Written by Dezza, 14 February 2019.
Summer is here in the Philippines! And summer means beaches!
However, when people hear the word “beaches” they don’t normally think of Manila.
And while it’s true that Manila doesn’t have any beaches, you may be surprised to learn that there are a number of beautiful beaches near Manila that are within driving distance of the metro.
Yes, you can actually visit these places within a day which means that you don’t need to stay overnight if you don’t want to.
What’s awesome about this is that you can simply pack up the car and do a day trip. No flights and no accommodation to worry about.
If you are visiting the Philippines and/or don’t have a car, you can get to most places via a bus or other transport services.
Check out the Google Maps links below each place listed in this blog and you can then find transport options on the internet for each location. Most of these places will take anywhere from about 2-3 hours to reach from Manila.
A couple of these places include a short boat ride however, most of them are reachable by road from go to whoa.
When I make recommendations to visit somewhere, I like to only recommend places that I have actually been to myself.
That way, I can pass on any special tips and tricks and things to look out for, especially for those visiting for the first time.
So with this, I came up with 14 of the best beaches near Manila that I have actually been to. It’s actually quite ironic because as I sit here writing this blog, it’s actually Valentine’s Day, the 14th 🙂
These beaches are in no particular order and you will notice most are in Batangas as that is where the largest concentration of the best beaches near Manila are.
Some require you to have a bit of an adventurous spirit and take a little bit of effort to get to, but you just have to suck it up and get over it if you wanna enjoy the prize. Remember, it’s the journey, not the destination that matters!
Anyway, here we go with the top 14 beaches near Manila you can visit this summer.
Masasa Beach is located on Maricaban Island is one of the most gorgeous beaches in the Philippines. The white sand beach stretches on for at least one kilometre and is divided by an epic rock formation and cliff.
You do need to take a short boat ride to reach here which only takes just over half an hour from Mabini Port in Batangas (not Batangas Port).
When I first went here in 2014, the beach was totally deserted. We were the only people on the entire beach for the whole day.
It is the perfect spot to go for a swim, do a bit of snorkelling or just lounge around all day long. However, make sure you also explore the nearby Sombrero Island and Caban Island if you have time.
Google Maps: Masasa Beach
Laiya Beach is home to many different types of resorts, which are scattered along the coastline. The sand on these beaches is virtually pure white and offer incredible views.
Each beach is unique in its own way and offers various activities such as jet skiing, banana boating, kayaking, snorkelling and much more.
These beaches are the perfect place to play a game of Frisbee or volleyball with friends. When it comes to beaches near Manila to take your family, it doesn’t get much better than here. It is also pet-friendly so you can take dogs here too!
Google Maps: Laiya Beach
There is a number of beaches along the shores of Morong in Bataan. The sands are a nice beige/white colour and surprisingly clean without the usual seaweed and crushed coral and rocks washed up on it.
There are a number of resorts there so you have some options if you plan to just visit for the day. Here you can grab lunch and chill out with a couple of cocktails or take a swim.
You can also do the normal water activities you can do at other beaches, including swimming, sunbathing and so forth. And facing west, the sunsets are epic!
However, it’s best to check with each resort online if you are able to just spend the day there as some resorts may not permit you to use the facilities if you aren’t actually staying there.
Some of the beaches are also a membership only beaches which means that you either need to be a member or sponsored by a member.
Google Maps: Morong
Bagac is located just north of Mariveles in Bataan and is a newly developing area with tons of potential for development due to the many coves and nice beaches that adorn the area.
There are a few resorts in Bagac that will permit you to visit for the day where you can hire a nipa hut (cottage) and chill out with a picnic and a few drinks.
Just like Morong, the beaches here are surprisingly clean with the sand being a beige/white colour, coming alive in the sunlight.
When I visited there in February of this year (2019), I didn’t see one single foreign tourist. To me, this is an indicator that not many foreigners are aware of the beautiful beaches in this area.
Even though the locals are enjoying these beautiful beaches, they are still not very crowded and can make for a relaxing day trip from Manila.
Google Maps: Bagac
Calayo Beach is still one of my personal favourite beaches. However, it can get a little busy with locals during summer.
It is a great spot to go for long walks, a nice swim or to take in the nice scenery with towering mountains as a backdrop.
The locals are very friendly and you can buy fresh seafood from the local fishermen and have it cooked in some of the beachside cottages that are available.
You can also go island hopping by hiring the boat from a local fisherman. Now that it is summertime, there’s no better time than now to visit Calayo Beach.
Google Maps: Calayo Beach
Lorelie Island (Loren Island) is a must visit for anyone looking for an amazing beach to go to that is only a couple of hours drive away from Manila.
Calayo Beach (mentioned above) is the gateway to Loralie Island. This has beautiful golden sand and amazing rock formations and cliffs. It is totally uninhabited and very secluded.
If you are really after some privacy, you can find it here. One word of warning – you just need to check with the boatman that the tide is out when you go there.
When it’s high tide, the water can get quite rough and washes up onto the beach, causing the beach to disappear. So timing is pretty crucial. However, it is a stunning beach and worth a visit.
Google Maps: Lorelie Island
The landscapes on Borawan Island are spectacular and you can see where the name comes from (a play on words between Boracay and Palawan).
To get to Borawan, you need to take a short boat ride. The beach is very clean and there are many fun things to do in the summer, so now is the perfect time to go.
There are some cottages for hire for the day which allow you some respite from the scorching sun. This place probably takes the longest to reach of all the places on this list.
It can take up to 4 hours to get there so you need a very early start to complete the trip in a day. However, once you see this place, you will agree that it is well worth the effort.
If you did want to extend a bit longer and possibly stay for a night, there is also plenty of island hopping available. If so, you can check out nearby Puting Buhangin and Dampalitan Island.
Google Maps: Borawan Island
Bucana Beach is located just south of Manila and it is one of the most laid back beaches in the country.
This area is very much a local area but there is no reason as a foreigner you can’t enjoy this place if you are looking for a day trip from Manila.
There are a handful of resorts here with the best one being Ternate beach resort. You can hire a cottage for the day and chill out with some nice views of Manila Bay.
Despite the sometimes unfair reputation of Cavite, the beaches here are relatively clean.
I’m not quite sure if I would be prepared to swim in the water here, but it still makes for a nice place to relax for a day.
Google Maps: Bucana Beach
The sand on the beach at Matabungkay is quite amazing. Generally, it takes on the typical grey volcanic colour similar to most of the beaches in the Philippines.
However, when the sun shines on it, it starts to sparkle and glow and takes on a more whitish/golden complexion.
This is a great place for a day trip if you just want to chill out and relax. You will find plenty of floating cottages there which you can hire for the day and relax while floating on the water.
It has been more than 10 years since I have been there so I’m sure that it caters a little to tourism a little more now compared to when I last visited there.
Google Maps: Matabungkay Beach
Located in Zambales, Camayan Beach can get fairly busy, but there are plenty of fun things to do, especially in the summer. The beach here is one of the best in the Subic Bay area.
The sand is very clean and is a nice golden colour. Like many of the beaches on this list, you can hire a cottage for the day right on the beach and relax for the day by Subic Bay.
There are also a number of nice restaurants and cafes in the area if you wish to relax and have lunch, or grab a coffee.
If you have kids, Subic Ocean Adventure is nearby and so is the Zoobic Safari so you have plenty of options for a great day trip.
Google Maps: Camayan Beach
Coming in at number 11 is Talimaya Beach. This is nestled in between Maya Maya and Tali Beach, hence the name.
This area is the ultimate secluded getaway and you can only reach it by boat. However, if you happen to know someone who is a resident of Tali Beach, you can access this by land.
Otherwise, you can take a boat from nearby Wawa port to visit Talimaya and also explore some of the coastline along Nasugbu which offers some spectacular scenery.
There is also the famous Ramos Caves which you can visit next to the popular cliff jump area. Check out my vlog below which gives you a good idea of the area and the things you can do there.
Google Maps: Talimaya Beach (found as Tony Alunan White Beach)
Burot Beach is located in Calatagan, and although it isn’t a large beach, it isn’t too far from Manila.
The sand is more of a beige colour rather than white and depending what time you get there, the tide takes the water out quite a distance.
This is the beach for you if you want to relax or go for a dip in shallow water, which is ideal for both snorkelling and swimming.
The area is also famous for the Punta de Santiago lighthouse which is a historical landmark and popular tourist attraction.
Google Maps: Burot Beach
White Rock Beach is located at the White Rock Beach Hotel & Waterpark. You have the option here of doing a day trip or you can actually stay overnight in the accommodation.
The beach here is exclusive to the resort and is relatively private and good for a family getaway.
There are some great swimming pools with plenty of water slides and other pool equipment to keep young kids occupied. Here you can capture some great views of Subic Bay.
You are also able to partake in a number of different water activities including kayaking and jet skiing. With plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby, you can turn this into a great day trip which is not too difficult to get to from Manila.
Google Maps: White Rock Beach
You can only reach Natipuan Beach via Nasugbu Bay if you happen to have a boat (there are plenty available for hire). If so, you can enjoy a couple of hours relaxing in the water.
You can also partake of some other activities from the nearby beach club which include banana boat riding, jet skiing and kayaking.
Asides from the normal beach activities at Natipuan Beach, you can check out Terrazas De Punta Fuego Resort. You will be well impressed.
However, this is a member only resort which means that you need to be with a member to gain access. You’ll then be able to enjoy their private white sand beach as well as the infinity swimming pool, bars and restaurants, and cabanas.
It is a sensational place if you get the chance to visit and is without a doubt the best resort, albeit private, within driving distance from Manila. Check out my vlog below or more details.
Google Maps: Natipuan Cove
Those are our top picks for the Beaches near Manila to visit this summer. If you happen to be overseas and are planning to visit the Philippines, now is the time to book a trip.
Just make sure you check out all of the above beaches when you arrive.
Please leave your comments below and share this article with friends and family! Also, please don’t forget to check out the related articles below.