Dive and Trek Batangas

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

resort review for dive and trek

If there’s a place where you want to escape from your busy (and chaotic) life, it’s got to be at Dive and Trek. Dive and Trek Resort & Marine Sanctuary (or simply Dive and Trek) is a small, secluded resort in Bauan, Batangas. I was looking for a diving resort somewhere in Anilao (and almost booked at one popular resort there) when my former boss told me about this place. I was a bit skeptical at first, given that when I researched for the resort, their website was under construction (well, still is until now) and they’re not that active in social media. I wondered how this trip would turn out to be, but I’m glad Xoce and I gave it a shot.

Upon our arrival at Dive and Trek
Low tide in the morning
It was December 2013 when we were looking for a place to celebrate our second anniversary. Xoce and I both love to travel and everytime we do, we make sure we’re crossing out something on our bucket list. We don’t have much money at that time so any place requiring a plane ride is out of the picture.

Good thing Batangas is just 2-3 hours drive from Manila. What’s great about Dive and Trek is that you can reach the place via private or public transport. Now before we go into details about transportation and costs, let me tell you first about the three things I love about this hidden gem.

1 - Diving and Other Water Activities

Diving 101 with Dive Master Sir Conrad

Photo op before diving!
Our main goal for this short vacation is to learn how to dive and to enjoy a serene atmosphere. Dive and Trek is a reef area so the water activities available there are diving, snorkeling and kayaking. You have to keep in mind that it’s not a place where you flaunt your bikini-clad bodies and let your toes sink into the sand. You won’t find a beach there. Still, you can sunbathe in the lounge area or swim in the pool.

Panicking a bit here during underwater breathing exercises

Hey fishy fishy
Looking at giant clams
Our 2nd anniversary photo. Scuba diving done!
The resort (I think) regularly caters to first time and professional divers than typical tourists. That’s why when you look at  their rates, there’s a separate package for divers. Overnight and day trips are also available, so when you’re booked at another resort and you just want to check out the place for a bit, you can opt for a day tour. Both local and foreign divers were there during our stay, and they were diving day and night. Given that it wasn’t peak season at that time, I think me and Xoce were the only ones who took diving lessons. We almost got the whole place to ourselves.

Second floor accommodation
Our room. There's another bed adjacent to the window.
2 - Food

Lunch on Day 2
Paying for Php 3,450 (around US$ 78) per person may seem to be an extravagant amount for a quick, overnight stay. However, aside from your accommodation, boat transfers and snorkeling activity, you no longer have to worry about bringing food. While most resorts and hotels allow you to check-in only at 2pm (even if the room you’re assigned to didn’t have a previous guest), Dive and Trek allows you to check-in early and even welcomes you with a buffet lunch. For the whole duration of your stay, you will be entitled to four buffet meals (lunch and dinner on day 1; breakfast and lunch on day 2) and a merienda or snack (day 1).

Dining area
I like their green plates and bowls. Very in-tune with nature.
Buffet table. They serve different dishes every meal.
After you finish all necessary registration requirements, you will be assisted to proceed at the dining area and a staff will offer you welcome drinks. The buffet lunch usually consists of rice and about 4 to 5 Filipino dishes. From meat, fish, chicken, vegetables, fruits, even coffee, you’ll have to agree about getting your money’s worth. Our favorite was their Bulalo (beef soup). Totally hands down!

Bulalo! Saraaaaaap!
Buttered tuna
Chicken afritada
Lechon kawali
Buttered shrimp and vegetables
Aside from their main dishes, we also love their simple merienda. Sipping coffee and eating turon (friend banana and jackfruit wrapped in a spring roll wrapper) while enjoying the view of the sea is definitely a relaxing way to enjoy your afternoon. After siesta, head to the dining area and eat as much turon as you want. I’m not overreacting when I say this is the best turon we’ve ever tasted. Every piece we ate was just fried to perfection!

Coffee and turon
3 - The View and the People

View from the second floor balcony
Patio tables and chairs
Xoce and I just wanted to try scuba diving and then the rest would have to be pure relaxation. I’d definitely recommend this place for people who just want to have an alone time - a break from their routinary life. If you want to soul search or need to nurse a broken heart, this is the best place to spend time with yourself. Surrounding yourself with nature is simply the best way to start a whole new life all over again. And with the beauty embracing every scenery, you’ll definitely think that though life isn’t fair, there’s something beautiful about it.

On the way to the lounge area
Lounge area
Dive and Trek Batangas have lounge chairs where you can rest, read a book or chat with friends. They even have coffee tables where you can bring your turon and coffee and enjoy the warm afternoon. During sunset, it’s really nice to rent a kayak and enjoy the colors changing from light to dark. The next day during sunrise, we rose up early, brought our drawing books and crayons with us and sat on an edge near a cemented bridge.

Kayak during sunset
Attempting to be creative during sunrise
Of course, your stay will be more memorable and pleasing because of the people who’ll take care of you. The entire resort is kept clean and tidy at all times. Even the outdoor restrooms are spotless. The staff are polite and they always greet you with a smile and even check on you if you need something. Resort Manager Mr. Alex Llorin was very kind enough to offer us another round of snacks the next day while they’re working on our diving photos.

Waste segregation scheme
Xoce and his favorite spot: the duyan (hammock)
Whether you’re a professional diver or a beginner like us, you’ll find Dive and Trek Batangas a wonderful place where you can chill and unwind. It’s not too commercialized unlike other resorts and this is what I love about the place. If you’re planning to set foot in Batangas on your next trip, you should definitely pay a visit at Dive and Trek.

Paddles and tanks
Life vests
Contact Details

Website: www.diveandtrek.com

Location: Bauan, Batangas, Philippines
Booking Office (Manila): +632-851-8746 (landline) and +63922-854-8137 (mobile); look for Ms. Dorie Martinez
Resort (Bauan): +63920-906-4123 and +63922-854-5573 (both mobile)
Resort Manager: +63910-936-4556 and +63922-854-9173 (both mobile); look for Mr. Alex Llorin

How to get to Dive and Trek Batangas:

by Private Car

1. via Tagaytay-Lemery route

2. via Star Toll way route

The resort has parking lots on either route you choose. See below image for directions.

Detailed Map going to Dive and Trek
by Commute or Public Transport (coming from the south of Manila)

1. Take a jeep or bus going to Alabang. Alight at north terminal.

2. Take a bus going to Batangas City and ask the conductor to drop you off at the Batangas City grand terminal (travel time: 2 to 3 hours depending on the traffic).
3. At the grand terminal, look for the jeepneys going to Mabini/Anilao. Tell the driver to drop you off at the Anilao pier. No need to take a tricycle (travel time: 40 minutes to 1 hour).
4. When you get to Anilao pier, immediately text or call the resort so the boat can pick you up (travel time: 15 to 20 minutes).

Quick Tips

1. Make a reservation by calling the Manila office.

2. Estimate the time of your arrival at the port. The jeepney ride took us about 45 minutes before reaching the pier. It took us another 30 minutes waiting at Anilao pier before the boat arrived.
3. You don’t have to pay the boatman because it’s already inclusive in your payment, but it’s nice to hand them some tip.
4. Ask the bus and jeepney conductors as well as the resort staff about public transport fees so you know just how much you’re going to pay.
5. Bring your own rashguard and other proper swimming attire. The resort will provide you with the diving suit (Diving fees are separate from the individual accommodation fees).
6. Respect people’s privacy, especially at night. Dive and Trek Batangas isn’t a party place where you drink and get wasted. It’s actually a very serene, chill out place for friends and families.

Plan a trip to Batangas with your family and friends before the place gets crowded. Share this post if you like it!

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