On new year's day, I asked my readers "What is your ultimate dream destination this 2014?" and around 80% answered Batanes! Indeed, this province in the northern Philippines is (almost) everybody's dream destination. I, myself had been dreaming for quite some time to visit this so-called paradise. I thought it will remain as a dream, but on May 6, 2013, the long-time dream became a reality as I finally set foot on Batanes, my 79th province! Our packaged group tour started after our hefty lunch of Ivatan specialties at Pension Ivatan Restaurant. I must admit, I am so excited to explore and experience Batanes' breathtaking sights, beaches, centuries-old churches and other man-made and natural wonders.
- Travel Tip: A Guide on Planning a Trip to Batanes
- Where to Stay in Basco, Batanes: Marfel's Lodge
- Sabtang Island Tour
- Batan Island South Tour
- Where to Eat in BATANES: Pension Ivatan Hometel and Restaurant
- Where to EAT in BATANES: Bunker's Cafe at Naidi Hills, Basco Batanes
- Where to EAT in BATANES: Paypanapanayan Canteen in Sabtang Island
- Where to EAT in BATANES: Marconines Canteen in Racuh A Payaman
- Where to EAT in BATANES: Vatang Grill and Restaurant in Ivana
- What to Buy in Batanes - Souvenirs and Pasalubong
Top Things to Do, Places to Visit, Tourist Spots and Attractions in Basco, Batanes
You can find many amazing places and do many things in Batanes. I've listed here the top tourist spots and attractions, things to do and places to visit on our first day in Batanes - which include the northern part of the island of Batan.
1. Tukon ChurchThis lovely chapel was inspired by the Ivatan stone houses. The church is a project of the Abads for the communities nearby so they don't need to go to a farther church. I love its stunning interiors with beautiful paintings of saints painted by the students of the late Pacita Abad and its stained glass windows. An awesome place to have a small intimate wedding.
2. Basco PAGASA Weather StationThe country’s northernmost PAGASA station. Here you can enjoy a spectacular view of Mount Iraya and Basco town with a commanding view of Batan hedgerows.
3. Fundacion PacitaLocated on top of a cliff with a 270-degree view of the sea, mountains and the sky, Fundacion Pacita is considered as the most beautiful hotel in Batanes. Since we're on budget travel, we didn't check-in here. Hahaha! We just had a tour at their facilities. The place is certainly beautiful in every angle. It is owned by the most prominent family in Batanes, the Abads. So, if you're visiting Batanes and budget is not a problem, then Fundacion Pacita is a very nice place to stay-in.
4. Basco IdjangThis is an ancient Ivatan fortress used by the Ivatans as a look-out point and to protect them from invaders. We didn't climbed it, just passed by and took photos of the fortress.
5. Dipnaysupuan Japanese TunnelA 5-door World War II tunnel built by the Japanese as a shelter house for soldiers. It is located at the hills of Tukon, about 3 kilometers away from the town proper. We entered the tunnel and our guide showed to us the chambers, bunkers and the water reservoir inside. It is best if you bring a flash light or a head lamp as it is very dark inside.
6. Valugan Boulder BeachA breathtaking view of the pacific ocean greeted us as we arrived in Valugan Boulder Beach. Why boulder beach? It's because of the enormous stones spewed by Mount Iraya are found here. Be careful when you explore the beach as the waves are really very strong.
7. Vayang Rolling HillsMaybe one of the most recognizable spots in Basco, the Vayang Rolling Hills is one of the best spots to enjoy a spectacular view of the South China Sea and the Western part of Basco. The seemingly endless waves of rolling hills combined with the stunning seascapes are really jaw-dropping sights to behold.
8. Naidi Hills, Basco Lighthouse and Bunker's CafeThis place offers one of the most picturesque sites in the island of Batan. Naidi is an old sitio from the Ivatan words, "Na" which means past and "Idi" meaning settlement. The hills affords a spectacular panoramic view of Baluarte Bay, Basco town, Mount Iraya and the rolling hills of Batan Island. It was also the site of the American period telegraph facilities which is now a ruin and was converted into a cafe. The best time to visit Naidi Hills is during sunset as the lush greens and the open sea provide a beautiful backdrop for a very nice sunset photo.
9. Our Lady of Immaculate Concepcion CathedralOriginally made of cogon grass roofing, this is the first (Spanish) catholic church in Batanes. Built in the early part of the 18th century, it is the first church in the province to have G.I sheet roof in the early 1890's. It's patron saint, Sto. Domingo de Guzman's feast is celebrated every August 8th. The Our Lady of Immaculate Concepcion is the patron saint of the province.
This north Batan tour took around 5 hours. We went back to our accommodation at Marfel's Lodge and prepared for our first dinner in Batanes at Bunker's Cafe in Naidi Hills.
This is just Day 1 of our Batanes trip. Get ready as I bring you to Sabtang island on my next post.
This is part of my 5-day trip to Batanes that happened on May 6-10, 2013. Batanes is the 79th province on my list.
- Planning a trip to Batanes? Read this practical Travel Guide on: "How to Plan a Trip to Batanes on a Budget"
More photos on Pinoy AdvenTurista's Facebook Page, click here.
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