Here’s a DIY Travel Guide to Masasa Beach in Tingloy, Batangas, with information on resorts, home stays, boat rates, and sample MASASA BEACH ITINERARY for day tour and overnight stay!
Until very recently, Masasa Beach was a concealed gem, stashed away from the watchful eye of weekend warriors from Manila. But something this precious is hard to keep secret. As soon as word got out, tourists came in droves, rattling what used to be a dormant town.
Masasa Beach is arguably the best beach in Tingloy, the only municipality in Batangas that is not on mainland Luzon. Its main island is the fish-shaped Maricaban, off the tip of Calumpang Peninsula separating Balayan Bay from Batangas Bay.
The truth is, the sand here isn’t as pearly white as what you would expect in Boracay or Palawan, but what Masasa Beach lacks in the brightness of its sand it makes up for in the vibrance of waves. Its crystal clear, shallow waters give off a beautiful turquoise shimmer, something that will catch your attention even from a great distance.
WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?
HOW TO GET TO MASASA BEACH
MANILA TO ANILAO / TALAGA PORT
Note that boats bound for Tingloy or Masasa Beach are docked at either Anilao Port or Talaga Port.
Anilao Port (aka Mabini Multi-purpose Port) is used from the start of amihan season, sometime in December until some time in June. When habagat season begins, the operations are moved to Talaga Port in Brgy. Talaga. There is no fixed date because it depends on the conditions of the waves and currents. But you may call the Mabini Tourism Office to be sure: (043) 410 0607.
Anyway, if you’re taking public transportation, here’s how to get to these ports.
- Take the bus going to Batangas City. There are terminals in EDSA-Kamias and Cubao in Quezon City, LRT-Buendia and Taft in Pasay City.
- Alight at the Grand Terminal. Fare: P185 from LRT-Buendia (higher if from Cubao, lower if from Alabang). Travel time: 2-3 hours.
- Ride a jeepney to Talaga Port or Anilao Port. You’ll find the jeepneys at a dedicated terminal. Just ask around. Everyone at the Grand Terminal knows where the jeeps are stationed. Travel time: 40 minutes. Fare: PhP 40.
Try to leave in the early morning to dodge the crazy Manila rush hour traffic. If you choose a bus with a CALABARZON sign, travel time will be much shorter because it will bypass several towns and cities (Lipa, Tanauan, Malvar, etc.). Travel time is less than 2 hours. Otherwise, it can take as long as 3 hours.
ANILAO / TALAGA PORT TO MASASA BEACH
By Public Boat
Once you’re at the port, you have three options depending on your travel plan. Whatever you choose, you will need to pay a P80 environmental fee in addition to the fare.
- Option 1: Catch the boat to Tingloy Port. The fare is only P80. Travel time: 45 minutes – 1 hour. At the port, rent a tricycle to your homestay or to the start of the hiking trail to Masasa Beach. Tricycle Fare: P80.
- Option 2: Go straight to Masasa Beach. There are public boats that go directly to Masasa Beach, but they are fewer and even more unpredictable. Fare: P100.
Here is the boat schedule.
ANILAO / TALAGA PORT to TINGLOY PORT BOAT SCHEDULE
TINGLOY PORT to ANILAO / TALAGA PORT BOAT SCHEDULE
However, based on experience, the schedules above are not always followed. The boat usually only leaves as soon as there are 80 passengers onboard, so during off-peak season and weekdays, prepare to wait a long time.
As you might have noticed, the last public boat back to the mainland at Tingloy Port leaves at 2:30pm. But you can also rent a private boat at Masasa Beach, which will set you back P3000 (or P2500 if you haggle). There are also other boats that ferry passengers back to the mainland at smaller docks, but we can’t hold of any official schedule. But they sometimes pick up passengers at Masasa Beach at around 12nn on weekends.
By Private Boat
If you’re a big group or you want complete control of your time, you can charter a private boat. However, it may be hard to find a boatman willing to take you on a tour at the port. We’ve successfully done it once before. On my second time, we couldn’t find any so we ended up taking the tour offered by our resort.
The usual rate is P4500 per boat. Pretty steep! But this can accommodate up to 10 passengers.
You can ask the boatman to make a stop at Sombrero Island because it’s along the way. Sombrero Island entrance fee is P200 ($4). Some boatmen will ask for additional P500 ($10) for it.
WHERE TO STAY NEAR MASASA BEACH
There are no resorts in Masasa Beach itself. For the longest time, camping was the most popular choice for weekenders. However, starting March 2017, overnight camping is no longer permitted. You may still pitch a tent, but you must leave by 7pm.
As of March 2019, overnight camping is still not allowed.
MASASA BEACH HOMESTAY AND TRANSIENT HOUSES
The local government is encouraging visitors to opt with homestay instead. There are many available. If you want to book via Agoda, here are some options:
- SEA LOVERS’ PLACE. P1500 per room. Check Rates & Availability!
- TRES MARIAS TRANSIENT HOUSE. P1500 per room. Check Rates & Availability!
I was also able to try Mandanas Homestay, home of Councilor Florencio Mandanas, which was one of the first to welcome tourists back in the day. It’s been years since I last tried it though so I don’t know the latest rates. But their contact numbers are 09178255513 and 09178414715.
Here’s all the other homestay information we gathered. Please note that we are not recommending any of these. This is merely a list of available homestays in the island. I cannot vouch for any of these so book at your own risk.
- Bebe Gella’s Transient House
Contact Numbers: 0977 239 3555 / 0916 780 6529
- MJ Squared Transient House
Contact Numbers: 0919 978 8884 / 0995 601 2658
- Nanay Rosie Transient House
Contact Numbers: 0919 686 4368 / 0995 986 3780
- Ate Lisa Transient House
Contact Number: 0906 402 367
- Carmen and Ruben
Contact Numbers: 0926 522 4463 / 0975 715 7232
- El Soledad
Contact Numbers: 0999 516 4723
- Teacher Benny
Contact Numbers: – 0917 804 8427 / 0927 333 1977
- KC – Neth Nipa Huts
Contact Numbers: 0910 532 1471 / 0977 814 2914
- Tita Ebeth Transient House
Contact Numbers: 0999 6890354 / 0930 753 5725
- Casa Victoria
Contact Numbers: 0956 536 5386
- Sea Lovers’ Place
Contact Numbers: 0998 843 3558
All transient standard rate is PHP 400 per person if you’re a group of 3.
If you’re a party of 2 only, the price is between PHP 1200 and 1500.
Because Masasa Beach can be visited on an island hopping day tour from Anilao, many travelers choose to just spend the night in the mainland, where plenty of resorts are located. Here are some of the best-rated resorts in Anilao and nearby barangays on the mainland, according to Agoda users.
Of these, we were able to try BagaLangit Hideaways and Eagle Point Resort, both located in Barangay Bagalangit. Both resorts also offer beach tours that can take you to Masasa Beach. Eagle Point can also take you to Sepoc Beach.
- Eagle Point Beach and Dive Resort. Check Rates & Availability!
- BagaLangit Hideaways. Check Rates & Availability!
- Anilao Beach Buzz and Dive Resort. Check Rates & Availability!
- Blue Ribbon Dive Resort. Check Rates & Availability!
Search for more: Anilao Hotels
THINGS TO DO IN MASASA BEACH
- Beach bum and swim. Obviously. It’s a great beach, strewn with soft, supple sand, lapped up by gentle waves. And in sunny days, the waters are so blue, you won’t resist it. Remember that it’s a long beach. Behind the rock walls are more pockets of sand. Don’t stay on the main beach.
- Snorkel. Tingloy is within the vicinity of Verde Passage which is one of the richest marine biodiversity spots in the world. Some of these wonderful creatures come closer to the shore. But remember, please respect wildlife. Don’t feed them. Don’t touch them. Don’t kill them.
- Go island hopping. On the beach you’ll find a small store. Next to it is a space where boatmen stay. They take passengers on an island-hopping tour which make a stop at other spots like Oscar Beach, Tawil Point, Sepoc Point, lagoon, and Sombrero Island. They use a small boat that can accommodate up to 3 passengers. Standard rate: P1500.
- Trek to Mag-asawang Bato, a rock formation that stands atop a nearby hill. Beginners can definitely do this. Takes around 2 hours to complete.
There’s another good beach in Tingloy: Sepoc Island
SAMPLE MASASA BEACH ITINERARY
If you’re spending a night in Tingloy, here’s a sample itinerary.
05:00 am – ETD JAM Bus Terminal (Buendia or Kamias)
8:00 am – ETA Batangas Grand Terminal
8:30 am – ETD Batangas Grand Terminal (Jeepney to Anilao)
9:30 am – ETA Anilao, Brunch, buy supplies
10:00 am – Boat to Tingloy
11:00 am – Check in at homestay
11:30 am – Trike + trek to Masasa Beach, swim, etc
06:00 pm – Pack up, back to homestay
07:00 pm – Dinner
06:00 am – Wake up, get ready
08:00 am – Boat back to Anilao
09:00 am – Jeep to Grand Terminal
10:20 am – Ride Bus to Manila
Because of Masasa Beach’s close proximity, it is often visited as a side trip attraction for those climbing Mt. Gulugod Baboy or scuba diving in Anilao. Below is a sample weekend itinerary for non-divers. Tweak this according to your schedule and needs.
Day 1: Gulugod Baboy
07:00 am – ETD JAM Bus Terminal (Buendia or Kamias)
10:00 am – ETA Batangas Grand Terminal
10:30 am – ETD Batangas Grand Terminal (Jeepney to Anilao)
11:20 am – ETA Anilao, Lunch, Rest, Prep for Hike
01:40 pm – Take tricycle to Philpan Dive Resort
02:00 pm – Start climb
04:00 pm – Set up camp, explore summit, sunset viewing
06:30 pm – Dinner
10:00 pm – Lights out
Day 2: Tingloy Island Hopping
05:30 am – Wake up, sunrise viewing
06:45 am – Breakfast preps
09:00 am – Break camp, start descent
10:40 am – ETA Philpan Dive Resort
11:00 am – Back at Anilao Port for island hopping tour
11:15 am – Buy lunch ingredients at Anilao Public Market
11:40 am – TOUR! Sombrero Island, Masasa Beach
05:00 pm – Back at Anilao Port
06:00 pm – Leave for Batangas City (Grand Terminal)
07:00 pm – ETD Batangas Grand Terminal
09:30 pm – ETA Manila
MASASA BEACH BUDGET BREAKDOWN
Here’s a summary of the possible expenses. This should give you a ballpark figure of how much to prep for this trip but in no way perfect. This should only serve as a guide.
Note that you would not encounter everything above. For example, if you don’t plan on staying overnight in Tingloy, then ignore the boat fare to Tingloy. Likewise, if you only wish to see Masasa Beach and not the other islands, ignore the island-hopping tour because you can easily reach it by taking the public boat to Tingloy.
- Bus fare to Batangas Grand Terminal: Fare: P185 from LRT Buendia (more from LRT-Buendia, less from Alabang).
- Jeepney fare to Anilao: P40
- Boat rental (island hopping tour) from Anilao: P4500 per boat (10pax max)
- Boat rental (island hopping tour) from Masasa Beach: P1500 per boat (3pax max)
- Snorkel rental (island hopping tour): P100 per head
- Public boat fare to Tingloy: P80
- Tricycle ride to Masasa Beach: P80
- Environmental Fee: P80
- Masasa Beach: FREE
- Sombrero Island Entrance Fee: P200
MORE TIPS FOR THE POOR TRAVELER
- First of all, please don’t be an a**hole. Don’t leave trash on the beach. Whatever you bring to the place, take them with you when you leave. Masasa Beach is beautiful, but trash is becoming an alarming problem.
- Electricity is unpredictable. Brownout is scheduled at 12mn but can happen as early as 10 or 11pm. Make sure your gadgets and power banks (mobile batteries) are charged.
- Consider the weather. I have seen Masasa Beach both on cloudy and sunny days, and boy what difference it makes. Masasa Beach is wonderful when it glistens under the sun because it shows off all its blues and greens. Like most beaches, it’s not as alluring when the clouds are there.
- There is a small restroom that you can use for a minimal fee.