Batanes is probably one of the illusive getaways for most Filipinos who has been bitten by the travel bug. It is the only place in the Philippines where you can experience winter (due to proximity to Taiwan) and not need a visa 🙂 Batanes has become much more popular because of mainstream media appearing in movies like Batanes as well as local and international travel shows. It gives viewers a sneak peak of a land so unique that you’d think twice if you are still in the Philippines. It’s paradise that God tuck away up north to protect it. Having said that it is hard to reach, airfare to the island had been really expensive for the past years due to the scarcity of flights. Fares usually range between 15 thousand pesos to as high as more than 20 thousand pesos! Thanks to competition fares has drastically lowered down. So now there’s definitely away to go to Batanes on the cheap.
1. Subscribe to Philippine Airlines mailer
Subscribe to PAL’s news letter and get a tip when they go on sale. I was able to score a round trip ticket (MNL-BSO-MNL) for just a little less than 1,800 pesos. I didn’t think twice when I saw the offer and book it right away, it was a no brainer!
subscribe here: Philippine Airlines
or follow them on facebook: PAL FB
2. Seeing The Sights
Book a tour – Probably the most hassle free way to check the island/s. If you want to see them all without the hassle of planning where and how to go get a tour package, it’s cheap enough that it wont burn a hole in your pockets.
Ride a bike! (Like I did) – Rent a bike for a day or two and go around Basco, this is perfect for people who like taking time when they travel. This way you don’t have to drag your self along with the group if it is already time to go. You can also rent a motor bike for around 1,000 pesos for an entire day! I’m pretty sure that you’ll appreciate your stay more if you get around on your own as there are little corners along the road that are really just breath taking!
Note: You can also rent a motorbike in sabtang for about 300 pesos RT to and from barrio Chavayan. Bike rental is from 25-50 pesos per hour depending on what type of bike you rent. Motorbikes in Basco costs about 1,000 pesos
3. Where To Stay
Contrary to what most believe, Batanes has a lot of inns and rooms to accommodate visitors. Accommodation in the island can be really cheap you just have to know how much you are willing to spend. I for example spent 500 pesos per night for a huge room with an entertainment center – that I never used hahaha, water heater a cute porch if I used the air conditioner I could have been charged with additional 50 pesos, but who needs aircon on an Ivatan winter??? You might want to check Time Travel Lodge if you want to be near the airport, if you are looking for some peace and quite this is the place to go to. On the other hand my friends rented rooms at Marfel and Marfel annex.
0939-632-8978/ 0916-644-7984/ 0929-166-9838
4. Where To Eat
I don’t know if I didn’t look enough for restaurants but I think I have experienced the good ones though. You can experience a good Ivatan feast at Pension Ivatan or feast on sea food at Shanedel’s. You can also ask your accommodation if they can cook for you as they mostly can, otherwise there are carenderias or eateries just like in your neighborhood.
Sample Budget For Batanes (This is actually my budget)
Note: Keep in mind that I did not book any package and just did a DIY, also I got some change of several hundred pesos from my pocket money.