Bituin Cove is one of the best budget-friendly beaches in Batangas.
After our basic freediving lesson, Hali and I looked for a beach where we can snorkel and freedive and which is preferably 2-4 hours drive away, fits our budget and has little to no crowd. It turned out such a place does exist! We found our ideal getaway in Bituin Cove in Nasugbu, Batangas.
Our trip to Bituin Cove
First of all, Bituin Cove isn’t your “regular beach”. It has a sandy shoreline but once you get into the water you’ll find it full of pebbles and rocks. It has a home reef where you can snorkel or freedive. There isn’t any resort or hotel in the area, so you will need to camp.
It isn’t what we Filipinos typically associate with a “nice beach”, which is a shame because like other places in Batangas, it has a rich marine life that makes it a great option for underwater activities.
Bituin Cove is also known as Angara Cove. It’s located in Nasugbu, about a 15 minute boat ride away from the main beach in Barangay Calayo.
Arriving in Bituin Cove
Hali and I went here on a weekday.
We packed a tent, snorkeling equipment and — because both of us aren’t up to cooking — a bucket of chickenjoy and rice packets to last us for an overnight stay in the beach.
We drove via the Nasugbu-Ternate Highway, which passes by Kaybiang Tunnel — a very scenic drive with mountain and coastline views. I love the drive here although the route can be scary at times, with steep inclines and zigzags that require vehicles to drive slow.
We left at 6:30AM with stopover for breakfast and arrived at around 10:30AM in Barangay Calayo. From the beach, we roade a boat to Bituin Cove.
Bituin Cove is simplistic in its beauty. The cove is surrounded by clear, green water with home corals just meters away from the shoreline.
There were huts on one end of the cove and a sari-sari store that was empty. There are plenty of trees for cover and it’s easy to find a good spot to pitch a tent.
Hali and I pitched our tent first. We stayed here for a little bit to rest before going on the island hopping tour.
Island hopping tour
Our first stop in island hopping was Loren Island. Our boat got us off at a small cove with white sand.
Hali and I snorkeled here. The waves were strong, so I played it safe by wearing a life vest. We found corals nearby and the view got better once we swam further from the beach.
Our second stop was Kayraang Cove. It has a calm-looking beach with a sand bar at one end.
I think this one can be skipped over entirely. It looked better in pictures than in real life. Also there wasn’t anything to do here. The water was low when we arrived, so we couldn’t swim. We couldn’t snorkel either because there were only pebbles on the floor.
Our boatman said that tourists can only go here during off-season because it’s private property and we found out we were technically trespassing. Oops.
Our island hopping originally included Loren Island and Kayraang Cove only. I asked our boatman if we could also go to this huge arch I’d seen online. I showed him a screenshot. He said that the arch is in Taytayin and it was very far — about 30 minutes away from Loren Island.
This is the part that bummed me.
We’d already rented the whole boat for P2000 but instead of asking us to pay an additional fee, he asked us to pay P500 per head as if we were on a group tour. I wasn’t happy but decided to just go for it since we were already there.
(After our trip, I asked other boat operators and confirmed that we overpaid. We paid P2000 plus 500 x 2. The usual rate is P2500 for everything including the stops at Taytayin. For this reason, I won’t recommend our boat operators — I have included other contacts below for your convenience!)
We arrived in the arch formation called Taytayin Cave. It’s one of the two giant arches in the area.
We swam for a little bit and left. The arch was nice to look at and there were interesting formations on the sides, but it wasn’t really worth the additional fee.
Before going back to Bituin Cove, we also stopped by Santelmo Cove. Our guides just referred to it as the “marine sanctuary.” This is a great place to snorkel, freedive and even fish feed!
This was our favorite stop in our island hopping. There was a school of fish that greeted us the minute we jumped off the water. It was lovely. I’m guessing that the fishes here are used to human feeding, which is why they swim over to people.
The corals were very much alive and there were giant clams too — the biggest ones I’d seen so far. I think they measure about 1 meter wide. Hali freedived and took photos of them up close.
Our moods were lifted. Despite the hiccup earlier, we had a good time on our island hopping tour.
Camping at Bituin Cove
Afterward a few hours of island hopping, we went back to Bituin Cove.
We waited for the sunset — the surrounding was bathed in a beautiful orange glow.
We had early dinner (more chickenjoy and jolly spaghetti) and just talked the night away.
The morning after, we decided to explore the area. I liked it simplicity — the beach was calm and the water was inviting. There were locals living in the huts and they were friendly. There were dogs that ran up to us on the beach
I know I’m satisfied when I haven’t even left yet and I’m already planning a trip back.
A little afterwards, we sported our masks and fins. The corals in the home reef were okay, good for a little snorkeling. It’s actually a bit like that in Loren Island — which is to say the underwater view is not the grandest but it’s okay if you just want to see clumps of corals here and there.
I noticed that some of the corals looked scraped and one was even turned over. I’m guessing either the boats sometimes scrape over them when the water is low or it’s the tourists stepping over or touching them.
What I particularly like is that there’s a lot of crabs and fishes even in low water. There were even small sea snakes and at one point I saw a long adult sea snake. Are sea snakes dangerous? I don’t know and I didn’t wait to find out.
The underwater view in Bituin Cove seems to get better past the breakwater, though we mainly stayed near the shoreline.
After this activity, we changed clothes and packed our things. We left Bituin Cove just before lunch time.
About Bituin Cove (Nasugbu, Batangas)
Bituin Cove (also known as Angara Cove) is a private beach located in Nasugbu, Batangas. It’s about 15 minutes away from the main beach (Calayo Beach) of Barangay Calayo.
Here are the things you need to know before visiting Bituin Cove.
- Essentially, Bituin Cove calls for good ole camping. There are no resorts or rooms here.
- There is no electricity.
- There’s a CR and poso where you can get water for washing up. You may also wash up back in Calayo Beach.
- There is a sari-sari store where you can buy water and snacks. (However, it was closed when we arrived so I advise you to bring everything you need before heading here.)
How to get to Bituin Cove
Bituin Cove is about 2.5-3 hours away from Manila.
- From Buendia or Pasay, ride a bus to Nasugbu, Batangas (P160).
- In Nasugbu Bus Terminal, hire a private tricycle to take you to Barangay Calayo (P300, 45 minutes). From there, walk to Calayo Beach and ride a boat to take you to Bituin Cove.
Via private car
- The fastest route via private vehicle is via the Nasugbu-Ternate Highway, passing by Kaybiang Tunnel.
Tip: If you’re on a private car, don’t forget to stop by Mountain Brew Coffee Shop on your way to Nasugbu!
Where to stay
There are no established resorts or rooms in Bituin Cove.
For overnight stay, you will need to bring your own tent (no pitching fee) or rent one. If you’re in a packaged tour, the tent is usually included in the rate.
Another option is to stay at the mainland in Calayo Beach or other nearby accommodations in Nasugbu.
Things to bring
Make sure to bring everything you need before the boat ride to Bituin Cove:
- Packed meals or cooking gears and utensils
- Change of clothes
- Trash bag
Budget and expenses
Here are the current rates in Bituin Cove (updated as of 2021):
- Vehicle parking: day tour – P50 / overnight – P100
- Environmental fee in Calayo Beach: P20 per person
- Entrance fee to Bituin Cove: day tour – P60 / overnight – P120 per person
- Tent rental – P300-400 (good for 2-4 pax)
For boat ride and/or island hopping:
- Joiner tour (per head): RT transfer from Calayo Beach to Bituin Cove – P300. Island hopping – P500.
- Private boat (good up to 5-10 pax): RT transfer from Calayo Beach to Bituin Cove – P1500. Island hopping – P500 (Loren Island and Kayraang Cove only) or P1000 (Loren Island, Kayraang Cove, Taytayin Cave and marine sanctuary).
Hali and I went on a private car and we rented our own boat. We spent about P2300 each for an overnight trip.
If you’re in a group, a safe budget would be P1500 per person.
Reminders and tips
- It’s best to go here during weekdays if you want to have the beach to yourselves. Although it isn’t as popular as other beaches in Batangas, it still gets crowded on weekends.
- If you’re looking for somewhere with more commercial facilities (such as resorts), I recommend going to Papaya Island instead. Papaya Island is also located in Nasugbu and the itinerary for island hopping is similar to that in Bituin Cove, so you can visit the same island hopping stops.
- Masasa Beach is another beach we recommend!
- Is it okay to bring kids here? I get this question a lot. Personally, if you’re a family (with kids or seniors), I will advise you to book a proper resort instead.
- Be a responsible tourist and practice the LNT principle. Do not touch the corals or take home souvenir from the beach or ocean.
- It’s best to go here in a group to save expenses.
Once you get to Calayo Beach, it’s easy to find boat operators to take you for transfer and/or island hopping. You can also search in Facebook for boat operators.
Boat operators: Raven Deraya: 09454634147 / Ate Nove: 09055775576
Do you have questions or review about Bituin Cove in Nasugbu, Batangas? 🙂 Post them in the comments section below!
What to read next:
You can also check out:
- Best Beach Resorts in Batangas and 10 Private Resorts and Villas in Batangas
- 7 Family-Friendly Resorts in Batangas
Looking for fun, affordable summer getaways near Manila? Check these out:
- Alibijaban Island and Burias Island (Quezon & Masbate)
- Jomalig Island (Quezon)
- Maniwaya Island (Marinduque)
- Bulalacao (Oriental Mindoro)
- Tambobong Beach and Cabongaoan Beach (Pangasinan)
Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes going to beaches, snorkeling, and enjoying a relaxing staycation. She also likes going on food trips.