Top 10 beaches in the Philippines for retirees I Inquirer

Top 10 beach destinations in the Philippines for retirees

Spend those golden years with salt in your hair, sand in your toes and sun-kissed nose 
/ 06:15 AM July 10, 2024

Top 10 beach destinations in the Philippines for retirees
Imagine basking in the sun and sipping fresh coconut juice while listening to the soothing sound of ocean waves as future retirees. If you’re ready to turn this dream into reality, here are some of the top beaches in the Philippines to consider for your future retirement home.

Whether you’re a balikbayan or an expat, living at the beach can offer the best retirement lifestyle. It provides a revitalizing experience as it is beneficial to your health. Studies show living by the sea can reduce anxiety and depression, and allow you to cultivate inner peace.

Best beaches in the Philippines for retirees

We’ve rounded up the top beach spots for your retirement, ranked for their affordability, beauty, quality of living and proximity to healthcare facilities — based on reviews by expats and local residents.

10. Camiguin Island

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Offering a variety of natural wonders like cold and hot spring lagoons, picturesque volcanic landscapes and waterfalls, this island is a nature lover’s paradise where retirees can enjoy a peaceful retreat.


  • Perfect for nature lovers
  • Affordable cost of living


  • Limited nightlife
  • Remote area with limited modern facilities 

9. Boracay Island

Top 10 beach destinations in the Philippines for retirees
Budget aside, Boracay offers one of the most gorgeous beaches in the world, good internet coverage and proximity to the airport. Hailed as the world’s best white sand beach of 2024, it’s a retirement haven with modern facilities and diverse culinary scene.


  • Progressing economy
  • Continuous environmental rehabilitation


  • High cost of living

8. Siargao

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Dubbed as the “surfing capital of the Philippines,” this is a small, teardrop-shaped island with a laid-back lifestyle. It’s ideal for retirees who love outdoor activities like diving, snorkeling and island hopping.


  • Top-notch restaurants
  • Active small expat and digital nomad community


  • Within the typhoon belt
  • Occasional water shortages during summer

7. Puerto Princesa, Palawan

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It may not be as touristy as El Nido or Coron but it offers serenity and lower cost of living compared to Manila — a perfect blend of beach and urban life.


  • Zero traffic
  • Nearby islands with white sand beaches


  • Sand isn’t as white as other famous Palawan spots
  • Less advanced healthcare facilities

You may also like: Private island in Palawan wins global award as one of world’s best

6. Panglao Island, Bohol

Top 10 beach destinations in the Philippines for retirees
The charm of a small tropical town and the locals’ warm hospitality, combined with the pristine white sand beaches, will lure you to this paradise – one of the best beaches for retirees.

Just 15 to 20 minutes away from Tagbilaran City, it’s a perfect choice for retirees seeking a slower pace of life and an affordable cost of living.


  • Has its own airport
  • One of the safest places to live in the Philippines with very low crime rate


  • Crowded during summer

5. La Union

Top 10 beach destinations in the Philippines for retirees
Known as the “Surfing Capital of the North,” La Union offers more than just waves but also breathtaking sunsets and excellent restaurants. From organic produce markets to friendly locals, it’s an ideal place to retire.


  • Minimal cost of living
  • Laid-back community


  • Tourist-heavy areas can get crowded
  • Heavy traffic during peak season
  • Non-white sand

4. Bantayan Island, Cebu

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Bantayan, home to some renowned Filipino artists and known as the jewel in Cebu’s crown, promises aquamarine waters and a peaceful retirement. Though it’s quickly gaining popularity, this tiny island still keeps its charm.


  • Small population
  • Serene environment


  • Quality healthcare facilities are located in Cebu City

3. San Antonio, Zambales

Top 10 beach destinations in the Philippines for retirees
With the ocean in front of you, mountain ranges behind you and lush forests nearby, San Antonio is the perfect nature retreat for retirees. Its proximity to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) ensures all amenities are within a few minutes’ drive.


  • Good hospitals are just a 30-minute drive from Subic
  • Home to many expats


  • Expensive electricity
  • Typhoon-prone area

2. Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro

Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
A tropical paradise known for its white sand beaches, vibrant marine life and lush mountains, this retirement haven offers outdoor activities like snorkeling, diving, swimming, hiking and sailing. 


  • Low cost of living
  • Manila is just 3 to 4 hours away by ferry and land
  • Active expat community


White Beach is crowded almost all-year round

1. Dumaguete City

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“The City of Gentle People” clinched the top spot for the best beaches for retirees, given its excellent healthcare, vibrant community and stunning beaches.

As one of the top retirement destinations in the Philippines, Dumaguete offers the freshest seafood. It provides a high quality of life and offers numerous nature activities. Forbes highlighted it as one of the best spots for beachfront living on a budget.


  • Very low cost of living
  • Warm and sunny weather almost all-year round


  • Low local wages (irrelevant for retirees)

As the Philippines is becoming a top retirement destination in Southeast Asia, the Philippine Retirement Authority offers a competitive retirement program for balikbayans and foreign nationals and a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV). 

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