Batangas would be the top choice for every weekend getaway for a group that doesn’t want to really break the bank. Why not? It’s close to Manila and it won’t need grueling long hours on the road to be able to get to touch the sand and crystal clear blue waters that everyone is craving. This beautiful province is also home to different beaches that would cater to whatever you or your group need.
Verde Island, or Isla Verde as it’s popularly known, is among these beautiful spots in Batangas. Imagine Palawan-like white sand and blue waters, but only a few hours away from Manila! It is safely tucked 30 minutes to an hour away from the port in Batangas. Bonus is the fact that this island is also paradise to a healthy marine environment. Isla Verde is in the center of the center of marine biodiversity which is the Coral Triangle—the Verde Island Passage.
How to Get There
Nearest Airport: Ninoy Aquino International Airport, also known as Manila International Airport (Manila)
There are several ports that moor boats going to Isla Verde; there are ports in Tabangao, Ilijan, and Dela Paz. Depending on the waves, the boatmen usually decides where to moor the passenger boats.
- Take any bus that would go to Batangas Grand Terminal; fare is P157. JAM Liner and DLTB have daily trips coming from Taft, Buendia and Cubao. Travel time is maximum of 3 hours depending on the traffic.
- Via Tabangao Port: Once at Batangas Grand Terminal, take the jeepney going to Batangas Bayan and have the driver drop you off where you can take another jeepney going to Tabangao Port; jeepney fares are at P12 each).
Via Dela Paz Port: From Batangas Grand Terminal, take the jeepney going to Batangas Bayan and have the driver drop you off where you can take another jeepney going to SM Batangas; jeepney fares are at P12 each. Go to the parking lot at the back of SM where the jeepneys going to Dela Paz are parked. These pass by Ilijan before reaching Dela Paz, so you may be dropped off at Ilijan if the boats are there. The drivers usually also know where the passenger boats are. Fare is P40 for Ilijan and P45 for Dela Paz; travel time is 45 minutes to an hour.
Depending on the port, the travel time would take from 30 minutes to an hour. Since Tabangao Port is closest to Batangas Grand Terminal, boat time would take an hour or so. If coming from Ilijan or Dela Paz, boat time would only take minimum of 30 minutes. But would still depend on the waves.
Entrance Fee and Other Charges
Entrance Fee: It depends on where you choose to go and stay on the island. Some areas have no entrance fee.
Camping Fee: It depends on the resort. Some of them allow camping, some don’t. Usual rate is around P100 – P200. If you have no tent and opted for tent accommodation, usual rate is P200/head per night. Bring your own tent if you want to save some bucks.
Cottage Rental Fee: Rates vary from one resort to another but usually start at P300/head per night in a fan room accommodation.
- Many divers have flocked to this place, but it still remains unspoiled and looking almost untouched. The shores are clean except for the residue of tree logs washed off-shore by the waves.
- Underneath its waterbed is a whole new world that keeps all divers giddy for every trip.
- Explore the island. It has six barangays namely Liponpon, San Agapito, San Agustin East, San Agustin West, San Andres, and San Antonio. Here are some of the places to see: Mahabang Buhangin, Cueva Sitio, the lighthouse, Mt. Liponpon, and Mt. Dagit Dagit.
- There is only one schedule going to and from the island for the passenger boats. Passenger boat costs P100 per way. They leave at exactly 8AM and sometimes earlier if the boat is already full. This is to avoid strong currents along the way.
- Going back to the mainland, boats leave at 3AM. You have to let the resort know if you are planning to leave at this time because the boatmen fetch the passengers from their resorts.
- Since there is only one trip, try to leave Manila as early as 3AM to be able to get to the port on time, travel time from Manila to the ports will be around 4 hours.
- If you’re going in groups, it’s best to ask the resort if they allow guests who cook their own food. It will be cheaper if you buy supplies from the market in Batangas and then to just bring it to the resort. Some will only charge the use of gas.
If You Have More Time and Budget
- Seen from a part of the island is Puerto Galera in Mindoro, and according to the locals, it is reachable by boat in less than an hour. Tourists from Puerto Galera also come to Isla Verde to dive.
Where to Stay
There are several beach resorts all around the island. All of them offer different views with different underwater paradise as well. Here are some of the recommended resorts that you can find in Batangas according to Agoda users (as of August 2017).
The Farm at San Benito
Vivere Azure Resort
Acuatico Beach Resort & Hotel
La Chevrerie Resort and Spa