You've probably been to Batanes or have read it several times in blogs and magazines. But did you know that there are many "unusual destinations in Batanes" that are not frequently visited by tourists and travelers? So, whether it's your first time or just planning a re-visit in Batanes, here's my list of 8 Unusual Destinations that you should include in your Itinerary.
1. Sumnanga VillageLocated on the western part of Sabtang Island, Sumnanga Village offers a more tranquil and quieter experience if you want to see old Ivatan stone houses. Coming from Morong Beach, we traveled for about an hour to get to Sumnanga Village where we saw several old stone houses. After exploring the village by foot, we rode again our hired tricycle and proceeded to the next village.
2. Nakanmuan VillageThe farthest of the Sabtang island villages is Nakanmuan Village. One familiar site in the village that you shouldn't miss is the ruins of the house of Atanacio Dapilan, an Ivatan farmer and fisherman who is also the first nationally published kalusan singer and composer. Kalusan is a type of song usually sang during farming or fishing.
Also, don't miss to buy dried fish, particularly dorado or dibang fishes when you see them hanging in many of the houses in the village. Just ask the locals if you could buy some of them and bring back home as pasalubong to your family and friends.
Nakanmuan Village also has many old houses and is the jump-off point for Vuhus Island, an uninhabited grazing land for cattle.
3. Duvek BayLocated in Nakanmuan Village, Duvek Bay is known for its calm waters with the imposing Mt Aharung at the background. For locals, it's a favorite spot for swimming, snorkeling and also serves as a harbor for the fishermen's boats. Unfortunately, during our visit, the bay is on low tide. So, we didn't get to swim.
Visiting Sumnanga and Nakanmuan Villages can be arranged thru your tour guide on a special tour. If you plan to visit these villages plus the "usual" destinations on Sabtang Island, it would require you to stay for at least a night on the island.
SEE ALSO: Things To Do in Batanes - Sabtang Island Tour
4. Mahatao Wind TurbinesLocated at Mt. Sumhao, these wind turbines are considered as the first commercially operated hybrid system in the Philippines. Unfortunately, during our visit in 2013, they are not anymore operational.
The three units of 60-kilowatt wind turbines could have been a very good source of electricity to complement the diesel generator system that Batan Island is using.
Since they are not operational, the wind turbines were intentionally brought down to the ground to save it from further deterioration. Still, it's a nice place to visit during your South Batan Island Tour.
5. Diura Fishing VillageLocated around 3 kilometers away from Mahatao town, Diura is a small village facing the Pacific Ocean. Here, you'll see local fishermen performing the Kapayvanuvanua ritual to signify the start of the fishing season which usually happens from March to May. It would be great if you visit the village during the start of the fishing season so you will be able to catch them perform the ritual.
The village is home to a group of fishermen called "Mataw" who practices the traditional fishing of "Arayu" or dorado fish. Dorado fishes being dried at the locals' houses are just some of the common sights at the fishing village.
6. Ivana Church Ruins
Just across Honesty Coffee Shop is Ivana Church or San Jose de Obrero Church. It is more than 200 years old with a foundation that dates back to 1795. It looks like a fortress with its square bell tower built on its left side. You can climb the bell tower to have a very nice view of the sea, the port of Ivana and the island of Sabtang. Unknown to many, there is an interesting ruins of the old church located behind the current church. Check it out when you visit Ivana Church during you South Batan tour.
7. Homoron Blue Lagoon and White BeachAlso known as "Spanish Lagoon," it is located just along the road in the town of Mahatao. Why Spanish lagoon? Because back in the Spanish era, only they were allowed to swim in the lagoon. Now, you can take an awesome dip into the lagoon filled with refreshing water.
From the road side, you just need to walk towards the white beach where you'll see stunning high stone cliffs surrounding the area. It has a stretch of semi-fine white sand and clear calmer water. To get to the lagoon, you need to pass through the opening of the rock formations on the right side of the beach.
8. Itbayat IslandThe northernmost municipality of Batanes and of the entire Philippines, Itbayat is an adventure junkie's haven!
Many have been to Batanes, but only a few dared to visit Itbayat. Ever wonder why? Maybe because it would really take time and extreme effort just to be there. It's totally different from the other parts of Batanes. As it is considered as one of world’s largest uplifted coral reefs, the island's topography is more rugged and more difficult to explore.
Itbayat is one of the most off-beat places I've been to, and I'm glad I got through all the hardships and conquered my fear just to visit this island far up north. Question is, "is it really only for the brave?" Hmmmmm... I believe, everyone can go to Itbayat; as long as you have the time and you just conquer your fears, you are set for an awesome adventure!
SEE ALSO: How to Get to Itbayat Island from Basco, Batanes
When visiting Itbayat, don't miss to explore Torongan Cave and to trek Torongan Hill where you will see amazing view of caves, cliffs, coastlines and stone boat-shaped burial markers. Torongan Hill is believed to be the burial ground of the ancient settlers of Torongan Cave.
Also not to be missed is a visit to Yawran Village which is known for its traditional cogon grass houses. In the town proper, visit the Sta. Maria de Mayan Church just beside the school and check out some vernacular houses around the town.
SEE ALSO: Itbayat Island Tourist Spots and Attractions
When traveling to Batanes, don't miss an adventure to Itbayat, this off-the-beaten destination will certainly test the real adventurer in you!
So, if you want a Batanes experience away from the usual tourist destinations, be sure to include these must-visit spots in your itinerary.
For your hassle-free Batanes Tour Packages, please contact:
BISUMI TOURS AND SERVICES
- Contact Numbers: 0919-2795963 (Smart) / 0915-8034582 (Globe)
- Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/bisumitours
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For your Affordable Batanes accommodation, please contact:
MARFEL'S LODGE [ BOOK HERE! ]
- Address: Reyes Street Kayvaluganan, 3900 Basco, Batanes
- Contact Number: 0908-8931475
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I highly recommend Marfel's Lodge and BISUMI Tours and Services for your affordable and hassle-free Batanes trip! I assure you that they will take care of you!
Enjoy and have fun in Batanes!
- Planning a trip to Batanes? Read this practical Travel Guide on: "How to Plan a Trip to Batanes on a Budget"
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