Beautiful Sandbars to Explore in the Philippines

Top 10 Absolutely Stunning Philippine Sandbars

Kalanggaman Island - Stunning Beaches Philippines

Beautiful Sandbars You Should Visit In The Philippines

(Manila, Philippines) – The Philippine archipelago is composed of 7,641 islands and is surrounded by huge bodies of water. As such, the country’s coastlines are blessed with vast areas of beaches, seaside resorts, and lots, and lots, of sandy islands. If you think you’ve seen it all… think again. The beautiful sandbars in the Philippines have a whole lot more to offer you, so grab your oars and let’s sail to ten of the most well-known sandbanks in the country that would definitely be worth seeing:

Kalanggaman Island in Polompon - Beautiful Sandbars to Explore in the Philippines
Kalanggaman Island in Polompon – Beautiful Sandbars to Explore in the Philippines

1. Kalanggaman Island in Leyte

Kalanggaman Island in Leyte offers its people long sandbars of powder-white sand. The island is considered one of the hottest tourist spots in the region and is being maintained by the municipal government. Here you can virtually do anything—from swimming, diving, boating, and even go kayaking—and equipment for these activities are available on the beach. If you plan to stay on this island, don’t worry, for the island also offers tourists traditional huts for rent, where you can stay overnight.

Related Article: Kalanggaman Island in Palompon Leyte

Sumilon Island in Oslob Cebu
Sumilon Island in Oslob Cebu

2. Sumilon Island in Cebu

Did you know that Sumilon Island is known as Cebu’s “best-kept secrets”? It’s located on the very tip of Cebu, and it’s so secretive and distanced that, once you’ve entered Sumilon, you won’t believe you’re still in present-day Cebu anymore! Going here gives you the feeling of traveling back in time. Sumilon Island offers you white sandbars that change in form according to the season, but other than those, nothing else seems to have changed on the island. Caves, mangroves, and some buildings that were around since the Spanish Colonization Era can still be found here to this day. It’s the perfect getaway for people who are tired of the waves of modernity.

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Naked Island in Siargao
Naked Island in Siargao Island by John Marx Velasco

3. Naked Island in Siargao

Naked Island in Siargao, Surigao del Norte, is literally… a naked island. It’s an island with nothing but sand on it. It’s empty—or so you think. Naked Island actually offers the perfect view of the sea, and, if you look closely… within its 200 meter-sandbar is a coral reef, where you can go diving nearby and experience life with the schools of fish. It’s more than just a naked island, so don’t forget to mark it an ‘x’ on your treasure map!

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Vanishing Island
Vanishing Island in Samal

4. Vanishing Island in Davao del Norte

If you’re in for a little more excitement during your tour, then the Vanishing Island in Davao del Norte is the place to go. It’s a magical place, and its crystal-clear waters make it the best spot for snorkeling in Davao del Norte. The whole island “vanishes” underwater during high tide, but since the waters are clear and shallow, you would still be able to go out for a walk.

Snake Island by rdrmlrdrmlrdrml via Flickr CC
Snake Island in El Nido by rdrmlrdrmlrdrml via Flickr CC

5. Snake Island in El Nido Palawan

The Snake Island of El Nido, Palawan, attracts thousands of tourists every year with its s-shaped sandbar, resembling the s-shape of a snake (thus the name). The S-shaped sandbar completely disappears underwater during high tide, so make sure to come to this place at the right time! Snake Island offers the best place for quick island hopping because it’s directly connected to mainland Palawan. It’s also located in the middle of the sea, so you can also swim on both sides, and do a bunch of other seaside activities, like boating.

Related Article: El Nido Palawan Travel Information and Travel Guide

White Beach Camiguin Island Mindanao
White Island Sandbar in Camiguin

6. White Island in Camiguin

If El Nido has its S-shaped sandbar, Camiguin also has its own letter-shaped island! The White Island of Camiguin is c-shaped and got its name from its white sands. The c-shaped sandbar is known in Camiguin as the best place for underwater diving, swimming, or just plain water-frolicking. There are no trees or any sources of shade on the island, so make sure to come there before or afternoon. You may negotiate with the boat-driving locals, and if you’re skilled enough, you might also get a chance to see the sunset on the horizon.

Related Article: Revisiting White Island in Camiguin after 9 years

Manjuyod Sandbar by wary tripper via Flickr CC
Manjuyod Sandbar by wary tripper via Flickr CC

7. Manjuyod Sandbar in Negros Oriental

The narrow, 7-kilometer Manjuyod Sandbar in Negros Oriental is known for offering its tourists a live dolphin and whale show. Some parts of the sandbar get submerged underwater during high tide, but activities here continue almost the whole year-round. While on the island, one may do a variety of seaside activities, and you can even eat freshly-caught seafood (of course you have to cook it first). And, to complete the life-on-the-sea experience, tourists who wish to stay the night may also rent cottages on the island.

Higatangan Island photo by
Higatangan Island photo by

8. Higatangan Island in Biliran

Do you want to experience life on the sea, but you’re not sure if you can handle living on the waters? The beach resort here on Higatangan Island makes sure that guests get what they want, for it offers standardized rooms, tents, standardized huts, and even floating nipa huts! You name it. You can choose to live by the sea or live on the sea itself. The island also allows boating, camping, and even biking. Still, if you just want to go out on a walk, the shifting sandbar is located not too far away from the resort.

Manlawi Island
Manlawi Beach by Lakwatsera Primera

9. Manlawi Island in Caramoan

If you’re a nature lover, then visiting Manlawi Island is the closest to nature as you can get. Unlike most islands, Manlawi appears to be unchanging, except for its huge, white sandbar that changes with the tides. There are barely any structures on the island except for a few cottages for rent, so this island shows nature at its best—with the sky up above and the white sand down below, and with the view of the mountains on one direction and that of the sea on the other.

Seco Island in Antique
Seco Island in Antique

10. Seco Island in Antique

Seco Island in Antique is almost like a privately owned-island (though it’s not), and it’s secluded—the nearest island is nearly 2 hours away. There are no buildings on the island, so if you want to stay the night, make sure to bring your own tent, and maybe some firewood and snacks too. After all, what’s better than ending your vacation with a nice, warm drink by the campfire?

Related Article: Seco Island in Tibiao Antique: A Paradise worth Protecting

Originally Published on Jan 8, 2015
Updated: Jul 25, 2018

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