Sun and Beach Getaways in the Philippines

Nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, the Philippines boasts a tapestry of sun-kissed shores and pristine beaches that have earned global acclaim. From the renowned white sands of Boracay to the secluded coves of Palawan and the surfing haven of Siargao, the Philippines invites travelers on a journey of sun-soaked paradise.

Let’s unveil these spectacular destinations, including a hidden gem, and discover the best times to bask in their coastal splendor.

Tropical Bliss in Boracay

Boracay, often hailed as one of the world’s best islands, sets the standard for tropical paradise. Renowned for its pristine white sands, crystal-clear waters, and lively nightlife, Boracay has firmly established itself as a must-visit destination. Whether you’re planning a destination wedding, honeymoon, summer vacation, or a quick getaway, Boracay offers something for everyone.

While White Beach in the province of Aklan is undoubtedly famous, Boracay boasts 8 additional beaches for exploration, diving, snorkeling, kite surfing, dining, or simply lounging around – including Puka Beach, Bulabog Beach, Ilig Iligan Beach, Lapuz Lapuz Beach, Puntabunga Beach, Balinghai Beach, Tambisaan Beach, and Diniwid Beach.

Activities are aplenty too. Go on an island-hopping adventure to witness the renowned Magic Island, a cliff diving hotspot, or explore Crocodile Island for scuba diving and Crystal Cove for its distinctive crystal formations. On-island activities feature popular options like banana boat rides, flying fish, jet ski rentals, and paddleboarding. For truly Instagrammable moments, consider booking a crystal kayak or indulging in a paraw sailing adventure.

Getting to Boracay and Best Times to Visit

Before your trip, be sure to consult Boracay’s Information Guide for essential details on travel requirements, recommended activities, and upcoming events.

Boracay is accessible from major cities of the Philippines via air, ferry, or a RoRo vessel. The main jump-off point will be in Manila airport to Caticlan (MPH) or Kalibo (KLO) Airports, but if you are planning a multi-destination trip in the archipelago, you can also catch a flight from Clark (CRK) or Mactan-Cebu Airports (CEB) as well.

The period from December to May is recognized as the dry season in the country, making it an ideal time for travel planning. Boracay experiences its peak travel season from March to May, becoming a favored destination for locals.

Mesmerizing Palawan

Palawan, has consistently secured prestigious accolades from major publications, solidifying its status as one of the best destinations. Palawan boasts over 1,700 pristine islands and islets, scattered across its four main destinations but key destinations are Puerto Princesa, Coron, and El Nido each boast unique treasures and UNESCO World Heritage Sites waiting to be discovered.

Puerto Princesa, at the heart of Palawan, is where you’ll find one of the seven wonders of nature – an Underground River that course through a limestone cave. Join a boat tour or rent your paddle board and get lost in the view of the cave’s walls and ceiling. If diving and snorkeling are in your to-do list and you are in Puerto Princesa, venture into Honda Bay and swim through the vibrant world that lies beneath the surface. Nagtabon Beach is the spot for a serene escape, perhaps to enjoy a picnic and watch a breathtaking sunset with the soothing sound of the waves.

In Busuanga, Coron’s unique charm has caught the attention of many. Kayangan Lake, fondly referred to as the Blue Lagoon, surrounded by limestone cliffs. Shipwrecks from the 40’s will cater to the fancy of avid snorklers and divers can find sites at varying depths to enjoy. Beyond the waves, book a tour at Calauit Safari Park, a game reserve and wildlife sanctuary. Conclude your day with a relaxing dip at Maquinit Hot Springs, adding a touch of rejuvenation to your exploration of Coron’s diverse attractions.

El Nido, situated in the northern part of Palawan, is renowned for its mesmerizing turquoise waters, pristine white sand, diverse underwater wildlife, and the awe-inspiring backdrop of limestone cliffs. Its main attraction – Bacauit Bay – features 45 islands and islets with unique geological features, clear waters and white sand beaches. Take a boat tour to Big Lagoon where the approach to a rock will undoubtedly leave you breathless. The deep and dazzling blue waters that welcome visitors create a stunning spectacle. There’s also the Small Lagoon can be reached by taking a plunge or navigating a kayak through the breathtaking limestone formations that encircle it.Top of Form

Getting to Palawan and Best Time to Visit

Palawan is accessible via air, sea and land travel. Connect from your international flight landing in Manila to the following airports:

  • Puerto Princesa (PPS)
  • Coron, Busuanga (USU)
  • El Nido (ENI)

Ferry rides are also available from Manila but will extend your travel time.

Warm weather can be expected throughout the year in this tropical country. Travel between November to May for dry and summer seasons.

 Siargao: Surfing Mecca and Beyond

Known as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines,” Siargao in the northeastern part of Mindanao, attracts wave riders from around the globe. Beyond its famous Cloud 9 surf spot in General Luna having world class swells all year round, Siargao unveils mangrove forests, pristine beaches, and vibrant coral reefs. Take an island-hopping tour and bask in the sun at Naked Island, where the lack of trees on this 200-meter-long strip ensures a deep sun-kissed tan without any shade.

Fill your day with an adventure trip to Sohoton Cove National Park which has limestone formations and blue azure waters that are almost comparable to Palawan’s Blue Lagoon and a boat ride through Sohoton Cove will give you some time to observe thousands of (stingless) jellyfish swimming around your boat. Just a 45-minute ride from General Luna, the Magpupungko Rock Pools emerge during low tide, inviting you to indulge in some enjoyable moments by the low-lying cliffs.

With all the surfing and exploring, it’s essential not to overlook the opportunity to savor the island’s fresh and delectable seafood. Procure fresh seafood and let the locals prepare them for you on Daku Island. Indulge in the finest grilled dishes from local restaurants, complemented by a refreshing fresh fruit drink or a nourishing smoothie bowl, allowing you to maintain those healthy New Year’s resolutions you set at the beginning of the year.

Getting to Siargao and Best Times to Visit

Your trip to Siargao will be shaped by your desired activities. Flights are available from Manila, Cebu and Davao to Sayak Siargao (IAO) or Surigao (SUG) Airports. If flying to Surigao, you still need to book a ferry ride which will take you approximately two hours to reach Siargao.

If your main agenda is to try out Siargao’s famous waves, then plan a trip between July to November. Siargao’s International Surfing Cup happens around September. Otherwise, the dry season in the Philippines will be a good time to go and enjoy’s this teardrop shaped island.

Hidden Gem: Bantayan Island – Serenity in Seclusion

Capping off this list with a gem for those seeking a tranquil escape away from the crowds. Bantayan Island in Cebu with its unspoiled white sands stretch along its coast, and the azure waters invite peaceful relaxation especially during the Lenten season.

Fly in from Manila to Dumaguete-Sibulan (DGT) Airport between March and May for the sunniest weather and calm seas, providing the perfect backdrop for a serene retreat.

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