Perfect for Summer: 5 Unspoiled Beaches Near the Metro

Perfect for Summer: 5 Unspoiled Beaches Near the Metro

It’s summer! It’s the time of the year for company outing, class reunion, friends and family bonding. Many are already going to the beach and enjoying the cool water under the sun. Don’t get left behind! If you think you don’t have time to enjoy the summer because of your busy work schedule, check out these five affordable beach destinations that are only 3-5 hours away from Manila. Enjoy your weekend camping at the beach front and forget all the stress at work.

1. Burot Beach (Calatagan, Batangas)

One of the most pristine beaches of Batangas, Burot Beach is becoming famous because of the blogs of some visitors. This is a good place if you want to escape the noise of the city. Burot has no party crowd unlike Boracay. It’s not yet developed and I’m hoping it would stay that way. Sadly, it was already bought by SM Corporation, so I guess they will develop the beach for the tourists. Burot Beach has no hotels, but you can rent a tent (Php400) if you don’t have one. Enjoy its fine white sand and rejuvenate with its clear water. Don’t worry about the food and supplies that you may need because there is a store on the beach.

burot beach

Burot Beach. (c) Cheng Santos.

How to get there:

At EDSA Pasay Bus Terminal, there is an available bus bound straight to Calatagan, Batangas but there’s no fixed schedule. So better be there early to get a ride. But I recommend you to ride the van located at the back of Kabayan Hotel because it is more comfortable and it takes you faster to your destination. You will be dropped off at the public market where you can buy supplies. There, you have to ride a tricycle going to Burot Beach.

Estimated Expenses:

Php470 – Transportation (Manila-Burot-Beach-Manila)
Php130 – Entrance Fee
Php20 – Pitching of Tent
Php200 – Food and misc.

2. Borawan and Dampalitan Beach (Padre Burgos, Quezon)

According to local folks, the name ‘Borawan‘ has been derived from Boracay and Palawan. Don’t expect too much because the sand is ecru in color and not white. It is also not as fine as Boracay’s, but the water was crystal clear. There are also rocky cliffs in the place but not as grand as the limestone in Coron or El Nido. However, having a hint of both Boracay and Palawan makes it beautiful.

After going to Borawan, you can also go to Dampalitan Beach which has a longer shore that is perfect if you want to stay overnight. The sand in Dampalitan is finer and you can enjoy the pine trees lined up on the beach.

borawan island

Borawan Island. (c) Cheng Santos.

dampalitan beach

Dampalitan Beach. (c) Cheng Santos.

How to get there:

You can ride a bus at JAC Liner Buendia Terminal going to Lucena City (there are many bus companies offering regular trips to Lucena) and get off at the Grand Terminal. Then, take a mini-bus bound for Unisan and tell the driver to drop you at Brgy. Marao and look for Vista Playa Restaurant because that is where one of the two jump-offs is located. Rent a boat and haggle for the most affordable offer. It is best if you visit the place as a group because boat rental is quiet pricey.

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Estimated Expenses:

Php540 -Transportation (Manila-Padre Burgos-Manila)
Php35 – Entrance Fee
Php150 – Pitching of Tent (depends on the size)
Php 600 – 1500 -Boat Rental (depends on number of passengers)
Php30 – Fresh Water/container
Php300 – Food and misc.

3. Cagbalete Island (Mauban, Quezon)

Another jewel of the Quezon Province, Cagbalete Island is a remote tropical island with white sand exposed during low tide. Changing of tides can cause the water to recede up to one kilometer also exposing all the rocks and corals. It is a habitat of many species of land animals and sea creatures making it perfect for animal lovers to explore the island. It’s also a good place for underwater exploration with its diverse and colorful marine life.

Accomodation is not a problem on this island. You can bring your own tent if you’re on a tight budget, and you can go to Villa Cleofas, MVT Sto. Nino, and Pansacola Beach Resort to avail a room or Nipa hut. Take a three-hour ride away from the Metro and discover a great experience to Cagbalete Island.

cagbalete

Cagbalete Island. (c) Mikehell Grylls

How to get there:

Ride a bus at JAC Liner Buendia Terminal going to Lucena City (there are many bus companies offering regular trips to Lucena) and get off at the Grand Terminal. Then, take a mini-bus to Mauban and take a short walk going Pantalan port to ride a public boat bound for Cagbalete Island.

Estimated Expenses:

Php660 – Transportation (Manila-Cagbalete-Manila)
Php30-100 – Entrance Fee (depends on the resort)
Php300 – Food and misc.

4. Nagsasa Cove (San Antonio, Zambales)

Give yourself a break from working too hard and start planning your summer vacation now. You can try some mountain trekking going to the new-found paradise of Nagsasa Cove or take a boat to save time and effort. This beautiful hidden cove is located at the western coast of Zambales and is approximately four to five hours away from Manila which makes it perfect for a summer weekend getaway! Nagsasa Cove has grayish sand and crystal-like blue water that you must enjoy this hot weather.

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This beach is twice as big as Anawangin Cove, another popular cove in Zambales. Nagsasa also offers great sceneries for photos. You can take pictures of the lake that reflects the beautiful landscape of the place and mountains that turn brown when summer. Or, go for an adventure finding the waterfalls hidden at the mountain’s side. Surely, the serenity of the place will take your breath away.

You can also have a side trip to explore Anawangin Cove and visit Capones Island and trek to the lighthouse before going to Nagsasa.

nagsasa

Nagsasa Cove. (c) Kuneho Ohenuk

nagsasacliff

Cliff diving at Nagsasa Cove. (c) Kuneho Ohenuk

anawangin

Anawangin Cove. (c) Jane Galvez

How to get there:

Victory Liner offer trips that bound for Iba or Sta. Cruz, Zambales (earliest trip is 5am). Stop at San Antonio and ride a tricycle that will take you to Brgy. San Miguel or Pundaquit. Rent a boat or trek to Nagsasa Cove.

Estimated Expenses:

Php580 – Transportation (Manila-San Antonio-Manila)
Php 600- 1500 -Boat Rental (depends on number of passengers)
Php100 – Entrance Fee
Php300 – Food and misc

5. Magalawa Island (Palauig, Zambales)

If you don’t want any hassle and you only want to relax and enjoy the water under the sun, you can go to Magalawa and avail a summer package from Armada, Ruiz or Magalawa Island Resort. Their package includes roundtrip boat transpo, entrance fee, set of meals, snorkeling, and bamboo rafting.

This slowly developing white sand beach offers a beautiful landscape and a sparkling turquoise waters. It has an expansive picnic and camping ground that can accommodate a lot of people. You can either rent a room/tent or pitch your own tent. There are lots of huge trees on the island that provide shade and protection from the scorching sun.

magalawa island

Magalawa Island. (c) Abel Riototar

How to get there:

Ride a Victory Liner bus bound for Sta. Cruz, Zambales. Drop off point is at Brgy. Pangolingan at the corner of Radio Veritas Road. Then ride a tricycle to Osler Armada Fish Dealer Compound in Brgy. Luan. If you avail the package, there will be a boat wating for your arrival. If not, you can take a mini boat going to Magalawa.

Estimated Expenses:

Php890 – Transportation (Manila-Palauig-Manila)
Php 700-4000 – Complete summer package (depends on package/group of pax)
Php100 – Entrance Fee (if you did not avail any package)
Php300 – Food and misc. (if you did not avail any package)

So, where do you plan to spend your summer vacation?

Enjoy the summer, guys!

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