Philippines: The 5 best beaches besides Boracay

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It can be said, perhaps here more than anywhere, that “life is a beach.” The Philippines is blessed with some of the world’s most pristine stretches of sand, kissed by bodies of postcard-perfect azure water. Often, they are as secluded as Mother Earth made them.

The archipelago’s poor air connectivity and relatively removed location has been both a boon and a bane. Only welcoming just over 4 million foreign arrivals in 2013, about the same as the State of Sarawak in Malaysia, the Philippines nonetheless can boast that it has yet to be ravaged by the effects of mass tourism.

“Anyone who comes to the Philippines will think it’s far from being ruined; we never had the money to spoil it,” Philippine Secretary of Tourism Ramon Jimenez, Jr. told Inside Investor.

Below are shortlisted paradise beaches that Inside Investor especially has high atop our R&R radar.

puerto galera1Puerto Galera, Mindoro

At just half a day’s travel from Manila (via bus and boat), Puerto Galera is an easy escape from the manic traffic of the big city. Ask any Filipino who is up to snuff with the travel scene and they are sure to bill Puerto Galera as “Boracay, but five years ago.”

While hotels and restaurant/bars have begun to inch deeper inland and across the beachfront, the pace of life on Puerto Galera is still subdued and typically provincial. Yet despite these incipient stages, the beachfront can at times be teeming with a nightlife spirit, offering the waterholes that city slickers search for.

Samal IslandSamal Island, Mindanao

Looking for Bora Bora but at a fraction of the price? If you find yourself in the Philippines, then Samal Island is your answer. Epitomised by The Pearl Farm Beach Resort, a luxury resort of high regard in the Philippines, Samal Island is a quick ferry ride from Davao City, the largest city of Mindanao. While Mindanao may have gained an unsavoury reputation for armed conflict, that should not deter visitors from heading to Samal, a natural sanctuary in an otherwise chaotic region.

PanglaoPanglao, Bohol

The closest specimens to the revered sugary sands of Boracay have to be on Panglao in Bohol. Upon hitting the beach, it’s immediately apparent that the strident beauty of the sand here has a deliberately calming affect upon all visitors. Beyond the beach, and a big bonus for beach vacations, the island of Bohol is also home to some of the most alien landscapes in the Philippines, such as the Chocolate Hills, one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country.

Sugar Beach, Sipalay, NegrosSipalay (Sugar Beach), Negros

There can be no other beach as intrinsically endowed with the spirit of a Philippine castaway than Sugar Beach in Sipalay, Negros. With about four beach-bum bungalows run by Europeans of varying origin (though mostly German speaking), Sipalay is surely a place that is easy to get caught up in, quickly losing track of the days and weeks and months. To get to the island, a circuit of conveyances – ranging from trikes, buses and boats – have to be taken, eventually leading visitors around a cove that is lit at night by fireflies that cling onto mangroves. Such is the seclusion of the beach, that if you find yourself in a bout of rain, you will find that is it also impossible to get a coconut-based drink. Why, you may ask, only to get a nonchalant response from one of the weather-withered owners: “Coconut trees are too hard to climb if they are wet.”

San-Vicente-Palawan1San Vicente, Palawan

Compared to Boracay’s four kilometers of sand, San Vicente’s 14 presents a curiously intoxicating charm for those wanting to discovery a placer a bit more unknown. However, San Vicente’s immense coastline has become the hottest commodity in the Philippine tourism industry at a time when Boracay is suffering from the negative affects of poor water management systems and over-commercialisation.

“Over the next three years, San Vicente will be the beneficiary of tremendous infrastructure investment that will guarantee access, including a tourism road connection to the island’s main artery, which – by national policy – must be constructed to national standards,” Jimenez said.

The developmental prospects of this paradise beach are imposing enough to want to give it visit, at least to see how it progresses over time.

 

 

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

It can be said, perhaps here more than anywhere, that “life is a beach.” The Philippines is blessed with some of the world’s most pristine stretches of sand, kissed by bodies of postcard-perfect azure water. Often, they are as secluded as Mother Earth made them.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

It can be said, perhaps here more than anywhere, that “life is a beach.” The Philippines is blessed with some of the world’s most pristine stretches of sand, kissed by bodies of postcard-perfect azure water. Often, they are as secluded as Mother Earth made them.

The archipelago’s poor air connectivity and relatively removed location has been both a boon and a bane. Only welcoming just over 4 million foreign arrivals in 2013, about the same as the State of Sarawak in Malaysia, the Philippines nonetheless can boast that it has yet to be ravaged by the effects of mass tourism.

“Anyone who comes to the Philippines will think it’s far from being ruined; we never had the money to spoil it,” Philippine Secretary of Tourism Ramon Jimenez, Jr. told Inside Investor.

Below are shortlisted paradise beaches that Inside Investor especially has high atop our R&R radar.

puerto galera1Puerto Galera, Mindoro

At just half a day’s travel from Manila (via bus and boat), Puerto Galera is an easy escape from the manic traffic of the big city. Ask any Filipino who is up to snuff with the travel scene and they are sure to bill Puerto Galera as “Boracay, but five years ago.”

While hotels and restaurant/bars have begun to inch deeper inland and across the beachfront, the pace of life on Puerto Galera is still subdued and typically provincial. Yet despite these incipient stages, the beachfront can at times be teeming with a nightlife spirit, offering the waterholes that city slickers search for.

Samal IslandSamal Island, Mindanao

Looking for Bora Bora but at a fraction of the price? If you find yourself in the Philippines, then Samal Island is your answer. Epitomised by The Pearl Farm Beach Resort, a luxury resort of high regard in the Philippines, Samal Island is a quick ferry ride from Davao City, the largest city of Mindanao. While Mindanao may have gained an unsavoury reputation for armed conflict, that should not deter visitors from heading to Samal, a natural sanctuary in an otherwise chaotic region.

PanglaoPanglao, Bohol

The closest specimens to the revered sugary sands of Boracay have to be on Panglao in Bohol. Upon hitting the beach, it’s immediately apparent that the strident beauty of the sand here has a deliberately calming affect upon all visitors. Beyond the beach, and a big bonus for beach vacations, the island of Bohol is also home to some of the most alien landscapes in the Philippines, such as the Chocolate Hills, one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country.

Sugar Beach, Sipalay, NegrosSipalay (Sugar Beach), Negros

There can be no other beach as intrinsically endowed with the spirit of a Philippine castaway than Sugar Beach in Sipalay, Negros. With about four beach-bum bungalows run by Europeans of varying origin (though mostly German speaking), Sipalay is surely a place that is easy to get caught up in, quickly losing track of the days and weeks and months. To get to the island, a circuit of conveyances – ranging from trikes, buses and boats – have to be taken, eventually leading visitors around a cove that is lit at night by fireflies that cling onto mangroves. Such is the seclusion of the beach, that if you find yourself in a bout of rain, you will find that is it also impossible to get a coconut-based drink. Why, you may ask, only to get a nonchalant response from one of the weather-withered owners: “Coconut trees are too hard to climb if they are wet.”

San-Vicente-Palawan1San Vicente, Palawan

Compared to Boracay’s four kilometers of sand, San Vicente’s 14 presents a curiously intoxicating charm for those wanting to discovery a placer a bit more unknown. However, San Vicente’s immense coastline has become the hottest commodity in the Philippine tourism industry at a time when Boracay is suffering from the negative affects of poor water management systems and over-commercialisation.

“Over the next three years, San Vicente will be the beneficiary of tremendous infrastructure investment that will guarantee access, including a tourism road connection to the island’s main artery, which – by national policy – must be constructed to national standards,” Jimenez said.

The developmental prospects of this paradise beach are imposing enough to want to give it visit, at least to see how it progresses over time.

 

 

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