Monday, March 23, 2015

Top 19 Beaches near Metro Manila

Escaping from the busy urban life like that of Manila is actually achievable even if you just have the holiday season or the weekend to make the most of. With several fine-looking tropical beaches to pick from that is accessible either by land transport or boat transport, you don’t have to spend huge bucks of money just to fulfill your dream beach destination in Luzon. To give you a summary guide of the beach spots which you might want to explore, here is the list of top beaches to visit just near in Manila.

San Antonio, Zambales

Nagsasa Cove

Photo by Brian Flores
Photo by Brian Flores
Nagsasa Cove in Zambales has been recently recognized as a tourist destination especially for those who are adventure enthusiasts. Nagsasa Cove is renowned for its sands enveloped in ashes, teeming Agoho Trees which look similar to pine trees and a laid-back cool setting which is believed to be a fusion of the Baguio and Boracay atmosphere and stunning beach. Nagsasa Cove is regarded as an ideal spot for those who are in for a revitalizing plunge.
How to get there:
To head to Nagsasa Cove, you must first get to San Antonio by riding a Victory Liner bus from Pasay or Caloocan that is bound for Sta. Cruz or Iba, Zambales. Just inform the driver to drop you at San Antonio. Travel time via bus is around 3-4 hours. From San Antonio, you can ride a tricycle to take you to Barangay San Miguel or Pundaquit. From San Miguel or Pundaquit, Nagsasa Cove is approximately an hour and a half boat ride. Boats to Nagsasa are usually priced at 2000 pesos roundtrip for 4 persons.

Anawangin Cove

Photo by Allan AscaƱo
Photo by Allan AscaƱo
Another considered gem in Zambales is Anawangin Cove. Anawangin is a crescent-contoured cove with an extensive, unspoilt white beach that is famous for its tall, packed pine trees. Also, Anawangin used to be very rocky on the way to the top but everything changed after the huge Mt. Pinatubo explosion covered the vast area with volcanic ashes thus also added up to the lush vegetation in the region. Even so, remarkable overlooking views of the mountain scopes put in more magic to the natural beauty that Anawangin Cove can truly boast of.

Capones Island

Photo by Chris Domingo
In the southern tip of San Antonio, Zambales you’ll find Capones Island which is one of the considered island paradise in Luzon. The island is specifically situated in Brgy. Pundaquit and is well-known for its lighthouse which was hand-made by Filipinos way back in the Spanish regime. Capones Island is adored for its white sand beach and clear turquoise waters, offering a one-of-its-kind experience to its tourists. Bear in mind that there are no well-to-do accommodation amenities in Capones, thus you must bring your own camping equipment and personal necessities.

Borawan Beach in  Padre Burgos, Quezon

Photo by Chris Domingo
For beach enthusiasts, Borawan Island in Quezon is incontestably one of the top beaches to visit that is just near Manila. Borawan Island may be quite small compared to other islands in Luzon but it showcases an eye-catching vacation spot where you can really have a good time with your loved ones. Moreover, for those who are adventure and camping aficionados, Borawan Beach is great for camping, social drinking or to just simply take pleasure in nature’s magnificent creation. Plus you need not to worry about your accommodation since Borawan provides complete facilities from fresh new huts to comfort rooms, kitchen, tents for rent and even a store where you can purchase food and your other personal necessities.
How to get there:Ride a bus that is heading to Lucena, Quezon. Travel time is around 3-4 hours. From the Lucena Grand Terminal take the bus that is passing by Padre Burgos. Then inform the driver or bus attendant to drop you at Basiao intersection. From there you can take the tricycle or just walk to the beach where boatmen are waiting to take you to Borawan Island.

Potipot Island in Candelaria, Zambales

Photo by Milko Chua
Photo by Milko Chua
Potipot Island is an isolated island which doesn’t have hotel-like room accommodations to boast about or even convenience stores which sell personal necessities so if you plan to visit this tranquil sanctuary, then, you have to bring your own tent and ample food which will suffice you for your whole length of stay along with your other personal needs. So if you are in search for a place to escape which offers captivating views of green tries, white sands and serene, clear waters, then Potipot Island should be your perfect choice.
How to get there:
Potipot Island is more or less around 240 kilometres away from Manila and can be accessed thru riding a bus from Cubao to Iba, Zambales for around 4 hours. From the heart of Iba there are buses bound for Sta. Cruz which pass by Uangco which is the main entry point to Potipot. From there you can take the tricycle which headst to the local boat docks that can give you a ride tto Potipot Island. Boat rides more often than not take around 10-15 minutes only.

 Magalawa Island in Palauig, Zambales

Photo by Gino Mempin
Mangalawa Island is an island baranggay which covers 56 hectares of land area, positioned around 6 kms northwest of the town of Palauig, Zambales and is just close to the China Sea. Further the north you can find the San Salvador Island of Masinloc while lying on the east is Sitio Luan, Lipay. Undeniably, Magalawa offers a worthwhile getaway from the fast paced setting of the city life with its very laid-back setting. Magalawa Island has no electricity nor first-class hotel-like accommodations and restaurants so be sure to manage your expectations and bring extra batteries for your gadgets since the island only utilizes the use of a generator in the evening. Nevertheless, if you are longing for a serene island with unrivalled beauty that is favourable for soul-searching and exciting adventure then, without a doubt, Magalawa is just perfect for you.
How to get there:
From Cubao/Caloocan Bus Terminal in Manila, take the Victory Liner bus that is heading to Iba, Zambales. From Iba, transfer to another bus which heads to Sta. Cruz, Zambales. Then tell the driver to drop you off at Baranggay Pangolinan of Palauig (Cor Radio Veritas Road). From Brgy Pangolingan of Palauig ride a tricycle which is bound for Luan Port. The whole 20 minutes tricycle ride to Luan Port is quite bumpy so be sure to prepare yourself for it. From Luan Port, take the small boat which heads to Magalawa Island. Travel time is around 10-15 minutes.

Burot Beach in Calatagan, Batangas

Photo by Missy Penaverde
Regarded as one of the renowned beaches for weekend wanderers due to its strategic location close to Manila, is that of Burot Beach. Also it is well-admired for its secluded setting, fine white sand, tranquil clear waters, and lush green trees. Just so you know, Burot Beach is a one of the properties owned by SM Group of Companies but is already opened to the public for a given cost. If you wish to stay overnight, the fee is around 130 Pesos per person while if you prefer the day tour, it will only cost you 65 Pesos.
How to get there:Ride the Celyrosa Bus which heads to Calatagan just in Pasay Rotonda close to MRT Taft. Travel time from Pasay to Calatagan is approximately 3-4 hours and fare costs around 180 Pesos. Just instruct the driver or the conductor to stop the bus at the public market of Calatagan. From the market you may ride the tricycle to take you to the beach. Travel time is about 20-25 minutes at 60-150 Pesos per person

Laiya Beach in San Juan, Batangas

Laiya Beach (4)
Photo by Gino Mempin

It is not anymore surprising to know that Batangas is among the premier beach targets in the Philippines owing to its many awe-inspiring beaches; not to mention its strategic spot being only around 2-3 hours away from Manila. Laiya Beach in San Juan, Batangas is one of favourite beaches to be visited in Batangas because of the stunning scenery of lush greeneries that it offers, picturesque landscapes, sparkling clear waters as it touches the radiant white sand, and rich marine life that is ideal for snorkelling and swimming.
How to get there:
From Cubao or Araneta Center Bus Terminal in Quezon City, it is best to take the Alps Bus since it directly travels daily to San Juan, Batangas with the first trip at 3:00AM and the last trip at 5:40pm. From the town hall in San Juan, ride the jeepney to Laiya or Brgy Hugom.

Canyon Cove, Nasugbu, Batangas

Canyon cove (1)
Photo by Gay General

Before, Canyon Cove was a property owned by the UCPB Group which was also formerly named as White Cove. The resort basically underwent an extreme revamp and recently offers a vast swimming pool in the centre of the big resort so that guests can also take pleasure from it aside from the usual beach set-up. Others may even describe Canyon Cove as a complete package for unwinding in a remarkable haven. And surely, to laze around in lavishness may appear to be unfeasible these days, that’s why with Canyon Cove, your dream posh vacation can actually be a reality.
How to get there:If you prefer to take the bus, ride the bus which originates from Pasay/Lawton to Nasugbu. When you reach the main town of Nasugbu, take the tricycle which goes to Canyon Cove Resort. The resort is positioned on the left side of the ride just before you leave the “Thank You” arc.
If you bring your own vehicle you may take the SLEX route then exit at Sta. Rosa, turn right then head up to Tagaytay. From the rotunda of Tagaytay, head to the right portion of the road which is bound for Nasugbu. From Nasugbu, just follow the straight road then take the right road with a signpost that points to Nasugbu. Keep on heading straight till you arrive at Baranggay Wawa and before you arrive at the “Thank You” arch, you can already see on your left the Canyon Cove Resort.

Coral View Beach in Morong, Bataan

Coral View  (1)
Photos from

Bataan is just about 3 hours drive from Manila and is bounded by Subic Bay to the north west, Pampanga and Zambales to the north and Manila Bay to the east. Upon arriving in Bataan don’t forget to visit Coral View in Moron, Bataan which is among the top beaches to experience that are just near in Manila. Coral View Beach Resort is a highly-reputable vacation destination and those who already experienced how it is to be there can really attest to it. Also the resort is encompassing an entirety of 2.7 hectares of land and can be reached 10 minutes away from the Ayala Land’s 320 hectare Anvaya Cove. Aside from that, Coral Beach, takes pride for its cosy ambience, beyond-average accommodations and highly-satisfactory customer relations provision.
How to get there:
Coral View Beach Resort is just a 20 minutes drive from Subic Bay. If you’re from Manila, you may take the NLEX route then exit from San Fernando, pass by Lubao, Pampanga then head at straight till you reach the Bataan (Dinalupihan) intersection, then turn right, set off further until you reach the Subic Tipo Expressway entry point to the left. Get inside SBMA, chase the highway which runs along the same line to Subic Bay at the right, go by the airport, tag on the left curvature of the street at the finishing portion of the airport compound, pass by Triboa Bay until you find your way out from SBMA thru Morong’s south gate. Upon reaching outside, follow the twisting road until you get to another crossroad. Turn right to the first corner which leads to the main town of Moron, Bataan. Upon arriving at the town, turn right going to the town hall, then turn left past the church. The entry point of Coral View is at the tip of that road.

Matabungkay Beach in Lian, Batangas

The perfect resort escape for those who would simply want to relax by the beach is just about 2 hours far from Manila. Matabungkay Beach in Lian Batangas provides comfy room accommodations to its guests, diverse options for sports and leisure facilities; offering a complete-service salon and spa, a music lounge and a whole lot more. All these, in great fusion with delectable culinary, soothing atmosphere, well-mannered service crews and very budget-friendly rates, truly make Matabungkay a resort target of choice for many travellers and tourists for more than 3 decades.
How to get there:
If you bring your own car, take the SLEX road then exit at Santa Rosa, Silang-Tagaytay Highway then drive on till you arrive at the Batangas- Cavite boundary. Turn right onto the road which is under the Nasugbu arc till you get to the Shell Gas Station. Turn left towards the route of Lian and Calatagan. Be mindful of the Matabungkay signage on your right side so you won’t get lost.
You may have the option to take the public transport via van or bus which heads to Calatagan or Lian at Edsa-Taft just close to Pasay Rotonda. Just inform the driver or bus attendant to drop you at the intersection to Matabungkay. From the intersection just hire a tricycle to take you to Matabungkay Beach.

Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro

Puerto Galera (4)
Photo by Jun Acullador
There is definitely more to explore in Puerto Galera than being just an ordinary beach spot. Accessible thru a 3 to 4 bus ride and boat trip from Manila, it is not anymore shocking as to why Puerto Galera has been hailed as one of the popular beach destinations to visit by locals coming from Manila and even from international tourists. Apart from swimming and getting your sun-kissed skin, one of must-try activities in Puerto Galera is to delve into its diving spots which are rich in natural marine life.
How to get there:
Take any of the buses from either Pasay, Cubao or Alabang Terminal that are heading directly to Batangas Port thru CALABARZON Expressway. Travel time from Manila to Batangas Port is around 2-3 hours depending on how smooth the travel is. Fare charged is at around 200 Pesos and below. From the Batangas Port, go to Terminal 3 and look for the ferry’s ticket booth to Puerto Galera. Make sure you know the exact location that you are going to since Puerto Galero has 4 main points of entry namely Sabang Pier, White Beach Pier, Muelle Pier and the Balatero Pier.

Anilao in Mabini, BatangasAnilao

Anilao, Batangas has been one of the crowd favourite diving destinations in Luzon since it just lies around 3 hours from Manila. Aside from that, diving courses are offered for beginners who wish to do well in diving. Anilao for the most part, takes pride for its myriad of marine life that can entirely capture your interest. On the other hand if swimming or diving is not your thing, then you may head to Sombrero Island and just enjoy the outstanding view of the picturesque beach and take pleasure doing your sun-bathing with your best swimwear for your photo-ops.
How to get there:
Due to the fame of Anilao, Mabini, Batangas among professional divers, it is already easy for tourists and guests to reach the popular diving destination. From Manila, you may take the Batangas bound bus from Buendia Terminal and simply instruct the bus attendant to drop you off at the Mabini jeepney terminal. Upon demand, Jeepney drivers in Mabini can take its passengers to the port of Mabini. From Mabini, tourists can hire a driver to take you to any of the dotted resorts in Anilao.

Cagbalete Island in Quezon Province

cagbalete 2
Nestled in Mauban, Quezon is an atoll named Cagbalete island which has captivated the interest of city-based individuals who fancies to have a tranquil escapade by the beach. Cagbalete Island is encompassed by several resorts which provide cosy accommodations for you to stay, serene waters where you can take pleasure swimming, kayaking and taking remarkable pictures of the scenic backgrop.
How to get there:
Bus companies in Edsa/Cubao or Buendia-Taft have regular trips which are bound for Lucena. Jac Liner/ Jam Liner charges about 300 Pesos per trip with around 3 hours travel time. At the Lucena City Grand Terminal, all buses that are heading for Mauban, Quezon regulary have hourly stopovers there so you can just transfer to such bus. Travel time from Lucena to Mauban is around 1 hour and a half and costs about 60 Pesos.

Kwebang Lampas in Pagbilao, Quezon

Photo from
Are you looking for a short yet worth it beach escape in a concealed spot, offering a perfect place for reflection and photo ops? Then, you should visit Kwebang Lampas in Pagbilao Quezon which is nestled in Baranggay Isla Polo of Pagbilao. Just bear in mind that you Kwebang Lampas cannot be accessed during the high tide season. And during the peak season for tourists, the cave may be over-crowded by a lot of tourists. So be sure to plan your visit well so you can truly enjoy the view offered from the cave.
How to get there:
Kwebang Lampas is around 5-6 hours trip from Manila if you take the public form of transportation. From Manila you may take the bus which is Lucena Bound such as that of JAC liner which has terminals in Kamias, Q.C. and Buendia-Taft in Pasay. Travel time from Manila to Lucena is around 4 hours. From Lucena Terminal you may take the jeepney which heads to Pagbilao then transfer to another jeepney which is bound for Brgy Isla Polo. From the Isla Polo Terminal you need to take a tricycle to take you to the jump off point of Kwebang Lampas. From The jump off point, you have to cross the river via boat for 10-15 minutes.

Hundred Islands in Alaminos Pangasinan

Hundred islands (3)
Photo by Mark Albert Alejo Cruz

To be found in Alaminos, Pangasinan is Hundred Islands which is among the top beaches to be found just around 240 kilometres north of Manila. Hundred Islands takes pride of its eye-catching islands that are ideal for island-hopping escapades. Furthermore, the entire islands are distinctive, showcasing cool azure waters and breathtaking marine life. Among the popular islands featured in Hundred Islands are Governor’s Ilsnad, Kissing Island and Devil’s Island.
How to get there:
Ride a Victory Liner Bus from Cubao which heads to Alaminos, Pangasinan. Length of trip is approximately 3-4 hours. Upon reaching Alaminos, go directly to Lucap Terminal where tricycles are stationed to take you to Lucap Wharf which is the starting point for island hopping.

Patar White Beach in Bolinao, Pangasinan

Photo by Gay General

Regarded as one of the unspoilt beaches to look forward experiencing in Bolinao is that of Patar White Beach which is dotted on the western shore, along the South China Sea. Patar Beach is adore highly-admired due to its fine white sand beach which rises slowly from the coast, allowing it to be conducive for swimming. However, since Patar Beach is not privately owned, it has quite poor maintenance so manage your expectations especially when you see some tangled seaweeds in a few portions of the beach during summer season.
How to get there:
Before deciding to visit Patar Beach, you have to find out first, what are the most convenient means of transportation as well as the schedule of departure of the buses. If ever you do not bring your own vehicle, you can access Patar Beach via bus and you can pick from the 3 renown bus companies such as Victory liner and Dagupan Bus Line in Cubao, Quezon City and FiveStar Bus Line in Pasay. From Manila, there will be 3 stopovers, namely Dau Terminal, Tarlac Termina and Alaminos City Terminal. Travel time to get to Bolinao usually takes around 5 to 6 hours. Upon arriving in Bolinao, hire a tricycle and tell the driver to take you to any of your booked accommodation location in Patar. Travel time from the heart of Bolinao’s town to Patar White Beach is approximately around 30 to 40 minutes.

Cabongaoan Beach in Burgos, Pangasinan

Cabongaoan Beach (2)
Photo by Mark Albert Alejo Cruz
Recognized as a highly-esteemed unspoilt beach dotted in Burgos, Pangisan is that of Cabongaoan Beach. The township of Burgos may not be popular for a lot of tourists but rest assured this town is a sanctuary to nature’s bountiful splendour such as that of white sand beaches and falls that will definitely capture your interest. Furthermore, the waters in Cabongaoan are very calm and lucid; a place that is truly perfect for those who would like to relax and getaway from busy life of the city.
How to get there:
Pangasinan can be reached by land thru bus line companies such as Five Star, Victory Liner and Dagupan Bus which have regular daily trips from Manila to the metropolitan of Alaminos, Bolinao, Tayug and Dagupan. Travel time from Manila to Pangasinan thru bus takes around 4-5 hours while 3-4 hours via private car.