5 Less-Crowded Budget Beach Resorts Near Manila [Updated]4 min read
Last-minute travel plans? These five cheap and accessible beach resort near Manila won’t disappoint.
The popular beaches of Luzon are always packed every summer, and for good reason. The famous surf spots and Instagrammable resorts have a lot of growing communities from the city because people have considered them as their second home.
If you’re feeling more adventurous this year, know that there are still a lot of pristine places to see and discover. Head out to these unspoiled, lesser known beaches and get some well-deserved rest and recreation, all under P3,000 when you go in a group of five or more.
1. Jomalig, Pundakit, Quezon Province
Jomalig Island is one of Luzon’s best-kept secrets. Its golden sand, blue water, and friendly locals are one of the reasons this place is starting to gain popularity. Located in Salibungot, Sitio Burawan, it offers a serene spot for people who want to escape the busy city. It’s situated very closely to the exclusive island resort, Balesin, but Jomalig Island offers a much cheaper and more accessible alternative.
How to get there: Take a bus bound for Infanta, Quezon, and get off at Real, Quezon. The Raymond Bus Terminal is located in Legarda, Manila, and the fare will set you back about P205. Upon reaching Real, take a tricycle to Jomalig port. There you will take a six-hour boat ride to Jomalig island that costs P200 per person.
2. Magic Left, Pundaquit, Zambales
Luzon boasts surf spots at the coasts of famous provinces like Zambales, Quezon, and La Union. One such spot is Magic Left located in San Antonio, Zambales, known for its left-handed waves and friendly local surfers. Unlike popular surfing beaches, Magic Left is not crowded and also offers surfing lessons and board rentals. If you’re new to surfing, it would be much easier to learn how to ride the waves without a lot of people out at sea.
How to get there: Take a Victory Bus Liner to Iba or Santa Cruz. Upon reaching the town proper of San Antonio, take a tricycle to Purok 1, Pundaquit. Estimated fare from Manila to Pundaquit is P350.
3. Alibijaban Island, San Andres, Quezon
Another beach off the grid is Alibijaban Island, the farthest point in Quezon Province. With its long stretch of unspoiled white sand beach, you can explore the island, swim in its clear waters, and take pictures along the sand bar. The place is perfect for snorkeling too. While you’re there, you can also take a side trip to Busay Falls in Banaba. Just ask your tour guide and they will gladly help you get there.
How to get there: Take Superlines Transport from Cubao to San Andres, Quezon Province. Bus fare is around P470. There are no regular trips to the island but upon arriving at San Andres bus terminal, the best way to get to the island according to bloggers who have been there is to contact Randy and his wife, Jinjin, through (0977) 370-8487 / (0946) 737-2555 and 0998-275-8413. Kuya Randy is the person to contact when making reservations in the island. You can also talk about other services they provide such as snorkeling, accommodation, and other fees before your trip. Fan rooms at ADC Lodging cost P350, and setting up tent at the beach is P100 per day.
4. Apuao Grande Island, Camarines Norte
Another tropical paradise in Camarines Norte is Apuao Island. It is one of the seven islands along the coast of Mercedes. This is also near the famous Calaguas Island, and people are starting to get to know Apuao because it’s much closer to go to than Calaguas.
How to get there: Take a Philtranco or DLTB Bus bound for Daet, Camarines Norte. Tickets range from P550 to P600. From Daet, you can take a jeepney or tricycle to Mercedes town proper, which only takes around 10-15 minutes. The boat rental costs around P2,000 to P3,500 each for 10 to 25 people. You will need to get in touch with the tourism office through firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at (054) 444-1261.
5. Carabao Island, Maragondon, Cavite
Carabao Island offers almost the same scenery as that of Batanes with its cliffs and rocky shoreline. This used to be one of the US Army forts during World War II. And despite it being near Manila, it gives you a feel of being much farther away from the busy city. If you’re into trekking, kayaking, or simply up for some historical adventure, this island would be a great escape for you.
How to get there: You must first apply for a permit with the Philippine Navy Headquarters. After getting the permit, coordinate with the tourism office of Maragondon, Cavite. Take the bus bound for Ternate-Maragondon, and it will take about two hours.