My thirst for beach camping led me to discover Kaynipa Cove in Ternate Cavite. I was looking for an uncrowded campsite by the beach where I could test and review my new hammock and underquilt by Kaplag Outdoor. We had a few options such as campsites in Calayuo Beach Nasugbu and Talim Beach Lian Batangas but we chose Kaynipa Cove because of the adventure it poses.
Planning for The Trip
What attracted me to pursue Kaynipa Cove is the difficulty we need to face to get there. Difficult means fewer people would dare to go there, right? Although Ternate is just around 1 hour away from my home in Tagaytay, getting to Kaynipa Cove requires a 45-minute to 1-hour boat ride. There used to be another way to get to the cove by trekking but unfortunately, it’s closed now. I heard it was due to the proximity of the jump-off to a Marine Base. It would’ve been very cheap to get there if the trail was still open.
Now, the only way to get there is to ride a boat from Brgy Sapang Ternate to get to Kaynipa. I visited with my partner and mother last Feb 27-28. When I was planning the trip, I was discouraged because a boatman was charging us 4,000 for a two-way trip. Another boatman offered us 500 per person for a two-way trip so that the 3 of us would only cost 1,500. I contacted a few more boatmen I found from Facebook but all of them were “unregistered.” Apparently, the LGU was requiring them to register their boats (for a fee), which was meant just for fishing. If they were to use them to earn from tourism, they would have to spend thousands first! Fortunately, we found Kuya Arvin who was a grandson of the caretakers of Kaynipa Cove. He and his wife also bring guests to the more popular Patungan beach. Even though his boat was on the way to be registered, he could still bring a few people to the cove to visit his grandparents. I’ll share his contact details at the end of this post.
How To Get To Kaynipa Cove
We drove an hour from Tagaytay to Brgy Sapang Ternate Cavite where we met Kuya Arvin and his wife. They let us follow them in their motorbike to their home where we parked our vehicle. The jumpoff of the boat was also near their home so it was really convenient! As mentioned previously, we used a fishing boat which is just enough for the 3 of us. It also didn’t have a roof. I assume that the boatman who offered us 4000 has a bigger boat with a roof. We have nothing to complain about, really because we got there anyway, for a cheaper price. The sea was calm on the way there and we enjoyed sighting the Corregidor Island and Mariveles on our far right. We arrived an hour after we left Brgy Sapang.
Kaynipa Cove Review
When we arrived in the cove, we were told that we can pick any cottage we want. There were only two groups camping for the night, including us! We met Aling Toying who is the caretaker of the cove. We paid 1,000 pesos for the three of us which already included the use of any cottage we choose, plus tent pitching and a big drum of freshwater for washing up. For me, this is so cheap already compared to my other campsite options. The 1,000 is actually payment for the cottage which can accommodate up to 10 pax.
Water is good for swimming, but not snorkeling
After having lunch and resting a bit on our hammocks, we jumped into the pretty clear water. The middle part of the cove has sandy shore which is very good for swimming. My mother spent a couple of hours enjoying seawater! I and my partner tried to snorkel and dive but there wasn’t really anything to see under the sea. So don’t bother bringing your snorkel gears here.
At first, we chose the leftmost cottage when facing the cove because we wanted to be isolated from everyone else. But later on, we realized that it has no ventilation at night because the hill beside it was blocking the wind. Sandflies were also present! So we moved somewhere closer to the middle where there was better ventilation and fewer sandflies.
Safety in Kaynipa Cove
The cove is really peaceful and safe. You can put your guards down as the only people there are the caretakers. Well, you have to keep your food safely though where the dogs can’t snatch them! :p But seriously, though, after reading from FB Camping groups about campsites where tents are being slashed by thieves, I was concerned that the same would happen to us. But after getting to know the very tiny community here, and realizing that marine staff camp here during their break, I figured that there was really nothing to worry about.
The seawater is pretty clean, although we saw some trash under the surface when we were snorkeling.
There are parts of the beach that are generally clean but when you walk to the further parts of the cove, you will see some trash such as alcohol bottles, plastics, and straws.
Thankfully, the freshwater for washing up is clean and clear, coming from a “bukal”!
Kaynipa Cove Community
The next day, we had the chance to chat with Aling Toying. We heard her stories about how she and her family turned into fishing alimasag (crabs) and other seafood during the pandemic. We witnessed how they were preparing cages or traps for their catch. There was a bunch of fishing net and boats parked on the beach.
We soon realized that the waves are starting to grow as the tide turns in. We decided to leave early at 10 am to avoid bigger waves. After a little more than an hour, we arrived at Brgy Sapang. We got wet from water splashes, but Kuya Arvin and his wife Ate Gina welcomed us to their home so we can have a quick shower. As we bid goodbye to them, we were happy to give them more than what our deal was.
Here’s the summary of our expenses in Kaynipa Cove.
Boat ride – 500/person
Cottage fee – 1000/3 = 333 (less if you are more people since the cottage fee is fixed)
Total = 833/person
Update as of April 2021
As per our contact, the coast guard is no longer allowing small boats to go to Kaynipa Cove. Starting April 2021, big boats should be hired with the following rates:
2-5 pax 3500 php
6-8 pax 4000 php
9-10pax 5000 php
Tips and Contact Numbers
- Contact Kuya Arvin, a relative of the caretakers. Tell him that Jonai of the Wanderwalkers referred you. His boat can accommodate up to 4 pax but if you are more, he can find a bigger boat for you. He can also bring you to Patungan beach. His and her wife’s number is 09059563125 and his Facebook is Mark John Matthew
- Drone-flying is not allowed maybe because of the Marine Base close to the cove. We were just able to fly during sunset because we were on the far side of the cove where no one could see us. We tried flying the next morning but we were stopped by Aling Toying’s son.
- When choosing a cottage, the ones near the middle have better ventilation, and closer to the freshwater/wash area.
- Don’t expect much from the toilet. We also chose to shower outside, near the drums so we don’t have to fetch water to the shower area. There was no one else to see us anyway. Mabanlawan lang ang tubig-asin, okay na!
- Make sure you always keep your food and food remains kept properly as the dogs and cats will try to snatch them.
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