Sunshine and beaches are a match made in heaven—like wine and cheese, or music and lyrics. There’s nothing like escaping the bustling city to spend our beautiful summer days sunbathing in powdery white shores dotted by palm trees and hammocks before swimming in turquoise waters with a marine life carved out of a fantasy movie.
As traveling for leisure takes a backseat because of the COVID-19 crisis, our tropical dreams will have to wait a little longer until it’s finally safe to fly or go on roadtrips once again. But that doesn’t mean we can’t start planning for our next beach getaway as early as now by updating our travel bucket list while lounging at home.
The Philippine archipelago is a tropical utopia that has more than 7,000 islands so we need not look further than our local gems when scouting for our sweet post-pandemic holiday destinations. Breathtaking places like Palawan, Boracay, Siargao and Cebu made it to the list of the world’s best islands by famous international travel publications Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure – recognitions that were based on their readers’ votes.
There may be different considerations in searching for the white sand beach of your dreams. Adventurous souls crave water sports and underwater excursions, while nature-loving tourists are fascinated by rich biodiversity and lush surroundings. Others are attracted by Instagrammable beachfront bars and restaurants or backdrops that will complement their summer OOTDs. There are travelers who look for a pulsating nightlife scene but there are also those who just want to watch the perfect sunset in peace.
Whether you’re looking for a tranquil, unspoiled paradise that is perfect for retreating into solitude, a picturesque haven to share with your family and loved ones, or a fun party island where you can sip fancy cocktails and dance the night away with friends, we came up with a list of alluring white sand beaches that you must visit after the pandemic. There’s a plethora of beautiful beaches in the Philippines, and these are our top picks:
- WHITE BEACH, BORACAY
The postcard-worthy island of Boracay has earned its reputation as one of the world’s famous tourist destinations in the Philippines for holidaymakers and thrill-seekers. This crowd darling’s top attraction is the White Beach, a long stretch of sugar-white sand and emerald blue waters that draw visitors to its pristine beauty and vibrant nightlife. Here you can take a refreshing stroll along the shore, swim or just beach bum with your favorite book and coconut smoothie. The popular strip also offers various water activities for adrenaline junkies such as parasailing, stand-up paddleboarding, scuba diving, snorkeling, banana boat ride and helmet diving. Meanwhile, wind sports enthusiasts can also opt to go to the opposite side of White Beach called Bulabog Beach, a windsurfing and kitesurfing mecca. You can also book island-hopping tours to see the other gorgeous spots in Boracay like Puka Beach and Crocodile Island.
White Beach is also a blissful place where couples can admire the dramatic orange sunset while cruising on a traditional sailing boat or Paraw. Those who want to chill out, eat and drink have a lot of resorts, bars and restaurants to choose from. Though partying at the beachfront is no longer allowed, there are many cool nightclubs, live music bars and pub crawls that you can enjoy. Shoppers usually head on to D’Mall to buy souvenirs. People also visit D’Talipapa to satisfy their seafood cravings. Tourists can even have their hair braided, get a henna tattoo and pamper themselves in a spa!
- MATUKAD ISLAND, CARAMOAN
Ready to explore the home of the “castaways”? Caramoan Peninsula in the province of Camarines Sur has spurred the interest of tourists to visit this hidden paradise especially when it became a shooting location of hit reality television show “Survivor”. If you don’t mind a long road trip from Manila, this remote Eden is for you – and it’s definitely worth the travel time. Caramoan boasts of secluded islands, rock formations, crystal clear waters and colorful marine life that will surely captivate adventure-loving souls who aren’t into touristy places. One of the secret jewels of this unexploited wonder is Matukad Island. It’s a small haven blessed with fine white sand beaches, tropical forest and towering limestone cliffs that may remind you of El Nido, Palawan. However, this island exudes a different charm. It also has a hidden lake that can only be seen by climbing the rock formations, and it is mystified by the local tale of the mythical milkfish residing in the water. Its beauty is raw and spellbinding – perfect for your post-pandemic travels! Just be prepared to be an ultimate “Survivor” because it involves thrilling rock climbing activities.
- ALONA BEACH, BOHOL
Tourists often visit Bohol to see the famed Chocolate Hills and the cute little Tarsiers. Apart from these gems, a tropical paradise also awaits local and foreign visitors in the breathtaking Panglao Island. Alona Beach—which is said to be named after a famous Filipina actress in the ‘70s who shot a movie there—is a tourism hotspot for travelers who are looking for a mix of glorious white sand beach, clear blue waters, amazing underwater adventures and fabulous nightlife. This 1.5 kilometer stretch is usually the starting point of tourist activities like island-hopping, scuba diving, snorkeling and dolphin-watching so it can get a bit crowded during the day. Alona Beach is lined with several luxurious resort hotels as well as bars and restaurants that serve local and international cuisines. It’s the perfect place to grab a cold beer, unwind and just enjoy the ocean view. While you’re there, you can also check out the nearby Bohol Bee Farm and Hinagdanan Cave. And of course, don’t miss other must-see attractions in Bohol like the Tarsier Sanctuary, Chocolate Hills and Loboc River.
- HIDDEN BEACH, EL NIDO
With a myriad of karst limestone cliffs, sugary white shores and sapphire-blue water that define a blissful tropical rendezvous, Palawan can come up with its own list of must-visit beaches. One of El Nido’s crown jewels is the beautiful Nacpan Beach (with its twin Calitang) that offers a sweet respite from the busy town proper. It’s a secluded getaway with creamy white sand where you can just chill and bask in the sun away from the crowd. There’s also the Las Cabanas Beach where you’ll most likely fall in love with one of the most magical sunsets on the island while unwinding in fancy bars and restaurants. And of course, it’s almost impossible not to be charmed by the Hidden Beach in Matinloc Island, which is part of Tour C of the popular island-hopping activity in El Nido. You have to jump off the boat and have a short swim towards an isolated cove hugged by towering limestone cliffs – and voilà! Chances are, you’ll have your own tranquil piece of white sand paradise to yourselves. El Nido’s Hidden Beach was also cited by Condé Nast Traveller in its list of “The 30 Best Beaches in the World” last year.
- PALITON BEACH, SIQUIJOR
Be prepared to be enchanted by the beauty and culture of the mystic island of Siquijor, a place usually associated with tales of witchcraft and sorcery. However, the real magic of this island-province, dubbed by the Spaniards as “Isla del Fuego” or “Island of Fire,” is in its idyllic natural attractions that can make anyone fall under its beautiful spell. Siquijor’s unspoiled and picturesque beaches, waterfalls, caves and springs are just waiting to be discovered by travelers from all over the world. One of the island’s bewitching gems is Paliton Beach, a white sand marvel nestled in San Juan. Its immaculate blue waters and swaying coconut palms will give you a chilled summer vibe as you laze in a hammock or swim in the sea. It is comparable to the island of Boracay, minus the influx of tourists. Aside from lounging on its shores, you can also go snorkeling, scuba diving or swinging in ropes while waiting for the sunset, which is best viewed from this laid back beach. For adventure-seekers, go to Salagdoong Beach to try cliff diving.
- NAKED ISLAND, SIARGAO
Siargao Island is best known as the Philippines’ surfing capital because of its sensational waves that come all year round from the Pacific Ocean. But this surfer’s paradise has a lot more to offer aside from its beautiful swells. Beach lovers can visit the nearby white sand islets like the Naked Island to relax and take a dip. Don’t be fooled by its name—this place is not a nudist beach. It is a bare sandbank in the middle of the sea with no shade, no trees, no beach shacks – nothing but powdery white sand and sparkling azure waters. It’s the ideal place where you can naturally get a tan and take selfies without photobombers!
After being sun-kissed, complete your island-hopping tour by going to Daku and Guyam Island. Daku is the biggest among the three islands and is a lovely spot for lunch because it has cottages and coconut trees. How about enjoying a mouthwatering seafood feast and fresh buko juice while resting in a hut overlooking the ocean? Here you can also kayak, fish, snorkel and dive. For the final stop of the day trip, tourists usually head on to Guyam, a small island that you can explore within minutes. This pretty little paradise is covered in palm trees and surrounded by dazzling white sand, crystalline waters and rocky reef. This charming site also has swings, hammocks and a basketball court. It’s a great place to see the sunset!
- KALANGGAMAN ISLAND, LEYTE
Beachgoers who have seen this slice of heaven tucked in Palompon, Leyte are raving about its breathtaking landscape and unique charm for a reason. Its long stretch of gleaming white sandbars that unfurl into the crystal clear sea is truly a wonderful sight to behold! What sparked its booming popularity was the first stopover of luxury cruise ship MV Europa in the small island way back in 2013, paving the way for its international recognition. This untouched beauty that has transformed into Leyte’s prime tourist destination still retains its serene atmosphere despite its fame. Kalanggaman Island is a 45-minute boat ride from the Palompon town proper and it’s certainly worth the trip. Sunbathe, swim, dive and soak in the unforgettable island experience with your friends and family. Camping out on this small island will also be a great addition to your bucket list if you don’t mind sleeping in tents to commune with nature and detach from the hustle and bustle of the city.
- LONG BEACH, SAN VICENTE
For those looking for a more laid-back side of Palawan after exploring the touristy El Nido, Puerto Princesa and Coron, the first-class municipality of San Vicente is a great choice for travelers. Around 3 hours away from Puerto Princesa, you’ll reach the town of San Vicente where the longest white sand beach in the Philippines is located. True to its name, the 14.7-kilometer Long Beach spanning the coastline of four barangays—Poblacion, New Agutaya, San Isidro, Alimanguan—is approximately three times longer than Boracay’s White Beach. This unspoiled, coconut tree-fringed shoreline may be an underrated paradise for now but is expected to become a top-tier tourist destination with the inauguration of the San Vicente Airport in 2018 and other key infrastructure projects. San Vicente was also designated as the first flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone of the country. So why not come and see its pristine beach at the edge of a lush forest before tourists flock to it?
- WHITE ISLAND, CAMIGUIN
Fancy swimming in aquamarine waters while admiring the majestic backdrop of volcanoes? Sounds like a picture-perfect scene straight off a postcard! Well, if Mount Hibok-hibok and Mount Vulcan are your “photobombers,” you’ll surely be stoked, right? After all you’re in Camiguin, the “Island Born of Fire.” What’s even more mesmerizing is strolling in the finely grained white sand of this dreamy, uninhabited islet called White Island. After cooling off in the sea and taking Instagram-worthy shots of the powdery sandbar that sparkles in sunshine, you can rest and read a book under the beach umbrella you rented. It is also worth mentioning that the sandbar disappears during the high tide and its shape changes based on the tides. That’s why there is nothing permanently built there, not even trees or shade – just the panoramic vistas of the azure sky and clear blue sea. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen and sunglasses for protection!
- HONDA BAY, PUERTO PRINCESA
You may have put Puerto Princesa in your bucket list because of the Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the “New 7 Wonders of Nature.” But the capital city of Palawan has a wealth of natural attractions that will satisfy your wanderlust. While Coron and El Nido are popular for their jaw-dropping islands and aquatic species, the marvels of Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa are divine, too. An island-hopping tour will take you to the crystalline emerald waters and white sand beaches of Starfish Island where there are many starfishes of various colors and sizes on the shore, plus a mangrove forest on the side. Starfish Island is also said to have a great snorkelling site where one can see colorful marine life and corals. Another stunning spot in Honda Bay is Pandan Island with its powdery fine white sand and crystal clear waters inviting you to take a dip or snorkel. It also has several beachfront nipa cottages where you can chill or eat your lunch.
It’s never too early to plan for our next island getaway after the pandemic. Let’s go local and explore the beautiful beaches in the Philippines when the world of travel finally resumes. If you’re already scouting for a nice vacation home in the “Best Island in the World”, an affordable condo for sale in Puerto Princesa may just be your best bet.
Choose to invest in properties outside Manila and reap the benefits of either living away from the hustle and bustle of the metro or generating passive income through real estate.
THE VERDANT: READY FOR OCCUPANCY CONDO IN PALAWAN
Since Puerto Princesa is considered as the gateway to El Nido and Coron, it’s an excellent starting point for your beach-hopping adventures when the global health crisis is over. Have you ever wondered if the right mix of rural and urban lifestyle is possible for you and your family?
Now you can fulfill your dream island and city living with Camella Manors Verdant. Discover the natural gems of Palawan’s capital city, take pleasure in the amenities of a resort-style condo – all while conveniently having access to the public transport and malls in a thriving business district.
The Verdant, a resort-themed condo in Palawan, is the newest and one of the most affordable mid-rise condominiums of Vista Land strategically located in Gabinete Road, Brgy. Bancao-Bancao, Palawan.
The Verdant is a 5,075-square meter condo village that has two 7-storey structures with a total of 532 units for both buildings. Each building of The Verdant features studio, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units.
Enjoy the accessibility to functional amenities like the swimming pool, kiddie pool, fitness gym, club house, play park and commercial area. This condo for sale also has security features like CCTV cameras 24/7 and electric perimeter fence for your peace of mind.
The Verdant is only 10 minutes away from the Puerto Princesa International Airport as well as the Port of Puerto Princesa. Beaches, hospitals, schools, malls, lifestyle centers and other major attractions are within reach. Ongoing infrastructure developments in the area will possibly increase business and commercial engagements in the city.
For more information and inquiries about the property, please visit Camella Manors’ official website.