Discover the Wonders of Mariveles, Bataan—The ‘Batanes of the West’
No money for a Batanes trip? Bataan has the next best thing.
With scenic views and gorgeous landscapes, Batanes is usually included in most bucket lists of travelers. However, flights to this exotic paradise are a bit expensive—not to mention infrequent so it's almost impossible to cross it off your bucket list.
While you're still saving up and clearing your schedule for that much-awaited trip to Batanes, you might want to set your sights on a nearer destination, particularly in Bataan. Take a chance on a road trip to the town of Mariveles and find out why it is considered the "Batanes of the West."
The hidden beauty of Mariveles
Bataan is more popularly known for its historical sites, which is why attractions like Mt. Samat National Shrine in Pilar and Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac have overshadowed Mariveles as a tourist destination. Nonetheless, backpackers and nature lovers are slowly discovering all that Mariveles has to offer.
Just like Batanes, Mariveles is gifted with a rugged yet mesmerizing landscape: Five Fingers, the western area of Mariveles, is home to plenty of coves that resemble the rolling hills of Batanes because of their vast and verdant grasslands. Trek along these coves to see breathtaking views of the lush greens and the sea. Near the coves are plenty of beaches where you can swim. And if you're up for a greater adventure, consider hiking up Tarak Ridge. Considered a major climb, the strenuous trek will reward you with an amazing view of Corregidor on top.
Mariveles also has its version of the iconic lighthouse in Basco, Batanes. Barangay Sisiman's "lightless" lighthouse serves as one of the town's landmarks. Other than the visiting the lighthouse, travelers should also try hiking up San Miguel Peak and beach bumming at Sisiman's pebble beach.
How to get there
If you're coming from Manila, it's fairly easy to travel to the "Batanes of the West." Buses like Genesis Transport and Bataan Transit have daily trips to Mariveles. The bus fare costs less than PHP 300.00.