Discover the captivating tale of Fortune Island, where a legacy of shipwrecks and a failed luxury resort contrast with the island's natural beauty, offering a thrilling blend of history, adventure, and haunting ruins.
Escape to Fortune Island Batangas, where a fascinating history of shipwrecks and an abandoned resort create a unique destination for adventurers and history buffs alike...
Fortune Island, nestled in the waters of Nasugbu, Batangas, bears a name that seems at odds with its history. The island has a legacy marked by a series of unfortunate events.
Its misfortunes began in December 1600 when the Spanish warship San Diego, laden with treasures, foundered 900 meters off the island's coast after a fierce battle with the Dutch vessel 'Mauritius'. The vast riches onboard remained a hidden secret of the deep until their discovery in 1992 by French archaeologist Franck Goddio.
The allure of this sunken treasure, perhaps not fully discovered, may have played a part in earning the island its enigmatic name – Fortune Island.
Centuries later, the island would see the rise and fall of an exclusive luxury resort. Known then as "Little Paradise," its ambition was to indulge the elite with a taste of ancient Greece. An impressive replica of the Greek Acropolis of Athens was built atop a limestone cliff, creating a dramatic fusion of historical grandeur and the island's natural beauty. This landmark remains today, a silent testament to a bygone era.
The driving force behind the "Little Paradise" project was former Batangas Governor Jose Antonio Leviste. His vision was to create an opulent escape with beachfront villas, rest houses, saltwater pools, jacuzzis, and even a museum dedicated to the lost treasures of the San Diego. The resort embodied luxury and attracted those drawn to the promise of exclusivity and the island's unique history.
However, fate held a different path for Fortune Island. In 2006, the resort shuttered its doors, a victim of unforeseen circumstances. The lack of reliable freshwater sources – a necessity for its affluent clientele –and the island's vulnerability to destructive typhoons turned this ambitious venture into an unprofitable one. The name 'Fortune Island' became a symbol of dashed dreams, sunken ships, and nature's relentless power. Adding to the island's somber history, the tragic sinking of two ferries in 1995 and 1998 resulted in a heartbreaking loss of life.
In a fascinating twist, the abandoned resort on Fortune Island continues to draw a devoted following—adventurous travelers, photographers, and history enthusiasts fascinated by its unusual past. In 2013, thanks to the efforts of a Korean businessman who leased the island, the damaged property reopened to the public. Now, it serves as a captivating playground for exploration and discovery.
Fortune Island offers both day-trip and overnight experiences. If you choose to stay the night, pack your own tent and arrive early to secure a good camping spot, as shaded areas are limited. Be prepared, though – freshwater sources are still nonexistent, proper toilet facilities are lacking, and for many modern travelers, the lack of a reliable mobile signal might just be the biggest challenge! Yet, with careful planning and a spirit of adventure, spending a night on Fortune Island promises a memorable escapade with intriguing ghost stories adding to the thrill.
While the majority of day-trippers flock to Fortune Island for spectacular Greek-inspired photo sessions, the island's offerings extend far beyond staged photoshoots. The boat ride to the island can be a bumpy adventure, typically taking over an hour (waters may be calmer between February and May). Expect to pay around 2500-3000 PHP (48-58 USD) for boat rentals, while guided group tours cost roughly 3000 PHP for day trips and 4500 PHP for overnight stays (prices vary for larger groups). Additionally, there's an island entrance fee of 300 PHP (day) and 400 PHP (overnight).
Here's a glimpse of what Fortune Island holds for you: