2024 NASUGBU, BATANGAS: Calayo Island Hopping Guide

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If you’re in need of a quick beach getaway from Manila, planning a hiking trip, looking for a historical adventure, or on the hunt for some good food to fill your bellies, Batangas is an easy choice. And if it’s the ocean breeze you’re longing for, the town of Nasugbu is among the top choices in the province. A haven for beach-lovers, this municipality is vast, boasting numerous beach attractions that would make for a worthwhile trip.

While Nasugbu has countless beaches, some of them are located within exclusive resorts or villages that require membership or prior reservation to get access. Among those are Pico de Loro, Hamilo Coast, Punta Fuego, Tali Beach Subdivision, and Canyon Cove.

Calayo Beach

In the midst of these exclusive getaways, Calayo Beach remains accessible without having to book in advance. Calayo Beach is located in Barangay Calayo, a fishing village turned beach destination. Although the beach itself doesn’t have fine white sand that tourists usually go crazy for, it serves as a jump-off point to coves and islands with stunning pockets of sand.

In this post, we’ll share you all the details you need to know about the island hopping tour from Calayo Beach. From getting to Barangay Calayo, to the island hopping stops, to where to stay during your trip, we got you covered! Plus we’re also sharing some tips that you might find useful in planning your trip to Calayo.


How to Get There

Before embarking on your island hopping trip, you must first make your way to Barangay Calayo in Nasugbu. It is accessible from Manila whether you’re bringing your own vehicle or taking public transportation. Here’s how to get there if you’re coming from Manila.

Private Car

There are multiple ways to reach Barangay Calayo in Nasugbu if you’re driving from Manila. To help you get there easily, you can use Google Maps or Waze. Just put the name of the resort you’re staying at or Calayo Beach as your destination. Here are the different routes you can take.

TIP! Some areas in Calayo have spotty cellphone network signal, so it’s best to download the map offline. This way, you may still be able to get directions even if you lose network connection.

 

Via CAVITEX

This route may not be as popular, but it is the faster way to get there.

  1. From Manila, pass through Kawit, Tanza, and Naic, driving along Antero Soriano Highway.
  2. Then, continue along Governor’s Drive and pass through Maragondon and Ternate.
  3. Take the Nasugbu-Ternate Highway. Driving along the said highway will also lead you through Mt. Palay Palay National Park and through Kaybiang Tunnel — the longest road tunnel in the Philippines.
  4. Continue driving, passing through Barangay Papaya until you reach Barangay Calayo in Nasugbu.

Via South Luzon Expressway (SLEX)

  1. Enter SLEX and take the Santa Rosa Exit. Alternatively, you can also take Eton City or Greenfield City exits.
  2. Drive along Sta. Rosa- Tagaytay Road. Then, drive straight to Tagaytay – Nasugbu Road.
  3. Continue driving until you reach the Nasugbu Welcome Arch. From here, you’ll go past the town center.
  4. Continue driving to Nasugbu-Ternate Highway until you reach Calayo Road.

 

Public Transportation

From Buendia

DLTB Bus to Nasugbu

  1. Board a bus bound for Nasugbu at the DLTB Co. bus terminal in LRT-Buendia. The DLTB Co. terminal is located at the corner of Buendia (Gil Puyat Avenue) and Taft Avenue near the LRT-1 Gil Puyat Station.
  2. Alight at Nasugbu Bus Terminal. Travel time is two to three hours, depending on the traffic condition. Fare is around P240 from Buendia.
  3. Ride a tricycle to Barangay Calayo. From Nasugbu bus terminal or town proper, take a tricycle to Barangay Calayo. Expect the fare to be a bit expensive because this is a long tricycle ride. Travel time takes around 30 to 45 minutes. Fare is around P400 to P500 per tricycle.

From PITX

  1. Get on a bus bound for Nasugbu via Kaybiang Tunnel at Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange or PITX.
  2. Get off at Barangay Looc court.
  3. Ride a tricycle to Calayo. This will be a much shorter ride compared to taking a tricycle from the town proper. Travel time is around 10 minutes. Fare is P100, good for up to three (3) people.

Island-Hopping Tour

Calayo Beach is lined with several budget to mid-range resorts. However, for us, the highlight of our trip to Calayo is the island hopping tour. That’s the whole reason we went there in the first place.

Prior to our trip, we had already booked an island hopping package in advance. We contacted Kuya Marvin who was one of the boatmen who joined our teammates on their previous island-hopping tour in Calayo a few years back. But a lot has changed since then.

Calayo Beach Island Hopping

On our team’s visit a few years ago, they visited Pulo Island or Loren Island, Kayraang Cove, and Bituin Cove. Pulo Island has recently been closed to tourists so this is no longer an option as an island-hopping stop. As for Kayraang Cove and Bituin Cove, although they are still accessible, they now require an advanced booking, whether you’re planning to go on a day trip or have an overnight stay.

Boats for island hopping have three designated stations: Hulo, Centro, and Sampaguita. You can visit multiple islands and coves from Calayo, but the usual island-hopping tour has three stops. On our recent trip, these are the three stops we visited.

Santelmo Cove Snorkeling

For our first stop, we went to Santelmo Cove. Although we didn’t actually dock on the cove because it is privately owned, our boat stopped several meters from the shore for our snorkeling activity. From Calayo Beach, it took us about 35 minutes to get here.

Santelmo Cove Beach

Hannah and I were a bit unprepared for this first stop so we had to perform some magic and change into our swimming attires on the boat. We blame it on the lack of sleep because we had to travel so early to get to Nasugbu. Don’t make the same misake we did. We highly recommend changing into your outfits before you even get on the boat!

After changing into our beach fits, it was straight into the water for us! We didn’t want to waste any time at all because the water looked so nice. It was crystal clear! Even while we were still on the boat, we could already see countless fishes swimming around.

Santelmo Cove Snorkeling

We spent our time in Santelmo Cove snorkeling, swimming, and surprisingly eating ice cream! How does one even get ice cream in the middle of the ocean, you ask? Well, a bangkero or boatman who was selling ice pops to island-hoppers arrived while we were swimming. Since the weather was HOT with a capital H, we decided to get some for ourselves. Each ice cream stick cost P35.

REMINDER! Please do not throw your trash into the ocean. Just keep the trash with you and dispose of it properly once you’re back on the mainland.

 

Taytayin Cove Cliff Jumping

Barracuda Cave Taytayin Cove

After enjoying a cold treat, we returned to the boat and went to our next stop — Taytayin Cove!

Similar to Santelmo Cove, our boat didn’t dock on the actual cove either. Instead, we stopped at Barracuda Cave for cliff jumping. This was the highlight of our island hopping trip because Asta, Hannah, and I are thrill-seekers at heart. We all took the chance to jump from the highest jumping point here.

Taytayin Cove Cliff Jumping

To be honest, it doesn’t look that high, but once you’re up there, looking down can still make your knees shake. But of course that didn’t stop us from jumping off the cliff into the water. We enjoyed it so much we would’ve gone for another jump if we had more time.

 

Kayraang Cove Sandbar

Our next stop, which is also the last for this island-hopping tour, is Kayraang Cove Sandbar. It took us around 30 to 40 minutes to get here from Taytayin Cove. Like many of the beaches and coves here in Nasugbu, Kayraang is also a private property.

Kayraang Cove Sandbar

Boatmen are also not allowed to dock on the beach here, but they are allowed to bring tourists as long as they only stay in the water. There’s also a sandbar, which is small, but is still a great spot to take a photo. Staying in the water is also not a problem even if you’re not a swimmer because the water here is very shallow. You can even just sit there and chill while appreciating the beauty of this cove.


Island Hopping Tour Rates

If you also want to go island hopping, you may book a tour with Kuya Marvin through the contact number below. Many things may have changed since our last Calayo beach trip, but Kuya Marvin has remained friendly and accommodating. Here are the rates for the island hopping tour.

Calayo Island-Hopping Tour

  • Island Hopping Rate: P3,000
  • Capacity: Up to 5 Pax
  • Additional Fee: P500/head (if more than 5 pax)
  • Boat Stations: Hulo, Centro, and Sampaguita
  • Contact Details: Kuya Marvin – +63 948 254 3131. Note that cellphone signal in Calayo is patchy at best, so please be patient if he can’t reply right away. You can also message his wife Annelyn Bilan via Facebook.

Other Beaches You Can Visit from Calayo

Layag-Layag Beach

Although this is not part of our island hopping itinerary, this beach deserves a mention in this post. Located in Barangay Papaya, a neighboring barangay of Calayo, Layag-Layag Beach is a known camping site here in Nasugbu. You can technically visit this on the same island hopping tour, but a prior reservation is required. You’ll also have to pay an additional fee to your boatman. There’s also an entrance fee to visit this beach whether for a day trip or for an overnight stay. Here are their rates.

Layag-Layag Beach

Layag-Layag Entrance Fees

Entrance Fees (Daytour/Overnight)

  • Regular: P500/head
  • Child (5-9 y/o): P250/head
  • Child (4 y/o and below): FREE

Ecological Fee: P20/person

Boat Rates

If you’re interested in going straight to Layag-Layag Beach, here are their boat rates.

Boat + Water Activities

  • P3,000 (Good for up to 6 Pax)
  • P500/head (In excess of 6 Pax)

Boat ONLY

  • P2,000 (Good for up to 6 Pax)
  • P300/head (In excess of 6 Pax)

Contact Information

To book or for any other information you need, you may check out their Facebook Page or send a message or call these numbers:

  • +63 905 577 5576
  • +63 975 435 9010

 

Bituin Cove

On our team’s previous visit to Calayo, Bituin Cove was a part of their island hopping tour. But on our recent trip, we learned that they now require prior booking before you visit so this wasn’t part of our island-hopping itinerary either. It is also referred to as Hannukah Beach.

Nasugbu - Batangas Beaches to Visit
Bituin Cove, Nasugbu, Batangas

It is located 20 minutes away from Calayo Beach and can be added to your island hopping itinerary for an additional fee, provided that you book your visit in advance. This strip of sand is also one of the camping spots in Nasugbu. But if you want to just go on a day tour and stay on the mainland instead, that’s possible too! Here are their rates.

Bituin Cove Entrance Fees

  • Day Tour: P300/head
  • Overnight: P500/head

Boat Rates

If you want to visit Bituin Cove and go camping, here are their boat rates.

Boat + Water Activities

  • P3,000 (Good for up to 6 Pax)
  • P500/head (In excess of 6 Pax)

Boat ONLY

  • P2,000 (Good for up to 6 Pax)
  • P300/head (In excess of 6 Pax)

Contact Information

For more information, inquiries, and booking, you may message them on their Facebook Page or contact them on the numbers below.

  • +63 912 748 9891
  • +63 992 211 0224

Where to Stay

There are several resorts that you can book in Barangay Calayo. During our trip, we stayed at Calayo Beach Resort. We booked a bamboo house, which can accommodate six (6) people. It has two bedrooms and a loft and a spacious dining area with a kitchen so it’s great for big groups. You can book Calayo Beach Resort by clicking the links below.

Calayo Beach Resort

CHECK AVAILABILITY HERE! Booking.com | Agoda

Alternatively, you can also book accommodation in other areas of Nasugbu. Here are other top-rated hotels to consider:

Top Hotels on Agoda

Top Hotels on Booking.com

If you want more details about each one, you may also check our Top 10 Resorts & Hotels in Nasugbu article.

Find more Batangas Hotels!

Klook.com

Klook Code PHBEACHKLOOK


Where to Eat

If you get hungry before or after your island hopping tour, there are several eateries or carinderias near Calayo Beach where you can get rice meals or other dishes like Batangas lomi. However, if you want more options or you’re looking for proper restaurants to dine in, you’ll have to go to Nasugbu Town Proper. There are more carenderias as well as fast-food restaurants there. But if you’re looking for a place that you can only try in Nasugbu, here are some of the restaurants that we have tried.

El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

El Cocinero Paella
El Cocinero Paella

El Cocinero offers a mostly Spanish menu from their tapas to their paellas. But they also offer variety as they also serve pizza, pasta, and some Filipino favorites. We ordered their signature El Cocinero Paella, Paella Mixta, and El Cocinero Pizza. The El Cocinero Paella is topped with mushrooms, shrimp, mussels, squid, and chorizo while the Paella Mixta has shrimp, mussels, and chicken.

Aside from the food, we also loved the ambiance of the restaurant. It was very spacious and bright, and has a very homey feel.

 

L’Bulalo

L'Bulalo

You might have already guessed their specialty here — Bulalo! Along with this, their menu also includes other Filipino dishes, all day breakfast, and seafood platter. We went here for dinner and of course, we ordered a bowl of bulalo. It was perfect after a very hot and tiring day at the beach. The broth was flavorful and the meat is very tender. We also tried their cajun seafood which was a mix of crabs, shrimps, mussels, and corn.


Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to visit Calayo?

November to May. These are the driest months of the year. There could be a little rainfall, but not too much that it would ruin your trip. However, note that March to May is considered as the summer season in the Philippines so more people are going on vacations or trips. If you want to avoid the rainy season and the crowds at the same time, visit between January to March.

 

Are there shower rooms and toilets at Calayo Beach?

There are no shower rooms and toilets along Calayo Beach itself. However, it is lined with several resorts where you could go on a day tour for a fee and get access to their facilities including showers and toilets. This is an option if you’re only going for an island hopping tour and not staying overnight in Calayo.

 

How’s the mobile phone signal in the area?

Both SMART and GLOBE networks have no signal in Barangay Calayo. We didn’t really stay in Barangay Calayo for long before we started on the island-hopping tour so we were quite surprised to find out that cell service had been down for 2 years or so already in the barangay. This came as a surprise because some of the islands we visited had cell service. Not all, but some did.

You’ll find signs for prepaid wifi or piso wifi near the resort we stayed at, but they weren’t operating at the time. So if you’re a work-from-anywhere type of person, Barangay Calayo may not be for you if you’re expecting important calls or messages. But if peace and quiet is what you’re looking for, this might just be the beachy, off-grid getaway you’ve been wanting for months now.


Tips and Reminders

  • Pay the ecological fee. Upon reaching Barangay Calayo, you’ll get stopped at a check-point where they collect the Barangay Entrance or Ecological Fee. However, if you’re going to visit other areas or barangays in Nasugbu during the same trip, you might encounter another check-point collecting an ecological fee as well.
     
    To ensure that you won’t get charged double, the municipal staff at the check-point advised us to pay the Municipality of Nasugbu’s ecological fee first. Since the municipality covers the different barangays, you will simply need to present the receipt or ticket received upon paying the fee at the different barangay check-points.
  • Bring sun protection. Don’t forget to pack your sunglasses, hat, and and your trusted environment-friendly sunscreen. Use sunscreens that does not contain chemicals like oxybenzone, benzophenone, and parabens as they are harmful to marine life.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle. Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated especially when you’re exposed to the heat. Don’t forget to bring your reusable water bottle or tumbler!
  • Let’s practice being responsible travelers. Remember, take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time, leave nothing but footprints.

Sample Itinerary

Here are sample itineraries for a Calayo Island Hopping trip. One is a day trip itinerary if you have limited time or you want to stay in other parts of Nasugbu or Batangas, while the other is an overnight itinerary if you want to stay in Calayo. This assumes that you are traveling as a group of four (4) people and splitting some of the costs. Feel free to use this itinerary and make adjustments based on your preferences.

Day Tour Itinerary

– Ride a bus to Nasugbu: P240/person
– Get on a tricycle to Calayo: P500/4 = P125/person
– Island hopping tour: P3,000/4 = P750/person
– Check-in for day tour at resort
– Lunch
– Swim at the beach/pool
– Freshen up
– Tricycle to town proper: P500/4 = P125/person
– Bus to Manila: P240/person

This itinerary will set you back P2,500 including a bit of allowance for miscellaneous expenses. This assumes that you will pay around P500 for a day tour at a resort to have access to their facilities including shower.

 

Overnight Itinerary

Day 1

– Ride a bus to Nasugbu: P240/person
– Get on a tricycle to Calayo: P500/4 = P125/person
– Check in at resort/leave bags
– Island hopping tour: P3,000/4 = P750/person
– Lunch
– Freshen up
– Watch sunset at Calayo Beach
– Dinner

Day 2

– Breakfast
– Swim
– Freshen up
– Lunch
– Check out
– Tricycle to town proper: P500/4 = P125/person
– Bus to Manila: P240/person

The itinerary above will cost you around P3,800 including the accommodation, budget for food, and some extra. This assumes that you will book a room at around P4,800 that will be shared between four (4) people and come out to around P1,200 per person. This also assumes that you will eat at the eateries in Calayo. If you plan on dining at restaurants in the town center, make the necessary adjustments to your budget. It is also important to allot an allowance for incidental expenses and price adjustments.


Nasugbu Emergency Numbers

Below are some local emergency hotlines in the Municipality of Nasugbu in Batangas:

  • Nasugbu Police Station
    Mobile: +63 927 500 1199 | +63 998 598 5697
    Landline: +63 (43) 276 9643
  • Bureau of Fire Protection
    Mobile: +63 995 446 5073
    Landline: +63 (43) 4160125
  • Philippine Coast Guard Nasugbu
    Mobile: +63 915 043 9693 | +63 968 705 8583
  • Philippine Red Cross Nasugbu
    Mobile: +63 917 133 1427
    Landline: +63 (43) 740 2356
  • MDRRMO Rescue Nasugbu
    Mobile: +63 917 508 9911
    Landline: +63 (43) 233 1842

Updates Log

2024.07.08 – First uploaded

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