The Philippines is famed for its beaches, and there’s always that extra-magical ambience when you’re frolicking in the white-sand iterations. (And TIL that scientists have determined that these soft, lush, gorgeous, Instagrammable blankets of white sand come from parrotfish who’ve nibbled on algae and dead coral and who then majestically process the inedible reef material and then prolifically excrete them? Which is totally fine, and not a problem at all.)
We’ve gathered a modest list of white sand beaches across the Philippines, plus recommendations from the travelers who love them.
Traveler Graciella Carpio [IG: @graciella521] recommends: “For a night of drinks with friends, Alona Beach is the way to go. For a relaxing and romantic night under the stars and hundreds of palm trees, South Palms Resort is my favorite — I got married there!”
Traveler Jaypee David [IG: @enjayneer] recommends: “Matukad [pictured above], a small island in Caramoan, has white-sand beaches, limestone formations and a lagoon. Go rock scrambling if you’re into extreme adventures.”
Also known as Medano Islet, White Island is a 15-minute boat ride from the northern coast of Camiguin. This uninhabited white sandbar changes with the tide flow. Here’s a tip: There are no trees or sheltered areas, so bring along a hat or umbrella. [And check out our list of five dive spots that make this volcanic island an intriguing destination.]
Traveler Donna Gragasin [IG: @donnamaeanne ] recommends: “Book a private resort stay at Fairways and Bluewater Resort for a tranquil, exclusive experience on the island. For ₱5,000 a night, I enjoyed access to a white-sand beach, infinity pools, water activities and even places to party and booze.”
Off the coast of northern Cebu is Bantayan Island, where you can camp or book yourself into one of the dozens of beachfront resorts. Mustsee beaches include Paradise Beach, a secluded stretch of white sand in Santa Fe, and Kota Beach and Sandbar in Madridejos.
There are several islets and beaches to explore in the Island Garden City of Samal and all of them boast crystalclear waters and fine white sand. Not sure where to begin? Work your way around according to the island beach resorts that take your fancy — sign up for snorkeling and spelunking activities along the way.
This article first appeared in the April 2020 issue of Smile magazine.