The province of Batangas is a popular choice for road trips close to Metro Manila. It’s only about 2 hours away by car, and has plenty of attractions and activities for everyone to enjoy.
Batangas is known mainly for its many sandy beaches, but that’s not all you’ll find there. The region also has a rich culture and heritage, as well as its own unique local delicacies.
To help you find the activities that best fit your travel style, I’ve written this guide with 12 of the best places to visit and things to do, so you can build the perfect itinerary for this destination.
Places To Visit In Batangas
In this section, I’ll introduce you to some of the top attractions in Batangas, as well as a few hidden gems, to give you a better idea of how you can spend your time there.
You’d be missing out if you visited Batangas and didn’t make it to the coastline! There are a wide variety of beaches there, ranging from private and secluded bays, to lively strips lined with resorts and restaurants.
Some of the most popular spots in the area include Masasa Beach on Tingloy island, Fortune Island with its beautiful hilltop Grecian ruins, and the vibrant Laiya Beach which has opportunities for water sports.
I’ve written a guide about the top 10 beaches in Batangas, so you can pick the best spots to catch a few rays 🙂
Taal Volcano is one of the smallest active volcanoes in the world, located in the middle of Taal Lake. You can take a horse ride or trek up to the crater lake, and see rocks and vents with steam streaming out of it along the way. And if you’re into golfing, you can have some fun by hitting a golf ball into the volcano from the top of the crater.
To get there, you first have to take a bus to Tagaytay, and then take a jeepney to Talisay – this journey takes about 2.5 hours. From there, you’ll travel to the crater lake by boat.
Taal Heritage Town
Taal used to be the capital of Batangas. It’s now a heritage village that is somewhat off the beaten track.
It has many well-preserved ancestral houses that were once home to the wealthy during the Spanish era. One of the most iconic attractions there is the famous Basilica de San Martin de Tours, or Taal Basilica, the biggest Catholic church in Asia.
If you’re looking for cool souvenirs to bring back from the area, you can consider balisong, or foldable pocketknives, or handmade embroidery, known as burdang Taal.
Batangas has two historic lighthouses. The first is Malabrigo Lighthouse, located on top of a hill in the town of Lobo. It was built during the Spanish colonial era, and it’s still in use now with new solar-powered lamps. At the top, you can get a fantastic view of the Verde Island passage.
The other lighthouse is Cape Santiago Lighthouse, a striking white and red brick tower in the town of Calatagan. Don’t miss it if you’re a history buff – the caretaker is an excellent guide and storyteller.
Cathedrals And Churches
Thanks to its rich heritage, Batangas is home to many churches and cathedrals. One of the most popular churches is Caleruega in the town of Nasugbu. Even the grounds are worth a visit as it’s beautifully landscaped with greenery, a koi pond, and even a hanging bridge.
If you’re in search of a quieter place for reflection, head to the Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Lipa city. But if it’s grand, sweeping designs you’re looking for, visit the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Sebastian, also in the city of Lipa.
Milea Bee Farm
Milea Bee Farm is worth a visit for a nature-filled retreat from the city. The charming, family-friendly farm in Lipa city is run by owners Rico and Edilee.
At the farm, you can learn about bees and their role in the ecosystem, how fake honey differs from real honey, and get organic honey-based products. Occasionally, you’ll even get to sample edible plants and flowers!
Things To Do In Batangas
Most of the activities on this list revolve around the beach and water, but read on for some of the best things you can do on dry land as well 🙂
Take a Hike for Fresh Air
Although beaches are the main draw of Batangas, nature lovers and thrill seekers also love the province for its variety of hiking spots.
Mt. Manabu is a good place to start for newbies to hiking. For something a little more challenging, try Mt. Maculot. One of its most iconic landmarks is the Rockies, a rock formation where you can take an awesome selfie with a breathtaking backdrop of Taal Lake!
Dive into an Underwater Paradise
The village of Anilao is a good place to go for a spot of scuba diving. Many resorts offer scuba diving lessons, as well as expeditions for licensed divers.
There are great dive spots for beginners like Eagle Point, Cathedral, or Twin Rocks, where a shipwreck lays on the seabed. Advanced divers on the other hand can head to Mapating, Shark Cave, or Mainit Point.
Remember to plan ahead for your trip – the best time for scuba diving is during the summer, when waters are clear!
Go Island Hopping
Not quite up to scuba diving yet? Try island hopping for some snorkeling and swimming!
It’s also a good option if you’re short on time, as many resorts in Anilao will arrange island hopping tours where you can visit several islands like Sepoc, Sombrero, Tingloy, and Verde in an afternoon.
Make a Splash with Water Sports
Adrenaline junkies will feel right at home in Batangas, as many resorts offer water sports that get your heart racing. Some of the popular activities include jet skiing, wakeboarding, Flying Fish, banana boat rides, and kayaking.
Let Loose at a Floating Adventure Park
If you’ve had your fill of regular water activities, head to Aqua Park in Talisay for a change! The floating inflatable adventure park has human cannonball launchers, giant hamster wheels and a massive water slide, all designed for the whole family to enjoy.
Consider staying overnight at the attached Club Balai Isabel hotel, so you can use the park for a longer time, and enjoy lower entrance fees exclusively for guests as well.
Indulge in Local Cuisine
Batangas cuisine may not be as well-known as its beaches and dive sites, but it’s no less yummy! The province is known for its high quality beef, which is used in many of their best local dishes like bulalo, or bone marrow soup, and goto, a rich and peppery beef broth.
Thanks to Batangas’ coastal location, rivers and Taal lake, you’ll also find many seafood dishes. Some examples are deep-fried tawilis, or freshwater sardine, and sinaing na tulingan, a tuna dish slow-cooked in a clay pot. Don’t leave Batangas without giving these dishes a try!
As you can see, there’s no lack of things to do in Batangas. Whether you want to lay by the beaches, take on scuba diving, hike to the tallest peaks or just immerse yourself in the culture, you can find things to do that fit your mood and style.
Hope this guide helps you plan a great trip to Batangas!