Summer has official kicked in, the sun and sky smiling down on us are Mother Nature’s way of telling us that the summer season is already here, and it is time to hit the road and discover what the world has to offer.
Summer is not really my favorite season, but it is the best time to travel to exciting destinations. Summer is the season when we get to see flowers blooming, and the beaches are inviting, picture perfect. Here in the Philippines, summer is vacation season too, that is why most of the popular tourist summer destinations packed with locals and foreign visitors. For people who hate crowded beaches, why not consider the unspoiled beaches of the Philippines.
Philippines is a country with endless coastlines, so there are plenty of beaches to visit that are just as beautiful as Boracay, El Nido that have not yet visited by most Filipinos, especially foreign visitors. For the past years, locals and foreign beach goers only spend their summer vacation to popular summer destinations, and the influx of people turned the beaches over commercialized in my opinion.
Anyway, my advice is to stay away from popular vacation spots because there are plenty of awesome beaches across the country waiting for discovery. The less popular beaches are just as good as Boracay but without the usual crowd. These unspoiled beaches during the summer season are not crowded which is why spending the whole day on the shoreline alone, in peace and quiet is possible.
Here is my idea of summer destinations to the Philippines unspoiled beaches.
1. Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte
Calaguas Island is one of Camarines Norte beautiful beaches. The island has been getting a lot of attention lately because it is one of the best beaches in the country. It is unspoiled, there are no resorts although there are nipa huts accommodations for rent, sari sari store it is still best to bring a hammock and tents if you are staying for a day or two. In fact, you should stay overnight to wake up to a beautiful view that does not cost an arm and legs.
The island has fine white sand, clear waters and friendly locals ready to give you a hand with cooking and setting up camp. When in the island, you can island hop to Mahabang buhagin, where the sands are superbly white and fine. Other things you can do are hiking, Frisbee, bird watching and sleeping to your heart content.
To get to Calaguas Island is easy. Take a bus that goes to directly to Daet. From there take a jeep to reach Vinzons where you can take a boat ride at the port. Travel time from Vinzons port to Calaguas takes 2 hours.
2. Palaui Island, Boracay of the North
Palaui Island is located on the northernmost part of Cagayan Valley. The island has been dubbed as the “Boracay of the North” since its white sand is a bit like that of the sands of boracay. By the way, Palaui Island has become more popular after the reality show “Survivor Palaui 2013” hit the TV.
To get to Palaui Island, you have two options. The first one is to take a bus ride from Manila to Sta. Ana, Cagayan. Travel time from Manila to Sta. Ana by bus (Victory Liner and Florida Bus) is approximately 16 hours. The other option is by plane; take a plane ride to Tuguegarao city then travel by bus or van to Sta. Ana where you can take a boat ride to Palaui Island.
3. Coron, Palawan
Coron is one of the municipalities in Palawan that is worth visiting for its white sand beaches and unspoiled surrounding. When in Coron, you can island hop to Banana islands, Malcapuya and Bulog-dos islands as these islands have crystal clear waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling, fine sand beaches that great for volleyball and other beach activity.
To get to Coron, take a flight via Cebu Pacific or Air Philippines to Busuanga or Palawan. Between Palawan and Busuanga, it is easier to fly directly to Busuanga. From the Busuanga airport, you can just take a van to Coron where you can hire a boat for island hopping.
4. Pandan Island, Mindoro Occidental
Pandan island is an off the beaten beach, located near the town of Sablayan, Mindoro Occidental. The beach offer more than just amazing views of the sea or postcard perfect scenery but also a safe and relaxing place. When in Pandan island you can swim with the sea turtles, snorkel or go diving in the famous Apo Reef, the largest coral reef in the country and second largest, in the world.
There are three ways to get to Pandan Island. First and cheapest mode of transportation is by taking a bus. There are several bus companies that travel to Sablayan, Dimple Star Transport is one of them. Sablayan can also be reach by seaplane, you can charter one, but it is very expensive transport.
Domestic airlines like Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific also fly to Mindoro Occidental but into San Jose. From there, you just take a bus to Sablayan. The travel time is about 3 hours.
5. San Juan Beaches, Siquijor
Siquijor is one of the islands in the Philippines with lots of unspoiled beaches. The province of Siquijor is located in the Central Visayas, between Negros, Cebu and Mindanao. The capital of Siquijor also named Siquijor. It is the third smallest province in the entire Philippines.
There are several splendid beaches in the island of Siquijor. When you visit the province, be ready for you are about to be welcomed by awesome view of the beach that lies adjacent to the main port. The beaches offer visitors white sandy beaches, great limestone formation, and fantastic sunset. Hence, when in Siquijor, hire a tricycle to take you to San Juan, a town where you can find lots of resorts. Kagusuan beach, a hidden paradise, away from the world and definitely protected from modernity is the best beach in Siquijor.
To get to Siquijor you can travel by air and sea, but between the two, the ferry is the most used transport by locals and foreign visitors. You can get to Siquijor thru Cebu city, Tagbiliran and Dumaguete. If you are coming from Manila, the easiest way is to fly to Dumaguete.
6. Vulugan Beach, Batanes
Batanes is well known for its magnificent hills, old stone houses, and friendly people. Most people that visit Batanes do not travel for its beaches but to experience the province well preserved lifestyle and culture. But of course, just because the majority of its visitors travel to see the wonderful houses and panoramic views, it does not mean that there are no awesome beaches in Batanes because there is and one of them is the Vulugan Beach.
Aside from Vulugan Beach, other beaches to check out when in Batanes are Sabtang Island and Nakabuang Beach because these beaches offer a panoramic view, white sand beach, and beautiful rock formation.
To get to Batanes you can fly to the province as airlines like Pal Express fly to the province daily.
7. Dahican Beach, Davao Oriental
Dahican beach is located in Mati, Davao Oriental. The beach is a very popular summer destination of local residents and visitors of Mati City. My mother, who grew up in Davao told me that Dahican beach is really a good beach to learn surfing, skim boarding, and wind surfing.
To get to Dahican Beach, take a bus from Davao city to Mati city. From there, you can rent a habal habal that will take you to the beach.
8. Gumasa Beach, Glan, Saragani
The locals have dubbed Glan as the “Little Boracay” and visitors who have also visited boracay would agree that it is really the little boracay of South Mindanao. Come to think of it! If you want to see what boracay looks like before commercialization took over, head to Saragani.
To get to Gumasa Beach, Glan, there are flights to General Santos city daily. There is a van terminal at KCC Mall where you can take a ride to Saragani. From Saragani, hire a habal habal to Gumasa Beach.
9. Inampulogan Islands, Guimaras
Guimaras is another summer getaway that is making noise as the tiny island offer more than just clear waters. The island is just a few minutes away from Iloilo City and can be explored in one day. There are white sand beaches in Guimaras, abundant marine life, crystal clear waters and awesome coral reef.
To get to Inampulogan islands, fly to Iloilo city. Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines offer direct flight to the city. When already there, take a taxi or jeepney to the harbor, there are pump boat that take travelers to Jordan Wharf, Guimaras. Travel time from the harbor to Guimaras is only 15 minute.
10. Cagbalete Island, Quezon
Cagbalete Island, Quezon is located in Luzon. Most people go to Quezon during the summer because there are lots of good beaches in the area and it is close to Manila. People who are on a tight budget can have a nice vacation this summer at Cagbalete Island. There are plenty of resorts offering comfortable and affordable accommodations like Villa Noe Beach, Pancosala Beach Resort, Villa Cleofa’s, etc.
If you are in Manila, there are bus that runs to Lucena City, take that bus. Once in Lucena, take another bus but this time to Mauban. In Mauban, head to the port and pay the environmental fee before taking a boat ride to Cagbalete Island.
11. Nagsasa Cove, San Antonio, Zambales
Zambales is a favorite summer getaway of many pinoys since it is near Manila. Plus, there are lots of coves and islands that are worth visiting during the summer season like Anawagin Cove, Camara Island, Capones Island, etc. Nagsasa Cove is also another summer destination that you should visit, especially if you love serenity and beauty of Anawagin Cove since it is even better than the other cove in Zambales.
Nagsasa Cove offer blue waters, amazing scenery and serenity that most campers long for in a beach. The relaxing and quiet scenery of the beach is definitely worth visiting if you love camping.
To get to Nagsasa Cove, take a bus to Pundaquit, Zambales. From Pundaquit, take a boat ride to Nagsasa Cove, the boat ride take about 45 minutes.
12. Malabrigo, Lobo, Batangas
Malabrigo beach is not the usual beach getaway that most people are accustomed. This beach has no fine white sand or anything similar as the shore filled with stones. Yes! Malabrigo is different from your usual beach because of its stony shore. There are abundant trees with branches great for setting up hammocks, instead of coconut trees.
When you walk along its stony shore, you will love the feel of the stones under your foot. It is like getting a foot massage. The feeling intensifies when you step on better stones. Aside from the stony shore that makes it unique, the view the shore is facing is also awesome. If you feel like you need a free foot massage and a unique adventure this summer, visit Punta Malabrigo in Lobo, Batangas.
13. Masasa Beach, Batangas
If you are looking for summer destinations that are near Manila, and will give you peace of mind without spending much money, head to Batangas. There are lots of beaches in Batangas that are isolated and Magsasa Beach is one of them. However, there are no resorts on the beach, so you need to bring your own tent if you are staying overnight.
The beach is perfect for bummers who don’t like crowded beaches. It is also perfect for campers and hikers as the hill nearby are enough to satisfy a hiker’s need for a climb.
To get to Magsasa Beach, take a bus ride to batangas City terminal. The travel time from Cubao terminal to Batangas takes about 2-3 hours, depending on traffic. From Batangas Terminal, take a jeep ride to Anilao, travel time is 45 minutes. From Anilao, either you stay overnight (if you arrived after 11am) to catch the public boat to Tingloy that leaves at 10:30 am every day or you can charter your own boat for the island hopping tour.
Public boat is cheaper as the fare per person is less than P100 but chartering a private boat will cost you approximately P2500.
14. Borawan Beach, Quezon
Borawan beach is another Quezon’s pride. It is close to Manila and its proximity makes it a great summer destinations on my list. Borawan Beach is the most famous beach amongst all the beaches in Basiao. In fact, the name Borawan coined as the beach comparable to Palawan’s limestone and Boracay’s white sand.
To get to Borawan Beach, take a bus to Lucena, it takes about 3 ½ hours to 4 hours to get there. From the Grand Terminal of Lucena, take a bus to Padre Burgos then ask to be drop at the Basiao junction. From the junction, you can either rent a tricycle or walk to the beach where there are boatmans that you can hire to take you to Borawan Beach.
15. Hundred Islands, Pangasinan
Hundred Island National Park is the country’s national park. It is located in Alaminos City, Pangasinan, and under the protected area of Dept. of Environment. Hundred Islands have three islands develop for tourism namely the Children’s island, Quezon Island and Governor Island. The entrance to the Park is on Lucap Wharf, 240 km north of Manila.