Beach trips don’t necessarily have to cost an arm and leg! There are plenty of beach destinations near Manila that are budget-friendly and can still satisfy your needs for a well-deserved break under the sun. Here we’ve listed the best affordable beaches near Manila!
1. Masasa Beach, Batangas
Masasa Beach stands out among typical beaches in Batangas in that it has genuine white sand and blue shores. There’s no need to book a flight to Boracay when you can enjoy the same view just 2 hours from Manila!
There are plenty of activities you can do in Masasa Beach. You can take a leisurely stroll along its shore, snorkel right off the beach to see corals and sea turtles, or book an island hopping tour that takes you across the best spots around the island.
There are a number of resorts and homestays you can choose from, so you have a choice whether you’re going alone or with your family or friends.
2. Calatagan, Batangas
Calatagan is oftentimes overlooked when it comes to the best beaches in Batangas. While it doesn’t have “breathtaking” beaches, it’s extremely budget-friendly and its shallow shores make it a safe option for families with kids. The area also juts out into the Verde Island Passage, which makes it a great place for snorkeling and diving.
There are budget-friendly resorts in Calatagan you can visit, such as Manual Uy Beach Resort. You can also book one of the floating cottages that allow you to enjoy a full day in the ocean (with overnight options as well).
3. Anawangin Cove and Nagsasa Cove, Zambales
These beach coves in San Antonio are one of the best affordable beaches near Manila you can visit, especially for long weekends or holidays. It’s popular among families and friends alike and it’s one of the best summer destinations in the country.
The coves were built from the ashes of Mount Pinatubo, creating grayish-sand shores lined with agoho trees.
The easiest way to here is by booking a package that includes boat transfer and tent rentals. You can also ask the food to be included, or you can have it the traditional way – by buying fresh goods at the market before heading to your campsite.
4. Isla Verde, Batangas
Isla Verde is the perfect destinations for those who like not only tropical beaches, but also exciting activities such as snorkeling and diving.
This island is located about 45 minutes away from the mainland. Some of its best beaches include Mahabang Buhangin and Cueva Sitio. As it sits in the middle of Verde Island Passage, you shouldn’t miss exploring its underwater sites! The easiest way to do this is by chartering a boat that will take you to its best spots or by signing up for a fun dive.
There are a handful of resorts in Isla Verde. Camping is also available for those who are on a budget.
5. Bituin Cove, Batangas
Bituin Cove is a private beach cove located several minutes away from the main shores of Barangay Calayo. Locals call it “Angara Cove”, and it’s a great place to camp overnight.
There are no commercial resorts here, so you need to bring your own tent and other necessities (including food and water). There’s a small sari-sari store along the cove in case there is something you forget to bring. You can swim and snorkel at the beach or take an island hopping tour to see nearby spots, such as Taytayin Cave and the Santelmo Cove marine sanctuary.
6. Papaya Island, Batangas
Papaya Island is another budget-friendly beach in Nasugbu, Batangas. It’s an easier alternative to Bituin Cove, since it offers resorts and cottages for a more comfortable stay. There are also casual restaurants and stores where you can buy food and drinks.
The beach here is usually low, which is ideal for kids. Boats also offer an island hopping tour that is the same as that in Bituin Cove.
Papaya Island is a great option for families who want a decent beach destination with island hopping activities that also fall within the budget.
7. Liwliwa, Zambales
Liwliwa’s main attraction is its big waves, which is ideal for surfing enthusiasts. If you aren’t into riding a surfboard, you can just stay here to chill and beach bum!
There are plenty of camping sites and resorts in Liwliwa that fit the budget. Recently, new resorts have popped up that cater not just to families, but also to millennials who love staying in IG-worthy staycations, such as Kwentong Dagat.
8. Cagbalete Island, Quezon
As one of the best affordable beaches near Manila, Cagbalete has long been a favorite of backpackers and budget travelers.
The island features fine, white-sand shores with shallow water ideal for families and friends. It has a famous sand bar, which island guests must visit for that obligatory photo. It also offers various activities such as bird watching, surfing, and skimboarding. There are also nearby waterfalls you can visit.
There are a handful of beachfront resorts you can book at in Cagbalete Island. If you’re on a tight budget, you can also just bring your own tent for a good ole’ camping-by-the-beach experience.
9. Fortune Island, Batangas
Fortune Island is a favorite among budget beach-goers who are looking for a quick day tour or overnight stay. This abandoned island lies about an hour away from the mainland in Nasugbu, Batangas, and features Green-inspired acropolis at the top of a hill, a white-sand beach, and tall cliffs for diving.
There are no commercial accommodations here, so you need to either camp or book a room in one of the resorts in the mainland.
If you’re okay with a raw beach experience, you’ll like staying overnight in the island – otherwise a quick day tour will do!
10. Ternate, Cavite
There are several beach resorts in Ternate, Cavite, which you can visit for a budget-friendly vacation. Just to level your expectation, the sand here is gray but the water is clean and refreshing.
Some of the notable resorts in the area include Ternate Beach Resort and Moana Camp Beach Resort. These are popular among families, as these have everything that you need for a beach trip: open cottages, grilling areas, and sandy shores.
You can also take a boat ride to the more secluded Paniman Beach, which is part of the Caysubic Beach. Paniman Beach is open for day tours and ideal for those who want a quieter beach time.
11. Matabungkay, Batangas
Matabungkay Beach is ideal especially for families looking for the best affordable beaches near Manila. The beaches is home to various resorts that cater to every budget, with open cottages on the shore, floating cottages in the open water, and all sorts of water activities to fill up your time.
Take note though that it can get really crowded on weekends and peak season (summer).
Has our list of best affordable beaches near Manila been helpful to you? If you have other recommendations, let us know in the comments section below!
Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).