The Philippines is a tropical paradise for us westerners who can never experience what it feels like for the temperature that ranges from the mid-80s to the mid-70s. It’s like summer there every single day! Well, it’s hard because we’re not used to having a temperature as hot as that so expect sweat dripping down your face every few minutes and also, don’t think that just one tube of sunblock is enough for your entire stay. Even though the hotness can be unbearable at times, it’s nothing compared to the joy, amazement, lessons, and beautiful memories a stranger can gain from traveling around the country.
I recently came back from my month-long stay in the Philippines where I lived with my Filipina friend who was a co-worker of mine here in the States. Before setting off on our great adventure, we did plan the places to visit first. I’m particularly ecstatic to visit the tropical country’s crystal clear beaches since I heard they have lots of it. Mind you, the Philippines has a hefty number of islands – 1,707 to be exact! Most awesome places are located on the tips of far-away islands that are only reachable by plane. So I and my friend decided what places to visit but I wanted to explore the capital city, Manila, and its neighboring provinces first so I asked her if there are any good beaches near Manila. My friend did her research and came up with a list of three virgin beaches near Manila for our 3-day trip.
Are you ready to be amazed? Let me take you on a virtual tour of the pristine beaches near Manila!
I cannot articulate how captivating and peaceful Nagsasa Cove is. It’s perhaps the most beautiful of the virgin beaches near Manila I’ve ever been to. No crowds of tourists, no electricity, no network signal, no accommodations, no everything – just plain nature at its finest.
The stunning cove is located in Zambales, a 3-4 hour drive from Manila. To reach the cove, you’ll need to park your car in the town hall and ride a motor boat for approximately 30-40 minutes. You’ll pass by other coves and old lighthouses along the way to Nagsasa Cove.
Upon getting off the boat, I was puzzled at the towering pine trees that lined at the shore. How can pine trees grow on sand? Let alone in an area of low elevation with a very high temperature. I guess I’ll never know the answer to my question but I didn’t care because the trees looked awesome lined along the shore. Plus, they provided excellent shading too. We then proceeded to pitch our tents and rest our eyes on the beauty of the place. The beach has the clearest water that amazingly changes gradient from clear to deep blue from afar. Swimming was even better than merely marveling at the scenery. The sand was very soft, there are no stones or any objects that can hurt your bare feet, and the water stays cool to the skin even if it’s high noon.
The beach looked beautiful any time of the day. It’s definitely a dream place for me. I’m sure everyone will fall in love with the mesmerizing beauty and tranquility of Nagsasa Cove.
The Fortune Island is like no other beach on Earth. The island features exquisite Greek architecture set in a tropical paradise. A ruined Parthenon stands atop the highest cliff of the island overlooking the vast ocean. Turquoise waters, creamy white shores, powdered sands, and a mythical ambiance surrounds the island.
The beguiling beach is located in Nasugbu Batangas, a 3-4 hour drive from Manila. From Fortune Island Resort in Nasugbu, you’ll need to rent an outrigger boat going to the island. The boat trip will take 1 to 2 hours.
According to the locals in the area, the resort was once a go-to place for the elite class until it permanently shut down in 2006. The Greek ruins, old vacation houses, withering pools, a small beach lighthouse, and a helipad prove that the place was once a quick escape for the wealthy people. Walking along the corridors of the ruins and houses gave me a subtle feeling of curiosity and enchantment.
There are so many things to do on the island aside from admiring its beauty. You can cliff dive, snorkel, visit the shipwreck site (only a man-made one, don’t freak out), trek towards the lighthouse, and kayak your way to the bat cave.
The Fortune Island is a very charming little place with all sorts of enjoyable day activities and exquisite beauty. If you’re looking for an adventure-packed getaway, this is one of the great virgin beaches near Manila.
Cagbalete Island is a secluded paradise that lies in the town of Mauban, Quezon Province. The white sand beach spans 1,500 hectares and is surrounded by gigantic mountains and boulders.
The crystal clear waters of the beach allow tourists to take a peek of the diverse marine ecosystem of the area – colorful corals of various sizes, schools of unique-looking fishes, and vibrant starfishes. As a lover of wildlife, witnessing the rich marine life of tropical beaches is a unique experience that I can’t relive back in the US because sadly, our country is not a diversity hotspot.
Cagbalete Island is a 4-hr drive from Manila and a 30-min boat ride from Mauban Port. There are many resorts on the island so if you’re tired of pitching tents, you can rent rooms.
The nearby mountains surrounding the beach are home to endemic birds that are rarely seen in other parts of the country so bird watching in the island became a famous activity for tourists and non-tourists alike. My favorite part of my short stay in the island is watching the sunset. Low tides occur during late afternoons. During this time, the water rushes to the sea, leaving the massive sandy shoreline bare. The moment the sun’s beams hit the moist sands and scatter light into a million directions is a scene to behold – it’s a picturesque portrayal of mother nature.
Maybe you haven’t given a thought to include the Philippines when planning your grand vacations. By exposing the raw beauty and uniqueness of some of the best beaches in the country, I hope to encourage people to visit Manila and its nearby provinces and bask in its hidden gems. I promise you’ll be captivated by the various alluring attractions and you’ll learn a lot of things (especially bargaining) that will stay with you forever.
Find even more about the Philippines as you’re planning your next trip!
About the Author
Cindy is an avid outdoor enthusiast who shares her knowledge, experiences, and wildlife survival tips gained through the years in her blog, Hunt and Lunch. She’s now busy being a mother to two wonderful kids. She finds time to write about her passion and experiences in the hopes of helping her fellow outdoor enthusiasts and to relive the joy of being outdoors. Thanks to Cindy for sharing with us about beaches near Manila.