2018 • 06 • 28
Matabungkay Beach had its glory days back in the ’50s until early ’90s; it was THE place to be for family and company outings, weekend getaways with friends, and group excursions during its heyday. I was about eight years old when I first set foot on Matabungkay’s famed fine light gray sand that appears to be white when the sun is glaring. My second time was in 2007; last April this year was my third. It’s a long stretch of ashen sand lined with resorts, stores, and houses. Matabungkay Beach is also known for its floating bamboo raft cottages.
WHAT'S IN THIS GUIDE?
How to Get There
Nearest Airport: Ninoy Aquino International Airport, also known as Manila International Airport (Manila)
- From EDSA-Taft, you can take either the bus or the van bound for Calatagan (or Lian), Batangas. The van terminal is located at the basement parking of Metropoint Mall near Pasay Rotonda. The fare is around P180. Travel time is about two to three hours, depending on traffic situation.
- Alight at the junction to Matabungkay Beach in Lian. If you are not sure where to get off, just tell the driver or conductor to drop you off at the junction going to the beach.
- Take a tricycle at the junction to Matabungkay Beach.
Entrance Fee and Other Charges
- Entrance Fee: It’s a public beach, so it’s free, unless you are staying in one of the resorts or accessing the beach via one of them. Rate varies depending on the resort. It ranges from P50 to P250 per person.
- Camping Fee: It depends on the resort. Some areas allow camping, some don’t. Ask first before pitching your tent. Camping is not really a thing here because there are many resorts lining the beach.
- Cottage Rental Fee: It depends on the resort. Rates range from P500 to P2500.
- Bamboo Raft Cottage Rental Fee: The usual rate is P1500, but it still depends on the size and/or number of people.
- Beach Cove Hopping Tour: It depends on the resort. Matabungkay Beach Hotel charges P500 per hour (good for 7 pax).
- Matabungkay Environmental Fee: P30
- Parking Fee: Around P50 (day trip); Around P100 (overnight)
- Others: Jet Ski (P3500/hr, 2 pax); Banana Boat (P1250 for 15mins, 5 pax); Pedal Boat (P350/hr); Kayak (P350/hr); Stand Up Paddle (P350/hr); Motorized Boat (P500/hr); Snorkel Gear Rental (P100/hr); Helmet Diving (P1200/person, 15 mins); Intro Diving (P3000/person, 15 mins); Diving (P4000/person, 1hr) Note: The rates are based on Matabungkay Beach Hotel’s offers. Rates may vary depending on the resort.
- Swimming! The water is clear and mostly calm. Walk further to get away from the crowd. Either end of the long stretch of the beach (where the expensive resorts are located) is more peaceful and has fewer crowds.
- Aside from swimming, you can do other activities such as beach volleyball, jet ski, banana boat, paddle boat, stand up paddle board and many others.
- Go beach cove hopping. Explore other sand pockets and enjoy the secluded vibe.
- Snorkeling and diving. Just 50 meters from the beach, you can spot corals and small fishes. Swim further from the beach or rent a boat to get to the best snorkeling and diving spot.
- If you want to learn and experience fishing, there are boatmen offering this activity. Negotiate the rate of the package (boat and fishing equipment).
- Try the floating bamboo raft cottage. Your Matabungkay experience won’t be complete without this.
- Watch the sunset.
- Bring sun protection like a hat, scarf, or coral-friendly sunscreen (those without oxybenzone, parabens, and benzophenone).
- Wear comfortable footwear or aqua shoes. The sand can be too hot when the sun is high, especially during noon.
- Bring also insect or mosquito repellent lotion.
- You can bring your own food, but there are many stores and a small marketplace around the area. Matabungkay is highly commercialized.
- Bring an extra battery for your camera or bring power banks.
- Don’t step on the corals when you go snorkeling. Also, if you can, pick up the trash that you see in the water. Efforts are being made to preserve the beach. Let’s be part of the solution, not the cause of the problem.
- Leave no trash behind. Bring your garbage with you. PLEASE.
If You Have More Time and Budget
- When you are done with Matabungkay, you can go further to Calatagan and check out its beaches like the Manuel Uy Beach and the Stilts.
- You can also choose to explore other beaches in Nasugbu instead. And if you are into hiking, you can also scale Mount Batulao or Mount Talamitam; both are located in Nasugbu, Batangas. As of writing, Mount Palay-Palay or Pico de Loro is still closed to the public.
- If you have a car and you are taking the Nasugbu-Tagaytay Road, you can do a stopover in Tagaytay before heading back to Manila.
Where to Stay
There are many resorts, from budget to high-end, lining the beach of Matabungkay. You may opt to spend the night in one of the resorts here. Below are some of the recommended resorts in Lian, Batangas according to Agoda users, in no particular order.
- Coral Beach Club. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Bella Beach Resort Batangas. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Matabungkay Beach Resort and Hotel. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- White Castle Hotel and Resort. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY