With summer well underway, everyone’s off to hit the beach. Siargao and Puerto Galera are common go-tos, but if you’re really looking to just lounge by the shore with a good book, a friend or two, and some fresh, salty sea air in your lungs, that’s probably not your scene. To help you out, we picked out some spots with that “less-party-more-chillax” vibe you’re looking for.
1. Kingfisher Resort in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
Situated between the more popular Pagudpud beaches of Saud and Blue Lagoon, Kingfisher Resort in Brgy. Caparisparisan boasts a private beach and a pool to boot, ideal for some R&R. If you’re in the mood for some water sports, you can try paddleboarding and kiteboarding without worrying about a crowd of people to watch out for
How to get there: You can go by plane, deluxe bus, or sleeper bus to Laoag. Then take another bus to Pagudpud town proper in Mawini, and finally, rent a tricycle to take you straight to Kingfisher Resort. For P700 to P800, you can also catch a bus directly to Pagudpud, then take a tricycle to the resort.
2. Bantayan Island in Cebu
Where do broken hearts go, you ask? Well, if the mountains of the north has Sagada, then the shores of the south has Bantayan Island. But even if you’re not looking to join #CampSawi, a trip to this Cebu paradise ought to cure you of those aches and pains from the stress of city living, so it’s well worth visiting
How to get there: Fly to Cebu, then take a bus from the Cebu North Bus Terminal to Hagnaya Port. Hop on a ferry to Santa Fe Port in Bantayan Island.
Rates: Kota Beach Resort (the very place where they shot Camp Sawi, btw) offers accommodations ranging from Php900 to Php3,800 per night. Get more info on their website or via mobile at +63 956 276 4410.
3. Isla Verde in Batangas
Get a real taste of the peaceful and serene life by the sea when you visit this little island off the coast of Batangas that's just a stone’s throw away from Puerto Galera. With only a few resorts in operation, it’s still largely undeveloped, which is probably for the best. The place has been deemed the world’s “Center of the Center of Marine Biodiversity” so it has some of the most magnificent underwater views we should strive to protect and preserve.
How to get there: From SLEX, head to Star tollway and take the Batangas exit. From there, head towards Batangas City and make your way to Aplaya. Alternatively, you may take a bus to Batangas City Grand Terminal. From there, you can hire a tricycle to take you to Tabangao Aplaya or take a jeepney to Bagong Palengke Bayan, then another jeepney to Tabangao. There are a few boats that travel to the island, but each resort has a different service boat so you should get in touch with your contact person for further instructions.
Rates: Isla Verde Tropical Friendly Resort offers tent accommodations, traditional kubos, and stone house accommodations ranging from Php300 to Php2,500 per night. For more info, visit their website or contact them through firstname.lastname@example.org or +63 916 440 8647.
4. Anguib Beach in Sta. Ana, Cagayan
Anguib Beach has been dubbed the “Boracay of the North”—minus the crowds, the noise, and the pollution. Much better, in our opinion.
How to get there: Fly or take a bus to Tuguegarao, then take another bus or passenger van to Sta. Ana. From there, ride a tricycle to San Vicente Port, then charter a boat to Anguib Beach.
5. Sombrero Island in Masbate
One of the three islets of Burias Island, Sombrero Island lets you soak up not just sun and sea, but the stars as well. Pitching your own tent is the only way to spend a night on this secluded beach, but you’ll be thankful for the opportunity to doze off to the cool sea breeze and the sounds of the rolling tides with the beautiful skies right above you looking so near yet so far.
How to get there: You can take a plane or a bus to Naga, then ride a jeepney or a van to Pasacao Port. From there, take a boat to Burias Island, and another to Sombrero Island.
6. Crystal Beach Resort in San Narciso, Zambales
Although people flock to this now-renowned spot, the vast expanse of its shoreline can more than accommodate everyone. Here, you can try a bit of camping, surf, or even do some sunset yoga by the beach. They’ve also opened up a new Jungle Hostel, which offers a relaxing and unique beach experience.
How to get there: It's hard to miss Crystal Beach if you're going by car. From SCTEX, head to SBMA and turn right on Rizal Highway, until you reach the tollgate to Olongapo City. Continue to Zambales, Subic town, Castillejos, San Marcelino, until San Narciso, and simply follow road signs going to Crystal Beach. If you take a bus to Olongapo, transfer to another bus or a UV Express to Zambales. You can also get a bus directly to Iba or Sta. Cruz, Zambales. Ask the driver to drop you off at San Sebastian Catholic Church in San Narciso, then take a tricycle to the resort.
Rates: Expect to shell out about P6,950 for comfy accommodations for a group of five, though prices vary if you’re going for a day tour only or staying overnight to camp out, rent a room, or try the Jungle Hostel Surf Shack. Check out their website for more details or contact them at email@example.com.