Our country is lined with miles and miles of amazing beaches: that’s one advantage of being an archipelagic country. And what’s more, we get to have as many beautiful beaches as there are stunning sandbars.
A sandbar is a small patch of land resembling a tiny peninsula that forms when waves sweeps away sand or pebbles from beaches and deposits them off shore. The result is a strip of sand that is truly gorgeous, making it the perfect breeding ground for countless of selfies, jump shots, and other picture opportunities for travelers like you and me. If you’re curious on where to find the best sandbars in the country, then read on!
1. Kalanggaman Island
Your Tacloban trip won’t be complete without a stop at the magnificent Kalanggaman Island.
Kalanggaman Island is one of the most popular sandbars in the country. Sitting across Cebu and Tacloban, Kalanggaman Island became famous for its pristine and powdery-white sands dotted with coconut trees, and the incredibly clear blue waters that surround it.
The 753-meter island is still uninhabited so you won’t find any resort or other establishments here. But the good thing is you can stay here overnight by setting up your own tent and cooking your own food fresh from the sea! In order to properly manage the sandbar, the local government only admits around 500 people per day, so make sure to contact their tourism office for reservations!
2. Bulubadiangan Island
Bulubadiangan Island might be small, but it can be your perfect escape in Iloilo.
If you prefer a relatively unknown sandbar, then head on to Iloilo and visit Bulubadiangan Island. The small sandbar is located just two hours from Iloilo and can be explored in just under an hour. But if you plan to stay longer, there are cottages and tents that you can rent overnight, provided by Sandbar Island and Beach Resort, the owner and caretaker of Bulubadiangan Island.
Although Bulubadiangan Island is privately owned, it is still not fully developed. Electricity is scarce and only lasts from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Since there are no establishments too, you’d have to bring your own food.
Not into whale sharks? Visit this sandbar in Oslob instead!
Image: Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort
The municipality of Oslob in Cebu might be more recognized for its whale shark watching activities, but they also have their own sandbar to boot. Sumilon Island is located at the southeastern tip of Oslob and is famous for its constantly changing shape and shifting location due to the erratic tides.
After closing the sandbar last April for cleanup and restoration, they now reopened the sandbar to visitors but only a limited perimeter, that is, if you are not staying with the Bluewater Sumilon, the resort that manages the island and sandbar. A total of 522 guests can only visit the sandbar a day and only for two to three hours, in order to keep it in good condition.
4. White Island
Relax in White Island and enjoy the marvelous view of Mt. Hibok-Hibok and Mt. Vulcan.
Image: Danielle Mazzieri
One of the most popular tourist spots in Camiguin is White Island. It’s a small sandbar located two kilometers from Agoho and Yumbing and is known for its horseshoe shape that is constantly being reshaped by its surrounding aquamarine waters. Aside from its white sand and pebbled beach, White Island also offers a great view of the majestic Mt. Hibok-Hibok and Mt. Vulcan.
When visiting White Island, remember to leave before sunset because the island disappears by nighttime when it gets submerged beneath the rising water.
5. Palad Sandbar (Maniwaya Island)
Where:Sta. Cruz, Marinduque
Palad Sanbar will make you feel like you’re walking on water!
Rarely is the province of Marinduque often associated with dusty white sand and crystal clear waters but Palad Sandbar is a very welcome addition to the list. In fact, it has all those wonderful things; this sandbar is a tiny strip of fine white sand just a few meters away from Maniwaya Island and is encircled by pristine waters that are so clear you’ll feel like you’re walking above it.
Although Palad Sandbar is believed to be as huge as a hectare, make sure to visit as early as possible because it often disappears during high tide.
6. Panampangan Island
Discover the longest sandbar in the country in Tawi-Tawi.
Known to be the longest sandbar in the country, Panampangan Island is located at the southernmost part of the Philippines and measures 10 kilometers in total during low tide. The sandbar is quite huge and is still uninhabited, but you’ll find plenty of palm trees and a couple of cottages to provide you shade under the sun.
More than its humongous size, Panampangan Island is truly a beauty to behold as its beach contains super fine white sand that glimmers magnificently against its vibrant blue waters. When visiting this location, make sure to go with a group when renting the boats going to the sandbar, so you can share the fare as it is quite expensive given the sandbar’s remote location.
7. Panumbagan Sandbar
Make Sorsogon your newest summer destination and visit Panumbagan Sandbar.
Sorsogon may not be a famous summer destination, but one visit at Panumbagan Sandbar is surely enough to change anyone’s mind. The sandbar may not have the lauded white sand beaches like the others, but it does offer a great view of Mt. Bulusan and Mt. Mayon. It’s also an exciting side adventure when you visit Pilar. Make your itinerary more interesting by heading to Bantigue Point Marine Sanctuary and exploring its incredible marine life, or harvesting sea grapes at Panlatuan Bay and eating them fresh!
8. Manlawi Sandbar
Where:Manlawi Islands, Caramoan
Be a ‘survivor’ for a day and marvel in the remoteness and beauty of Manlawi Sandbar.
Image: Nikko Noel Balde
Time and again, Caramoan has gained a reputation for its striking beaches, that’s why it’s no surprise that they have one of the best sandbars in the country as well. That sandbar is Manlawi Sandbar, part of a stopover when you take advantage of the island hopping activity in Caramoan.
The sandbar became famous for its ridiculously white sand that easily submerges into the water come low tide. But once the water creeps up again, you can explore its nearby mangrove trees, gaze upon its lush rolling hills, or enjoy the nipa huts around the island for a quick afternoon rest.
9. Snake Island
Where:El Nido, Palawan
No slithering pests here, just a lovely sand bar.
Like Caramoan, El Nido is also notorious for its beaches and, of course, island-hopping activities. If you happen to choose Tour B when you visit El Nido, one of the stopovers included in the tour is a visit to Snake Island.
Don’t worry though, as there are no actual snakes in the area. The sandbar was named as such for its naturally S-shaped form that resembles a squiggly snake. You can access the sand bar via a boat ride or even by foot as it connects directly to the mainland of Palawan during low tide.
This hidden gem in Romblon is always a worthwhile discovery.
Image: Alfred Lemuel De Guzman
Romblon might have stayed under the radar for years, but with its undeniable beauty, especially with its uniquely gorgeous sandbar, Cresta de Gallo, it’s now getting the attention that it deserves. The kidney-shape sandbar is slowly gaining popularity with its striking white sand enclosed in turquoise waters.
Aside from the natural beauty of Cresta De Gallo, visitors of the sandbar are often surprised by the flying fishes and even dolphins that swim around the area. The sandbar is quite remote and only one family looks after it so best to bring your own food and water if you’re planning to stay for hours.
Make your summer more unforgettable and exciting with these sandbars! Let us know in the comments section which of these natural marvels you will visit soon.
About Patricia Marie Prado
Patricia came from the field of business and accounting but is now pursuing her dreams of being a writer. She is a self-confessed introvert and is passionate about reading, travelling, writing, movies, coffee and God. When she's not writing, she loves discovering new coffee shops/cafe and doing TV-series marathons.
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