While the majority of tourists hit Thailand or Bali for a beach vacation, I go to Philippines. That country with over 7000 islands has more beaches than any other country in the world. One more picturesque than the other. Crystal clear turquoise water, white sand and your cottage on the beach. All you have to do is to relax in the hammock and watch sunset while having a cold drink.
But if you only have few weeks, how to spot the best ones? After spending several months in Philippines and visiting over 20 beaches there, I have found some that are just spectacular. Here is my TOP 5.
#1 Port Barton on Palawan
Buy a return ticket before you go there, otherwise you might never leave. Palawan is not very advanced and Port Barton happens to be one of those villages that only have electricity for 4-6 hours a day. It has some restaurants, a school, lot of chicken and a beach full of sea facing resorts and cottages.
The main beach is long with white sand, blue water and colourful boats. But along the coast there are lot of smaller, completely secluded beaches. Just start walking, find ne you like and spend a day there reading a book and cooling in the sea every now and then without seeing any other people.
Out of all the South-East Asian countries Philippines has impressed me the least with their cuisine. I would actually even go further and say that their food is just flavourless and bad. However, there is this one eatery in Port Barton, that’s pretty good – Gacayan and we ended up eating there every day. Lunch and dinner. Sometimes breakfast too. It’s easy to spot due to the pink colour and crowds 😊
We stayed in Summer Homes right in the centre of the beach and loved it. It is also one of the very few places with generator, which means we had the light breeze of the fan most of the night.
#2 Sugar Beach on Bantayan island (off Cebu)
That’s the whitest sand I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot of sand on a lot of beaches 🙂
Just go to Santa Fe and hit the beach west of it. You’ll have tens of resorts to choose from. The further you walk, the less tourists and more fishermen you’ll see.
#3-4 Islanders Paradise Beach and Salangdoong Beach on Siquijor
For the locals, Siquijor is a mysterious island of witchcraft and the unknown. They truly believe it’s bewitched and don’t really trust people from there. It is however famous due to its mountain-dwelling healers, but also the number of laid-back beaches with sea front resorts.
The best ones I’ve found so far, are the Islanders Paradise Beach appr. 7km from Larena and Salangdoong beach. Both are far enough from the party side of the island, which makes them pleasantly secluded. You can lie in your hammock for hours and only see one or two people walking past.
We’ve stayed in Islanders Paradise Resort, great for sunset and should you wish, you can rent the cottage also with in- or outdoor kitchen. Considering the local cooking skills, it’s strongly recommended 🙂
#5 Sabang on Palawan
I’m having some hesitations, whether to include Sabang to my “Best beaches in Philippines” list or not. Well, apparently I managed to make the decision, since it’s listed now. It wasn’t the beach, but the village of Sabang that I really disliked. It was clearly established for the amount of people who came to see the underground river. Otherwise I can’t understand, why would someone build resorts right next to a fairly high hill that somehow managed to overshadow everything there. It’s also a windy bay, so swimming was a challenge for most of the people.
That said, the water itself was incredible. It had more than 50 shades of blue and green and every time I ran into my cottage to get the camera, the colour had already changed.
Don’t expect more than 4 hours of electricity daily 😊