Essential Guide To Batanes Island: All You Need To Know For A Fantastic Trip
A picture paints a thousand words, but pictures of Batanes Island paint a whole lot more. Why rely on pictures when you can experience the beauty of Batanes on your next trip. Island sanctuary. Insta-worthy landscapes that rival Boracay and Palawan. Infinite hospitality of the local Ivatans. All these make Batanes one of the most tourist-friendly destinations in the world.
Here is your travel guide to the beautiful island of Batanes.
Discover Batanes Island
How To Get There?
Presently, the only way to Batanes Island is by flight. Flights are available from Manila to Basco, the capital city of Batanes via Philippines Airlines, Skyjet Airlines and Cebu Pacific Airlines. Flight prices vary during the Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter months. However, cheap tickets are available during non-peak season and they can go as low as P4,000 round trip.
- Book your flight tickets on Expedia for your fantastic trip. Be sure to keep a lookout for Expedia promo codes to enjoy better savings.
Best Times To Travel To Batanes
- The summer months from March to June are glorious with sunny skies and little rain.
- Winter months of December to February are ideal for travellers who prefer cooler climates.
Batanes is perfect for families as temperatures rarely go below 15 degrees Celsius during Winter. So, there is no need to pack any winter wear. Just carry a light jacket on your trip.
Getting Around Batanes
Understanding the geography of Batanes Island helps you decide where to go and how to get there. Batanes is known for its 3 largest, inhabited islands of Batan, Itbayat and Sabtang. Each island has its own attractions that make them worth exploring.
Travellers head for Batan, the most populated island with Basco Airport as the main gateway to the island. So, for convenient travel around the island, join the local or group tours with competitive package prices. Alternatively, travel by tricycle with guided tricycle tours available. Also available are bicycle rentals that are perfect for short distances. Cyclists, be prepared to have ample stamina to ride the rugged landscapes.
The next island of Itbayat is defined by its big boulders and cliffs that rise up to 70 feet above sea level. Reachable by boat or flight to Itbayat Airport, this island holds splendour with its majestic boulder beaches. Vast landscapes sculpted by nature make picture-perfect photos too.
Finally, Sabtang is reachable by a 30 to 45-minute boat ride from Batan. The best way to get around the island is by tricycle tours with a guide to lead the way. Alternatively, motorcycle and bicycle rentals are also available for the more adventurous souls.
Top Things To Do In Batanes
Get ready to be wowed by nature’s finest creations and breathtaking views that dreams are made of. On Batan island itself, the attractions across the towns of Basco, Ivana, Uyugan and Mahatao are plentiful. The tops spots not-to-be-missed are priceless and priced less in more ways than one.
1. Basco Lighthouse, Basco
Located in Naidi Hills, this infamous lighthouse is the key attraction of every traveller to Batanes. Be prepared for a short hike from the Port of Basco, up the 1.2km hills to the top to enjoy the scenery around Basco Lighthouse. Be awed by the views of Baluarte Bay, Basco Town, Mount Iraya and the surrounding hills.
Climb up further on the spiral staircase inside the lighthouse to reach the viewing deck on the fifth floor. From atop, you’ll enjoy the elevated views of the entire surroundings. Best times to capture scenic shots is at sunset when the colours of the sky meet the rolling greens on the hilltop. Best of all, the 20-metre lighthouse has six stories with a Bunker Cafe in a nearby building for visitors to savour some local cuisine.
- Address: Basco, Cagayan Valley, Batanes
2. Vayang Rolling Hills, Basco
The hills are alive with the sound of music from the symphony of bleating goats and moo-ing cows. At Vayang Rolling Hills, nature comes alive with panoramic views of green, verdant landscapes. And all grazing creatures, great and small. Moreover, nature lovers will be enraptured by the seemingly endless rolling hills, seascapes and faraway views of Mount Iraya.
Fanned by the ever-present cool breeze, take a stroll amidst the grassy plains. Then, snap lots of photos of the hillside that’s home to many kinds of pastoral animals.
- Address: Songsong Iraya Road, 3900 Basco, Batanes
3. Valugan Beach, Basco
The sea. The sun. The surf. What makes Valugan Beach amazing is the variety of large and small boulders along its beach. Take note that this beach is not safe for swimming due to rocky seas and rocky shores. However, it is a picturesque place to capture the beauty of the rock formations. Historically, the rocks were scattered by the eruption of Mount Iraya from long ago.
- Address: Contra Costa Road, Basco, Batanes
4. Mahatao Church, Mahatao
Also known as San Carlos Borromeo Church, this distinctive white facade church is another major attraction in Batanes. Its timeless beauty and excellent state since 1787 has made it a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines. Further, a feast is held every November 4th to celebrate its patron saint, St. Borromeo. Amazingly well-maintained interiors, traditional pews and green lawns around the church make this church a must-visit.
- Address: National Rd, Mahatao, Batanes
5. House of Dakay, San Jose de Ivana, Batan
No ordinary house, the House of Dakay is the oldest surviving house in the town of San Jose de Ivana. Run your hands over the stone and limestone walls that are 0ne-of-a-kind. Reach up and touch the thatched roof made of cogon grass. This historic house was built in 1887 using native Ivatan building materials. Today, the House of Dakay has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Building.
- Address: Ivana, Batanes
6. Torongan Cliff, Itbayat
Cliffside adventure-goers gather here. Torongan Cliff is a must-see attraction thanks to its awesome views of the Pacific Ocean. Gaze upon the endless jagged-edge cliffs that jut out to the skies. Historically, this place is the sacred burial grounds for the first inhabitants of Itbayat Island. Better yet, say a prayer for safe travels across the islands whilst you experience the serenity of the cliffs.
- Address: Itbayat, Batanes
7. Morong Beach, Sabtang
Only the most-photographed beach in Batanes, Morong Beach is famous for its natural rock formation known as the Mayahaw Arch. Almost everybody gets their photos taken under the arch. Likewise, the beach is popular with the locals and tourists for its sandy, white beach and clear blue waters. Within the beach is the Nakabuang cave that’s worth exploring. Further, unique sea creatures from the cave come out to greet guests at low tides.
8. Chavayan Beach, Sabtang
A little less crowded than Morong Beach, the Chavayan Beach is located at the southern end of Sabtang. Explore its rocky beach with dazzling stone formations. Moreover, azure waters and pristine shores make it a spectacular beach to rest, relax and rejuvenate the senses. Set aside a picnic basket, beach umbrella and a good book or beach games for a holiday to remember.
9. Fundacion Pacita, Basco
One of the most popular places to stay is this beautiful hotel located just 5km from Basco Airport. Fundacion Pacita is a popular attraction set within a forested hilltop overlooking the Luzon Strait. It is also very close to the Basco Lighthouse and Valugan Boulder Beach. Moreover, the hotel boasts truly unique hotel designs, interiors and individual-styled rooms. Just as unique are the hardwood floors and brick walls designed by the former artist owner.
Further, the hotel grounds are definitely insta-worthy. Next to it is a delightful restaurant that opens out to the hillside and an art gallery.
- Address: Brgy. Chanarian, Tukon, Basco, 3900 Batanes
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Hotel-Resort/Fundacion-Pacita-534031706691114/
Where To Stay In Batanes
To experience all the wonders of Batanes, you’ll need to stay over for a few days. In fact, there are quite a few budget-friendly accommodations in Batanes. Making reservations is easy when you book online with Agoda. Look out for the Agoda promo code to enjoy further discounts. When the price is the main concern, try Airbnb in Batanes where there is a wide range of accommodation to suit any budget. Keep your eyes peeled for Airbnb coupons and score even more savings.
Here is a selection of top places to stay as recommended by travellers.
1. Batanes Seaside Lodge & Restaurant
- Price: from P3173/night at Agoda
- Address: National Rd, Basco, 3900 Batanes, Philippines
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bataneseasidelodge/
2. Den Den Guesthouse, Batanes
- Price: from P2313/night on Airbnb
- Address: Dita St, Basco, 3900 Batanes, Philippines
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dendenguesthouse/
3. Midtown Inn, Batanes
- Price: from P2271/night on Agoda
- Address: Abad St. Cor. Lizardo St., 3900 Basco, Batanes
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/batanes.midtowninn/
4. Shanedel’s Inn & Cafe, Batanes
- Price: from P1798/night on Agoda
- Address: National Rd, 3900 Basco, Batanes
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shanedelsinnandcafe/
5. Martin’s Inn, Batanes
- Price: from P1967/night on Agoda
- Address: Castro St, Basco, 3900 Batanes
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MartinsInnBascoBatanes/
The Journey Is The Destination
People don’t take trips. Trips take people, and a trip to Batanes will certainly leave you speechless and turn you into a storyteller. Tell us more about your plans to visit Batanes on your next holiday.
*Featured image credit: Glendale Lapastoras Pictures | Flickr
Note: The information presented in this article is correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change without prior notice.
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