Camperspoint Philippines

Laiya Beach, San Juan

Tuesday 10 May 2005, by catseye

At the southeastern tip of Batangas lies a seven kilometer strip of white sand beach situated along the stretching coast of Sigayan Bay and Verde Island passage. The place is nestled behind the peaks of Mt. Daguldol and home to several hiking destinations, such as Naambon falls and Mainit Pulang Bato. Because of its proximity to cities of Manila, Batangas and Quezon, this beach called Laiya became a popular destination for weekend retreats and corporate excursions. Numerous resorts from upscale to budget accomodation which are mainly known to local tourists are visibly located along the wide strip of Laiya beach. They all come to life during holidays and weekends when tourists from the wide metropolis come to reatreat from their frenzied daily life. It does not take away its appeal, but, for people who may want to witness this hidden beauty must visit Laiya during low season, when the beach is calmer and much more silent. And on peak season (December to June), it is highly advised to call for accomodation few weeks in advance to avoid losing chances on room reservations. Aside from swimming, snorkeling, boating, and kayaking, not much water activities are available in Laiya. Diving and other hi-tech water activities are not yet facilitated unless interested tourists request to be chartered to Anilao, a diving sanctuary at the other side of the coast, or to the famous diving destination- Verde Island. Although Laiya’s main attraction is its long strip of white beach, other sportif options can be found in its interiors, such as its hidden coves, falls and thick forested mountains where trails have been appreciated best for mountainbiking and trekking. If you come to stay for a few days, don’t expect “a la carte” in your resort’s restaurant. Dining is mostly buffet. A few foreign dishes is served but the majority of eating pleasure in most resorts is Filipino. Options such as bringing a picnic basket and renting an open shed is enough for day trippers. Those who don’t have time to prepare, however, may avail some of the resorts’ lunch packages which are already inclusive of shed and entrance fee. To retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city and to enjoy the fresh breeze and warm blue water of the sea, coming to Laiya is a perfect idea for weekend retreats. The beach is wide, all covered with white sand, and the water is warm; wonderful enough even for a short refreshing trip. To get there, take South Luzon Tollway, and exit at Batangas Lucena exit. Drive along the national road until you see a board “Star Tollway” turn right at Star Tollway (Batangas Expressway) up to Lipa Exit. Then head towards Lipa. Few meters from the Star Tollway exit, you will see De La Salle University Lipa on the left side of the road. Several meters from De La Salle, watch out for “Y” junction (where McDonalds is at the center). Take the road at the right that heads to Lipa town proper. Then follow the road as it merges with another road at the right (where monument is) and watch out for Mercury Drug. Turn right at this street then straightly take this road towards Rosario and Padre Garcia. About 8.5km from Lipa, there will be a junction that leads to Padre Garcia. From Padre Garcia, Turn left towards Rosario. From the town center of Rosario, Turn left (where South Star Drug Store is) then follow this road until San Juan. Once in san Juan, turn right at the street where municipal hall is (just accross basketall court), and upon entering the road, you will see billboards indicating beach resorts of Laiya. Follow this road until you reach the unconcreted part. This means you are in the vicinity. From this point and the succeeding distance, you will see a lot of resort signboards along the road. All of them lead to resorts along the beaches of Aplaya, Laiya, and Hugom. Picture Gallery

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