The Philippines is an archipelago comprising 7,641 islands, each boasting unique beach destinations. However, not all beaches are ideal for swimming. Excellent swimming beaches are typically characterized by fine sand, a gently sloping and almost flat sandy seafloor, and moderate wave conditions. In this compilation, we present ten of the finest beaches, ideal for a delightful swimming experience, catering to both tourists and locals, kids and adults.
In this list:
- White Beach in Boracay Island, Aklan
- Nacpan Beach in El Nido, Palawan
- Mahabang Buhangin Beach in Calaguas Islands, Camarines Norte
- White Island in Camiguin
- Club de Ticao in Ticao Island, Masbate
- Sandira Beach in Bantayan Island, Cebu
- Anda Beach in Bohol
- Anawangin Cove in San Antonio, Zambales
- Puting Buhangin in Pagbilao, Quezon Province
- White Beach in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
1. White Beach in Boracay Island, Aklan
Stretching approximately 4 km, Boracay Island’s White Beach is the Philippines’ premier beach destination. Divided into three sections—Station 1, 2, and 3—it offers a seamless expanse of sand and sea.
Station 1 hosts upscale hotels, Station 2 is the bustling center with numerous restaurants and bars, while Station 3 provides a quieter atmosphere with budget accommodations. The beach at Stations 1 and 2 features a gentle slope and mild currents, perfect for swimming, while Station 3 offers a more tranquil environment, but steeper seafloor.
Notably, there’s also a Station Zero where luxury resorts like Shangri-La, Movenpick, and Crimson Resort can be found.
2. Nacpan Beach in El Nido, Palawan
Nacpan Beach, situated approximately 17 km from El Nido town, is a four-kilometer stretch of cream-colored shoreline. It offers clear water, and fine sand, and is adorned with numerous coconut palm trees.
Along the beach, you’ll find a handful of restaurants and upscale beach resorts such as Angkla and Sunmai. The shallow waters make it safe for swimming, and the waves are gentle. To reach Nacpan Beach, you can opt for a brief motorcycle ride from El Nido town or choose to rent a van.
3. Mahabang Buhangin Beach in Calaguas Islands, Camarines Norte
Mahabang Buhangin Beach, roughly translated as “Long Sandy Beach,” is a 1.2-km stretch of pure white sand located on Tinaga Island, the largest in the Calaguas group of islands in Camarines Norte. Surrounded by scenic hills and scattered islands, the beach can be reached by a two-hour boat ride from Vinzons town.
Best visited from January to August, it offers native cottages for rent and an option for camping, with the caveat of no mobile signal. Avoid visiting Calaguas beyond these months as it is known to have huge waves from the Pacific Ocean.
4. White Island in Camiguin
White Island is a horseshoe-shaped sandbar at the northern tip of Camiguin. It boasts fine white sand, clear water, and a serene atmosphere.
With a picturesque view of Mt. Hibok Hibok, it’s an ideal spot for sunrise or sunset, weather permitting. The island is a quick 15-20 minute boat ride from Yumbing port in Mambajao. On one side, the water is calm, while the other side offers wavier waters for those seeking a different experience.
5. Club de Ticao in Ticao Island, Masbate
Ticao Island, one of Masbate’s three main islands, hosts numerous beach resorts. Our favorite is Club De Ticao Beach Resort in San Fernando town.
With fine white sand and an extensive sandy sea floor, it’s ideal for both day and night swimming. In fact, the resort is renowned for overnight camping.
Additionally, explore other white beaches in Masbate, including Tinigban Beach in Aroroy, Porta Vega Beach in Dimasalang, Palani Beach in Balud, and Buntod Sandbar in Masbate City.
6. Sandira Beach in Bantayan Island, Cebu
Sandira Beach, also known as Paradise Beach, is a relatively small and tranquil spot in the town of Santa Fe on Bantayan Island, Cebu. It stands out for its quietness, cleanliness, and lower crowd levels compared to other popular locations in Bantayan. The beach features white sand, crystal-clear water, and distinctive rock formations.
To reach Santa Fe from Cebu’s Mactan International Airport, take the MyBus shuttle to the North Bus Terminal. From there, you can catch a direct bus to Santa Fe, which includes a Roll-on-roll-off ship journey. Buses depart every hour, day and night, with a travel time of approximately 4 hours.
7. Anda Beach in Bohol
Bohol is known for its popular beaches, with Alona Beach and Dumaluan Beach in Panglao being the most famous. However, our favorite is Anda Beach, a three-kilometer expanse of powdery white sand in the town of Anda. It offers a more serene environment compared to the touristy Panglao area and is bordered by several private resorts.
Anda Beach is situated 110 km away from Tagbilaran City, the central hub of Bohol, requiring a 3-hour drive.
8. Anawangin Cove in San Antonio, Zambales
Anawangin is a cove adorned with dense trees, fine gray sand, and clear emerald waters. The beaches here feature volcanic ash from the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, located nearby.
Situated in San Antonio, Zambales, the most convenient way to access it is through a brief 20-minute boat ride from Brgy. Pundaquit. Anawangin is segmented into various resorts, offering minimal amenities, mainly open-air nipa and bamboo huts. Tent rental is available, or you can bring your own.
9. Puting Buhangin in Pagbilao, Quezon Province
Puting Buhangin, translated as “White Sand,” is a lengthy stretch of attractive white sand beaches and coves, separated by towering rock formations on Pagbilao Grande Island in Quezon Province. Among these, the most frequented spot is the one featuring Kwebang Lampas, a cave situated at the right end of the cove. This relatively small cave opens out to the sea, with shallow and noticeably warmer water inside compared to the cove’s waters.
The beachfront area is free of rocks and coral, making it ideal for swimming, while those interested in snorkeling can explore the rocky areas on both ends of the cove.
10. White Beach in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
White Beach is the most popular and heavily visited beach in Oriental Mindoro, situated in Brgy. San Isidro, Puerto Galera. With its fine, soft sand and clear blue water, it offers various water activities for visitors. Given its popularity, it tends to be crowded, particularly due to its proximity to Greater Manila.
Ron Lao is an engineering graduate with a passion for writing informative content and exploring new places, cultures, and food. He loves science, cats, badminton, and anything wellness-related.