A short 3-hour trip headed south from Manila's capital will take you to the municipality of Calatagan, Batangas. Normally not known as a big tourist destination, travelers are slowly catching on to Calatagan's allure. Located right at the Verde Passage, Calatagan's waters are known as the 'Center of the Center of Marine Shorefish Biodiversity' which makes it a great spot for snorkeling, diving or even just searching the shores for interesting sea creatures. Another underrated feature Calatagan has to offer is their "Little Boracay", a sandbar with clear blue waters and fine sand that will rival its' namesake's beaches. Popularly experienced on a balsa tour, visitors are brought to the area via bamboo raft for a day of eating, swimming, and if the tide is low enough, strolling on the sandbar itself. Other things to do in Calatagan include cable skiing in Lago de Oro, Aquaria Water Park, beach camping, beach day tours, and if you're interested in getting to know more of Calatagan's history, there is also the Cape Santiago Lighthouse and the Museo de Enrique Zobel. Underrated compared to other beach spots in Batangas such as Anilao, Nasugbu and Laiya, Calatagan's wholesome offerings make it a great venue for family gatherings and outings with friends, and should definitely be on any traveler's shortlist for fun and accessible beach destinations near the metro.
At the heart of Calatagan sits this residential commercial property that was developed by Land Co. For now accommodations such as Crusoe Cabins and Cocoons, 3 restaurants and Aquaria waterpark are fully operational. Condominiums, events place, retail shops and more restaurants are being built at the moment. If you want to invest in resort living they offer premium lots and pre-selling condominium units for sale as well.
During mornings when it’s high tide blue and calm waters await you and it’s the perfect time to swim – especially with the kids. While it’s lowtide in the afternoon, there are vast amounts of sea creatures that you can discover, just make sure to wear protective foot gear to avoid stepping on them particularly those spiky urchins.
The beach offers a beautiful and peaceful sunset.
Consists of upcycled container vans that were transformed into comfortable and well appointed cabins. Each cabin features a bedroom – usually with a double deck and queen size bed, living room with a sofa bed, bathroom and a porch terrace. Amenities include refrigerator with daily water replenishment, flat screen TV with cable and internet. Accommodation is good for a group of 5 pax.
If you’re looking for a more intimate experience you should definitely book their garden cocoons for your accommodation. Similar to the capsule hotels, a cocoon has a fully air conditioned room with amenities such as refrigerator and TV. Room is good for 2 pax and can be shared with one child that is 6-years old and below. A common shower room and toilet are just located a few steps from the Cocoon area and is cleaned and disinfected regularly.
The water park features a 3 storey high slide, a resort pool and a 3-foot kiddie pool. You get free access to the waterpark if you’re booked with Crusoe Cabins or Cocoons. You can also plan a day trip and stay in their cabanas for a fee. For tour pass prices click here.
There are 3 restaurant outlets that offer Filipino, Western food and coffee beverages – The Sands, Rib Shack & Taza Mia Coffee.
The floating cottage tour is the most popular activity where you will get to see and experience the cerulean blue waters of Calatagan. You will be transported to different destinations such as the "Little Boracay" area, sandbar and starfish island. It is best to go early so you can experience it all. Activities such as banana boats, snorkeling, paddle boards are also available. Usually a floating cottage is good for up to 15 pax capacity with price points ranging from Php 4,000 – Php 7,500 depending on the size of the cottage (with deck or without). Some floating cottages also offer separate food packages but you can also opt to bring your own drinks and food that you can cook.
Make sure to book a reputable floating cottage to avoid being scammed. You can check the whole list of accredited floating cottages here from the Tourism of Calatagan, Batangas FB Page.
Get a glimpse of this small and charming lighthouse that was built in the 18th century located at the very end of Calatagan - where you can already see the island of Mindoro. A great backdrop with majestic hillside views and different shades of blue waters perfect for a quick photo op with the family.
You can tour the lighthouse for a minimal fee - regular admission is Php 50 and for Seniors/PWD it’s Php 40.
Don't leave Batangas without eating in one of the many eateries that offers their famous Batangas Lomi.
Photos property of Livph