If you’re taking public transportation, here’s what you should do:
1. Take the bus going to Batangas City. Alight at the Grand Terminal.
- There are terminals in EDSA-Kamias and Cubao in Quezon City, LRT-Buendia and Taft in Pasay City. Fare: P165 from Cubao, P157 from LRT-Buendia, P127 from Alabang.
- Try to leave in the early morning to dodge the traffic.
- If you choose a bus with a CALABARZON sign, travel time will be much shorter because it will bypass several towns and cities (Lipa, Tanauan, Malvar, etc.). Travel time is less than 2 hours. Otherwise, it can take as long as 3 hours.
- Fare is P120-P180 depending on your point of origin and route.
2. Ride a jeepney to Talaga Port or Anilao Port.
- Anilao Port (aka Mabini Multi-purpose Port) is used from the start of amihan season, sometime in December, until the end of Philippine summer, sometime in June. When habagat season kicks in, they move it to Talaga Port in Brgy. Talaga. There is no fixed date because it depends on the conditions of the waves and currents. But you may call the Mabini Tourism Office to be sure: (043) 410 0607.
- Travel time: 40 minutes. Fare: PhP 37.
From here, you have three options depending on whether you’re on you’re travel plan.
3a. If you’re spending a night in Tingloy, catch the public boat.
- Option 1: Catch the boat to Tingloy Port. This is the cheapest option because the fare is only P80. Travel time: 45 minutes – 1 hour. At the port, rent a tricycle to your homestay or to the start of the hiking trail to Masasa Beach.
- Option 2: Go straight to Masasa Beach. There are public boats that go directly to Masasa Beach, but they are fewer and even more unpredictable. Fare: P100.
- Note: The last public boat back to the mainland at Tingloy Port leaves at 2:30pm. But you can also rent a private boat at Masasa Beach, which will set you back P3000 (or P2500 if you haggle). There are also other boats that ferry passengers back to the mainland at smaller docks, but we can’t hold of any official schedule. But they sometimes pick up passengers at Masasa Beach at around 12nn on weekends.
3b. If you’re on a day tour, rent a boat.
- The usual rate is P4500 per boat. Pretty steep! But this can accommodate up to 10 passengers. If you’re a group, this is something to consider. You can haggle too.
- You can ask the boatman to make a stop at Sombrero Island because it’s along the way. Sombrero Island entrance fee is P200 ($4). Some boatmen will ask for additional P500 ($10) for it.
WHERE TO STAY NEAR MASASA BEACH
There are no resorts in Masasa Beach itself. For the longest time, camping was the most popular choice for weekenders. However, starting March 2017, overnight camping is no longer permitted. You may still pitch a tent, but you must leave by 7pm, according to reports.
The local government is encouraging visitors to opt with homestay instead. Here are other options.
- Homestay. There are many available, but the one I have tried was the home of Councilor Florencio Mandanas in Poblacion.
P150 per person.
Contact no: +639053078654 / +639178414715
- CianyBlanc Inn. Also in Poblacion. (I haven’t tried this but the details are below.)
PhP 700 per room.
Contact no.: +63 905 451 6664
- Maricaban Island Resort
Contact no: +63 917 894 6742
Because Masasa Beach can be visited on an island hopping day tour from Anilao, many travelers choose to just spend the night in the mainland, where plenty of resorts are located. Here are some of the best-rated resorts in Anilao,
- Beach bum and swim. Obviously. It’s a great beach, strewn with soft, supple sand, lapped up by gentle waves. And in sunny days, the waters are so blue, you won’t resist it. Remember that it’s a long beach. Behind the rock walls are more pockets of sand. Don’t stay on the main beach.
- Snorkel. Tingloy is within the vicinity of Verde Passage which is one of the richest marine biodiversity spots in the world. Some of these wonderful creatures come closer to the shore. But remember, please respect wildlife. Don’t feed them. Don’t touch them. Don’t kill them.
- Go island hopping. On the beach you’ll find a small store. Next to it is a space where boatmen stay. They take passengers on an island-hopping tour which make a stop at other beaches like Oscar Beach and even as far as Sombrero Island. They use a small boat that can accommodate up to 3 passengers. Standard rate: P1500.
- Trek to Mag-asawang Bato, a rock formation that stands atop a nearby hill. Beginners can definitely do this. Takes around 2 hours to complete.
- Note that you would not encounter everything above. For example, if you don’t plan on staying overnight in Tingloy, then ignore the boat fare to Tingloy. Likewise, if you only wish to see Masasa Beach and not the other islands, ignore the island-hopping tour because you can easily reach it by taking the public boat to Tingloy.Bus fare to Batangas Grand Terminal: Fare: P165 from Cubao, P157 from LRT-Buendia, P127 from Alabang.
Jeepney fare to Anilao: P37
Boat rental (island hopping tour) from Anilao: P4500 per boat (10pax max)
Boat rental (island hopping tour) from Masasa Beach: P1500 per boat (3pax max)
Public boat fare to Tingloy: P80
Tricycle ride to Masasa Beach: P30
Environmental Fee: P30
Masasa Beach: FREE
Sombrero Island Entrance Fee: P200