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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Sir Dale +63 917 619 7009
THE HECTIC ITINERARY (Photostory upcoming…)
DAY 1: Compressed North and South Batan Tour
- Chawa Viewdeck
- Mahatao Boat Shelter
- San Carlos Borromeo Church
- Tayid Lighouse
- Racuh A Payaman
- Alapad Pass
- Song Song Ruins
- Honesty Cafe
- San Jose de Obrero Church
- Old Spanish Bridge
- House of Dakay
- Homoron White Beach
- 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
- 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
- Help preserve Batanes, apply the “Leave No Trace” principle and do not add on their almost zero crime rate.
- A meal in Batanes could be quite expensive, there are eateries around the town should you need to travel in a strict budget.
- The weather system in Batanes could be erratic, be ready for a sunny, windy, rainy, overcast happening during your tour.
- Hydration Check. Always have a bottle of water ready. You can refill them along stopovers.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The internet connection there is quite sluggish, best to disconnect and reconnect with nature.
- There are many homestays and lodges in Batanes and are affordable. I opt to choose a seaside lodge.