Few weeks ago, I was having a dilemma on where I would go this Holy Week. Last year was really an eventful one because I backpacked Indochina then. I couldn’t let this year go to waste without going somewhere special. I had Ho Chi Minh in mind but the plan did not work out due to budget constraints. I knew I had to travel and I had high hopes that there is a gem hidden just few hours from home. Good thing there were a lot of articles that featured amazing getaways near Manila. I opted for the nearest one from my place which was the Burot Beach in Calatagan, Batangas.
Burot Beach is a semi fine white sand beach just 3 hours from Manila (2 hours in my case since I live in Laguna). It was a ‘secret beach’ back then but due to word of mouth, a lot of people, friends and families alike, have been visiting this place.
I went there on a Holy Thursday (I know, not the best time to visit the beach). But it was still fun. It always amazes me to see lines of tents and happy people cooking using simple tools and living ala camping style. Yes, you heard me right. Burot beach is not your typical beach where you would rent a hotel or resort room to stay for a night or two, eat seafood at fancy restaurants or rest on a nicely decorated cabana. This beach is pure simplicity – you set up your tent, improvise a shaded area where you will cook your own food using fire and wood and lay your back on the sand.
There are plenty of things to do like island hopping, the usual photoshoot on the long shoreline and nice rock formations, starfish “hunting”, beach volleyball and snorkeling. Kids can also play on the beach since it has a very long area of shallow waters. I think it spanned about half a kilometer and the water is still knee or waist deep. There are also sand bars where you can hang if you want to avoid too many people.
Things to know before going to Burot Beach
The beach offers very basic restrooms. The shower and toilet areas are both communal. If you area a bit of sensitive when it comes to taking a bath or the call of nature, well you have to be prepared since it offers basic amenities and the water sometimes flows on small amount. I suggest saving time to take a bath since the line gets longer especially in the afternoon.
It also has a mini store offering some snacks and drinks. We also found a truck selling ice if you need some for your refreshments. There were also some Manongs roaming around selling ice cream. At the entrance, there was also a small charging station for a minimal fee.
There is limited electricity at night so bring your own battery operated lamps and powerbanks if you intended to stay overnight. Aside from that, you can have bonfire to serve as your light.
Even though the beach has very limited things to offer, guests should still pay a minimal fee since it is already a private area and is manned by personnel from SM (I saw one guard in front and 2 men who were getting the payment and telling people where to park and borrow tents). Few years ago, SM bought this beach with a plan to probably transform this to a huge resort. So folks, before rates in this area skyrocket and before the campsite transforms into a resort, visit it now.
Entrance Fee – 65 pesos for day trip and 130 pesos for overnight (additional 20 pesos that you will pay at the guardhouse, then he will give you a trash bag – clean as you go ‘CLAYGO’)
Table Rental – I forgot but I think it’s about 200 pesos
Tent Rental – 300 pesos (If you brought your own tent, you still need to pay 30 pesos for the “place rental”)
HOW TO GET THERE
1. From Balibago Complex, take a van going to Nasugbu and Lian, Batangas.
2. Ask the driver to drop you off at Lian Market (the last stop).
3. From the market, take a jeep going to Calatagan. Also the last stop.
4. You may ask the driver to drop you off at the new or old market depending on where your tricycle driver will pick you up.
5. From the market it will take you about 15 minutes to get to the beach by tricycle.
BUDGET (If you brought your own food)
Fare from Balibago Complex to Lian, Batangas – 150.00
Fare from Lian to Calatagan, Batangas – 38.00
Fare from Calatagan to Burot Beach – 50.00
Entrance – 65.00
Tent set up and guardhouse pay (50/5) – 10.00
Fare from Burot Beach to Calatagan – 50.00
Fare from Calatagan to Lian – 38.00
Fare from Lian to Olivarez Tagaytay via bus – 78.00
Fare from Olivarez Tagaytay to Tagaytay Public Market – 10.00
Fare from Tagaytay to Balibago Complex – 40.00
TOTAL – 529.00
There! Who says you need to spend so much money to have a super fun beach getaway. So pack you bags (and food) and go to Burot Beach. Enjoy!