As an archipelago with 7,107 islands, you’ll never run out of beaches to explore in the Philippines.
Boracay may get mentioned a lot when it comes to Philippine beaches due to its long stretch of powdery white sand but there are other wonderful beaches to see. It just takes a bit of effort getting to them.
If secluded beaches boasting pristine white sand and a gradient of sapphire and emerald water interest you, then prepare yourself for a rugged journey and don’t forget to pack camping gear as well. These hidden paradises may be difficult to reach, but as the saying goes…sometimes the best things in life don’t come easy.
Casapsapan Beach, Casiguran, Aurora
Situated 4-5 hours away from Baler, Aurora, the sleepy town of Casiguran boasts of a long stretch of white sand beaches that gives Boracay a run for its money.
The rough journey to this secret paradise involves a steep trail and a river crossing which you can do in a small vehicle like a tricycle. However, once you set your eyes on the azure water and sink your feet into the powdery sand, you can really tell yourself that the trek was all worth it.
Most of its areas still remain untouched although there are talks about developing this virgin beach. Now is the time to take the opportunity to visit before it gets commercialized.
Calaguas Island, Vinzons, Camarines Norte
The straight-out-of-the-magazine landscape of Calaguas Island will definitely leave you breathless. The fine sand, crystal clear water and absence of mass tourists and cellular signal definitely makes this island the perfect place to detach from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Calaguas is a group of islands in the province of Camarines Norte. The island of Tinaga, where the famous Mahabang Buhangin Beach is located, is probably the most visited part where happy campers and backpackers spend the night under the stars due to the absence of hotels.
Malamawi Beach, Isabela City, Basilan
Basilan may have a bad reputation but if you are up for a one-of-a-kind adventure to visit a beautiful beach paradise, then heading to this small island in Mindanao is worth the risk.
Just an hour’s travel from Basilan’s capital, Isabela, all your fears will be washed away once you’ve set your foot on this untouched beauty. However, just to be on safe side, be sure to have a local tour guide come with you.
Sibang Cove, Calayan, Cagayan Valley
Most people don’t think the Babuyan Islands are even inhabited. But there’s actually a hidden gem called Sibang Cove, that’s on one of the five islands of Babuyan.
Calayan Island, the largest of the five major islands of Babuyan, can be reached via Claveria in Cagayan province using a lampitaw or outrigger boat. Travel time from Claveria to Calayan Island takes up to 5 hours and water can sometimes be rough so the roller coaster ride is not for the faint hearted.
For smoother sailing, the best time to travel are between the months of April and May. This secluded beach on a remote island does not have any resorts, restaurants or even beach huts so be prepared to experience being a cast away like Tom Hanks.
The turquoise water, white sand beaches surrounded by limestone cliffs and rock formations are reminiscent of Palawan’s El Nido. Aside from Sibang, when it’s low tide, you can also walk to the other two coves, Caniwara and Cababaan.
Sta. Cruz Island, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga
If other beaches boast of their white sand, Zamboanga’s pride is their pink sand from Pink Beach.
Sta. Cruz Island is a small, inhabited island, a 10-minute boat ride from Paseo del Mar. The color of the sand comes from the pulverized red organ pipe coral that’s mixed with white sand, giving the sand a pinkish color. The clear, blue green water and very fine sand is actually very impressive considering that Pink Beach is just a few meters away from the city.
There are no restaurants on the island so best to bring your own food and drinks. Tables and cottages can be rented for as low as P200 for a whole day stay or if you’re a real cheapskate, you can simply find shade in one of the flowering trees.