There are plenty of reasons to visit the Philippines – incredible food, a warm, hospitable culture, and of course, the beaches! Known for their white sand and crystal-clear waters, beaches in the Philippines draw thousands of travellers each year looking to soak up the sun. While many will head to Puerto Princesa or Boracay for their seaside fix, there are also some fantastic beaches near Manila!
What’s So Special About Manila?
The vibrant, thriving capital of the Philippines, Manila is a beautiful combination of the old and new. European-style architecture stands next to traditional temples and shop fronts, adding to the eclectic vibe of this unique location. The weather here is temperate year-round and makes for the perfect urban adventure for keen explorers.
The city itself is filled with delightful baroque churches, hidden markets, and exciting secrets around every corner. While there aren’t many beaches in Manila, Philippines, there are plenty of lovely shores and coves just outside of the reaches of the outer suburbs. Visitors can take part in water sports like snorkelling and skiing, or just relax on the sandy beaches of these magical spots during their stay.
If you’re keen to get out of the city for the day, let’s talk about 7 of the best beaches and beach resorts near Manila!
7 Must-See Beaches Near Manila To Visit
Catalagan is just over 81 miles outside of Manila and is a favourite day trip location for locals and travellers. While you may have heard of the camping and hiking in this area, Catalagan’s beaches are not to be missed!
This beach near Manila is famous for its crystal waters and white sand, and visitors travel from near and far to experience the views over the ocean. However, one of the most popular tourist draws is the incredible marine life that calls Calatagan home – look for dugongs, dolphins, and even the occasional whale surfacing off the coast. Snorkel, dive, and swim amongst some of the most pristine marine environments in the world – if you’ve got a waterproof camera, make sure to take some photos!
If you want to spend a little more time at this Manila beach, there are plenty of resorts lining the shores. Sip cocktails in luxury, then head down to the sandy shore and relax in the Philippines’ sun. There are plenty of fine-dining restaurants here, too, so make sure to sample some of the delicious local fare during your stay.
Nagsasa Cove, Zambales
Nagsasa Cove is one of the best beaches in Manila and definitely worth the day trip! Like many shores in this area, Created by a volcanic explosion in 1991, Nagsasa Cove’s beach is a fine mix of volcanic ash and sand, making it perfect for walking across on a hot day.
This beach is not only famous for its sand, but also its native plants. Agoho trees surround the cove, and massive hills created by the dormant volcano mean that panoramic views are available – so long as you’re keen on a hike! For those who want something a little more unique, the stunning Nagsasa Falls are around a one-hour walk from the main cove, and provide a great chance to take some enviable holiday snaps.
If you want to get out on the water, Nagsasa Cove can be accessed by boat, with charters leaving from Manila daily. While this beach can be done as a day trip, we recommend taking advantage of the camping and traditional accommodation options available. Many beach resorts near Manila are hyper luxurious, but Nagasa Cove offers the chance to sleep under the stars or rest overnight in nipa and bamboo huts.
Laiya Beach, Batangas
If you’re heading to Batangas, you can’t miss out on Laiya Beach! Considered one of the best beaches in Manila, Philippines, Laiya is popular not only for weekend tourists but for families and corporate groups looking for adventure!
One of the nearest beaches from Manila on this list, Laiya Beach is famous for its crushed shell and coral shores, as well as turquoise waters straight off a postcard. The area is also home to some of the best beach resorts near Manila, with luxury accommodation and water sports like kayaking and scuba diving just part of the itinerary for many visitors.
Don’t let the high-end reputation scare you from visiting – there is also plenty of budget accommodation and free activities available for those who wish to travel more frugally.
Cagbalete Island, Quezon
While many Manila beaches are known for their stunning white sand and clear water, Cagbalete Island is truly something special! Located in Quezon, about 56 miles from Manila, this tiny island is home to some of the richest biodiversity in the Philippines. As a result, it is a haven for hikers, divers, and travelers just looking to get away.
On Cagbalete Island, you aren’t limited to relaxing on the sand – instead, get involved with some of the unique activities available around the beach! From horseback riding along the shores to cruising along the Mangrove River and swimming in Hagdan-Hagdan Falls, there is something for every budget and preference on this magical isle.
In years past you may have struggled to find accommodation on Cagbalete – however, due to the popularity, many luxury and budget resorts are now located along the shores. If you don’t feel like staying overnight, there are regular charters from the Port of Manila – it will take around 3 hours to get there, so we recommend finding a bed for the night!
Sometimes, you just need to escape the hustle and bustle of city life – if that sounds like you, Subic could be your next getaway location! While not as famous as other Manila, Philippines beaches, this quiet little town is certainly worth your attention.
For the keen scuba divers, Subic is known for being one of the best locations for wreck diving in the Philippines. Due to the extensive coral reefs, many clipper ships from as far back as the 1700s have wrecked themselves near the shore and provide ample opportunity for underwater explorers to dive the remnants. However, if you don’t feel like heading beneath the surface, the shallow reefs and abundant marine life make for a perfect afternoon of snorkelling and discovery.
Many visitors will be looking for a beach resort near Manila in order to justify the trip out to Subic - you can take your pick from five-star luxury through to basic comfort accommodation options in this quaint beachside location.
At just over 60 miles outside the city, Anilao is the nearest beach from Manila, and is one of the most popular locations for day-trippers looking for some island-style luxury.
Like Subic, Anilao is famous for its dive sites, and is home to world-class wrecks in Devils Point, Twin Rocks, and Secret Bay. Bring your own gear, or hire some from the many scuba schools and dive shops located on the shores of this beautiful Manila beach. For beginners, you can also take lessons from experienced instructors, or multi-day courses designed to get you comfortable with the beautiful marine wonderland.
If you want to get off the sand, Anilao is also close to attractions like Mount Gulugod Baboy – perfect for a half-day of hiking! Soar above the seaside and surrounding jungle for panoramic views over the area. Visitors wanting to get on the water instead of in it can choose to do an island-hopping tour for a day, with guides taking you to some of the most well-kept secret spots in the Philippines.
Are you planning a stay? There are plenty of resorts and guest houses lining Anilao’s shores, so that you can enjoy your stay in style. You can even organize tours through your accommodation – easy!
White Beach, Puerto Galera
It wouldn’t be a list of Manila beaches if we didn’t talk about Puerto Galera! Known as the Boracay of Manila, this beautiful location is home to some of the most spectacular shores in Manila, Philippines! Beaches here are as picturesque as they are popular, and are the perfect mix of revelling and relaxation.
White Beach is widely considered to be the jewel of Puerto Galera, and is famed not only for its natural beauty but its vibrant nightlife. Lined with bars and beach resorts, White Beach is constantly heaving with families, groups of friends, and partygoers looking to have a good time. No matter what time of year you visit, there is bound to be an event or festival spilling onto the shores.
If partying isn’t your vibe, there are fantastic options for adrenaline junkies to get their fill. Try parasailing in the rushing morning winds, or rent a jet ski for an afternoon of fast-paced racing against your friends.
While you can visit White Beach as a day trip, we predict that you’ll take one look and want to extend your stay! Resorts here fill up quickly, so make sure to plan ahead and book appropriately.
Visit Manila with Monster Day Tours!
So there you have it – 7 of the best beaches near Manila! After the beach you can grab food at some of Manila's best restaurants or explore tourist spots and if its nighttime you could just go enjoy Manila's nightlife!
If you want to plan the perfect day trip out of the city, or are keen to make your visit unforgettable, Monster Day Tours can help! So get in contact today, and let us organize a vacation that will change your life.