Aside from 7000 plus islands, the Philippines is also a couple of sandbars that will really wow you with their beauty. A sandbar or shoal is a natural submerged bar that consists of, or is covered by, sand or other unconsolidated material, and rises from the bed of a body of water to near the surface. Most of these sand bars an uninhabited because they become completely submerged at some point. Sandbars give you a stunning panoramic view of the water and a small spot to rest white exploring the waters. They’re often a part of island hopping activities where you can visit for a few hours or stay overnight by camping out or renting small cottages.
Below are 10 stunning sandbars that you’ll want to visit in the Philippines.
Kalanggaman Island in Leyte
This long sandbar has powdery white sand and has received a lot of attention over the years. It’s the hottest tourist attraction in the area and is being taken care of by the local government. There are a few water activities and equipment available for rent at Kalanggaman, such as kayaks and small boats, so you’ll have a lot of things to do there. If you want to stay overnight, there are small huts available for rent. To reach Kalanggaman, you have to reach the municipality of Palompon in Leyte (busses from Ormoc and Tacloban are available, there are also boats from Cebu that go directly to Palompon). From there, you register at the local tourism office and take a pump boat to Kalanggaman.
Bulubadiangan Island, Iloilo
A favorite destination for locals and tourists in Concepcion, Iloilo, Bulubadiangan Island has a long and winding white sandbar that comes out during low tide. The sandbar stretches so far that you can almost walk to the next island. For accommodations, Sandbar Island Resort is your only bet. It’s the lone private resort which operate in the island and offers all the basic accommodation amenities. Getting to Bulubadiangan Island is easy. You need to reach Iloilo city and ride a bus to Concepcion. From there, you can arrange a boat transfer to Bulubadiangan. Keep in mind that you also have to register at the local tourism office before you can ride a boat to Bulubadiangan.
Snake Island, El Nido
Don’t worry, there are no snakes in this island. Snake Island got its name from the usual s-shaped sandbar that emerges when the tide is low. When the tide is really low, the bar can connect two islands on both end. Also called Vigan Island, the opposing currents bring a variety of interesting rocks, stones, bits of coral, and shells to both sides of the sand bridge. It’s clear, blue waters invites anyone to take a dip and if it gets too hot, you can get some shade from the coconut trees and small huts in the middle of the island. The island is about 45 minutes away from El Nido and is part of their island hopping tour B activities.
Manlawi Island, Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Considered as one of the most beautiful sandbars in the country, Manlawi Island attracts locals and foreigners to its vast, rippling, powdery sand stretch, surrounded by clear green and blue waters. Except for a couple of small nipa huts that are designed to float during high tide, the shore is completely barren. You can enjoy the beautiful rolling hills in the distance, an immense blue sky and a lovely seascape. To get to Manlawi Island, you need to reach Caramoan, Camarines Sur. The closest airport is in Naga City, or you can take a bus from Manila to Naga City. Once there, take a van to Sabang port, where boats to Caramoan are available. You can then arrange a boat trip to Manlawi when in Caramoan.
Sumilon Island Sandbar
Aside from Whale sharks, Sumilon Island is one of the major tourist attractions that brings people to the municipality of Oslob in the southern area of Cebu. Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort is the only resort available on the island and offers top quality accommodations. During low tide, the sandbar becomes visible on the island and is constantly changing in shape and location. The crystal clear waters and fine white sand gives a stunning view of the ocean and sky. Sumilon is accessible by riding a boat from Oslob. There are regular busses from Cebu City to Oslob, or you can ask the resort to pick you up from the town proper.
White Island in Camiguin
On a volcanic island filled with hot and cold springs and beautiful beaches lies a modest, but beautiful sandbar that’s shaped like the first letter of the mainland’s name. White Island in Camiguin is a c-shaped sandbar that is a must-visit for visitors in Camiguin. You can go snorkeling, diving or just frolic along the edges of the sandbar. There are no huts or trees on White Island so it can get a bit hot. Bring a tent or an umbrella if you’re planning to stay long to watch the magnificent sun set. To get there, you need to get to Barangay Yumbing in Mambajao, Camiguin where boats are available to take you to White Island.
The Sandbar in Mabini, Higatangan Island, Biliran
Higatangan Island located in a Municipality which is separated by a narrow channel found in the North West tip of Leyte. Its name is taken from the word “atangan” which meaning to wait for. Old stories say that the island was where pirates laid waiting to ambush approaching ships laden with goods and also the place where the Moros wait for their enemies going to Sumbul (Naval). The sandbar is located in the town of Mabini, and stretches out 200-meter into the waters. It’s an ideal place to relax, play, and walk around barefooted. Be warned though, the currents near the sandbar is a little strong, so don’t go too far into the water. You can take a van from Tacloban or Ormoc city to Naval where you can get a boat to take you to Higatangan Island. From there, smaller boats can be hired to visit the sandbar.
Manjuyod Sandbar in Negros Oriental
This sandbar is a common stop over for those who are whale and dolphin watching in Bais. Visitors are advised to visit the sandbar during early mornings to see its momentous appearance. There’s no resorts or accommodations here, only a three elevated hut stands on the sandbar. From the sandbar, you can see the gorgeous hills and mountain of Negros Oriental and get a panoramic view of the blue waters and sky. The sandbar can be reached by traveling to Manjuyod or the south of Bais from Dumaguete. Boats from the Capiñahan Wharf can take you to the sandbar for a small fee.
Virgin Island, Panglao, Bohol
Called the hidden oasis of Bohol, Virgin Island is a sandbar that’s known for its powdery white sand and cool, crystal clear waters. The sandbar has no people living on it but there are small huts that offer food and refreshments for visitor. You can even eat sea urchins and abalone fresh from the sea. Alona Beach in Panglao Island is the jump off point if you want to visit this sandbar. There are a number of boats that offer rides to the Virgin Island, as well as dolphin watching.
Vanishing Island, Samal
While most sandbars are found on a remote area, the Vanishing Island in Samal actually offers visitors a view of the nearby city. This beautiful sandbar has a couple of mangrove trees scattered all over it and has wonderful white sand. To get there, you first have to travel to Samal Island from Davao City. From Samal Island, you can ride a boat to the sandbar.
Are any of these sandbars in your summer destination? Leave your comments and suggestions below if we missed any on list. Don’t forget to share the article.