10 under the radar white sand beaches in the Philippines you haven’t been to

Categories outdoors, special

After the widely successful remote beach list I posted last year, here’s another ten that will surely whet your appetite to travel and discover more of the Philippines.

Most of these beaches haven’t been included in other beach lists that you usually find repeated again and again and I’m proud to say that I’ve personally been to all these.

Mapped beaches across the Philippines
Mapped beaches across the Philippines
These are beautiful with white sand ranging from powdery white to cream colored to a mixture of sand, pebbles and other normal sea debris.

Not all of these are readily accessible though. Case in point, Brother Island is private (but possible to visit) and located near the northern tip of Palawan Island, farther than El Nido town.

Calugusan Beach on the other hand is actually accessible but you have to shed your imagined fear of that province. While another, Marilima Beach is just a short tricycle ride from Virac. Most of these are known only by locals and are not even listed in tourism sites.

I hope you will enjoy this list. But when you decide to visit this places, let’s respect the place, let’s respect nature.

Marilima Beach
Undeveloped, unspoilt white sand beach in Barangay Marilima, Virac, Catanduanes

1 Marilima Beach (Virac, Catanduanes)

This white sand beach in Barangay Marilima in Virac, Catanduanes is just one of many white sand beaches that are so under the radar for most Philippine tourists. Only locals frequent this beach, no loud visitors, no pesky touts and most of the time, you can enjoy your own space without going elbow to elbow with other swimmers.

READ MORE: Unspoilt, undeveloped beach in Catanduanes

Aguirangan Islet
Aguirangan Islet with its beautiful white sand beach

2 Aguirangan Islet (San Jose, Camarines Sur)

Most visitors to the Caramoan Peninsular usually pass this islet before the road was completed to that municipality. It’s quite small but with a very wide expanse of creamy white sand almost covering more than 50% of its surface area. There are low growing trees behind the cottages and a short rocky shore behind.

READ MORE: A beautiful white sand islet in San Jose

Deep blue waters and blue sky frame the white sand of Cabugao Islet in Isla Gigantes
Deep blue waters and blue sky frame the white sand of Cabugao Islet in Isla Gigantes

3 Cabugao Islet (Carles, Iloilo)

Cabugao Islet is so called because it looks like a half submerged pomelo (cabugao in Ilonggo). But it’s a very stunning islet with powdery white sand against a backdrop of deep blue skies and deep blue waters. This islet is just one of five stops in the Isla Gigantes group in Carles, Iloilo and is usually toured for a day.

READ MORE: Postcard pretty beach at Isla Gigantes

Brother Island near the tip of northern Palawan in El Nido
Brother Island near the tip of northern Palawan in El Nido

4 Brother Island (El Nido, Palawan)

It’s a private paradise, remote, and far from the town of El Nido but once you’re there, wow! I can’t forget swimming at the white sand beach, exploring the mini forest, staring into the vast sea from that rocky promontory and just lying down the bamboo bed and do nothing. It was one of the best escapes I’ve had.

GETTING THERE: Brother Island is a private island and you have to book via Airbnb

The Higatangan Sandbar off Naval, Biliran
The Higatangan Sandbar off Naval, Biliran

5 Higatangan Shifting Sandbar (Naval, Biliran)

It’s one of the best sandbars I’ve been to and because it’s not that popular with tourists, you can have it all to yourself. The water is crystal clear and cool, reason to just linger and swim, especially near the tip of the sandbar. Visitors usually include this sandbar with a trip to Sambawan Island.

READ MORE: In awe of Higatangan Island’s shifting sandbar

Bitoon Beach in Anda, Bohol
Bitoon Beach in Anda, Bohol

6 Bitoon Beach (Anda, Bohol)

It was noon and the whiteness of the beach can hurt your eyes against a backdrop of aquamarine waters. It’s popular with locals with a few beach huts at the shore. The projecting land is high enough for cliff jumping while the other end has picturesque fishermen’s outrigger boats docked at the shallows.

READ MORE: A great time at Bitoon White Beach

Sumilon's sandbar is just one of three pristine and beautiful beaches around the island
Sumilon’s sandbar is just one of three pristine and beautiful beaches around the island

7 Sumilon Island (Oslob, Cebu)

This island is definitely one of the country’s best! For such a small island, it has a beautiful shifting sandbar, a rocky but interesting beach with marine life in the shallows during low tide and a pristine, white sand beach with a stunning coral garden. Hike the trails and you’ll come up to a very beautiful view of this stretch of sand that’s so dramatic and wild.

READ MORE: Stunning sandbar, pristine beach at Sumilon Island

The less visited Little Sta. Cruz Island off Zamboanga City, just near the bigger Sta. Cruz Island famous for its 'pink' sand
The less visited Little Sta. Cruz Island off Zamboanga City, just near the bigger Sta. Cruz Island famous for its ‘pink’ sand

8 Little Sta. Cruz Island (Zamboanga City)

Little Sta. Cruz Island is the other island off Zamboanga City. The other, Greater Sta. Cruz Island is the one famous for its pink sand. But for the former, it’s the spectacular serpentine sandbar that stretches for a hundred meters to see that makes this island unique in itself. Too bad, in order to visit, you need to ask permission first and swimming is not allowed as this is not for recreation purposes but for scientific study.

READ MORE: A snaking sandbar at Little Sta. Cruz Island

Tranquil Calugusan Beach in Lamitan, Basilan
Tranquil Calugusan Beach in Lamitan, Basilan

9 Calugusan Beach (Lamitan, Basilan)

It was quite and with no people around at this rather far off beach in Lamitan, Basilan. The water is pristine, cool and just picturesque, stretching more than a kilometer with a small wharf popular with teenagers for diving. Calugusan Beach’s northern section is private and gated and has the best waters.

READ MORE: Lamitan’s white beach strip in Calugusan

Kaputian’s white sand beach at the southwestern tip of Samal Island City

10 Kaputian Beach (Samal Island)

I never thought that this small bump of fine white sand with shells, small pebbles and driftwood can be so good! Popular with locals, the water is cool and refreshing especially during summer. The water is crystal clear but can go deep within a few meters.

READ MORE: This beautiful beach is just so crazily wow!

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

27 thoughts on “10 under the radar white sand beaches in the Philippines you haven’t been to

  1. Oohsome! And mr.Stan, the Department of Tourism should be working with you! 🙂 Excellent job!

  2. When it comes to beaches, Philippines has plenty of it. My dream beach destination is North Gigantes. I saw it on TV and it really is enchanting. Does it cost a lot to travel to Gigantes?

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