We Pinoys love going to the beach just to soak up some sun and take a dip in the cool waters. And being an archipelago, the Philippines is full of beaches in almost every corner. But since everyone goes to the beach, even if it’s not summer, most of the famous beaches, especially those near the city, are just packed.
If you’re looking for a more private and quiet place, you don’t need to look far, because it may just be a drive and a boat ride away from Metro Manila. Surrounded by clear blue waters, Isla Verde is the ultimate island destination that would fulfill your beach paradise dreams.
How to get there
If you’re coming from the city, you can take a bus from Cubao headed for the Batangas Grand Terminal, which may take you about 2 to 3 hours. When you arrive at the Grand Terminal, take a tricycle straight to Tabangao Port. Or alternatively, if you want the cheaper option, ride a jeep to SM Batangas, alight and take another jeep to Tabangao Port.
Once you’re at the port, you can take the public boat named Super Mario to get to Isla Verde. The boat makes several stops, so you need to know where you’re supposed to get off.
An important thing to note is that technically, the public boat leaves at 9 AM, but in actuality, the boat leaves as soon as it’s full, and that could be as early as 8 AM.
If you miss the public boat, your other option is to rent a private one, but it would set you back by a lot because it’s quite pricey (about PHP 1,500 to 2,000 each). Private boats are often docked by Barangay Ilijan.
Where to stay
There are two spots tourists frequent: Mahabang Buhangin and Sampalukan. Mahabang Buhangin is the island’s main beach with some homestay services, while on the other side is Sampalukan, surrounded by several resorts.
Isla Verde Tropical Resort is one of the biggest resorts in the area. You can opt to rent from their variety of accommodations from huts to stone units to tents on the camping area. Check out their website for more information.
If you’re looking for a space without a big crowd, Sawang Dive Camp Resort is the place for you. The stunning view combined with how peaceful the surrounding area will allow you to relax and unwind easily. You can rent their accommodations, like tents and cabanas (with cute bean bags!). Inquire through their Facebook page.
ISLA VERDE SAWANG DIVE CAMP
Posted by Isla Verde: Sawang DIVE CAMP Resort on Saturday, September 22, 2018
Originally a place of refuge and rest for scuba divers, Surface Interval Resort has expanded their services to include rooms, bahay kubo, and spots to pitch tents on. Rates vary depending on the service and inclusions acquired. Contact them through their Facebook page.
What to do
Of course, the primary activity when you’re on an island is to have a dip in the clear blue waters of the sea. Swim in the Mahabang Buhangin Beach, or if you’re ready to go deeper into the sea, you can rent equipment and go to the diving or snorkelling spots.
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Some resorts offer boat tours around the island. You can also go trekking up to the peak of Mt. Dagit in the middle of the island. If you’re there for the feed, the rock formations around the island would definitely fulfill your aesthetic needs. And when the sun goes down, lie down on the beach and enjoy the stunning view of the sunset.
How much to spend
Note that all of these are only estimates for an overnight trip. Make sure to bring extra money for emergencies.
- Transportation: PHP 1,400 (from Manila to Isla Verde and back)
- Accommodation: PHP 200 (tent) to 2,500 (hut, 4 pax)
- Food: PHP 1,000
- Activities: PHP 500 and up
Got other tips for a trip to Isla Verde? Share them with us below!