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12 Clearest Bodies Of Water In The Philippines To Swim In

Best bodies of water in the Philippines to swim in

If you’re like me, then you love the ocean. I almost like being underwater more than I like being on land. There’s truly nothing that beats the tranquility that comes along with a beach getaway.

When I think of the Philippines, beaches weren’t the first thing that came to mind. But little did I know, the beaches there are incredible. Honestly, the Philippines has some of the clearest waters in the world yet isn’t crowded like all the other over-commercialized hotspots.

Here are 12 of the clearest bodies of water in the Philippines to swim in.

1. White Beach, Boracay: party central

This beach has been voted the best beach in Asia by fans of the crystal clear water and as its name suggests, pure white sandy beaches.

Image credit: Golden Phoenix Hotel

If you’re the type who likes to relax all day and party all night, first of all, be my friend. And then head to Boracay because this is truly the place for you. The night life here is out of this world. Walk down the stretch of beach and every few meters you’ll encounter a bar or club open till the wee hours of the morning. 

Image credit: Monaco Suites Boracay

2. Alona Beach, Panglao – beauty beyond compare

Just like Boracay, this place is known for their crystal clear waters, white sand beaches and plenty of sun.

Image credit: Best World Travel Destinations

But what adds a certain something extra to Alona is the world class diving spots you’ll find here, perfect for any adventurous traveler.

Image credit: Dive Discovery

3. El Nido, Palawan – heaven on earth

If you’re into really quiet spots then you might want to skip the earlier two destinations and head to the much chiller El Nido. I could tell you more about clear waters and so on… but you already know all of that.
Image credit: El Nido Resorts

You’ll find the true treasure here when you go island hopping and discover the marble cliffs and enchanting lagoons.

Image credit: El Nido Resorts

4. Mactan Island, Cebu – luxury retreat

If you have a bit of spare cash lying around (lucky you) you might want to spend it here because Mactan is home to some of the most lavish hotels in the country.

Image credit: Hotels World

Each hotel comes with a private beach so if you appreciate privacy and luxury, and honestly who doesn’t, this is where you should be headed.

Image credit: Crimson Hotel

5. Siargao – Surfer’s Paradise

It’s pretty rare to find amazing surfing spots in the region. Most avid surfers tend to head to Bali or Australia. But there’s actually a beach that’s great for surfing much nearer, and it will be much less crowded too. You’ll definitely be able to hang ten on the famous Cloud 9 wave.

Image credit: Tropical Beach Getaways

6. Oslob, Cebu – Daredevil’s Den

If you like adrenaline-charged vacations, then Oslob is for you. One of the major draws here is whale shark watching, which has attracted visitors from all over the world.

Image credit: Turtle Bay Dive Resort

Other than that, you can look forward to visiting Tumalog Falls for spectacular views.

Image credit: The Pink Panther

7. Caramoan – secluded serenity

This is one island that remains unspoiled by commercial tourism so if you’re keen on going somewhere serene and naturally beautiful, look no further.

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That being said, don’t assume a trip here would be boring. You can look forward to snorkelling, trekking, kayaking and plenty of other activities.


8. Puerto Galera: Diver’s Paradise

Popular among many Europeans as a diving hotspot, this place will surely not disappoint if you’re on the lookout for a great diving adventure.

Image credit: Marco Vincent

No worries, if diving isn’t your thing the beaches here are spectacular too.

Image credit: Lakwatsera De Primera

9. Palaui Island, Cagayan Valley: Worth The Work

You’ll have to take a 12-hour, 600KM road trip from Metro Manila to get to this island. But you’ll be rewarded with raw beauty here that you’ll hardly be able to find anywhere else.

Image credit: Sisuni

10. Bantayan Island, Cebu: no-frills relaxation

You’re not going to find amazing five-star hotels and first-class shopping centers here. This may not be the spot if you’re high maintenance but if your aim is relaxation, then you’ve got nothing to worry about. Throw in a few cheap beers and you’re set.


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11. Samal, Davao del Norte: boredom-free zone

This is the largest resort city in the Philippines, which means hotels, food and general entertainment is not going to be an issue at all.

Image credit: Top Tourist Spots in the Philippines

But if you think that’s all there is to do here you’re mistaken. There’s a bat cave, a water park and many more. If I were you I wouldn’t leave without seeing Hagimit Falls though. 

Image credit: JejeiZahFaye

12. Great Santa Cruz Island, Zamboanga City – unspoiled beauty

You no longer have to go all the way to Santorini or the Bahamas to enjoy pink sand beaches, you’ll find them right here in the Philippines. The island is also under Marine Life preservation, conservation and protection so make sure you don’t do anything funny!

Image credit: Best Spots Ph

Bodies of water in the Philippines

So, if you’re like me, and looking for a nearby holiday with clear waters away from the crowd, I say go ahead and book that flight to the Philippines. After all the hard work, a beach holiday with the clearest of waters is what you need to recharge your batteries and reward yourself.

Cover image adapted from: Golden Phoenix Hotel