A boatman once told me that Filipinos are naturally people of the sea, which probably explains why most of us flock to the seaside every chance we get. Whether to actually swim in the waters or just frolic in cute bikinis, beaches make the idyllic spot for every occasion. If you’re looking for a quick coastal paradise to cure your senses, here are affordable beaches near Manila you can easily visit.
Best beaches near Manila for quick getaways
Laki Beach, Mariveles
White sand, calm waters, swaying coconut trees — who wouldn’t fall in love with Laki Beach? Many tourists call this private resort in Bataan “the Boracay beach near Manila.” It greets guests with cliff diving spots, snorkelling areas, and breathtaking sunset views. In the mood for a quintessentially Pinoy beach trip? Bring a tent and cookware, and have a mouth-watering boodle fight before camping out.
How to get there: Take the Genesis bus bound for Mariveles. Ride a tricycle to Barangay Balon or Porto from the Mariveles bus terminal.
Anilao Beach, Mabini
This famous beach in Batangas offers more than meets the eye. Beneath its calm ocean skin, Anilao harbours vibrant marine life, prolific enough to maintain its reputation as a top scuba diving destination in the Philippines. With over 40 diving spots, Anilao has enough space for everyone. You can book diving lessons and tours here, too.
How to get there: Take any bus bound for Batangas City. Get off at the Batangas Grand Terminal, then take the jeepney to Anilao.
Masasa Beach, Tingloy
Its long white coastline, turquoise waters, rock formations, and affordable transient houses are what brought hordes of tourists to this previously hidden gem in Tingloy. Masasa Beach, although far from luxurious, has become a go-to destination for weekend warriors seeking a simple camp out. When in the area, you can enjoy snorkelling around the deeper waters. Not a fan of exploring the ocean? Taking a dip in the Blue Lagoon, where waters are calm but rocks are steep, is just as fun.
Note: As of writing, Masasa Beach remains closed due to the pandemic.
How to get there: Take any bus bound for Batangas City. Get off at the Batangas Grand Terminal, then take the jeepney to Talaga Port.
Laiya Beach, San Juan
Laiya is no stranger to anyone — and for a good reason. Besides its white shoreline (which often earns unsolicited comparisons to Boracay), the town is also one of the most welcoming beaches near Manila. Peppered with resorts, restaurants, and diving establishments, the beach caters to travellers of diverse tastes.
How to get there: Take any bus bound for Lipa, Batangas. From the Lipa bus terminal, ride a jeepney or van to San Juan. Then, ride a jeepney or tricycle to Laiya.
Isla Verde, Batangas City
Cast away from the rest of Batangas, Isla Verde is an intriguing lone beach that remains crowd-free because of its location. Only accessible by boat, this beach in Batangas is a treasure trove of biodiversity. It even has a title to fortify its reputation: Isla Verde is dubbed the “Centre of the Centre of the Marine Biodiversity of the World.” So, ready your snorkelling gear and get ready to enjoy the marine life around the island. You can also book an island hopping tour to maximise your stay.
How to get there: Take any bus bound for Batangas City. Get off at the Batangas Grand Terminal, then take the jeepney to Bagong Palengke. From Bagong Palengke, take the jeepney to Tabangao Port. At the said port, ride the paddle boat to MB Super Mario. Finally, ride the Super Mario boat to Mahabang Buhangin or Sampalukan.
Also read: 10 Things You Should NEVER Do At The Beach
Patungan Beach, Maragondon
A small cove nestled in Maragondon, Patungan Beach exudes a bare splendour: fine sand, honest waters safe for swimming, free entrance and minimal parking fees, and budget-friendly cottages by the shore. Since it sits away from the town proper, the area has limited electricity. But, like any proper beach resort in the Philippines, it has videoke rentals and bonfire nights. You can also purchase freshly caught fish and squid from the local fisherfolk.
How to get there: Take a bus bound for Maragondon or Ternate. Alight at Ternate, then ride a tricycle to Patungan. From the highway, ride a banca to Patungan Beach.
White Beach, Puerto Galera
One of the more famous beaches near Manila, White Beach in Puerto Galera can get busy on a summer day. Most travellers come here to enjoy the shimmering coastline, but the beach also offers a myriad of water activities, including scuba diving, jet skiing, windsurfing, and parasailing. The beach is just as vibrant at night, too, with plenty of hotels and resto-bars ready to receive travellers.
How to get there: From Cubao or Buendia, ride a bus bound for the Batangas Pier. Upon arriving at the Batangas Pier, head to the ticketing station and purchase a roro or fast craft ticket to White Beach, Puerto Galera.
Borawan Beach, Padre Burgos
If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, head over to Borawan Beach. Its name, a portmanteau of “Boracay” and “Palawan,” represents its best features: chalky white sand and limestone rock formations. As such, tourists desiring to visit these world’s best islands can have a taste of them at this beach near Manila. From kayaking to island hopping, Borawan now offers several tourist activities for your convenience.
How to get there: Take a bus bound for Lucena City. Get off at Lucena Grand Terminal, and then take a bus to Unisan. Alight at Padre Burgos, then take a tricycle to Aplaya.
Alibijaban Island, San Andres
The Philippines is blessed with numerous islands, but those adorned with mangroves are especially one-of-a-kind. Mangroves exist exclusively in tropical areas and are called “a gift of the tides” because they can only live in coastal intertidal zones. In Alibijaban, there is a 140-hectare mangrove forest that surrounds the crystal clear waters — just imagine how beautiful it is! In addition to the lush forest, Alibijaban is also known for the occasional appearance of whale sharks and manta rays.
How to get there: Take a bus to San Andres, Quezon. From there, ride a boat to Alibijaban Island.
Puting Buhangin, Pagbilao
Another haven for those looking for solitude, Puting Buhangin is a small beach area good for relaxation. This paradise is almost unknown to many beachgoers, remaining unspoiled and picturesque. In the vicinity, Kuwebang Lampas is another famous spot you can explore at low tide.
How to get there: Take a bus bound for Lucena City. Get off at Lucena Grand Terminal, and then take a bus to Unisan. Alight at Padre Burgos, then take a tricycle to Aplaya
Cagbalete Island, Mauban
With Agoho trees lining its coastline, Cagbalete Island has drawn much attention as a backpacking destination. Not only is it a sight to behold, but it also offers multiple activities for the adrenaline junkie. Its diverse flora and fauna allow travellers to go birdwatching and admire different species of bonsai. Its waves are good for surfing and skimboarding, and there are waterfalls near the beach, too.
How to get there: From Cubao, take a bus bound for Lucena City. Get off at Lucena Grand Terminal, and then take a bus or a van to Mauban. From Mauban, ride a passenger boat to Cagbalete Island.
Liwliwa Beach, San Felipe
Zambales beaches are attracting more and more travellers, and Liwliwa Beach is just one of the province’s many treasures. But unlike the other beaches in Zambales, Liwliwa seems significantly more affordable. Without any entrance fees, the area allows campers to rent and pitch tents. On the other hand, guests can also stay at comfortable and air-conditioned resorts, which still come at budget-friendly prices.
Since Liwliwa has become a popular destination for many beachgoers, expect to find a number of eateries across the area. Surfers love the beach for its strong waves, but those who would rather laze around and catch the sunset would definitely enjoy the place, too.
How to get there: From the Victory Liner terminal, take a bus bound for Iba or Sta. Cruz. Alight at San Felipe.
When the waves are calling, you must go. With these beaches near Manila, you won’t have a hard time doing so.
Featured image credit: Kwentong Dagat | Official Facebook Page