Most Filipinos dream of visiting Batanes – the country’s Last Frontier. And who wouldn’t? It’s laidback charm and honest people are hard to resist, not to mention the incredible landscape. If you’re planning your trip to the Land of the Ivatans, here are some places you shouldn’t miss.
For the iconic, Lord-of-the-rings feels, the sweeping terrain of Marlboro Country in the mainland of Batan is the place to be. Unimpeded views of the ocean and dramatic cliffs will welcome visitors here.
In Batanes, even the roads are picturesque. Alapad Pass is a portion of the main island road that cuts through distinctive rock formations. It’s one of the most photographed places in Batanes.
Valugan Boulder Beach
While most beaches in the Philippines boast of white sands, Valugan Beach possesses a pebble-strewn shore. The different-sized rocks and stones make for a dramatic background!
The famous Honesty Café is a store/coffee shop without a staff. You simply get what you need, pay for it, and get your own change (if any) from the self-serve counter. It is the best showcase of the integrity of the Ivatan.
Naidi Hills and Vayang Rolling Hills
Another Batanes icon is the marvelous Naidi Hills and the nearby Vayang Rolling Hills. The distinctive lighthouse stood against a backdrop.,, of undulating green. It’s a scene worthy of Heidi!
Mahatao Boat Shelter
If you ever wonder where boats go when there is a storm, well, one of the answers would be the Mahatao Boat Shelter. The place serves as a refuge for boats for when the Pacific Ocean proves to be too perilous.
In the island of Sabtang, this vast hilly terrain is perhaps one of the best in the country. It rivals those in New Zealand and could give Scottish landscapes a run for its money. You’ll not run out of postcard-worthy backdrop here!
Marvel at the Ivatan’s traditional architecture at Savidug Village. Here, you’ll find rows of vernacular houses made of boulders and stones which had stood the stormy and temperamental weather of Batanes.
If dramatic seascapes are your thing, the Makabuang Arch at Morong beach would be right up your alley. The rock formation stands out among the muted brownish sands of the beach and provides a great subject for photography.
How to get to Batanes:
The fastest and most reliable option to go to Batanes is to take a plane to Basco. Flights from Manila to Basco are served by Philippine Airlines, Skyjet, and Cebu Pacific (only a maximum of one to two flights per day per airline) . Fare ranges from P3,500 to more than P10,000 one way.
Sky Pasada also offers flights to Batanes from Tuguegarao aboard a propeller plane, although schedules are not for certain.
Be sure to book flights and accommodations in advance there are only a limited number of lodging options and also a limited number of visitors who can come per day.