5 Must-See Sandbars in the Philippines

Undoubtedly, the Philippines has some of the best coasts in the world, with over 7,000 islands, you will never run out of beaches here. But more than that, our bountiful country also harbors idyllic sandbars that beckon sun-seekers. Sandbar is defined as “a long mass or low ridge of submerged or partially exposed sand built up in the water along a shore or beach by the action of waves or currents.”

Here are some of the best ones you can visit this year:

1. Vanishing Island (Davao del Norte) 


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A real stunner, the Vanishing Island – as you might have surmised from its name – disappears when the tide is high. Unlike other sandbars sitting pretty below jungle-clad mountains, this one is set in the midst of the sea and offers a view of a nearby bustling city. Its sand is silky and snow white, sprinkled with mangroves and lapped by clear navy blue waters. 

How to get there:

Charter a boat from Pearl Farm, Bali Bali wharf or Waterfront wharf. 

2. Snake Island (El Nido, Palawan)


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This remote-feeling spot harbors an S-shaped island framed by jungle-clad headlands. But like most sandbars, it is only exposed during low tide, so proper timing is important when visiting. An easy climb of the promontory nearby will reward you with a breath-snatching view of the S-shaped sun-blasted shore and the surrounding karst-punctuated sea. 

How to get there: 

Snake Island is part of El Nido Tour B, several hotels and travel agencies offer this tour. Try www.northernhopetours.com for island hopping tours in El Nido.


3. Manjuyod Sandbar (Negros Oriental)


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Devoid of luxury trappings, even coconut trees are nowhere in sight, Manjuyod Sandbar is like a white gem that emerges from the seafloor when the tide recedes. This stunning beauty is situated in Manjuyod, Negros Oriental, but the usual jump-off point for tourists coming from Dumaguete City is the port at Brgy. Capiñahan in Bais. Manjuyod Sandbar is a typical stop-over during the Bais dolphin watching tour. To catch its momentous appearance, one needs to start early in the morning during low tide.

How to get there: 

From Dumaguete City, travel to Bais. Charter a boat from Capiñahan wharf located in South Bais Bay.   


4. White Island (Camiguin) 


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The poster girl of the volcanic island of Camiguin is the more than kilometer long White Island. It offers a postcardesque panorama of Mt.Hibok Hibok and Mt.Vulcan. On regular weekends or holidays, expect it to be swarmed by day trippers who come here to bask in its emerald green and azure waters hugging its horseshoe-shaped shore. As the sandbar is devoid of cottages, renting a beach umbrella is your best bet if you’re seeking for shade. Otherwise, feel free to spread your beach towel, mat or sarong on its powdery white shore, and bask in the sun for a perfect tan!

How to get there:

From Mambajao town proper, take an eastbound tricycle and tell the driver you’re headed to the jump off point to White Island. Register and pay the boat fee. 

5. Puting Balas (Zamboanga del Sur)


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Unlike the aforementioned sandbars, Puting Balas rarely sees tourists. Situated off the coast of Pagadian in Zamboanga del Sur, this rather isolated sandbar offers a much-needed respite from the harried metropolis. Puting Balas has powdery cream sand set in cerulean waters that is ideal for swimming.

How to get there:

Charter a boat from San Pedro port in Pagadian.


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