Note: As a precautionary measure in this time of COVID-19 pandemic, it is best to check with the authorities the updated travel requirements and possible restrictions that might affect your travel plan. Contact Batanes local government at [email protected] to know the latest update.

Remember to always follow the health and safety protocols imposed from your travel origin to your destination. I wish you a safe trip ahead!

Traveling to Batanes Island for the first time? This detailed DIY travel guide is exactly what you need. Scroll down and take note of the outlined information from sample itinerary and budget, best places to visit, top things to do, recommended tours and transports, budget-friendly accommodations, and other travel tips. Have a fun and enjoyable trip ahead!



It goes without saying that BATANES is the most beautiful destination in the Philippines… and much of how glamorous you hear about its landscape is definitely watered down compared to how it is when you see it in person. It is inexplicably fascinating that it can drive your feet ratty wild as it rambles every high and low of its rolling terrain, and can set off your fingers around the bend as it grabs memories with your camera in the best possible perspective.

Sporting a traditional Ivatan wear at Chamantad Tinyan Viewpoint.

To put simply, Batanes is real tourism goodness. Yet, its charm does not stop there.

Despite the winsome tales of its scenery, Batanes is more equated with the good nature of its people – the Ivatan, who are known for their peaceful and crude way of living. They are honest and benign – the kind that makes you redeem whatever cynical outlook you have towards humanity (sic).

Honesty Store in South Batan, Basco, Batanes.
Honesty Store in South Batan, Basco, Batanes.

All kidding aside, Batanes was the only destination I’ve been to that I was truly free from any high form of commercialism. Imagine going into a store without any personnel where customers are expected to put their payment in a designated box? Or staying at an accommodation with only one caretaker where guests can freely go and leave their payment at the doorstep? And I tell you, it’s not a case of having a shortage of manpower. The people are naturally trusting, that more than its arresting topography, it is the wonderful character of the Ivatan that makes Batanes irrefutably one for the books.

A grazeland in Itbayat, Batanes
A grazeland in Itbayat


Among the 10 archipelagic islands that comprise Batanes, only three of its biggest islands are inhabited and provide accommodations to visitors. Choosing the best location to stay depends on your itinerary.

To set your expectations right, most of the accommodations in Batanes are simple and non-luxurious homestays and hostels except for Fundacion Pacita, a hotel which can be found at its capital. Accommodations, given its scarce availability, must be arranged ahead especially when planning to stay overnight at Itbayat island.

Below are lists of top-value accommodations that you can find on each island.

Accommodations in Batan Island

Batan Island is divided into north and south in terms of tourism. The north part is where lies Basco, a small town considered as the capital of Batanes where majority of the available homestays are situated. The south part nestles other three municipalities namely Ivana, Uyugan and Mahatao.

– price at around P2,600+ for a room good for 4 persons
– has a functional kitchen and is near a seafood area
– has good facilities and clean room
Click the photo to book or check for more details.
– price at around P2,500+ for a room good for 3 persons, inclusive of breakfast and airport transfer
– excellent location
– friendly and accommodating staff
– near the cheapest souvenir shop
Click the photo to book or check for more details.

Note: Batanes has a weak internet connectivity. If you are looking for accommodations with the best access to WiFi, check AMBOY HOMETEL. Click the photo to book or check for more details.

– for a 2-night stay in a room good for 2 persons, the hotel is priced at around P8,500 which includes breakfast
– one of the most luxurious that you can find in all of Batanes

For budget travelers, here are the cheapest yet best-rated homestays in Basco. Click the link to book or check for more details.

Accommodations in Sabtang Island

Sabtang Island is the largest of all the islands and is located 30 to 45 minutes away from Batan by boat depending on the sea situation. Homestays come rarely unlike in Basco. However, it is in Sabtang where you can find the most unique homestays. Check below.

You may stay in a lighthouse in Sabtang. Contact Nanay Adela to book ahead at +63 921 496 7233, +63-918 488 2424.

Or sleep in an Ivatan stone house at Hostallero Homestay. Contact them at +63 939 288 1033 for inquiries.

In case there are no available accommodations in the island, you may opt to check homestays at Ivana, Batan – the nearest municipality to Sabtang, which takes for about 30 minutes by boat. Here are available accommodations:

  • Siayanrock Island Hometel Rating: 9.8 | Price: P1,800+ per night for a room with balcony, good for 2 persons (includes breakfast and has access to WiFi)
  • Kaydian Homestay Price: P1,100+ per night for 2 persons
  • R&E Bed and Breakfast Rating: 8.7 | Price: P1,200+ per night for 2 persons (has free airport shuttle)

Accommodations in Itbayat Island

Itbayat is a municipality of its own like Sabtang, at the extreme north of Batanes. It is 2 to 3 hours away from Batan by boat. The biggest and roughest sea swells in Batanes sprawl around this island, making it totally inaccessible on a bad weather condition. Homestays here are scarce and have to be arranged ahead. Below are two of them.

  • Cano’s Lodge +63 919 300 4787
  • Danding Dierra +63 939 199 0520


The best way to reach Batanes is by plane from airports in Clark and Manila via Skyjet and Philippine Airlines, each services one-way flight per day, as shared below. Travel time is around 1 hour and 45 minutes. Air fare would cost around P4,000.00 per way on lean season and as high as P12,000.00 on peak. If you are lucky, both airlines would offer promo fare for as low as P2,000 for a one-way trip but mostly on a rainy season which is not an ideal time to visit Batanes given its extreme weather pattern.

Skyjet flight schedule

Manila to Basco 5:50AM – 7:05AM
Basco to Manila 8:00AM – 9:15AM

Philippine Airlines flight schedule

Manila to Basco 6:00AM – 7:45AM
Basco to Manila 8:10AM – 9:50AM

On a bike at Basco Lighthouse at Naidi Hill.
On a bike at Basco Lighthouse at Naidi Hill.

All incoming flights arrive at Basco on its small airport located at the foot of Mt. Iraya, half a kilometer away from the town proper. Upon arrival, head out to the Tourism Information Center for a basic orientation about Batanes. Afterwards, pay the environmental fee for an amount of P350.00 at the reception area. (If you arranged a tour with a travel agency, confirm from them if the fee is included in your package before paying.)

From the airport, you can choose to charter a tricycle outside the arrival area or walk to your accommodation if it is located at the town center which takes for less than 10 minutes to enjoy a magnificent view of Mt. Iraya.


Bicycle, motorcycle and tricycle are the most common mode of transports around Batanes. When going around its town proper, bicycle and motorcycle would be the better option while when going to the hills, motorcycle and tricycle would be the wiser choice.

Rental rates:

  • Bicycle – P25 per hour, P300-P500 per day
  • Motorcycle – P500-P1,000 per day
  • Tricycle – P30 fare for short distance travel, P50 for destinations outside the town proper, P200 per hour for tour service

Specific for Batan:

  • Although limited, jeepneys are available in Batan for transport from one municipality to another.
  • Tricycle transport in Batan is controlled by Batanes Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (BATODA). To avail their service, passengers would need to call or text the organization at +639297038404.
San Carlos Borromeo Church in Mahatao
San Carlos Borromeo Church in Mahatao

How to get from Basco to Sabtang?

Charter a tricycle from your accommodation in Basco to Ivana Port. Fare is P120 for solo trip, P250 for group. At the port, board the faluwa (a traditional boat in Batanes) to Sabtang. Boat schedule to Sabtang is from 6:00AM to 7:00AM, and back to Basco is between 1:00PM to 2:00PM. Travel time is close to 45 minutes depending on the sea swells. One-way fare is P100.

How to get from Basco to Itbayat?

Go to Basco port and board the faluwa boat that leaves between 6:00AM to 9:00AM to Itbayat at Chinapoliran port and returns around 11:00AM to 2:00PM to Basco. Travel time is more or less 3 hours depending on the sea situation. One-way boat fare is P450.

Chinapoliran port in Itbayat, at the center is a faluwa boat.

Note: Disembarking from the boat as you arrive in Itbayat might pose a challenge to some travelers as sea swells at the port can get big and rough, and there is no shoreline to land on. So decide ahead whether or not you are up for this challenge when you travel especially during the rainy season.


Below are only few of the top tourist spots in Batanes which are grouped into four locations according to tourism zones: North Batan, South Batan, Sabtang, and Itbayat.



Naidi Hill Lighthouse

Arguably the most iconic landmark in Batanes – Basco Lighthouse which sits comfortably atop Naidi hill was built in 2003 to where the former lighthouse and American facilities that were destroyed during the war were installed.

The lighthouse reaches up to six floors with its top section encircled with a viewing deck where you can view the nearby West Philippine Sea and the town proper.

Sunset at Naidi Hills.
Sunset at Naidi Hills.

Visit Naidi hills in the morning to witness the planes arriving in Batanes or during the golden hour to catch a sweeping view of the sunset.

Rating: 4/5


Vayang Rolling Hills
Vayang Rolling Hills

For the many things it is sought after, it is the vast, rugged terrain that make Batanes truly unique – and you can look no further for a good example than in North Batan at Vayang Rolling Hills.

Vayang Rolling Hills with Mt. Araya at the background.
Vayang Rolling Hills with Mt. Araya at the background.

Vayang Rolling Hills – a rolling carpet of green land that contrasts a well juxtaposed sea and sky, where the sun gently illuminates in the morning and the breeze tenderly passes through in the afternoon, and where a herd of animals peacefully graze on a lush vegetation – is a masterful canvass that would leave you engrossed and breathless.

Rating: 4/5


The crashing waves at Valugan Boulder beach.
The crashing waves at Valugan Boulder beach.

Lies at the east coast of Basco, Valugan boulder beach is swamped with extrusive, volcanic rocks that were spewed from the mouth of Mt. Iraya when it erupted in 400AD. Over time, the boulders were smoothed by the strong waves forming into a panoramic seascape that has become a staple attraction in Batanes.

Valugan Boulder beach
The other side of Valugan Boulder beach.

Swimming is strictly prohibited as the waters off the coast are wild and raging. Yet, as a bargain, Valugan boulder beach makes for a perfect spot to chill and watch the gleaming sunrise.

Rating: 4/5


Fundacion Pacita
Fundacion Pacita

The then home studio of the late Ivatan artist, Pacita Abad has turned into the most lavish accommodation in Batanes with its picturesque vistas, welcoming gardens, and artsy villas upkeeping some of the best aesthetic finds in the island.

The statue of Pacita Abad by the entrance.
The statue of Pacita Abad by the entrance.

The room price can go as high as P20,000 per night which is seriously hefty for a traveler on a shoestring budget. However, it’s quite noting that this vast complex located less than 10 minutes from the town proper at the highlands of Tukon is welcoming to visitors who fancy a good meal at Café du Tukon, one of its cafes where diners are permitted to roam around the nearby gardens and art shops for free.

Rating: 4/5



Alapad Pass and Rock Formation
Alapad Pass

Alapad pass is a winding road that cuts through a hill of massive and beautifully-crafted rocks that look like an ice cream twirl from afar. Yummy as it sounds, going over the hill requires extra caution as there are blind curves on the way that might lead the vehicles off the nearby shore if the driver is not paying attention.

At the lower right is a clearer view of "Blow UR Horn" sign at Alapad Pass.
At the lower right is a clearer view of “Blow UR Horn” sign at Alapad Pass.

As a safety measure, the road is filled with “Blow UR Horn” signs that are carved from cliffs and boulders to remind the drivers to be extra attentive of other vehicles and to slow down while going through this accident prone area.

Rating: 4/5


Tayid Lighthouse
Tayid Lighthouse

Overlooking Madi Bay is the charming Tayid lighthouse built in the year 2000 in a colonial-style. Unlike the one in Basco, Tayid lighthouse is hexagonal in form and veers off towards Pacific ocean. Visit the lighthouse in the morning to catch a beaming view of the sun.

Rating: 4/5


Marlboro Country
At Marlboro Country (RACUH-A-PAYAMAN)

More popularly known as Marlboro Country, Racuh-a-Payaman is another verdant rolling hill at the highlands of Basco that serves as a grazeland and viewing area of the nearby waterfront.

More than its seemingly endless vegetation, the rolling hill of Racuh-a-Payaman makes for a perfect vantage point to catch a glimpse of Tayid Lighthouse on its left, Mt. Iraya on its right and the Diura beach at its center.

Chillin’ at Racuh-a-Payaman.

While here, take a moment to look around, commune with nature, breathe its cool air and appreciate a wonder that is rarely found in the Philippines.

Rating: 5/5


Since Batanes is mostly frequented by typhoons, a shelter port at Mahatao was constructed by the local government in 2005 to protect boats from the crashing waves that come along during an inclement weather.

Mahatao Shelter Port
Mahatao Shelter Port

The secluded shelter port is a small sea inlet tucked away by a stone hill and concrete wall defenses. To fully appreciate its beauty, spare enough time to wander around the port, especially on its lower area where the motorized boats are held together.

Rating: 3/5



Savidug Village
Feeling a good day at Savidug village.

Batanes is popular among tourists for its well-kept tradition that includes the community of stone houses that come in three types: the maytuab, which differs from other stone houses for its four-sloped thatched cogon roof; the sinadumparan, which is uniquely identified by its two-sloped cogon roof; and the jinjin, which is made of stone, wood and cogon. All of these stone houses are found at Savidug Village in Sabtang.

Stone House at Savidug Village
Stone House at Savidug Village

Apart from the stone houses, the village as well shares fondness at wearing the traditional Vakul, a headdress worn by Ivatans during a stormy weather. As you pay a visit, make sure to try out and know what it feels like to wear one.

Rating: 4/5


Morong beach
Morong beach on a windy afternoon.

A good swimmable beach is a rarity in Batanes for its typical hilly and mountainous topography that is surrounded by crashing waves, so a white beach like that of Morong is genuinely revered and protected. Also known as Nakabuang beach, Morong beach stretches to a short expanse of white, soft sands patched with grass and vines at the far section of its shore.

Mahayaw Arch
Nakabuang Arch at Morong beach.

Apart from its sands, Morong beach is flocked with tourists for its large rock that is naturally carved into an arch. Some call it Nakabuang arch, others say it is known as Mahayaw arch.

While Morong beach is a favorite stop during lunch time as there are small restaurants and carinderias nearby, it is best enjoyed in the morning when there are less people.

Rating: 4/5


Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint
Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint

Sabtang has an incredible landscape, and this claim can’t be refuted otherwise when you are at Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint.

Tinyan Viewpoint is a cluster of rolling slopes carpeted in a luscious green grass. Walk to its farthest slope, the highest that you can find in the area and be prepared to witness a magnificent vista composed of a cove in golden flax of sands, framed by the edges of the surrounding terrain.

Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint
Chamantad Cove

While here, make sure to check out the shops by the road selling different souvenirs and food items.

Rating: 5/5



Lake Kavaywan

Lake Kavaywan is fascinating as fascinating goes! It is a lake surrounded by soil plastered in cider color. The lake is filled up with rainfall during the wet season and is dried out during summer turning the area back to a naturally bare land. It is near Itbayat airport and is the landmark that pilots use to signal descend.

Rating: 4/5


Rafang Cliff
Yoga sesh at Rafang cliff, but not really.

From my experience, Rapang cliff is the most beautiful sight in all of Batanes. But unlike most of the attractions in the island, it takes courage and stamina to bear witness of its fascinating beauty.

Early morning at Rapang cliff.
Early morning at Rapang cliff.

This natural park of rocky hills, limestone cliffs and flourishing vegetation can only be reached by passing through a private property so having a local guide who can ask for permission is a must. Further, getting there can only be done on foot as you need to climb through hills and walk over cliffs which would take 3 to 4 hours, depending on your pace.

Its sounds gruelling, but it is definitely worth the sweat. While here, look for the stone bells which produce pleasant harmonies when struck with stones. Fun fact – the stone bells were used by ancient inhabitants to send alarm when enemies were approaching.

Stone bell at Rafang Cliff
Stone bell at Rafang Cliff

If you decide to go, allot one full day for Rapang Cliff and start your hike as early as 3AM so you can catch the sunrise. Make sure to bring lots of water, light snacks, and of course, flashlights!

Rating: 5/5


At Torongan Hill

Another hiking exercise that you can do in Itbayat is by going to Torongan hill, which stops over the massive Torongan cave that opens and looks out to the nearby sea.

It takes around an hour of trekking through a dense forest to get to the jump-off point of the cave, and a few minutes to hike up the hill where you can encounter a burial ground with stone markers that form a boat.

A hole that leads to the open sea at the end section of Torongan cave.

At the peak of Torongan hill, find a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean sweeping through a vast horizon in shades of blue, hovered by woolly clouds above and cut out by stupendous jagged hills on the side.

Rating: 5/5


As far as enlisting a top things to do, Batanes is excessively outpouring! Whether it is for the eyes or for the stomach, it simply is a feast of delights.

Get it going by visiting its natural wonders, from the rolling hills of Vayang and Racuh-a-Payaman to the astounding rock formations of Alapad, Rafang Morong and Torongan.

Chamantad Tinyan Viewpoint
At the highest Peak of Chamantad Tinyan Viewpoint.

Add some man-made tourist spots to these natural attractions by hopping from one lighthouse to another, at Basco to Tayid and to Sabtang, or by paying a visit to the churches of Tukon, Imnajbu, Mahatao and Ivayan (for sure, seeing its facade and interior artworks would stir up a yelp of glee to your kindred spirit) or by strolling around Mahatao shelter port for an hour of your leisure time.

Tukon Chapel in Basco
Tukon Chapel in Basco

A taste to Ivatan culture is a fab offer that you also should take advantage while in Batanes. Wear the traditional Vakul or ride the faluwa boat or take part in catching an Arayu fish or get inside a stone house or munch on the exotic Ivatan food selection from uvod balls and turmeric rice, to palek wine and coconut crabs! Or simply, just be inspired at the honest and kind nature of the locals by spending time at Honesty store or going around the neighborhood.

Yaru Nu Artes Gallery at Basco town proper.
Yaru Nu Artes Gallery at Basco town proper.

How else? Well if you fancy some great artwork, visit Fundacion Pacita or the Yaru Nu Artes Gallery at the town proper of Basco and hang out with some of Batanes’ young artists.


For North Batan, South Batan and Sabtang Island tour inquiries, check the services offered by KLOOK for a comfortable and hassle-free experience. Click the link for details.

If your homestay does not offer airport transfer, avail the service offered by Klook. Check this link: Private Basco Airport Transfers (BSO) for Batanes for only P650 per person.

For Itbayat Island tour inquiries, contact Bhong at +63 920 217 5192‬.

Batanes Foods
Ivatan Cuisine


Remember that low airfare and good weather are hard to come by for Batanes so as far as itinerary goes, I would really recommend that you allot 5 days: 2 days for Basco, 1 day for Sabtang and 2 days for Itbayat.

Stone bell at Rafang Hill, Itbayat.

Below is a non-hectic DIY itinerary for Batanes that assumes a party of two and sets back a budget amounting to P13,140.00 per person covering expenses for food. transportation and tour fees. Airfare, accommodation, souvenir items and other incidental fees are not included in the budget.

Naidi Hill Basco Lighthouse during sundown.

DAY ONE: North Batan (budget per person: P1,200.00)

Arrive in Basco8:00AM
To Accommodation8:30AM
Get Settled or Free time9:30AM
Tour Pick-up Time11:30AM
Start of North Batan Tour1:30PMP1,000
Mt. Carmel Chapel
PAGASA Weather Station
Fundacion Pacita
Idjang Didawud
Dipnaysuhuan Japanese Tunnel
Valugan Boulder Beach
Casa Real
Kilometer Zero
Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral
Vayang Rolling Hills
Abad Street4:00PM
Basco Lighthouse until sunset5:30PM
Back to Accommodation7:00PM
Lights Out!9:00PM
Inside Dipnaysuhuan Japanese Tunnel

DAY TWO: Itbayat Island (budget per person: P3,110.00)

To Basco Port5:30AMP30
To Itbayat Island6:00AMP450
Arrive at Chinapoliran port (Itbayat)9:00AM
To Accommodation9:30AMP30
Get Settled or Free Time10:00AM
Tour Briefing at Accommodation11:00AM
Start of Itbayat Tour1:00PMP2,000
Torongan Cave
Torongan Hill
Lake Kavaywan
Sta. Maria Church
Blue Lagoon at Paganaman Port
Sunset at Paganaman Port6:00PM
Back to Accommodation6:30PM
Lights Out!8:30PM
Paganaman Port in Itbayat
Paganaman Port in Itbayat

DAY THREE: Itbayat + Basco (budget per person: P3,830.00)

Early Rise to Rapang Cliff3:00AMP3,000
Arrive at Rapang Cliff6:00AM
Breakfast and Sunrise –P50
Stone Bell –
Back to Accommodation8:00AM
To Port for Basco11:00AMP30
Arrive in Basco2:00PMP450
Get Settled or Free Time3:00PM
Bike Around Basco4:00PMP100
Visit Yaru Nu Artes Gallery5:00PM
Back to Accommodation6:00PM
Lights Out!9:00PM
Torongan Hill and Cave
An unobstructed view of the Pacific ocean from Torongan Hill.

DAY FOUR: Sabtang Island + Basco (budget per person: P2,700.00)

Wake up and Breakfast5:00AMP100
Pick-up To Ivana Port6:00AM
Travel to Sabtang Island6:30AM
Arrive at Sabtang (Registration)7:00AM
Start of Sabtang Tour8:00AMP2,000
Sabtang Lighthouse 
 Sinakan Stone House 
Savidug Village 
Sto. Thomas de Aquinas Chapel 
Chamantad-Tinyan Point 
 Sabtang Weavers Association 
Chavayan Stone House 
Sta. Rosa de Lima Chapel 
Morong Beach 
Nakabuang Arch 
Lunch 12:00PM
Back to Ivana Port (Basco)1:30PM
Back to Accommodation2:00PM
To Fundacion Pacita for Dinner3:00PMP600
Back to Accommodation6:00PM
Lights Out!8:00PM
Diura Beach

DAY FIVE: South Batan (budget per person: P2,300.00)

Start of South Batan Tour9:00AMP2,000
Paderes Viewpoint
Chawa Viewing Deck
Mahatao Shelter Port
Tayid Lighthouse
 San Carlos Borromeo Church
Blank Book Archive
Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country)
San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel
Alapad Hills & Rock Formation
 Song Song Ruins
 Honesty Coffee Shop
House of Dakay
Tuhel Spanish Bridge
Back to Accommodation6:00PM
Lights Out!9:00PM
Inside the blank book archive in Mahatao.
Inside the blank book archive in Mahatao.

Things to note for this sample DIY Batanes Itinerary:

  • The allocated budget per tour is based on a local service, which usually includes airport transfer, lunch, and tour permits.
  • Tour services in Itbayat are more expensive compared to what are offered in Basco and Sabtang for its accessibility to basic commodities. A regular tricycle tour would cost around P2,000 not including the guide fee which amounts to P1,500 per person.
  • You can shorten the itinerary to 3 days by removing Itbayat. But if you decide to include it in your visit, it’s best that you place it on Day 2 and 3 to give your itinerary more flexibility in case of poor weather conditions. Remember, going around and away Itbayat is weather permitting.
  • Most homestays allow guests to cook or would accept cooking requests for a minimal fee. You may head out to Abad Street at the town proper to buy affordable cooking ingredients.
  • Some of the best places to eat in Batanes are Vunong Dinette, Pension Ivatan and Casa Napoli. Meal ranges from P100 to P300.


  • In a broader sense, the best time to visit Batanes is during the dry season specifically from late February to early June. However, even on this period, Batanes can experience strong winds as it is a usual passage of typhoons that go through the Philippines. Hence, tourists are advised to check the weather from time to time and are encouraged to be more flexible with the itinerary upon traveling.
  • Batanes is generally a safe place. In fact, it has the lowest crime rate (nearly zero) in all of Philippines.
  • Transactions in all establishments in Batanes are on a cash basis. Tourists are encouraged to bring extra money as there are only 2 ATMs located at the town center: Landbank and PNB, which accept Bancnet, Megalink and Expressnet cards.
  • Cellular connectivity for both Globe and Smart have good reception but data connection is poor for all networks during day time and changes to a good coverage at dawn, around 2:00AM in some areas in Batan. Of late, there are only two homestays in Batan that offer reasonably good wifi connection: Bernardo’s Hotel and Amboy Hometel.
  • The sea swells in Batanes are rough so make certain to waterproof your things when traveling out to sea.
  • Power interruption can happen in Batanes especially at night so ensure that your gadgets are fully charged from time to time. It helps that you bring powerbanks with you.
  • Carry your personal medicines as drugstores in Basco may not have them.
  • Prepare to trek and make sure to wear a pair of shoes or sandals that can withstand a slippery terrain.
  • The Ivatans are conservative. It is advised that travelers not wear revealing clothes.
  • Public smoking is highly discouraged.
House of Dakay, the oldest stone house in Batanes located in South Batan, Basco.


Going on a Batanes trip is costly, without a doubt. But by applying some of these money saving tips, you sure can maximize your budget.

  • Look for a cheap airfare. This would require months or even a year of waiting. But knowing that more than half of your expenses for Batanes is spent on airfare, waiting for an affordable flight would be a big leap on making the most of your budget. Get that discounted airfare by subscribing to Skyjet and Philippine Airlines (PAL), in their email list or in any of their social media platforms to be notified of an upcoming seat sale. You can also visit a travel expo by some of the country’s top tourism organizations like Travel Tour Expo and Philippine Travel Mart where airfare promo is likely offered. A P2,000 one-way trip is already a cheap price, but it can go as low as P999.
  • Join a group. This works best when you are a solo traveler. Whether on an organized tour or DIY, it helps when expenses are shared, be it on food, transportation or accommodation.
  • Avail a tour package. A DIY trip is cheaper than a tour package – but not in the case of Batanes considering that transportation is scarce and price for basic commodities are a bit steep in the area. Check the recommended tours section for available tours.
  • Go for a homestay. Not only that the rooms are low-cost, you can also save on food expenses as most homestays in Batanes have kitchenware so you can cook your own meal. Plus, homestays are near local eateries that serve home-cooked meals if you don’t fancy cooking.
Batanes highlands


  • Batanes is a typical stopover of typhoon and experiences strong winds almost year-round. Hence, it is customary for people to be protective against the stresses brought about by monsoons as you can observe on how they build their houses and make use of a headdress made of palms and vines called Vakul.
  • Ivatan, as a language for the locals in Batanes, is Austronesian in origin which is similar to other languages originating from Madagascar and the Pacific islands.
  • Hedgerows are a typical sight over the hills of Batanes which make for a good windbreaker and fence for stray animals.
  • The Arayu fish is an important part of Ivatan heritage as it helped sustain generations of Ivatan people. But unlike other species of fish, this dolphin fish which is also called as “mahi-mahi”, “dorado” and “golden” can only be harvested during Kapayvanuvanua, a sacred tradition among fisherfolks in Batan which kicks off around end of March until May.


Like in any parts of the Philippines, the Ivatans in Batanes can understand and speak English. However, here are some good phrases that might prove useful when you find yourself endearing with them.

Chamantad Tinyan Viewpoint
Chamantad Tinyan Viewpoint

English to Ivatan (the most prevalent language among the locals in Batanes)
Thank you – Dios mamajes
Good morning – Kapyan ka chamavukas
Good afternoon –  Kapyan ka chamakuyab
Good evening –  Kapyan ka chamahep
How much is… –  Manyipira?


What I like?

Batanes has a special place on my travel journey. It is where I decided to learn photography; the very place which sparked my interest to write my travels that eventually turned into this blog. I’ve been to several places in the Philippines but Batanes for me easily takes the cake as the best tourist destination in the country. There is so much to explore and for whatever type of traveler you are, you will easily dig its offering – from food, nature, man-made attractions to culture and history.

My Batanes experience had put me back to a place where I had to believe in the goodness of humanity again. It’s true, and I could only thank the great hospitality of the Ivatans for it.

What I don’t like?

On our trip back to Batan from Itbayat, the faluwa we were in lost its compass due to the strong winds and rough sea swells. The captain had to manually maneuver the boat so instead of 2 hours, it took us 4 hours to get to our destination. Looking back, while it’s a good story to tell to my friends, being in an open sea under a heavy rainfall with zero visibility on a rocking small boat is something I don’t want to experience again. Seriously, when planning out your trip to Batanes, you really have to consider the weather condition especially if you want to visit Itbayat.


Leaning on our boat at Punta Sibaring 1. This photo was taken during a high tide.

Hey there! I’m Ker, The Fun-sized Traveller. Fun-size because I’m a short guy from the Philippines. Thanks for checking out this virtual block I have started building since my 30th birthday to document my 2nd quarter life. Yup, it’s more of a personal pursuit, but a part of me also wants to give back to the travel community that is why I make it a point to share travel articles out from my trips around Asia.

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Also, you can inspire your next trip by checking the blogs below:







Leave No Trace Principle

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