One of the best things about living in Manila is that it’s only hours away from the nearest beach! You can easily enjoy a tropical break from the hustle and bustle of the city without having to book a flight. Here we’ve compiled the best beaches near Manila — from the beaches in Batangas only 2-3 hours away to the uncrowded shores in Pangasinan.
- 1. Laiya (San Juan, Batangas)
- 2. Masasa Beach (Tingloy, Batangas)
- 3. Anilao (Mabini, Batangas)
- 4. Nagsasa Cove (San Antonio, Zambales)
- 5. Potipot Island (Candelaria, Zambales)
- 6. Cagbalete Island (Quezon)
- 7. Magalawa Island (Palauig, Zambales)
- 8. Calatagan (Batangas)
- 9. Five Fingers Cove (Mariveles, Bataan)
- 10. Cabongaoan Beach (Burgos, Pangasinan)
- 11. Hundred Islands (Alaminos, Pangasinan)
- 12. White Beach (Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro)
- 13. Sabang Beach (Baler, Aurora)
- 14. Corregidor Island (Cavite)
- 15. Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas (Pagbilao, Quezon)
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1. Laiya (San Juan, Batangas)
Laiya is another must-visit destination in the province Batangas. This barangay is home not to just one — but several white-sand beaches. While the beaches aren’t as fine as those in Calaguas or Boracay, but its proximity to Manila and variety of available beach resorts make it a favorite quick getaway.
One of the best things to do in Laiya is snorkel, freedive, and scuba dive in the several dive spots surrounding its shores. You can also visit the nearby Laiya Adventure Park which boasts its own infinity pool, along with other adrenaline-pumping activities such as zipline and freefall.
There are various beach resorts in Laiya, depending on your needs and budget. As such, it’s a good option for families who are looking for specific facilities to accommodate their needs.
Travel time from Manila: 2.5-3 hours
How to get here: From Manila, take a bus to Lipa, Batangas, and get off the Lipa Bus Terminal. From there, ride a jeep or van to San Juan, Batangas, and get off at the municipal hall. Ride a jeep or charter a tricycle to your resort in Laiya.
2. Masasa Beach (Tingloy, Batangas)
Masasa Beach is one of the most popular beaches near Manila. What makes it different from the usual beach you can find in Batangasis its turquoise blue water and fine white sand. Aside from this, it also offers a good snorkeling experience. It’s home to sea turtles and it features a vast coral garden which you can explore on your own — just dive in from the shore and you’re good to go!
Another activity that you can enjoy in Masasa Beach is island hopping, where you can visit the best attractions around the island.
There are different accommodations in Masasa Beach, from resorts to homestays. It’s ideal for both everyone — including families who are looking for family-friendly destinations accessible from the city.
Masasa Beach is best visited during summer, although it’s recommended to book during weekdays as it can get extremely crowded.
Travel time from Manila: 3 hours
How to get here: From Manila, take a bus to Batangas Grand Terminal. Then take a jeep to either Anilao Port or Talaga Port, both of which have public boats to Tingloy Island.
- Nana Rosie’s homestay
3. Anilao (Mabini, Batangas)
Anilao is a barangay in Mabini, Batangas. Although it’s beaches aren’t at par with those in Boracay or Palawan, it’s still one of the most popular beach getaways near Manila for a variety of reasons.
One is that it features over 30 dive spots, which makes it a great destination for those who love underwater activities. It’s also the jump-off point for several islands, including Sombrero Island, Oscar’s Beach, and even Masasa Beach.
There are various beach resorts in Anilao, most having their own dive centers where you can rent gears for introductory or advanced diving.
Travel time from Manila: 2-3 hours
How to get here: From Manila, take a bus to Batangas Grand Terminal. From there, ride a jeepney to Anilao.
4. Nagsasa Cove (San Antonio, Zambales)
Nagsasa Cove is one of the few beaches you can find in San Antonio, Zambales. It’s close to the more-popular Anawangin Cove, although Nagsasa Cove is deemed better by many due to the fact that it is less crowded especially during summer.
The beach in Nagsasa Cove is a calm, deep green. There are cottages and tents available for overnight stay.
Once in Nagsasa Cove, you can rent a boat for a beach-hopping tour to nearby coves. You can also trek to a hill or to Nagsasa Falls.
Take note that there is no electricity or mobile signal in Nagsasa Cove. If you’re used to camping in islands, this is a good fit for you. If not, you might be better off in proper resorts in Pundaquit instead.
Travel time from Manila: 3.5-4 hours
How to get here: From Manila, take a bus to Sta. Cruz or Iba, Zambales and get off at San Antonio. From there, ride a tricycle to Barangay San Miguel or Pundaquit. Then take a boat ride to Nagsasa Cove.
Only cottages and tents are available in the island.
5. Potipot Island (Candelaria, Zambales)
Potipot Island is another gem which can be found in Zambales. It’s small at about 7.5 hectares, with a gradually sloping beach perfect for swimming. There are cottages and tables where you can leave your items or eat.
Aside from beach bumming, you may also explore other islands including Hermana Mayor.
Potipot Island is a good option for those who are on a budget but would like to spend a day or two in the beach. It’s also an alternative to more populated beaches in Zambales such as Crystal Beach Resort, Anawangin, and so on.
Travel time from Manila: 6-7 hours
How to get here: From Manila, ride a bus to Sta. Cruz, Zambales, and get off at Uacon in Candeleria (the town before Sta. Cruz). From there, walk to the nearest resort where you can charter boats to Potipot Island.
Only cottages and tents are available in the island.
6. Cagbalete Island (Quezon)
Cagbalete is one of the most popular beaches in Quezon. It’s also a backpacker’s favorite, as it’s very budget friendly.
The beach in Cagbalete Island is surrounded by a sand bank, which gets exposed during low tide. You may be unable to swim at this time, but the beauty of creamy sand flats is breathtaking. You might as well wear your best swimwear for IG-worthy photos. During high tide, water comes in and you can enjoy a refreshing swim.
Other activities in the island includes island hopping and snorkeling, although the latter activity is a bit limited.
A lot of people opt to pitch tents and cook camp-style, although there are also beach resorts available with complete meal packages.
Travel time from Manila: 3-4 hours
How to get here: The easiest way to get here is to ride JAC Liner bus directly headed to Mauban Port. From there, ride a passenger boat to Cagbalete Island.
- Pansacola Beach Resort
7. Magalawa Island (Palauig, Zambales)
Magalawa Island is another good beach destination near Manila, at just about 5 hours away. While its beach isn’t the type to amaze you at first glance, it offers a decent tropical setup. Also, it’s ideal for group getaways.
If you want to take pictures, you can walk to the end of the island where there’s a sand bar surrounded by aqua-blue water. It’s also possible to go on an island hopping tour to see Bacala Sandbar and/or Potipot Island or snorkel around the island.
Travel time: 6 hours
How to get here: From Manila, take a bus to Sta. Cruz, Zambales, and get off at Radio Veritas Road in Palauig, Zambales. From there, ride a tricycle to the port to Malagawa Island. From the port, your resort will provide a boat transfer to Magalawa Island.
There are only 2 resorts in Magalawa Island.
- Ruiz Resort
- Armada Resort
8. Calatagan (Batangas)
A lot of people overlook Calatagan because it does not the best-looking beaches, but it still makes a spot in our list due to the myriad of activities you can do here. In addition, it’s only 3-4 hours away from Manila, so it’s perfect for day or overnight trips.
Similar to Anilao and Laiya, Calatagan is close to the Isla Verde Passage which is known for its great marine biodiversity. As such, it’s a great place for snorkeling, freediving, or scuba diving. Moreover, there are various resorts and waterparks that can be found in Calatagan, which caters mostly to families or groups, such as Stilts Calatagan and the recently opened Aquaria Waterpark. If you’re a backpacker, you won’t feel out of place here as well, as there are camping sites available in Calatagan.
Aside from those mentioned above, there is also island hopping activity offered in Calatagan. You can also visit the old Cape Santiago Lighthouse.
Travel time from Manila: 3-4 hours
How to get here: From Manila, take a bus or van to Calatagan, Batangas. From Calatagan town proper, charcter a tricycle to your resort.
- Manuel Uy Beach Resort
- Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort
- Aquaria Water Park | Book a day pass
9. Five Fingers Cove (Mariveles, Bataan)
Five Fingers Cove can be found in Mariveles, Bataan. Its name refers to its formation as seen from a bird’s eye view.
Five Fingers Cove is composed of beach coves surrounded by sweeping hills and cliffs. Here you can not only swim in calm water but also explore the lagoons, cliff jump, and take photos of interesting rock formations. The tour concludes with a visit to Laki Beach, which is 30 minutes away.
Travel time from Manila: 2 hours
How to get here: The easiest way to get here is via a 1-hour ferry from Mall of Asia to Mariveles, Bataan. From Mariveles, ride a tricycle to the jump-off point to the Five Fingers Cove.
Most people visit Five Fingers Cove for a day tour only, but overnight stay is also possible thru camping. You can also check hotels or resorts in the town proper.
10. Cabongaoan Beach (Burgos, Pangasinan)
Cabongaoan Beach is a recently “popularized” beach in Burgos, Pangasinan. It’s about 5-6 hours away from Manila, so it’s best to visit it for an overnight trip.
The beach is sufficiently decent, with a shore line with coconut trees. The main selling point of Cabongaoan Beach is that it’s one of the least crowded beach destinations near Manila, especially during the off-peak season when you can have the beach for yourself. It’s also walking distance to the Death Pool, a picturesque deep tidal pool.
Once you’re in Cabongaoan Beach, you may also visit the nearby Tambobong Beach which is only 30 minutes away. Tambobong Beach offers island hopping activity.
Travel time from Manila: 5-6 hours
How to get here: From Manila, take a bus to Alaminos, Pangasinan. From there, take a bus bound for Sta. Cruz, Zambales, and get off at Burgos, Pangasinan. Charter a tricycle to Cabongaoan Beach.
- Viva La Vida
- Matabang Beach Resort
11. Hundred Islands (Alaminos, Pangasinan)
The Hundred Islands in Pangasinan is composed of over 100 islands and islets in Lingayen Gulf. These are believed to have formed millions of years ago. Today, Hundred Islands is one of the most popular destinations in this province and an accessible beach destination near Manila as well.
There are several things you can do in Hundred Islands National Park. The most obvious thing is to go island hopping to see the most established islands in the park: Governor’s Island, Quezon Island, Marcos Island, and Children’s Island. There are other islands you can visit if you are going to stay overnight here.
Snorkeling, helmet diving, and kayaking activities are also available.
Hundred Islands is ideal for families and friends who are looking for a fun-filled trip in a nature setting.
Travel time from Manila: 5 hours
How to get here: From Manila, take a bus to Alaminos City, Pangasinan. From the city proper, ride a tricycle to the wharf where you can charter boats to Hundred Islands.
12. White Beach (Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro)
White Beach is one of the most visited locations in Puerto Galera. It’s a long beach with white-ish sand, lined up with various bars, restaurants, and other shops. White Beach is best for those who don’t mind the noise and crowd and who are looking for a vibrant night life.
In White Beach, it’s enough to plunge into the cool water, relax under an umbrella with a variety of options for drinks, or have a massage at the beach. Other activities include island hopping, snorkeling, diving, and various entertaining watersports such as banana boat.
This is an ideal beach getaway for young people or families who are looking for family-friendly facilities and activities.
Travel time from Manila: 4 hours
How to get here: From Manila, take a bus to Batangas Pier. At the pier, ride a ferry bound for Puerto Galera, which drops off passengers directly to White Beach.
13. Sabang Beach (Baler, Aurora)
That’s right, Sabang Beach is the ideal beach to go to if you’re looking forward to surfing! Whether you’re a beginner or pro surfer, you’ll appreciate the big waves in Sabang Beach.
Other water activities in Baler include scuba diving and snorkeling, as well as various watersports such as paragliding. There are also land tours you can take where you can visit historical establishments or nature attractions such as Balete Tree and Ditumabo Falls.
Travel time from Manila: 6 hours
How to get here: From Cubao, ride a Genesis Transport bus bound for Baler. Another option is to take a bus to Cabanatuan and get off at the Cabanatuan Central Terminal. From there, ride a van or bus to Baler.
14. Corregidor Island (Cavite)
Corregidor Island is a popular historical sightseeing location, but few people know that this island is also filled with small coves. The best one would probably be the South Beach, which has clear water where you can have a relaxing swim.
Other water-related activities include rock balancing, island tour to neighboring isles such as La Monja, Fort Drum, and Mariveles Coast, as well as kayaking.
Travel time: 1.5 hour
How to get here: The easiest way to get here is via Esplanade Seaside Terminal in Mall of Asia. Sun Cruises offers fast ferry from here to Corregidor Island.
- Corregidor Inn
15. Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas (Pagbilao, Quezon)
Puting Buhangin is a series of white-sand beaches which can be found in Pagbilao Grande Island. Kwebang Lampas is one of these beaches. It refers to a cave located at the end of Lukang Beach in Puting Buhangin, although tourists use it to refer the specific cove itself.
This is one of the nicest beaches you can find in Quezon. It has fine sand, clear green-shaded water where you can see small schools of fish swimming about.
If you want to visit the rest of the beaches in Pagbilao, you can go on an island hopping tour to Dampalitan and Borawan or other lesser-known locations such as Bilaran Sandbar, La Isla Salamin, and Jenny’s White Beach.
Travel time from Manila: 4-5 hours
How to get here: From Manila, take a bus to Lucena Grand Terminal. From there, there are jeepneys heading directly to Kwebang Lampas. Other options include a tricycle ride to the drop-off point in Kwebang Lampas or a bus to Calauag or Bicol where you will have to get off at Isla Polo Crossing and then ride a tricycle to the drop-off point. Once at the drop-off point, ride a boat to Kwebang Lampas.
Only cottages and tents are available in the beach.
That ends our pick for the best beaches near Manila! Do you have other recommendations? Let us know in the comments below!
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Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).