Anilao, Batangas, a barangay in the town of Mabini, has been lauded as one of the top diving sites in the world, and it’s easy to understand why. If you are a macro underwater photography enthusiast, this is a dream spot because it is peppered with underwater critters, nudibranchs and a variety of colorful fishes. Anilao reefs and marine life are so gorgeous that they will blow you away.
But non-divers need not frown, as Anilao, Batangas is not all about diving, it is also a good base for island hopping, beach bumming, snorkeling and climbing in the nearby town of Tingloy! Recently, I spent 4 days in Batangas with my good friend Yoshke of The Poor Traveler, it was his birthday and we wanted to get a tan so we rented a boat for island hopping in Anilao and Tingloy, Batangas.
Luckily, Eagle Point Resort offered to take us to Sepoc Island, the westernmost part of Maricaban Island in Tingloy, Batangas that is owned by the resort. Travel time is about 25 minutes. Sepoc Island (also Sepoc Point) is a popular dive destination for beginners that is accessible from Anilao, Batangas. Just a few meters away from its cream sand shoreline sprinkled with Sepoc trees is an extensive coral reef garden perfect for snorkeling. Meanwhile, the rocky, northern part of the coast is home to Sepoc Wall, one of the best dive sites in Batangas.
Interestingly, there is a small hill on Sepoc Island where tourists can climb for about 15 minutes. We climbed it (trust me, it’s an easy climb) to get a panoramic view of Sepoc Island and Sombrero Island in Tingloy, Batangas.
Because Sombrero Island is just nearby, we talked to the boatman and just paid additional PHP 500 / USD 10 to take us to Sombrero Island, if you wish to swim and snorkel in Sombrero Island, entrance fee is PHP 200 / USD 4 per person. And because we also wanted to go to Masasa Beach, we paid additional PHP 3,000/ USD 60 for the boat to take us to there. But if you want to save a few bucks, there is a passenger boat from Mabini Port to Masasa Beach, will discuss the details on my next post about Masasa Beach in Tingloy, Batangas.
HOW TO GET TO SEPOC ISLAND AND SOMBRERO ISLAND FROM MANILA
Take a bus bound for Batangas (e.g JAM Transit, JAC Liner, ALPS, N. Dela Rosa), from Buendia/ TAFT Avenue, Cubao and Alabang. We took Jam Transit at Buendia Station in Taft. If possible, ride the bus with CALABARZON sign (the bus won’t pass by Lipa and Tanauan so you’ll avoid the traffic). Bus fare from Cubao to Batangas is about PHP 165 / USD 3.27, Buendia/ Taft to Batangas is PHP 157 / USD 3.11 and from Alabang to Batangas PHP 127 / USD 2.52. Travel time is roughly 3 hours depending on where you are coming from.
The bus will stop at Batangas Grand Terminal. Look for the jeepney terminal, which is hidden behind the eateries and stores. Just ask the locals if you can’t see it. Ride the jeep to Mabini / Anilao. Jeep fare is PHP 37 / USD 0.37 and travel time is about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Alight at Mabini Port (also called Anilao Port), if you are headed to Gulugod Baboy, you can get off at the crossing before the port, otherwise, wait until the jeep reaches the port. Always ask the driver before getting off to make sure.
Outside Mabini/ Anilao Port, there are several tricycles that you can charter to take you to Eagle Point Resort. We were charged PHP 350 / USD 7 for the ride all the way to the resort which took about 30 minutes. The tricycle can accommodate 2-3 persons. Upon arrival at the parking lot of Eagle Point Resort, you need to transfer to a van to take you to the resort lobby where you can inquire about hiring a boat to Sepoc Island (Sepoc Beach / Sepoc Point). Going back to Mabini Port, the driver of the resort dropped us off at a tricycle lane where we only paid PHP 150 / USD 3 (good for two).
Alternatively, you can rent a boat from Mabini Port /Anilao Port to Eagle Point Resort and Quala for PHP 3,000 / USD 59.51, this is a good option if you are traveling in a large group.
Sepoc Island is privately owned by Eagle Point Resort, so you can only charter a boat through the resort for PHP 2,464 / USD 49, roundtrip and good for 8 persons. Bring packed lunch with you for island hopping, there is a large cottage in Sepoc Island where you can dine, but they only sell drinks. You can order food from Eagle Point Resort before proceeding to Sepoc Beach.
Now if you want to do a side trip to Sombrero Island, you can talk to the boatman and pay additional PHP 500 / USD 10. If you want to swim and snorkel in Sombrero Island then pay the entrance fee of PHP 200 / USD 4 per person.
WHAT TO DO IN SEPOC ISLAND AND SOMBRERO ISLAND
SAMPLE DAY TRIP ITINERARY FOR SEPOC ISLAND + SOMBRERO ISLAND
Here’s a sample itinerary if you want to do a day trip to Sepoc Island + Sombrero Island.
|06:00 AM||Ride bus to Batangas Terminal from Buendia/Taft, make sure to have breakfast first. There are fastfood restaurants near Jam Liner’s bus station in Buendia.|
|09:00 AM||ETA Batangas Terminal. Ride jeep to Mabini / Anilao Port.|
|09: 15 AM||ETD for Mabini/Anilao Port|
|10:15 AM||ETA Mabini/ Anilao Port/ Eat Batangas lomi and grilled street food at Loli’s Eatery near the port.|
|10:45 AM||Rent tricycle to Eagle Point Resort|
|11: 15 AM||ETA Eagle Point Resort. Check in. If you just want to do a day trip, then you can rent a boat right away and visit Sepoc Island + Sombrero Island. Bring packed lunch and drinks, you can order from Eagle Point’s Restaurant.|
|11: 30 AM||ETD for Sepoc Island + Sombrero Island|
|12: 00 PM||ETD Sepoc Island. Lunch.|
|01:00 PM||Quick climb, swimming, snorkeling at Sepoc Island. Wash up.|
|04:00 PM||Sidetrip to Sombrero Island.|
|05:00 PM||Back to Eagle Point Resort. Catch the sunset.|
|06:00 PM||ETD to Mabini/ Anilao Port or Anilao crossing via tricycle. Transfer to a jeep to Batangas Grand Terminal or to Batangas junction and transfer to jeep to Batangas Grand Terminal.|
|06:45 PM||ETA Batangas Grand Terminal. Ride a bus back to Manila/ Cubao or Alabang.|
|09:45 PM||ETA Manila / Cubao/ Alabang|
I recommend staying overnight though in Anilao, Batangas so you can explore of Mabini/ Anilao, like sidetrip to Masasa Beach and climbing Gulugud Baboy. We stayed at Eagle Point Resort, courtesy of the resort. You can book a room here or check out other resorts in Anilao, Batangas here
SEPOC ISLAND AND SOMBRERO ISLAND TRIP BUDGET
Here’s our sample budget/ expenses during our trip to Sepoc Island and Sombrero Island. Food and drinks not included.
|PHP 157 / USD 3.11 x 2 = PHP 314 / USD 6.23||Roundtrip bus fare between Buendia/Taft and Batangas|
|PHP 37 / USD 0.73 x 2 = PHP 74 / USD 1.47||Roundtrip jeepney fare between Batangas Grand Terminal and Mabini / Anilao Port|
|PHP 350 / USD 7||Tricycle fare from Mabini/ Anilao Port to Eagle Point Resort|
|PHP 150 / USD 3||Tricycle fare from Eagle Point to Mabini/ Anilao downtown|
|PHP 2,464 / USD 49||Chartered boat to Sepoc Island (good for 8 persons)|
|PHP 500 / USD 10||Additional boat charge to Sombrero Island|
|PHP 200 / USD 4||Sombrero Island entrance fee|
|PHP 4,052/ USD 80.32||TOTAL|
TRIP BUDGET FOR TWO PERSONS
Yoshke and I shared the expenses, PHP 250/ USD 5 for additional boat fare to Sombrero Island, for the tricycle fare to Eagle Point PHP 175 / USD 3.47, tricycle fare to Mabini / Anilao Port from the resort PHP 75 / USD 1.49 and if the boat to Sepoc Island wasn’t free, then it’s PHP 1,232 / USD 24.44 for each of us. So around PHP 2,320 / USD 46.02 per person if you have a travel buddy.
TRIP BUDGET FOR 8 PERSONS
If 8 persons, then only PHP 308 / USD 6.11 for the boat to Sepoc Island, PHP 62.50 / USD 1.24 for Sombrero island additional boat fare, PHP 117 / USD 2.32 per person for the tricycle to Eagle Point (one tricycle can accommodate 3 persons comfortably, so it’s PHP 350 / 3), PHP 50 per person for tricycle back to Mabini Port. Trip budget is around PHP 1,125.50 / USD 22.32 per person if 8 people in a group
WHERE TO STAY IN ANILAO, BATANGAS
Eagle Point Beach and Dive Resort
Barrio Bagalangit, Mabini, Anilao, Batangas
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