The Philippines is home to one of the most beautiful and breathtaking islands and beaches nature has to offer.

The most popular among the beaches is none other than Boracay Island in Aklan. Dubbed as one of the most beautiful islands in the world last 2018, Boracay is a tourist destination like no other.

But there are more beautiful beaches in Western Visayas than Boracay’s White Sand and Puka Beach. If you’re looking for more than just a simple summer vacation, then there are more beautiful yet overlooked beaches and islands that the public needs to know about. Here’s a list of the best beach spots in Western Visayas that are waiting to be discovered.

1. Antonia Beach, Iloilo

aquatic coralPhoto courtesy of Tom Fisk via Pexels

One of the hidden islands in Western Visayas is Isla de Gigantes Sur. Located in the province of Iloilo, the place is blessed with clear water and white sand — perfect for a summer getaway.

More than just Antonia’s white sand bar stretch, Isla de Gigantes has a lot of activities that can make your Visayas adventure more exciting. The island of Gigantes has caves great for spelunking for all those thrill and adventure seekers out there. If snorkeling or diving is your interest, the island also has a rich and varied marine life located in the rocky end of the beach. There are no established resorts or hotels in Isla De Gigantes, but you can opt to stay for a day trip or rent tents if you plan to stay through the night.

2. Olotayan Island, Roxas City, Capiz

catch fish marketPhoto courtesy of Mali Maeder via Pexels

Known as the Mini-Boracay of Roxas City, the place is blessed with serene shores, pristine white sand mixed with corals that are washed ashore by strong waves. Located in the “Seafood Capital of the Philippines,” the island’s waters are filled with crabs, squids, and a variety of fish you can think and crave for. With fishing as a major industry on the island, you are bound to eat fresh food daily on one of the best beaches in Western Visayas.

The place is excellent for a swim at the beach or a calm and relaxed surf. You can also enjoy sailing, jet-skiing, flatboat riding, windsurfing, skimboarding, and fishing. But if you just want good fun under the sun, then Olotayan is also a great place to just walk around and spot small coral reefs and shells with different sizes, shapes, and colors.

3. Caluya Islands, Caluya, Antique

andrew buchananPhoto courtesy of Andrew Buchanan via Pexels

A hidden gem in Antique, Caluya Island remains untouched with its absence of high-rise buildings and heavy smoke-induced air. Though far away from development, the island is rich in natural resources like clear water and seaweed. Caluya island has hectares of tambalang or seaweed farms around the area that’s why it’s known as the primary source of seaweed in the Philippines.

The unspoiled beach is a great addition to a nature tripper’s Visayas Adventure. The water is clear, the sand is pristine, and the seafood is fresh and delectable. If you want to escape the busy life, then head on over to Caluya island for snorkeling, diving, and boating.

4. Ilig-Iligan Beach, Boracay Island

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If you’ve already booked a trip to Boracay and you find yourself itching to explore beyond the White Beach or even Puka Beach, then why not visit more beaches in Aklan aside from Boracay? Take Ilig-Iligan Beach, for example, one of the overlooked beaches on the island of Boracay. Just like its nearby beaches, Ilig-Iligan offers clean water and powdery white sand. The only difference? There are no big buildings or developments, and there are fewer people.

This sandy stretch lies on the north-east coast of Boracay island. To get to here, take a tricycle ride from White Beach to Ilig-Iligan. The fare might be expensive, but it's a small price to pay for a quiet time at the beach. Another option is taking a tricycle to Puka Beach, hang out for a while, and then walk along Boracay Highway Central and Boracay Beach Road to get to Ilig-Iligan Beach which is about 1.6 kilometers away.

5. Hinugtan Beach, Buruanga, Aklan

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Sitting beside the Philippines’ most famous island is one of Aklan’s tourist spots, Hinugtan Beach. The place is dubbed as a secluded mini-Boracay, the beach is just 30 minutes away from the exciting scene of Boracay island. This is a great quiet getaway if you’re already in Boracay and you’re just looking for a calm and quiet day.

A different experience from its nearby beach, Hinugtan Beach is what Boracay used to look and feel like. It’s a pleasant sight on what the Philippines’ most famous island looked like before the massive development and flock of tourists. There are more things to do and explore in Aklan than just Boracay island, and Hinugtan is one of them.

There are many more beautiful places to visit in the Visayas region. There are 7,641 islands in the Philippines which means that there are at least over a hundred possible summer destinations and beaches in Western Visayas that are waiting to be visited and discovered. You just have to get out there search for more to get the most out of your summer vacation.