Almost anyone in the Philippines would most likely say Batanes is among their bucket lists. I, for one, wanted to go there badly, and I was lucky enough to visit sooner than I thought.
Make sure you’re ready to shed off more or less PHP 30,000 all-in before preparing your Batanes itinerary, or else you might get your heartbroken.
A roundtrip ticket alone might cost PHP 10,000 or more on a regular day, but it can be as low as PHP 2,000 if you’re lucky enough during seat sales. My friends and I booked ours via Skyjet.
First off, it’s not really hard to prepare your Batanes itinerary because booking local tours is quite easy. I DEFINITELY recommend trusting the locals instead of DIY as tourism is one of their top sources of income. Please, please support the livelihood of our dear Ivatans (locals).
As you know, Batanes is a protected land composed of beautiful pasturelands and heritage sites with centuries worth of history. I believe the local government will soon prohibit DIY tours to control the tourists visiting the island.
Moving on, I recommend Batanes Travel and Tours as they provide an amazing service. Their packages already include accommodation, tours, and meals. We booked their 4D3N tour package in partnership with Villa Hontomin, which costs PHP 14,350 per person for a group of 4. You may view the rates here.
This is their sample itinerary, but you can also request a quote via their website if you want to add in some activities or spots:
Villa Hontomin is known as the only beachfront accommodation in Batanes. The place is quite old, but nothing compares to watching the sunset from its balcony after a tiring day.
There is little to no signal at most spots on the island (no wi-fi anywhere too), making it ideal if you’re doing a social media detox. But if you really need to contact someone, try to go near the beach along National Rd to search for a signal.
Here’s an actual stolen picture of me giving up on signals (while drinking beer).
Another important thing that I’d like to point out is that Ivatans are highly conservative. Please avoid revealing clothes, especially when visiting churches. Save those for towns with actual nightlife like Boracay or Siargao.
Batanes itinerary (4D3N)
Friday (North Batan Tour)
|6:00 AM||Flight from NAIA 4|
|7:15 AM||ETA Basco Airport|
|8:00 AM||ETA Villa Hontomin / Breakfast / Free time|
|1:30 PM||North Batan tour|
Our tour includes:
- Mt. Carmel Church
- PAGASA Tukon Radar Station
- Idjang Viewing
- Japanese Tunnel
- Aman Dangat
- Sto. Domingo Church
- Naidi Hills and Lighthouse
- Valugan Boulder Beach
- Basco Plaza, Casa Real, Kilometer Zero
- Vayang Rolling Hills
I didn’t join the North Batan tour because I had to take care of some things. On a positive note, I was able to try some of the best restaurants in Batanes like Vunong Dinette.
Believe me when I say your Batanes itinerary would not be complete without this restaurant.
Jino’s East Pizzeria does not disappoint as well with their fresh-from-the-oven pizzas.
For dinner, I tried Residencia du Basco’s in-house restaurant since it’s only a few steps away from Villa Hontomin. I loved their Salmon (about PHP 300+) with a slightly sweet yet sour finish.
There is a scooter and bicycle rental place around Basco Town Proper. Not sure how much but I think it starts at PHP 500 per day for the scooter rental.
- Batanes can be VERY hot, so make sure to wear your sunscreen. Bring an umbrella and water, too.
- Rent a scooter or bicycle if you have tons of free time.
Saturday (Sabtang Island)
|5:00 AM||Breakfast at Villa Hontomin|
|6:00 AM||Tour pick-up|
|6:15 AM||ETA Ivana Port / Register|
|6:30 AM||Boat to Sabtang Port|
|7:00 AM||Sabtang tour|
|1:00 PM||Boat to Ivana Port|
|1:45 PM||Side-trip to Honesty Coffee Shop|
|2:30 PM||Rest at Villa Hontomin|
|4:00 PM||Phil’s Brew (personal trip)|
Our Sabtang Island tour includes:
- Savidug Village Vernacular Houses
- Chavayan Village Vernacular Houses
- Sta. Rosa de Lima Chapel
- Morong Beach & Ahaw Arch Formation
- San Vicente Ferrer Church
- Sto. Tomas de Aquinas Chapel
- Limestone Production
- Chamantad Viewdeck
- Tinyan Viewdeck
- Savidug Idjang Viewing
You’ve probably heard of Sabtang Island for its heritage villages, although tourists usually skip this one. You’ll literally go through turbulent waters from the West Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It’s not scary if you go during summer.
The boat fare from Ivana Port to Sabtang is PHP 200 per person for a round trip. Additionally, there’s a registration fee of PHP 200 per person at the Sabtang Port.
We also visited Honesty Coffee Shop in Ivana after the tour since it’s quite near.
- Sunscreen, umbrella, and water!
- Note that the last boat back to Batan Island leaves at 1 PM.
- Most tours offer overnight homestay at Sabtang Island, in case you feel that a half-day tour is not enough.
Sunday (South Batan Tour)
|7:00 AM||Breakfast at Villa Hontomin|
|8:00 AM||Tour pick-up|
|8:30 AM||South Batan tour – Mahatao|
|12:00 PM||Lunch at Nanay Ching Restaurant|
|1:00 PM||South Batan tour – Uyugan|
|3:00 PM||South Batan tour – Ivana|
|5:00 PM||Yaru Art Gallery (personal trip)|
Our South Batan tour includes:
- MAHATAO, BATANES
- Diura Fishing Village
- San Carlos Borromeo Church
- Rakuh a Payaman (Marboro Hills)
- Tayid Lighthouse
- Mahatao Shelter Port
- Chawa Viewdeck
- Homoron Blue Lagoon
- UYUGAN, BATANES
- Imnajbu Old LORAN Station
- San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel
- San Antonio de Florencia Church
- IVANA, BATANES
- House of Dakay
- San Jose de Obrero Church
South Batan takes a whole day so it can be a bit tiring, but this one is my favorite. The majority are view decks with a sight to behold. Plus, this is where the famed Marlboro Hills is located.
- Of course – sunscreen, umbrella, and water.
- Please don’t skip Nanay Ching Restaurant.
|6:30 AM||Check-out / Tour pick-up to Basco Airport|
|8:30 AM||Flight from Basco Airport|
|9:45 AM||ETA NAIA 4|
It was SOOOO hard to leave this paradise and the lovely Ivatans. A 4-day Batanes itinerary is not enough!
There are fees that you need to settle before going on your tour: an eco-tourism fee of PHP 350 per person and a Protected Area Management Board fee of PHP 50 per person. You may settle these at the Provincial Capitol of Batanes.
Batanes truly tops my list of the best islands in the Philippines. I hope my Batanes itinerary can help you with your trip, and don’t forget to comment with any questions you might have!
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