Masasa Beach in Tingloy, Batangas, is one of those places catapulted to sudden popularity thanks to the power of social media. I remember how it had gone from a “secret” beach to one of the most visited beaches in this province in a span of weeks.
There are reasons why Masasa Beach is a popular getaway. It’s near Manila, it’s affordable, and it has a fine-sand blue-water beach that is a top-notch better than the regular beaches in Batangas. Here’s our experience in Masasa Beach plus a travel guide so you can get here too!
Our experience in Masasa Beach
Hali and I came here to join a group getaway with his mom and colleagues. We came here on a weekend in May, which as we know is the middle of summer aka it’s crowded everywhere, so I had already prepared for the best and the worst.
What you have to know about Masasa Beach is that it’s just a small part of Tingloy Island. There are many lodgings in the island, so you can within stay walking distance of Masasa Beach or somewhere a little further.
We were booked in a transient house called Ate Merly’s at the far end of the island. It’s about 30 minutes walk away from Masasa Beach. The transient house is very basic — it has fan rooms with bunk beds and communal bathrooms. There are cottages outside where you can enjoy your meal, take a nap, or enjoy a quiet siesta in the afternoon.
Here are the things I liked about our place:
- It’s less crowded compared to accommodations near Masasa Beach.
- It’s windy especially in the afternoon. There are hammocks where you can take a nap.
- The beach has clear water. Also there are breakwaters placed so you can stay in relaxed spots.
- It’s near a coral garden. Again, the water is so clear that you can clearly see the corals and fishes even several feet deep. Some of the pawikans (sea turtles) also visit this area. You can also swim past the lagoon where there are more guaranteed sightings of the turtles.
- It’s the perfect place to chill and bond.
At first, I was dismayed with our location since it was far from Masasa Beach. Instead of the fine-sand beachfront, we had one with pebbles and crushed corals. However, I changed my mind when we took a boat to Masasa Beach and I saw the crowd in there. There were so many people that it looked like a rally. It reminded me of the time we went to see the sunrise in Kiltepan and there were hundred others with us.
Although I felt like I missed checking out some local restaurants and shops, I was glad that we ended up in that part of Tingloy Island.
Island hopping in Masasa Beach
As said above, just across our beachfront we had easy access to a wide snorkeling area where we could see various corals, fishes, and the occasional visiting sea turtles. Still, I wanted to see more so we signed up on an island hopping tour.
Our first stop during island hopping is Sombrero Island. We bought bread for fish feeding. There was a lot of corals here and schools of colorful fishes staying in the area for the feed.
The fish feeding activity was fun, but it was honestly frustrating because we were not allowed to go in the water without a lifevest and mine was too big so that it was practically half-choking me. I explained this to our boatman but he insisted we keep it on, so I simply got back to the boat prematurely.
Our next stop is called the Sepoc Cave, if I’m not mistaken. We didn’t linger there because there were too many people and there wasn’t anything to do anyway.
Our last stop was Masasa Beach. There was an activity which involved us going down the water with our snorkels and holding on to a rope while our boatman revved the boat forward, so we could snorkel along the way to see turtles.
Hali didn’t bring his personal snorkel set, so I lent him mine. Our boat had snorkel sets for guest use anyway. While I was rummaging for something I could use, our boatman told me I only needed the mask and I could leave the snorkel in the boat. As you can imagine, what happened is that I almost drowned. There may be something wrong with our boatman. On the positive side, we got to see turtles.
Finally, after snorkeling/free-drowning, our boat reached Masasa Beach. I finally saw the whitish-sand, blue beach that was making the rounds on the internet. As said above, there were so many people in Masasa Beach during that time. No doubt that it’s beautiful, but it’s probably better visited during off-peak season.
The mishaps aside, I enjoyed our island hopping tour.
My thoughts about Masasa Beach
I can see why a lot of people flock to Tingloy Island. Although there aren’t any comfortable resorts here, it’s filled with natural beauty including its underwater scene.
As expected, Masasa Beach was crowded as we visited on the peak of summer. It was only in the morning after our island hopping tour that the crowd in Masasa Beach died down a little and we were able to take better photos of it. I would consider going here again, but perhaps during its off-peak months.
Travel Guide to Masasa Beach, Batangas
How to get here
- From Manila, ride a bus to Batangas Grand Terminal (2 hours, about P160-180).
- From Batangas Grand Terminal, ride a jeep to either Anilao Port or Talaga Port (40 minutes, P40). Anilao Port is usually used during the amihan season (December to June), while Talaga Port is used during the habagat sesason.
- From the selected port, ride a boat either directly to Masasa Beach (P80 per person) or Tingloy Port (P100 per person). There is also an environmental fee of P30 per person.
I suggest going to Tingloy Port because there are more boats going this route and travel time is shorter due to less stopovers. From either port, you still need to ride a tricycle to Masasa Beach (P20-25 per person). As for us, we rode a boat to Ate Merly’s which is located 30-40 minutes away from Masasa Beach.
If you’re in a large group, you can also charter a private boat for P4500, good for 10 people.
First trip at 9AM and last trip at 3-5PM.
During summer or peak season, boats leave as early as 7AM. You may have to wait for a while to get a slot.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Masasa Beach is during the summer months (March to May). For the rest of the year, the island may experience rough sea conditions which can lead to difficulties during boat transfers and island hopping.
Things to know before you go
Here are some things you should know about before visiting Masasa Beach.
- Masasa Beach gets really crowded during the summer and holidays. If you’re visiting during these times, it’s best to go on weekdays.
- There is a market in Talaga Port where you can buy ingredients and fruits. As there are limited stores and eateries in the island, it’s best to bring everything you can before getting on the boat to Tingloy Island.
- Lodgings often allow guests to use cooking area for free. Some ask for a minimal fee (P150 or so).
- Electricity runs from 12Noon to 12 midnight.
- Mobile signal is weak and intermittent.
Things to do in Masasa Beach
1. Beach bum in the main beach
On sunny days, the water in Masasa Beach gets a nice turquoise blue. It’s the main beach in the island, but you can find other small pockets of sand as you walk along the length of the island.
2. Swim in the Lagoon
The lagoon is a favorite photo-op spot especially during high tide. It’s basically a small pocket of sand enclosed by rocks.
Tingloy Island is near the Isla Verde Passage, which is a rich marine biodiversity spot. As such, there are snorkeling areas here where you can see healthy corals and fishes. The great thing about this is you don’t have to go on a boat to snorkel — just start from the beachfront and make your way to the lagoon. You may also spot sea turtles along the way.
4. Island hopping
Island hopping stops include Oscar Beach, Tawil Point, Sepoc Point, Lagoon, and Sombrero Island. As of our visit (2019), standard rate is P1500 good for 3-5 people. It’s best to start island hopping in the morning at 6 or 7AM. You can also island hop in the afternoon but expect the waves to be rougher.
5. Trek to Mag-asawang Bato
Mag-asawang Bato is a rock formation located in a nearby hill. The trek to the peak takes 1 hour. Guide fee is P500 good for 1-5 people.
There are minimal lights in Tingloy Island, so it’s a great spot for astro-photography.
Cliff jump at Tawil Point.
Where to stay
The local government encourages visitors to stay in homestays or transient inns. Most of these offer basic rooms or cottages.
You can also bring your own tent for camping. Take note that camping near Masasa Beach is not allowed; you need to find designated pitching areas.
Here are the usual rates:
- Tent rental – P200
- Tent pitching fee – P150-200 per person
- Rooms – P400/500 for a couple room/ P3000 for a group room (good up to 10 pax)
This is where we stayed. Accommodations include rooms and tents. There is also a volleyball area outside. It has a pebbly beachfront but the water is clear and it’s close to a snorkeling area.
It’s near the lagoon, but about 30 minutes away from Masasa Beach on foot. You can also ride a boat to get there faster.
Contact: 0905 309 2434 / 0939 459 9641
At about 2 minutes away, Nana Rosie’s is the nearest resort to Masasa Beach. Accommodation includes cottages, private rooms, and tents.
Contact: 0919 686 4368 / 0995 986 3780
Mama Nady’s is located near Masasa Beach, with a perfect view of the beachfront. Accommodations include rooms and tents.
Contact: 0919 290 3703 / 0956 182 0733 / 0916 302 0762
Tita Precy’s is the nearest resort to the lagoon. This is one of the most suggested homestays in Masasa Beach.
Contact: 0949 836 3279 / 0915 663 7669
For easy booking, you can also book the following via Agoda:
- Sea Lover’s Place – Book discounted rooms here
- Tres Marias Transient House – Book discounted rooms here
Sample 2D/1N itinerary
Here’s a sample overnight itinerary to Masasa Beach. Use it as a rough guide only.
4AM – 6AM Manila to Batangas Grand City Terminal
6AM – 7AM Batangas Grand City Terminal to Anilao Port
7AM – 8AM Anilao Port to Tingloy Port (Tingloy Island)
8:15AM – 8:30AM Walk/ride tricycle to Masasa Beach
8:30AM ETA accommodation
8:30AM onwards – Free time (beach bum, island hop, etc)
7:30AM – 11AM Island hopping
11AM – 12noon Wash up and pack up
1PM Tingloy Port back to mainland
2PM – 5PM Travel back to Manila
Budget and expenses
For a group of 4, a safe budget would be P2000 per person for an overnight stay.
Has this travel guide on Masasa Beach in Tingloy, Batangas, been helpful to you? If you have any questions or comments, let us know in the comment section below!
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