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Batanes is like a dreamy postcard come to life – with stunning vistas, a culture all its own, and a peaceful vibe that’ll make you forget all your worries. It’s one of the best honeymoon spots and ‘kinda’ hidden gem of the Philippines. Batanes, the land of rolling hills and breathtaking landscapes, is a place where nature shows off its A-game.
Here are some tidbits to remember before you embark on your journey to this paradise.
How to Get Around Batanes?
Getting around Batanes can be a bit different compared to other destinations due to its remote location and small size. Here are the common ways to get around Batanes:
Who needs a fancy car when you can cruise around Batanes in style on a tricycle? Why bother with a map when you can have a local tour guide show you the ropes? Remember, negotiating the tricycle fare is like a dance – you gotta make the right moves to get the best deal.
Why drive a car when you can pedal your way through the picturesque roads of Batanes? Renting a bicycle is not only a hip and trendy choice but also a sustainable way to explore the island. Bicycles can be rented from local shops, guesthouses, or hotels, allowing you to explore at your own pace.
3. Motorbike or Scooter
Renting a motorbike or scooter gives you more flexibility to explore the islands of Batanes. Some rental shops in Basco offer this option, and it’s a great way to reach more remote areas and enjoy scenic drives.
4. Private Tour or Van Rental
If you’re all about that hassle-free life, why not hire a private tour or snag a van with a driver? Let someone else do the heavy lifting while you sit back and enjoy the ride! With this option, you can create your own adventure and hit up all the coolest spots with ease, especially if you’re rolling with your squad!
There are so many cool things to see in Batanes and they’re all close to each other, especially in the towns. Strolling around the neighborhood is an enjoyable way to discover hidden gems, chat with locals, and soak up the island vibes.
6. Boat Transfers
If you want to explore the neighboring islands of Sabtang and Itbayat in Batanes, you better get ready to ride the waves on a boat transfer. If you’re looking to make a smooth getaway from Basco, local tour operators or Ivana Port can hook you up with some sweet transfers.
Getting around in Batanes can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you’re looking to venture off the beaten path. Don’t let peak seasons peak your stress levels – plan ahead and avoid itinerary meltdowns. Better stash some cash! You never know when those plastic cards might decide to take a day off. Don’t forget to pack your flexibility along with your sunscreen, as Batanes weather can be as unpredictable as your ex’s mood swings.
What Batanes Offers
Batanes: where the Philippines ends and the beauty begins. This place is like a perfect 10, with Batan, Sabtang, and Itbayat being the star players.
Batanes is the ultimate Instagram-worthy destination, boasting breathtaking views of rolling hills, rugged coastlines, and dramatic cliffs that will make your followers green with envy. The verdant hills are often dotted with traditional stone houses, creating a beautiful and distinct scenery.
The Ivatans of Batanes are like a treasure trove of culture, with a richness that’s hard to match. The Ivatan culture is deeply rooted in their close-knit communities, farming and fishing traditions, and unique architectural style seen in their stone houses called “Ivatan houses.”
Batanes is renowned for its honesty system, particularly at the Honesty Coffee Shop in Ivana. Visitors can grab local products, snacks, and refreshments and leave the corresponding payment in a box. This exemplifies the strong sense of trust and honesty within the community.
Batanes boasts of lighthouses that have stood the test of time and have become the shining stars of the province. If you’re looking for a breathtaking view that will make you feel like you’re on top of the world, the Basco Lighthouse in Naidi Hills is the perfect place to go. You’ll be able to take in the stunning scenery of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding landscape all at once.
Batanes serves up a mouthwatering adventure with its one-of-a-kind Ivatan cuisine. Indulge in the exotic flavors of the region with the must-try “Uvud Balls” – meatballs made from banana pith, and the delectable “Vunong” or coconut crab. Your taste buds will thank you for this adventurous culinary experience.
You can’t claim to have fully experienced Batanes without venturing into the wonders of Sabtang Island. Sabtang: where time stands still and the Ivatan culture thrives. You simply can’t miss out on this charming destination, with its stone houses, ancient churches, and beaches that are straight out of a postcard.
Well, Batanes likes to be unique even when it comes to weather. The weather here is like a moody teenager – cool and breezy with a touch of attitude, especially during the amihan season. Don’t let the weather rain on your parade – check the forecast and plan accordingly!
Limited Accommodation Options
Batanes is so exclusive that even its accommodations are limited, preserving its natural beauty for only the lucky few. If you don’t want to end up sleeping on the rolling hills, it’s best to book ahead, especially when everyone else is also itching to travel.
Batanes is like a superhero of tourism, fighting for sustainability and protecting its one-of-a-kind environment and culture. If you want to make friends with the locals, impress Mother Nature, and be a champion of the community, then it’s highly recommended that you respect the customs, tread lightly on the environment, and give a boost to the local businesses and initiatives by buying pasalubongs.
Batanes is the perfect hideaway for those seeking a break from the chaos of city living. It’s a place where you can bask in the splendor of nature and relish the delightful company of the Ivatan folks.
8 Best Places to Visit in Batanes
If you’re looking to embark on a Batanes adventure, Basco, the capital town is the perfect launchpad for your escapades. Climb up to the Basco Lighthouse and treat your eyes to a breathtaking feast of the coast and Mount Iraya. Get ready to stroll through the picturesque town center, pay a visit to the Basco Cathedral, and soak up the authentic local vibes.
2. Sabtang Island
Sail away from Batan Island and hop on over to Sabtang Island, where the Ivatan villages are so well-preserved, you’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time. Get ready to be charmed by the stone houses of Chavayan, swept away by the dreamy landscapes of Savidug, and mesmerized by the Insta-worthy shores of Morong Beach.
3. Marlboro Hills/Racuh a Payaman
Also known as Marlboro Country or Racuh a Payaman, this vast rolling grassland offers breathtaking views of the Batanes landscape. Enjoy the sweeping vistas, grazing cows, and the serene beauty of the countryside.
4. Nakabuang Beach and Mahatao Boat Shelter
If you’re looking for a beach with a rockin’ personality, Nakabuang Beach and its stunning stone arch formation are a must-see! Venture forth to the Mahatao Boat Shelter and witness the skilled craftsmanship of the Ivatan people as they construct their traditional boats.
5. Valugan Boulder Beach
Prepare to be awestruck by the one-of-a-kind charm of Valugan Boulder Beach, a coast adorned with colossal stones that have been artistically carved by the relentless tides. The ruggedness of this beach makes for a dramatic sight.
6. Mt. Iraya
Scaling the heights of Mt. Iraya is a treat for all the nature lovers and adventure seekers out there. Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding islands and immerse yourself in the lush greenery of the mountain.
7. Diura Fishing Village
Get ready to be hooked on the charm of Diura, the picturesque Ivatan fishing village that boasts of stone houses and lively cultural traditions. Witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of the “kapayvanuvanua” boat-pushing ceremony, a tradition upheld by skilled fishermen prior to setting sail.
8. Itbayat Island
If you have more time, consider taking a boat ride to Itbayat Island, the largest and northernmost island in Batanes. This place is basically a real-life painting with its majestic cliffs, vibrant hills, and a culture that’s one-of-a-kind.
Batanes is a treasure trove of stunning destinations that will leave you breathless. Come to our province and experience nature in its purest form, all while being pampered by the welcoming Ivatan folks. It’s like a spa day for your soul.
1 Week Sample Itinerary to Batanes
Here’s a sample itinerary for a one-week trip to Batanes:
First Day: Arrival in Basco and Basco Town Tour
- Arrive in Basco, the capital of Batanes, and check in to your accommodation.
- Take a Basco town tour and visit landmarks such as the Basco Cathedral, Naidi Hills and Basco Lighthouse, and the Vayang Rolling Hills.
- Enjoy a scenic sunset view at Valugan Boulder Beach.
Second Day: Sabtang Island Tour
- Take an early morning boat ride to Sabtang Island.
- Explore the charming villages of Sabtang, such as Savidug, Chavayan, and Nakabuang Beach.
- Visit the Sabtang Lighthouse and have a glimpse of traditional Ivatan stone houses.
- Return to Basco in the late afternoon.
Third Day: Batan Island North Tour
- Embark on a full-day tour of Batan Island’s northern attractions.
- Visit Marlboro Country, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the rolling hills.
- Explore the Alapad Rock Formation and dip in the nearby beach.
- Discover the secluded beach of Valugan and enjoy the scenic landscape.
- Visit the Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel, a historical site from World War II.
- Return to Basco and relax in the evening.
Fourth Day: Batan Island South Tour
- Take a full-day tour of Batan Island’s southern attractions.
- Visit the famous Marlboro Hills and enjoy the breathtaking views.
- Explore the Mahatao Boat Shelter Port, where traditional Ivatan boats are constructed.
- Visit the charming Chawa View Deck and have a picnic lunch.
- Explore the Old Spanish Bridge in Ivana and the Honesty Coffee Shop.
- Return to Basco and have a relaxing evening.
Fifth Day: Itbayat Island Tour
- Take a boat ride to Itbayat Island, the largest and northernmost island in Batanes.
- Explore Itbayat’s stunning landscapes, including the Torongan Cave, Nakabuang Arch, and Rakuh-a-Payaman (Marlboro Hills of the North).
- Visit the century-old Itbayat Church and experience the local culture and way of life.
- Return to Basco in the late afternoon.
Sixth Day: Free Day or Optional Activities
- Enjoy a free day to relax, explore Basco town further, or engage in optional activities such as biking, hiking, or visiting nearby beaches.
- Take the opportunity to interact with locals, try local delicacies, or shop for souvenirs.
- Enjoy a sunset view at the Vayang Rolling Hills.
Last Day: Departure from Batanes
Depart from Basco with unforgettable memories of your time in Batanes.
Please note that this itinerary is just a suggestion, and you can customize it based on your preferences and the availability of tours and activities. It’s recommended to check with local tour operators for updated schedules and make reservations in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.