Batanes Island is the last province of the Philippines in the north. It is known for its majestic view of the ocean, the hills, and the honest Ivatan people. Last March 2019, we achieved our dream of coming to the Island, and at the same time we celebrated Busy’s birthday! Yey! So here is a simple travel guide and our 5-day itinerary for everybody’s reference.
Summer is the best time to go to the island because there is lesser rainfalls and lesser chances of flight cancellations. But even though it was summer, we encountered some rain.
- How to go to Batanes?
- Amazing Batanes Tours (Recommended travel agency)
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Day 3
- Day 4
- Day 5
How to go to Batanes?
As of date, there is a lot of airlines that caters Manila to Basco flights.
We got our plane ticket from Cebu Pacific. They are the latest airline that caters Manila to Basco flights. Our round-trip tickets were free, how? We got a deal from Cebu Pacific. Are you familiar of the over booking systems of airlines? On our way to Boracay, they announced who are willing to get the next flight in exchange of a free round-trip domestic flight and PHP 3,000. We grabbed that opportunity and booked our flight to Batanes 🙂 Thank you Cebu Pacific
Going to Batanes – Seat at the right side of the airplane
Back to Manila – Seat at the left side of the airplane
These seating arrangement is against the sunlight, but this can give you the better view of Batanes Islands during your flight.
Recommended Travel Agency
We have to thank Amazing Batanes Tours for our wonderful experience in Batanes. They were one of the pioneers of the travel industry in Batanes.
We got their travel services during our 5-day stay. We highly recommend that you book through their agency for a hassle free journey in the island.
Contact Numbers: +63 920 217 9031 ; +63 927 387 8172
Address: 106 Abuyo Street, Basco, Batanes, Philippines
Unexpectedly, we arrived on time in Basco Airport. There was a typhoon the week before our vacation so we were a bit nervous of flight delays and cancellations.
As we arrived in the airport, we were greeted by the beauty of Mt. Iraya 🙂
Check In Tawsen’s Place Inn
Our full review at https://happyandbusytravels.com/tawsens-place-inn-batanes/
We were fetched and we checked-in at Tawsen’s Place Inn.
We also had our breakfast in the inn and we slept for a while. Our flight was very early so we were a bit tired.
You have the option to start the tour immediately, but like us, we were tired so we just scheduled it after lunch.
Lunch at Beehan Eatery
Our full review at https://happyandbusytravels.com/beehan-eatery-basco-batanes/
Around 11 AM we went to Beehan Eatery to have our lunch.
Then at 1PM, we were fetched by James of Amazing Travel Tours to start our journey! Come on!
Start of Tour
Basco Town Proper
Length of Tour: Half a day
We first went to Batanes’ Provincial Capitol to pay for our fees:
Environmental Fee: Php 200
Entrance Fee: 50
This passport should be with you all of the time, because there are inspections in every tourist spots.
After paying, we explored the town proper.
Batanes Pronvincial Capitol
Immaculate Conception Church
This is the first church that we visited in Batanes. Majority of the residents in Batanes were Catholics, so there is a lot of Catholic churches on the islands.
We went inside the church and we prayed. Old people said that if it is your first time to visit a church, you have to say 3 wishes, and it will come true. So, of course, we had 3 wishes per church. I hope our wishes will come true.
North Batan Tour
Welcome to Batanes Sign
The mandatory Welcome to Basco sign. In every tourist destination, there is a welcome sign.
The view from the welcome sign was a fresh start.
Mt. Carmel Chapel (Tukon Church)
More of our experience at https://happyandbusytravels.com/mt-carmel-chapel-tukon-church/
The church was under construction during our visit, so we just took a photograph of the exterior, and the view around.
PAGASA Tukon Radar Station
Another area with a great view is the PAGASA Tukon Radar Station.
It was so hot! So we just took a few photos and we proceed with our tour.
More of our experience at https://happyandbusytravels.com/fundacion-pacita/
Fundacion Pacita is one of the famous hotels in Batanes.
Visitors are allowed inside the hotel once the hotel gives a go signal to the tour guides. They wanted to maintain the serenity of their vicinity for the guests.
But there is a lot to see inside the hotel, so visiting the hotel should be in your itinerary.
Our journey through the tunnel at https://happyandbusytravels.com/japanese-tunnel-basco-batanes/
Batanes was not spared from the war back in the 1940s, there were tunnels made in the island so the Japanese army can hide.
Valugan Boulder Beach
More of our experience at https://happyandbusytravels.com/valugan-boulder-beach-batanes/
Beaches are known for having sand, but in Valugan Boulder Beach, they have large rocks or boulders.
Valugan Boulder beach is also well known for photographers because it has been a subject of award winning photography contests.
Vayang Rolling Hills
More of our experience at https://happyandbusytravels.com/vayang-rolling-hills-batanes/
Visiting Vayang Rolling Hills is one of the highlights of our first day in Batanes. Batanes is known for its majestic views of the hills, Vayang Rolling Hills can prove this reputation.
Why did they named it “rolling hills”? It is because if you look at the hills, it looks like a never-ending line of hills.
Naidi Hills and Lighthouse
More of our experience at https://happyandbusytravels.com/naidi-lighthouse-and-hills-batanes/
Our trip ended in this picturesque lighthouse. Naidi Lighthouse is the only remaining lighthouse that is built on a government owned land. Most of the lighthouse were built on a private property.
Our full experience at: https://happyandbusytravels.com/harbour-cafe-best-sunset-dining-experience-in-batanes/
We had our early dinner in Harbour Cafe, this was suggested by James because we wanted to have pasta.
South Batan Tour
We started our day early to avoid too much heat from the sun. The sun also can easily burn our skin even though we have sunblock.
Chawa View deck
Our full experience at: https://happyandbusytravels.com/chawa-view-deck-batanes/
The view deck is one of the areas that can be easily visited, and you get to see a glimpse of the hills and the ocean.
Mahatao Shelter Port
As the name says, this shelter port supports the local fisherman by having a parking space for their boat. Typhoons regularly visits the island, so the boats should be protected from harmful waves.
There is an on-going lighthouse construction during our visit. Even though it is not yet finished, we had our pictures taken.
Our full experience at https://happyandbusytravels.com/tayid-lighthouse-batanes/
This is the third lighthouse that we visited. Tayid Lighthouse was built on a private property, but was constructed by the government. So, the owner of the land and the government had an agreement that visitors can visit the surroundings of the lighthouse.
Marlboro Hills (Racuh A Payaman)
Our full experience at https://happyandbusytravels.com/marlboro-hills-originally-known-as-racuh-a-payaman/
This tourist spot always comes up to everyone’s mind when you say Batanes. Marlboro Hills is the iconic hills and ocean view in Batanes. Racuh A Payaman is the real name of the area, however this tourist spot is now known as Marlboro Hills because one tourist said “It looks like the Marlboro Country.” From that day, Racuh A Payaman is also known as the Marlboro Hills.
Aside from Goats and Carabao, Horses can also be found on the hills.
More details at https://happyandbusytravels.com/imnajbu-church-batanes/
Imnajbu Church is one of our favorite churches in Batanes, because it is made out of rocks, which made it looked like the houses in Batanes. Then, if you look at the church from outside, it has a hill as a background.
Alapad Rock Formation
There is a lot of “Blow UR Horn” sign in Batanes, so why is this particular sign famous?
It is because of the magnificent rock formation at the back, the Alapad Rock Formation.
Nanay Ching’s Restaurant
More details at https://happyandbusytravels.com/nanay-chings-restaurant-batanes/
After the few tourist destinations, we were brought by James in Nanay Ching’s Restaurant. Just like the usual restaurants in Batanes, they serve set meals, and they also have limited ala carte dishes.
Here is Busy posing with 3 lobsters, an affordable ala carte dish from the restaurant.
Honesty Coffee Shop
Ivatans are known for being honest, this coffee shop proves it!
Inside the coffee shop, there is a lot of items for sale, you have to pay for it honestly because there is no caretaker.
San Jose de Obrero Church
More details at https://happyandbusytravels.com/san-jose-de-obrero-church/
House of Dakay
More details at https://happyandbusytravels.com/house-of-dakay-batanes/
This house was turned into a tourist spot to show how does the usual Ivatan house looks like. We borrowed a Vakul and a Kanayi, and gave a donation.
Ivana Marine Sanctuary
We passed by the Ivana Marine Sanctuary, which is a marine protected area.
Then as we pass through the marine sanctuary, there are these magnificent rocks which reminds us of the Alapad Rock Formation.
Maydangeb White Beach
If you are looking for a beach with white sand in Batanes, you have to go to Maydanged white beach.
You can swim here, but still be careful. Waves in this area are smaller than the other parts of Batanes.
San Carlos Borromeo Church
More details at https://happyandbusytravels.com/san-carlos-borromeo-church/
Our last stop for the tour is San Carlos Borromeo Church.
In this area, South Batan environmental fees were collected, it costs Php 100 per person. We paid it before ending our tour to avoid a lot of tourists.
As I have mentioned, people in Batanes are honest, so even though there is no security guard telling tourists to pay, everybody is paying the fee.
Biking in Basco, Batanes
Our whole experience at https://happyandbusytravels.com/biking-in-batanes-on-busys-birthday/
Unexpectedly, tours in Batanes can be done in half a day if you have a private tour. So we borrowed bicycles from Tawsen’s Place Inn and our friend rented a bicycle. We initially planned to go to the fountain of youth, however when we arrived there it is closed because it was a cleaning day! So we went back immediately, but nightfall came and we were still on the road. Our bicycles has no head or tail lights, and there were no streetlights! Good thing a truck passed by and they stopped to pick us up and brought us in the town.
We had dinner in Harbour again because we love the food and wanted to introduce it to our friend.
Usually tourist just visit the island for half a day, but we opt to stay overnight in the island. This is also better because we can do the tour backwards, we won’t go with the usual tour of the visitors, so there will be lesser or no other visitors in each tourist spots. Plus we do not have to rush our visit and we can enjoy each spots.
Going to Sabtang Island
There are two ports that can take you to Sabtang Island, San Vicente Port and Ivana Port. Amazing Batanes Tours brought us to San Vicente Port because according to James there are more boats here than in Ivana Port. Plus the boats in Ivana Port are smaller compared to the boats here in San Vicente Port.
There was a lot of tourists when we arrived at the port.
We bought our tickets here and have our names listed.
Ticket Price: Php 200 per person
We boarded the boat which they called the Faluwa.
The Faluwa is not big but it can accommodate a lot of people. So here is what it looks like inside, we are seated side by side with the other passengers.
The ride is a bit bumpy, so if you have motion sickness, you can be dizzy.
Arrival in Sabtang Island
When we arrived in the port of Sabtang, we paid the environmental fee, Php 200.
If you do not have any transfers or arrangements in the island, do not worry because there is a lot of tricycle available for rent.
Check in Pananayan Pension House
We first checked-in and left our bags at Pananayan Pension House before we started our tour.
More details of our stay in the pension house at https://happyandbusytravels.com/pananayan-pension-house-sabtang-island-batanes/.
Start of the Tour
Full details at https://happyandbusytravels.com/sumnanga-village-sabtang-island/
Tourists who are just in the island for half a day do not have the chance to visit Sumnanga Village. The village represents the old way of how the Ivatans live.
Full details at https://happyandbusytravels.com/natao-point/
This hill is privately owned, but our tricycle driver knows the owner, we had a chance to step on the hill and see the view.
More details at https://happyandbusytravels.com/morong-beach-sabtang-island/
Morong Beach is Sabtang Island’s swimmable area, and it is also known for the arch rock formation.
The sand is white but it has a lot of small rocks.
Lunch at Pananayan Canteen and Catering Services
The owner of Pananayan Pension House is also the owner of Pananayan Canteen and Catering Services. Even though the day before our visit the canteen was engulfed in flames, they can still serve their guests with quality food. The canteen is just at Morong Beach so we get to enjoy the beach while having our lunch.
Here is one of the viand served for the set meal, Sarsiadong Isda. The set meal costs Php 350 per person.
The road that goes around Sabtang island is still under construction, so if you want to go to the other side, you have to go all the way around the island. After our lunch we went at Chavayan Village, which is at the other side of the island. We started here again to avoid a lot of tourists.
Another magnificent view of the ocean can be found here in Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint.
When we arrived here, the souvenir stores were already closed because there were no more tourists. They went back to the port to go back to Basco.
This is another village that shows the traditional houses.
Sto. Tomas Aquinas Chapel can be also found in the village.
We also visited this lighthouse which is just near our pension house. It is not included in tour packages because this was turned into a mini hostel.
They added a few improvements in the area after it was constructed by the government.
We were only allowed in the area because our friend stays in the hostel.
After going back to the hotel, Busy tried to go for a swim. I didn’t join him but I got to take pictures of him. 😆
James, our tour guide went with us because he wanted to make sure that we are safe. He is a fisherman so he knows how to swim with the rapids and the harsh waves in Batanes.
Busy can’t go far because the waves were big and there were big rocks, so he felt silly. Then after 30 minutes he ended his swim.
We had dinner in our pension house. They prepared a lot of delicious meals.
We also got a lot of visitors during the night.
To know more about our dinner, please visit https://happyandbusytravels.com/pananayan-pension-house-sabtang-island-batanes/
Busy and I went out and just stared at the sky. There were a lot of stars, but unfortunately I do not have a photo 😆 If you wanted to take a picture of the milkyway, Sabtang Island is a perfect spot.
Back to Basco
We went back to Basco, Batanes very early in the morning. Usually the first boat departs at 4AM, but always ask for the schedule so you won’t be left.
The first boat out brought us in Ivana Port.
Homoron Blue Lagoon
During our trip back to the town proper, we passed by Homoron Blue Lagoon. It was said that the lagoon was only used by the Spaniards in the past to take a bath.
Then we went back to Tawsen’s Place Inn to sleep for a while. After a few hours, we went out again to explore Basco.
We went to various souvenir shopping areas, but our favorite were Tawsen’s Souvenir Shop, and Bisumi Souvenir Shop.
Lunch at Hiro Joy’s Cuisine and Catering Services
For more information visit https://happyandbusytravels.com/hiros-joy-cuisine-and-catering-services/
After shopping, we went to Hiro’s Joy Cuisine and Catering Services for our lunch. This lunch is included in our tour package.
We had yummy authentic Ivatan cuisines!
Rakuh-a-idi Spring (Fountain of Youth)
Our whole experience at https://happyandbusytravels.com/fountain-of-youth-originally-known-as-rakuh-a-idi-spring/
After our lunch, we finally had a chance to swim in Rakuh-a-idi Spring, also known as the Foundatin of Youth. It was a man-made infinity pool that has a structure that looks like the traditional stone houses in Batanes.
Octagon Bed and Breakfast
Our friends ate in Octagon Bed and Breakfast, so we went there even though we had a scheduled dinner at Hiro’s Joy Cuisine.
The bed and breakfast has a great view of the sunset.
They serve delicious food, but the food were a bit expensive because the serving size is small.
Hiro’s Joy Cuisine
After a quick snack in Octagon, we went to Hiro’s Joy Cuisine for our full dinner. We also brought our friends to the restaurant because they were still hungry after eating in Octagon.
It was our last day in Batanes. After our early breakfast, we were brought by Tawsen’s Inn to the airport for our flight back to Manila.
Yes we were sad because it’s time to go home, but we had a great time in Batanes. We wish we can visit the island again, and we wanted to go to Itbayat the next time.