Batanes one of the dream places to visit in the Philippines for local travelers


Batanes, one of the dream places to visit in the Philippines for local travelers, is a surreal haven that promises to give you a slice of heaven of earth. Famed for its sheer natural beauty and distinct landscapes, this remote wonderland leaves its beholders in awe with its majestic lofty cliffs, rolling hills, boulder-lined shores and deep canyons. In addition, this paradisiacal place flaunts a myriad of sturdy and historic stone houses. The name Batanes derives from the words Batan, the local word for the Ivatan people. Remote and isolated, Batanes is the northernmost province in the Philippines. It’s a 10-piece archipelago, with the three biggest islands being the only ones inhabited: Sabtang, Batan, and Itbayat. Sabtang and Itbayat are their own municipalities, while Batan is further divided into Basco, Ivana, Uyugan, and Mahatao. Although it is the capital, Basco isn’t a city but a small town. It is also where the main airport is located and the most populated.

How to go to batanes? The fastest and easiest way to reach Batanes is by air. Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Sky Jet have regular commercial flights from Manila and Clark to Basco, the provincial capital and gateway to the province. Meanwhile, Sky Pasada and Northsky Air fly from Tuguegarao and Laoag to Basco. Keep an eye on promotion to avail of the budget airfare. How to get around batanes? By bicycle or motorcycle, The bicycle is the cheapest way of going around the island, but make sure you have the stamina to match. The landscape is rugged and a bicycle ride can take you up and down the slopes of rolling hills a hundred times over. Not really a hundred, but you get the point. Bicycle Rental Rates. Old bikes 25 pesos per hour, Small or Japanese bikes 300 pesos per day, Mountain bikes 600 to 1000 pesos per day (depending on the type and how long you’re gonna use it). For those who have a driver’s license and can drive two wheels, the motorcycle is a good option. Motorcycle rent costs 500 to 1000 pesos per day. Gas is not yet included. Where to stay in batanes? As the capital and commercial center of the province, Basco is a good base for tourists. Inns and homestays are heavily concentrated in the poblacion area, which is also where the airport is located. Tour operators also have their offices here. The cheapest options are homestays. Two popular homestays are Troy’s Lodge and Marfel’s Lodge. Troy’s Lodge a loft with a few rooms for guests on the 2nd floor. Rates are 700 to 1000 pesos per room up to 3 pax. Marfel’s Lodge started out as a single house, it is now a network of 4 separate lodges. Main Lodge, Annex Lodge, Triple MP Homestay, MAC Homestay being marketed together. Rates: are 500 to 600 pesos per room 2 pax and 350 pesos per person for a single fan room. Both inns are located in the town proper of Basco and near the airport. Places to visit in batanes? Tourist spots in Batanes are often divided into four zones: North Batan, South Batan, Sabtang, and Itbayat. I always recommend taking the North Batan Tour first because it gives just the right dose of what’s to come, sort of a teaser. If you’re based in Basco, it is the closest and shortest of the tours. The whole thing takes just half a day, around 4 hours. South Batan takes much longer, covers a wider area, and in my opinion, much more breathtaking. If you do South Batan first, the North might leave you a bit underwhelmed. Please take note of the following tourism/environmental fees. Batan Island collected upon landing at Basco Airport 350 pesos. Sabtang Island 200 pesos and Itbayat Island 100 pesos.

Activities in Batanes? See the following attractions of North Batan Island. Naidi Hill Lighthouse, Vayang Rolling Hills, Santo Domingo Cathedral of Basco, Valugan Boulder Beach, Chadpidan Boulder Beach, Japanese Tunnel, Fundacion Pacita, PAGASA Station, Tukon Chapel on the Hill (Mt. Carmel Chapel), Tukon Windmill, Basco Idjang and Mount Iraya. See the following attractions of South Batan Island. Chawa View Deck, Mahatao Shelter Port, Mahatao Town, San Carlos Borromeo Church of Mahatao, Blank Library, Tayid Lighthouse, Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Hills), Diura Fishing Village, Fountain of Youth, Alapad Hills, Sitio Song-song Ruins, Uyugan Town, National Museum Batanes, San Jose de Ivana Church, Honesty Coffee Shop, House of Dakay. See the following attractions of Sabtang Island. Sabtang Town, Savidug Village, Savidug Idjang, Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint, Chavayan Village, Nakanmuan Naturan Arc, Morong Beach, Malakdang Lighthouse, Sumnanga Village, Ivuhus Island, Dequey Island. See the following attractions on Itbayat Island. Siayan Island, Mavulis (Y’Ami) Island, Dinem Island, Ditarem Island and Misanga or North Island. Rapang Cliff Mount Riposet and Mount Karaboboan or Mount Santa Rosa. Torongan Cave, Northern Sarokan Cave, Eastern Sarokan Cave, Do’tboran Cave and Pevangan Cave. Nahini Votox (Torongan Hill and Idjang), Kumayasakas Underground Stream, Agosan Rock and Port Mauyen. Several species of birds, bats, reptiles and amphibians also inhabit the island; many of those are endemic in the Philippines. The island is also a sanctuary of different migratory birds during winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

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