Batangas is one of the more popular destination spots near Manila, with its strong, locally grown coffee and beautiful beaches that are the closest ones to Manila. Whether you’re longing for spiritual nourishment, in dire need of “vitamin sea”, interested to learn more about the rich Filipino culture, or badly looking for an adventure by which you can flex your muscles, Batangas will not disappoint you.
The Batangas region is known as the birthplace of the balisong (butterfly knife) and home to the best blacksmiths in the country. It also has many beautiful beaches, amazing dive spots, and century-old churches and cultural heritage sites. Batangas attracts foodies, underwater diving junkies, and people who want to learn more about culture and history.
Fly to Manila and drive 1.5 hours to Batangas via STAR Tollway.
Batangas Port is an international port that is an alternate port of Manila Pier 15. However, there are no ferries from Manila Pier to Batangas port.
If you have a private vehicle or rented car, the easiest route would be to drive on the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) then take the STAR Tollway. Another option is to take a bus bound for Batangas at the Araneta Center Bus Terminal in Cubao, or at the South Station in Alabang. Note that there are different bus routes to Batangas, depending on the town you want to go visit.
The most popular mode of transportation is the jeepney. Buses are also available if you wish to travel to farther towns. But you can also hire a motorcycle for short trips and for locations which are not on the route of jeepneys and buses.
The Taal Volcano is one of the top tourist attractions in Batangas. Aside from being dubbed as the World’s Smallest Active Volcano, it is also one of the Decade Volcanoes which the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) identified as being worthy of study.
Another beauty to behold is the Biggest Catholic Church in Asia, the Basilica of St. Martin of Tours. The church sits majestically on top of a hill right at the center of the town. Anilao, Batangas is not called a diving paradise for nothing! Many world-class, award-winning under-the-sea photos were taken from this marine haven.
Dive in Anilao! Need we say more? Seriously, visit any (or all of it) of the beaches and diving spots found in Mabini, Laiya, Nasugbu, and Lian.
Lipa City in Batangas is known as the “Rome of the Philippines.” It is home to convents, seminaries, monasteries, retreat houses, and a cathedral where pilgrims go to recharge, refuel, and nourish their tired and hungry souls.
Get close to nature and discover yourself more in Caleruega where the famous Transfiguration Chapel is located. Seated on a hill with a backdrop of Mt. Batulao, the church in Caleruega has been a favorite venue for matrimonial ceremonies. Mount Batulao in Nasugbu, Batangas is a popular destination for beginner climbers and expert mountaineers who want a quick day hike.
Irene’s Bulalo sa Kubo in Batangas City serves authentic Batangas bulalo one should never miss. For those who are looking for a good ambiance, Casa Rap offers not only delicious food but also a healthy experience as you will be welcomed by positive messages found all over the place. They serve the famous Batangas Lomi and Tawilis (could only be found in Taal Lake).
Challenge your appetite at Collosco and have the opportunity to taste Thor, Hercules, and Poseidon, the names of the signature pasta dishes.
Looking for some place to chill and have a drink and dance the night away won’t be a problem in Lipa. You can choose from among the many places where locals and tourists come together for a great time. There’s Aristeo’s Bar and Resto in Antipolo del Norte, Kuya Clyde’s Ihaw-Ihaw, or The Library Comedy Bar where laughter abounds.
The Farm at San Benito is a home, a spa, and a luxury resort rolled into one. If you’re looking for a relaxing weekend to calm your senses and soothe your soul, this is the best place to stay. Casa Amara in San Juan is also highly-recommended. It started out as a vacation house and now this mansion offers resort-type accommodation with a very homey feel. Travel back in time at Paradores del Castillo in Taal. They also have the Blue Note Bar where you can enjoy your favorite drink amidst fruit-bearing trees and a relaxing garden view.