If you want to discover more about the history and culture of the Philippines — or simply want to have a pleasant tour a few hours away from Manila, then you should consider visiting Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a 400-hectare heritage site located in Bagac, Bataan. It features over 20 heritage houses from the Spanish Colonial Period, including restored originals and replicas. This includes the home of Jose Rizal, the national hero of the country. It also offers guided tours and traditional activities, such as kalesa rides.
I visited here with my Hali and my family in the summer of 2019. Here’s our overnight stay plus a guide on how you can get here too!
Our staycation in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
We went here for an overnight stay. My sister booked rooms for us. (Thank you for the libre! :p) Most people opt for a day trip in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar and I rarely read blogs about overnight stays, so I was curious what it would be like.
Las Casas offers various options for accommodation, including hotel rooms and private casas. We booked deluxe rooms, which are good for small groups.
In line with the resort’s traditional Filipino-Spanish architecture, our room has that old-time ambiance — we had huge wooden cabinets, lamps with warm lighting, a ceiling with intricate design, a spacious bathroom with its own bath tub, and a veranda that looks out over the canal where we could sometimes see tour boats passing by.
I was very happy to know that modern conveniences are fitted in — we had soft, comfortable beds and airconditioning which is badly needed especially during the summer. We were also given complimentary items including coffee packets and cup noodles, toiletries and slippers.
Outside our room, there’s an alfresco table where we could hang out.
As you can probably tell, I like our deluxe room. Las Casas has done a good job in blending the old with modern-day necessities so we could enjoy both worlds. I also like that they didn’t scrimp on complimentary items — the food and slippers are convenient add-ons especially considering that exploring the resort can be tiring.
Of course, we made use of our time and we explored the heritage resort. One thing that surprised me about Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is how big it is. There’s a giant man-made lake in the middle of the resort and accommodations are located in “islands”. The old town where you can go on a guided tour is located in a different area of the resort.
These places are still within walking distance of each other, but there are also trams that guests can use to get around easily. Basically, it’s easy to spend a whole morning or afternoon just exploring the entirety of the resort.
Hali and I arrived a bit late, so we missed the schedule for the guided tour, but my family managed to go in one. What we did instead is take a leisurely stroll across the grounds to see the old houses and stores, swim in the pools, and checked out the beach. Hali enjoyed the newly opened Inflatable Island in the beach area. My family also went to do other activities such as riding the kalesa and playing in the game room, where there are sports such as table tennis.
Even though we arrived at 12 noon and left the following day on the same hour, it still wasn’t enough to experience all the activities offered in Las Casas. My sister wanted to watch traditional games such as labanan ng gagamba and join workshops even, but we just didn’t have time.
I guess I was used to seeing people going to Las Casas to go on a guided tour and take photos for Instagram that I didn’t realize there’s more to do here than that.
We had a pleasant stay in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. If there’s something that I didn’t like, it’s the expensive food. I believe that “resort price” is often reasonable, but I think in this case it’s just really overpriced. We dined in at Cafe del Rio, and our budget was P400-500 per person. The serving was regular, the taste & quality is ordinary, and there’s nothing to justify that price. However, our complimentary breakfast buffet was good — there’s a lot of options such as salads, rice meals, kakanin, and various fruits, which was a consolation for the ridiculous dinner price tag that we had.
Overall, we had a positive experience during our overnight stay in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. Moreover, I will recommend it especially if you want to have more time to explore and experience the various activities offered in the resort.
How to get to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
From Manila, travel time to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan takes about 3 hours.
- From Cubao, board a bus en route to Balanga (P200, 2.5-3 hours) and get off at the bus terminal. Then, take a jeep to Baga (~P50, 45 minutes) and tell the driver to drop you off the tricycle terminal where there are services going to Las Casas.
- From there, ride a tricycle to Las Casas (P100 for 4 people).
Take note that the Genesis bus en route back to Manila has its last trip at 7PM.
Things to do in Las Casas
Here are the free things you can do in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.
- Join the heritage tour. A guided walking tour of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar where you’ll get to know historical and fun facts about the houses and even see the inside. Available every hour from 8:30 to 11:30AM and from 1:30 to 4:30PM.
- Swim in the pools or beach. There are 2 pools and 1 batis where you can take a refreshing swim. There’s also a beach front and an Inflatable Island which is recommended for kids.
- Experience a tram ride. Because it’s pointless and fun. The tram goes on selected stops every half an hour.
- Shop at Escolta. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs or something useful and fun, it’s worth visiting the shops at Escolta. Shops include Panaderia, Tess the Farmer, Fotografia, La Tiendecita at Escolta, Souvenir Shop at Casa New Manila.
- Join a craftmanship workshop. Learn how to make woodcarvings and bricks. Available every day except Mondays, at 9AM and 3PM.
- Witness special weekend events. Every Saturday and Sunday, there are various events you can experience, including cultural show, carabao parade or race, palosebo, labanan ng gagamba, sabong (cock fighting), and hampas palayok. There is also a Sunday mass at the Sanctuario.
- Other activities. There are plenty of activities you can do for a fee, including kalesa ride, balsa tour, cycling, and various types of watersports. You can also get a massage at Napiya Spa.
Where to eat
You can find various restaurants inside Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar:
- La Casita – coffee shop and bar
- Cafe Marivent – Western/international cuisine
- La Bella Teodora – Italian cuisine
- Cusina ni Nanay Maria – Filipino cuisine
- Cafe del Rio – tapas bar
- La Parilla and Pica-Pica – Filipino street food and beverages
Cafe Marivent is Las Casas’ main restaurant.
Food is expensive inside the heritage resort. Prepare P400-500 per person for every meal.
Guests are allowed to bring snacks inside the resort. However, full meals should be brought in one of their restaurants. Otherwise, you need to pay a corkage fee of P500 per person.
Here are the rates for Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (Updated as of 2020):
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar offers various day tour packages:
- Regular weekday tour – P1500
Monday – Thursday
Includes admission, guide tour, and refreshments.
- Regular weekend tour – P1850
Includes admission, guide tour, and refreshments + balsa cruise or dining credit, calesa ride, and Hotel de Orient access.
- Full weekend heritage tour – P2500
Saturday – Sunday
Includes admission, guide tour, and refreshments + P500 dining credit, balsa cruise, calesa ride, and Hotel de Orient access.
Note that transport is not included here. You have to go here on your own,
If you want the whole experience, I definitely recommend booking for an overnight stay.
You can choose between hotel rooms and private casas.
We booked a deluxe room. Here are the details:
- Deluxe room
- Rate: P9000 (good for 4 people)
- Comes with complimentary items (coffee, snacks, toiletries and slippers)
- Free breakfast buffet
- Check in 3PM, check out 12noon
I honestly think it’s a good deal considering all the inclusions. To maximize our time, we came in the resort early (past lunch time) and left our bags at the reception area so we can do a guided tour before check-in time.
Click here to book discounted rates to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.
These are optional activities.
- Kalesa – P75 per pax
- Balsa (day or night tour) – P500 per pax
- Kayak – P400 for 30 minutes for 2 pax, P700 for 1 hour for 2 pax
- Golf cart – P750 rental per hour
- Bicycle – P200 per hour
- (Game room) Billiards, darts, table tennis – P100 per hour
Watersports and games:
- Jetski – P4500 per hour
- Banana boat – P2800 for 15 minutes
- Flying fish – P2800 for 15 minutes
- UFO – P2800 for 15 minutes
Budget and expenses
For a day trip, a safe budget would be P2500 per person. For overnight stay, it depends on the room you’re booking.
We came here in 2019 and our budget per person is around P3000-3500. This includes private transport, accommodation, and food (P400-500 per person). Breakfast is complimentary so we only bought dinner.
Here are some tips before visiting Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar:
- Prepare for a walkathon. Wear comfortable, easy-to-remove footwear. During guided tours, you’ll be asked to enter houses barefooted.
- Keep hydrated and bring a bottle of water with you.
- Take note of the schedule of guided tours so you can effectively plan your schedule.
- If you’re going on an overnight stay like us, I recommend having your lunch first before heading to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. There are cheap eateries near Balanga Terminal. There are also fast-food restaurants such as Jollibee and McDonalds nearby.
Have you been to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan? Did you like it? Tell us your experience below!
What to read next:
Planning a trip to Bataan? Check out these places:
Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).