More detailed travel guide here: Fortune Island Travel Guide
Batangas is a beautiful province brimming with so many places that offer various activities ideal for a quick escape from the city buzz. There are diving spots, mountains, and white sand beaches lined all around its coast. It is indeed a paradise for the wandering soul; and what a treat it is that all of these are just few hours away from Manila. One of the famed islands in Batangas is Fortune Island. Situated off the coast of Nasugbu, this resort has claimed its fame due to its huge Grecian pillars. But that isn’t the only reason why it is being loved by many.
For this DIY trip, my group and I rented out a van since there were 14 of us; we knew it would be convenient for us rather than commuting. We left Manila on Saturday at 1AM and arrived at Nasugbu at around 5AM. We ate breakfast at Jollibee Nasugbu while waiting for the 6AM opening of the market to buy our 2D1N supplies.
After we have bought all our needs, we then proceeded to Fortune Island resort which is about 5-minute drive from the wet market. At the resort, we waited for our turn for the 1-hour boat ride to the island. We arrived at the island at around 10 in the morning; it was such a beautiful and sunny day. We pitched our tent inside the pavilion because the sun was directly above us. It was perfect for all the other things that I am ready to experience on this island, which are:
WHAT'S IN THIS GUIDE?
1. The white sugary sand
Aside from the smiling face of the caretakers, the white sugary sand will greet you upon arriving at the island. I enjoyed walking barefooted along its shores while watching the sun go down that afternoon.
2. Cliff-jumping for the adrenaline junkies
After our lunch during the first day, we all headed to the back of the island where the cliff-jumping spot is. It is located just below the famous pillars; you have to pass by the pillars and then a flight of stairs will lead you down to either the 15-ft, 30-ft, and 40-feet high rock edges.
Over the years this spot has been developed by the resort owners because cliff-jumping is a must-do activity when you visit this place. Deep blue salty waters will embrace you once you take the plunge from either of the three tiers. Most of the people that I went with did the 15-feet spot, but there were few who dared go for the 30-ft and even the 40-feet. It was a sure surge of adrenaline once you jump and feel the air bathing you even before the waters do.
3. Milky way shots for the photography enthusiasts
Once we’re satisfied with the adrenaline rush from the numerous jumps that we did, we headed back to our tents and started out dinner. I saw, from the many photos on the internet, that Fortune Island also has a beautiful night sky and that it was a good chance to practice “astrophotography”.
From what I read online, the perfect time to take shots of the sky is around 1AM. I was willing to wait it out, but that night, the skies were so clear I was sure I could see the Milky Way even though it’s only 9PM. I was prepping my tripod when a group of photographers invited me to come with them while they shoot. Being a newbie, I was so excited to hike up the columns with them to be able to take better shots of the sky.The results were breathtaking. (See featured photo/image)
4. Ghost stories for the horror fanatics
I believe that wherever we go, we would always have horror or ghost stories to tell. When I was at the columns overlooking the whole island, I can hear the distant noise of all the different groups that are gathered around their respective camp fires (not on the white sand) telling various stories among each other.
The island itself has a popular ghost story, of which most travelers who’ve been there recount to be true. They say that there are spirits roaming around the island going from tent to tent trying to disturb the people and steal food from them. I did not experience this. I actually slept outside the tent with my sleeping mat and malong because I found it hot to be staying inside the tent. It was a very peaceful sleep.
5. Sunken ship and marine life for the skin divers/free divers
Now this is something that I would be coming back to Fortune Island. The caretakers of the island said that there’s a sunken ship just a few meters away from the island (and this is where the ghosts come from). Aside from that, it has such an abundant underwater marine life that a diver could consider as a paradise.
If these reasons still don’t compel you to go to Fortune Island, then I don’t know what will.
Just a few tips to keep in mind:
- Insect repellent is a must. Mosquitoes are very rampant at night, you wouldn’t want to come back to Manila with insect bites, would you?
- It gets really hot during the day and there are minimal shade on the island. It’s best to bring your own shade or make sure to be the first one to reach the island so you could get the good spots—the pavilion area and the spot where the trees are.
- Last trip back to the island is 4PM every day, or sometimes depending on the weather because the waves tend to grow strong towards the evening.
More tips here: Fortune Island Important Tips