It seems that the Philippines’ northernmost islands are the dream destination of many of my friends. A couple have already asked about our itinerary there. Funny, when this is the only trip I’ve had with absolutely no schedule in mind. All Bee, a friend-who-must-not-be-named, and I had was a local inn reservation. The rest we planned as we went along.
Here is how our trip ended up (prices are per person unless indicated):
DAY 1 (Wednesday)
- AM: (6:40) Arrive in Basco via SkyJet Airlines. P7,000 round trip, promo fare.
- Check in at Shanedel’s Inn and Cafe. P450 per night, fan room, common bath.
- PM: Walk to Basco lighthouse on Naidi Hills (20 minutes from Shanedel’s).
- Explore rolling hills beside lighthouse.
- View sunset.
DAY 2 (Thursday)
- AM: Visit the Batanes Heritage and Tourism Office for tips and contact info.
- Rest of the Day: Batan Island south tour via tricycle. P2,000 for 3.
- Tour includes viewing points, Mahatao (must write in the church’s Blank Book Archives), Racuh a Payaman, Song-song Ruins, Honesty Cafe in Ivana, House of Dakay, Loran Station, and Maydangeb Beach.
DAY 3 (Friday)
- AM: (5:15) Leave Shanedel’s for Ivana Port (P220 tricycle for 3).
- (6:00) Breakfast at Honesty Cafe. Coffee at P15, bread pack at P20, bukayo at P20.
- (6:30) Leave Batan for Sabtang Island. Fallowa (local boat) ride for 30 minutes, P75.
- Rest of the Day: Sabtang tour via cogon tricycle. P1,300 for 3, add P300 if sleeping in Chavayan.
- Tour includes Savidug Idjang (fortress), villages of Savidug, Chavayan, and Sumnanga, Duvek Bay, Ahaw Beach, and Tinyan Hills. Lunch at P200.
- Overnight in a traditional Ivatan house in Chavayan Village. P150 per night, P150 for dinner.
DAY 4 (Saturday)
- AM: (5:30) Leave Chavayan for Sabtang port. P300 tricycle for 3.
- (6:30) Leave Sabtang for Batan Island (P75). Check out sunrise at the port.
- Breakfast at Honesty Cafe in Ivana. Travel back to Shanedel’s (P220 for 3). Rest.
- PM: Walk to Radar Tukon in Basco (about an hour from Shanedel’s).
- Stop at Tukon Church.
- See if the Doppler Radar has been installed at the PAG-ASA station.
- Walk down to Fundacion Pacita Nature Lodge. Marvel at the life and works of artist Pacita Abad.
- Have brewed coffee (P80) at the lovely lodge.
- Check out the Japanese Tunnels on the way down from Radar Tukon.
DAY 5 (Sunday)
- AM: (5:00) Walk to Valugan Beach (about 45 minutes from Shanedel’s) for the sunrise.
- Pass by the airport on the way back to watch the airplanes land and take off.
- Rest of the Day: Hear mass or read a nice book.
DAY 6 (Monday)
- AM: Walk to Vayang Hills (about 40 minutes from Shanedel’s).
- Walk farther in search of the Nakamaya Burial Site (about 40 minutes from Vayang Hills).
- PM: Go back to Mahatao Church and Racuh a Payaman (P500 tricycle for 3). Bring a mat and sleep or read a book…or fly a kite at Payaman.
DAY 7 (Tuesday)
- AM: (7:00am-1:00pm) Climb Mt. Iraya. P1,500 guide fee for 3, P60 tricycle for 3 to jump-off point.
- PM: Eat lots of pansit Cabagan (P60, large serving!) at 6 to 8 Panciteria, then rest and recover from the climb. If you have the energy, you can go back to Fundacion Pacita and go down the 200 or so steps to their private cove. Tricycle will cost P100 for 2 plus P200 per hour of waiting time.
- Ivatan dinner at Shanedel’s (P200; P250 with escargot).
DAY 8 (Wednesday)
- AM: (7:10) Leave Basco for Manila via SkyJet Airlines. P30 tricycle for 3 to the airport, or you can walk.
- PM: Try to go back to reality while longing for the hills of Batanes 🙂
I will post more details of our Batanes trip, particularly the parts that we did through our favorite mode of traveling–on foot.
Feel free to drop me a message below if I can help you plan your trip in any way.