Dad's Top Tips
Top Drivable Beach Locations from Manila
If you’re new to the Philippines, Mabuhay! Welcome to this vibrant and captivating archipelago! We want to share with you our favorite beach destinations that are easily accessible from Manila. Sure, you’ve heard of all the glorious islands to visit like Boracay, Bohol, Siagao, El Nido but we want to share with you some beautiful beach destinations closer to home that are drivable from Manila, so buckle up and let’s dive in.
Located only a few hours away from Manila, Batangas has a variety of stunning beach destinations and is one of the closest from the city. From the popular Anilao, known for its spectacular diving spots and diverse marine life, to the idyllic Laiya, with its long stretch of powdery white sands, Batangas has something for everyone. Enjoy snorkeling, diving, or simply basking under the sun while relishing the stunning views of the sunset over the calm waters. One of most frequented resorts for a relaxing weekend and great food is Cala Laiya
Situated on the west coast of Luzon, Subic offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and adventure. Known for its pristine beaches, such as Camayan and Dungaree, this former U.S. naval base turned eco-tourism destination promises an adventure packed weekend for those looking for a more active getaway. Explore the nearby Subic Bay Marine Reserve, go kayaking, take a trip to Ocean Park, try out the numerous water sports and if you’re feeling brave take a night tour at Subic’s local Zoo, Zoobic. Subic’s proximity to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) makes it easily accessible from Manila with an estimated travel time of about 2.5 hours (without traffic.) If your thinking of heading to Zooboc , then Kamana Sanctuary is a great place to stay just 10 minutes drive from the zoo.
If you seek a more laid-back and off-the-beaten-path beach experience, Zambales is the place to be. Approximately three to four hours away from Manila, this province has unspoiled coastlines and hidden gems like Crystal Beach in San Narciso and Potipot Island in Candelaria. Feel the soft sand between your toes, surf the waves, and savor the serene ambiance while reveling in the stunning sunset views. Zambales is a true paradise for those in search of tranquility.
A short drive from Manila, Bataan is a province teeming with rich historical significance and stunning coastal beauty. Morong Beach, Bagac Beach, and Camaya Coast are just a few of the beach destinations that await you. Discover the remnants of World War II, soak in the historical ambiance, and then unwind by dipping your feet in the clear waters. Bataan’s strategic location allows for a memorable beach getaway without venturing too far from the bustling city, you can opt to drive there or get the Ferry. For a truely unique Filipino experience, Las Casas Filipinas is a must stay! A beach resort, convention center and heritage site, Las Casas Filipinas offers a truely unique experience like no other offering; heritage tours, gondola rides, workshops, kaleasa rides and more.
4. La Union
Known as the ‘surfing capital of the North’ La Union, is a hidden gem located 270 km north of Manila. Known for its pristine beaches, world-class surf breaks, and vibrant culture, La Union offers an unforgettable getaway for beach lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike. It also has centuries-old churches, heritage sites, natural attractions such as the Tangadan Falls, and a thriving local arts scene along with agri-tourism farms that are open to the public. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or looking to immerse yourself in the local culture & art scene, La Union promises something for everyone. If your heading down for a surfing weekend and looking for a lively stay, where you can meet fellow surfers alike we recommend Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel
As a newbie in the Philippines, there are many exciting beach destinations to explore within driving distance from Manila. So, pack your bags, hop into your car, and discover your kind of paradise!