WHAT'S IN THIS GUIDE?
Read full guide here: STILTS CALATAGAN ON A BUDGET 2018: Travel Guide & Itinerary
Back in 2015, Stilts Calatagan seemed like a distant dream to me. Tales of its beauty were spread by word of mouth and backed by its reputation as a choice venue for weddings, debut, and team-building. Its cluster of overwater villas, connected by wooden boardwalks, is the defining feature of the resort. The rate of each villa is, well, over-the-top. But nowadays, weekend warriors, especially the budget travelers, are getting more aware of its day tour and camping alternatives; these options are way more affordable and attainable compared to booking a room for a night.
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 three to four hours, depending on traffic situation.
- Alight at the town proper or at the Calatagan Public Market.
- Hire a tricycle to Stilts Calatagan. The fare is P200 (good for four pax). The travel time is about 20 minutes.
- Whether by private car or by public transportation, the guard will ask you if you have a reservation when you reached the gate. Just tell that you are only doing day trip.
- The guard will give you a slip of paper telling you where to go and a WALK-IN sign.
- Just follow the directional signs and you won’t get lost. Most likely, it will direct you to the resort’s recreation area called Infinity. Proceed to the reception area.
Entrance Fee and Other Charges
- Day Tour Entrance Fee: P350 (off-peak season); P385 (peak season)
- Camping Fee: P700/person (off-peak); P770/person (peak)
- Tent Rental: P1500 (extra small, 1-2 pax); P1500 (small, 1-3 pax); P2500 (medium, 4-5 pax); P3500 (large, 6-8 pax); P4500 (extra large, 8-12 pax); P300 (folding bed)
- Cottage Rental Fee: Umbrella Hut (P850 off-peak/P1020 peak, 10 pax); Open Hut (P850 off-peak/P1020 peak, 15 pax); Cabana (P1000 off-peak/P1200 peak, 20 pax); Small Pavilion (P1000 off-peak/P1200 peak, 20 pax); Big Pavilion (P2000 off-peak/P2400 peak, 50 pax); Destiny Pavilion (P1500 off-peak/P1800 peak, 20 pax); Cozy Nook (P500 off-peak/P600 peak, 5-10 pax); Picnic Table (P350 off-peak/P420 peak, 4 pax)
- Tours and Activities: Guided Mangrove Boat Tour (P1000/hr + P500 per 30-min extension, 2 pax); Sandbar and Snorkeling Tour (P1500 for 1.5hr, 5 pax); ATV (P850/driver + P250/back rider, 45 mins & P1250/driver + P300/back rider, 1hr 15mins); Scuba Diving (P3500/pax, intro dive for 1-2 pax; P2500/pax, intro dive for 3+ pax; P1200-3500/pax for certified divers)
- Others: P350/hr (Stand Up Paddle); P250/hr (Single Kayak); P350/hr (Tandem Kayak); P400/hr (Pedal Boat); P1500/hr (Speed Boat, 3 pax); P375/pax (Banana Boat, minimum of 5 pax); P250/hr (Mountain Bike); P75 (mask and snorkel set rental)
- Environmental Fee: P30
- Parking Fee: FREE
- Swimming, snorkeling, beach bumming, and exploring the beach.
- Try the Mangrove Boat Tour, island hopping, or scuba diving (if you are into underwater scenery).
- Other activities offered by the resort are ATV rental, kayaking, SUP, pedal boat, speed boat rental, banana boat, and mountain bike rental.
- Make the most of your stay and money by taking lots of photos.
- Aside from the beach, you can access the pool and use the shower rooms and other amenities (unless marked as off-limits for day-trippers).
- Watch the sunset.
- Stilts Calatagan has three beaches: Serenity, Harmony, and Destiny. Running parallel to the beach is Infinity, a recreation area for those who are only visiting on a day tour.
- Peak season is from March to June, the month of December, and holidays, while the off-peak season is from January to February and July to November.
- Upon check-in at Infinity reception area (for day tours), the staff will give you a map that indicates the areas which you can access and those which you cannot. Only those who booked the water villa accommodation can access it, but you can take photos of it from the designated viewing spot.
- 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 will have to pay the corkage fees for the food purchased outside the resort. If you want to save money, just stuff yourself before you go to the resort or eat later when you are done with your day tour.
- Bring an extra battery for your camera or bring power banks.
- Don’t step on the corals when you go snorkeling.
- If you are not a big group, like solo to trio pax, you can just find a spot under the shade of the tree to lessen the cost.
- Instead of renting a room, you can pitch a tent. There are designated camping areas within the resort. You can bring your own tent or you can rent. Another cheaper option is to pitch a tent at Manuel Uy Beach and jsut do pure day tour at Stilts Calatagan.
- Drop by the reception area before you exit. You will need to present the gate pass to the guard at the gate where you previously entered.
- If you came by public transportation, it’s better to talk to the driver to arrange your pick-up time going back to the town proper. Tricycles rarely pass through that road/area.
- Leave no trash behind. Bring your garbage with you. PLEASE.
If You Have More Time and Budget
- You can visit the Calatagan Lighthouse on your way back to the town proper or camp overnight at Manuel Uy Beach. You can also go to Matabungkay Beach in Lian, Batangas.
- You can 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
If you plan to stay long in Calatagan, but Stilts Calatagan is too steep for you and roughing it out is not really your thing, there are other options. Below are some of the recommended resorts in Calatagan, Batangas according to Agoda users (as of May 2018).
- Sunrise Cove. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Lago de Oro Hotel. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Calatagan Private Resort. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- White Castle Hotel and Resort. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY