8 beautiful white PH beaches perfect for barefoot walking

Rhea Claire Madarang

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8 beautiful white PH beaches perfect for barefoot walking
Fine, fine sand, colors so vivid the place feels unreal. See locations in Siargao, Palawan, Quezon, and more

Aside from enjoying the view and taking a dip in the waters of beautiful beaches, do you like walking barefoot and feeling the sand on your toes? Not all amazing beaches are equally amazing for your feet, so below is a list of some beautiful and barefoot-friendly beaches.

Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas, Vinzons, Camarines Norte 

SURREAL COLORS. Go to Calaguas and see these colors yourself to believe. Photo by Rhea Claire Madarang

Over one kilometer of powder-fine white sand hemmed in by bright green hills, and waters so clear and blues and so vivid they almost look unreal – you have to see it to believe it.

Pitch a tent, dig your toes into the soft sand, and drink in the view of whites, greens, and blues. Walk the entire length of sand barefoot to take in the entire view. And, if you want the beach to yourself or would at least prefer to avoid the crowds, go on a weekday. 

How to get there: Take a bus to Daet from Cubao or Pasay. Get off at Talobatib Junction and take a tricycle to the town of Paracale. Travel time from Manila is 7-8 hours. From Paracale, you can charter a boat to Calaguas, though it is best to make arrangements ahead. Boat ride can take one hour or more.

WHITES, GREENS, AND BLUES. Treat yourself to a visual feast at Mahabang Buhangin beach, Calaguas. Photo by Rhea Claire Madarang

FOOTPRINTS ON THE SAND. Watch your feet easily leave marks on Calaguas’ soft sand. Photo by Rhea Claire Madarang

7 Commandos Beach, Papaya Beach, and Entalula Island, El Nido, Palawan  

ENTALULA. Part of El Nido’s Tour B, Entalula’s beach is beautifully framed by rocks. Photo by Jherson Jaya

These three beaches all have clear waters, and all with a spectacular backdrop of gray limestone cliffs dotted with greenery. 7 Commandos and Entalula have powdery sand with the consistency of polvoron, while Papaya Beach has some parts where the sand is so soft and powdery that, when washed by waves, it becomes like ice cream.

Papaya Beach is just on the other side of 7 Commandos. 7 Commandos is part of El Nido’s Tour A of mostly lagoons and beaches, but some tours opt for the neighboring Papaya Beach as a quieter alternative especially when 7 Commandos is crowded.

Entalula Island, meanwhile, is part of Tour B’s itinerary of caves and beaches. Entalula’s stretch of white sand is framed and walled by limestone cliffs. (READ: El Nido study to unlock value of ecotourism)

How to get there: Take a flight to Puerto Princesa. From the airport, take a tricycle to the van and bus terminal. Ride a van or bus to El Nido (usually 5-6 hours), then take a tricycle to town. You may arrange island hopping Tour A and B with tour agencies in El Nido or with the accommodation where you are checked in.

7 COMMANDOS. Part of El Nido’s Tour A, this powdery beach is surrounded by limestone cliffs. Photo by Jherson Jaya

PAPAYA BEACH. Also with a backdrop of gray rock formations, Papaya Beach is usually an alternative to 7 Commandos in Tour A. Photo by Rhea Claire Madarang

ICE CREAM SAND. Papaya Beach’s sand is so soft and fine in some parts that your feet will easily sink into it. Photo by Rhea Claire Madarang

Malcapuya Island, Coron, Palawan

FROM ABOVE. You can also see the sea from another perspective when you go up the island’s hill. Photo by Marky Ramone Go

Malcapuya is an island fringed with powdery white sand, which many attest to be as fine as Boracay’s. The island does not have electricity, and there are only basic accommodations like huts and houses for rent, so you can savor some quiet time on Malcapuya’s beach and just watch its waters of light blue deepening to dark.

The island also has a hill where you can go up and see the view of the sea and neighboring islands. (READ: Discovering the jewels of Coron)

How to get there: Take a flight to Coron. From the airport, take the 45-minute shuttle to Coron town. Take a tricycle to the jump-off for boats, where the boats for island hopping are. You can also have your tour arranged with the place you are checked in. Malcapuya Island is a 1 ½-hour boat ride from Coron town. It is part of an island hopping itinerary where other islands like Banana and Bulog Dos are included.

RELISH THE VIEW. At Malcapuya, you can just relax and take in the view of the sea’s brilliant hues. Photo courtesy of Marky Ramone Go

Cagbalete Island, Mauban, Quezon

SHAPED BY THE WAVES.  What makes Cagbalete’s sand expanse especially beautiful is its sand ridges. Photo by Rhea Claire Madarang

Though its sand is more grainy and not as fine as the sand of the other beaches on this list, what makes Cagbalete especially barefoot-friendly is that a long expanse of sand becomes visible at low tide. It is such a long stretch that you can even walk to a neighboring rock island. While walking, look for Cagbalete’s beautiful signature sand ridges shaped by the waves. (READ: Head to ‘Borawan’ and these 5 unspoiled PH beaches)

How to get there: Take a Lucena-bound bus from Alabang, Buendia-Taft, or Edsa, to Lucena Grand Terminal. Then take an ordinary bus to Mauban. There are also buses going direct to Mauban leaving Edsa-Kamias usually at 5 am and 1 pm, but best to check schedule ahead. At Mauban, take a tricycle to the port.

You can charter a boat directly to the resort you will check in or take a passenger boat to Cagbalete (schedules may vary, but trip is usually 10 am and 3 pm), then trek to the resort. Total travel time from Manila is around 5 hours or more. 

SAND EVERYWHERE. Cagbalete’s vast sand expanse is perfect for barefoot walking. Photo by Rhea Claire Madarang

White Beach, Boracay, Aklan

WHITES AND BLUES. On a clear day Boracay’s waters perfectly reflect the sky’s blues. In shallow waters, you can see all the way to the sand’s bottom. Photo by Zyllah Gatchalian

With almost no explanation necessary, Boracay is the most obvious item on this list, and even considered by many as the benchmark for other beaches’ whiteness and fineness. The island is widely recognized locally and internationally for its beauty and powder-fine white sand. And, this powdery, barefoot-friendly sand extends for kilometers, from Station 1 to Station 3, and even in beaches beyond Station 1. (READ: First impressions of the Philippines, and why we were sad to leave)

Take time to walk at least one kilometer – but why not from Station 1 to 3, if you can? – and just savor the view of clear waters dotted by the brilliant blue sails of paraws. This is also a great opportunity to people-watch and look out for interesting sights like kids building elaborate sandcastles and locals raking the sand. (READ: Diniwid beach: The quiet side of Boracay)

How to get there: Take a flight to Caticlan or Kalibo. From Kalibo, Caticlan is still two hours away by bus. When you arrive at Caticlan, take a tricycle to the port. Ride the boat, then once you get on the island, take a tricycle to White Beach.Total travel time from Caticlan is less than one hour.

BAREFOOT-FRIENDLY. Boracay is one of the most popular – if not the most popular – powder-fine white beaches in the Philippines. Photo by Rhea Claire Madarang

MIRRORLIKE. When washed by waves, Boracay’s tightly packed fine sand assumes a smooth, mirrorlike sheen. Photo by Rhea Claire Madarang

SAND ART. A local kid intently sculpting Boracay’s fine sand. Photo by Rhea Claire Madarang

Alona Beach and Dumaluan Beach, Panglao Island, Bohol 

LAID-BACK. Alona Beach also has an expanse of powdery sand but is more laidback than Boracay. Photo by Joshua Berida

Alona Beach in Panglao also has some of Boracay’s conveniences like resorts and restaurants, but is less crowded and more laidback. Its sand is powdery, with some parts grainy. As with Boracay, you can have a long walk along Alona. (READ: Unspoiled white beaches: Visayas)

If you want an even less crowded beach with even fewer establishments, take a 30-minute tricycle ride to Dumaluan, another beach with powdery sand in Panglao. Here you can have your own quiet spot where you can sit and even sleep. And, if you’re up for barefoot walking, Dumaluan’s stretch of sand is even longer than Alona’s.

How to get there: Take a flight to Tagbilaran. From the airport, you can hire a tricycle or van to take you straight to Alona Beach, Panglao. You can also ask to be taken to the terminal, where you can take the bus or multicab to Panglao. Then walk or take a tricycle to Alona Beach. Travel time to Panglao from the airport is around 45 minutes. 

WITH CONVENIENCES. Like Boracay, Alona Beach in Panglao also has its share of establishments but is less crowded. Photo by Rhea Claire Madarang

SMOOTH SAND. Again, like Boracay’s, Alona’s sand also has a mirrorlike sheen when washed by waves. Photo by Sheryl Castro

MORE QUIET. If you’re looking for your own quiet beach spot, you will find it here in Dumaluan. Photo by Joshua Berida

White Beach, Moalboal, Cebu

RELAXED PACE. Take a leisurely walk along White Beach before or after your underwater adventure. Photo by Rhea Claire Madarang

Along one of Cebu’s famous snorkeling and diving spots lies a stretch of compact grainy and powdery sand, White Beach. While part of this beach is lined with accommodations, beyond that area are trees, rocks, and bare sand perfect for walking. (READ: Meet barracuda, a thresher shark, turtles under the sea)

And, as Moalboal is more known for its colorful underwater creatures, just a short swim away from White Beach’s shore is a marine sanctuary abundant with corals and fishes. Sometimes, turtles can also be sighted here. Farther beyond by boat are more snorkeling and diving spots where millions of sardines gather in a thick mass, and where whale sharks may occasionally swim by. (READ: Beach and diving time at Moalboal)

How to get there: Take a flight to Cebu. From the airport, take a taxi to the South Bus terminal. (Or, by commute, you can take the yellow jeep from the airport to Lapu-Lapu. Ask the driver to drop you off at the pier. Ride a ferry to the city, then take the jeep to the South Bus terminal). Ride a bus going to Moalboal or passing by Moalboal. From the town proper, take a tricycle or motorbike to White Beach. Travel time from the bus terminal is around 2 ½ to 3 hours.

COMPACT SAND. White Beach’s sand is firm but soft on the feet. Photo by Rhea Claire Madarang

UNDERWATER COLORS. Just several meters away from White Beach is a colorful marine sanctuary. Photo by Rhea Claire Madarang

Malinao Beach, Siargao, Surigao del Norte

QUIET BEACH.  Let Malinao’s simple beauty and quiet totally relax you. Photo by Shugah Pauline Gonzales

Just a few kilometers from Siargao’s surf central Cloud 9 is a quiet beach of powdery sand lined with coconut trees. If you want to get away for a bit from the bustle of Cloud 9, Malinao is the perfect spot to just sit, relax, dig your toes into the sand, and simply let time pass. Why not also bring a book and a mat to lie down? Just wake up when night falls, as that’s when the fireflies come out. (READ: 14 stunning photos of Siargao, a surfer’s paradise)

How to get there: Take a flight to Siargao (with connecting flight in Cebu) via Cebu Pacific. Alternatively, you can take a flight to Surigao City, then ride a tricycle to the port, where you will take a boat (an estimated three-hour trip) to Siargao. From Siargao’s airport or port, take a motorbike or tricycle to Malinao. If you are going to Cloud 9 first, Malinao is also accessible from there by motorbike or tricycle. (READ: Get Stoked: 7 lesser-known PH surf spots)

POWDERY. Malinao’s sand is fine and yielding. Photo by Shugah Pauline Gonzales

Do you know other beautiful white beaches perfect for barefoot walking? Share in the comments below! – Rappler.com

Claire Madarang is a writer, traveler and seeker. Her wanderlust takes her on adventures like backpacking for 7 weeks straight. Her seeking leads her to different wellness practices like meditation and healthy (mostly vegetarian) eating. Follow her adventures, tips and epiphanies at her blog, Traveling Light.

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Rhea Claire Madarang

Claire Madarang is a traveler, writer, biodiversity communications practitioner, and facilitator of nature play activities. Follow her adventures, travel tips, and reflections on her blog Traveling Light and on her Instagram