Bataan Travel Guide: All There Is To Do And See In This Secluded Paradise
Paradise in the city. A city in paradise. Such a place does exist. Bataan has all the makings of a secluded paradise close to Manila City. Here is where nature, heritage and eco-adventure attractions come together.
Read on to things all there is to do and see in the province of Bataan.
What Makes Bataan Extraordinary?
A thriving province on the island of Luzon, Bataan is one of the largest and most populous islands in the Philippines. On its northwest coast is Subic Bay where underwater explorations reveal shipwrecks and beautiful coral reefs. On the south lies a marine turtle sanctuary that’s popular with locals and tourists. In the east coast is a famed wetland and nature park that’s also a bird life sanctuary. On the west, the coastline greets the South China Sea.
Further, Bataan is located within 2 famous mountain peaks, Mt. Mariveles and Mt. Narib. Hence, the landscapes of Bataan are a huge attraction to mountain hikers, bikers and nature conservationists.
Why It’s A Secluded Paradise?
Bataan is relatively unknown. It’s not really touristy. So, travelling is a breeze without the crowds and queues at popular places. Best of all, Bataan is quite accessible from Metro Manila.
And this destination is slowly gaining popularity among weekenders who want a short getaway from the city.
How To Get To Bataan?
The most exciting way to get to Bataan is by the Manila-Bataan Ferry Boat. Travel time is 1 hour. Just board the ferry from the Esplanade Seaside Terminal in Manila. The arrival terminal is at Port Capinpin, Orion, Bataan.
- Travel fare is P450/one way if booked online via their website.
- Walk-in passengers can expect to pay a higher fare of P799/one way at the terminal.
The cheapest way to Bataan from Manila is by bus. There are plenty of bus liners to choose from. Popular ones include Bataan Transit, Genesis and Victory Liner.
- Bus fare is from P200 per person. Travel time is around 3 hours. However, it is a perfect way to enjoy the sights along the way to Bataan.
For the more adventurous, rent a car and self-drive to Bataan. Travel time takes about 3 hours. Use Google maps to guide you the way. And enjoy the route through picturesque towns and scenic landscapes. Try Rentalcars for good deals on car rentals and earn up to 6% cashback via ShopBack. Gear up for more savings with Rentalcars vouchers.
Things To See And Do In Bataan
To travel is to live. And that certainly is the case in Bataan with plenty to see, do, explore and feast your eyes on. All journeys have secret destinations, and you’ll discover places in Bataan that you never knew existed.
1. Mount Samat National Shrine
Located at the centre of Bataan is the historic Mt. Samat. At its summit is a memorial to fallen soldiers of World War II. The climb up Mt. Samat is not too challenging thanks to paved roads leading the way to the peak. Shady trees and picturesque mountain-scapes make the hike even more memorable.
Right at the top is a huge memorial cross with a wall-engraved narrative of the Battle of Bataan. Be prepared for history retold with pride. All around, visitors can take in the breathtaking views of Bataan. Once rested, enjoy the hike down past scenic spots to rest and relax. It’s best to bring refreshments and drinks on a sunny day for the hike.
- Address: Mt. Samat, Pilar, Bataan
- Entrance fee: from P20.00
2. Zoobic Safari
Known as the only Tiger Safari in the Philippines, Zoobic Safari promises everyone a roaring time. The 25-hectare forest welcomes visitors to an exciting adventure next to nature. Watch the biggest members of the cat family come up close and personal to say hello. It’s also a great opportunity for kids to interact with the park’s other safari animals.
Not to be missed are the amazing animal shows and the many in-park attractions including the Tiger Safari. Stay safe in the safari vehicle as tigers jump up on top and all around the vehicle to grab your attention. Not for the faint-hearted as the roars are enough to scare you silly.
- Address: Ilanin Forest West, Morong, Bataan
- Entrance fee: from P545 (adults) and P445 (kids). Free for kids below 3ft. Keep a lookout for Klook promo code for discounts on tickets and tours.
3. Pawikan Conservation Center
This community-based turtle conservation centre is a hive of activity during turtle nesting season. From November to February, visitors can enjoy the experience of releasing baby sea turtles back to their natural habitat. In fact, simply watching the hatchlings return to sea is an event by itself.
At Pawikan Conservation Center, there are educational displays on sea turtles and resident turtles in their own pools. Souvenirs are available for sale as keepsakes. The star attraction is still the release of hatchlings to the sea. Be prepared to pay a small fee to release a batch of them, in addition to the entrance fee. Not up to touching turtles? Then, just sit back, relax and watch the spectacular sunrise and sunset by the beach each day.
- Address: Nagbalayong, 2108 Morong, Bataan
- Entrance fee: from P20.00
4. Balanga Wetland And Nature Park
Reconnect with nature in all its splendour at the Balanga Wetland and Nature Park. Famed as a top bird-watching haven, the park is a favourite stopover for migratory birds. Best times for bird-watching are in the early mornings or late afternoons. For keen birders, there are view decks and elevated huts for a better experience.
Surrounded by a thick mangrove forest, wetlands and abundant green landscapes, this retreat is perfect for nature lovers. Set up a picnic, take a stroll with family, or simply sit down and enjoy the melody of birdsong in the park.
- Address: Fourlane Commercial, City of Balanga, Bataan
- Entrance fee: from P20.00 (locals) / P50.00 (foreign tourists)
5. Tarik Ridge, Mt. Mariveles
For volcano-seekers, Mt. Mariveles is a dormant volcano worth discovering and the highest point in Bataan. For the brave, a hike up would reward them with views of spectacular sunsets.
The most popular spot for hiking and camping on Mt. Mariveles is Tarak Ridge. Not for the inexperienced hiker, stamina and endurance are required for this hike to the summit. Especially if you are carrying camping gear plus refreshments.
However, the natural forest, sky-high trees and flowing streams make this trek interesting. The splendid sights, sounds and scents of nature rejuvenate the mind and soul. Overnight camping at the summit is popular among hikers if they want to catch the sunrise the next morning.
- Address: Tarak Ridge, 2105 Mariveles
- Registration fee: from P40.00 per person
6. Beautiful Beaches of Bataan
Head for the local beach in Morong for family fun with plenty of beach activities to keep the kids happy. There are banana boat rides, jet ski rides and water sports for beach-goers to enjoy.
Another attraction is Bagac beach, a sprawling sandy beach with marine marvels to thrills sun seekers. Snorkelling and diving are popular activities among the locals and tourists alike.
Among the most awe-inspiring beaches in Mariveles is the Five Fingers Beach, Lake Beach and Lusong Beach. Pristine coastline and endless beach wonders attract sightseers and leisure travellers from all over.
Also known as “The Rock”, this rocky island located at the entrance of Manila Bay and south of Bataan is a historical attraction. Corregidor, with its rocky landscapes and decades-old military fortifications, tells a story at every corner. The former battleground commemorates the battle between US and Filipino forces against the Japanese during World War II.
Walking along the island brings visitors past ruins of buildings, tunnels, impressive statues and structures. Green landscapes, abundant trees and open spaces around the island make it a worthwhile visit. For the historian, this trip makes a memorable journey to eras past. For the shutterbug, the surroundings make picture-perfect photos.
- Address: Corregidor Island, Cavite City, Philippines
- Entrance fee: Day Tours from P2,250.00 per adult (weekdays) / P2,4449.00 per adult (weekends) / P1,400.00 per child
8. Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar
Located in Bagac, Bataan, Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar is a resplendent complex which features 27 Spanish-era houses. Each house has its own history and heritage to discover. Heritage guides are available to lead guests and share the wonders of every home.
Visitors can also try their hands at making clay bricks, used as restoration materials at Las Casas. Sculptors and artisans are seen working to create decorative items that adorn the interiors of the heritage homes.
When tired from walking, take a trip on a horse-drawn carriage around the resort to enjoy its marvels. When the smell of freshly baked bread reaches you, head for their bake shop to sample pastries and snacks. Best of all, Las Casas has its own beautiful beach with Mt. Mariveles in the background.
Las Casas provides plush accommodation for guests who wish to stay on the resort. Get the best deals on Traveloka and earn up to 9% cashback via ShopBack. Keep your eyes peeled for the Traveloka promo to enjoy great savings.
- Address: Bagac, 2107 Bataan
- Entrance fee: From P1,500.00 (weekdays) / P1,850.00 (weekends) for Heritage Tour
Where To Stay In Bataan: Best Hotels and Resorts
A getaway to Bataan deserves a equally great stay. Chcek here a few suggestions of places to stay after a full day of sightseeing in Bataan.
1. Camaya Coast Beach Properties
Address: Sitio wain, Mariveles, 2105 Bataan
Price range: from P2173.00.
2. Crown Royale Hotel
- Address: Capitol Drive, City of Balanga, 2100 Bataan
- Price range: from P2755.00.
3. Sunsetview Resort
- Address: Morong, Bataan
- Price Range: From P4000.00 for a standard room for 4-6 pax.
Easy Travels Around Bataan
Getting around Bataan can be tricky if you don’t know where to go and how to get there. Rely on Grab and make travel arrangements easier. In fact, you can earn P5 cashback via ShopBack. Look out for more discounts with Grab coupons.
Dreaming of a holiday in a secluded paradise? Let Bataan be your next vacation destination. Then, tell us all about it.
*Featured image credit: John Brian Silverio | Fickr.com
Note: The information presented in this article is correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change without prior notice.