Philippines' Best Under The Radar Beaches According to “Beached” Experts
Searching for an island you can have all to yourself once it's safe to travel again? The "Beached" crew lists the top beach spots to avoid crowds
While we're all on lockdown and obediently following the Enhanced Community Quarantine, no one is stopping us from wanderlusting after the sun, sand, and surf. Have you always wanted to go to a beach that’s not as crowded as the popular ones? If you’re looking to visit something new and under the radar once this ECQ is lifted, we’ve got you covered!
Metro Channel’s travel show Beached is currently on its second season and episode after episode, they discover the beautiful islands of the Philippines. Of course, since the show aims to visit all the beach destinations in the country, they’ve also discovered quite a few that are still not as crowded as other places.
Here are the best under-the-radar beaches in the Philippines according to Beached hosts Marc Nelson and Rachel Peters, and executive producer Cheska Castro.
The second smallest island in the Philippines, Camiguin is also known as the “island born of fire” because it was formed out of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. But don’t think Camiguin has little to offer because it actually has diverse marine life to explore through scuba diving, serene waterfalls, and hot and cold springs.
When in Camiguin, you drop by White Island, a powdery white sandbar that would hold its own against Boracay. You’d have a nice view of the two volcanoes from the island and have access to pristine blue waters for swimming. You need to hire a boat to get to the island
but it’s fairly cheap and worth it for the experience.
Another must-see in Camiguin is the Katibawasan Falls, which is the most accessible waterfalls in Camiguin. No need for long walks or treks to stand in awe in front of this 250-meter gentle giant. Best to visit in summer because the water at the basin of the falls can be very cold.
Unlike the more popular Coron and El Nido, San Vicente in Palawan is still a fairly hidden gem for locals and travel enthusiasts. Here you’ll find the Long Beach, which is known as the longest white beach in the Philippines measuring roughly at 14 kilometers.
For island hoppers, Port Barton in San Vicente is surrounded by 22 beautiful islands. You can rent a boat to visit the surrounding islands or go snorkeling or freediving at Twin Reef to see gigantic corals and colorful fishes. What’s great with Twin Reef is that it’s beginner-friendly and you don’t have to dive deep to get up close.
If you want something more luxurious, San Vicente is also home to the Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary, a premier eco-friendly resort that has its own waterfalls and four private beaches. For 12 years, they’ve been protecting turtles at Turtle Bay so if you’re lucky, you can swim with the endangered Green Sea and Olive Ridley turtles.
Not many people look to Bicol for beaches, but the region actually has so much to offer when it comes to water activities. Caramoan is one of the isolated islands north of Camarines Sur, and because it’s isolated, the island has been kept pristine and private.
Like other places, there are lots of small islands to hop around Caramoan. But if you want a more back-to-nature experience, you might also want to try camping at the beach side. Just bring your own camping equipment and you’re good to go.
If you want a bit more exercise, you can also climb the 500-plus steps of Mt. Caglago to reach the gigantic image of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. The climb will also be worth it for the breathtaking 360-degree view of Caramoan from the top.
Also nearby Boracay is this hidden gem with lots of activities and wonders to offer. Romblon is home to many islands, caves, and beautiful waters that offer scenic spots and freediving opportunities. You can experience a one-of-a-kind zipline that can bring you from one island to another, delight in the picturesque BonBon Sandbar, or go spelunking and cliff-diving at Cathedral Cave.
But the real beauty of Romblon can and should be experienced
below its waters. If you’re into freediving and snorkeling, explore the Blue
Hole at the very north of Tablas Island, home to corals, fishes, and a giant
hole in the ocean that can be challenging to dive.
You can also opt to visit Cobrador Island, which is around 40 minutes by boat from Romblon Island. This white-sand beach is a turtle sanctuary home to endangered turtles like the Hawkbill Sea, Green Sea, and Olive Ridley turtles.
What’s great with Iloilo is that there are so many beaches that litter its coast—and many of them are some of the most picturesque you’ll find in the Philippines, too. To start you off, one of the top recommendations by Beached is the Gigantes Islands, which is a group of islands located off the coast of Carles and Estancia towns in northeastern Iloilo. The islands are home to pristine white beaches, majestic rock formations, and tons of fresh seafood!
Included in the Gigantes Islands circuit is the beautiful Cabugao Gamay island, which is 30-45 minutes by ferry from Gigantes Norte island. It’s got an interesting shape, as it has a rock hill covered by thick greenery and a gorgeous white sandbar located at the northern tip of the island.
Eastern Samar is full of activities for adventurous people like Marc and Rachel, and certainly one of the most underrated destinations in the whole of Visayas. On the southernmost tip of Samar is Guiuan, home to a Calicoan Island that’s famous for its long stretch of white beach and surfing-friendly waters. Even more interesting is that there’s a secret lake at Calicoan Island, which is home to plenty of stingless jellyfish.
As the caving capital of the Philippines, Eastern Samar also has a number of caves to visit. One of these is Pagnamitan cave, which is easily accessible during low tide. Not a lot of people come here at all and was basically empty when Beached dropped by for a visit.