Calatagan’s beach has always been the primary reason for my visits to this charming part of Batangas. The picturesque white sands and breathtaking views have lured me back to Stilts Calatagan several times. During my recent trip with family and friends, I decided to bring my folding bike to explore the nearby areas, including the century-old Spanish lighthouse, Cape Santiago, or Faro de Cabo Santiago – one of the well-preserved remnants of Spanish architecture in the country.
San Juan Batangas, known for its stunning coastal getaways in Laiya, offers a lot more than just pristine beaches. Venture into the mainland and discover a world of hidden wonders, heritage sites, nature trails, and delectable cuisine. San Juan may surprise you with its rich history, scenic landscapes, and diverse recreational activities. Let’s dive in and explore the treasures that lie beyond the shores.
When heading out of Metro Manila towards the beach resorts on the eastern side of Batangas, many visitors overlook the cultural gems of San Juan Batangas Poblacion. Instead of taking the usual route along the San Juan-Laiya Road, why not turn left from General Luna St onto Hall St and uncover the young yet culturally rich heritage of San Juan town?
With a distance of 130km (80 miles) or roughly a three to 4 hours drive from Manila, San Juan, Batangas is one of the popular destinations for an out-of-town escape. For the beach, there’s the white sand stretch of Laiya. Climbers and nature lovers also hike up the peak of Mt Daguldol. But there’s also a different type of crowd that flocks the areas of Balagbag and Pinagbayan villages of the municipality — the migratory birds. Making birding in San Juan Batangas one of the main draws for birders even beyond the migration season.
Traveling to the beach has been rare these days. The pandemic made it more complicated and costly especially if you live in the city. Not to mention the threat of contracting the COVID19 virus in transit. That’s why when I got invited to by group from our yoga community to join for a day trip to Stilts Calatagan, Batangas I decided to join. It would be my second beach trip this year after Coron and couldn’t spend it much better than with people passionate about yoga.
I honestly can’t remember much from last I went here. It was more than a decade ago. I was still working for an American IT company and it was our company outing. Eagle Point Beach and Dive Resort is popular for company outings aside from diving. What I clearly remember was the stunning sunset, playful pawikan and amazing snorkeling just in front of the property. When a chance to go back to the resort came, I thought, why not? It would be interesting to see how things have changed.
I have no problems planning on independent trips. But when it comes to family travel, I’m so poor in planning those kind of logistics. I had to get a little help from friends in the travel industry. My requirement was it should be near Manila, have good accessibility for seniors, convenient and relaxing. Friends from Explore8 gave me options (other resorts Batangas, Cavite, Tagaytay, Vigan) but somehow my siblings and I were leaning into Stilts Calatagan in Batangas. Their cottages looks attractive and they have in-resort transport for our senior relatives. Much more, the beach in this part of Batangas looks gorgeous.