Batanes still remains one of if not the most dreamed of destination in the country. The northern most province of the Philippines, Batanes’ next door neighbor is already Taiwan. For years Batanes has been far from an average person’s reach, not just beacause of its distance but because of the amount involved just to get there. However, over the past couple of years Batanes has become a bit more affordable. From the usual 16,000 – 20,000 peso airfares before, airlines now offer deals aroudn 3,000 pesos and sometimes even cheaper. Now that we have an opportunity to explore Batanes, let’s go and check out what are the things we can do in this beautiful Island with this simeple Batanes Itinerary
There are two airlines that fly from Manila and one Tuguegarao namely, Philippine Airlines, Skyjet and SkyPasada. Fly time is about 1.25 Hrs from Manila.
Getting Around Basco, Sabtang and Itbayat (The three major islands of the province) can be challenging. There are/is a jeep that goes around Basco at certain times mainly to transport people from the town to the pier. Be sure to ask your hotel/inn/homestay staff about the schedule so you wont miss it. I was told during my stay that I should catch it at the town exit at around 6:30 AM but it came around 7nish. Other than that you’d either have to walk, rent a bike or a motorbike to go around. I rented a bicycle to roam around the island on my own instead of joining tours. You’d have to really adventurous though if you want to go that way. The roads are challenging to pedal as most of them are up hill and you be on the road as darkness falls. There rarely are street lights in the outskirts of Basco.
Where To Stay
Contrary to common beliefs, accommodation in Batanes is affordable. You can find home stays, inns and hometels in Basco for your home base. I for example stayed in Time Travel Lodge for just about 500 pesos a night (this was back in 2014 – please check with the property for current rates). The property was near the airport, which is good in a way. However, it becomes a challenge if you frequent the town center where most of the activities are. See Basco lies on a slope, with the Airport at the top of the hill and the pier on the other end. See what I mean? But if it hills dosn’t bother you, say your like from SanFo that shouldn’t be an issue. If you can get a room some where near the pier, the better.
Where To Eat
There are a few restaurants that we tried a few that we can recommend are Pension Ivatan for their Ivatan Platter so that you can try all Ivatan food that you can! There’s also Shanedel’s serving standard menus like continiental breakfast and tapsis. One must try though in Batanes are its lobsters and Coconut Crabs. Coconut crabs can be a bit on the expensive side because it is hard to find in the forests, but lobsters here are the cheapest that you can find.
What To Do
Top 2 things to do in Batanes are sight seeing and food trippin’. I think we covered the later earlier so let’s check out what is there to see in Batanes.
Like I mentioned, Batanes is composed of three main islands; Batan, Sabtang and Itbayat. The most convenient way to see everything is by booking a tour with tour companies like BISUMI. Last time I check they are offering a 5,000 peso tour for three days covering both islands inclusive of food and fees!
I on the other hand opted to bring a map and bike! the bike cost me about 200-300 pesos for the entire day and a gazillion calories! That made me soooo happy! hahahaha~!
I don’t have much words to describe Batanes so heeeere’s some scenery porn… ugh… that doesn’t sound right… hahaha
Honestly I dont think that gave Batanes any justice. You.Just.Have.To.See.It.Yourself.
The Batanes itinerary should be fairly easy.
Day 1: Arrive, rent bike or join tour, Ivatan feast at Pension Ivatan
Day 2 South Batan Tour, Casa Napoli (Dinner)
Day 3 Sabtang Tour, Shanedels (Dinner)
Day 4 Depart Batanes
Note that you can extend your stay in Batanes and that you don’t have to do everything to quick. See Batanes is more than a sight seeing destination. You need to immerse and feel how peaceful and different this place it from the rest of the country. Not just with geography but with its people. You can also go father and break your limits by going to Itbayat, the farthest of all livable islands. It will take you about four to five hours of travel via Falowa through the rough open waters of the Pacific Ocean.