island province of Camiguin, also known as the Island Born of Fire. It is the smallest island in Mindanao that only measures 92 square miles. Camiguin may be small, but it showcases several awe-inspiring tourist spots.
One of its top attractions is Mambajao’s White Island, a white sandbar with a peculiar form that changes throughout the year depending on the shifting tides. Mount Hibok Hibok is visible from afar when lounging by the shore. You can also snorkel and swim in the shallow waters.
For most travelers, Siargao is the place to be if you’re into surfing. But, aside from hitting the waves, surfing enthusiasts and non-surfers alike may also opt to explore the laid-back beaches in Siargao. One of which is Doot Beach, a palm-fringed white sand beach next to a verdant mangrove forest.
It is only 5.7KM away from General Luna, home to Siargao’s hottest surfing spot, Cloud 9. Doot Beach is best visited during high tide and is also a great spot for capturing panoramic sunset views.
Photo by Provincial Government of Cagwait
Known as the “Boracay of Caraga'', Cagwait White Beach is tucked in the quaint town of Cagwait in Surigao del Sur, which is located 31.4KM away from the provincial capital, Tandag City. During the summer months, tourists love to bask in the sun, laze on the fine and white-sand beach, and swim into its azure waters.
This scenic beach is located in a far-flung area, making it less crowded and peaceful. Cagwait White Beach only gets busy every 24th day of June for the annual celebration of the Kaliguan Festival, where locals pay tribute to their patron saint, St. John the Baptist.
Basilan is the largest and northernmost island in the Sulu archipelago situated off the southern tip of the Zamboanga peninsula in Mindanao. Its provincial capital is Isabela City, the gateway to the hidden paradise of Malamawi Beach. To get there, you only have to take a habal-habal/motorcycle and boat from Isabela Port, only less than 5KM away.
This small inhabited island attracts locals and tourists with its raw beauty and serene vibe. Secluded away from the crowds, Malamawi Beach is a quiet spot to chill for couples and solo travelers. You may even strike a pose with the postcard-worthy beach as your backdrop.
Photo by Department of Tourism
Less than 25KM away from Camiguin’s famous White Island, Mantigue Island is a protected marine sanctuary that showcases beautiful coral gardens. This 4-acre islet features an evergreen forest surrounded by pristine white-sand beaches and turquoise waters.
To get there, you have to take a short boat ride from Brgy. San Roque in Mahinog town, which is only 3.5km away. There is a fishing village on the northern side of the island and a powdery coral sand beach on the opposite side. After swimming, you can rent standup paddleboards or go scuba diving across the island’s marine sanctuary.
Secluded from the busy crowd of General Luna, Alegria Beach is a serene and untouched white-sand beach in Siargao. It is accessible 59.8KM away from the main tourist road. Adding to its postcard-worthy view are towering coconut trees lined on the beach.
It has clear waters ideal for swimming, but be careful not to step on the sharp rocks in the nearby reefs. You should wear aqua shoes and go to the side where it is deep enough for you to swim.
Photo by @bryehero on Instagram
Tawi-Tawi is the most secluded province in the southernmost part of Mindanao, and is located southwest of the Sulu archipelago between the Celebes Sea and the Sulu Sea. Despite being one of the farthest destinations in the Philippines, it is home to some of the most breathtaking tourist spots in the country.
Many tourists are drawn to the beauty of the 3KM-long white sandbar at Panampangan Island, the longest sandbar in the Philippines. The sandbar stretches further to the neighboring Basibuli islet during low tide. Its shallow and crystal clear waters are also ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
Escape to the Best White Sand Beaches in the Philippines
Being home to world-class islands and secluded beaches, the Philippines never fails to amuse first-time travelers. Many local and international tourists keep coming back to witness breathtaking sunsets and capture postcard-worthy sceneries.
While there are Philippine beaches that have gained popularity around the world, there are more unspoiled white sand beaches in the country that are yet to be discovered. Bookmark this article and start looking for the best island-hopping tours and beach activities for your much-awaited tropical escape.