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Beating the Summer Heat: 6 Affordable Beach Trips near Metro Manila

Laiya Beach

Six Affordable Beach Trips near Metro Manila

Beach Trip - Puerto Galera in Mindoro
Beach Trip – Puerto Galera in Mindoro

Summer has finally come and, on a typical summer day, Metro Manila can get really humid and hot at 32 degrees. If your air conditioning units and favorite halo-halos no longer do the trick in cooling you down, we have prepared a list of beach destinations near Metro Manila ideal for groups that have a tight budget to beat the summer heat.

#1 Puerto Galera

You can easily get to the white beaches of Puerto Galera via bus and short boat ride in less than five hours. Located in the southern side of the Philippines, specifically in Oriental Mindoro, Puerto Galera is home to dozens of resorts that cater to all types of budgets. If you are traveling as a group and are on a budget, be sure to plan and check out Puerto Galera tour packages to save money.

Puerto Galera White Beach Trips
Puerto Galera White Beach Trips By Eugene Alvin Villar (Seav) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Why is it popular

Puerto Galera is famous for its lively nightlife amongst tourists and Filipinos alike, with bars that blast off popular upbeat songs lining up the coast. If partying up all night is not your scene, you may also try water sports and activities such as UFO, Dragon Boat, Banana Boat, and Fly Fish but be prepared to shell out some cash. Getting a full body massage by the beach is also a popular thing to do. As for the food and drinks, the coast is lined up with bars and restaurants, and you can surely find something that fits your budget.

#2 Laiya Aplaya

Located in San Juan, Batangas, Laiya Aplaya is a stretch of fine white sand beaches where you will surely find cheap resort accommodations. You may ask the locals for recommendations as nearby resorts offer packages that include lodging, tours, and food.

Laiya Beach
Laiya Beach By Teamjonalynviray – Nikon P500 Previously published: First publication in Wikipedia, CC0.

How to get to Laiya

You may take a bus at Buendia or Cubao with the sign that says “Lipa City.” This bus ride will last for about two hours, depending on the traffic. From Lipa City, get on a jeepney to San Juan. Alternatively, you may take a bus from Cubao directly to San Juan, but this would cost you extra. From the city market, get on a jeepney straight to Laiya.

#3 Calatagan, Batangas

The Cape Santiago Lighthouse serves as an iconic landmark in Calatagan, Batangas, built around the late 1800s and is considered one of the country’s oldest. If you are traveling as a group, getting a tour before you head on to the beach is the best way to maximize your stay. Unlike Puerto Galera, the beaches in Calatagan are rocky and white but make no mistake, this does not make Calatagan any less beautiful and mesmerizing. The sea is home to sea cucumbers and urchins, so it is advisable to not forget your surf shoes.

Beach in Calatagan
Beach in Calatagan By What’s on My Mind – Flickr: Calatagan, Batangas, CC BY 2.0

How to get to Calatagan

Vans along EDSA-Taft will take you straight to Calatagan, Batangas and the trip will last for about four hours, depending on the traffic.

#4 Zambales

According to Zambales natives, the coves in Pundaquit—Talisayin, Anawangin, Silanguin, and Nagsasa—were formed straight from the very Mount Pinatubo ashes when it erupted, giving the place a New Zealand experience and feel somehow. One will be able to enjoy the majestic views and the beaches of Pundaquit, Zambales. But if you consider yourself adventurous, you may also do some trekking as the place is near marvelous mountain rangers.

Beach Trip in San Narciso, Zambales
Beach Trip in San Narciso, Zambales

When traveling to Zambales as a group, it is customary that you stay in tents by the beach. But you can always rent a transient house complete with kitchen amenities. Stores by the beach are usually costly, so it is recommended to bring your own food if possible.

How to get to Zambales

From Monumento or Cubao, get on a bus to Sta. Cruz, Zambales, or Iba. The bus ride will take you about four hours depending on the traffic, then get off at the public market in San Antonio. From there, get on a tricycle straight to Pundaquit for 15 minutes. From Pundaquit, you may take a boat to whichever you wish to go: Silanguin Cove, Nagsasa Cover, Talisayin Cove, or Anawangin Cove.

#5 Nasugbu, Batangas

The beaches in Nasugbu, Batangas are surrounded by mountain ranges which make for a spectacular view. Some of the Philippines’ popular resorts (usually fancy and pricey), like Punta Fuego and Pico De Loro, are located in Nasugbu. But, worry not, there are affordable resorts in Nasugbu. Your group will definitely enjoy snorkeling and diving in shipwreck sites and the Batangas coffee and cuisine. If you are really on a tight budget, you may choose to buy your food from the public market nearby and prepare them in your resort.

The Canyon Cove Nasugbu
The Canyon Cove Nasugbu

How to get to Nasugbu

You may get on a bus from ESDA-Taft or Manila City Hall to Nasugbu. The trip will take around four hours, depending on the traffic. From Nasugbu, you will see many beach resorts, and it is up to you where you wish to stay.

#6 Bataan

Morong, Bataan is famous for its Pawikan Festival every November as it is home to a lot of turtles and beautiful beaches. Bataan is a destination you would probably consider because it does not pose any hassle as accommodations are easy to find and affordable. To save money, bring as much food as possible and cook at your chosen transient house or resort.

Beach in Morong, Bataan
Beach in Morong, Bataan By Ramon FVelasquez – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

How to get to Bataan

From Monumento or Cubao, get on a bus to Olongapo City. This bus ride will take around four hours, depending on the traffic. From there, you can easily get on a jeep or bus to Morong for another hour.

Luckily, the Philippines is an archipelago, and the country is surrounded by seas and oceans. These are just six of the most affordable beach trips you can enjoy to beat the summer heat without having to book a flight and costing you a lot of money. If you have some tips to add, you may leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.

Images by Eugene Alvin Villar and Ramon FVelasquez under Public Domains CC0

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Written by Melo Villareal

Melo Villareal is the Online Publisher of He is an Accountant by profession who left the corporate world at the age of 23 to explore his beautiful country and the rest of the world. Today, Melo works as a part-time Social Media Manager for local and international clients. His full-time work focuses on discovering interesting culture, explore different cuisines and take memorable photos from local and international destinations he's visiting.

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