Bataan is a tourist haven with many breathtaking natural attractions in choices of beaches or mountain adventures. The province is also rich in history, a bastion of freedom and democracy in the Philippines, as the last stand of Filipino and American soldiers during World War II.
If you are a nature lover and a history buff, it is a convenient destination for a day trip or an extended stay because it is easily accessible by land.
There is more to discover in Bataan, with its historic landmarks and sustainable eco-tourism sites that are thriving within a growing commercial economy. Here are some places to visit in beautiful Bataan.
Learn about history at Mt. Samat
Take a day tour to Mt. Samat, which is a military shrine dedicated to the freedom fighters of World War II.
The Dambana ng Kagitingan or Shrine of Valor, standing at 555 meters above sea level at the peak of the mountain. Here, you can take an elevator up to an observation deck at one of the arms to get a view of Corregidor Island, which was the last Allied stronghold in the Philippines.
Before reaching the cross, visitors pass through a colonnade that commemorates heroism. There are sculptures by National Artist Napoleon Abueva, stained glass windows designed by Cenon Rivera, and bronze insignias representing soldiers.
There is also a World War 2 museum and informative tours about historical events such as the Bataan Death March. This harrowing moment in time was when about 75,000 captured soldiers were made to walk 65 miles for seven days without food or water.
Refresh your senses at Rancho Bernardo
Enjoy a relaxing stay at Rancho Bernardo Luxury Villas and Resort. The eight-hectare property with gorgeous mountain views has luxurious amenities at its private villas that come with outdoor Jacuzzis and 24/7 butler service.
It is a quiet sanctuary amid landscaped gardens with koi ponds along its jogging trails and meditation areas. It has an all-day dining restaurant that offers local cuisine, and a pool that has a bar and lounge made for unwinding from city life.
Engage with nature at Playa la Caleta
Playa la Caleta, also known as PLC, is an eco-tourism resort that has a secluded beach for lounging under the sun.
For more active pursuits, there are facilities for water sports such as kayaking, windsurfing, and paddle boarding. Those looking for the ultimate thrill can also try out cliff jumping at Miguelito Island.
Land-based adventures are also available on its nature trails that lead to a lush mountain jungle, with trekking destinations in choices of gorgeous waterfalls or a panoramic view deck overlooking the sea. Diving is another attraction at PLC, with two house reef dive sites and an underwater gallery in an artificial reef.
With all its nature-based activities, the resort advocates for sustainable tourism with programs such as monthly beach clean-ups, eco-camps, tree planting activities and conservation efforts for marine turtles, giant clams, and the eagles that reside in the mountainous area.
Immerse in culture at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Experience old-world charms at Bataan’s Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, which was named as Asia’s Most Excellent Destination in 2017 by Destination Luxe. It was also recently recognized and awarded the 2021 Historic Hotels Worldwide Best Historic Hotel in Asia and the Pacific.
Its main attractions are the heritage houses that have been transferred from their original sites and reconstructed along the expansive property.
Heritage tours can be conducted through fun rides on jeepneys or horse-drawn carriage, and a boat ride on the river helps guests have a different perspective of its ornate Lola Basyang Bridge. To get into the spirit of the destination, guests can catch cultural shows or have their portraits taken through old-school photography methods at Fotografia dela Escolta.
Those looking to enjoy the clear waters in the area can also head for the beach and engage in watersports such as wakeboarding or riding on a jet ski or banana boat.
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar prides itself in housing artisans, craftsmen, and craftswomen hailing from different regions across the Philippines.
Journey safely through nature and history
Bataan’s Mt. Samat and Las Casas de Acuzar, together with cruise activities at Manila Bay and Corregidor Island are part of the inter-regional Soul Circuit. This was developed by the Department of Tourism to showcase the attractions that are found in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces.
The Philippine Department of Tourism has launched its #MoreFunAwaits campaign to showcase its preparations for the eventual resumption of international travel with a priority on health, hygiene, and safety.
The Tourism Department has also been awarded a SafeTravels Stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in recognition of its adoption of “health and hygiene global standardized protocols.” This will ensure safe travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that thorough inspection and assessment was conducted. Only those accredited are allowed to open and receive guests.
Learn more about the Philippines’ new and exciting adventures, as well as safety and travel updates, visit http://www.morefunawaits.com/ or download the Travel Philippines app at the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.