Batanes Island is one of the most sought after travel destinations for both locals and foreign travelers. It boasts of hills of greenery, deep blue green waters, and culture too unique to let it pass. You must also remember that before visiting Batanes Island is to make sure you know where you’re going and what you will be doing in the island/s. It would also be wise to know that Batanes Island’s season is different from the rest of the country.
We did not get to do our own research for this trip, and were fortunate to have Batanes Wakay Travel and Tours to take care of it, and of us in the whole duration of our trip. We had a short weekend visit to the famous groups of islands in the north. We basically packed our bags, and boarded the plane and everything else was taken care of.
Vayang Rolling Hills
The scenic hills offer views of the ocean & Mt. Iraya, with grazing cows, goats & other animals. It is a sight to have during the summer months with blue skies, and greenery taking up most of what you would see. But in the winter season while the grasses are still green, and you will find animals grazing in the hills, you will find the skies are grey, and the wind are strong, whips, and howls in every direction.
Basco Lighthouse at Naidi Hills
The iconic lighthouse in Batanes is the famaous Basco Lighthouse that is perched on Naidi Hills. Naidi is a old sitio of Batan and named from two Ivatan words “Na” means past, and “Idi” as settlement. It is 1.2 kilometer haway from Port of Basco, and the lighhouse offers a picturesque view of the island of Batan.
Basco Town Proper
Basco Town Proper is a fairly small town surrounded by hills, and mountain. There are many restaurants in the area and most of them require reservation in advance. You will also find most of the hotels, inns, and homestays located in the town proper, and you can easily access offices, and stores by foot as you explore the town.
Mahatao Boat Shelter Port
Mahatao Boat Shelter Port was the biggest infrastructure in the time it was built last October 2005. It serves as a shelter for vessels bound for Itbayat and other boats during tropical storm which Batanes Island is frequent to have.
Chawa View Deck
Chawa View Deck is one of the breathtaking spots of Batan Island. It has the view of cliffs facing the West Philippine Sea. During the winter season one can truly marvel at how formidable the cliffs are against the the elements of the sea with waves trashing on the rocky shoreline, and the wind gusts as strong as the waves below it. The steps leading down to the shoreline can be treacherous with rain, and salt water from the sea but it is a view that one should not skip.
San Jose de Ivana Church
The San Jose de Ivana Church, also known as Ivana Church, is a Roman Catholic church located in Ivana, Batanes, Philippines dedicated to Saint Joseph under the jurisdiction of the Prelature of Batanes. The history of this church is as colourful as the culture in the area. The church of Ivana was first established by the Dominicans as a chapel in 1787. The church was intended to serve the people of Ivana, Sabtang, and Uyugan. When residents of Sabtang were resettled in Ivana, and later allowed to return to their island reduced the size of the congregation. It was also where the Filipino revolutionaries waved the Katipunan flag in the church’s bell tower on September 18, 1898.
Racuh a Payaman or Marlboro Hills
Racuh a Payaman is known as the Marlboro Country of Batanes by the tourists. The rolling hills serves as grazing and resting spots for cows and a breathtaking viewpoint for tourists. It is the viewpoint which tourists would just sit and relax to be amazed by the beauty the view has to offer. Here you will also find a view of the Tayid Lighthouse, Mt. Iraya, and Diura Beach as different side of the hillcrest.
San Carlos Borromeo Church
San Carlos Borromeo Church is a culturally significant church in Mahatao was bulit in 1873 by Onesimo Polo. It was declared as a cultural icon by the National Museum and National Commission of Culture and the Arts (NCCA). It also has a small souvenir shop at the side and a small library that guests can visit.
Honesty Coffee Shop
This small coffeeshop in the middle of a small town says a lot about the people in Batanes. It is always open, and unmanned and puts so much trust on its customers to pay for what they took/ate/bought without someone around. You get to drop your payments in designated boxes which you will find in several areas in the store. This is a testament of the locals character and is evident on the zero crime rate in this small province.
There are many tourist destinations in Batanes Island than there are on this list. To fully experience Batanes and its group of Islands I would suggest one should have a longer visit than what we had. And if you’re planning to book with a travel agency and have them prepare your trip like ours did ( Batanes Wakay Travel and Tours ), make sure you guys let them know of the places you want to visit. Batanes may one of the smallest province both in population, and land area but it boasts a lot more both for Filipino and foreign tourists alike.
Check out our “winter experience” in Batanes on thESE vLOGS – ENJOY!