Take a timeless journey through the Philippines last frontier!
Fall in love with the northernmost islands of the Philippines not only for its beauty but also with its cultural heritage, well-preserved villages, yummy Ivatan cuisine, and most of all the islands’ proud Ivatan people.
We love Batanes for its picturesque landscapes and breathtaking views. Imagine green grasslands as far as your eyes can see, towering limestone cliffs, crystal clear waters, and beautiful views that look straight from a scene of Lord of The Rings, Jurrasic Park, and Moana! It’s not hard to understand why Batanes is on every Filipino’s bucket!
Here’s our guide to Batanes’ top three islands- Basco, Sabtang, and Itbayat…
FACTS ABOUT BATANES:
• The province’s ettirety from landscape and seascape is protected by the government.
• The Islands of Basco and Sabtang were formed by a volcanic eruption while Itbayat was formed due to techtonic movements of the plate.
• The Ivatans are indegenous people protected by the IPRA Law 1997.
• The weather even on summer is cooler than the rest of the Philippines. The coolest months are March to December where temperature can fall as low as 10 degrees.
• Expect to pay cash all the time. Though Landbank and PNB atm’s are available in Basco.
HOW TO GET THERE:
The fastest way to reach Batanes is by air. Philippine Airlines flies from Manila to Basco (Batanes) two times a day. A roundtrip ticket ranges from a promo fare of P1750 to as much as P15,000.
PAL flight schedule:
MNL-BSO 06:00 – 07:45 (1h 45m)
BSO-MNL 08:10 – 09:50 (1h 40m)
You will be landing at Basco Airport, the first stop on your Batanes adventure! The provincial capital town is the gateway and hub for transport and commerce.
Tip: A flight to Batanes is within reach. Don’t miss those seat sales by following Philippine Airlines on facebook, twitter and subscribing to their newsletter for promos.
We also enjoyed PAL’s excellent customer service and free snacks on board. The free baggage allowance was perfect for our ootd outfits! 😉
BATAN NORTH TOUR:
Batanes, you take my breathe away!
A trip to Batanes is something you’ll have to do at least once in your lifetime. The country’s northernmost province is one of the most sought-after tourism frontiers, gifted with its unique blend of breathtaking scenery, natural beauty, and well-preserved culture!
North Batan consists of the whole of Basco–from the picturesque Valugan boulder beach, Vayang rolling hills, and Basco lighthouse, to the Mount Carmel Chapel, Fundacion Pacita, the Japanese tunnels, and a weather station with a 360 view of the island!
Check out these awesome Batanes scenes from our northern Batan island tour…
Read more: BATAN NORTH TOUR: Basco and the Biggest Batanes Island! (Part 1):
BATAN SOUTH TOUR:
We heard that the South Batan Tour was much more charming than that of North Batan. But how could that be, when we were already captured by the breathtaking landscapes of the North?!
South Batan is where you’ll find everything to love about Batanes–from the marvelous historical man-made structures, natural sceneries, and authentic Ivatan cuisine, down to taking part in the important cultural experience.
The South Batan Tour is a day tour covering the towns of Ivana, Mahatao, and Uyugan. The tour starts early in Mahatao and covers Chawa Viewdeck, San Jose Borromeo Church, Tayid Lighthouse, Diura fishing village, and Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country), then starts again after lunch to Imnajbu, Alapad, Uyugan Town, Ivana Town, Honesty Coffee Shop, and the oldest house in Basco.
Here’s our itinerary with Kuya Roger of Bashi Tours, who showed us around South of Basco…
Read more: BATAN SOUTH TOUR: House of Dakay, Honesty Cafe, and Malboro Country (Part 2)
SABTANG ISLAND TOUR:
Vast green grasslands as far as your eyes can see, towering limestone cliffs, crystal clear waters, and beautiful landscapes that look out of this world. With access to all of these and more, it’s not hard to see why Batanes is on every Filipino’s bucket list.
Sabtang Island is the southernmost municipality of Batanes and is the smallest of the three major islands, the others being Batan and Itbayat.
Read more: Sabtang Island, Batanes: Exploring the Best Heritage Island in the Philippines! (Photo Essay)
ITBAYAT ISLAND TOUR:
For first-time visitors, Itbayat Island may seem like a place suspended in time.
An island paradise barely touched by the unrelenting hand of modernization, Itbayat is one of the last regions of the Philippines where man has hardly left his mark on the environment.
It is a place that sometimes feels foreign and wild, yet at the same time, familiar and tame, a place of majestic rolling hills where wild horses roam freely, racing across open fields. It’s also a place forgotten by history, where vast cave systems hold the secrets to some of the Philippines earliest settlers.
Most importantly, it’s home to nearly 3,000 Ivatan—the original inhabitants of the island.
If you’re up for a real adventure and want to experience untouched nature, Itbayat is the perfect destination.
Read more: ITBAYAT ISLAND: Life On The Philippines’ Last Frontier
WHAT TO EAT:
Already captivated by the beauty of the northernmost tip of the Philippines, the magic of Batanes continues as we discover and experience its food! Find out how yummy authentic Ivatan dishes are–from freshly caught mahi-mahi, flying fish, and lobsters, to grass-fed cows, organic pork, root crops, and vegetables!
Ivatan-style cooking can be described as bland, using only salt, soy sauce, and vinegar as condiments. It’s not hard to see that local Ivatans like to maintain a very healthy lifestyle.
Here are some of the dishes you should try…
Read more: IVATAN CUISINE: The Flavors of the Batanes Isles!
WHERE TO STAY:
Here are some suggestions on where to stay in Batanes. Whether it’s in the charming rooms of Fundacion Pacita, mid-range inns, or affordable homestays, you’ll surely find one that’ll suit your budget and specific needs!
Checkout our list of accommodations in Basco…
Read more: BATANES ACCOMMODATIONS: Where to Stay in Basco & Itbayat
Bashi Eco-Tours & Adventure
Batanes, Batan – Sabtang – Itbayat
Mobile: +63 999 990-7547, +63 929-6418829
Guide: Roger Doplito
Live an Awesome Life,
ABI of Team Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: We paid for our own tours and fees. Our flight to Batanes was a project sponsored by Philippine Airlines. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. Checkout what’s inside our Travelon backpack for survival tips on your Batanes adventure!
- Travelon bag to keep your valuables extra safe!
- A lot of cash!
- Water bottle
- Sunblock and hat
- Camera to capture the memories.
- Power bank
- Insect repellant for those nasties!
3 thoughts on “BATANES: Awesome Guide to Batanes Isles: Batan, Sabtang & Itbayat!”
I actually don’t know too much about the Philippines – I do know I want to go to Cebu and dive with the thresher sharks, but I’m surprised that there is so much more to see here. Great post!
After Living in the Mariana Islands for 3 years, I STILL didn’t make it over to the Philippines. I only really knew Manila and that it was crowded. With that impression and the devastation from the Typhoons while I was there (2011-14), I decided I should postpone my trip. This article is making me sad I missed out because WOW…. WHAT scenery! Never even registered to me that there would be so much open landscape and beautiful country there was away from the city centers. I need to find an opportunity to go back.
So sad Lexi. The Philippines has many scenic spots to offer. Tourism, in all aspect, makes the Philippines a paradise for many. Come and visit our archipelago, and sure you will never regret any penny you are going to spend. God bless!