Batanes | An Extraordinary Place

Im a person who is hard to please. When it comes to traveling, I never agree that a place is excellent until I experienced it myself. The word "famous" is never synonymous to "superb", at least for me. Traveling is subjective. What could be amazing to you could be ordinary to me, and vice versa.

Batanes, the Philippine's northernmost province, is undeniably one of the most famous and most raved for spots in the country. I became curious of course, but I am never convinced (yet) that it is indeed a lovely place. Not until I finally experienced the surreal beauty of Batanes.

breathtaking Batanes indeed!

Manila to Batanes
○ Last October, I got lucky and scored my roundtrip tickets to Batanes for only P1,872! ♥  AirPhil and Sky Jet airlines fly from Manila to Basco. Normally, the roundtrip fares cost P8,000. Now how to score cheap airfares? Be patient and be quick when you hear the seatsale news!

abangers lang ng promo is the key to score cheap Batanes tickets!

Time Travel Lodge
○ There are not enough accommodation in Batanes so it's always best to book in advance. Luckily, the Ivatans are so nice that they will be the one to look for an alternative in case your first choice is already unavailable. Fortunately, it happened to me and I got even luckier to end up at Time Travel Lodge. This lodge offers 3 family rooms, all with its own bathroom and kitchen. There's a lawn as a bonus.

the added perk is the garden! yes, you may setup a tent if you like

beautiful candy-colored chairs for coffee and siesta time

Time Travel Lodge -  0939.623.8978 / 0907.443.5610
rate is 400 / person for a fan room on a low season. each room has 2 queen beds, cabled tv, sound system, kitchen, own bathroom with hot shower. coffee is free at the common area.

Batanes Itinerary - 4 Days 3 Nights
○ We arrived in Batanes on time and the first thing Era and I did was sleep. Hehe After recharging, we decided to experience biking. Bikes are available at Time Travel Lodge. Rental fee is 25/hour. So how's the experience? Great, not to mention the lighthouse is just near the town. Just be ready because the roads are uphill. Hangsakit sa legs! ^_^

bike your way to Basco Lighhouse, for experience.

○ I really suggest you visit the North Batan area first. Basta lang. For me, if you have seen the South Batan or Sabtang Island - then the North Batan attractions could not be outstanding anymore to you. *winks*

 the famous lighthouse

excited sa stone houses

rolling hills

the Bunker serves dinner to visitors who wish to catch the sunset. reservation is required.

○ Era and I biked our way home. After resting, we decided to continue our North Batan tour. We had Dale - 0929.341.0941  as our tricycle driver and guide in Batanes. For the guided trip to Fundacion Pacita and Valugan Boulder Beach, we paid P400. Dale also showed us the tunnel and some churches along the way.

big boulders and huge waves meet at Valugan beach

first taste of Batanes sea

○ Fundacion Pacita is I think the premiere accommodation in Batanes. It is situated on top of the hill and the view decks are really breathtaking! Nabwiset ako sa ganda! Haha Minimum stay is 2 nights and rate is around P8,700 per night. This is the perfect place for honeymooners.

fundacion pacita

your own viewing deck at fundacion pacita

may araw ka din sakin, babalikan kita! haha

○ We call it a day and had an early dinner at Ivatan Pension. The next day is for the South Batan tour. Rate is P1,500 per tricycle. Dale is still our driver and guide. We preferred to start the tour at 9am, though you may request to start earlier if you want.

 south batan tour

rolling hills and Tayid lighthouse

Marlboro Country - eto na yung the hills are alive!

that's Mount Iraya

breathtaking Batanes indeed

 sunny all the way!

cow congress on top of the hill

○ OK, so much of the green hills and blue seas. We also went to other South Batan spots (which I dont remember the names, really). Hehe As you know, Im not a fan of visiting 8 spots per day. I always pick the best 4 or 5 spots and that is always enough. ^_^

a stone house along the street

10 commandments in their local dialect

cheap yet good food at Vatang restaurant
all these for P800!

○ I asked Dale why most beaches are empty. He said locals are busy with their studies or business. I asked again what's their past time on weekends. He answered picnics with family on the beach. Kainis ang pampalipas oras nila!!! #kainggit

calm white beach in Batanes

more more sunbathing

○ Coconut crabs are not easy to find at restaurants. We asked the caretaker of Time Travel Lodge to find us coconut crabs instead. Achieve! (1kg of coconut crab, chopsuey, rice, and service charge = P850)

it tastes like a normal crab, only the meat is firmer (i think). nonetheless good! we love fresh seafood!

○ 3rd day is for a day trip at Sabtang island. At 5:30AM, Dale drove us to Ivatan Port, for P220. At around 6AM, locals and other tourists began to arrive. The boats are sufficient so dont worry, just arrive on time and you will surely get a slot. Boat fare is P75, per way. In the morning, the water is calm and it would only take around 30 mins to cross the island. 

 first glimpse of Sabtang island

○ Our contact in Sabtang is Michael, he is Dale's friend. Actually he works full time at the city engineers office in Basco. He happens to be free on weekends so he has time to drive us around Sabtang. Tour costs P800 only and 1,300 if you wanted to include the two farther towns.

Look at the tricycle in Sabtang, it's more like a kubo on wheels! Astig!

Michael - 0918.437.0551
kubo on wheels - only in Sabtang

○ Since most of the tourists were availing the packaged tour (fyi packaged tour costs P1,800 per person), we asked Michael that we oppose the direction of the group tours' itinerary. The group tours would go to the cliff first so we decided to hit the beach right away to avoid the crowd. Hehe

Morong Beach and Mayahaw Arch 
the famous landmark in Sabtang

no other tourists ^_^

○ Sabtang has fewer establishment, more stone houses, more scenic views, and more character. If you have time, you can stay overnight in Sabtang and sleep in one of the traditional stone houses for a very cheap price.

a village full of stone houses

scenic view on the road

lush green everywhere

another famous spot, i forgot the name

paaraw all the way!

○ Our Do-It-Yourself Sabtang tour obviously didn't include lunch so we advised Michael we wanted lobsters. A kilo costs P450 only! Omg. Ginto yan dito sa Manila!

1 kilo of lobster + rice + veggies + coke + service charge = P900

More of Batanes
○ What made Batanes very outstanding is the people. Ivatans are sooo friendly. Unbelievable. People in town would greet as you pass by, as if you are a guest and they are all employees in the hotel you are staying in. Ganung level!

a female Ivatan and her cows

○ Another very noticeable thing is when you walk in the streets and there's another vehicle that would pass by the opposite direction - the driver would stop and let you pass first before he continues driving. That's how careful and noble they are!

noble Ivatan drivers on the road

○ Tricycles are not roaming in the streets unless they have passengers. The thing is you have to text them and they will fetch you in your location. Ansabe ng Grab-A-Taxi di ba?

Dale - 0929.341.0941
tricycle driver / tour guide in Batanes 


Batanes Budget
○ Batanes expenses for 4 days and 3 nights is P3,600. Do the math for the breakdown. When airfare is included, total expenses is P5,500. Of course it could be cheaper if you won't eat a kilo of lobster and a kilo of coconut crab. Im never a fan of kuripot trips. I wanted to spend and pay the the locals what they deserve. The service is great so why not let them earn. ♥


Extraordinary Batanes
Due to the raves Batanes is getting, I cannot help myself but set my expectation high for this place. After 4 days, I finally understand why people are raving so much about Batanes. It's not just about the rolling hills, the beaches, the culture, and the food. It's about the accidental beauty and how powerless you are when you see the strong waves and unending hills. It's about the simple life and how everyone is happy with it. It's all in one and even more! This place is paradise and the people are so warm. My Batanes experience is surreal and breathtaking! Batanes now belongs to my top 3 places to visit in the Philippines. My experience is so great that Im looking forward to going back again, soon! 

From the bottom of my heart, Dios Mamajes (thank you) Batanes for that wonderful and memorable experience.

51 responses: said...

isang bagsakan na batanes blog! pinagpuyatan ko to! hehe

Mustachio said...

Batanes never loses its charm. Your photos make me miss the place. I wish I could live there.

mike said...

i've been trying to visit this place for a few years now with no such luck. hoping to visit this place next time i visit pinas...

bagets said...

such a beauty

Renante Mina said...

wow ang ganda talga ng batanes... kainggit. kung mapuntahan ko to sana kasama na din Mt. Iraya :-)

adventurousfeet said...

ang gondo gondo!!! ang sarap titigan ng mga pics mo chyng weeee <3

Lance said...

Im never a fan of kuripot trips. I wanted to spend and pay the the locals what they deserve. The service is great so why not let them earn. ♥ --- this! this is awesome.. i like that you are into travel not only for the sceneries and fun but also, in a way, providing livelihood for the locals. Kudos to you Chyng!

mj montañez said...

Pwede nmn pala marating ang Batanes ng less than 10K...for sure, i-push ko na ang Batanes trip. Nice post! Nakakaingit, nakakatakam!!! :)

Rizza said...

honggonda ng mga shots mo madaam! at ang sarap talaga basahin ng blog mo, walang nosebleed levels. haha! a piece of heaven on earth, sana mapuntahan ko narin to next year. *abangers na ng seatsale* hehe

Traveling Morion said...

Kakainggit! Kaw n ang may pinaka vibrant na photos ng Batanes������ sana mag sale ulet- bat kc nang dalawang isip pa ako! ������

Ronskie said...

Ang Ganda po, gusto ko ng pumunta ng batanes. :)

Photo Cache said...

your photos are so good, it's like leafing through nat geo mag.

Romel | San Josenyong Gala said...

I'm guilty of believing the rave about Batanes even before I was able to visit it... Hehehe...

Isang bagsakan = isang great story... :)

Micamyx|Senyorita said...

Yay! Just booked my Batanes trip (via Brenna hihi) for my birthday. Inaabangan ko talaga post mo hehe aliw naman yung bamboo trike :))

blissfulguro said...

one of the nicest people in the country. kikilabutan ka sa bait nilang lahat :)

at katulad mo 'di ko pinangarap ang batanes pero nabago ang lahat nung napadpad na dun.

ang saya lang tumambay ng 1 week dun na walang kahit na anong plano :)

Christian | Lakad Pilipinas said...

whoohooo! isang bagsak! :D

Marky Ramone Go said...

Unexpected ren punta ko jan like you and 8,567 PTBs.

Nice seeing you at the airport, yung isang pasahero after mo umalis sabi

"OMG si Chyng Reyes ba yon? syang di ako naka pag pa picture"

dash said...

Breathtaking! Makapag-abang na nga din ng promo fares. :P Thanks for sharing.

Ayi said...

Nakakuha ako ng tip sa pabaliktan na itinerary! Salamat Chyng, nag-enjoy ako sa blog mo pero mas mag-eenjoy ako sa Batanes! I'd say hi to Dale for you. :)

nina said...

Teh, isabay mo ko pag bibili ka uli ng promo fare ha? Salamat! :D

joy apanay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joy apanay said...

hi there! batanes is so awesome place, gonna visit there soon..for when is the best time to travel in batanes? because i heard the weather there is so unpredictable..thanks a lot.


Chyng salamat sa post mong ito :)

Abang din ng promo pag may time !


Chyng ur simply the best! said...

hi joy,

not sure since you already said unpredictable. ^_^ i think lang, oct-may ang best time for batanes.

mark julius Estur said...

Gagamitin ko mga tips mo for my batanes trip c/o brenna din. Haha gsto ko ang mga isang bagsakang post mo.

Badet said...

Awesome photos Chyng. Nakakamiss ang Batanes. Ang hirap magblog ng isang bagsakan haha, kaya iisa isahin ko sila sa blog ko :)

Bee Chavez said...

Ang ganda mo pa rin, Batanes.
Wala pa ibang place nkapag-dethrone sa Batanes sa list ko. ^_^

Love your article, Chyng.

Laagholic Buyog

Arnie Monacillo said...

Oh my, the NEW ZEALAND of the Philippines. :) 2015 please, ur pictures Chyng push me to prioritize this trip for next year. :)

Renante Mina said...

iba talaga ang batanes ang ganda. sana palarin din mapadpad dito at marating ang summit ng Mt. Iraya... pangarap...

levintology said...

Nice one, Chyng. Excited na kong ma-experience ang Batanes next month. :-)

Axl Powerhouse Production Inc. said...

isa sa mga nasa top 10 travel bucket list ko ang batanes!!! masayang lugar, maganda at higit sa lahat ramdam mo malinis at natural na hangin kumpara sa kamaynilaan..

khantotantra said...



pero hopefully tuloy na tuloy na din ang batanes tour namin nila jeff this feb. 26-mar3 ata. :D

So exciteds lalo na sa sinabi mong price ng lobster...maygas!

Veronica said...

Thank you for posting this Chyng!

michymichymoo said...

Makes me want to go to Batanes really really soon. Seat sale, dumating ka na please!!!

Dins said...

buntong hininga kada litrato. napakaganda!

Aileen said...

Batanes has a way of marking itself in your heart, no? Beautiful place, beautiful people. Raw, pure, and breathtaking. And I'm glad that it's now quite affordable to go there. I went in 2006 and we spent about 12K for the airfare alone. We stayed for seven days and it was one of the most memorable seven days. We home-stayed in the smaller islands and I will always remember their generosity and hospitality.

Amazing photos, btw. Makes me want to go back! said...

Batanes DIY trip, tas regards kay Dale

soloflightEd said...

high expectations talaga ang batanes.

lol andaming nagbatanes nga at nalunod ang newsfeed ko sa fb. hehe.

great tip about the tour. hahanapin ko yan si kuya michael balang araw para maging guide din. :)

Rhea Sarceno said...

wow Batanes!! cge mag aabang na ako ng seat sale to Basco.. Nice Chyng!

Ian | Going Places said...

The cow congress pic catch my eyes. Funny yet simply stunning! And rolling hills too! Batanes is travel photography paradise!

No wonder it will be the next big thing Philippine tourism.

Ryan Cardona said...

Thanks for considering our province Batanes!

Nice pics, good article for DIY trippers.

Visit Itbayat Island next time!

explore, experience and enjoy BATANES!

sofie said...

haaay sarap lang talaga basahin ng mga entry nyo po ms. chyng. feeling ko nakapunta nadin ako dahil sa experience nyo po sa batanes. ang saya saya lang. hehe. and i really really love your blog. dami ko po natututunan na DIY travel. thank you po for inspiring us. more tavel po. more power. God bless po.

Thea Isabel said...

Woaaah ang pangarap kong Batanes!!! :)

A lucky roundtrip tickets you got! :D

I super love the South Batan. Can't wait to visit this place :)
Thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

great blog! :)
what camera is this?

Anonymous said...

ang ganda pala ng view sa batanes sana makavisit kame ng buong pamilya someday! inspiring blog! :-)

Niña Zarah Lomio said...

ganda ganda po ng blog nio :) can i share this to my fb ? pupunta po kc kami sa batanes on Nov. 19-22 :) thanks for posting this as our guide :)

KUDOS ! :)

Chyng said...

^ sure sure! =)

Anonymous said...

Hi. Im planning to go to batanes and this will surely help a lot. Just one thing, who pays for the tour guide's meal? Tnx.

Chyng said...

^ we shared our food with him. =)

Hazel said...

My Mom and her friends are having a blast right now in Batanes. She is 63. I am uber happy that Mama decided to see this beautiful place before she retires.

HaTrick said...

Hulog ng langiy blog mo Chyng!

Current qoute sakin ni Dale

"Ung north po 1000 south tour 1500 ung hatid ako po maghatid po sa inyo sa ivana port 440 back n fort npo ung bangka 75 one way per head ako napo bahala sa contact s sabtang 1000 po tour dun"

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