Fancy a trip to Asia to explore the wonderful culture and spend an amazing few days on the beach, surrounded by white sand, turquoise waters, palm trees and breath-taking views? Well the Philippines sounds like just the place for you. Here, you’ll find majestic limestone cliffs and villages home to local people who can help shed a light on their splendid culture. The Philippines is one of the world’s last untouched gems.
The Philippines is located in the Pacific ring of fire and is famous for its tropical climate. It’s incredibly rich in natural resources and boasts some of the best biodiversity in the world. The archipelago comprises 7,641 islands distributed between three main regions: Luzon to the north, Visayas in the centre and Mindanao to the south. It’s an area in continuous evolution, especially when it comes to tourism, which has grown a lot in recent years and now brings millions of people to the Philippines from all over the world. Its slightly reduced levels of infrastructure are to be considered a strength rather than a defect, because they allow the Philippines to remain one of Asia’s most unspoiled areas – a far cry from the industrialised mass-tourism spots you’ll find in many other parts of the world.
The climate in the Philippines is hot and humid. Winter runs from December to February, summer from March to May and the rainy season from June to November. In any case, temperatures are mild most of the year round and many travellers choose to visit the Philippines out of peak season.
Besides its history and culture, one of the Philippines’ strong points is its beaches. Its famous bays boast magnificent white sands that are soft to the touch and perfect for sunbathing. The turquoise waters lapping at the shores of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines are bound to win you heart, while the country’s coral reefs will impress even the most demanding snorkelling lovers. The Philippine sea has a rich marine life and in certain places – such as Tubbataha Reef and Malapascua – you can even swim with sharks and manta rays. To reiterate, the Philippines is one of the most unspoiled places in the world, and as such, its biodiversity is matched by few other places on earth.
The Philippines is also a popular destination for fans of water sports such as surfing and kiting. Siargao – the surfing capital of the Philippines – hosts the surf championships twice a year, attracting thousands of tourists hoping to watch professional surfers ride big waves as they crash onto the bay. However, the Philippines is also a great place to relax and let your hair down, as well as to enjoy some beautiful nature. In short, this country is a corner of paradise that you cannot afford to overlook. Don't believe us? Here are some of Asia’s best beaches. We guarantee it’ll make you want to book a trip so that you can touch the beauty of this land with your own hands ASAP.
- Puka Beach, Boracay
- White Beach, Boracay
- Pamalican Island, Palawan
- Tubbataha Reef Beach, Palawan
- Nacpan Beach, Palawan
- Kalanggaman and Leyte Beaches
- Malapascua and Cebu Beaches
- Paliton Beach, Siquijor
- Alona Beach, Bohol
- Siargao, Surigao del Norte
- Matinloc Beach, El Nido
- Laiya Beach, Batangas
- Subic Laki Beach, Sorsogon
- Nagsasa Beach, Zambales
- Samal and Mindanao Beaches
Puka Beach, Boracay
Puka beach is an 800m long stretch of white, sandy beach next to the famous White Beach. Its crystal clear waters make it the perfect place for surfers looking to ride the waves. Puka Beach is very quiet, and unlike White Beach, you won’t find many bars here, although there are two at it either end of the bay. Puka Beach takes its name from the numerous shells found in the local area. Before it became famous for its white sand, it was known for the wonderful shells on its beautiful bay. These shells were set into jewellery and decorative objects and transported to western countries, arousing curiosity in people who then decided to visit this stretch of sand in the Philippines themselves.
Shell necklaces and bracelets are now sold at the entrance to the beach. In addition to bathing and sunbathing, travellers also love to watch the sun set over the sea from Puka Beach. In fact, during the evening, you’ll often spot fruit bats and even large flying foxes here – a species of bat from the Philippines, which is now on the verge of extinction.
White Beach, Boracay
White Beach in Boracay is the most popular beach in the Philippines. And it’s no coincidence. This particular bay is one of Asia’s tropical wonders, with fine, powdery sands that extend along four kilometres of land, and blue waters that are home to lively marine life. White Beach attracts thousands of tourists every year, and as such, it’s well equipped with entertainment facilities, food, souvenirs and all sorts of attractions.
White Beach is divided into three areas: the first is the most northern and least crowded part of the beach, the second is the most popular, and is where you’ll find Boracay island shopping centre, and the third is somewhere between the two. In any case, White Beach is one of the most popular tourist spots in the Philippines, and as such, it’s always packed with travellers making the most of its bars, restaurants and shops. This beach is also one of the best places to try one of Boracay’s many water activities, and the island’s main sports events are often hosted here.
Pamalican Island, Palawan
Tubbataha Reef Beach, Palawan
Tubbataha Reef is one of the most beautiful coral reefs on the planet. Discovered by divers in the 1970s, CNN once included it in its ranking of the top best places to go diving in the world. Due to its isolated location, Tubbataha can only be reached by boat and is often visited by diving enthusiasts. In fact, in addition to its coral reef, Tubbataha has some truly majestic biodiversity, offering visitors the opportunity to meet sharks, turtles and manta rays.
Tubbataha comprises a north and south atoll and Jessie Beazley Reef, a small coral structure about twenty kilometres north of the atolls. The coral reefs in Tubbataha and Jessie Beazley are considered part of Cagayancillo, a remote island located about 130 kilometres away and mainly inhabited by fishermen.
Nacpan Beach, Palawan
Nacpan Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the city of El Nido. Its golden sands, blue waters and palm trees make it a place beloved not only by travellers, but also by amateur and professional photographers. If you are looking for one of the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines, and somewhere to learn more about the culture and history of this extraordinary country, this is the place to go. Nacpan will leave you speechless with its spectacular colours and extraordinary fauna.
Nacpan beach is not too busy and, thanks to its palm trees, offers a number of shaded areas to relax. Bask in the sun for as long as you want as you feel the sea breeze against your skin. This beach stretches four kilometres into the sea, so you won’t have to watch out for sea urchins or sharp rocks when swimming. Put on your swimsuit and let the crystal clear water lap at your bare feet while you enjoy a dip in one of the Philippines’ true paradises.
Nacpan beach is also a great place for sports lovers. Be it paddle-boarding or kayaking, there are loads of activities here for sportspeople to enjoy alone or with friends.
Kalanggaman and Leyte Beaches
Kalanggaman is an island in the Philippines that lies between Cebu and Leyte in the Visaya region. You know those classic dessert islands where castaways accidentally wash up? Well, Kalanggaman is one of them. n earthly paradise dotted with palm trees, pristine turquoise waters and fine, white sand. Although it might seem as though this island is in the middle of nowhere, it’s actually a very popular destination for locals and tourists from all over the world.
The famous white sand bank extending from the eastern end of the island is Kalanggaman’s main attraction. People even queue up to take photos in this idyllic setting, patiently waiting their turn. You might be unsurprised to hear that one of Kalanggaman’s nicknames is Instagram Island! It’s also the perfect place to go snorkelling, and diving into the sea is an experience you can’t afford to miss. Like many other beaches in the Philippines, Kalanggaman is also surrounded by a coral reef.
Malapascua and Cebu Beaches
Malapascua is a small island located 6.8km from the northern tip of Cebu and it’s one of the most popular tourist resorts in the Philippines. Malapascua is mainly known for its thresher sharks, as it is the only place in the world where you can spot these magnificent creatures any day of the week. And if that isn’t enough, Malapascua also boasts a large number of dive sites and a relaxed lifestyle, giving visitors a number of different ways to spend the day.
Malapascua occupies three square kilometres and is surrounded by over twenty different dive sites that attract people from all over the world. Perhaps the most famous and well-known diving spot is Monad Shoal, a submerged islet that is perched on the edge of a steep descent into 200-metre-deep waters. At this depth, divers can spot thresher sharks and manta rays, as well as other species of shark if it’s early in the morning. Shark Point and Shark Wall are the main diving spots if you’re hoping to see any sea animals, but they do require very advanced diving abilities.
Paliton Beach, Siquijor
Paliton beach is one of the most beautiful bays on the island of Siquijor. With its palm trees, white sands and turquoise waters, it’s the perfect place to create your own corner of paradise. Few places in the world can boast such vibrant colours and lively marine life. Paliton is also the perfect place to go snorkelling or relax in peace while you enjoy the sea breeze. What are you waiting for? Get ready to be overwhelmed by this enchanting landscape. Few times in our lives do we get the chance to set foot in an oasis such as the Philippines. And we hope you’re ready to take the plunge and enjoy the splendour of Paliton.
Paliton beach faces west, making it the perfect place to watch the sun go down on the island of Siquijor with a loved one, friends or family. You’ll also find a few cafés and beach bars in the ocean serving fresh drinks and delicious meals. Most of them have a happy hour between 4pm and 6pm. We really recommend sipping on an oceanside drink in this lovely part of the world.
One of the most special things about Paliton beach are the swings built into its palm trees, so you can swing on the water’s edge Or if you prefer, you can lie back in one of the many hammocks on the beach while reading a book and watching the sun set.
Alona Beach, Bohol
On the island of Panglao is a small but serene stretch of tropical paradise called Alona beach, and it’s a great place to leave any negative feelings behind. Here, bad days just don’t exist. There are no bad moods, just a sense of peace that only places like this can offer. This popular tourist attraction has quickly become a favourite destination for local and foreign travellers looking for a relaxing escape from the city. Its wonderful white, sandy beaches, cliffs and crystal clear waters are bound to make you fall in love.
If you love the sun and wild beaches, you absolutely have to visit Alona Beach during your trip. This beach is famous for its one and a half kilometre stretch of white sand, with two rocky walls bordering both ends. In just ten minutes, you can walk the entire length of this beautiful, white sandy beach. Stroll along with the sea breeze on your face while you look out into the turquoise sea. This is one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines.
Want to know how the beach got its name? Alona has no particular meaning, but the beach owes its name to Alona Alegre, an actress adored by the locals for her charisma and kindness During the 1970s, Alona Alegre made a film on this beach. At the time, it had no name, bars or restaurants. It was unknown to tourists and only visited by people who lived locally. Unlike her fellow actors, Alona liked to chat with the locals, which is why she was so adored. After filming wrapped, the residents still spoke about her, and this once nameless beach eventually came to be known as Alona beach.
Its beautiful white sands, crystal clear waters and numerous tourist activities make Alona one of the most popular beaches in the Philippines.
Siargao, Surigao del Norte
There is no doubt that Siargao is the surfing capital of the Philippines and if you love this sport, the island is a must-visit during your trip. Competitions take place here twice a year and a three-floor observation deck offers enthusiasts an excellent observation point to watch surfers in action. Kite and windsurf lovers will also find something to sink their teeth into here. Siargao is famous for its beach activities and water sports enthusiasts, who are always ready for a bit of action and adventure. But, like many places in the Philippines, it’s also a great place to relax and go for a dip if you don’t fancy trying your hand at surfing.
In fact, the island of Siargao is home to numerous wonderful, isolated beaches. The Philippines is famous for its bays, but there are many worth visiting on Siargao alone, and we recommend spending at least a whole day here. The lush vegetation and turquoise waters are a sight to behold and you’ll probably not want to return to the hustle and bustle of the city after visiting. In fact, although Siargao is a tourist destination, it’s not yet taken the masses by storm, making it a real treat for those wanting to enjoy the Philippines away from the crowds.
Matinloc Beach, El Nido
Matinloc beach is one of the wonders of the Philippines. Not only does it boast white sands and crystal clear waters (just like all the other beaches in the Philippines), it also offers visitors the chance to marvel at things you might not find in many places. Matinloc is home to a hidden bay surrounded by some very unique rock formations. This secret beach is full of coral, making it perfect for snorkelling fans wanting to swim among the wonderful marine life in the Philippine sea. What’s more, the sand is so fine and pleasant to the touch that lying on it all day long is a real pleasure.
Near Matinloc, you’ll also find an abandoned temple, known as the Matinloc Shrine. Tucked away at the foot of the imposing karst cliffs on the west coast of Matinloc, it is officially known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Matinloc, and was built in 1982. The temple has been completely neglected (the main building is almost empty), but tourists can still visit it.
Laiya Beach, Batangas
With its long stretch of white sand, Laiya is one of the most famous tourist beaches in the Philippines. It is perfect for families with children, as well as for lone travellers or groups of friends who love turquoise waters and dreamy landscapes but are also looking for a bit of fun. Laiya beach is located in Laiya-Aplaya in San Juan, Batangas. It has become one of the country’s most popular and visited beaches given its proximity to the country’s capital city, Manila.
Laiya has white sandy beaches and clear waters, along with seashells and coral shattered by bad weather. This beach has become particularly famous in recent years, and many tourists decide to stop by for a day trip. Residents earn their living mainly from fishing, and you’ll spot them on the water all year round. It’s a very characteristic setting and one that reveals a lot about daily life in this country. This is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the local culture, which is bound to make your trip that bit more special.
Subic Laki Beach, Sorsogon
Nagsasa Beach, Zambales
Nagsasa beach in Zambales has been blessed by nature with unparalleled beauty. Although it’s also been touched by civilisation – especially in recent years – it’s maintained all its former glory and purity. Famous for its sandy beach and intense blue waters full of coral reefs, this particular corner of paradise looks like something out of a film. Nagsasa beach in Zambales is perfect for visitors who want to find out what the real Philippines is like without straying too far from Manila.
Nagsasa beach is surrounded by green hills that strongly contrast with its turquoise waters, white sands and wilderness. The forests behind Nagsasa are also proof that this area of the world is far from fully developed. So, if you’re looking to learn more about the local culture and the real essence of the Philippines, Nagsasa – and all of Zampales – is a must-visit during your trip.
Samal and Mindanao Beaches
The official name of this heavenly place is Garden Island City of Samal. It belongs to the metropolitan area of Davao and is located two kilometres from Davao City, the largest city and Mindanao’s main economic hub. Samal has wonderful beaches and is home to numerous beach clubs. It also boasts a number of coral reefs, as well as calm waters where you can enjoy long, relaxing swims under the warm sun and a refreshing breeze.
With its white beaches and turquoise waters, Samal is one of the Philippines’s favourite tourist destinations and one of the country’s fastest growing hubs. If you love animals, you can also visit the nearby Monfort Bat Sanctuary, which is home to the largest bat colony in the world and is located right here on the island. There’s not really much else to add, all that’s left to do is plan your trip to this incredible island and embrace its spirit, lifestyle and exceptional culture.
Travel to the Philippines with Costa Cruises
Set sail for the Philippines today with Costa Cruises. Nature, marine life, rural landscapes and corners of paradise that you wouldn’t believe even existed! he Philippines is all of this and more, making it one of the most beautiful, historical places to visit in the world. What are you waiting for? Hop on board one of our ships and embark on the most beautiful trip of a lifetime.