NOTE TO SELF: Your country has 7,107 islands. You better plan your summer well.
As soon as summer started here in my country, March 1st to be exact, I wrote the above NOTE TO SELF on my Facebook page. I have been limiting my travels this year because I am preparing and saving up for a big one towards the end of the year. My friends and I wanted the beach but would really like to go friendly on the pocket so we signed up for deals. There were 8 of us originally but the number went down to four, which meant the budget will have to go up. Well, it was worth it!
We purchased an affordable promo package for four. The promo includes lunch, kayaking, snorkeling, use of facilities including the infinity pool, biking, nature trails, visit to waterfalls. etc. Frankly, I was just after the beach, really.
Camaya Coast is a residential project located along the coast of Mariveles Bataan targeting well-off families. Camaya boasts of its eco-tourism theme and offers outdoor activities such as biking, snorkeling, fishing, trails, diving, etc. It’s like being home away from home. There are two ways to reach Camaya Coast – land and via ferry. Here are instructions I got from their site:
LAND VIA PRIVATE CAR (2 hours and 30 mins)
- Take NLEX about 50 meters after the Dau exit take the SCTEX.
- From SCTEX, head towards Subic & exit Dinalupihan to the Roman Superhighway.
- Turn RIGHT upon exit of SCTEX and follow the Roman Superhighway to Mariveles Bataan Economic Zone Authority (BEZA).
- From BEZA, you can: CONTINUE on until you reach CAMAYA COAST via Bagac-Mariveles Road.
If you want to take the land option, they prefer that you bring a car. We were glad that we did. The distance from the main gate to the beach area is far. It took us 30 mins. But if you are up for a little more road trip with no heavy traffic in a literally long and winding road to see the houses being being built and a fantastic view of the landscape and the coast from afar, then it’s a good one.
If you can’t bring a private car, it is more advisable to take the ferry.
VIA SUNCRUISE FERRY (SUPERCAT) 1 hour and 30 mins
- Suncruise Ferry Terminal beside Jumbo Palace, CCP Complex Roxas Blvd, Pasay
We left Manila at 5AM on a Sunday so we can be one of the firsts to take advantage of the free lockers that go with the package. It worked. It took us 3 hours to reach our destination with a 30-minute stopover for breakfast.
First thing that draws you to the place are the facilities and amenities. Let’s start with one of the most important when visiting a resort, the toilets.
There are about 25 (more or less) lockers available for day tour guests. The lockers are inside the rest rooms that are well-maintained. There is someone dedicated to cleaning it almost every 15 minutes. The upper right corner of this photo shows you the water supply that you can use to wash up before entering the rest room. It keeps the floor clean all the time – the big pot and the wooden ladle give it a local touch.
A few meters away from the coast, you will find the dining area. You are free to secure a table for your group to dine or to chat and relax as soon as you arrive.
There’s music, free drinking water supply, and you can also place food orders, if you can no longer wait for the lunch that usually comes with the package.Maybe a serving of halo-halo upon arrival will be a good way to freshen up after a long trip.
At the time that we visited, there was only one thing that we didn’t like. I’m thinking that it was just an isolated case. I think the resort wasn’t prepared for the number of visitors that day, which should not be since a reservation is required. The lunch was delayed, the lines for it were long, and there was not enough personnel to attend to our needs. No manager showed up, either, to talk to the visitors waiting in line under the heat of the sun to apologize or take responsibility. Am sure and I hope, the resort learned from it as there were a lot who complained and some even called their customer service number.
Back to the tour –
Near the parking area is a basketball court that guests can also take advantage of. Just don’t forget to wear sunblock as the heat can be painful to the skin. I couldn’t stay any longer than this 5-second photo. I bet an afternoon or night game would be an awesome experience. I supposed there is proper lighting at night.
A few meters away from here is a billiard hall for those who want an indoor sport.
Let’s visit the infinity pool –
It’s located near the dining area and a great place for kids. They, however, follow strict swimwear guidelines. There are beach beds available around the pool.
Now, let’s check out what we came here for in the first place – the beach.
The beach has fine, white sand. The shore is well-kept. There are benches and beach beds for sun bathing. They also offer banana boat rides and other water adventures I previously mentioned. Here’s a photo I got from their Facebook page.
Here are photos of the beach:
These are what you see from the beach beds.
Overall, the experience is worth the trip. A day trip is enough if you don’t really plan on getting a house here. Come early, not just for the lockers, so you can enjoy the place while it’s not jam-packed. We left the place early, at 4pm, so as not to get caught in traffic. It was a wise a decision.
We were swamped with work prior to this trip and we thought of going to the beach to de-stress. We were not disappointed.
The sea is a manifestation of the magnitude of God’s love. It will always remind us of how tiny we are. It tells us that the world does not revolve around us and not everything is about us. God made it so magnificent that every time we come to it, we get the kind of peace so humbling that we forget the very things that made us come to it.
Sitio Wain, Brgy. Biaan, Municipality of Mariveles,
Province of Bataan, Central Luzon Region,Philippines.