Without any warning, summer has come. And with it, the infernal tropical heat. Granted, tropical winter decided not to grace us with its coolness last year. Naturally, come February, I was already pining for the beach. So, on the first weekend of March, I psyched myself up for an 8-hour drive for a day trip at Burot Beach in Calatagan, Batangas.
Day Trip at Burot Beach
My sister had been raving for years about Burot beach but we had always put it off because of various rumors that previously cropped up regarding this piece of tucked away reprieve from city-living stress. But this time, we finally just jumped in Rogue and went on a drive. With the help of Google Maps, we got to our early summer destination in just 4 hours (including one pit stop for diesel top up and another to buy ice and other supplies). The drive was pleasant enough with hardly any traffic which was surprising since we left a bit late (7:30am) and passed through the infamous Sta. Rosa exit.
The drive consisted mostly of paved highways but from the Calatagan Municipal Cemetery, it was all dirt road. There was even a very narrow land bridge flanked by mangroves. I got nervous thinking that another SUV would come and we’d end up in the waters. Past that, the beach.
First of all, Burot Beach is a private property. And they are very keen on reminding you at every turn. Like in most private properties, they ask for your ID as soon as you get to the gate. Then, you are asked to sign a waiver, to list down all the people in your party and to pay an entrance fee depending on your stay: 65 Php for day trip and 130 Php for overnight stay.
Also, Burot Beach is best for happy campers and cowboys who do not look for glamorous rooms or even cottages, fancy food and elegant washrooms. Instead of all that, Burot beach offers free parking, make-shift showers and toilets, and tents for rent.
Lastly, if you are looking for entertainment, bring them yourselves – volleyball, frisbee, playing cards, whatever you think you’d need while waiting for the harsh noonday sun to come down a bit. At least there is no danger of being overcharged and better yet, overspending.
What to Love
Although, the beach is no Boracay – no super white, powder-fine sand and lots of patches of sea grass, too – Burot Beach has a certain charm. The water is very calm and also very warm; there’s no need to go on a shrieking dive to get over the initial coldness that most beaches tend to force you to do. The beach is also pretty shallow, which is great especially if you are with really young kids. And because there’s sea grass, there’s plenty of fish swimming around. We even found several starfish when we were there!
Also, since Burot Beach faces the west, the sunset is a big attraction. Explore the beach to find a great spot for catching the sunset and click on your camera away.
Maximize Your Day Trip
As I’ve already mentioned, Burot Beach is for campers or those who do not mind roughing it out with nature. But if you are still hesitant on camping out in a place with no electricity, sleeping in a tent on the hard ground (yes, the sand will not contour to your body’s shape) and going on a toilet flushed à la pail, then you might want to dip your toes first and stay for a day trip.
For day trips, try to leave your house as early as you can. It will be cooler and there would be less traffic. Arriving in Calatagan early can also guarantee the freshest seafood available at the market near the beach. Also, getting at the beach early means a good spot at the better shaded areas. Not only that, early means longer beach time! And if you’re the designated driver, you just might be able to squeeze in a short nap.
Things to bring
- Giant umbrella or any shade-providing contraption.
- Blankets and/or chairs for sitting or lying down.
- Lots of cooked food and lots of drinks.
- Grill and other cooking implements if you want some barbecue
- Towels, toiletries and tons of sunblock
How to get there
By private vehicle (using Google Maps):
- Take the SLEX until the Eton Exit, emerging into the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road, passing Tagaytay. Then take the Nasugbu-Tagaytay Road, then the Tuy-Nasugbu/Palico-Nasugbu Highway.
- At a roundabout, take the Calatagan-Lian Highway.
- Drive straight towards the Sto. Domingo church, turn left then right to Ayala St., past the public market.
- Then you will pass a public cemetery, plenty of dirt roads until you get to a gate with a guard who will ask for your ID.
- Best to ask the guard for directions because there are plenty of dirt roads but absolutely no road signs. If you are not hesitant to use your mobile data, Google Maps gives great directions at this point.
- When you find yourself at the narrow land bridge with mangroves to the sides, you are almost at your destination.
Maximum travel time: 4 hours
By public transportation (shuttle van):
- Take a van going to Calatagan. The terminal is near the Kabayan Hotel at the EDSA-Taft MRT Station. Fare is Php 180 per person.
- Ask to be let down at the Calatagan market. Take a tricycle to Burot Beach. Fare is PHP 50 per person.
By public transportation (bus):
- Take a Celyrosa bus going to Calatagan at the Pasay Rotonda terminal.
- From the Calatagan Bus Terminal, get a tricycle going to Burot Beach
March 4, 2016
*photos were taken using iPhone 6 and GoPro Hero 4 Silver