8 Best White Sand Beaches in the Philippines for Your Getaway

Princess Anaviso

Princess Anaviso

Last updated February 27, 2024

Boracay is the 10th best island destination in the world, according to a survey by US travel website Travel + Leisure.[1] Locally, its renown is such that most Filipinos include seeing the famed Boracay sunset on their travel bucket lists.

This intense popularity, however, also means it's prone to overcrowding, especially during summertime.

Want to enjoy your vacation sans noisy fellow travelers and jam-packed tourist spots? Fortunately, the Philippines offers more beaches and crystal-clear waters. Check out the best white sand beaches in the Philippines for a one-of-a-kind summer vacation.

8 Best White Sand Beaches in the Philippines

Below are some beaches that rival the white sands of Boracay:

🏖️ Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

best white sand beaches in the philippines - calaguas

If you’re going to visit just one white beach this summer, we recommend Calaguas Island. Located in Vinzons, Camarines Norte, Calaguas’ unspoiled beaches are akin to—or even better than—the white sand beaches of Boracay. The island’s long stretch of fine white sand comes with a view of Camarines Norte’s lush mountains.

Looking for accommodations? Check out the Calaguas White Sand Resort, which offers tropical-themed rooms to guests.

Calaguas may be a bit far if you’re coming from the metro, but it’s definitely worth the trip.

How to Get to Calaguas Island

Take a bus from Manila to Daet, then ride a jeepney or tricycle to Vinzons. From there, ride a tricycle going to the port, then charter a boat going to Mahabang Buhangin beach in Calaguas.

If you prefer flying, book a flight to Naga and travel to Daet via van. From Daet, take a jeepney to Minaogan Port. From the port, take a two-hour boat ride to Calaguas.

Costs to Pay Upon Arrival

  • Boat ride: ₱2,500 to ₱5,000 (the biggest boat can seat up to 20 individuals)
  • Environmental fee: At least ₱20 per person (the fee may recur depending on spots visited)
  • Camping fee: ₱120 to ₱200 entrance fee per person (plus ₱100 to ₱150 for tent pitching)
  • Cottage: ₱300 for day trips, ₱500 for overnight stays
  • Trekking guide: ₱50 per person


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🏖️ Cagbalete Island, Quezon Province

If you’re not a fan of long bus rides and multiple boat transfers, Cagbalete Island is the perfect white sand beach in Luzon for you. Situated in the quiet town of Mauban, Quezon, Cagbalete boasts a beach that glistens in the sun during low tide.

Snorkeling and beach-hopping are two of the top activities to do here. You can also play beach volleyball, visit the nearby Bonsai Island, and simply watch the sunrise during your stay.


How to Get to Cagbalete Island

Take a bus to Lucena from Cubao, Alabang, or Buendia, then catch a van or local bus to Mauban from the Lucena Grand Terminal. If you prefer air-conditioned buses or vans with a faster travel time, ride a Mauban-bound one from SM City Lucena.

From there, walk to the port, then charter a boat to Cagbalete Island. 

Costs to Pay Upon Arrival

  • Boat ride: ₱100 per person
  • Environmental fee: ₱50 per person
  • Accommodation: ₱1,500 to ₱2,500 per night for two individuals (cheaper for larger groups renting out fan rooms)
  • Camping fee: Starts at ₱50 to ₱250 per person (entrance fee only, not inclusive of tent)

🏖️ Bolod Beach, Bohol

best white sand beaches in the philippines - bolod beach
Photo: Bolod Beach Resort (Facebook)

Panglao, Bohol is one of our top picks if you’re looking for the best white sand beaches in the Philippines. Most tourists would probably book a resort near Alona Beach because of its popularity and charm. But you should also consider the neighboring Bolod Beach.

Found in the southern part of the island, Bolod covers over one and a half kilometers of white sand and is quieter compared to other well-known Bohol beaches. Marine life is abundant here, so expect starfish and mini coral gardens.

How to Get to Bolod Beach

Book a flight to Tagbilaran, then ride a jeepney or tricycle to Panglao. From there, take a boat going to Bolod Beach.

Costs to Pay Upon Arrival

  • Cottage: ₱150 per day
  • Tent pitching: ₱350 for two individuals
  • Accommodation: ₱2,000 to ₱3,000 per night

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🏖️ Caramoan Islands, Camarines Sur

best white sand beaches in the philippines - caramoan islands

You’ve probably heard of Caramoan because of the reality show Survivor,[2] which propelled the group of islands into becoming a top travel destination in the country—and deservedly so. Caramoan offers not just one of the best white sand beaches in the Philippines but also lagoons, caves, and limestone cliffs, so there’s something for everyone.

Caramoan is rich in beauty and history, making it one of the best destinations in Bicolandia. Go here if you’re looking for a tropical island adventure!

How to Get to Caramoan

Book a flight or ride a bus to Naga, then catch a jeep, van, or bus to Sabang Port. From the port, ride a boat to the Caramoan Islands. You can also take a public jeepney or bus to Caramoan if you’re on a budget and aren’t conscious of time. 

Costs to Pay Upon Arrival

  • Boat ride: ₱120 per person
  • Island hopping: ₱1,500 to ₱4,000 (each boat can accommodate up to six individuals; price depends on the length of trip and inclusions)
  • Accommodation: ₱750 to ₱1,500

🏖️ Cagwait Beach, Surigao del Sur

The Cagwait White Beach is a crowd favorite in Surigao del Sur. It was formerly dubbed the “Waikiki Beach of the Philippines” but is now better known as the “Little Boracay of Caraga,” thanks to its fine, powdery sand.

The C-shaped beach is lined with thick trees that provide shelter from the sun. Compared to other more popular summer destinations, Cagwait Beach is still relatively tranquil as it doesn’t have a lot of commercial establishments within the vicinity. This is partly what gives it its charm and makes it an ideal location for a beach getaway.


How to Get to Cagwait Beach

From Manila, book a flight to Davao, then ride a bus to Tandag. Then from Tandag, ride a jeepney to Aras-asan, Cagwait. Tell the driver to drop you off at Cagwait junction. From the junction, take a tricycle to Cagwait Beach.

Costs to Pay Upon Arrival

  • Cottage: Starts at ₱500
  • Accommodation: Starts at ₱700

Related: Your Home on the Island: Where to Stay in Siargao

🏖️ Canigao Island, Leyte

best white sand beaches in the philippines - canigao

Photo: @sinopinas (Instagram)

If you’re looking for a white sand beach in Leyte, Canigao Island won’t let you down. This small paradise located in the municipality of Matalom has a fisherman’s sanctuary, sandbar, and forest trees that provide shade to tourists.

One of the activities you can do on the island is snorkeling. If you’re more of a beach bum, there are also plenty of spots on the island where you can pitch a tent and just hang out with your companions.

How to Get to Canigao Island

From Manila, ride a plane to Tacloban, then take a van to Maasin, Southern Leyte. Get off at the Matalom town center. From there, you can walk or take a tricycle to the pier. Then ride a boat to Canigao.

Costs to Pay Upon Arrival

  • Boat fee: ₱55 per person
  • Camping fee: ₱100 if with own tent, ₱250 if renting a tent
  • Cottage: Starts at ₱700

🏖️ Salagdoong Beach, Siquijor

best white sand beaches in the philippines - salagdoong

Photo: @tinyytraveler_ (Instagram)

Salagdoong Beach is an exotic beach on the eastern side of Siquijor, which is known as the “Mystic Island of Central Visayas.” A short stretch of forest leads to the beach, offering plenty of exciting activities like cliff diving, snorkeling, and kayaking.

It also has an iconic blue slide leading straight to the ocean for those who crave adventure but don't want to jump off cliffs.[4] However, the slide is under construction at the moment.

How to Get to Salagdoong Beach

From Manila, book a flight to Dumaguete City. Take a tricycle to the Dumaguete Port. From the port, take a boat or ferry to Siquijor. You can also get to Siquijor from Cebu and Bohol, but you’ll have to take a ferry either way.

Once you’re in Siquijor, the easiest way to get around is to rent a motorbike or scooter. However, if you prefer taking public transport, you can ride a tricycle or jeepney to Salagdoong Beach from the Siquijor Circumferential Road. Just take note that this may cost you more in the long run.

Costs to Pay Upon Arrival

  • Entrance fee: ₱10 to ₱75 per person
  • Environmental fee: ₱10 to ₱20
  • Scooter rent: ₱250 to ₱500 per day
  • Parking fee: ₱20 to ₱40 per bike or scooter
  • Cottage: ₱200 per day
  • Accommodation: Starts at around ₱1,000

Related reading: The Waves Beckon: 12 Best Surf Spots in the Philippines

🏖️ Bantayan Island, Cebu

best white sand beaches in the philippines - bantayan island

This white sand beach in the Philippines has steadily been gaining popularity in recent years, but the waters remain pristine and the atmosphere laid-back. If you've been yearning for a low-key vacation, consider Bantayan Island. 

While you can always opt to just relax on the beach and soak in the lovely view, you also partake in other activities. Go island-hopping to the Virgin and Hilantagaan Islands; explore the ruins of a fort built by Spaniards in Kota Park; go kayaking at the Obo-ob Mangrove Eco Park; or visit the Sts. Peter and Paul Church, the oldest church in Visayas and Mindanao.

If you want to get your adrenaline pumping, you can also go skydiving! 

How to Get to Bantayan Island

Take a flight to Cebu, head to the North Bus Terminal, and board a bus for Hagnaya Port. Take the ferry to Santa Fe Port. From there, you can take a tricycle or shuttle going to your resort. 

Costs to Pay Upon Arrival

  • Environmental fee: ₱30
  • Tent: ₱200
  • Accommodation: Around ₱1,000 to ₱3,000

Final Thoughts 

This list of the best white sand beaches in the Philippines gives you more options for your next summer getaway. As evidenced above, these destinations deserve recognition for their pristine surroundings and wonderful scenery.

Make sure to thoroughly prepare for your beach trip so that you can iron out your itinerary. And don’t forget to travel responsibly! Put your health and safety first and avail of domestic travel insurance before you go:

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Princess is a seasoned writer with over seven years of experience in digital marketing and corporate communications. She took master's degree units in Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines Diliman and graduated with a bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from Saint Louis University. Beyond writing, she enjoys reading novels, watching series, and crocheting. Follow Princess on LinkedIn.


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