Tourists may know Batangas for its Taal Volcano or its hot, comforting bowls of lomi, but it is also a haven for vacationers seeking a beach getaway not too far from Manila.
All of the province’s marine waters are part of the Verde Island Passage, too, which the California Academy of Sciences has declared the “center of the center of the world’s marine biodiversity.”
This is why it comes as no surprise that Batangas is also home to numerous resorts that not only protect marine life in the area, but offer opportunities for guests to see and experience its beauty through various water activities.
Here are some you should try while you’re in Batangas to make your trip as fun as possible.
If you’re not yet ready to try diving, though, there are other relatively easier activities you can try. Arthur’s Place Dive Resort in Mabini, known as one of the first dive resorts in the area, also offers kayaking.
Through the family-run resort, you and your companions can kayak over the waters of Balayan Bay, which covers the entire shore of the province. The experience allows you to relax while moving over water, enjoy ocean views, and get a glimpse of the fishes, corals, and other underwater beings in the bay that’s part of the world’s center of marine biodiversity.
Just like its well-known diving lessons, the staff provides guidance for guests. Necessary gear such as the kayak, paddle, and a lifejacket are also available.
Arthur’s Place Dive Resort requires guests to present antigen test results taken within 24 hours before admission, or RT-PCR test results taken within 72 hours.
Day tours for adults cost Php 200, while children 12 years old and below can enter for free. The rates for their 12 fully-furnished accommodations—beachfront, air conditioned, or fan rooms—are available upon request.
To get there from Manila, head to SLEX and take the Calamba exit. Keep driving to STAR tollway and at the roundabout, take the third exit onto Bauan-Batangas Provincial Road and turn right to Palico-Balayan-Batangas Road. Turn left onto Bauan-Mabini Road and continue driving until you reach Brgy. Bagalangit, where the resort is located.
For public commuters, board a Batangas City-bound bus and transfer to a Mabini-bound jeep going to Anilao Port. From there, ride a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to the resort.
Total travel time takes two to three hours.
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When in Anilao, you should grab the opportunity to go diving. The area, after all, is one of the country’s prime diving spots frequented by foreign and local divers for its diverse marine life.
Whether you’re a beginner or a certified diver, you can give it a try through the premium diving services at Solitude Acacia Resort (formerly Acacia Resort and Dive Center).
The 25-room resort is only a boat ride away from Verde Island, where you can experience seeing rare muck diving critters or fascinating reef walls.
A certified instructor will give you a theory lesson and a practice pool session before diving into the ocean. If you don’t have diving gear, fret not. The resort can provide to you a wetsuit, and an Enriched Air Nitrox (EAN) or breathing gas.
Solitude Acacia resort requires guests to bring proof of booking confirmation, negative antigen or PCR test within 48 hours prior to check in, and a health declaration form you will fill out by scanning the Safe Pass PH QR code.
Room rates start at $260 (roughly Php12,500) for Single Rooms and $320 (roughly Php15,380) for Twin/Double rooms per night. There’s also an option for Room Packages which start at $660 (roughly Php31,730) for four days and three nights.
All-Inclusive AIR Dive Packages are available, too, starting at $855 (roughly Php41,100) for four days and three nights inclusive of six dives and more. You can book a stay for as long as 15 days and 14 nights or longer.
To go to the resort via public transport, board a Batangas-bound bus in Cubao or Buendia. Upon arrival at the bus terminal in Batangas, board a jeepney headed for Mabini. Tell the driver to drop you off at Mabini Crossing, then subsequently board a tricycle upon arrival. Tell the driver that the drop-off is Solitude Acacia Resort.
If traveling via private car, get on the Metro Manila Skyway from Magallanes EDSA. Take South Luzon Expressway / Calabarzon Expressway / Star Tollway and take Batangas City exit at the end of Star Tollway. Take Diversion Rd. in Batangas then take Bauan–Batangas Provincial Rd. Take Palico–Balayan–Bauan–Mabini Rd/Mabini Circumferential Rd in Mabini.
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While swimming is a common water activity and the province is teeming with resorts where you can enjoy it. But doing so at Aquaria Water Park just elevates the experience.
The resort, designed, and developed by Millennial Resorts Corporation for family, friends, and travelers who want to enjoy a leisurely break, is a water playground.
As it’s nestled along Calatagan South Beach, where a 525-meter stretch of fine white sand awaits you, you can easily enjoy a quick swim at the beach, try beach games such as soccer and volleyball, or even brave a banana boat ride.
The water park, meanwhile, has pools for people of all ages. Its Kiddie Pool is only three feet deep, allowing kids to play around and have fun safely.
Guests can also swim to their heart’s content in five other pools, including the Cove Pool and Sunken Pool Bar.
The highlight, however, is the water park’s Landing Pool. Here, you can feel the exciting rush of going down a giant three-story slide and landing in a six-feet deep pool.
A day tour pass for adults is at Php370 during weekdays and Php510 on weekends. For kids, it’s at Php185 and Php255, respectively.
Aquaria requires an RT-PCR Test, a valid ID, and that all guests wear a face mask and face shield in all public areas.
For maximum convenience, it’s recommended to go by private vehicle. From Manila, take SLEX until the Santa Rosa Exit. Continue until the Tagaytay Rotonda and drive through Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway and turn left at the Balayan-Calatagan Highway.
Finally, turn left at M. Apacible near the Calatagan Municipal Hall; keep going and you’ll see the water park before long.But if you’re going to commute, ride a bus to Tagaytay-Lian. Get off the bus once you’re at 7-Eleven in Lian. From there ride an ordinary bus to the Calatagan Public Market, then a tricycle directly to Aquaria.
Overall, the trip should take around 3-4 hours, depending on traffic.
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All tourist destinations in Batangas have health and safety protocols in place to protect locals and visitors alike. Everyone is expected to comply by wearing face masks and face shields, regularly washing their hands, and practicing physical distancing.
To check out up-to-date information regarding local destinations that are open and the safety protocols and requirements needed for each location, you may visit www.philippines.travel/safetrip or download the Travel Philippines app at app.philippines.travel or the Google Playstore.