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9 Beaches Near Metro Manila You Can Travel To In 5 Hours Or Less – From Batangas To Zambales

Beaches near Metro Manila

The summer heat can be hard to bear especially in Metro Manila. If you’ve been dreaming about dipping in the sea for nights in a row, it may be time to schedule a trip to the nearest beach (or beaches) in Manila.

You don’t have to go far and spend a lot to enjoy a beach vacation. Here are 9 beaches near Metro Manila that take 5 hours or less to travel so you can fit your beach trip over the weekend.

Does Manila have nice beaches?

While not directly located within the city, there are beautiful beaches near Manila that are just a few hours away. Usually places such as Batangas and Zambales offer stunning beaches with white sand and clear waters.

These “Manila beaches” are great for a quick getaway from the city to relax, swim, and enjoy fun activities such as camping and snorkeling. What’s more, these areas often have resorts and accommodations that can make your beach trip even more enjoyable.

What should I prepare before going on a day trip?

Before going on a day trip, you must make sure to bring essentials such as sunscreen, reusable water bottles, and umbrellas to combat the sun and keep yourself hydrated.

While cashless payments are getting prominent nowadays, bringing cash with you is beneficial, especially if you’re commuting. It also comes in handy in case of emergencies and small purchases.

Pro tip, if you’re in a location that has unpredictable weather changes like the Philippines, you’ll want to check the weather forecast the day before your trip. This way, you can plan your itinerary accordingly so you can make the most out of the day trip.

1. Talisayen Cove – scenic, off-grid beach that’s perfect for a soc-med detox

Image credit: Dwayne Cayonte via Google Maps

If you want to take your social media detox very seriously, head to Talisayen Cove in Zambales. There’s no electricity or cell signal here so you can focus on the views.

You’ll get scenic mountain views from the beach and terrific views of the sea when you hike up the mountain. The beach itself is peaceful and there are plenty of trees and cottages by it to shield you from the harsh afternoon sun.

It takes a 3- to 4-hour drive from Manila and about an hour boat ride from Pundaquit to reach the cove. A round-trip boat ride to Talisayen Cove costs P300/person (~USD5.43).

Remember to bring your own food and other important supplies when you go as there are no vendors in the area.

Address: Sitio Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales

2. Laiya Beach – variety of water activities for a fun getaway

Beaches near Metro Manila - Liwliwa BeachImage credit: @im.gmaala via Instagram

For those who prefer a beach trip filled with fun activities, Laiya Beach in Batangas is the place to go.

Snorkeling, kayaking, banana boat riding, jet skiing, and island-hopping are just some of the things you can do here. There are areas where the beach has white sand but take heed – some parts are rough from crushed seashells and corals so wear your aqua shoes.

As it’s just 3 hours away and doesn’t need a boat ride to reach, it’s one of the go-to beaches near Metro Manila. The beach can be crowded especially during peak season. However, since it’s a tourist spot, there are also different types of accommodations available for every budget.

Address: San Juan, Batangas

3. Sepoc Beach – explore caves and diving sites

Beaches near Metro Manila - Sepoc Beach
Image credit: @vitamincee25_ via Instagram

If diving is your favorite water activity, check out Sepoc Beach in Maricaban Island, Tingloy, Batangas.

The waters here are so clear that you can see turtles, plus it’s near one of 20+ diving sites where you can see more corals and marine life. On the island itself, there are also caves to explore.

Sepoc Beach takes a 2.5-hour car ride from Metro Manila and a 20-minute boat ride from Eagle Point Resort in Mabini, Batangas.

The boat ride costs around P2,500 (~USD45.26) for up to 8 people. Maricaban Island is also privately managed so there’s an entrance fee of P200/pax (~USD3.62).

Address: Maricaban Island, Tingloy, Batangas

4. Liwliwa Beach – IG-worthy beach getaway

Laiya Beach
Image credit: @kassandralorraine via Instagram

Some of us go on vacation to take lots of photos for social media. For aesthetic IG pics, head to Liwliwa Beach in Zambales.

There are plenty of resorts here with A-style huts as well as other types of accommodations. You also won’t be bored with activities such as surfing, skimboarding, and riding an ATV along the beach.

It’s a go-to vacation spot for many Metro Manila residents, only 3 to 4 hours away from the city. But it’s not too crowded as it’s a substantially long beach stretch.

Address: Sitio Liwliwa, Barangay Santo Niño, San Felipe, Zambales

5. Magalawa Island – check out a sandbar, coral reef, and mangrove forest

Beaches near Metro Manila - Magalawa Island
Image credit: @marianetagaca via Instagram

Magalawa Island in Palauig, Zambales will make you feel like you’re on a fancy vacation at a scenic island in the Visayas.

It’s an underrated beach spot that even many locals in the area don’t know about. Since the island is largely untouched, you can peacefully take in its beautiful sandbar, coral reef, and mangrove forest.

Palauig takes about 5 hours by car to reach from Metro Manila. You’ll also need to take a quick, 5-minute boat ride (P150/pax, ~USD2.72 roundtrip) from the coast of the town.

Address: Palauig, Zambales

6. Nagsasa Cove – scenic camping spot

Beaches near Metro Manila - Nagsasa Cove
Image credit: Anna Liza Bausa via Google Maps

Nagsasa Cove is one of the more popular coves in Zambales. Besides the sea, you can also swim in a river and hike the trails to waterfalls. It’s also a scenic spot to camp.

Some things to note are that there’s no cell signal and it’s best to bring your own food as prices here can be steep due to limited supply.

Nagsasa Cove takes a 3.5-hour ride and a 30-minute boat ride to reach. The boat ride costs P2,500 (~USD45.26) for up to 4 people. Or if you like to trek, you can also trek Mount Pundaquit for 4 to 6 hours to reach the cove.

Address: Barangay Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales

7. Laki Island – cliff diving spots

Beaches near Metro Manila - Laki Island
Image credit: @trayveller_tv via Instagram

If you need some adrenaline to release stress, head to Mariveles, Bataan to Laki Island which has rock formations you can cliff dive from.

Besides rock formations, the island also has a white sand beach, crystal clear waters, and tide pools to relax in.

You can also stay overnight on the island and rent a tent, cottage, or room. Bring your own food, too, as they tend to be expensive on the island.

Laki Island takes a 3.5-hour drive to Mariveles and a 40-minute boat ride from Puerto del Sol. Boat rental costs P3,500 (~USD63.36) roundtrip for up to 10 people. There’s also a P200/pax (~USD3.62) entrance fee for a day tour or a P300/pax (~USD5.43) fee if you’re staying overnight.

Address: Laki Island, Mariveles, Bataan

8. Crystal Beach – offers various accommodations

Beaches near Metro Manila - Crystal Beach
Image credit: @joshmades via Instagram

For those who love camping with style, feel free to visit Crystal Beach in San Narciso, Zambales. It’s a resort that offers various types of accommodations including camping.

Depending on your preferences, you can stay in a cottage, nipa hut, or set up a tent in their campsites. Previous guests have commended the staff for being accommodating and considered the location a safe place to stay.

Entrance fee is priced at P700 (~USD12.57) per person. For inquiries on room rates and camping options, check out the link here.

Crystal Beach - surfing
Image credit: @quiksilverph via Instagram

Additionally, they offer activities such as surfing lessons (P500, ~USD8.98 per hour), which are at your disposal in case you want to learn a new skill in the deep blue waters.

Address: Unnamed Road, San Narciso, Zambales

9. Masasa Beach – snorkel in turquoise waters

Beaches near Metro Manila - Masasa Beach
Image credit: Masasa Beach Tingloy Batangas via Facebook

Masasa Beach in Tingloy, Batangas is known for its clear turquoise waters, perfect for various water activities. Since it’s quite close to the Verde Passage, you’re welcome to go snorkeling (P400, ~USD7.18 per two persons) to admire marine life underwater.

Aside from that, you can also trek along the Mag-asawang Bato rock formation and enjoy the stunning view of the beach from above.

According to reviews, entrance at the beach is free and most accommodations range from P500 (~USD8.98) per night. You’re also welcome to set up camp during the day. Overnight camping, however, is not allowed.

Address: San Juan, Tingloy, Batangas

What is the nearest beach to Metro Manila for a day trip?

According to most travelers, the beach nearest to Manila is the one in Laiya, Batangas. It only takes two to three hours of travel time and two and a half bus rides for commuters.

Furthermore, it makes for a great starting point for beach hopping as there are lots of beaches and resorts near Laiya.

Beaches near Metro Manila for a quick summer getaway

Metro Manila residents don’t need to book a flight to another island in the country. There are plenty of beaches near Metro Manila and you can easily find one to suit your ideal summer vacation.

To get your beach OOTD ready by the weekend, check out these Filipino swimsuit and swimwear brands. Or if you want to try other places to cool down this summer besides beaches, visit these water attractions near Metro Manila.

Cover image adapted from: @marianetagaca via Instagram, @vitamincee25_ via Instagram, @trayveller_tv via Instagram

Article originally published by Kim Shelly Tan on May 2023. Last updated by Jaya Fanoga on March 2024.