10 Local Beach Destinations You Can Escape To Right Now

Do you also miss the sun, sand, and surf?

philippine beaches

(SPOT.ph) If 2020 was the year you vowed to travel the country and hit the beach as much as you could, then you—as with the rest of us—probably got disappointed. As the pandemic carries on, it seems that we’ll still be mostly staying at home in 2021. But, if you really want to go out and experience the sun, sand, and surf once again, there are a few beach destinations that are slowly reopening to tourists. Just don’t forget to follow health protocols and guidelines by the local government unit and the Department of Tourism.

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Check out these Philippine beaches you can now visit and what you need to know if you’re traveling (as of March 11, 2021):

Boracay Island, Aklan

Boracay Beach
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

Boracay Island in Aklan opened their doors to tourists from all over the Philippines—including regions that are still under general community quarantine—in October 2020. One of the measures during the reopening is the Test Before Travel regulation, which requires tourists to take an RT-PCR test (or swab test) from 48 to 72 hours prior to traveling to Boracay. They should, of course, test negative for the COVID-19 virus. Local tourists are also asked to fill out an online health declaration form through Aklan’s website and show their confirmed booking at an accredited hotel or resort upon arrival at the Godofredo P. Ramos Airport in Caticlan.

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What You Need: Boracay's Health Declaration Card

El Nido, Palawan 

El Nido, Palawan
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

If you want to go on a weekend getaway at one of the world's best islands, El Nido is open to Metro Manila tourists flying in via Lio Airport. All you have to do is secure a QR-coded tourist ID from El Nido Tourism's website by filling out a health declaration form and uploading negative RT-PCR swab test results within 72 hours as well as travel itinerary and accommodation reservations. All accredited resorts in Lio Beach offer four-day travel packages with fixed schedules.


What you Need: El Nido's QR-Coded Tourist ID

Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte

Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Roser Pie

Get ready to file a vacation leave if you intend to fly to Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte since you need to have a two-night confirmed booking at an accredited accommodation establishment to be allowed entry. You also need to present negative RT-PCR test results taken within 48 hours, an e-Health pass with valid ID, roundtrip tickets, and travel itinerary. The e-Health Pass will serve as your passport in entering any private/public office, business establishment, checkpoint, church, and other public places within Surigao del Norte.

What You Need: Surigao del Norte's e-Health Pass

Mabini, Batangas 

Beach in Mabini, Batangas
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

Batangas’ famous dive spots reopened as early as October 2020, following a resolution allowing accommodations and dive centers in the province to accept guests for recreational diving. Guests should pre-book and dive only at establishments accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving with Certificate of Authority to Operate. You’re also required to present a physical copy of a negative RT-PCR result taken within 48 hours.

Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

Beach in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Alexpunker

Tourists from Luzon are permitted to travel to Ilocos Norte, including the province's beautiful beaches in Pagudpud. The coastal town boasts lesser-known white-sand beaches such as Saud Beach and Maira-ira Beach, interesting geological formations such as the Kapurpurawan Rocks, and Kabigan Falls on the eastern side of the municipality. All tourists are required to pre-register at Ilocos Norte's website and get a QR-coded tourist pass. You also need to present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours, confirmed accommodation booking and itinerary form secured from accredited hotels and tour operators, and a valid ID. Alternatively, you can take an antigen test upon arrival in Ilocos Norte.


What You Need: SafeForm account

Santiago, Ilocos Sur 

Beach in Santiago, Ilocos Sur
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Charlie Palmares

Ilocos Sur, including the beaches and coves in Santiago, is open to travelers coming from Luzon. Just make sure that you undergo an RT-PCR test within 72 hours of entry, book with DOT-accredited tour operators and hotels and secure proof of booking, and create a QR-coded pass.

What You Need: SafePass account

Panglao Island, Bohol

Panglao Island, Bohol
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Alexpunker

The island province of Bohol—specifically Panglao Island, which comprises the municipalities of Panglao and Dauis—started accepting tourists for leisure travel on December 15, 2020. To visit, all you have to do is log on to Bohol's tourism website and fill out a Google form. You also have to upload your negative PCR test results taken within 72 hours, confirmed hotel booking, roundtrip airline tickets, and itinerary. DIY travel is not allowed as of the moment, so you have to book your tours with accredited operators.

What You Need: Panglao or Dauis Tourism Bubble Form


Beach in Bataan
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Angelara

In November 2020, Bataan signed a resolution allowing local hotels, resorts, and other tourism-related establishments to receive guests from outside the province. Tourists are required to present their QR code registration, negative RT-PCR test results taken at least two days prior to arrival, and confirmed booking. Five Fingers, a popular cove-to-cove hopping activity in Mariveles, is also open. 


What You Need: GetPass QR Code


Beach in Subic
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Solutions4All

Subic, formerly a U.S. naval base, is now a popular weekend destination because of its beaches, theme parks, and duty-free shopping centers. If you're looking to spend a night at some of its beach resorts, just make sure you have a confirmed booking from an accredited accommodation, RT-PCR test results, and an itinerary. 

Coron, Palawan 

Beach in Coron, Palawan
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Firefighter Montreal

Prior to your Coron getaway, make sure you have your RT-PCR test taken 48 to 72 hours before travel, a confirmed booking at a DOT-accredited accommodation, and a travel itinerary booked with DOT-accredited tour operators. You should also register and fill out the health declaration form at Coron Tourism's website to secure a QR code. This will serve as your pass upon entry at Francisco B. Reyes Airport, where you will undergo a health assessment.

What You Need: Coron's Health Declaration Form

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