I was sorting my files today and saw notes from our trip to Batanes so I decided to write something to reminisce and at the same time to be able to help others in planning for their trip. It was sort of DIY tour, thanks to other’s blog post where I got all the ideas and places that we planned to visit.
I’ve been wanting to go back since we came back from our vacation in Batanes 1 year and 10 months ago – yes, that long ago. 🙂
We went there January 2015, but we booked our flight as early as April of 2014! I bought my round trip ticket for PhP 8,253.00 – thanks to PAL’s ‘seat sale’.
In our 7 days/7 nights in the northernmost part of the Philippines, we stayed in five different places. Why? Because we wanted our itinerary to be flexible enough to accommodate last minute changes in our plans given the unpredictable weather, plus we wanted to try the homestay. Turned out it was not a bad idea after all.
We booked our first two nights (Dive Batanes) ahead of time because we know for sure that we want to roam around Batan. For the third night, we did not book a hotel because it will depend whether we are going to Sabtang or Itbayat. Initially we were planning to go Sabtang first because of their festival. However, when we were inquiring for the trip to Itbayat, the locals were suggesting to go there instead while the weather is still good. And it was a right decision to follow them since they are the ones who knows when is the best time to cross the sea to go to Itbayat. So, we spent overnight in Itbayat (Nanay Cano’s Lodge) after a nerve wrecking 3-hour boat ride trip to the island. There we hired a tour guide and tricycle. We went back to Dive Batanes on our fourth night.The following day (fifth) we had half day tour in Sabtang guided by the tricycle driver that we met in Batan. We hired a tricycle to help us go around the island while Kuya Romy described each of the places that we visited. After our tour, we then stayed in the humble home of the Pajudpud family. After we settle in our room, we just went out for a stroll and dinner and ended the night early to rest. The next morning (sixth), we were supposed to have our South Batan tour, however because of the heavy rain, we decided to just cancel it. So we just tried to head to our home for that night – Rapitan Di Vasay. It is like an ancestral house that was well maintained and turned into a bed and breakfast. We came a little bit too early, i think. We had to wait for the caretaker to arrive so that we could get in and settle. Good thing there was a store and a barbeque stand nearby so we just had snack while waiting.
On our seventh day, we got up early and Kuya Romy fetched us to go to the airport. We got our bags inspected, checked-in, then waited for boarding. (Un)fortunately, the wind was strong that morning so they had to delay the flight for a bit, until one of the staffs announced that the flight is still on however, they have cut down the number of passengers. It immediately popped into my head that what if we just volunteer to stay for another day, but I also immediately changed my mind and told myself and my husband that we’ll just wait and see. So, several minutes passed by, and a lot of people were having conversation on the next steps until another announcement came in. Apparently there were people who requested if they could take the flight because of important commitments. We even had Fr. Orbos on the same flight. The staff then asked if there were people who are willing to be bumped off so others may take the flight.It took us a few minutes until they said they needed two more to volunteer, and so we raised our hands and said with all smiles that we’ll stay without knowing yet what would be deal.
We were lucky that when we volunteered to stay, our hotel accommodation (Shanedel’s Inn), our lunch, dinner, and breakfast, and airport shuttle we’re all care of PAL. All these PLUS a round trip ticket to any local destination. 🙂
I think the stars aligned so that we can get one more day in Batanes and have a chance to tour South Batan! We called Kuya Romy right away and told him where we’re staying so he can pick us up and start the tour.
And that’s it! That’s our week-long adventure in the beautiful islands of Batanes!
Where we stayed in Batan:
- Dive Batanes: ~2000/night (booked via agoda)
- Pajudpud Homestay: 350.00/person/night (we learned this with the help from Kuya Romy)
- Rapitan Di Vasay: ~2500/night (booked via e-mail)
- Shanedel’s Inn and Café (FREE! – accommodation c/o PAL)
- Octagon Bed and Dine – We did not technically stayed here, but this was our go to place for dinner or lunch on the days that we did not have a tour. They have a good internet connection compared to the other places.
Where we stayed in Itbayat:
- Lodging: Cano’s Lodge – 250/person/night
|Day 1-2||North Batan||Basco Town Proper||Lodging:|
|Tukon Church (Mt. Carmel Chapel)||Dive Batanes: ~2000/night (via agoda)|
|Fundaction Pacita||Pajudpud Homestay: 350.00/person/night |
Contact #: 09072828642 , 09151521553
|PAGASA Weather Station – Basco||Rapitan Di Vasay: ~2500/night (breakfast not included)
|Santo Domingo Cathedral (Basco)||Shanedel’s Inn and Café (accommodation c/o PAL)|
|Batanes Provincial Capitol|
|Batanes Municipal Hall||Tricycle Driver: Romy Merida |
Contact #: 09381592721, 09175254030
|Naidi Hills (Basco Lighthouse + Bunker Cafe)||Tricycle Fare: ~50.00|
|Vayang Rolling Hills||Bike Rental: 25.00/hour or 100.00/day|
|Chadpidan Boulder Beach||Guide map|
|Day 3-4||Itbayat||Chinapoliran Port||Lodging: Cano’s Lodge – 250/person/night|
|Mt. Karoboban View Deck||Tour Guide: Kuya Toto | Contact #: 09198983146|
|Town Proper||Tour Guide Fee (1000) + Tryk (2000)|
|Paganaman Port||Lunch: 200/person (arranged by Tour Guide)|
|Torongan Cave||Dinner: 200/person (arranged by Tour Guide)|
|Torongan Hills||Boat Fare: M/B Veronica – 450.00/person (2-3hours)|
|Day 4||North Batan||walk/bike around the town proper||time to relax and rest from the tour|
|Day 5||Sabtang||(Day Tour)||Tour Guide: Romy Merida|
|Savidug Village||Tour Guide Fee: (1000) + Tryk Service (800)|
|St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel||Sabtang Tourism Fee: 200/person|
|Savidug Idjang||Boat Fare: 75.00/person (~30mins)|
|Tinyang Viewing of Pacific Ocean||Lunch: 300/person (arranged by tour guide)|
|Morong Beach and Mayahaw Arch|
|Day 6||North Batan||walk/bike around the town proper||first attempt to tour South Batan got canceled due to non-stop raining|
|Day 7||South Batan Tour||Chawa View Deck||Tour Guide: Romy Merida|
|Mahatao Boat Shelter Port||Tour Guide Fee (including tryk): 1500|
|San Carlos Borromeo Church|
|Racuh A Payaman|
|Old Naval Base and Alapad Hill|
|Uyugan Town’s Song-song Ruins|
|House of Dakay in Ivana|
|Old Spanish Bridge|
|Honesty Coffee Shop|
|Ivana Church (San Jose de Obrero Church)|
|Port of Ivana|
|Day 8||Back to Manila|