Batanes, one majestic place that you can visit in the Philippines. They say if you visit this place, this is the peak of your travel experience in the Philippines.

How to get to Batanes? By land, you can ride a bus from Manila to Tuguegarao. Then fly via North Sky Air to Batanes. This is kinda hassle so do your best to find a flight directly from Manila. By air, as of the moment, there are only 2 airlines that fly to Basco - PAL and SkyJet. You can find discounts for this usually pricey fare like in Travel Tour Expo. For more details, check this link

Batanes is comprised of 3 main islands - Batan Island (where you can see Basco, with two tours North Batan and South Batan), Sabtang Island (the prestine island, 50-60 minutes boat ride from Batan Island)  and Itbayat Island (about 3-4 hours boat ride from Batan Island, chopper plane can rented but it's pricey). Here is a summary of a visit to  Batan and Sabtang islands for about 7 days.

Day 1 (Basco) Cost Comment
Taxi (from home to aiport) 200
Food (airport) 165
Berlen Lodge in Basco 400 400/ night
Lunch 75
Tricycle (failed North Batan tour) 100 coz it rains :)
Spanish bread 18

Sabtang Island. For those who travel alone, it will be better to find a group of travelers to share expenses on a tour. There are 3-4 boats that can carry you to Sabtang but you need to follow the schedules in the morning (6am-7am) and afternoon (1pm-2pm). If you are not fond of waves, drink meds to survive it. It's like rafting 3 times harder! At the port, rent a guide to tour you on the whole Sabtang Island. A tricycle with a built-in side car with a roof can accommodate 4 people. You can visit these places,

  • Sabtang Church
  • Savidug Village
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel and Old Beaterio
  • Chamantad Cove and Tinyan Viewpoint
  • Chavayan Village
  • Sabtang Weavers Association
  • Chavayan Chapel
  • Morong Beach, Mayahaw Arch and Nakabuang Cave
  • Sabtang Lighthouse

It will be better to have an overnight stay in Sabtang Island to feel the old Batanes.

Have lunch at Morong Beach. There are cottages that offer foods like typical Filipino dishes and the most famous Coconut Crab. You may not find the food is delicious and yet it is so pricey!

Day 2 (Sabtang) Cost Comment
Tricycle (from Basco to Ivana Port) 120 220 for 2 pax
Honesty Coffee Store (breakfast, pasalubong) 150
Boat to Sabtang 75 50-60 minutes
Tricycle (tour in Sabtang) 400 1,600 for 4 pax
Sabtang Environmental Fee 200
Souvenir 60 ref magnet
Lunch 400
Boat to Batan Island (Basco) 75 50-60 minutes
Jeep (from Ivana Port to Basco) 25
Berlen Lodge in Basco 400
Chuckie 30
Free Dinner c/o Uncle Toni and family 0
TOTAL 1935


South Batan.  From Basco, there is a sarao or a jeep that travel until the last barangay of South Batan. Jeepney passes by Mahatao, Ivana, Uyugan, Itbud and Imnajbu. Jeepney schedules are almost every day but there are lesser schedules on Saturday.

From Itbud to Imnajbu, Walk about 2-3 kilometers (be careful for sunburns when walking, bring sun block lotions). Before entering the last barangay in South Batan - Imnajbu, there is what you called the Alapad Hill and Rock Formation, a beautiful formation of mountains near the ocean. This is the setting of Dawn Zulueta and Richard Gomez movie "Hihintayin Na Lang Kita Sa Langit" that really describes a paradise here on Earth. After staring at that beautiful place for an hour and eating lunch - fried camote,walk again to visit Imnajbu. This is the last barangay with 200 residents. You may have to find local transportation back to Basco.

Uyugan, is the 3rd municipality in Batan Island (Basco and Ivana are the two). Uyugan people are so nice. You can put together a nice meal with some barbeque from a local stand and the local canteen sells rice for dinner. Sit at the beach and wait for the sunset.

Get up early to watch the sunrise in Uyugan beach and catch up the jeep on a Sunday,early at 6AM.

Ivana. After taking a jeep,take in Sunday mass in San Jose De de Ivana Church in front of Ivana Port. Good thing the mass is a mixed of Tagalog, English and Ivantan (local dialect) so you may still understood the homily. Walk 2-3kms to leave Ivana. At the National Road, you can pass by Canteen of the South, House of Dakay and Old Spanish Bridge. So it is really better to walk than to hire another tour guide.At the border of Ivana and Mahatao you can look for a jeep to bring you to the center of Mahatao.

Mahatao. Visit the San Borromeo Church and beside it is Batanes Blank Book Archive. Since everyone is watching a Pacquiao fight on that noon, locals are in their houses watching it too. After resting for awhile, look for a driver/ tour guide who can help you to visit 3 spots - Marlboro Country, Tayid Lighthouse and Diura Fishing Village. At the end of the day, get back to your lodging with your dinner (garlic yellow rice and puso ng saging) and a bottle of beer to celebrate the beauty of Batanes.

The next day, get up early to soak the Disvayangan beach. It’s like you own the whole beach yourself! Ride a tricycle to Chawa View Deck. There you can see the whole South China Sea and Pacific Ocean.Enjoy the view while waiting for a jeep to Basco.

Day 3 (Imnajbu, Itbud, Uyugan) Cost Comment
Smart C 25
Jeep (from Basco to Itbud) 44
Biscuits, Piatos (alternate for lunch and camote fries, pabaon ni Auntie) 42
Free motorcyle hitch (from Imnajbu to Uyugan) 0
Halo-halo 10
Kwek-kwek and BBQ (for dinner) 60
Rice and C2 (for dinner) 40
Free overnight stay c/o Auntie Beth 0


Day 4 (Ivana, Mahatao)

Cost Comment
Pumpkin cake (baked by Auntie Beth) 40 10/ slice
Uyugan Church Donation 20
Jeep (from Uyugan to Ivana) 10
Pancit Cabagan (brunch at Canteen of the South) 75
Free van hitch (Ivana to Mahatao) 0
Mahatao Church Donation 15
Ice candy 3
Overnight stay at Mahatao Beachfront 250
Mahatao Tour (Marlboro Country, Tayid Lighthouse, Diura) 600
Dinner (rice with puso ng saging) 70
Cup noodles (breakfast for the next day) 20
San Mig Beer 30
TOTAL 1133


Day 5 (Mahatao, Basco)

Cost Comment
Breakfast (goto and drink) 46
Tricycle (from Mahatao town proper to Chawa ViewDeck) 50
Free motorcycle hitch (from Mahatao to Basco) 0
Lunch at Basco 115
Berlen Lodge in Basco 400
Batanes Tshirt (Vavayat Souvenir Shop) 275
Pasalubong (Tawsen Souvenir Shop) 185 Best place to get pasalubong, price starts at Php 20
Merienda 23
Free Dinner c/o Uncle Toni and family 0
TOTAL 1094


North Batan. Tour this last on your list as this is the nearest from Basco. North Batan tour for a tricycle costs 1k. This is because of high terrain that you need to climb using a motorcycle only.  Visit these places:

  • Tukon Church
  • Basco PAGASA Weather Station
  • Fundacion Pacita (no day tripper is allowed L)
  • Basco Idjang
  • Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel
  • Valugan Boulder Beach
  • Vayang Rolling Hills

Near the Basco Municpal Hall is the Immaculate Concepcion Church. Naidi Hills, Basco Lighthouse and Bunker's Café are about 20-30 minutes from city proper, so you can walk to visit it.

Day 6 (Basco) Cost Comment
North Batan tour (tricycle) 1000 Standard fee for tour
Lunch at Basco 100
More pasalubong  250 bought again Tawsen
Pizza for Lizardo family 300
Berlen Lodge in Basco 400
Free Dinner c/o Uncle Toni and family 0
TOTAL 2050


Day 7 (Basco, Manila)

Free Breakfast c/o Uncle Toni and family 0
More more pasalubong 80 last minute, bought in airport
Basco Terminal Fee 50
Taxi (from airport to home) 400


All in all, here is a summary of expenses,

Airfare (roundtrip c/o PAL Express) 1,900
Day 1 (Basco) 958
Day 2 (Sabtang) 1935
Day 3 (Imnajbu, Itbud, Uyugan) 221
Day 4 (Ivana, Mahatao) 1133
Day 5 (Mahatao, Basco) 1094
Day 6 (Basco) 2050
Day 7 (Basco, Manila) 530
Total 9,821


Kindly take note that prices may varies on your options.


Other Travel Tips by Jess

  • Create your itinerary or list down all the places that you need to visit. Do research in internet. List the places, lodge or hotel addresses and contact numbers, tour guides name and contact number. List the things that you want to do and the best to do in the place that you will travel to. For Batanes itinerary and other tips, you can visit It will be better to have a hard copy as there are some places in Batanes with no mobile data signal or wifi.
  • Speaking of mobile data, phone signal, only Smart does! There are some lodges that has wifi access points.
  • Visit the local tourism office inside Basco Municipal Hall. Officers are really friendly and can give you free maps, tour rates, tour guide contact numbers.
  • Every Ivatan is extra super nice. You can call the older people as Auntie and Uncle.
  • North Batan can be tour for 3-4 hours. South Batan for 5-6 hours, better the whole day. Sabtang Island for 6-7 hours, better for overnight stay.
  • Once you know one lodge or hotel, you will know every lodge or hotel in the town. Just be friendly to ask. Use the map from the tourist center to look for a house in Basco after arriving from Mahatao.
  • Ask local of what are the schedules of jeepney. Saturday has lesser jeepney schedules as they said this is a "Farm Day" as drivers became farmers as well. Jeeps rove around Basco especially on National Road, just keep an eye of it
  • For those who knows how to ride a bike and drive a motorcycle, some lodges offers these to rent per hour or per day.
  • Bring cash. Your credit or debit card will not be accepted. There are two banks in Basco - Landbank and PNB. Only Landbank has an ATM for cash withdrawal but it oftenly on offline mode. Western Union and LBC is available though.
  • Bring biscuits, coffee sachets, candies and other foods that can ease your hunger. LOL! Foods in Batanes are pricey. A cup of rice range up to Php 20 and the ulam is about Php 60-80 in a local canteen. Their gasoline tank costs more than Php 2,500, this explains the pricey details of foods. Remember, the ship freight.
  • Since gasoline is pricey, transportation is pricey as well. As mentioned, ask locals of jeepney schedules to lesser your transpo cost. Tricycle is pricey too. There are tour packages that include transpo, but of you are comfortable hitching, especially if you travel alone, it can be easier. All locals are really nice, kind, pleasant to be with. If they see you walking, they will offer you a ride. If you hitch with them you can learm their stories, how they live and how it is to be an Ivatan, how it is to be not just a tourist but a traveler.
  • Keep in mind that Batanes has an erratic weather, so it is better to travel once you see the sun. Don't hesitate.