FORTUNE ISLAND Tours
Takes you back in Time - an Explorers Dream has been
re-opened for Tours in the Philippines
I was browsing online when I came across this photo of an abandoned island resort with a very interesting feature. It has two straight and circular rows of Greco-Roman inspired Ionic columns with matching statues of lions and maidens sitting on top of the hill overlooking a vast expanse of clear, blue sea. One can actually mistaken it as something taken from one of those Greek islands in the Mediterranean until I came to realise that what I am really looking at is actually an island near Nasugbu Batangas, 103km south of Manila.
One of Batangas’ best-kept secrets – Fortune Island. Until Now ! - This abandoned island resort not many people know
about Fortune Island, a 27-hectare island lies 14km off shore of Brgy.Bucana in Nasugbu. The best time to go and see the island is during the summer months of February to Mayas the sea can be very rough, so rough that the treacherous waters around the area claimed MVP Kimelody Cristy of Moreta Lines (1995) and MV Princess of the Orient of Sulpicio Lines (1998).
Aside from these modern day shipwrecks, in 1600, San Diego, a Spanish warship sunk in the area and its wreck was discovered in 1992. A replica of San Diego was erected on the island that became it’s museum/restaurant. This alone may discourage ordinary tourist from going but for adventure and thrill seekers, this sure will add to the adrenaline rush. Back in the mid 90’s, Fortune Island was a luxe resort open only to celebrities and people in the high society. The island was once owned by ex-Batangas governor Antonio Leviste. Aside from its imposing Greek-inspired structure, the island boasts of its amenities, a museum, white sandy beach and snorkeling grounds at the back of the island.An experience you should not miss. Your Journey begins with pictures ( below ) of a Journey to explore an Abandoned Island - Fortune Island
Now, abandoned and dilapidated, but you can still see the traces of refinement from its cabanas, helipad, the galleon and Now other structures that were still remain standing over time. In 1992, French underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio discovered and led the excavation of the sunken merchant galleon turned warship San Diego with its treasures. The San Diego sank in 1600 after a battle between Spanish forces led by Antonio de Morga and Dutch naval forces led by Olivier van Noort off the waters of Nasugbu Bay.
The shipwreck’s discovery was hailed around the world as one of the greatest archaeological finds of the century. Originally a trading vessel hastily converted into a warship, the San Diego’s astounding number (34,407) of artefacts was an incredible showcase of the known world at that time, as seen in its trove of Chinese porcelains from the Ming dynasty, celadon wares, blades and katanas from Japan, casques from Spain, canons from Portugal and coins from Mexico. The San Diego Exhibition had been on tour around the world and was now on permanent display at the National Museum. To commemorate the discovery, former Batangas Governor and then island owners Antonio Leviste and his wife, Sen. Loren Legarda opened the MV San Diego warship museum on the island. Now also in ruins, it was also doubled as a restaurant in its glory days.
At the moment, there is a family that lives on the island as its caretakers. The island doesn’t have electricity and fresh water supply is limited. There is a long no stent. Bring your own tent and food if you’re in planning stay. However, there are toilet facilities but that now only serves as changing rooms as water supply has long been cut off.
Please note, at time of writings, information, statements, photos and costs where correct, or close too, we are not responsible for any false or misleading information and/or statements or incorrect printing -also Fees, Environmental, Boat ride, fare rises, timetables may have changed, so please contact us for to days Prices - plus 10 pax maximum allowable and works out much cheaper, Couples, Group rates can be organised - Enjoy your amazing Adventure - Terms & Conditions Apply - thank you
Fares for buses around 210php aircon/ 175php ordinary one way. Travel time is 3-4 hrs depending on traffic. From the town proper, get a tricycle that will take you to Bucana port. by helicopter, If you want to impress someone and or you have so much money to spare, try going to Fortune Island by helicopter. Trips can be arrange. A trip costs 65,000 – 85,000php depending on what helicopter type and how long you want to stay on the island. From the port, travel time to the island by boat is between 1-1.5hrs. Going back to Bucana port, you need to advise the boatmen of the time they need to take you back. Most of the time, they will just hang around the island with you.
GOING BY BUS
Alternative route if you will be coming from Cavite will be passing by at the newly built Kaybiang Tunnel, that is the longest underground tunnel in the Philippines. At 300 metres, it connects Ternate Cavite and Nagsugbu Batangas through Mt. Palay-palay. At the time of writing, the tunnel is now passable by only light vehicles and still not 100% fully operational. But this will cut travel time significantly because it would chop off travel time simply by not passing to Tagaytay. by commute San Agustin Bus Line (Cubao) BSC Bus Line (EDSA/MRT Taft) and Coastal Mall Terminal (Paranaque) have buses going to or passes Nasugbu Batangas every day.
the most convenient and easiest way to reach Nasugbu, Batangas is through SLEX, exit to Sta. Rosa, after the toll exit, turns right and follow the road that leads to Tagaytay. From Tagaytay, follow the Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway and pass through towns of Alfonso, Amedeo, and Mendez. At Palico, the highway will diverge into Tuy-Nasugbu road and Palico-Nasugbu Road. From Palico-Nasugbu junction, drive through until you reach the JP Laurel Street that runs through Nasugbu Town proper. From here you will be advised to wait on or near Jolibee/7 eleven by the caretaker that will bring you to the island.
Getting there and away by car From Manila
• Because of the proximity of the island to few of the modern-day shipwrecks, there have been stories that the ghosts of people who died in the tragedy haunt the island. On top of that, some structures and cottages that have fallen into disuse and neglect add to the “Walking Dead feel” of the area. A lot of tourists don’t stay there overnight because of these creepy tales. But, for the adventure and thrill seekers, these paranormal beings are considered additional charms of the island.
• If you plan to commute, the earliest bus going to Nasugbu starts at 3 am.
• Cellular access is only for Smart and Globe networks.
• Leave early! If you want to catch the sunrise on the island and you have a car, leave in Manila around 1:30-2am. You’ll reach the jump-off area in Nasugbu by 4 am. Travel time by boat is between 1-1.5hrs (when the water is calm)
• bring goggles if you want to snorkel. If you want to scuba dive and you have your gears with you, the caretaker said that it would cost around 2,500php. There is a very nice dive sport near the island. According to scubadiving.com, the Blue Hole is often described as one of the most fascinating underwater structure with 3 large holes in the coral reef leading to an open-topped cavern.
• a comfy footwear (you'll be hiking rocky hills and sandy beaches, just make sure what you wear can withstand the change of terrain)
• all the protection from the sun man had invented- sunglasses, sunscreen lotion (the higher the SPF, the better) scarves, umbrella, windbreakers and the likes.
What you should consider
Freshwater, food, accommodation and (civilized) toilets are nonexistent on the island, so better get your supplies with you when you hop on the boat. Fishermen sometimes offer their catch to you but do not rely on that for your food as sometimes no one goes to the island and sell their catch. • small watertight bag for all your electronic gadget. Those foldable watertight bags are ideal. • a change of clothing (a complete set of wardrobe if you are planning for a photo shoot)
• There are two things that turn off most people who like to go to the island: the area’s treacherous waves and its cost. So go there early and in a big group as much as possible. • Plan your trip during the summer season when the sea is generally calmer than the rest of the year. If you are planning a day trip, leave before 5-6pm where the waves are much more predictable. • There’s a landing fee of 300php per head when you go to the island. That would become 400php per head when you plan to stay overnight. For boat transfers, permit and actual entrance fee to the island, the day trip costs 4,000php for 10 people max. If your party wants to stay for a night, its 5,500php. So the best way to minimized cost is to go in large groups. • Remember that Fortune Island Resort is not a functioning resort.
NOW IF YOU PLAN TO VISIT - PLEASE READ FURTHER
The place is also nice snorkeling ground for the island was listed as a marine reserve. At the back of the hill, there is a man-made steps that leads to a landing where one can do a dive to the open sea. You can also see colorful fishes frolicking the area.
PRICE for your Adventure starts from only Php 1,775 / person
* take your own water, food, and stay the Night ! Come back the next day-from Php 1,999/min.4 pax
from Php1500/pax ( Bus Ride Extension;4:00am : arrive at Nasugbu
4:15am : meet Chris the island caretaker
1:30 – 2:00am : head to Nasugbu by car - (earliest bus is 3am )
1:00 – 1:30am meet up (this is a good safe schedule to visit the island for a Day Tour
4:30am head to the island
5:45am arrive at Fortune island
6:00 – 1:00pm : free time
1:00pm : leave the island
2:00pm : arrive at Bucana port Nasugbu
2:00 – 3:00pm : shower, change
hit Tagaytay, head back home3:00pm :
Photo and Information credits go to Tere Bernardo - a wonderful Discovery - Fortune Island