For most Filipino travelers, Batanes is definitely part of the bucket list. So, I am listing 5 things to Do in Batanes for you. The place is definitely breathtaking, but it seems like an impossible dream for many since most people think that it is costly to go there. Truth be told, the only barrier between you and your Batanes escapade is the cost of transportation which is around 8,000 – 15,000 pesos, but the cost of stay there is as cheap as 7,500 including tours for 3D/2N!
What’s in store for you in Batanes, you may ask? Well, I’ve been there for two times already in 2017 mainly for medical and surgical missions, so for me it was a travel with a definite purpose. We had limited time to see the different areas, and we were just invited by our partners for a quick tour, hat’s why we obliged. 🙂 Even if it is just a half day fast-paced tour, Batanes was still breathtaking for me. So here’s the 5 things you can do in Batanes!!
- Appreciate the AIRPORT
I have been to quite a number of airports in the Philippines, and a few international ones, but for me Basco Airport stands out! It’s interior reflects the culture of the island. 🙂 Then, there’s a small lagoon in the center.Most flights are in the morning, so you have the chance to capture the morning sun!
The people in the airport are warm and accommodating. Since we went there for a med mission, we were not charged for the fees (environmental/tourists fees), but if you’re there just for tour, you might need to prep the payment upon arrival.
2. Enjoy the FOOD!
Surprisingly, food is very affordable in Batanes! We ate mostly in Pension Ivatan which is a hotel near the airport. The coordinator there, Mr. Jayson, is very kind to us. He accommodated our whole team last November. Here’s a glimpse of what Batanes has to offer in terms of culinary indulgence. If you are lucky enough, you will be able to try their famous coconut crab! yum!
Basco also has numerous areas where you can dine including a place with Halo-Halo (though I was not able to go). There are also local vendors who sells snacks in areas like Sabtang. 🙂
3. Visit the LIGHT HOUSES!
Another activity to include in your things to do in Batanes is visit the light houses! There are many light houses to choose from, but I’ve only been in one – the one in Basco. It’s majestic and it can give you a scenic view when you reach the top. My dream lighthouse is in Sabtang, but I was only able to catch a glimpse of it on our way to the medical mission venue. Sad, but work comes first before leisure! 🙂
Here are some shots of the lighthouse in Basco. So instagrammable!
Here’s the abot-tanaw light house of Sabtang!
4. Tour around Basco
Basco in itself has so much to offer, and just by walking along its streets, you will be able to appreciate its beauty through the traditional houses and the people. The people of Batanes are one of the warmest people I have known, and they are very friendly too! Here are some of the things you can do in Basco.
The Rolling Hills
The Boulder Beach
Have Fun with the Animals
Shopping for Souvenirs
For Souvenirs, you can visit Tawsen’s Souvenir Shop or the souvenir shop area near the plaza. I find Tawsen’s products cheaper though!
We went down the viewing deck, but we later found out that 2 people died there while taking a selfie, so better be not as adventurous like us!
5. Visit Sabtang
One of the nearest island from Basco is Sabtang. Definitely, visiting this island is in my 5 things to do in Batanes list!!! To be able to go there, you need to go to Ivana Port which is at the bottom-most portion of Batan island. Here, you will be able to see the honesty store where there are no vendors, you just have to pay honestly on your own. 🙂
Then, you have to ride a boat going to Sabtang. The waves can be a bit scary so you might want to take Bonamine. 🙂 The view is absolutely amazing specially in the morning!
When in Sabtang, you can go to Chavayan where the old houses are located! It is where you can wear or even buy their native Vakul. I find this barangay really beautiful!
There is also a drop off point which you will pass before arriving at Chavayan. The view there is breathtaking!
Going to Batanes might not be as easy, but you can always save up for it or wait for seat sales! Skyjet, PAL and Ceb Pac flies there daily. If you are planning to go, it is better to plan a summer trip because flights in the latter part of the year might be cancelled due to the weather. 🙂 You might need to bring extra clothes and cash as well if ever your trip back to Manila gets cancelled (due to rain/wind). However, if you are willing to take the risk, going there during the off-peak seasons are cheaper in terms of the airfare and hotels (Pension Ivatan is at 50% off).
For hotels, you can opt for a hotel or hometel, there are various establishments there. We stayed at Tawsen’s Place which is a relatively new hotel with good interior. Also, I recently found out that Tawsen just renovated a traditional home and their opening it so people can rent! It’s gorgeous. To know more about this. You can visit them at Facebook. Ms. Daphne, their manager, is very accommodating, approachable and helpful!
So, there you go. That’s my 5 things to do in Batanes! Definitely worth visiting again, for leisure this time – God willing!
Hence, as they say in Batanes…
until my next post!