Travelers Corner

Batanes Budget Travel Guide: A 4D/3N detailed Itinerary

Batanes took my breath away. Everything is just so surreal. From the quaint lighthouse, windy hills with fantastic views, scenic beach paradise of Sabtang to the wall paintings of talented artists of Ivatan, Batanes will never disappoint you.

If you are planning a trip to Batanes soon. Here’s a detailed 4 Days / 3 Nights Itinerary for you.

DAY 1: 

(Estimated) Timing: 6:00 am – 7:45 am

Activities: Flight – Arrival to Basco Airport

(Estimated) Rate: Flight + P400 (Environmental fee, P200/pax)

Airline: Philippine AirLines

Tips/Remarks:

1. The fastest way to get to Batanes is through Air. You may either fly through PAL or SkyJet.

2. The flight may be delayed or canceled depending on the weather. It is essential to check the weather forecast, especially when traveling during the non-summer season. 

3. Book early! This is the secret to getting low fare price. 

*Usually 1-way ticket’s standard price starts from P4000-P6000 but you won’t be thinking of this pricing once you experience Batanes. All these pricey flights are going to be so worth it. 

4. Best time to visit considering the weather status is from January-May (this is according to the locals) or if you plan to see the milky way/stars in Batanes with clear view sky, you may opt for to visit in February.

5. Note that summer season is peak season so you would need to do some reservations in advances such as hotel/lodge or tour.

6. If you prefer package tours (ex. Tour + Accommodation +Food) – plane tickets not included or package may depend on their offers. Pricing changes depending on the preferred accommodation as well.

*I have checked several package tours but I find it a little expensive. I contacted Bisumi Tours for tour package only and their offer since it is off season is P5500/pax for 2.5 days tour, this includes transportation and lunch.

*I have researched more as I find it expensive for me and my sister to spend P5500 each plus we would be joining other groups since the tour is open for a maximum of 10 pax.

*We opted for a tricycle rental.  Day tour includes North Batan, South Batan, and Sabtang Island which is way cheaper plus you get to be more flexible with the time and places to visit.

*Note that up to 3 pax is allowed in tricycle rental.

*There are bike rentals as well however if it will be your first time in Batanes then biking is not recommended as the best spots are not really close to each other.

*To rent a tricycle is the best option when saving money and when you want to be more flexible with the time and tour. The driver or owner already knows where to go as well, just show them your plans and you’ll never know they may accompany you and can help to take pictures of you for free.

7. Choose Seat D when going to Batanes and Seat A when going back to Manila for a stunning view from above when arriving and leaving Batanes. 

View from the top.

                View from the top.

8. After arrival, in Basco Airport – you would need to register and pay P200/pax (Environmental fee).

(Estimated) Timing: 8:00 am – 10:00 am

To Do/Activities: Check-in

Where: Timetravel Lodge

(Estimated) Rate: P3600 (P1200/night w/o AC and P1800/night w/ AC – rate is based on 2 pax with free Airport transportation)

Contacts: Timetravel Lodge Facebook page or Ate Linda (09396238978)

Tips/Remarks:

1. After researching and finding a nice and cheap place to stay, we found Time travel Lodge via Facebook. Paid 25% in advance to reserve the room (payment is via bank money transfer) and the rest is a cash payment.

* You can check other hotel accommodation in Batanes (not so much hotels) and hometels but the hotel rates ranges from P5000-P8000 and hometels from P3000-P5000. The cheapest are homestays or lodges but I think most of what I saw got common toilets so if you are not comfortable with this better to see the details first. Time travel Lodge got private rooms w/ toilet and mini kitchen.

2. Ate Linda is the one who fetched us and is the only person (that we saw) taking care/managing the lodge. Time travel Lodge got only 3 rooms and they actually have plans of expanding since you can see some 2nd-floor construction plan going on, though no workers at the time.

3. I actually forgot to take photos inside our room, I guess I’m too excited for what Batanes offers but our room is huge for 2 pax and is clean, got TV and speakers, has towels, cabinets, and toilet w/ toiletries. The room also got a mini dining section/kitchen with kitchen stuff if you plan to cook your own meals which are great and the lodge offers free hot/cold water and is located in Basco town which is very close to the airport. I think 10-15 mins away via tricycle.

4. It is actually Ate Linda who we consulted and gave us names and the one who contacted the tricycles to be rented (Even the one who contacted the trike service in Sabtang Island). Ate Linda is really nice you can ask her anything about your plans during your stay such us where to go and eat and can even make lunch reservations for you in times where you have to go to some places where there’s no cafes or resto available around.

5. There is wifi but it is very slow, not just in Timetravel Lodge but in the whole island of Batanes. I don’t actually mind this since I am not there to just go online.

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(Estimated) Timing: 10:00 am – 11:30 am

To Do/Activities: Brunch at Pension Ivatan

(Estimated) Rate: P300-700 – good for 2-3 pax

Tips/Remarks:

1. Had brunch at Pension Ivatan, about 5 minutes’ walk from Time travel Lodge. You can actually see some cafés and shops in Basco Town but during our visit, most of those were closed, since maybe because it is off season and there are not so many tourists around.

2. Food took some time to serve but freshly cooked so that is why and meal rate is from 300-700 for 2-3 pax depends on your order. They have an Ivatan Iced Tea which I really liked.

pension-ivatan

 

(Estimated) Timing: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

To Do/Activities: North Batan

(Estimated) Rate: P1000 (Tricycle rental) + P500 (Food Allowance)

Contacts: Tricycle rental, Jared Libaton (09996753395) – Recommended and contacted by Ate Linda

Sub-activities:

  1. Mt. Carmel Chapel/Tukon Church
  2. PAGASA Weather Station

* The view of Mt. Carmel Chapel, the Fundacion Pacita, as well as the Basco Lighthouse from the PAGASA Weather Station, is awesome.

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  1. Fundacion Pacita Nature Lodge

* Fundacion Pacita is closed and is under renovation/maintenance during our visit so we are not able to eat or experience the place. We only managed to get to their entrance.

Batanes 7

 

  1. Japanese Tunnel

*I actually skipped this in my itinerary but since it is on the way then Jared just advised us to take a look. The cave-like or tunnel is really dark but good thing Jared got a flashlight for us to see and there were people there who are guarding the tunnel’s entrance and it is for free so might as well check and experience this tunnel.

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Batanes 8

 

5. Basco Idjang Viewing PointBasco-Idjang-Viewing-Point

 

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  1. Valugan Boulder Beach

Valugan-Boulder-Beach

  1. Basco Town Capitol

*You can see the view of Basco Lighthouse and the hills from the Capitol Park.

  1. Basco Cathedral
  1. Vayang Rolling Hills

Vayang-Rolling-Hills1

 Vayang Rolling Hills

  1. Naidi Hills and Basco Lighthouse

*Experience the lighthouse, you can go in to see the view on top and most of the tour package that I saw is they do stay here for sunset viewing but we got there too early for sunset plus the weather keeps on changing to cloudy so when we thought that we won’t be able to see any sunset we just went to the town first since we were already hungry.

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View of Bunker’s Café from the Basco Lighthouse and that is Jared’s tricycle.

View of Bunker’s Café from the Basco Lighthouse and that is Jared’s tricycle.

  1. St. Dominic College Canteen

*Recommended by Jared. We actually want to eat in Bunker’s Café in Naidi Hills but it is closed, not sure if only closed temporarily. The canteen is ideal for light eating; they offer mami, camote cue, halo halo, some desserts and more merienda food. I love their Brazo de Mercedes. Food rate is from P50-100/pax.

  1. Welcome to Basco Station

*We went there to check the sky for sunset viewing before really going back to Naidi Hills then realized it is actually a good spot to see the sunset as well. I recommend this spot for sunset viewing than in Naidi Hills as you can see the Hill and Basco Lighthouse from this point.

sunset-batanes

End-of-Day

(Estimated) Timing: 7:00 pm

To Do/Activities: Back to Lodge

Note: Jared is really nice that he took some time to join us, shared some stories and took photos of us and not just waits in his tricycle. He is kind and fun to be with that when we actually give him a tip, he politely declined but when we insisted he only took a little and told us that we can use the extra for some snack.

 

DAY 2:

(Estimated) Timing: 5:30 am – 6:00 am

To Do/Activities: To Port of Ivana (to Sabtang Island)

(Estimated) Rate: P440

Contacts: Tricycle rental, Jared Libaton (09996753395)

Tips/Remarks:

1. On the 2nd day, we planned to go to Sabtang Island. Make sure to inform the tricycle driver or Lodge caretaker about your tour plans in advance (on your first day) so you both can do the necessary adjustments and reservations.

2. When going to Sabtang Island, note of the following:

  1. You need a tricycle to fetch you from your lodge/hotel to take you to the Port of Ivana. We already asked Jared again to take us to the port at 5:30 am and fetch us when we’re back in the afternoon at around 1:00 pm. Tricycle fare is 220 x 2 (roundtrip – taking you to the Port and to fetch you in the afternoon back to your lodge). You actually don’t need to pay in advance; most of them in Batanes accept the payment after the service has been provided.
  2. It will take at least 30 mins from Basco Town to the Port of Ivana. The boats or not sure how they call it leaves the port before 7:00 am so better to be there at least around 6:00 am. The time when we were there, we only saw two boats traveling from Basco to Sabtang and from Sabtang to Basco and their timings were 6:30 am (Basco – Sabtang Island) and 12:30 pm (Sabtang Island – Basco). Don’t be late or you may need to wait for the next day for the boat ride.
  3. The day before going to Sabtang, we asked Ate Linda on how we can tour there via tricycle again so she contacted someone who will wait for us on the Island when we arrive. She recommended another warm and nice person, Kuya Ronnie (tricycle rental in Sabtang is P1000 from around 7:00 am – 12:30 pm).
  4. Inform Ate Linda or whoever your caretaker is to reserve a lunch in Morong Island, I actually didn’t see any cafes or any place to eat while we were on tour in Sabtang Island and based on researching, most of the tours reserves lunch and it is always in Morong beach. So Ate Linda, reserved a lunch for 2 (P300/pax). Note that you would need to reserve lunch when going to South Batan as well.

3. The tricycle ride from Basco Town to Port of Ivana is amazing! We appreciated the view while on a trip; the cliffs, hills, and the ocean – so beautiful.

4. You will also see San Jose de Ivana Church, just right in front of Port of Ivana

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(Estimated) Timing: 6:30 am – 7:00 am

To Do/Activities: Boat ride to Sabtang Island

Rate: P400

Tips/Remarks:

1. Boat ride fee is P100/pax (1 way) so P400 for 2 pax, roundtrip . The boat is a bit huge for locals and tourist to travel in Sabtang Island. I am not sure but this may be the only public transportation going in between the Islands. The boat ride timing also depends on the waves, a bit scary since it is cloudy so imagine the turbulence going to and from Sabtang Island. The more waves to cross the slower the boat ride.

Port of Ivana

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(Estimated) Timing: 7:00 am – 1:00 pm

To Do/Activities: Sabtang Island

Rate: P1500 (Tricycle rental) + P400 (Environmental fee, P200/pax) + P600 (Lunch Reservation, P300/pax)

Contacts: Tricycle rental, Ronnie Hubaldo (09085023890) – Recommended and contacted by Ate Linda

Sub-activities:

  1. Tourist Registration, P200/pax (Environmental fee).

* Kuya Ronnie was already there when we arrived on the Island. Tricycles in Sabtang were more fun to look at due to how it is made of. See photos below.

* He took us to the office where we would need to register first and pay the environmental fee. There is a toilet; you may take this opportunity to use it.

  1. San Vicente Ferrer Church

* You will see this church, just right next to the Port of Sabtang. The Sabtang Lighthouse also got an awesome view from the Port of Sabtang.

  1. Savidug Village (Stone houses village)

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  1. St. Thomas Chapel and the Old Beaterio
  1. Sabtang Idjang Viewing Pointidjang
  1. Chamantad-tinyan Viewpoint

* This point is huge and got so much to offer. The view is breathtaking, take some time to unwind here. There were stalls on top before the viewing point; the Batanes shirts and some stuff were way cheaper here than in anywhere in Sabtang and Basco. They also have coconut juice, some refreshments and try the Tubho tea to complete the Tinyan feels.

chamantad-tinyan-viewpoint

sabtang-island

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  1. Sabtang Weavers

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*You can buy or fit the famous Ivatan headdress here.

 

  1. Chavayan Village (Another stone houses village)

chavayan-village

  1. Morong Beach

*You can see the arc formation here. It looks good to swim but the waves are huge so it may be too risky plus you have to remember that you need to go back to the port before 12:30 pm. Note that there is no menu, you only ask for the reservation then they provide or reserve whatever set they have – and it is good for 2-3 pax. Kuya Ronnie’s lunch is free.

batanes morong

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  1. Sabtang Lighthouse

*Not allowed to go in since it is already private according to Kuya Ronnie.

sabtang-lighthouse

  1. Conscience Café and Souvenirs

*I saw that they are selling souvenirs only but plus P30-50 more than what I got from the Chamantad-tinyan Viewpoint. It is a good thing I already bought some shirts there but this shop is Instagram-worthy if you like some vintage or retro kind of scene.

 

batanes Conscience cafe

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  1. Back to Port of Sabtang

batanes sabtang port

Note: Just like Jared, Kuya Ronnie is also very polite, very helpful and warm.

(Estimated) Timing: 1:30 pm

To Do/Activities: Back in Basco

Note: Since we still have some time we have decided to go somewhere and we also want to swim.

(Estimated) Timing: 1:30 pm – 6:00 pm

To Do/Activities: Diura Spring of Youth

(Estimated) Rate: P50 (Diura Spring) + P500 (Tricycle rental)

Contacts: Tricycle rental, Jared Libaton (09996753395)

  1. Spanish Lagoon and White Beach

*We checked the Spanish Lagoon but since there was a Typhoon a few days ago, there were some typhoon remnants like tree branches/leaves so we have decided to just see the White Beach which is really close to the Lagoon but didn’t really swim because of the waves.

spanish-lagoon

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  1. Diura Spring of Youth

*I actually don’t know about the spring but when I consulted Jared I am actually thinking about the boat shelter but it’s my fault since I wrote Diura in my itinerary so he brought us to Diura Spring and got no regrets since it was a fun trip and we were able to swim and believe it or not, we actually felt like the spring washed away our tiredness of that day.

*There is a P50/pax fee and registration before going to Diura.

*We took a shortcut since it was still low tide, walking in the sea took us about 15 mins. During high tide, you would need to take the normal route which is 30 mins of trekking to the mountain but it is going to be worth it. We really had a nice swim in there.

to-diura-spring

* There is an overlooking of the sea from the spring so it is really nice that we were able to go there. Not advisable to go on Mondays and Fridays (no water).

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(Estimated) Timing: 6:00 pm

To Do/Activities: Dinner

(Estimated) Rate: P300-500

Tips/Remarks:

We did some walking around the town to see some cafes. There is Octagon, Bee Han but we ended up having pizza somewhere close to Bee Han (near the Police Station). I forgot to take note of the pizza café.

End-of-Day

(Estimated) Timing: 7:00 pm

To Do/Activities: Back to Lodge

 

DAY 3: August 8, 2016

(Estimated) Timing: 4:30 am – 6:00 am

To Do/Activities: Catch Sunrise in Valugan Boulder Beach

(Estimated) Rate: P120 (to Valugan Boulder Beach from Time travel Lodge and from the beach to Lodge)

Contacts: Tricycle rental, Jared Libaton (09996753395)

batanes101

valugan-boulder-beach

Sunrise in Valugan Boulder Beach

 

(Estimated) Timing: 8:30 pm – 6:00 pm

To Do/Activities: South Batan

(Estimated) Rate: P1500 (Tricycle rental) + P600 (Lunch Reservation- either in Mahatao Town or Marlboro Country) + P100 (P50/pax entrance fee at the Blank Book Archive)

Contacts: Tricycle rental, Jared Libaton (09996753395)

  1. Paderes Point and Cliff Road

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  1. Chawa View Deck

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  1. Mahatao Boat Shelter

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  1. San Carlos Borromeo Church
  1. Blank Book Archive

*A small room full of blank books where you can read or write any stuff that’s on your mind at that moment. It seemed like it is part of San Carlos Borromeo Church so not bad to go in and pay to at least for contribution.

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  1. Mahatao Town – Lunch in Paulvanas

*We had Tumeric rice (unlimited), beef steak I guess, fish fillet, soup, and Fried dried Gabi (I forgot how they call this). Jared’s lunch is free.

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  1. Honesty Coffee Shop

* There are really no people around so you get to do your own coffee. There is hot/cold water available and cups. They also sell souvenirs and some groceries. You can also leave a post it messages about your Honesty store experience. It’s fun to read the funny stuff in there as well.

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  1. Not part of my itinerary but as advised by Jared, since the spots were on the way to Imnajbu Point then might as well see these:
  1. Spanish Bridge
  2. House of Dakay – Oldest stone house in Basco.
  3. San Jose Parish Church
  4. Sto. Niño Parish Church

.

  1. Muchong Viewing Point

 Muchong Viewing Point

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  1. San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel

San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel

  1. Imnajbu Point: Alapad Pass and Rock Formation

batanes rock formation

  1. Ruins at Sitio Songsong

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  1. Loran Station Ruins

*Jared told us that this may be converted into a Museum.

13. Loran Station Ruins

 

  1. Marlboro Country

marlboro-country1

marlboro-country2

marlboro-country

 

  1. Mahatao Tayid Lighthouse

tayid-light-house

 

(Estimated) Timing: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

To Do/Activities: Back to Basco Town

(Estimated) Rate: P500-800 (For 3 pax)

Tips/Remarks:

1. Eat at Bernardo’s Casa Napoli

2. Yaru Gallery in Abad St.

 

*If I heard it right, the gallery is composed of art pieces done by 16 Batanes artists. Bought a painting and actually got a discount since the artist is there.

End-of-Day

(Estimated) Timing: 7:00 pm

To Do/Activities: Back to Lodge

DAY 4: August 9, 2016

(Estimated) Timing: 8:10 am – 9:50 am

Activities: Flight – Arrival to Manila

Airline: Philippine AirLines

Upon seeing Batanes – I now believe in love at first sight.

 

About the Author: 

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Syree Cal is a memory and wander wall collector based in SG. She is attracted to life, love and nature’s beauty. Follow her adventure snaps in Instagram

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  • Syree Cal

    Thank you Riz ❤️

  • Yen Garcia

    Hi, is the tricycle rental of 1500 for example is not per head right? so if ill be travelling with my husband the rental of 1500 is good for the both of us already? Thanks

    • Yes, 1500 per trike. 😉 Enjoy Batanes! 🙂

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