8 Beaches Near Manila for an Affordable Summer Day Trip

A list of beaches that are near the city for a quick day trip.

There are times when the call of the ocean is too tempting to ignore, but the calls from your boss are even harder to leave unanswered… Enter: day trips! A solution for the times when you only have less than 24 hours to spare for a mini-break. I've gathered a list of beaches fit for every need—whether you want to relax or party, here are some beaches you can visit that are near enough to squeeze into your hectic schedules! 

1. Ivory Beach, Calatagan 

The name is what it suggests—Ivory Beach has the creamy, white sands you long for from Boracay, minus the pricey plane ride and crowd of tourists. Since the water is very shallow, if you go a little further, the clear water will let you see little fish swimming alongside you! This tranquil shore is the ideal place to finish a book or even do some work. 

How to get there if you’re commuting: Buses from Tagaytay can bring you to Lian for P65. From there, there’s a jeep to Calatagan Town Proper for P40. The final ride would be a P50 tricycle (per head) ride straight to Ivory Beach. 

Estimate cost: P1,500 (day tour entrance fee: P100) 


Travel time: about 3 hours 

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2. Calayo Beach, Nasugbu

 A well-populated beach on the coast of Nasugbu that started as a fishing village. It’s not the quietest place since it is quite commercialized, so expect a lot of hustle-and-bustle from locals and tourists! But the charm of this beach lies within the clear waters and colorful fishes near the shore. Expect to be surrounded by high cliffs and of course, many boats! Calayo Beach is the perfect jump-off point if you have more time to visit the more secluded islands like Pulo Island, Bituin Cove, and Loren Island (all islands are about 30 minutes away from Calayo by boat.) 

How to get there if you’re commuting: Board a bus (P160-180) bound for Nasugbu (from Pasay, Buendia or Cubao). From the town proper, you may ride a jeep or tricycle to Barangay Calayo. 

Estimate cost: P1,500 There’s no entrance fee (the environmental fee is P20), so you can bring your tent (pitching fee is around P300) or rent a cottage (starts from P500). 

Travel time: 3 hours 


3. Boracay De Cavite, Ternate

Firstly, the sand isn't completely white, but the texture is as fine as the name suggests. Even though this is a marine military base, the beach is open to the public. Expect that the crowd here is purely local since foreigners aren't allowed at the base. Because it is a strict environment, you won't be able to find bars nearby, so if that's what you're looking for, I suggest skipping to Number 4! 

The beach is only open until 6 PM, so this is perfect if you're only dropping by for a quick dip in the sea! 

How to get there if you’re commuting: Take a bus bound to Ternate, Cavite—from Coastal, Paranaque it's only P85—and from the terminal, take a jeep or tricycle to the beach. 

Estimate cost: P1,500

Travel time: 3 hours 


4. Montemar, La Union

I know, I know, it’s 5 hours away… but if you leave past midnight, you’ll get a chance to watch the sunrise and spend a whole day on the busy shores of La Union! Don't get me wrong, though, Montemar is one of the quiet beaches there. You can surf to your heart's content without fear of hitting any passerby or fellow surfers! With the wide expanse of clean sand and water, it's easy to forget you're in a famous tourist destination. 

How to get there if you’re commuting: Buses from Cubao or Buendia (like Partas or Viron cost around P400-P500) will take you directly to San Juan. From there, take a tricycle to Montemar (P100) 

Estimate cost: P2,000

Travel time: 5 hours  


5. Pebble Beach, La Union

Perhaps the thought of a sandless beach sounds painful, but I can assure you, Pebble Beach is the exact opposite. Smooth, colorful pebbles adorn the shores of the quiet town of Luna. Much like Montemar, the seaside is still very peaceful and perfect for napping or sunbathing! Locals enjoy pebble-picking—for obvious reasons!—but I suggest avoiding taking them home, as locals mostly use them for their livelihood. Additionally, there isn't an infinite supply for pebbles and the surfacing soil underneath it can be taken as a sign to lessen the pebble-picking!

How to get there if you’re commuting: From San Juan, board a jeep (P30) or a tricycle (P50) to Luna. 

Estimate cost: P100 (for the additional tricycle ride)

Travel time: 30 minutes from San Juan 


6. Immuki Island, La Union

Is surfing not your thing? No worries! La Union also has attractions for the more chill folk. The gem that is Immuki Island is only one ride away from the frequented surf town. The cool, calm water will surely invite you in for a swim. Their many lagoons are adorned with coral rocks where you can find an assortment of fishes. But be careful, since some lagoons can be as deep as 12 feet! 

How to get there if you’re commuting: From San Juan, board a jeep to Barangay Paraoir. 

Estimate cost: P10 entrance fee 

Travel time: 15 minutes from San Juan 


7. Liwa, San Felipe

Photo by Jerome Vergara on Unsplash

Surrounded by luscious mountains, Liwa is the right blend of forest and beach. Just behind the shore, a thick line of Agoho trees separates you from the busy city. It can be quite packed sometimes, but since the shoreline is pretty long, it's impossible not to find a spot that's just for you! The water is really meant for surfing, but if you're not into that, just stick to the shallow areas by the shoreline to avoid getting pulled in when you're swimming. If you intend on staying until dark, you may just be able to witness a couple of shooting stars while stargazing! 

How to get there if you’re commuting: There's a Victory Liner bus (from Pasay or Cubao) bound for Iba or Sta. Cruz, Zambales (P350). From San Felipe, take a tricycle to the beach (P30-P60)

Estimate cost: P1,800

Travel time: 4 hours 


8. Pundaquit, San Antonio

Even if you don't have enough time to go to the other islands (this beach is a jump-off point to other beaches like Capones Island and Anawangin Cove), the lively, well-kept Pundaquit beach is still worth the trip. Being a quaint fishing town, expect a busy local environment. The waters here are safer for swimming, but during the Monsoon season, it can become quite the surf spot too! 

How to get there if you’re commuting: From Liwa, board a jeep or a tricycle to Pundaquit

Estimate cost: P80 (for the additional tricycle ride)

Travel time: 30 minutes away from San Felipe

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