If you're looking for a budget-friendly beach getaway without having to go too far, then head over to Burot Beach in Calatagan, Batangas. Because of its proximity, it has become one of the favorite beach destinations among the people from the Metro.
Burot Beach is simply a beach, and not a resort, so don't expect to see fancy hotels once you get there. There are a couple of sheds used as toilets and shower rooms. Again, nothing fancy here, but rest assured there is more than enough water that you can use to wash up. Since there is no hotel in the area, be prepared to go camping if you plan to stay overnight. You can bring your own tent or you can rent one there for a fee. There are also picnic tables that you can rent if you're only planning to go on a day trip there.
There are a couple of sari-sari stores in the area but it would be best if you already brought your own food and supplies there. In our case, we already brought cooked food. But we also packed some cold cuts to grill come lunch time. Make sure to bring a small cooler with you to keep your drinks cold, as it can get pretty hot there. Also, there is no electricity in the area. I expected that so I brought my powerbank with me during the trip.
Because of its calm, shallow waters and pristine cream shores, Burot Beach is a perfect place to relax over the weekend. There are lots of starfish but people are prohibited to take them home (of course!). I spotted a couple of them and I promise you, I returned them to the waters after snapping a few photos. I also saw a tiny stingless blue and black jellyfish. Yes, they're stingless. I know because I accidentally stepped on one while walking on shallow waters and I didn't get stung. The poor jelly's okay though, don't worry. I feel so bad that I accidentally stepped on it. I thought I just stepped on a slimy piece of rock or something. There were also some sea urchins and their stings can get quite nasty so it's best to stay away if you see one.
Burot Beach is a privately owned property but it is still open to the public so you'd better plan a trip soon if you want to go here. Although this is not my usual vacation peg (no hotels, no nice bathrooms and toilets), I actually enjoyed it there. I'm a beach-lover and anywhere with some sun, sand, and sea is fine with me. Also, it was nice to get out of my comfort zone once in a while. Trust me, the adventure is definitely worth it.
How to get to Burot Beach:
- Via private vehicle - From Manila, take the South Luzon Expressway or Coastal road, and drive all the way to Nasugbu, Batangas until you reach a junction, with a Caltex gas station as your landmark. Take a right from there going to Lian, and drive straight. Take a left at the intersection after passing the CADP Sugar Refinery. Then turn right once you see the Sto. Domingo church. From there, you will pass through a small public market and then a cemetery, and you will see directional signs going to Burot Beach.
- Via commute - Take the bus going to Calatagan, Batangas at the Coastal Mall grand terminal. Bus fare is Php180. The first trip is at 4:00am, and the travel time is 3-4 hours. Ask the conductor to drop you off at the Calatagan Market, and from there, you can ride a tricycle going all the way to Burot Beach. Fare is Php60 per person or Php150 for the whole tricycle.
- Entrance fee - Php65 for day trip, Php130 for overnight
- Tent fee if you will be bringing your own - Php20
- Tent rental - Php400, good for 2-4 persons
- Table rental - Php200
- Boat tour and island hopping - Php130 per head
- Food - Php200 per head, this depends on how much you will be consuming
For our trip there, my friends and I rented a van which cost us Php400 per person, and there were about twelve of us. We brought our own tent and then rented a couple of tables. We only went on a day trip because that was all our busy schedules could permit. All in all, I spent about Php800 on this trip, and that already includes the food. Not bad. :)