Thursday, September 20, 2018

4 best beach destinations in the Philippines


THE Philippines, having 7,107 islands, has some of the most pristine beaches worldwide. During the summer, locals and foreign tourists flock to these beach resorts to take the time out from their daily routine. If you are making plans for a long-deserved vacation, here are the top four beaches I’d gladly recommend.

1. El Nido, Palawan

The island is blessed with numerous pocket caves and stunning beaches. It boasts of the most picturesque seascape in the entire world. El Nido is also admired for its lush jungle and steep limestone cliffs like those in Guilin, Krabi and Ha Long Bay.

The island boasts of 50 unspoiled white sand beaches, five verdant forests, three marine habitations, and numerous species of birds. El Nido is the biggest sanctuary for aquatic resources and it has the most diverse ecosystem in the country.

How to get there?

Tourists can come to El Nido via direct flights to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. During off season, airfares range from P500 to P1,000. This is a measly comparison to the direct flights by AirSWIFT that cost around P10,000. The journey continues with a van direct from Puerto Princesa Airport up to El Nido bus terminal. Your van transfer will take between 4.5 to 6 hours, depending on the time of the day. The price for a seat costs around P600 to P700.

2. Coron, Palawan

Another highly priced beach in Palawan, Coron is described by local and foreign tourists as a magnificent tropical paradise that amazes people in many ways. This destination continues to enchant visitors because of its crystal clear waters, immaculate white-sand beaches, and quaint islands. Unlike El Nido, Coron has a much more laid-back vibe. It also boasts of multi-hued corals and underwater wreckages, making it one of the best places to visit in the Philippines especially for divers.

How to get there?

You can book a flight to Busuanga Airport through two of the country's flight carriers, PAL Express (formerly Airphil Express) and Cebu Pacific Air. There are other local airline carriers like Zest Air and SEAir and you may regularly check if they have available flights to Busuanga (Coron).

3. Siargao, Surigao Del Norte

I would say that Siargao remains the best beach destination for me. The island literally inhabited by tourists make you feel like being in a place with an undulated island vibe. This famous destination lures travel enthusiasts from all corners of the world with its magnificent sunsets, dazzling waters, soft white sands and it gives you the perfect surfing experience. Moreover, it has a buzzing nightlife scene that vacationers never fail to relish.

How to get there?

Philippine Airlines offer direct flights to Siargao from Davao, Manila, Clark and Cebu. Cebu Pacific also bids the same but with only one entry-point which, is Cebu. The travel time is usually 45 minutes-2 hours depending on where you are coming from. The plane ticket costs around P998-P4400. Upon arriving at Sayak airport, you can immediately book a van for P2,500-P5,000. Should you want to try a more adventurous spin? Rent a motorbike for P250 a day.

4. Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

I’ve been to “Boracay of the North” several times. The fine white sands and crystal-clear waters of Saud Beach stand out. It serves as a jump-off point for other awesome attractions like the Bangui Windmills, Burgos Lighthouse, Kaibigan Falls, and Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. Other wonderful beaches include Blue Lagoon and Maira-ira in a remote location that you can only access by going through forested mountains.

How to get there?

I would suggest flying to Laoag Airport (Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific), so you can save time. Otherwise, take the airconditioned bus from Manila (Florida Bus for direct trips) which normally lasts for 10 hours. Then, hire a car or van courtesy of tour agencies that will bring you straight to Pagudpud.

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