BATANES, travel guide and budget

Batanes has been the long sought destination of Filipino travellers because of its distinct beauty and unique culture. Having its location nearer to mainland Taiwan than with mainland Luzon, its language and culture, it is said, had resemblance with that of Southern Taiwan. Also, its natural beauty proves unique comparing to other islands of the Philippines. The unique breathtaking rolling hills, rocky cliffs, different climate pattern and hospitable, don’t forget the honesty, locals would altogether make your Batanes exploration truly memorable and exceptional.

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Tayid Lighthouse

 

Its main entry is the Basco Airport with a limited runway length extending to the foot of Mt. Iraya, the formidable summit in Basco Island, where small planes could only land and that unpredictable weather that could be an added challenge during landing.

HOW DID I GET THERE?

I was so blessed to have booked a seat sale roundtrip fare with Philippine Airlines, roundtrip ticket costs Php2,429.00 last 2014 and flew 2015, that is really worth the long wait. I certainly cannot afford the year round fares offered by any airline servicing the Basco route. It was my farthest solo flight to date, by the way.

Philippine Airlines BATANES itinerary ticket.JPG
My actual Philippine Airline ticket to BATANES!

From Pampanga, I boarded a bus bound to Pasay and alighted to its terminal. From the terminal, luckily I have a co-passenger bound to NAIA Terminal 3 that I can split with the taxi fare. I arrived hours earlier from my flight and fortunately, had checked in online, that allowed me to go straight to the departure area.

It is my first time to board a turbo prop plane and was excited what the difference is. As the time goes near my boarding time, I was unable to nap and shortly was announced that our departure would be delayed for 20 minutes – I told myself, I am in NAIA that is the norm according to other frequent flyers.

ROUTES BY PHILIPPINE AIRLINES

Starting October 1, 2017, Philippine Airlines will fly directly from Clark to Basco four times weekly. The flag carrier has brought convenience to the locals of Northern and Central Luzon to experience its direct flights with heartfelt service to Basco.

Philippine Airlines Clark to Basco Batanes Schedule and Route.jpg
Flights served by Philippine Airlines (screencap from Google Maps)

 

UPON ARRIVAL
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Basco Airport Terminal Building

As you step out of the plane, everything you would see is picturesque – regardless of angle, perspective and view. Thank you for that perfect sunrise! From the airport arrival gate, I stepped out to the airport grounds and found myself looking for a tricycle to direct me to the lodge.

LODGING

Upon scoring and combing the worldwide web, I found a seaside lodge located near Basco Seaport – Shanedell’s Inn. For Php450.00 per night for a fan room, the view and location are strategic. I also liked its restaurant and dining area.

Contact Number: +63 922 852 5150 or +63 919 991 3828 or +63 917 626 2242

MY TRAVEL TOUR GUIDE | TRICYCLE TOUR
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Sir Dale, wearing Red Cap, with Mt. Iraya as backdrop

Instead of paying for an expensive group tour, I opted a tricycle tour for my compressed Batan Island tour, since I can only be able to explore both Sabtang and Batan Island for two days, the third day would be my early flight back to Manila. My guide is Sir Dale. I would rate him two thumbs up for his service and attention during my stay in Batanes. He never ran off stories and trivia as we scoured the island.

Contact Number:

Sir Dale +63 917 619 7009

THE HECTIC ITINERARY (Photostory upcoming…)
DAY 1: Compressed North and South Batan Tour
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Batan Island (screencap from Google Maps)

 

South Batan

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The renowned Marlboro Hills

 

  • Chawa Viewdeck
  • Mahatao Boat Shelter
  • San Carlos Borromeo Church
  • Tayid Lighouse
  • Racuh A Payaman
  • Alapad Pass
  • Imnajbu
  • Song Song Ruins
  • Honesty Cafe
  • San Jose de Obrero Church
  • Old Spanish Bridge
  • House of Dakay
  • Homoron White Beach

North Batan

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Naidi Rolling Hills

 

  • Valugan Boulder Beach
  • Japanese Tunnel
  • PAGASA Weather Station
  • Tukon Church
  • Fundacion Pacita
  • Our Lady of Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral
  • Naidi Rolling Hills
  • Sunset in Basco Lighthouse
DAY 2: Sabtang Island Day Tour
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Sabtang Island (screencap from Google Maps)

 

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The iconic Mahayao Arch in Morong Beach, Sabtang Island

 

  • Savidug Town
  • Old Beaterio (Savidug)
  • Chavayan Town
  • Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint
  • Sabtang Lighthouse
  • Mahayao Arch and Morong Beach
  • Batanes Resort (back in Batan Island)

 

EXPENSES for a SOLO TRAVELLER

  • Lodge: Php450.00 x 2 nights: Php900.00
  • Batan Tour (North + South): Php2,500.00
  • Sabtang Island Breakdown
    • Round Trip Basco – Ivana tricycle: Php440.00
    • Round trip Ivana – Sabtang Boat : Php140.00
    • Sabtang Tricycle Tour (Php  800.00 div 3 pax): Php466.67
    • Tourism Fee: Php200.00
TOTAL: Php 4,646.67
  • Food Expense for 3 days: Php1,430.00

GRAND TOTAL: Php 6,076.67

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Sunset over Naidi Rolling Hills

 

TIPS:
  1. Help preserve Batanes, apply the “Leave No Trace” principle and do not add on their almost zero crime rate.
  2. A meal in Batanes could be quite expensive, there are eateries around the town should you need to travel in a strict budget.
  3. The weather system in Batanes could be erratic, be ready for a sunny, windy, rainy, overcast happening during your tour.
  4. Hydration Check. Always have a bottle of water ready.  You can refill them along stopovers.
  5. The weather in the islands could be unpredictable, it could be sunny, and in a minute, cloudy, be ready to weatherproof your electronics and valuables.
  6. There are many travel packages available, however, costly. You can go DIY in Batanes by using the tricycles. Contact your tricycle driver/tour guide before arrival and make prior arrangements.
  7. There are bicycles or motorcycles for rent should you wish to drive and tour around the island your own. Should you opt this, better to download an offline map to check your exact whereabouts. Ask locals of course to verify your right direction.
  8. The internet connection there is quite sluggish, best to disconnect and reconnect with nature.
  9. There are many homestays and lodges in Batanes and are affordable. I opt to choose a seaside lodge.

 

Batanes Sabtang Island Mahayao Arch.jpg
Thank you to CJ and Precious who allowed me to join them!

 

DIOS MAMAJES, BATANES!

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow! good job for bagging that very low airfare. Missing Batanes, di pa rin maka move on sa ganda. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nakatyempo nga sir, wishing to go back and visit Itbayat naman 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ako rin yun ang target next time, Itbayat next time. Sana maka timing din.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes Sir, spend ng two days dun, panalo na! then add din ang Mt. Iraya

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Charisse says:

    Hi! How did you get that airfare promo?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Charisse, I closely monitor PAL’s announcement of seatsale promo 🙂

      Like

      1. Charisse says:

        I’ve been monitoring their seat sales, too. Oh, well, maybe it’s just a matter of luck. Hehe. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes! There are times that seatsales are not available with MLA-BSO. Truly, BSO seatsale more rare than the bluemoon! Thank you too. But this time, introductory prices are up, way less than the year round fares, so you might be checking now. 🙂

        Like

  3. kimcdeluna says:

    Wow, PAL’s Clark to Batanes is good news. 🙂 Abangan ko nga yun. Thank you sa info. Possible ang less than 10k budget for a solo travel in Batanes. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kim, Yes, amazing right? however, you should be booking now, seats are almost fully booked especially weekends. 🙂

      Like

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