Mabini – San Juan – Nasugbu – Calatagan

In the town of San Juan alone, you’ll find the small and intimate Acuatico Beach Resort, the Estrellas de Mendoza Playa Resort and its seven-story hotel, and the Virgin Beach Resort. If you’re prepared to rough it, Mahabang Buhangin Beach and Hugon Beach are good places to go.

You’ll find high-end residential leisure options in Nasugbu’s Hamilo Coast. Munting Buhangin Beach Camp can accomodate groups. The marine sanctuary of Anilao in Mabini and Matabungkay in Lian are popular with divers and snorkelers.

Can’t get enough of diving? The Verde Island Passage is one of the best dive spots in the country. It’s said to have one of the largest concentrations of corals in the world, with some 300 species of corals.

If you’re more of a mountain person, there’s the 811-meter Mt. Batulao. The hike should just take 1.5 to 2 hours.

History buffs should visit the still functional Punta de Santiago Lighthouse in Calatagan. It lights up the Verde Island Passage, one of the most active sea channels in the country.

There’s also the Casa de Segunda in Lipa City, a “bahay na bato” (stone house) from the Spanish colonial period. Damaged during World War II, it was remodeled in 1956 and rebuilt in 1996. It’s of added interest because it was named for Segunda Katigbak, the first love of national hero Jose Rizal.

Batangas also features the 18th century Cathedral de San Sebastian. Its grand Baroque pipe organ is one of only 59 in the entire country. You can also see the image of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Grace at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Lipa. It’s where rose petals were said to have miraculously fallen from the sky in the early 1990s.