7 Sandbars In The Philippines You Should Visit


Have you ever experienced what it’s like to have water all around you and nothing but a strip of sand underneath your feet? If you want to have a surreal “walking on water” moment, you can experience this by treading along sandbars!

Sandbars are off-shore features that are formed when the waves tear away the sands of beaches and deposit them farther away from the shore. Aside from providing an interesting experience for tourists, they also greatly add to the beauty of a beach. And yes, the Philippines has a slew of top-notch sandbars that you can visit anytime!

1. Cresta De Gallo

Cresta de Gallo is an island in Romblon which people compare to Boracay before the latter became so commercialized. Up to this day, the stunning blue water surrounding the pure white sand of the Cresta de Gallo beach remains unspoiled by man.

Cresta de Gallo

Cresta de Gallo

This little paradise has a sandbar that is a few kilometers long which connects two islets via its northern and southern tips. The sandbar also acts as a barrier against the waves, breaking the rough waves of the east into more swimmer-friendly ones as they roll over to the western side. It’s an amazingly beautiful place, especially during sunrise and sunset!

2. Kalanggaman Island

This island in Leyte is considered by many to have the most beautiful sandbars in the country. The island itself, along with its amazing sandbars, is the main highlight of northwest Leyte’s tourism campaign. The elongated island has two long strips of sand veering away from the mainland on either end, stretching for kilometers.

Kalanggaman Island

Photo from Nicko R.’s looloo review for Kalanggaman Island

What makes it even more charming is the fact that the shape of the sandbars are always changing, as they are continuously sculpted by the waves. Aside from the sandbars, another interesting feature of the island is the sudden drop-off underwater, which contains colorful marine life!

3. Camiguin

It’s a popular notion among foreign and local tourists alike that Camiguin is home to plenty of white sand beaches. Unfortunately, there are no such beaches in Camiguin! The whole island is a product of volcanic eruptions and is void of white sand formed from corals.

Camiguin Island

Camiguin Island

The island, however, does have a white sandbar—a beautiful feature that can only be visited during lowtide. The long, wide stretch of white sand is completely bare, save for the footprints left behind by visitors. In stark contrast to the plain white sandbar, you’ll find a colorful marine sanctuary when you plunge into the water, which explains why it’s a favorite spot among scuba divers.

4. Snake Island

When talking about the best sandbars in the country, one would expect El Nido to have a contribution. And of course they do! Palawan’s Snake Island is a thin and curved sandbar that connects two other islands. You can easily walk from one island to the other via this white crescent in the turquoise sea.

Snake Island

Photo from Unisse C.’s looloo review for Snake Island

Since this is a highly touristy place, you can find some amenities here, too. During peak season there are kayaks that can be rented at Snake Island. But the most interesting feature is the “bar on the bar”! Here, you can order different kinds of drinks, from fresh coconut juice to beer.

5. Cagbalete

Quezon also has great beaches as well as a beautiful sandbar located in Cagbalete Island. Called the Yang-In Sandbar, this is one of the two lowtide attractions in the island. On the eastern side, the receding waters retreat for over a kilometer, leaving behind a stunningly wide swath of beach. On the western side is Yang-In, bordered by clusters of young mangrove trees planted by the locals themselves!

Yang-In Sandbar, Cagbalete, Quezon

Yang-In Sandbar, Cagbalete, Quezon

These mangroves have become iconic to the place, especially that lone mangrove planted right smack in the middle of the sandbar. It’s definitely a picture taking spot! While there, it’s also cool to admire the sandy ripples left behind by the receding tide.

6. Pandanon Island

Located in Cebu (between the mainland and Bohol) is a sandbar that locals are very proud of. The long stretch of fine white sand distinguishes itself from many others by its rustic charm! It’s where you really get to feel the wild side of nature, with local children playing around and even wild dogs digging in the sand. The beach connected to the sandbar also features a small chapel and an abandoned restaurant, adding to its appeal.

Despite this, the area is very well-maintained, especially the cottages! The soft, fine white sandbar also changes with the tides, though it’s perfect for relaxation no matter what time you visit.

7. Manlawi Sandbar

The Caramoan peninsula, located in Camarines Sur, is well-known for its variety of tropical activities perfect for every vacation. One of the many things you can do here is visit the sandbar of Manlawi, an impressive kilometer-wide stretch of sand that disappears completely when the tide comes in.

Manlawi Sandbar

Manlawi Sandbar

The sandbar is east of Lahuy, which is the largest island in the vicinity. And for a change, here’s a sandbar that still remains a tourist attraction even when submerged.

Where are you headed next?

Of course, these aren’t the only beautiful sandbars in the country by any stretch! Where will you be headed to next? Maybe your next vacation spot also offers a beautiful sandbar. Keep your eyes peeled, and add it to this list!

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About Author

Karla Ramos

A former preschool teacher/figure skater turned Travel Blogger, Social Media Manager and a travel enthusiast. I was bitten by the travel bug early on and I enjoy action-packed and adrenaline filled experiences. Often, people call me an energizer bunny because of my never-ending energy. While traveling, I love experiencing local culture, trying out local cuisine and meeting new people but most of all, I am a sucker for adventure, so if there’s something new to try, I’m definitely up for it.