Best Sailing Destination In The Philippines

Best Sailing Destination In The Philippines | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

August 30, 2022

There are plenty of exciting places to see when sailing in the world. In fact, there are arguments for what is the best sailing destination in the Philippines.

With over 7,600 islands to choose from, the Philippines has a lot to offer. So what is the best sailing location in the Philippines?

Some of the most appealing sailing destinations to check out here would be Boracay, Puerto Galera, Palawan and Cebu City. Other locations include Bohol and Subic Bay. These locations are a little more developed for sailing and to accommodate sailors.

While there are other areas to look into, they might not be developed the same or as friendly to sailors. There have been occasional cities that do not have docks to tie to or allow you to take on fuel.

According to experienced sailors, they will tell you that you should always have a plan and a route to follow so that you are accommodated throughout your travels. Blindly heading into an unknown area is not going to be in your best interest.


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Nine Places to Sail in the Philippines

Depending on how adventurous you plan to be, the Philippines has a lot of opportunities for sailing. Since there are over 7,600 islands, you will never run out of options to explore.


Boracay is one of the most tourist friendly places in the Philippines. It offers plenty of white, sandy beaches and they welcome people from all over.

The clear, blue water is another reason so many people flock here. It offers one of the most memorable sailing experiences.

Sailing is a feature that some tourists love to do here, with a handful of these simply being used as a party boat. However, there are areas to dock your own boat or ride on the coast to enjoy the scenery.

Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera, or Port of the Galleons, is one of the most beautiful regions of the Philippines. It offers some of the best scuba diving spots you could possibly imagine, as well as being friendly to tourists.

You can find this spot on the island of Mindoro, which also features breathtaking beaches. There are plenty of things to do if you decide to explore this area with or without your sailboat.

With steady breezes, it is easy to sail and to navigate. This would be an excellent stop along the way to other quality destinations in the Philippines.


Palawan is arguably one of the more popular destinations to see in the Philippines. This island is grouped together by three smaller islands known as Puerto Princesa, El Nido, and Coron.

Each one has their own perks, with plenty of sandy beaches and even smaller islands to explore through that are not named. Scuba diving is also popular, especially since the water is so clear.

For sailing, you can explore plenty of areas without much concern. If your boat is able to go on shore, you will have plenty of opportunity to do so here.

Cebu City

One of the busiest cities in the Philippines is Cebu City. It is one of the more modern areas there, with just about as much as you would expect from a busy city.

There is a lot of traffic in the city, as well as saling. There are plenty of people on their boats here, so it might be worth a stop for a day or two.

Since it is easy to navigate here on your sailboat, it should not be a problem to hang out. There is a Cebu Yacht Club where you can park your boat so you can explore the city.


If you are leaving Cebu City, you need to visit Bohol which is south east from there. They have some of the most unusual formations on land, especially the Chocolate Hills.

These hills turn brown in the summer months, while everything else remains green. In addition, you cannot miss the beautiful coral reefs which are home to an extraordinary amount of sea life.

With a variety of different islands and the chance to see plenty of dolphins, sailing through the area is a must for the Philippines. Plenty of boats travel through here, as well as commercial cruises.

Subic Bay

Subic Bay is a very important area to the Philippines and sits on the west coast island of Luzon. This last decade, the U.S. Navy has partnered with the area to use it as a landing port in conjunction with the Philippine Navy.

So not only do you get to see military men and women here conducting training and everyday living, but you can see more of what the Philippines has to offer. This city has a little bit of everything you could possibly imagine.

For sailing, they offer the Subic Sailing Club and even teach classes on sailing. You can even rent a boat if you happen to be a tourist and want to try out sailing.

Island Of Malapascua

Malapascua is located on the north east section above Cebu Island. If you are looking for a nice area to relax, you can do so here since it is just a five mile long island.

For divers, this area is famous for its clear waters and thresher shark diving excursions. These sharks have a unique 90 degree tail that can whip in an instant., but are usually docile and even on the endangered species list.

When sailing through, you have an opportunity to park along the coast for a nice picnic and enjoy the views. In addition, you have the opportunity to see some rare sharks.

This area is usually a quiet spot unless you happen to travel during a local fiesta. If you happen to visit during a local festival, check out the local area to get in on some parades and good food.

Romblon Island

Romblon Island is composed of 17 smaller islands in addition to other popular ones in the Visayas known as Tablas, Sibuyan and Romblon. It has one of the richest sources of marble in the world.

For sailing, it offers some of the best environments you could hope for in the Philippines. You can park your boat at a nice location, known as the Romblon Yacht Club.

While there are times where they host boat races, most of the time the area is quiet for tourists to travel through. This location also has the famous Bonnon beach, which is an utterly stunning location to get out of your boat to explore.

Hamilo Cove

Hamilo Cove boasts one of the best sailing spots for tourists. There are 13 coves within this coast, which are all unique with breathtaking views and scenery.

The Papaya Yacht Charters & Services is one of only three hauling services in the country. They have basic services that you would expect at any dock, but more advanced than others in the Philippines. The yard here is gated and has security monitoring the facility.

Furthermore, Hamilo Cove has plenty to explore throughout the bay and other nearby coves. Some of the area has private property, so make sure you check before tying off somewhere or leaving the boat unattended.

Things to Avoid When Traveling Through the Philippines

The two major issues of traveling through the Philippines are only going through during the daylight hours and the typhoons. Not everything is up to code when traveling at night, which could be attributed to other countries' standards and typhoons are some cause for concern.

Daylight Travel Only

When exploring a new area, it makes the most sense to travel heavily during the day. This way you have plenty of light and a handful of others doing the same so you could contact someone in the event an emergency situation occurs.

There are roughly 110 million people in the Philippines and quite a handful of them like to fish. They often use boats called bangkas, which are trimarans with motors and are roughty 10 to 40 feet long.

The issue with these boats is the lack of proper lighting on them or none at all. The color coding is not entirely the same as it is in the states, like port and starboard being red and green respectively.

This can make situations dangerous to travel at night, especially since other sailors are camouflaged in the dark with poor lighting. In addition, you will not be able to see fishing traps or lines very efficiently.

Being caught within fishing lines or traps is not worth the risk while traveling at night. These will be difficult to see at night, especially since they are not marked.

Harsh Weather

Paying attention to the weather is one of the biggest challenges while sailing. If you are navigating through a new area, you need to be familiar with weather patterns so you can accommodate.

During the rainy seasons, this allows for harsher conditions to develop into typhoons. In the U.S these are referred to as Hurricanes. Either way you decide to name it, you need to be prepared.

The Philippines are a revolving door for typhoons throughout the rainy season. They average roughly 20 a year during this time period, with some being heavy tropical storms.

Some years they only average around 12, but you never want to take that for granted. Always check the weather and potentially dangerous storms that are being developed.

Items to Consider When Traveling Through the Philippines

When sailing anywhere, you need to have essentials on board to keep you safe and secure. There are going to be places in the Philippines that do not have adequate services to fill up water, fuel, and power for your boat, so it is important to plan accordingly.

Clothes for Weather

The Philippines is a hot and humid environment, with cool nights and some rainy months out of the year. Depending on when you are sailing through here, it would be wise to pack clothes that are best in this type of environment.

Loose or baggy clothing is great for airflow, in addition to breathable material. You also might want to consider something with sleeves if you are out in the sun for long periods of time.

Having a nice hat or something to protect your face and neck from the sun is also crucial. The sun's rays are not going to be forgiving here.

In addition to the rainy seasons, you should plan on having weather gear to combat this. A heavy duty, but breathable rain jacket could be key to staying dry.

Reusable Water Bottle

It would not hurt to have extra water stored on your sailboat. Some docks in the Philippines do not have potable water, so it is up to you to find a way to fill your tank.

If you cannot fill your tank, you need to consider purchasing large gallons of water in town or be cautious of how much you are using. For drinking, you should consider having a reusable water bottle.

Whenever you decide to go explore, water is going to be the first of your necessities to bring along with you. Some places have a ban on plastic, so be sure to purchase one that is heavy duty or free from plastic.

Money Belt

Most individuals might pass on this one, but it can be a peace of mind when traveling. Regardless if you use it here or other countries, a money belt can help keep your money and cards safe while on your body.

You wear it just like a belt, but it will not fall off of you or you risk leaving your wallet somewhere. In addition, it is more secure on your body than just having your wallet in your pocket.

As with every place you go to visit, there is a slight chance that someone could attempt to pick your pocket if you are a tourist. Tourists usually stick out in a crowd, unfortunately, and that makes them a target for petty theft. If there is nothing to pick, then the chance is essentially zero for them to steal anything.

Waterproof Backpack

Exploring the Philippines means there is going to water wherever you go, especially when you are sailing. With the humidity and chance for rain during certain seasons, you might want to consider carrying a backpack that you can store your goods in without compromising what is inside.

You want to make sure it is a high quality backpack that you can store plenty of items in and is waterproof. Some are equipped with a password lock if you decide to leave it out in the open for others to see.

Additional Gas Containers

While this one is not the best option in the world, some sailors like to have additional gas containers on board in case of emergencies. Since fueling might be complicated in some areas of the Philippines, having a few extra gallons worth might be enough to get you to the next destination.

First Aid Kit

For any travel destination, a first aid kit is crucial to helping out your situation quickly. No matter where you travel, this is going to be an item you need regardless. Make sure it is properly stocked before heading to new places such as the Philippines.

Best Sailing Destination In The Philippines
Daniel Wade

Daniel Wade

I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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