Trotting on Tropical Paradise: Five Beach Camps to Try in the Philippines

For tropical countries all over the world, the beach has always been viewed as a source of respite—a relaxing haven of all sorts.  

The Philippines, a country of over seven thousand islands, is no stranger to the tropical and beach lifestyle. Even more so, the country is peppered with a wide range of beaches— each of them is distinct from one another. From the picturesque white sand coastlines to the peaceful hidden coves, the Philippines has a wealth of tropical destinations that would make an idyllic vacation or aesthetic postcard to send back home. With all these taken into consideration, it would be easy to see why a lot of travelers and tourists would want more out of their stay so much that they wish for a more immersive experience. In this regard, tourists and travelers can opt to rough it out by camping on the beachfront underneath the blanket of stars and with the sound of waves crashing to the shore as their company.

Unfortunately, camping out is not exactly everyone’s first choice—particularly because it involves doing away with some conveniences that most of us are already used to. Camping out implies a certain degree of resourcefulness and creativity. As a result, some travelers might see camping as an unnecessary and cumbersome alternative to what otherwise would have been a comfortable and luxurious vacation.

Enter the world of glamping. Literally the combined words “glamour” and “camping”, glamping is the lush alternative to camping for travelers who wish to experience camping without necessarily roughing it. It has become an increasingly popular option for travelers who are not the typical outdoorsy type but do not wish to rack up on expensive hotel and accommodation fees. The main difference between camping and glamping is that the latter is pretty much like camping in a well-furnished hotel room sans the hefty accommodation price tag. However, how your glampsites are fashioned depends on the holiday you choose, but the essence of it all is that you are still at one with nature without sacrificing any of the modern conveniences you have grown accustomed to. Essentially, it is an entirely luxurious way to camp.

GLAMPING VS CAMPING

Each experience is different for everyone and what you enjoy is typically dependent on the kind of traveler you are. To help you weigh your options, here is a list of advantages for each accommodation option:

GLAMPING

One of glamping’s main draws is convenience. Imagine walking up to your destination to see a pitched tent that looks nothing out of the ordinary, but when you walk inside you find yourself amidst a space that is fully-equipped to meet your every need. Typically, glamping tents are customized to be accommodating and comfortable inside. In this regard, you can expect to have a full-sized bed and even a mini living room inside. More importantly, meals will be readily available at the glampsite in-house kitchen or restaurant. The only possible downside to glamping is that it tends to diminish the very essence of camping which is to disconnect and unplug. However, glamping is the perfect alternative for finicky travelers who wish to ease into the idea of roughing it outdoors.

CAMPING

The main draw of camping is allowing travelers to unplug and immerse themselves in nature. In this regard, travelers can go out into the wild without having to worry about the barrage of notifications on their phone as most campsites do not come with Wi-Fi access (and at times, it can be quite difficult to get any cell reception). However, camping constrains you to be resourceful and creative with what is available. In this regard, you might be compelled to eat food that is pre-cooked or easy to cook. Similarly, you are doing away with conveniences such as readily available potable water. Unless your campsite is near a stream, having enough water to last you throughout your camping trip might be a challenge. In this regard, getting dirty and staying dirty while camping might be a possibility. Lastly, camping requires a degree of determination from its participants seeing as you will have to pitch your own tent, sleep on a sleeping bag and carry all of your own gear in and out of the campsite.

BEST BEACH CAMPS IN THE PHILIPPINES

Traditional Beach Camping

GENERAL NAKAR (Quezon Province)

General Nakar may take approximately six hours to reach by car, but the trip is incredibly worth it. The municipality lies largely untouched by development which means there are no fast-food chains or any other commercial establishment in town save for the few roadside eateries and sari-sari stores. This charming little town is ringed by the Sierra Madre range which includes Mount Daritan making General Nakar a popular choice for hikers while its shores open up to the Polillo Strait which then flows directly into the Pacific Ocean. In sum, General Nakar is perfect for adventurers who wish to explore untamed landscapes of lush woodlands, exciting hiking trails, majestic coastal areas, and beautiful waterfalls.

PANINAP BEACH (Tignoan, Real Quezon)

Paninap Beach offers travelers a no-frills and no fuss kind of accommodation. While the beach has its fair share of cottages where you can stay, you are free to pitch your tents as well. The beach, albeit murky, is clean and may be perfect for surfing depending on the season. One of the best things about Paninap is the gorgeous images you can witness during sunsets and sunrises.

LIW-LIWA BEACH (Zambales, San Felipe)  

The beach in Liw-Liwa Zambales is unlike any other you have been to. Apart from the dust-colored shore that seemingly stretches on and on and the pine-like agoho trees that line it, the beach remains uncannily peaceful despite the throng of people during the summer season. The beach’s quiet beauty contributes to its overall magical allure which makes it the perfect place for beach camping.

Luxury Camping/Glamping

Bluewater (Sumilon Island, Cebu)

To get to Sumilon Island, you would need to travel all the way to Oslob and cross the ocean by boat. However, while the logistics in getting to the island might seem exigent, it is nonetheless rewarding. The Bluewater Resort occupies the entirety of Sumilon Island which means you have an entire island to explore. Apart from the newly installed glampsite, the island also has its own rooms and suites for rent. Day activities include swimming in the ocean, trail hiking around the island and many more. And while a trip to this island might be pricey, the experience will be worth the money you spend.

The Glamp (Zambales)

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If you wish to glamp without having to travel too far, you might want to consider The Glamp Zambales which is located in Liwa-Liwa, San Felipe. Each glamping tent comes equipped with air-conditioners and their common bathrooms are clean and well-maintained. In The Glamp, guests are made to feel right at home by the accommodating, warm and friendly staff as well as their unique packages (which include a s’mores kit to enjoy as well as a complimentary foot massage service!)

Whether you are glamping or camping, heading out to the beach is always an opportunity to get in touch with nature. The next time you plan out your camping or glamping trip, consider these camp and glampsites and you might just embark on a memorable travel experience.

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