Its been awhile since we visited Batanes, one of the most desirable destinations in the Philippines nowadays. With so many splendid beaches and local destinations, Batanes is now on top of everyone’s bucket list.
Together with my brother and sister-in-law, we decided to prioritize Batanes as part of our annual family travel. Honestly, planning a Batanes trip is easy. All you have to do is find a local tours and they will be the one who will manage your stay. This remains applicable since Batanes is a non-commercial place to visit. If you want to explore all possible areas of the entire Batanes without worrying if you missed one, local tour is for you.
Batanes is located at the very northern-most province of the Philippines. It is actually an isolated and smallest province of the country. For some, they still prefer a Do-it-Yourself itinerary. I actually considering that idea during our pre-planning. But since it would take time for me to prepare and plan, we opted the ‘travel and tour’ package schedule for our entire trip.
But before you plan for everything, make sure that you already have flight to Basco Batanes and back to Manila. Currently, only Skyjet and Philippine airlines are flying to Basco. We took the Skyjet Airlines and they were very nice to accommodate us on our inquiries.Plane ticket ranges from 3,000 to 7000. They usually have a promo where you can avail for as low as P1,500.
By the way, below is the schedule flight information of Skyjet flying to Basco and back to Manila:
Upon arrival to Basco Airport, the BISUMI tours already waiting for us. Look at their welcome pad!
Since we arrived early, they brought us to our hotel accommodation first, Nathaniels’ Lodge. They welcomed us with a delicious ham and tinapa breakfast. After we fixed our things and breakfast, they gave us until lunch time to prepare for our first adventure. The tour picked us up at around 12 in time for our lunch.
They brought us to Vunong Dinette in Taytay, Basco Batanes. The place was actually cozy. Vunong Dinette served a sumptuous lunch, a traditional Ivatan Cuisine or what they called VUNONG.
VUNONG contains a combination of food wrapped in a bread tree leaf, they also have banana balls, fish and pork.
After that sumptuous lunch, we headed straight to one of the famous sites there, the Tukon Church (Mt. Carmel Chapel). Since it was my first time to visit there, I made a wish. Mt. Carmel, is beautifully made from stones.
We were actually planning to Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge but it they said the establishment is closed as it is a private property. So we went to the Basco PAGASA Weather Station. Dubbed as the Doppler Radar of DOST, the view from this rain gauge of Batanes is amazing, I am lost for words.
Then we went to Dipnaysuhwan Japanese Tunnel. We went inside the tunner where I believe it was built during the World War II.
Oh by the way, if you look anywhere, you will see beauty in 360 degree form.
And then we went to Valugan Boulder Beach. I really enjoyed this place together with my fellow traveller’s friend. Oh by the way, Aside from the three of us, there were other 3 new friends we met during the tour.
The next place we visited was The Santo Domingo Cathedral. Its like we are doing a Visita Iglesias there as there were many interesting churches in Batanes. The community is very quiet and calm, I think I can manage to stay here for weeks. They say if you want to go around the area, transportation is very accessible. the usual tricycle rate is between Php 25-30.00, and additional of Php 10.00 for every succeeding kilometer.
This cathedral was stablished in 1783 and is one of the oldest and most important Churches in Batanes.
Saving the best for last for our 1st day in Batanes, the finale place we visited was the famous Naidi Hills Lighthouse.
We climbed to the lighthouse and saw this majestic view of the sea. That other side must probably be Taiwan.
From here, you can see the entire Batan Island. This is also the place where we waited for the much awaited Batanes Sunset. Before 6pm, there were many people arriving at the lighthouse, also waiting for the sunset. It was one of the best view of Sunset I had in my life.
After watching that unforgettable sunset, BISUMI Tours brought us back to our Hotel. After few minutes, we decided to walk and visit the famous Pension Ivatan to have dinner.
That concludes our first day tour of North Batan Island. The way of living in Basco is very relax. By around 7 or 8pm, you can here cricket on your short walk in the park. It was indeed a wonderful adventure to experience.
On my next blog I will share you two additional blogs on our trip to South Batan Island and Sabtang Island where we travel from one island to another. The views from the second day is equally breathtaking as well!
If you will make your own itinerary (DIY North Batan Tour), your tricycle rent ranges from Php 1000.00 – Php 1,700.00. There is also another option where you can rent a bike, which would cost you P25-30 per hour.
Please go back to the next blog entry, the south Island Tour and Sabtang Island adventure!