Travel Guide to Batangas: Don’t Say No to This Adorable Volcano Edit

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Colleen Cabili  • Contributor
Opinions expressed by Explora.ph Contributors are their own.

Cover photo by Glenn Imperial. Graphics by Manel Solsoloy.

At a Glance

Travelers head to Batangas for its flavorful goto and bulalo, long white beaches, and scenic mountain hikes. Its wicked kapeng barako and kape alamid are some of the best brews in the country. Not to be missed are the 47-cratered Taal Volcano and the Parada de Lechon Festival.


Don’t be fooled by this adorable molehill of a volcano, Taal. This breathtaking complex volcano is the smallest active volcano in the world, and one of the Philippines’ deadliest. Alas, this is way more complicated than it sounds—it’s an island within a lake within an island within a lake within an island. Phew! Treks here can be incredibly hot and dusty, but you’d be rewarded by the sight of its emerald-green crater lake.

Batangas is widely known for its white beaches, castaway islands, and dive spots. Beach bums would be delighted with the long and beige Laiya Beach, the campers’ delight Masasa Beach, and Nasugbu’s Calayo Beach, Hamilo Coast, and Punta Fuego. Quieter escapes are found in Fortune Island, Verde Island, and Calatagan. Dive spots abound too in Anilao, which is best explored for underwater macro photography.

The province is also home to about 10 trekking destinations. The three best hikes are the multi-peaked Mt. Batulao, the seashell-strewn Mt. Daguldol, and the beginner’s treat Mt. Maculot, whose Rockies overlook the majestic Taal Lake. Some of the more interesting side trips in the province are the abandoned amusement park Fantasy Land in Lemery, Mainit Hot Springs in San Juan, and the fitness nature retreat The Farm in Lipa City.

Cap off your adventure with a steaming bowl of goto, a yummy rice porridge with beef stripe, or bulalo, a classic bone marrow stew with vegetables. The best treats to take home are kapeng barako, the country’s most powerful coffee, and kape alamid, an exotic brew that comes from the coffee-cherry dung of the nocturnal civet cat.

Every June, locals celebrate the famous Parada de Lechon Festival in Balayan. This merry occasion highlights the parade of hundreds of whole roasted pigs, amusingly dressed in clothes or costumes.

8 Scenic Views that will make your eyes pop in Batangas

Written by Colleen Cabili

Fortune Island

This abandoned luxury resort off the coast of Nasugbu bears a striking resemblance to the Acropolis of Greece. 

Photo by Christian Callos.
Photo from thepoortraveler.net.

Mt. Batulao

Mt. Batulao is a mainstay in every aspiring mountaineer’s bucket list. This 811-meter high mountain is a relatively easy mountain to climb, with cool winds, rolling slopes, and breathtaking views greeting you in every step.

Photo from instagram.com/maviliscious.

Mt. Maculot

Mt. Maculot rose to fame for the breathtaking view that greets mountaineers at the summit. Hikers often have their pictures taken at the Rockies, a jagged outcrop overlooking Taal Lake.

Photo from instagram.com/malenneskii.

Laiya Beach

Only a couple of hours away from Manila, this sweeping stretch of fine white sand and crystal-clear waters is one of the most visited beaches in the country all-year round. 

Photo from philippinebeaches.org.

Fantasy Land

Contrary to popular belief, this “abandoned” amusement park is not deserted at all. This theme park was originally planned to be the country’s version of Disneyland, but midway through construction, the management decided to convert it into a photo park instead.

Photo by unknown.

Malabrigo Lighthouse

This century-old lighthouse in Lobo has been guiding ships and maritime vessels since 1896. Verde Island and the province of Mindoro can be spotted from afar on its viewdeck. 

Photo from instagram.com/sinadjanphotos.
Photo by Chung Wu Tan of instagram.com/petrickstar_joy.

Taal Volcano

A trip to Batangas wouldn’t be complete without visiting the world’s smallest active volcano, Mt. Taal. Despite its size, its eruptions have claimed an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 lives.

Photo by unknown.

Sombrero Island

This hat-shaped island is found in Anilao, Batangas’ world-famous diving destination. As such, it is surrounded with coral reefs teeming with marine life. 

Photo by Gael Hilotin of thepinaysolobackpacker.com.
Photo by Tofer Morales.

Where is Batangas

Batangas is located in southern Luzon, bordering Cavite and Laguna. Graphics by Manel Solsoloy.

How to get to Batangas

Batangas is only a couple of hours away from Manila. The fastest way to get to the province is by car through South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). There are bus terminals in Alabang, Pasay, and Cubao that offer several daily trips to Nasugbu and Batangas Pier. The one-way fare starts at P150 per head. Travel time is two to three hours, depending on the traffic.

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