Breathtaking Batanes | Things you need to Know Part 1

png_20211104_132830_0000.png

Many of us were stuck in our homes attributable to this Coronavirus pandemic and many of us miss the lifetime of traveling. As luck would have it, simply before the lockdowns and travel restrictions, I had the best vacation of my life. Last February 2020 my husband and I together with two of my closest friends went to explore one of our dream destinations in the Philippines, the breathtaking Batanes. This charming place is also known as the “Home of the Winds”. I consider myself to be very lucky to travel normally because I can’t think about traveling without wearing a mask and while not having concern, especially I was 32 weeks pregnant at that time. Batanes is real tourism goodness that is situated in the northernmost part of the Philippines and it’s the tiniest province in terms of population and land area. This island has six municipalities and three of these are inhabited: Batan where the capital is Basco, Itbayat island, and also the Sabtang island. We stayed in Batanes for five days and four nights and succeeded in exploring the islands of Batan and Sabtang. We tend to reserved our flight a year before the date of travel so that we can save money for all the expenses that we will be spending throughout the trip. Our travel date was last February 23-28, 2020 through Philippine Airlines however since we're coming from Cebu we had a connecting flight via Clark. It’s very rare to search out low cost flights in Batanes so make sure to book it whenever there’s a promo and be mindful of the travel period because this island is often visited by typhoons. I have to say that our travel schedule was one of the best times in Batanes because it was sunny nonetheless the wind was extremely cold. Although we experienced drizzles in the late afternoon overall the weather was perfect.

Tip No. 1
Book your airline ticket between the months of January – March because this is a lean season, so the tickets are cheap and the weather is perfect. There may be rainy days but expect to have a good climate. I will not recommend the summer months, though it’s the safest time but when you do the land tour it will extremely get too hot and sweating.
We booked our tour package via Fullham Road Travel and Tours. Their customer service was great not only that they’re on time for our tour but the Cogon drivers were also our personal tour guide and photographer. By the way, they just don’t take photos randomly but they take great photos that are Instagram-worthy.

20211104_142310_0000.png

Here’s our Itinerary:
Day 1
We checked in first at Davocol's Inn to freshen up then we started our North Batan Tour at exactly 3:00 PM
Basco Town Tour - Provincial Capitol of Batanes (this was not part of the tour but we needed to stop to pay for the municipal fees and environmental fees which by the way is included in the package) across this building is their town plaza

20200223_150010.jpg

• The famous welcome to Basco sign – most of the tourists took photos here so we decided to stop for a while and enjoy the view.

20200223_150752.jpg

20200223_150935.jpg

20200223_150919.jpg

Mt. Carmel Church or known as the Tukon Church - this is often referred to as the church of fulfilled dreams or promises. Definitely, you will fall in love with this beautiful rustic style church perched on top of the hill. The place is ideal for intimate weddings and you can see the fabulous view of Mt. Iraya. If there’s a church like this in Cebu, definitely will be renewing our vows.

20200223_152302.jpg

20200223_152513.jpg

20200223_152619.jpg

Tip No. 2
Make sure to check Instagram posts so you will know where’s the perfect spot to pose because you don’t have all the time to check whether your angle is good or not.

PAG-ASA weather station or known as Tukon Radar Station - this is just a walking distance from the Tukon Church and nothing much happened here except to enjoy the view.

20200223_153434.jpg

20200223_153050.jpg

Japanese Tunnel
Since I was pregnant at that time, I wasn’t able to get inside the tunnel and just waited for them to finish their tour inside for 15minutes. The tunnel is just 250-meter long and has a lower deck chamber so it would be difficult for me to pass through and may cause delay for the group so I decided to be left behind. But they got no photos inside because it was dark and they found nothing but rocks and shattered walls.

20200223_155251.jpg

Didawud Idjang
According to our guide, Idjang is a fortress built from natural landforms that served as a look-out point and hiding spots of Ivatans from invaders.

20200223_154650.jpg

Fundacion Pacita (we weren't able to take photos because it's no longer open for the public however if you wanted to eat at their restaurant you can take photos in some areas only) but make sure to have a reservation because the place gets easily full.

Boulder Beach in Chanpan Valugan
Looking at these immense boulders, I was really amazed if it’s true that these were said to be ‘pieces of evidence of geologic forces from the volcanic eruptions of Mt. Iraya in 325 B.C”. I can imagine how the people during those times survived that eruption. It was windy that time so I was really scared to get close to the waves. And these rocks were wet and slippery so needed to be extra careful.

20200223_162404.jpg

20200223_162142.jpg

20200223_162624.jpg

20200223_162921.jpg

Tip No. 3
Make sure to wear comfy footwear, in this case, you might get wet not just by the splash of waves but there’s a possibility of drizzles.

Santo Domingo Church also known as Basco Cathedral
This time I had to make a wish because whenever I visit a church I always remember what my grandmother told me to take seven steps going inside the church, then make a wish and 100% of that wish will be granted (of course practical wishes). Yes, it’s proven to be true you should try it.

20200223_164644.jpg

20200223_165036.jpg

Vayang Rolling Hills
We didn’t expect this place to be so windy and cold, but the view from the top was really beautiful and stunning looking at the verdant grassland and the deep blue sea. I thought I can’t make it on top but thank goodness I made it and I was speechless seeing this magnificent beauty around me. This amazing view must be shared with all Filipinos because it really deserves all appreciation. However, if you have fear of heights, this might be challenging but I dare you, you have to see this in person.

20200223_172110.jpg

20200223_172256.jpg

20200223_171439.jpg

20200223_170557.jpg

Naidi Lighthouse
Our North Batan Tour ended in this picturesque lighthouse. This is the only remaining lighthouse that is built on government-owned land. There were a lot of tourists taking photos in every spot so just patiently wait for your turn. We didn’t go up to the lighthouse because I was really tired instead we just sat and watched the sunset.

20200223_173345.jpg

20200223_174309.jpg

20200223_174718.jpg

20200223_174233.jpg

We finished our half day tour around 5:30 PM and our driver dropped us off at Pension Ivatan for our dinner just a walking distance to our hotel. We ordered their famous dishes bulalo, luñis (pork adobo), Batanes flavor platter, rice and drinks.

20200223_182652.jpg

It was an exhausting yet fulfilling day. We were blessed with beautiful weather and a great tour guide who took most of our photos for the entire tour.
It’s time to say goodbye for now, please follow me for the second part of this travel series the South Batan and the Sabtang Island Tour.
Let me know in the comment down below if you have visited Batanes and what’s your unforgettable experience.

InShot_20211102_105629093.jpg

Hey Hivers! It's @jezwanderer. She's a Youtuber and a Wanderer. She loves to share her happiness and love for travel, food and lifestyle. She always believe that traveling is never boring.

If you like her content please make sure to upvote and leave a comment -- she would love to listen to your thoughts 💚. Feel free to reblog and please follow her so you won't miss any of her post. 💚