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Beach destinations for budget-conscious student travellers

If you’re a student and you still want to enjoy the summer with your friends or cousins, a budget friendly beach escapade is still possible with the various beach options in the Philippines. To help you decide on your next outing, here are the top 10 affordable local beaches to visit.

  1. Anilao Beaches
  2. Borawan Beach
  3. Burot Beach
  4. Boracay de Cavite
  5. Patar Beach
  6. Anawangin Cove
  7. Laiya Beach
  8. Potipot Island
  9. Liw-Liwa Beach
  10. Baler

Anilao Beaches

Anilao beaches
Two and a half hours drive south of Manila is Anilao, on Balayan Bay

Only a few hours from Manila, Anilao in Mabini, Batangas is an impeccable diving destination. Anyone would definitely want to go back here again for a scuba diving quest. Keeping a diverse, colorful, and healthy marine life, there are scuba gears for rent available to grant your diving wish. Just bring yourself and prepare for an underwater beauty you wouldn’t find elsewhere.

So if you’re a scuba diving enthusiast, beaches in Anilao shall be a must-visit place. I’m sure you wouldn’t resist yourself to go back here. TripAdvisor now has some great holiday rentals within 30 km of Anilao which are ideal for larger groups.

Borawan Beach

Borawan Island
About 4 hours south east of Manila is Borawan Island in Quezon

Located in Padre Burgos’ Lipata Island, Borowan Beach is one of the famous destinations in Quezon province where amazing limestone formations can be seen. Although the beach is not as safe as other beaches for swimming because of the reported presence of jellyfish, Borowan Beach is the ideal place for you if you are interested in rock climbing, rappelling and trekking. You may also add island hopping in your getaway while you’re there as it’s near to other attractions and beaches like Dampalitan.

Given the opportunity to try all the great and fun activities here, Borowan Beach is definitely your all-in-one place of happiness and thrill. TripAdvisor lists three hotels and two B&Bs in the Padre Burgos region near Borawan Island.

Burot Beach

Burot Beach
About four hours south of Manila, Burot Beach faces the Lubang Islands

Searching for a quiet and calm place to relax? Burot Beach can be found in Calatagan, Batangas where white sands and serene waters may be experienced. Away from the city to clear your mind and regain strength from the nature, there are no electricity and establishments in the area for a complete escape from stress and pressure.

Although it may seem extreme and inconvenient to have no facilities around, staying in this beach is still a nice experience to rejuvenate and feel closer to the beloved Mother Nature. TripAdvisor lists four vacation rental properties near Calatagan that would be suitable for student groups.

Boracay de Cavite

Boracay de Cavite
Just two hours south west of Manila is Boracay de Cavite on Manila Bay

Marine Base Ternate Beach or commonly known as Boracay de Cavite, this beach is very affordable for a summer outing venue. Packed with various water activities including swimming, snorkeling, banana boat, kayak and many more, it is considered as a mini-Boracay for their similarities but in a smaller and cheaper version.

So if you are in a tight budget or find no time or way to fly to a farther place, Boracay de Cavite shall be your savior with its Boracay-like vibe and exhilarating activities to keep yourself alive and kicking. TripAdvisor lists 19 holiday rental properties near Ternate Beach, including one that can accommodate a group of 10.

Patar Beach

Patar Beach
Five hours north west of Manila is Patar Beach, near Alaminos City

Calm waves, crystal clear water, and golden brown sands – Patar Beach in Pangasinan is a pleasing camping place to be visited. You may also surf here with its little waves, plunge into its cool waters, and fall in love with the wide sunset view.

As someone who knows nothing about surfing, Patar Beach is one of the best learning centers since the waves are not too big to get scared of. Its little waves are perfect for newbies and kids but of course, hiring an instructor in the area is still a must to ensure safety.

There are only five vacation rentals listed near Patar Beach but there are some nearby resorts and hotels.

Anawangin Cove

Anawangin Cove
Four hours west of Manila, Anawangin Cove is at the mouth of a river

Known for its attractiveness, Anawangin Cove of Zambales is where you could trek a mountain and enjoy a breath-taking view on the mountaintop. You may also swim, snorkel, and play beach volleyball for a fun-filled summer.

This is a suggested place to go to for those who are just starting to tour around the Philippines or who are not up to challenges. With its not too extreme activities, you could surely play here with ease and comfort.

There are no vacation rentals nearby but Canoe Beach Resort at Pundaquit is very affordable. A little more up-market is the Capones Vista Beach Resort in San Antonio.

Laiya Beach

Laiya Beach
Just under three hours south of Manila near San Juan is Laiya Beach

Filipinos love to sing and if you’re part of the group, you might want to check Laiya Beach with your friends and relatives. Several resorts are lined up here but they all guarantee a budget-friendly cost. But what makes this beach different from the others is that there are karaoke machines in some resorts.

If you’re up for a singing-beach trip then this one should top your list. Sing to your heart’s content with beautiful scenery in front of you and fresh air, and with great certainty, this is going to be your barkada’s usual summer destination.

There are three vacation rentals close to Laiya Beach including one that sleeps 25 people and one that sleeps 50 people, so take all your friends!

Potipot Island

Potipot Island
Five hours drive west then north from Manila takes you to Potipot Island

Having pristine warm water and fine creamy white sands, Potipot Island is a good choice to spend your vacation for swimming. Trees all over the island are also present that make the place cool and give off a refreshing ambience. With not much water activity to do and facilities around, this is another recommended budget-friendly place in Zambales if you want the best laidback rest from your daily high school rush.

Similar to Burot Beach, having no facilities around make the experience more exciting and memorable. Thanks to these kinds of places, you could at least get away from responsibilities for a little while

The nearest accommodation to Potipot Island is at Candelaria which has a handful of B&Bs and small resorts.

Liw-Liwa Beach

Liw-Liwan Beach
Five hours west of Manila near San Felipe is Liw-Liwan Beach

For those who want to try surfing, Liw-Liwa Beach in San Felipe, Zambales offers its clear blue water and big waves perfect for a surfing adventure. With several establishments offering surfboards for rent and surfing lessons, beginners and professional surfers are all welcome to feel and play with the waters.

Think you’re a fast-learner or ready enough to dare yourself to the big surfing waves? Then take this chance to explore Liw-Liwa Beach and appreciate all falls and balance you’re going to make because every moment here is worthy to reminisce.

There is no accommodation nearby to Liw-Liwa Beach and not much in San Felipe either, but there are three vacation rentals in Zambales Province not too far from San Felipe including one which sleeps 10 people and one which sleeps 20.


Five hours north of Manila nea Maria Aurora is Baler Beach

Probably the favorite beach destination in the Philippines today, Baler found in Aurora is another surfing sanctuary for novice and surf enthusiast. There are also surf instructors around for the beginners that offer a good price for a one hour lesson. You may also play Frisbee or simply get high on nature with your pals and loved ones.

To create your own experience and ride with the hype, get your mind and soul lost in Baler and embrace its mixture of tranquility and craziness with all the heart-stopping happenings to do here. And from this day on, Baler is going to be your next word-of-mouth and next deal to visit again.

There is only one hotel near Baler, the Costa Pacifica, but there quite a few B&Bs and small resorts near Baler.


Having these wonderful yet budget-friendly beaches listed, it’s now your time to choose which suits your interests the most or which offers the water activity you’d like to try. Nonetheless, each of them has its own magical exquisiteness and fun and adventurous set of activities to enjoy.

Have you recently visited the Philippines amazing beaches? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or drop us a tweet @asiantraveltips.