Going on a barkada trip in Batangas? Check out this review of a beach-side AirBNB, Camp Laiya Beach Farm Resort in San Juan!
Since 2019, it’s been a tradition for my siblings and our partners to do road trips between Christmas and New Year. It’s been particularly a tough year for us after losing mom, so we can’t wait to breathe the fresh sea breeze, drink beers, and talk until midnight like last year.
For 2020, we drove all the way to Camp Laiya Beach Farm. Located in San Juan, Batangas, the drive takes more than 4 hours even coming from South of Metro Manila, so we had many stopovers along the way. We chose to see the abandoned amusement park in Lemery called Fantasy World, as well as the Bali-inspired swings and hobbit house of Villa Jovita Resort in Agoncillo.
Once at Camp Laiya, we found ourselves unwinding after our long drive (our designated driver plopping down to the bed as the rest of us grilled for dinner!). We mixed drinks, loosened up, and told stories about how 2020 has been. It was great to have a backdrop of sand, sea, and stars for good holiday memories with family.
Here’s our review about our Camp Laiya Beach Farm experience:
Our Camp Laiya Beach Farm Review
Camp Laiya Beach Farm in San Juan, Batangas is an ideal place for barkada trips. As someone who typically doesn’t like beach trips, our stay was very comfortable and chill despite the long drive. What’s best is that the promo package we availed of was really affordable for the value we got!
The local tourism in Laiya had additional health requirements for tourists. What I liked about Camp Laiya Beach Farm is they provided guidance on our trip from the beginning. They made us fill out online health forms and assisted us on the COVID19-related requirements, such as getting a medical certificate from a professional. Honestly, it was a hassle for us because of the 3-day validity terms and our trip happened to be right after Christmas (December 26). With the 24th and 25th being holidays, we only had the 23rd to get med certs from clinics who mostly have closed for the holidays. Thankfully, we were able to get them on time!
Since check-in time is at 2PM, we decided to make the most of the day by going on side trips to Fantasy World (from the outside) and Villa Jovita Resort (photos below). On a personal note, we found the PHP 300 entrance fee of Villa Jovita to be not worth it.
For our Laiya tourism referral slip, we went to the drive through the tourism office where we submitted our medical certificates and pay the eco fee (PHP 20 / pax). We also stopped over the public market and some convenience stores since we wanted to cook our own meals. Then, we entered the entry point for Camp Laiya, which charged us PHP 150.
When we got to Camp Laiya and our Bahay na Bato accommodations, they had a complete set of cooking and grilling facilities, even a large cooler for our drinks! The beds were large, the room was airconditioned, and we had enough space to rest (we were only 5 and the room was good for 8).
The Instagrammable spot we loved is on the way to the Laiya beach shore, lined by capiz lanterns between cottages. There wasn’t much tourists even during the weekend, which made our trip more peaceful (no karaokes or rowdy guests!). We cooked rice, made vegetable ensalada, and grilled liempo and bangus. Josh also mixed Jameson, ginger ale, and lemon for us — we ordered more drinks as the night wore on.
For a hassle-free stay, it was the perfect bonding moment for us after a difficult year.
Camp Laiya Beach Farm Rates
Address. Lobo-Malabrigo-Laiya Road, San Juan, Batangas.
How to book. Book your Camp Laiya staycation now via Agoda.
Open hours / Schedule. Check-in time is at 2PM and check-out time is at 12NN. Note that swimming on the beach is only allowed up to 6PM.
Terms. A deposit of 50% is required if you book directly via Camp Laiya, while the other 50% must be paid on-site upon check-in. There are no entrance fees and corkage fees. You must, however, pay eco fee of PHP 20 per person at the Municipal Tourism as well as submit medical certificates (See COVID19 Restrictions tab below). The passway for the Laiya Gate, which they called “parking fee”, is between PHP 100-150 depending on vehicle size.
Bahay na Bato amenities. Camp Laiya’s Bahay na Bato is an air-conditioned room that can fit up to 8 guests. It has one electric fan, two queen-sized double decks, and one toilet & bath. Accommodations include an outside kitchen with gas stove, basic cooking equipment (pots, pans, chopping board, ladle, tong), a big cooler for beverages or frozen goods. It has its own big cabana, which is a nipa hut with bamboo tables and benches.
Price & Rates. Camp Laiya does not publish its official rates. It varies from AirBNB, Agoda, or if you inquire directly via their Facebook page. The last time I inquired, they are said to be updating their prices as of 2021. For now, this is the Camp Laiya Beach Farm price and rates. Note that they may vary without prior notice:
|Room||Amenities||Rates (PHP)||Max capacity|
|Kasita (with fan)||Nipa house fan room, 1 bedroom, 1 bed, 2 shared baths||900||2 pax|
|Kasita (with fan)||Nipa house fan room, 1 bedroom, 2 beds, 4 shared baths||1500||3 pax|
|Kasita (with AC)||Nipa house with AC, 1 bedroom, 1 bed, 1 bath||1800||2 pax|
|Kamalig||Nipa house with AC, 1 bedroom, 2 beds, 1 bath||4000||6 pax|
|Bahay na Bato||Bungalow with AC, 1 bedroom, 4 beds, 1 bath||5500||8 pax|
Tips for your Camp Laiya AirBNB trip
How to drive to Camp Laiya. Simply set your Waze or Google maps pin to Camp Laiya Beach Farm Resort. From Manila, you are most likely to take STAR Tollway, which require Autosweep tolls.
How to commute to Camp Laiya Beach Farm. From Cubao or Alabang, take a bus going to San Juan, Batangas. Fare is at PHP190. At San Juan Municipal Hall, ride a Laiya or Hugom-bound jeepney or tricycle. From the passway, you can walk going to Camp Laiya.
Best time to visit. Though we visited on a weekend during the holidays, Camp Laiya was never too full, which is great if you just want to unwind with family and friends. Summer would be a good time to visit. However, the slightly rainy season is great too if you want it to be less crowded. Note that reservations are required, so book your accommodations in advance.
Activities to do. The beachfront merchants offer several water activities such as snorkeling, island hopping, banana boat, fly fishing, and more. There are also sellers of souvenirs walking around the area. The best thing to do here is to simply wade in the water, walk in the shoreline, grill good food, and drink until midnight!
What to wear. Pack some swimsuits and beach OOTDs! Wear light fabrics that are suited for lounging around in the cottages or the sand. I suggest wearing slippers or sandals so you can easily jump in and out of the beach.
Things to bring. Be sure to bring towels and toiletries as these are not included in the room. It’s also helpful to bring plastic to store wet clothes in, plugs or extension cords for charging, and cash for payments. Other things to bring are sun protection and mosquito repellents.
Where to eat. Guests can use Camp Laiya Beach Resort’s grilling and cooking facilities. You can pack or purchase vegetables, seafood, meat, rice, water, ice, coal briquettes, and alcoholic beverages, as there are wet markets and convenience stores along the way.
COVID19 Regulations. The municipal government of San Juan, Batangas requires tourists to secure a medical certificate signed by a doctor valid within three days. After paying your reservation deposit, Camp Laiya will send a Health Declaration Form via Google Forms must be filled out by guests. Guests must pass by the drive-in Municipal Tourism Office along the way to show the email-confirmation of reservation at Camp Laiya, submit the med certs, and pay the eco fee. The Tourism Office will give a Referral Slip, which must be given at Camp Laiya.
Only guests aged 15 – 65 years old are allowed. Extra mattresses are no longer provided due to health measures. As usual, temperature checks and face masks are required and social distancing must be observed. Due to COVID19 restrictions, guests must bring their own plates, utensils, and knives.
Side trips. Since we came from Cavite, we made a side trip via Tagaytay and Lemery. The road of course takes longer! But here we visited outside of Fantasy World and at Villa Jovita Resort, both located in Batangas.
More Resorts Near Manila
Here’s to hoping barkada trips will be resurrected in 202. Keep Camp Laiya Beach Farm in mind next time. If you have any questions about our experience, feel free to send me a message on Facebook!