Asia,  Philippines,  Travel

The Beauty of Batanes, Philippines (Batan and Sabtang Islands)

 

Batanes map from www.thephilippinestravel.com
Map from www.thephilippinestravel.com

Batanes is located in the northernmost part of the Philippines. My friends and I were able to book a flight going there via PAL Express for a trip back in February 2014. We were considering touring Batan, Sabtang, and Itbayat at the start of planning stage. After reading about how to get to Itbayat, we decided to drop the said island from our itinerary.

 

We availed North Batan, South Batan, and Sabtang tours from TRavelYoung, a travel agency referred by our original contact person – Ryan Cardona. Instead of just the usual Sabtang day tour, our group also decided to stay overnight in the island.

 

Accommodation in Basco was at Marfel’s Lodge for a daily rate of 300 PHP per head. We loved its very homey feel. There’s also an honesty store in the kitchen. Just grab what you want, write it down on the logbook, leave your payment by a canister and, if you don’t have exact amount, get your change from the money in there.

 

We went to Sabtang Island via the usual day tour offered by travel agencies in Batanes. Falluwa ride between Ivana Port and Sabtang took about 30 minutes. Day tour group returned to Batan after lunch. Our group stayed and travelled a little more with rented tricycles to see other parts of Sabtang which were not covered by the day tour. A tricycle cost 300 PHP and was good for two persons. The service included additional tour in Sabtang Island and drop-off/pick-up at Chavayan. Overnight in Sabtang was via homestay at Chavayan for 150 PHP per person. Our host was a very good cook and we had very delicious dinner and breakfast for 200 PHP a meal for each person. It’s cheap considering that a lot of food were served on the table. She shared the food she had in mind and asked for our preference before preparing them.

 

When coordinating for accommodation in Sabtang, do note that it’s likely that you’ll be sleeping on the floor with just a mat (banig). Ask your contact for homestays with foam mattresses if that’s what you want to have. Also, DO NOT WEAR A DRESS in Batanes. You’ll just spend most of your time holding on to it so as not to make a show 🙂 But if you still want dresses to be part of your OOTD, better start perfecting this iconic Marilyn Monroe pose:

Marilyn-Monroe-garticle
Photo from www.marieclaire.co.uk

 

BATANES ITINERARY

This is the itinerary we had for our Batanes trip:

DAY 1 – Arrival and half day North Batan tour

DAY 2 – Whole day South Batan tour

DAY 3 – Sabtang Island tour

DAY 4 – Travel back to Basco from Sabtang

DAY 5 – FREE DAY

DAY 6 – Departure

 

TRavelYoung’s tour rates per person were 1500 PHP for North Batan, 1700 for South Batan, 2000 PHP for Sabtang. The rates include lunch.

 

BATANES SCENERY

Below are some of the photos from this trip.

Basco lighthouse
Basco Lighthouse from the Octagon Viewdeck
Vayang Rolling Hills
Vayang Rolling Hills
VayangRollingHills2
View of sea touching the island at Vayang Rolling Hills
Valugan Boulder Beach
Valugan Boulder Beach
House of Dakay
House of Dakay, a UNESCO Heritage Building
Blow Ur Horn
Common reminder along roads in Batanes
RockAlapadHills
Near Alapad Hills
Racuh a Payaman
The sister looking emo at Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country)
Chamantad Viewpoint
Chamantad Viewpoint in Sabtang Island
Nakabuang Beach
Nakabuang Beach in Sabtang Island
ExtendedSabtangTour
Going around Sabtang on tricycles as part of our extended stay in the island
SabtangRoad
A road in Sabtang Island
ChavayanSt
A street in Chavayan, Sabtang Island
Chavayan
At Chavayan, Sabtang Island
ChavayanBeach
A beach in Chavayan, Sabtang Island
Sabtang Port
Sabtang Port
Naidi Hills Sunset
Sunset at Naidi Hills, Batan while waiting for Bunkers Cafe to open
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