Boracay, voted as one of the world’s top islands, has been a paradise for partyholics, celebrities and beach bums for over a decade. Home to the beloved White Beach, this tropical haven sweeps visitors into bliss with its powdery white sands, deluxe 5-star seaside resorts, and dozens of irresistible culinary options. What’s more, it has an energetic nightlife scene, a bohemian atmosphere and a multitude of mind-blowing activities to offer to its guests. To top it all off, it has arguably one of the world’s finest and most breathtaking sunsets.
Sadly, though, the island is temporarily close to the public for the next few months. And, with the island paradise grappling with waste-water pollution and environmental issues, a lot of sun seekers are now scouring the net for the best alternatives to Boracay. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of places in the Philippines that can give Boracay a run for its money.
Need a healthy dose of vitamin SEA? Don’t let the closure of the famed Boracay ruin your trip to the Philippines. Whether you’re itching to party the night away to looking for solace on a powdery shore, these Boracay alternatives will definitely quench your cravings for beach and fun under the sun.
1. El Nido, Palawan
When it comes to Philippine destinations, there’s nothing quite like Palawan’s awe-inspiring treasure – El Nido. Loved for its verdant jungles, limestone rock and pristine beaches, El Nido is often billed as home to one of the most beautiful seascapes on earth. A slice of heaven on earth for intrepid travelers and nature lovers, this Boracay alternative will appease your senses with its majestic limestone karsts, white sand beaches and azure waters that are perfect for diving, swimming and snorkeling. As far as nightlife as concerned, it doesn’t have a wealth of options, compared to Boracay. Nevertheless, you can have some fun at night here, thanks to its lively nightspots and bars.
Looking for a sure-fire bet? Why not include Cebu to your list of places to visit in the Philippines? For years, Cebu has been luring travelers from all corners of the world with its incredible mishmash of diversions and marvels. And, with Boracay getting some downtime, Cebu becomes an even more appealing (and busier) destination for travel junkies. Famed for its gorgeous azure waters and shorelines, Cebu has a plethora of beaches and islands that will give you a memorable escape, like Lambug Beach, Carnaza Island, Santiago Bay and a whole lot more.
For those who prefer to hit the mountains, Cebu also has dozens of picture-perfect mountains, including Casino Peak, Mount Tagaytay, Mount New Bucao and Lantawan Cliff. And, when it comes to food, you won’t run out of choices in Cebu, which is home to the world’s best-tasting pork dish – lechon.
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3. Coron, Palawan
No list of the best alternatives to Boracay Island is complete without the inclusion of Coron. Majestic, scenic and idyllic, Coron is a go-to destination for local tourists who are hoping to catch a glimpse of paradise on earth. From world-class dive sites and agate-blue waters to towering limestone cliffs and white-sand beaches, Coron’s splendid natural backdrop alone makes it worth a visit. And, amazingly, it also has its wildlife sanctuary, housing a bunch of animals, like zebras, giraffes, waterbucks, impalas, gazelles and the Calamian deer.
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4. Port Barton, Palawan
Speaking of places to visit in Palawan, you might want to check out one of the country’s most underrated beach destinations – Port Barton. Nestled north of Puerto Princesa, this beach sanctuary is the ultimate getaway for those who are looking for some peace and serenity in a world of scenic natural beauty.
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They don’t call Siargao as the “surfing capital of the Philippines” for nothing. After all, it’s a laid-back and wondrous island famous for its excellent surf spots and consistent waves. And, make no mistake about it – Siargao is a beach nirvana too, brimming with eye-catching beaches and islands, like Magpupungko Beach, Mamon Island, Alegria Beach, Banday Beach, Naked Island, Daku Island and Guyam Island. In addition, the island has a heap of attractions that you can add more life and color to your beach getaway, including Tatay Waterfalls and Sohoton Cove National Park. Party animals, meanwhile, will find their bliss at the island’s bars and nightspots with their intoxicating drinks and heart-pounding music.
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6. Kalanggaman Island, Leyte
Nicknamed aptly as Leyte’s island paradise, Kalanggaman beckons travelers with its surrounding blue waters, fine white sands and immaculately beautiful sandbars. Of course, the island has tons of other fun activities besides sunbathing and swimming, including scuba diving, snorkeling and kayaking. While there’s no private hotel in area, you may pitch a tent, and camp there overnight.
Camiguin is, without a doubt, one of the best and most visually appealing places to visit in the Philippines. In spite of its relatively small size, this island province is loaded with incredible natural wonders and Instagram-worthy sights. From hot springs and waterfalls to white-sand beaches and cultural attractions, Camiguin will appease your sense of wanderlust in a lot of different ways. As for its price, it’s so much more affordable than the country’s undisputed party capital – Boracay.
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Siquijor, like Camiguin, is the complete package. Here, you’ll get your beach fix with its impressive collection of pristine coves, including Paliton Beach, Salagdoong Beach, and Solangon Beach. Furthermore, it has a host of wondrous attractions that can add more fun and excitement to your beach escape, such as Lugnason Falls, Kanheron Ranch, Cantabon Cave, Saint Francis de Assisi Church and Cambugahay Falls.
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9. Fortune Island, Batangas
Getting there may not be easy, but, to me, it’s totally worth it. As soon as you set foot on the island, you’ll be rewarded with sweet views of cerulean waters and irresistible white sands. Additionally, the island has magnificent Greek-inspired statues and pillars that will add more spice and element of fun to your beach trip. And, despite its non-existent party and nightlife scene, the island is nonetheless and enthralling and great alternative to Boracay.
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Think Bohol is all about the quirky Tarsiers and iconic Chocolate Hills? Guess what? Bohol is a beautiful blend of historic attractions, picturesque mountains and fabulous beaches, making it one of the best Boracay alternatives. In fact, Alona Beach – the island’s most popular cove – feels and looks quite like Boracay. Besides its dynamic nightlife, the beach also has a wide range of restaurants as well as accommodations. And, as with Boracay, Alona teems with diversions and activities as well, like snorkeling, diving and island hopping. But, if you’re dreaming of a more peaceful respite in Bohol, make your way to Anda.
To make your Bohol trip even more unforgettable, check out the other top attractions in Bohol, like Binabaje Hills, Sea of Clouds in Danao, Man-made Forest and Cadapdapan Rice Terraces.
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11. Guimaras, Iloilo
Craving for sweet tropical fruits? Then, make sure to pay a visit to Guimaras! As you visit this tropical idyll, you’ll get to savor world-class mangoes that reportedly have been served at the Buckingham Palace and the White House. And, like Boracay, Guimaras also has a wondrous shoreline, featuring enticing beaches like Guisi Beach, Alubihod Beach, Cabaling Beach Resort and Raymen Beach Resort.
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12. Apo Reef Natural Park, Occidental Mindoro
Into diving or snorkeling? Want to experience one of the planet’s largest coral reef systems? Known as the world’s 2nd largest coral system, Apo Reef Natural Park is a host to over 300 marine species, like sharks, rays and dolphins. After touring its awesome underwater paradise, indulge on a relaxing break at the beach, lounging on its fine and pristine white sands. Soon after, spend some time hitting its mangrove habitat.
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13. Gigantes Island, Iloilo
Anyone who visits Gigantes Island will come back home with plenty of pleasant memories. Days are fairly easy to fill with a bunch of activities, like exploring mystical caves, rock scrambling, eating fresh seafood and soaking up the sun on the pristine white beaches. Island hopping here will take you to the tempting shores of the Pawikan Cave, Antonia beach and Cabugao Gamay Island.
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While it’s not known as a beach paradise, Batanes still makes a great and tempting alternative to Boracay. Stunning and otherworldly, Batanes has extraordinary beaches that will give you an adventure like no other. On top of that, the province has so many friendly locals as well as dramatic and dazzling rolling landscapes.
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15. Onuk Island
Fond of sandbars? Trust me, you’ll love every minute of your getaway on Onuk Island. During low tide, the island’s sandbars emerge, offering a stunning sight that will unleash your inner shutterbug. Plus, the island boasts crystal clear waters with striking aquamarine and blue colors. Not to mention, the island has a laid-back and soothing feel, making it the perfect place to escape the bustling daily city grind.
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