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The 7 Most Stunning Beaches in the Philippines


Bucket List Worthy   Off the Beaten Path  


According to Conde Nast, the Philippine Islands are among the most beautiful travel destinations in the world. With abundant natural beauty, the islands are a postcard-worthy paradise for visitors to explore and enjoy.  

Find out more about these seven hideaways and discover a whole new set of utopian holiday destinations.


El Nido, Palawan

Photo Credit: Allan Ascaño


According to International Travel + Leisure Magazine, Palawan has held the “Best Island in the World” spot for two years in a row. It is often named “the last frontier” of the Philippines, welcoming tourists from around the globe to a stunning natural paradise.

Right off the coast, one can find magnificent karst limestone formations, luxurious lagoons, marble cliffsides, ancient caves and a plethora of cascading waterfalls. Eat a famous bowl of bird’s nest soup and catch some photos of the awe-inspiring landscape. It’s a modern Eden.

Hot Tip: Diving fans will love this spot, as El Nido has some of the most diverse marine life and growth in the country. It features more than 50 species of coral, and attracts whales, whale sharks, sea cows, manta rays, dolphins and endangered turtles.



Palaui Island, Cagayan Valley

Photo by TWIST (The Way I See Things)

Palaui Island also continues to make top ten lists of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Volcanic rock formations, tropical forestry and beaches galore. Walk the shore, visit the lighthouse or simply take in the splendour of the sun.

More than any other destination, this island is a raw paradise. You won’t find hotel chains or clamouring streets, and you’ll need to locate a homestay or camp beneath the stars if you wish to stay overnight.


Panglao, Bohol

Photo Credit: The Wandering Angel

The Panglao area is best known for its sea life and activities and although it offers a whole range of stunning beach fronts, there is still so much more of the island for visitors to explore.

Come for the powdery white sands and azure waters, but you’ll soon discover dolphin watching, whale spotting, diving with barracudas, picturesque coral formations and so much more. In addition to all of the oceanic wonder, you’ll find the famed Chocolate Hills, rolling landscapes of more than 1000 natural domes in one breathtaking view.


Great Santa Cruz Island, Zamboanga

On Great Santa Cruz Island, red coral is crushed from the sea floor to mix with the white sand and create a beautiful rose coloured coast. Against a backdrop of lush green forest and clear blue water, this island becomes a picturesque trove of relaxation and visual wonder. Come to swim, snorkel, dive, fish and more. It’s all just a boat ride away.  Swimmers will want to beware of the steep drop into the sea just a few metres from shore.

Due to local threats, you need a Department of Tourism in Zamboanga City tourist permit to visit Great Santa Cruz Island (this also includes your own security guards). The city is reported to be “vibrant and relatively peaceful,” with danger only between local groups. Aggression toward tourists is rare, but be sure to check with your local embassy before visiting.


Caramoan, Camarines Sur

Photo Credit: Fabio Achilli

Waterfalls, caves, freshwater pools, underground streams and lagoons make this destination a true gem. Explore this wonderful island paradise between soaking up some sun on one of the many beautiful beaches on the coast.

Looking for adventure? Take the climb to Mount Caglago for a spectacular view of the surrounding islands.


Siargao Islands, Surigao del Norte

This is the surfing capital of the Philippines. Everyone from first-time surfers to pros can gather at Cloud Nine Reef to ride the picture-perfect waves of the Pacific Ocean. If you’d rather kick back and relax in the sun, not to worry. There are plenty of sandy beaches for you to swim, picnic or soak up some rays.

This area also features the largest mangrove forest in Mindanao — a beautiful spot for experiencing the indescribable marine biodiversity of the Siargao Islands.



Boracay, Aklan

Photo Credit: Francis Gimenez

It comes as no surprise that Boracay has held the No.1 spot for “Best Island in the World.” The island was given the title by Travel + Leisure Magazine in 2012, and it remains one of the magazine’s top three to this day.

During the daytime, the famous White Beach is a hub of activity. It’s a popular place for watersports, and it’s no surprise to see tourists enjoying them all just a short distance from shore. Even more, this beach comes alive at night with gorgeous lighting that makes a romantic walk along the shore a must for vacationing couples. Check out the cosy restaurants, tropical bars and vendors after hours for an entire evening of fun.

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About the Author: Rachel Gross

Rachel Gross is a nationally-recognized author, women’s voice advocate and proponent of self-improvement. Her work can be found in several niche-interest lifestyle publications, blogs and more. A life enthusiast and natural creative, Rachel is driven by the strength within each of us. She believes in the power of exploration, travel which excites, and a good cup of coffee.

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