Batanes is another local destination ticked off my places-to-visit list (yaaayy!). I’m 99.9% sure you also have this province in your own travel list. But who could blame you (or us)? Batanes’ landscape is so beautiful, pictures, no matter how nice the camera is, cannot justify it.
A small island located at the northern-most part of the Philippines, the local tribe–the Ivatans, enjoy a simple life away from the very modern world with their cultures and traditions preserved in almost every part of the province. Aside from being breathtakingly beautiful, Batanes is also one of the toughest provinces; its location makes it prone to typhoons (with 4 typhoons hitting it just this 2016!), but being resilient, the Ivatans manage to shake it off.
Lucky enough, there were no typhoons during our trip to Batanes but it was a bit cloudy. We experienced a little drizzle but that didn’t stop us from exploring the beautiful province.
Upon arriving Basco Airport, we registered and paid P350 for their Ecotourism Developmental fee (Senior Citizens can avail of discounts while toddlers are free), then after lunch, we started the tour.
Fundacion Pacita is the most expensive lodging in Batanes. It was once a home studio of the acclaimed Ivatan artist Pacita Abad. After she passed away, her family turned the home studio into a lodging and restaurant which offers a panoramic view of the sky, hills and the Philippines Sea. Fundacion Pacita also has a gallery of art works by Pacita Abad no less as well as other well-known and up-and-coming artists.
We were not able to go inside Fundacion Pacita because, according to our tour guide, due to a past incident, the lodging does not allow tourists to enter the place unless you’re booking a room or will be eating at their restaurant.
Mt. Iraya is the only volcano in Batanes. It’s last eruption was in 1454 and is considered as an active volcano of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).
Boulder Beach with Mt Iraya in the background
Batanes is known for its breathtaking landscapes and hills; one of the most popular would probably be the Vayang Rolling Hills. This famous tourist spot gives you the view of western Batan as well the controversial West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
One of the many lighthouses in Batan Island is the lighthouse in Naidi Hills. You go inside this lighthouse and climp on the top to see an amazing view of the Island.
As you noticed, the sky was grey on our first day. We experienced a few drizzle but we didn’t mind; Batanes was still beautiful even without the blue sky backdrop.
DAY 1 Northern Batan Island Tour
▪ Mt. Carmel Chapel
▪ PAGASA “Tukon” Radar Station
▪ Basco Idjang Viewing
▪ WWII Japanese Hideout/Tunnel
▪ Vayang Rolling Hills
▪ Boulder Beach in Chanpan Valugan
° Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral (Sto. Domingo Cathedral)
▪ Lighthouse in Naidi Hills
▪ Sunset Viewing ( We didn’t get to do this because of the cloudy sky)