Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is the most expensive resort in Bataan, Philippines—but with good reason. It’s an open-air museum, heritage park, hotel, and beach resort all in one. Each heritage home was painstakingly moved, brick by brick, from its original location and rebuilt in this 400-hectare land.
The traditional furniture and interiors are also preserved, while the cobblestone roads bring together the rustic vibe of each structure, making the visitors feel like they’ve time-traveled to 18th-century Philippines.
Their nightly rates vary, depending on the structure you choose. Those houses aren’t just for photographing and upping your Instagram game. You may rent out a casa of your choice and stay the night. The most expensive heritage homes can go up to ₱70,000 ($1,348) a night (can accommodate 12 people), while the most affordable room I found is around ₱7,500 ($144) a night (for up to three people).
For backpackers and budget travelers, it’s a dent in the wallet, unless you’re there for a special occasion, like when I attended my friend’s wedding in Las Casas back in 2015. It’s a good thing they offer day tours.
For just ₱2,000 to 2,500 per person, your heritage day tour ticket gives you the highlights. Still deciding if traveling all the way to Las Casas is worth it? See if this list of details can convince you or otherwise.
1. The day tour is complimentary for checked-in guests. If you’re not checked in, the day tour ticket price is ₱2,000 ($38.50) per person on weekdays and ₱2,500 ($48) on weekends.
2. The day tour ticket includes:
-Filipino lunch at Casa New Manila, the reception area
-Free jeepney ride to and from the parking area
-One-hour walking tour with a guide
-Outdoor theater show to culminate the end of the walking tour (only on weekends; in Tagalog)
-20-minute kalesa ride (horse-drawn carriage) around the property
-Entry to Hotel de Oriente, the biggest heritage hotel in the property
-Complimentary bottled water
-Fresh cold towel that’s yours to take home after use
3. Choose from the 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, and 4:30pm daily slots.
4. There are sub-tours you can take instead of the whole day tour—river cruise for ₱500 and Hotel de Oriente tour for ₱200. Tip: You’re better off paying for the ₱2,000 day tour.
5. Is it PWD-friendly? Not really. There are jeepneys, golf carts, and kalesa rides you can take, but the main heritage tour involves climbing stairs and walking down cobblestone paths, which aren’t wheelchair-friendly.
6. What should you bring?
-Comfy shoes that are easy to take off, because you need to remove them before entering each heritage home
-A hat, sunglasses, and/or umbrella
-SPF slathered prior to the tour
-Light, comfy clothes because it can get really hot
-Change of clothes if you’re the type who sweats a lot
7. What’s the tour like? If you’re a local, it’s like a recap of our grade school history lessons. If you’re a foreign tourist, you’ll learn a lot about the Filipino culture, a little bit of 18th century history, architecture, and the personal stories behind each heritage home in Las Casas. There are also plenty of vintage gadgets, toys, and furniture to show you what life was like back in the 1900s. If you’re a fan of Filipino period films and TV shows, you’ll recognize some of the backdrops from memorable ones like Heneral Luna.
8. Las Casas is like a little town where there’s a bakery, food stalls by the pool, souvenir shops, and many restaurants. Note that the food here is pricey (hotel rate!), so if you’re strapped for cash, there are cheaper restaurants and eateries around Bagac.
9. Should you make a reservation? On weekends and peak season, it’s better to reserve your slot. For weekdays, it’s okay to just walk in. If you’re a girl scout like I am, call before heading there, just to see if the weather is fine or if there’s a big private event that might prevent you from pursuing the day tour.
10. There are many other things you can do if you still have time. There’s a game room at Casa Lubao. You may rent a golf cart or bike and further explore the property. There’s Bagac beach if you’d like to catch a romantic sunset. They also have events, workshops, and cultural shows. During my last visit, there was a carabao race. And lastly, Instagram to your heart’s content. You know you want to.