Travel

This Island in Batangas is Every Camper's Dream

Beach barbecues, beer, and your own music make this island a perfect paradise for campers and glampers.
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/viadpanganiban, deleonrovi
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Just an hour away from Puerto Galera is the untouched virgin beaches of Verde Island, also commonly known as Isla Verde. The island has escaped destructive commercial development, but there are a few licensed resorts in it. Isla Verde's crystal clear blue waters and white sand beaches have also escaped Manila's attention, surprisingly. Located south of Batangas, Isla Verde is a destination for a simple, quiet, and relaxing retreat.

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How to Get There

Note: When planning your trip to the island, make sure to depart Manila by 4 a.m. in order to catch the public boat in Batangas leaving for Isla Verde by 9 a.m. since it only takes one trip per day.

From Metro Manila

1. From Cubao, take a provincial bus bound to Batangas City and alight at the Batangas City Grand Terminal.

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2. From Batangas City Grand Terminal, take a tricycle to Tabangao Aplaya.

3. If you have a car, park it at the Tabangao Port before boarding a boat.

4. Several boats leaving for Verde Island at Tabangao Aplaya . Know the exact barangay you’re staying in to ride the proper boat that can drop you off at the area.

5. You may also hire a private boat going to the island which you should have already contacted beforehand. You’ll be riding the boat at Barangay Ilijan, located an hour away from the Grand Terminal.

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      What to Do

      You can swim, kayak, pedal boat, camp, but the best adventure is scuba diving and snorkeling (bring your own equipment).  

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      Where to Stay

      Sawang Dive Camp

      With a white facade almost reminiscent of Greek architecture, the Sawang Dive Camp is the recommended resort for beach campers.  Accommodations include quaint cabanas. These cabanas have the basics: mattresses, sheets, electric fans, and even bean bags, all good for two to six people for P2000 to P3000 a night. There are also see-through tents for stargazing. As for daytime activities, there’s a choice to go island hopping and snorkelling for only P1500.

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      Location: San Agapito, Verde Island, Batangas City

      Surface Interval Resort

      Aptly named the Surface Interval Resort, it claims to be the ideal retreat for scuba divers. It has dining huts and lounging huts for daytime visitors, as well as rooms for those staying overnight. It also has tents for rent for people who like a camping vibe. Tents are limited, but you may  bring and pitch your own tent for a P200 fee per night, including the additional P100 entrance fee for adults. You may also rent grilling equipment if you want to host BBQ parties. Recreational activities at the resort include kayaking and pedaling boats. 

      Visit their Facebook page for more information. 

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      Location: San Agapito, Verde Island, Batangas City

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      Things to Note:

      While you may find basic necessities at the abovementioned resorts, seeing as Isla Verde is fairly free from commercial establishments, you’ll have to prepare a few things to ensure an enjoyable and comfortable stay.

      1. Boats going to the island depart as soon as they’re filled up, so again, be sure to get there early. The latest time that the available boats will leave is at 9 a.m.

      2. The island’s electricity is limited from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. only so make sure to bring accessories that you think will be necessary like power banks, or small portable fans.

      3. There aren’t any restaurants available anywhere on the island, so you’ll have to provide for your own food and water, which you can both shop for in the nearby sari-sari stores or at the Bagong Palengke Batangas public market.

      4. Boats going back to the mainland leave for 3 a.m. and also only take one trip a day, so make sure you wake up extra early.

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      5. There obviously won’t be any ATMs available so make sure to bring enough cash with you.
      As respect to the island and its natives, make sure to limit your use of plastic, and don’t leave any of your trash lying around.

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          This story originally appeared on Preview.phMinor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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