Batanes is one of my dream destinations and I didn’t imagine that I can manage to visit the province as early as this year. I’ve sacrificed a few things for this trip, and I don’t regret with what I did just to live my Batanes dream. Thanks to PAL Express for offering that most affordable roundtrip airfare ever to the province. So here you go, a Batanes DIY itineraries.
The province is nearer to Taiwan than mainland Luzon making it harder for tourists and travelers to visit the destination. It is the smallest province in the Philippines in terms of land area, and has the least in population. Batanes is composed of 10 islands which only 3 of these were inhabited: Batan, Sabtang and Itbayat.
Let me share to you some tips in living the Batanes dream on a budget. You can also use some of the items found on this guide to plan your trip. Affordable places to stay and eat, as well as the Batanes DIY tour around the major islands of Batanes.
FAST FACTS – Batanes DIY
- Cellphone signals are available for major networks except in Imnajbu and Itbud in Batan and Nakanmuan, Sumnanga and Chavayan in Sabtang.
- Weather in Batanes, throughout the year, is relatively cooler than the rest of the Philippines.
- ATM is available in Basco being operated by Landbank.
HOW TO GET THERE
Three airlines as of the moment have regular trips to Basco Airport from Manila: PAL Express, SKY Jet and SKY Pasada. Other options are via the Laoag – Basco and Tuguegarao – Basco routes being operated by SKY Pasada.
PAL EXPRESS Flight Schedule Daily flights Manila – Basco (6:00 and 7:30) Basco – Manila (8:10 and 9:40) Regular Fare Regular Economy Base fare from PHP 13,517 to PHP 16, 843 Booking Tip If you’re going to book for a regular plane ticket, fare is cheapest if you’ll leave MNL by Sunday and Friday. But, seatsale can go as low as Php 1,760 for a roundtrip fare. Website http://www.philippineairlines.com/ SKYJET AIRLINES Flight Schedule Mon, Wed, Fri and Sun. (Starting June 2014: Mon and Fri) Manila – Basco (5:30) Basco – Manila (7:15) Booking Tip From time to time, Skyjet offers promo at Php 5,000 for roundtrip fare. Website http://www.skyjetair.com/ SKY PASADA Flight Schedule Manila – Basco (Wed and Fri) Basco – Manila (Thu and Sun) Tuguegarao – Basco and VV (Wed, Fri, Sun) Regular Fare * can’t manage to do mock booking because airline’s flight search is not working. Website http://skypasada.com/
WHERE TO STAY
Homestay is still the best and cheapest way to spend your nights in the province. Rates range from Php 300 to 500 per night per head. There are also resorts and lodging inns (in Basco only) to consider.
Looking for a place to stay in Batanes? Use the search box below.
MARFEL'S HOMESTAY (Batan) Ate Fe: 0908-893-1475 Rate: Php 350/night CITA'S LODGE (Recommended) (Batan) Nanay Cita: 0939-919-3616 Rate: Php 350/night OLD HOUSE IN CHAVAYAN (Sabtang) Contact: 0999-489-6295 Rate: Php 150/night CANO'S LODGE (Itbayat) Nanay Tina: 0919-300-4787/0921-567-3409 Rate: Php 200/night
WHERE TO EAT
Food is a bit expensive in Batanes so if you tend to dine in restaurants throughout your stay, better prepare at least Php 300 per meal. If you plan to avail homestays, you can ask your hosts if you can cook your own meal by adding some fee for the cooking.
PENSION IVATAN (Basco) We tried: Ivatan Platter (Php 1,700), Batanes Flavor and Dukay Salad Verdict: All Ivatan dishes are present on their Ivatan Platter. Great for groups. Contact: 0999-562-4395 CASA NAPOLI PIZZA (Basco) We tried: Garlic and Cheese Pizza (Php 250) Verdict: The garlic and cheese pizza is better than Yellow Cab, for me. They also deliver! Contact: 0918-964-2567 OCTAGON RESTAURANT (Basco) We tried: Stir-fry Veggies (Php 200) and Nilagang Baboy (Php 200) Verdict: Food is really hefty for the price! Has a very warm vibe. Discover why it was named as Octagon. Contact: 0917-552-6684 PAULVANNA'S CANTEEN (Mahatao) We tried: Sisig (Php 100) and Veggie (Php 30) Contact: 0928-362-8473
WHAT TO SEE AND DO
Batanes is the smallest province in the Philippines but it has a lot to offer and most of them are natural attractions. Click the images below to see the tourist attractions to consider.
Basco – Valugan Boulder Beach, Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel, Fundacion Pacita, Tukon Church, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Casa Real, Basco Lighthouse, Naidi Hills, Vayang Rolling Hills, Mount Iraya, and Nakamaya Burial Site
Mahatao – San Carlos Borromeo Church, Spanish lighthouse, Marlboro Rolling Hills (Racuh a Payaman), Racuh-a-Idi Spring, Diura Fishing Village, Tayid Lighthouse, Mahatao Boat Shelter Port, and Chawa View Deck
Ivana – Honesty Coffee Shop, san Jose de Obrero Church, Old Spanish Bridge, and House of Dakay
Uyugan – Imnajbu Village, LORAN Station, Alapad Hills and Rock Formation, San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel, Itbud Village and Song-song ruins
Sabtang – Chamantad-Tinyan View Point and Cove, Sabtang Villages, Chavayan Chapel, Atanacio Dapilan House, Duvek Bay, Morong Beach and Ahaw Natural Arch, Sabtang Lighthouse, San Vicente Ferrer Church, ruins of old Sabtang Church’s convent, 1887 deep well, and Spanish lighthouse
Itbayat – Mt Karoboban, Torongan Cave and Hill, Lake Kavaywan, Yawran and Raele Villages, St. Joseph Church, Manoyok Sinkhole, Rapang Cliff, Nahili do Votox, Caves of Northern Sarokan, Eastern Sarokan and Pivangan, Agosan Rock Formation, and Sta. Maria Immaculada Church
SAMPLE BATANES DIY ITINERARIES
4 DAYS 3 NIGHTS (Batan and Sabtang Island)
DAY 1 Arrival, Walking Tour in Basco, Batanes
DAY 2 Overnight in Sabtang Island
DAY 3 South Batan Tour (Ivana, Mahatao and Uyugan)
DAY 4 Departure
6 DAYS 5 NIGHTS (Including Itbayat)
DAY 1 Arrival, Walking Tour in Basco, Batanes
DAY 2 Overnight in Itbayat Island
DAY 3 Walking Tour in Basco, Batanes
DAY 4 Ivana and Mahatao
DAY 5 Uyugan
DAY 6 Departure
Note: This itinerary is a bit risky since the weather to and from Itbayat is unpredictable.
SAMPLE EXPENSES (During my 9D8N stay in the province)
Basco Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (BATODA)
Caspo Road cor Lopez St., Kayhuvokan, Basco
Batanes Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association (BAJODA)
Mahatao Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (MATODA)
Bicycles for Rent
Dive Batanes 0947-817-4977
Motorcycles for Rent
M/B Itransa (Basco – Itbayat – Basco) 0920-849-3946
M/B Ocean Spirit (Basco – Itbayat – Basco) 0917-801-8574
M/B Sto Tomas (Sabtang – Ivana – Sabtang) 0947-736-3916/0920-892-2079
M/B Sta Inez (Sabtang – Ivana – Sabtang) 0921-552-0082
M/B Aljolyner 18 (Ivana – Sabtang – Ivana) 0928-244-5475
Northsky (Tuguegarao – Basco – Itbayat – Basco – Tuguegarao) 0918-583-3666
We did the tour on the province on a ‘do-it-yourself’ way for us to utilize public transportations such as tricycle, jeepney and ferry, and eating on affordable local restaurants/eateries. Don’t try to compare the expenses found above to the ones being offered by local tour operators. Availing such from different agencies will make your exploration around Batanes hassle-free. We did the Batanes DIY tour for us to interact with the locals and make our stay in the province more memorable not just simply hopping on the shuttle service and waiting for the next destination listed on the guide’s itinerary.
WILL UPDATE THIS PAGE FROM TIME TO TIME! Enjoy your Batanes trip!