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Subic Bay, Philippines


10 Best Places to Live on the Coast in Philippines

By Betsy Burlingame

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: If you're planning to settle on the coast, here are the 10 best places to live on the coast in Philippines.

Boracay

Boracay, is a small island paradise located in the Western Visayas region, boasting a population of around 32,000 residents. It is famous for its pristine white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. The island is approximately 315 kilometers south of Manila, the country's capital, and is accessible via a short flight or a combination of bus and ferry rides. Public transportation on the island mainly consists of tricycles and e-jeepneys, making it easy for tourists and locals to navigate the area. The climate in Boracay is tropical, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 32°C (77°F to 90°F) throughout the year. The island offers a wide variety of recreational activities, including water sports such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and kiteboarding. Popular spots for these activities include White Beach, Bulabog Beach, and Puka Shell Beach. Boracay is also home to the Fairways and Bluewater Golf Club, a world-class golf course that attracts golf enthusiasts from around the globe. Boracay is a popular tourist destination, attracting over a million visitors annually before the pandemic. Rental properties are abundant on the island, with a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water averaging around PHP 30,000 to PHP 50,000 per month (€520 to €870, or $610 to $1,020), while a 3-bedroom unit can range from PHP 60,000 to PHP 100,000 (€1,040 to €1,740, or $1,220 to $2,040). For grocery shopping, residents and tourists can visit the CityMall Boracay, which houses a supermarket and various retail stores. Smaller grocery stores and local markets are also scattered throughout the island, offering fresh produce and seafood. People love living in Boracay for its laid-back atmosphere, stunning natural beauty, and friendly community. The island's diverse range of activities and attractions, combined with its world-renowned beaches, make it an ideal place for both relaxation and adventure.

Local Recommendations:

Indulge in the culinary delights of Boracay, with a visit to the highly acclaimed Dos Mestizos, where you'll savor authentic Spanish-Filipino cuisine in a cozy, rustic setting. For a taste of the sea, head to D'Talipapa, a bustling seafood market where you can handpick your catch of the day and have it cooked to perfection at one of the surrounding eateries. For a more upscale dining experience, Rima at Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa offers a romantic treetop setting and a mouthwatering Mediterranean menu. When it comes to accommodations, the luxurious Discovery Shores Boracay is a favorite among travelers, boasting a stunning beachfront location, world-class amenities, and exceptional service. For a more intimate stay, consider the charming Boracay Beach Club, a boutique hotel nestled in the heart of the island's vibrant nightlife scene.

Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera, is a coastal town known for its stunning beaches and vibrant marine life. Located on the northern coast of Mindoro Island, it boasts a mix of white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a rugged coastline that attracts both tourists and locals alike. With a population of around 36,000, Puerto Galera is situated approximately 130 kilometers south of Manila, the country's capital. Public transportation is available in the form of jeepneys, tricycles, and boats, making it easy to explore the area and its surroundings. The climate in Puerto Galera is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 25°C to 31°C (77°F to 88°F) throughout the year. This warm weather makes it an ideal destination for various recreational activities, such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and island hopping. Some popular spots for these activities include Sabang Beach, White Beach, and the Tamaraw Waterfalls. Puerto Galera is a popular tourist destination, especially during the peak season from November to May. However, it still maintains a laid-back atmosphere that many visitors find appealing. Rental properties are available in the area, with a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water costing around PHP 20,000 to PHP 30,000 per month (approximately €340 to €510 or $400 to $600). A modern 3-bedroom apartment would cost around PHP 30,000 to PHP 40,000 per month (approximately €510 to €680 or $600 to $800). For grocery shopping, residents can visit local markets, such as the Puerto Galera Public Market, or small convenience stores like Sari-Sari stores. There are no large chain supermarkets in the area, but the local markets and stores provide a wide variety of fresh produce and other essentials. People enjoy living in Puerto Galera for its natural beauty, relaxed atmosphere, and friendly community. The abundance of outdoor activities and the town's proximity to larger cities like Manila make it an attractive place to live for both locals and expats.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Puerto Galera at the top-notch restaurants that this tropical paradise has to offer. Start your culinary journey at The Verandah, a charming restaurant nestled within the Out of the Blue Resort, where you can indulge in a fusion of Filipino and international dishes while enjoying the stunning view of the bay. For a more laid-back dining experience, head to Luca's Cucina Italiana & Lodge, a cozy spot offering authentic Italian cuisine, including wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta. Don't miss out on the fresh seafood at Hemingway's Bistrot, a beachfront restaurant that serves up mouthwatering dishes with a side of breathtaking ocean views. When it comes to accommodation, the Infinity Resort is a top choice for travelers seeking luxury and relaxation. This boutique resort boasts spacious suites, a stunning infinity pool, and a rejuvenating spa. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Coco Beach Island Resort, a charming eco-friendly property that offers a range of accommodations, from traditional bamboo bungalows to hilltop suites, all surrounded by lush tropical gardens.

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El Nido

El Nido, is a picturesque coastal town located in the province of Palawan. Known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and dramatic limestone cliffs, El Nido is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. The town has a population of approximately 45,000 and is situated about 420 kilometers southwest of Manila, the country's capital. Public transportation is available in the form of tricycles, jeepneys, and vans, making it easy to explore the area. The climate in El Nido is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 24°C to 31°C (75°F to 88°F). The area is known for its outdoor recreational activities, such as island hopping, snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking. Some of the popular tourist spots include the Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, and Nacpan Beach. El Nido is quite touristy, especially during the peak season from November to May. However, it still maintains its charm and natural beauty, attracting visitors from all over the world. Rental properties are available in the area, with a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water costing around 25,000 PHP (approximately 450 EUR or 530 USD) per month, while a 3-bedroom apartment can cost around 35,000 PHP (approximately 630 EUR or 740 USD) per month. For grocery shopping, residents can visit local markets, such as the El Nido Public Market, or small stores like LBC and Palawan Pawnshop. There are no large chain stores in the area, but the local markets and stores provide a wide variety of fresh produce and other necessities. People enjoy living in El Nido for its laid-back atmosphere, friendly community, and breathtaking natural surroundings. The town offers a perfect balance between modern amenities and a serene, island lifestyle, making it an ideal place for those seeking a peaceful and picturesque environment.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of El Nido, by indulging in mouthwatering dishes at Trattoria Altrove, a cozy Italian restaurant known for its brick-oven pizzas and homemade pasta. For a taste of local cuisine, head to Tambok's El Nido, where you can savor traditional Filipino dishes like adobo and sinigang. Don't miss out on the fresh seafood at The Beach Shack, a laid-back beachfront eatery offering stunning views of the sunset. After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Cauayan Island Resort, an eco-friendly paradise nestled in a private cove. Alternatively, experience the charm of El Nido's boutique hotels by staying at the chic and stylish Sea Cocoon Hotel, located in the heart of town.

Coron

Coron, is a breathtaking coastal town located in the province of Palawan, known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and stunning limestone cliffs. The town has a population of approximately 52,000 people and is situated about 300 kilometers southwest of Manila, the country's capital. The public transportation in Coron mainly consists of tricycles, jeepneys, and boats, which are used to navigate the surrounding islands and beaches. The climate in Coron is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 24°C to 31°C (75°F to 88°F). The area is famous for its diverse recreational activities, including island hopping, scuba diving, snorkeling, and hiking. Some of the popular tourist spots in Coron are Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon, and Malcapuya Island. Coron is a well-known tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world who come to experience its natural beauty and vibrant marine life. Rental properties in Coron vary in price, but a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water can cost around PHP 20,000 to 30,000 per month (approximately €340 to €510 or $400 to $600). A modern 3-bedroom apartment can cost around PHP 30,000 to 40,000 per month (approximately €510 to €680 or $600 to $800). For grocery shopping, residents can visit local markets, such as Coron Public Market, or small stores like Lualhati Grocery Store and Evergreen Store. People love living in Coron, Philippines, because of its laid-back atmosphere, friendly locals, and the opportunity to be surrounded by nature's beauty. The town offers a perfect balance of relaxation and adventure, making it an ideal place for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Coron at Kawayanan Grill, where you can indulge in a variety of grilled seafood and meat dishes, all served in a cozy, bamboo-themed setting. For a unique dining experience, head to La Sirenetta Seafood Restaurant & Bar, perched on stilts above the water, offering stunning views and a mouthwatering selection of fresh seafood. Don't miss out on the local favorite, Lobster King, where you can feast on succulent lobster dishes and other Filipino delicacies. After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Two Seasons Coron Bayside Hotel, boasting modern amenities and picturesque views of Coron Bay. For a more intimate stay, consider the charming Coron Soleil Garden Resort, nestled amidst lush greenery and featuring a serene pool area for ultimate relaxation.

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Siargao

Siargao, is a stunning island located in the province of Surigao del Norte, with a population of approximately 200,000. Known for its pristine white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush greenery, Siargao is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. The island is about 800 kilometers southeast of Manila, the country's capital, and is accessible by air and sea. The coastline of Siargao is a mix of sandy beaches and rugged cliffs, offering a variety of waterfront experiences for visitors. The island's climate is tropical, with temperatures ranging from 22°C to 32°C (72°F to 90°F) throughout the year. Siargao is famous for its world-class surfing spots, particularly Cloud 9, which attracts surfers from all over the globe. Other recreational activities include island hopping, snorkeling, diving, and exploring the numerous natural attractions such as Magpupungko Rock Pools, Sugba Lagoon, and Sohoton Cove. While Siargao has become increasingly popular among tourists, it still maintains its laid-back, island vibe. There are no large chain stores on the island, but local markets and small shops provide all the necessary groceries and supplies for residents and visitors. For accommodations, rental properties are available, with a modern 2-bedroom near the water costing around PHP 20,000-30,000 (€340-510 or $400-600) per month, and a modern 3-bedroom ranging from PHP 30,000-50,000 (€510-850 or $600-1,000) per month. People love living in Siargao because of its natural beauty, friendly locals, and relaxed atmosphere. The island offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, allowing residents to enjoy a simpler, more peaceful existence surrounded by breathtaking scenery and endless opportunities for outdoor adventures.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Siargao at the top-notch Harana Surf Resort, where you can indulge in mouthwatering Filipino cuisine with a modern twist. For a more laid-back dining experience, head to the rustic Kermit Siargao, famous for its delicious homemade pasta and wood-fired pizzas. Don't miss out on the island's freshest seafood at Mama's Grill, a local favorite for its grilled delights. After a day of surfing and island hopping, unwind at the luxurious Nay Palad Hideaway, an all-inclusive resort nestled between lush mangroves and pristine white sands. For a more budget-friendly option, check out the charming Bravo Beach Resort, boasting cozy rooms and a vibrant beach bar perfect for socializing with fellow travelers.

San Juan

San Juan, is a coastal municipality located in the province of La Union, with a population of approximately 40,000 people. It is situated about 270 kilometers north of Manila, the country's capital, and is easily accessible through public transportation such as buses and jeepneys. The climate in San Juan is tropical, with an average temperature of around 27°C (80°F) throughout the year. The waterfront of San Juan is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists. One of the most famous beaches in the area is Urbiztondo Beach, which is a well-known surfing spot in the Philippines. Other recreational activities in San Juan include swimming, snorkeling, and beach volleyball. There are also several parks and resorts in the area, such as the Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa, where visitors can relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings. San Juan is a moderately touristy destination, attracting visitors mainly for its beaches and surfing opportunities. Rental properties in the area can vary, but a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water may cost around PHP 20,000-25,000 (€340-425 or $400-500) per month, while a 3-bedroom apartment may cost around PHP 30,000-35,000 (€510-600 or $600-700) per month. For grocery shopping, residents of San Juan can visit local markets, such as the San Juan Public Market, as well as smaller convenience stores and sari-sari stores. There are also larger supermarkets in nearby cities, such as the CSI Supermarket in San Fernando City, which is about 8 kilometers away. People enjoy living in San Juan, Philippines, because of its laid-back atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and friendly community. The town offers a perfect balance between modern amenities and a relaxed, coastal lifestyle, making it an ideal place for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of San Juan with a visit to these top-notch dining spots. Start your culinary journey at Tagpuan, a local favorite known for its delicious Filipino comfort food, such as bagnet, sisig, and rice bowls. For a taste of the sea, head to Surf Shack, where you can indulge in mouthwatering seafood dishes, wood-fired pizzas, and ice-cold beers in a laid-back, surf-inspired atmosphere. Finally, satisfy your sweet tooth at El Union Coffee, a cozy café offering delectable pastries and expertly crafted coffee creations. After a day of feasting, retreat to the luxurious Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa, where you can unwind in stylish accommodations and enjoy amenities like a beachfront pool and rejuvenating spa treatments. For a more budget-friendly option, consider Flotsam and Jetsam Artist Beach Hostel, a vibrant and artsy lodging that offers a unique and social experience for travelers.

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Moalboal

Moalboal, is a small coastal town located on the southwestern side of Cebu Island, with a population of approximately 32,000 people. It is situated about 89 kilometers from Cebu City, the island's capital, and can be reached via public transportation such as buses and vans. The town boasts a stunning coastline with beautiful white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and vibrant marine life, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. The climate in Moalboal is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 24°C to 32°C (75°F to 90°F) throughout the year. Recreational activities in Moalboal are primarily centered around its natural attractions, with scuba diving, snorkeling, and island hopping being some of the most popular activities. The town is particularly famous for its dive spots, such as Pescador Island and Panagsama Beach, where visitors can witness the famous sardine run and encounter sea turtles. Other attractions include the Kawasan Falls and the nearby Osmena Peak, which offer opportunities for hiking and canyoneering. Moalboal has a laid-back, tourist-friendly atmosphere, with a variety of accommodations, restaurants, and bars catering to different budgets and preferences. Rental properties near the water can vary, but a modern 2-bedroom apartment may cost around PHP 20,000 to 30,000 (€340 to €510 or $400 to $600) per month, while a 3-bedroom house may range from PHP 30,000 to 50,000 (€510 to €850 or $600 to $1,000) per month. For grocery shopping, residents can visit local markets such as the Moalboal Public Market or small stores like Prince Warehouse Club and Gaisano Grand Mall Moalboal. These establishments offer a variety of fresh produce, meats, and other household necessities. People enjoy living in Moalboal for its relaxed atmosphere, natural beauty, and friendly community. The town's proximity to Cebu City also provides access to urban amenities while maintaining a peaceful, coastal lifestyle. The abundance of outdoor activities and the town's reputation as a diving hotspot make Moalboal an attractive destination for those who love to explore and appreciate nature.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of the local cuisine, head to Lantaw Native Restaurant, where you can enjoy fresh seafood dishes and traditional Filipino fare with a stunning view of the ocean. If you're craving Italian, Trattoria Altrov'é is a must-visit, offering delicious homemade pasta and wood-fired pizzas in a cozy atmosphere. For a more casual dining experience, check out The French Coffee Shop, which serves up mouthwatering pastries, sandwiches, and coffee. After a day of exploring Moalboal, unwind at the luxurious Dolphin House Resort, boasting spacious rooms, a private beach, and a dive center. Alternatively, opt for the charming Turtle Bay Dive Resort, which offers comfortable accommodations, a beautiful pool, and easy access to the area's best dive spots.

Dumaguete

Dumaguete, Philippines, is a charming coastal city located in the province of Negros Oriental. Known for its beautiful beaches and stunning waterfront, the city boasts a population of approximately 130,000 residents. Dumaguete is situated about 640 kilometers southeast of Manila, the country's capital, and is easily accessible by air and sea. Public transportation within the city is primarily through tricycles, which are a popular and affordable means of getting around. The climate in Dumaguete is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 25 to 32 degrees Celsius (77 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit). This warm weather makes it an ideal destination for various recreational activities, such as swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Some popular spots for these activities include Apo Island, Siquijor Island, and the nearby Dauin Marine Sanctuary. While there are no golf clubs within the city, there are several parks, such as Quezon Park and Rizal Boulevard, where locals and tourists can enjoy leisurely strolls and picnics. Dumaguete is a moderately touristy city, attracting visitors with its rich history, vibrant culture, and natural beauty. The city is home to several universities, including the prestigious Silliman University, which has a diverse international community. Rental properties in Dumaguete vary in price, with a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water costing around PHP 20,000 to 30,000 (€340 to €510 or $400 to $600) per month, while a 3-bedroom apartment may cost between PHP 30,000 to 40,000 (€510 to €680 or $600 to $800) per month. For grocery shopping, residents have several options, including big chain stores like Robinsons Supermarket and Lee Plaza, as well as smaller local markets such as the Dumaguete Public Market. People enjoy living in Dumaguete for its laid-back atmosphere, friendly locals, and relatively low cost of living. The city's natural beauty, combined with its rich cultural heritage and modern amenities, make it an attractive destination for both tourists and long-term residents.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Dumaguete at Lab-as Seafood Restaurant, a local favorite known for its fresh seafood dishes and stunning ocean views. For a taste of the city's vibrant food scene, head to Gabby's Bistro, where you'll find an eclectic mix of Filipino and international cuisine in a quirky, artsy setting. Don't miss out on the famous Dumaguete silvanas at Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries, a must-try dessert that will leave you craving for more. After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Atmosphere Resorts & Spa, an eco-friendly retreat nestled amidst lush gardens and a private beach. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the charming Honeycomb Tourist Inn, praised for its warm hospitality and convenient location.

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Malapascua

Malapascua, is a small island located in the Visayan Sea, approximately 6.8 kilometers northeast of Cebu Island. Known for its pristine white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, Malapascua is a popular destination for tourists seeking a tranquil and picturesque getaway. The island's coastline is characterized by a mix of sandy beaches and rugged cliffs, offering a variety of scenic views for visitors to enjoy. The population of Malapascua is estimated to be around 4,000 residents, with the nearest major city being Cebu City, which is about 120 kilometers away. The climate in Malapascua is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 24°C to 32°C (75°F to 90°F) throughout the year. The island is particularly famous for its diving spots, such as Monad Shoal, where divers can encounter thresher sharks, and Gato Island, which is home to a variety of marine life, including sea snakes and nudibranchs. Other recreational activities include snorkeling, island hopping, and beachcombing. Malapascua is a relatively touristy destination, especially during the peak season from December to April. However, it still maintains a laid-back atmosphere compared to other popular tourist spots in the Philippines. Rental properties on the island can vary, with modern 2-bedroom units near the water costing around PHP 20,000 to PHP 30,000 per month (approximately €340 to €510 or $400 to $600), while 3-bedroom units can range from PHP 30,000 to PHP 50,000 per month (approximately €510 to €850 or $600 to $1,000). For grocery shopping, residents and visitors can find local markets and small stores on the island, such as Ging-Ging's Store & Restaurant, which offers a variety of local and imported products. People enjoy living in Malapascua for its serene environment, friendly locals, and the opportunity to be surrounded by stunning natural beauty. The island's idyllic setting and abundance of recreational activities make it an attractive destination for both tourists and those seeking a peaceful place to call home.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of paradise, head to Malapascua, where you'll find a delightful array of dining options. Start your culinary journey at Angelina Beach Pizzeria Ristorante, where you can indulge in authentic Italian cuisine, including wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta, all while enjoying a stunning beachfront view. For a more local experience, visit Ging-Ging's Restaurant & Flower Garden, a charming eatery offering a variety of Filipino and international dishes, as well as a beautiful garden setting. Finally, don't miss out on the fresh seafood at La Isla Bonita, where you can savor the catch of the day while watching the sun set over the ocean. After a day of feasting, retreat to one of Malapascua's top-rated hotels, such as the luxurious Tepanee Beach Resort, which boasts private beach access and cozy, well-appointed cottages. Alternatively, opt for the charming and budget-friendly Malapascua Garden Resort, where you'll find comfortable accommodations and a serene atmosphere, perfect for unwinding after a day of island exploration.

SUBIC BAY is a popular tourist destination located about 100 kilometers northwest of Manila. The population is around 250,000 people and the climate is tropical with temperatures ranging from 21-32 degrees Celsius. Public transportation is available in the form of buses, jeepneys, and tricycles. There are several international schools in the area and the cost of living is relatively low, with the average rent for a two bedroom near the water being around 10,000 PHP (200 EUR/220 USD) and a three bedroom being around 15,000 PHP (300 EUR/330 USD). Tourists flock to SUBIC BAY in the summer for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. Popular bars and restaurants include The Lighthouse Bar & Grill, which serves American cuisine, and the Subic Bay Yacht Club, which serves a variety of international dishes. For grocery shopping, there are several big chain stores such as SM Supermarket and Rustan's Supermarket, as well as smaller stores like the Subic Bay Shopping Center. People enjoy living in SUBIC BAY for its laid-back atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and friendly locals.

Local Recommendations:

When visiting Subic Bay, Philippines, there are plenty of delicious restaurants to choose from. For a unique dining experience, try the popular seafood restaurant, The Lighthouse. Here, you can enjoy a variety of fresh seafood dishes, as well as a stunning view of the bay. Another great option is the Subic Bay Yacht Club, which offers a variety of international dishes, as well as a great selection of wines. For a more casual atmosphere, head to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, where you can find a variety of local restaurants serving up delicious Filipino cuisine. When it comes to accommodation, the Subic Bay Freeport Zone is home to a number of great hotels. The Subic Bay Venezia Hotel is a great choice, offering luxurious rooms and suites, as well as a variety of amenities. For a more budget-friendly option, the Subic Bay Travelers Inn is a great choice, offering comfortable rooms and a convenient location. No matter what your budget is, you're sure to find a great place to stay in Subic Bay.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

Subic Bay, Philippines

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