As a country of islands, the Philippines is a treasure trove of beaches. White sands, sky blue seas, quaint resorts — these are some of the things you'll find in coastlines around the country.
A few of those coastlines, however, aren't what you'd expect. Some of them are covered in rocks, while others have black (instead of white) sand. If you're on the lookout for beaches unlike any other, look no further than the list below.
Anawangin & Nagsasa Coves (San Antonio, Zambales)
Looking at the coves today, you'd never guess that a disaster happened there over 25 years ago. In fact, prior to 1991, the Anawangin and Nagsasa beaches were strewn with rocks. However, when Mt. Pinatubo erupted and spewed ash for miles around, the beaches got covered to the point where they smoothened out, and the surrounding soil became fertile enough to grow agoho, a pine-like tree. Ever since, the coves have become a paradise, owing to its looks that are a cross between Baguio and Boracay.
How to Get There: From Manila, ride a Victory Liner bound for Iba, Zambales. Ask the driver to drop you off at the San Antonio Public Market, then take a tricycle to Barangay Pundaquit. Alternatively, you may also ride a bus from Olongapo straight to Pundaquit, then take a tricycle from there.
From Pundaquit, rent a boat to Anawangin or Nagsasa. You can also reach the two coves by trekking over Mt. Pundaquit and Mt. Nagsasa, respectively.
Biri Island (Biri, Northern Samar)
Situated at the northernmost tip of northern Samar, the municipality of Biri is flanked by the San Bernardino Strait to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. The municipality's largest islands are Biri, Cagnipa, Magsasang, and Talisay. Of these, Biri is the largest.
At Biri, the rock formations are so beautiful, you won't mind flooding your Instagram with pictures of them. You can also dive into the island's surrounding waters, or volunteer for the local Biri Institute that aims to preserve the island's natural wonders.
How to Get There: Ride an airplane to Northern Samar's Catamaran National Airport. From there, ride a jeepney to Lavezares, and tell the driver to drop you off at the Lavezares port. (Important: Make sure to specify that your destination is the Lavezares port. Otherwise, if you say you're just going to "the port," the driver will assume you're going to the larger Allen port instead.)
Dauin (Negros Oriental)
Dauin is a town bordered by Bacong to the north, Zamboanguita to the south, and a mountain range to the west. Its beaches stand out for their black sands, owing to the basalt from Mt. Kanlaon, the highest peak in the Visayan group of islands.
Aside from black beaches, Dauin also boasts of unspoiled marine reserves, hinterlands, hot springs, and the Mt. Talinis Geothermal Reserve. If you'd like a trip back in time, you can also go to the Church of San Nicolas, an old church fronted by two equally old watchtowers. It's said that, back in the day, the watchtowers served to warn locals of incoming pirate attacks.
How to Get There: Ride a jeepney to Zamboanguita, or take a Ceres Bus to Bayawan, Hinobaan, or Sipalay. Tell the driver to drop you off at the main road near Dauin Beach, and walk to the beach from there.
Sunken Cemetery (Camiguin)
When Mt. Vulcan erupted between 1871 and 1875, it sunk portions of the town of Catarman — including an entire cemetery. Today, you can still see the cemetery if you dive close to the spot marked by a giant cross, which stands as a reminder of what happened there almost 150 years ago.
How to Get There: Ride a passenger ferry to Camiguin, and get off at the Port of Benoni. Follow the Mt. Vulcan trail into the woods, stop at the gate marking the Sunken Cemetery terminal, and ride a boat towards the cross marking the spot.
Valugan Boulder Beach (Contra Costa Rd., Basco, Batanes)
As its name suggests, Valugan is covered with boulders. Like most of the beaches on this list, Valugan's unusual appearance can be traced to the eruption of a volcano (Mt. Iraya), which spewed rocks all over the area.
Despite how the beach looks, Valugan is a surprisingly relaxing place to stay. You can listen to the waves crashing gently on the rocks, and marvel at the gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean. Don't forget to bring sturdy footwear to navigate the rocks safely!
How to Get There: From Basco airport, ride a bike towards the beach. If you're not familiar with the area, you can also hire a tricycle driver to take you to the beach.
Certainly, these aren't the only unique beaches in the Philippines. Do you know other places where beach lovers can enjoy a different summer experience? Let us know in the comments below!