Be transported to a different world full of simple pleasures and raw nature that is Batanes. Known for its untouched and unspoiled beauty gifted with its unique blend of breathtaking scenery, natural beauty, and well-preserved culture, the northernmost province in the Philippines is almost everyone’s ultimate dream destination.
Aside from leaving you in awe with its irresistible charm, there are a lot of things to do in Batanes! Indulge yourself in this getaway paradise and make the most out of your trip! Here are the best things to do in Batanes.
1. Tour around with bike
Bicycles are the basic means of transportation in Batanes. Traffic is a breeze as bikes, and motorcycles too, are the kings of the road.
The roads of Batan Island are generally good, there will always be locals around to help you in case you run into trouble, and the route is easy to navigate even without a guide. Explore Basco up to the end of Batan island which is Imnajbu on your two wheels.
- Location: North & South Batan
- Directions: The Basco lighthouse is easily reachable from town proper. Boulder beach is about 15-20 mins away. These areas are friendlier to non-expert bikers because there’s not a lot of steep uphill areas.
- Fee(s): P500 a day/ Rates are by the hour (starting at ₱25 for city bikes) or day (₱300 to ₱1,000 depending on bike type).
- Highlight(s): If you will travel outside of Basco be sure to rent a mountain bike.The road trips are more meaningful and biking is highly recommended as it brings you closer to stunning sceneries. It is recommended to do the north and south routes on separate days. And don’t skip Sabtang!
- Activity tips: You can rent bicycles in all of the inns and homestays in Basco.
2. Boat ride to Sabtang or Itbayat Island
Photo Credit: KYTan / Shutterstock.com
The ride might be wild and crazy but most of the time, it won’t be. The boat used is a faluwa, a traditional boat without any outriggers that is made for strong waves.
Boatmen steer the boat with their feet while keeping an eye on the waves from above the deck. The boat can also carry cargo like mountain bikes and motorcycles for a cargo fee.
- Location: Ivana Port, Basco
- Direction: Travel time on the boat is about 30 minutes, depending on the wave conditions, away from the main town of Basco. Ivana Port is the starting point for your Sabtang adventure.
- Fee(s): P100 per person (Sabtang); P450 per person (Itbayat)
- Operation hours: 7am-5pm (Sabtang); 6am
- Highlight(s): As the saying goes, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” This holds true with the thrilling experience across the treacherous waters to the majestic lands of Batanes.
- Activity tips: Do the Itbayat tour if your schedule is flexible as falowa trips are dependent on the weather. It’s possible to get stranded on the island if waves are too rough.
3. Trek Naidi and Vayang rolling hills
You can’t help but sing that The hills are alive with the sound of music! Batanes landscapes are teeming with hills and mountains. Explore, laze around, and get lost in so much feels with the picturesque view everywhere.
- Location: Basco
- Directions: This will take 20-30 minute walk from the city proper to Naidi Hills. You will never get lost such as there is only one way to walk to. And another 30 minutes going up to the Vayang rolling hills.
- Operation hours: Best to experience early in the morning or late afternoon with your favorite coffee or buddy.
- Highlight(s): The breathtaking view of vast pasture lands and dramatic cliffs, with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop and free-roaming cows and carabaos
- Activity tips: If you want to explore the place on a bike or motorbike, just ask your hostels / transient if they are they have bikes for rent.
4. Hike Mt. Iraya
Mt. Iraya is a major landmark in Batanes measuring 1,009 meters above sea level. It catches every eye upon landing Basco airport in Batan Island. The mountain isn’t that difficult to climb but rather it’s an enduring crawl through dense forests with crisp air.
Roaming cows, hundred-year old trees, and the natural spring that many locals use for drinking water await you on your way up.
- Location: Basco, Batanes
- Directions: Head beside the airport compound for the jump off point. It will take 3 hours to reach the summit.
- Fee(s): Environmental Fee of P350.00 is required upon arriving at Basco Airport. Guide fee is P1,000.00
- Operation hours: if you want a chance to get a clear view from the summit, the best time to climb to Iraya is during the “mini-summer” month of September.
- Highlights: Getting a good view is a rare experience as the mountain’s summit is always shrouded by clouds and the view from the top is foggy.
- Activity tips: Trekking to Mt. Iraya takes around 6 hours to and fro. It’s best to start at around 6 or 7 am to avoid the worst of the heat going down. If you start early and don’t linger at the summit, you can be done by 1 pm or 2 pm.
5. Relish on local delicacies
Photo Credit: @pauwielineannesy / Instagram.com
Across Basco Airport is the Pension Ivatan Restaurant, one of the most well-known restaurants in Batanes that offers delectable and mouth-watering Ivatan cuisines and other Filipino favorites. One of their must-try dishes is their best-seller, the Ivatan Platter.
There are other food joints to try Dibang (Flying Fish).
- Location: Pension Ivatan Restaurant
- Direction: Located just across the Basco Airport.
- Fee(s): P300 on a full meal
- Operation hours: 06:00 am to 10:00 am
- Highlights: Their seafood kare kare and bulalo are must try! Tatus or Coconut crabs are already considered endangered and are only allowed to be consumed locally, so don’t go without trying some.
- Activity tips: The Restaurant also has a souvenir shop where you can buy some keepsake and pasalubong. It is best to call in advance to order food before going to the restaurant.
6. Visit Nakabuang Beach and Arch
Also known as White Beach, this popular beach destination in Sabtang Island is great for those looking for a place to swim. There is also a famous rock arch on the beach where you can pass through and take pictures with.
- Location: Sabtang Island
- Direction: Northern tip of the island
- Fee(s): FREE but there is a P200 environmental fee for entering Sabtang Island
- Operation hours: The best time to go here would be in the morning until early afternoon.
- Highlights: Aside from the beach and arch, there’s also a serene cave you can check out here.
- Activity tips: Take note of the weather before heading out because waters might be too rough.
7. Swim at Homoron Blue Lagoon
Take a tour guide to help you trek to this hidden paradise. The stunning turquoise waters of the lagoon are surrounded by big boulders and green hills. If you’re looking for a place to swim here, this is a good spot and its also highly Instagram-worthy so don’t forget to bring a camera.
- Location: Homoron, Mahatao
- Direction: South Batan
- Fee(s): FREE but South Batan Tour via tricycle is P1,500
- Operation hours: Morning until afternoon (also depends on the weather)
- Highlights: Trekking to the hidden lagoon and swimming in the blue waters
- Activity tips: Always listen to the advice of the tour guides because waters can turn rough without warning.
8. Hike to Torongan Cave and Cliff
Photo Credit: @smewhere.dan.d.road / Instagram.com
After a scenic hike of around 1.5 kilometers, you’ll reach the wide entrance of Torongan Cave. The opening is adorned by huge stalactite formations and once head inside the huge cavern, you’ll notice the cold air coming from the other side of the cave. You’ll also be able to view the sea once you reach the other side and take a short hike up the hills.
- Location: Itbayat Island
- Direction: Eastern part of the island
- Fee(s): P90 entrance fee and P1,500 standard rate for tricycle tours
- Highlights: Once you reach the other side and climb up to Torongan cliff, you can look forward to the spectacular sea view.
- Activity tips: Wear hiking appropriate clothes and shoes.
Enjoy an unforgettable trip to Batanes! Check out other attractions, places to eat, and more in the province. Discover cheap Batanes hotel deals and cheap flights from carriers like Philippine Airlines and more with Traveloka!