MY BREATHTAKING BATANES EXPERIENCE: A 5D4N Budget Itinerary

Batanes is the northernmost archipelago province of the Philippines and also the smallest in both land area and population in the country. Almost half of the province is hills and mountains. The Islands are also situated between the Pacific Ocean and the West Philippine Sea. The terrain of the province, while picturesque at almost every turn, has limited the potential for expansion of agriculture in an already very small province.

Batanes is not as “touristy” as the islands of Boracay, Palawan or Cebu as getting there is much expensive than the rest and it is only accessible by air transportation. Philippine Airlines, Airswift and Skyjet airlines only are offering flights going to Batanes.

But going to Batanes is Worth it.

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Hanging out with them carabaos

 

So here is my budget guide to Batanes for 5 Days 4 Nights:

NOTE:

  • I stayed in an Ivatan’s family home for free
  • Brought a lot of food that can cover my 5-day stay.
  • I got my cheap tickets from a Travel Expo and Skyjet airlines.
    tip: check every night/promo announcement of Skyjet and PAL. It can get up to 2,000php – 3,500php sometimes. And if you’re lucky, you can catch a 1,500php rountrip fare.

 

 

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DAY 1 – *NORTH BATAN TOUR*
6:00AM – Flight to Basco, Batanes
7:35AM – Arrival at Basco Airport
8:00AM – Pay Airport Tourism Fee
8:10AM – Take tricycle
8:20AM – Arrival at Homestay
8:30AM – Breakfast
– FREE TIME –
11:00AM – Lunch
12:00NN – Start of walk tour (FREE)
1. Vayang Rolling Hills
2. Naidi Hills, Lighthouse
3. Sto. Domingo Church
4. Basco town
5:00PM – End of Tour
5:15PM – Meryenda
– FREE TIME –
7:00PM – Dinner
8:00PM – Lights out
– END OF DAY –
Expenses: 
Airport tourism fee – ₱350.00/pax
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner – I didn’t spend any because the family that I have stayed with prepared food for me.
TOTAL = ₱350.00

 

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Basco airport

DAY 2 – *FAILED SABTANG DAY TOUR ATTEMPT/ FREE TIME* (I got caught up by heavy rain)

9:00AM – Wake up (Ivatan people wakes up as early as 4am. I feel ashamed of myself for waking up late.)
9:30AM – Breakfast
11:00AM –Free time
12:30PM – Lunch
1:15PM –
3:00PM – The rain stopped so I wandered around the town and bought some souvenirs.
6:30PM – Dinner
7:30PM – Socialize with the locals
9:30PM – Lights out
– END OF DAY –
Expenses:
Souvenir :
– Keychain – ₱40.00/pc x 3 = ₱120.00
– Ref Magnets – ₱35.00/pc x 3 = ₱ 105.00
– Mini Bahay na bato – ₱ 80.00/pc x 3 = ₱ 240.00

*** TOTAL = ₱465.00

 

The only way to get to Sabtang Island is by Faluwa (Ivantan boat) from Ivana Port near the Honesty Coffee Shop. Fare costs roughly P150 per person. Travel time on the boat is about 30-45 minutes depending on the wave/weather conditions. It’s possible to get stranded on the island if waves are too rough. Boats usually leave as early as 5:00am, with last trips going back to Batan at around 3:00 pm.

 

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Is this Philippines or Ireland????
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Exploring with the group
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Legit Stone House Village in Sabtang Island (Fave place in Batanes!)

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Open-air tricycle with nipa hut cottage roof.. Only in Sabtang!

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Chamantad cove and Tinyan viewpoint. Yeah.. Expect the unexpected weather when you’re in Batanes.

 

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DAY 3 – *SABTANG DAY TOUR* (Tolerable na ung ulan. Keri na bes.)
4:00AM – Wake up
5:00Am – Breakfast
5:30AM – Jeep to Ivana Port (Got a free ride!)
7:00AM – Boat to Sabtang Port
***MAPAPA-FLASHBACK KA SA BUONG BUHAY MO EPISODE***
7:40AM – Tourist Registration
8:00AM – Start of Sabtang Tour: ₱1000.00/tric
Vakul & Kanayi Rental: ₱20.00/complete set (optional) @ Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint
– TOUR –
1. Sabtang lighthouse
2. San Vicente ferrer church
3. St. Thomas Aquinas chapel
4. The old beaterio
5. Savidug village
6. Chavayan Village
7. Chamantad cove and Tinyan viewpoint
8. Morong beach

11:30AM – Set Meal Lunch at Paypanapanayan Canteen(Morong Beach)
12:30PM – Boat back to Ivana Port:
1:15PM – Jeep back Basco
2:00PM – Sleep (Tamad life. Hahaha)
3:00PM – Head to skyjet **FAILED RE-BOOKING ATTEMPT**
3:45PM – Wander around basco
7:30PM – Dinner ( We were invited on a birthday party kaya na-try namin yung ibang authentic Ivatan dishes. The best yung batanes yellow rice. SHARAP!!!)
8:45PM – Lights off
– END OF DAY –
Expenses:
RT Jeep Basco-Ivana port – Free
RT Boat to Sabtang – ₱ 150.00 rt
Tour/Tricycle rental – ₱ 1,000.00. ₱ 500.00/pax
Tourism fee- We were not required to pay ( Maybe because I was travelling with the two locals here)
Lunch – ₱ 300.00/pax
Tubho tea – ₱50.00/pc x 3 = ₱ 150.00 (tip: This kind of tea is much cheaper here in Sabtang.)
Dinner – FREE

*** TOTAL = ₱1,100.00/pax

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Under-construction Mahatao Lighthouse

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Mahatao Boat Shelter Port
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San Jose Borromeo Church
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Blank book archive (inside San Jose Borromeo Church)

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DAY 4 – *SOUTH and NORTH BATAN TOUR*
7:00AM – Breakfast
8:00AM – Start of South to North Batan Tour : ₱2500.00
1. Mahatao Town Tour
2. Chawa Viewdeck, Mahatao Pier
3. San Jose Borromeo Church
4. Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country)
5. Uyugan Town Tour
6. Ivana Town Tour
7. San Jose de Ivana Church
8. Honesty Coffee Shop
9. Oldest House (Famous House of Dakay)
10. Paderes Point and Cliff road
11. Blank book archive
12. Alapad hills and rock formation
13. Motchong Viewpont
14. San Jose de Ivana church and ruins
15. White Beach and Hohmoron Lagoon
16. Valugan Boulder Beach
17. Fundacion Pacita
18. Tukon Chapel

Blank Book Archive Entrance Fee: 50php
3:00PM – End of Tour
3:30PM – Late Lunch for FREE!! – Nameet namin yung owner nung bagong bed and breakfast place nilibre kami. (Best things in life are free!)
– FREE TIME –
4:00PM – Buy additional Souvenirs.
6:45PM – Lakad kami almost 1 hour (or feel lang naming dahil sa pagod) to Casa Napoli akala kasi namin malapit lang. (Naligaw kami ng 4x beshy. Di kasi kami nagtanong nung una. HAHAHA)
7:30PM – Dinner at Casa Napoli
8:45PM – Ayos na ng gamit with drama. Nagpabaon pa ng wines and flying fish yung family kung saan kami nagstay. Talk about Ivatan Hospitality! THE BEST!! ( PEO AUQ PA UMUWI TALAGA )

– END OF DAY –
Expenses:
Tour/Tricycle rental – ₱ 2500.00. ₱1,250.00/pax
Cup noodles @ honesty coffee shop – ₱30.00
Native cookies @ honesty coffee shop – ₱25/pc x 12 = ₱300.00
Late Lunch – FREE
Dinner @ Casa Napoli – ₱320.00/pax – Cheese Nachos and Pizza good for 2. (Better than pizza hut, Greenwich and shakeys)
*** TOTAL = ₱1,900.00/pax

(Mahatao Shelter Port, Mahatao, Batanes)

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DAY 5 – *Last day*
5:00AM – Wake up
5:30AM – Breakfast
6:00AM – Makes paalam to Castillo Family. Huhuhuhuhu
6:30AM – arrival at Basco Airport
7:30AM – Pay terminal fee ₱ 100.00/pax
8:AM – Departure ( delayed ng 30 mins flight )
9:20AM – Arrival at NAIA Terminal 4

SUMMARY OF EXPENSES:
DAY 1 -₱ 350.00
DAY 2 – ₱ 465.00
DAY 3 – ₱ 1,100.00
DAY 4 – ₱1,900.00
DAY 5 – ₱ 100.00
TOTAL: ₱ 3,915.00

TIPS:
• MAGDALA KA MADAMING PAGKAIN like canned foods, noodles, biscuits, energen, coffees, etc. Kung gusto mo makatipid like what I did. Lol
• Kung solo traveller ka, sa airport pa lang hanap ka nan g makakasama/makakahati sa tours.
• Magbaon ng maraming pasensya kung pupunta sa mga travel expo. Mas maaga sa pila, the more chances of getting a cheap ticket (ganito ginawa ko e. lol
• Abang ng mga promos sa airlines going to batanes. Punta rin ng maaga sa mga travel expo na nagoofferr ng cheap flights to Batanes.
• Baon ng thick jackets and pants because December to February- Winter Season sa Batanes(coldest time in Batanes) Pero mas maganda sa ganitong dates kasi green na green pa grass. Kapag summer daw kasi nagiging brown and super init.
• Them bakas/kambings/kalabaws there are nakakatalon and nanghahabol kapag may time. Nagselfie ako dun sa mga kalabaw medyo hinabol ako. Dinaig ko pa si Usain Bolt sa bilis ng takbo.
• Tubho tea is best pasalubong for those who likes tea. Yung lasa? Ewan ko bes. Hindi ko pa na-try, hindi ako mahilig sa tea. Hahaha
• Mahal ang pagkain sa mga Inns, Casa Napoli, Fundacion Pacita, Pension Ivatan, etc pero worth it! super sarap!
• Para sa marunong mag-bike, Pwede mag-bike sa Basco Airport at manood ng sunset sa Basco Airport or Basco Lighthouse.
• Greet everyone with a smile kasi everyone in Batanes are kind, hospitable, generous, lahat nng positive attitude nasa ka nila na!

Other Things to consider for Budgetarians:
Blank book archive fee – ₱ 50.00/pax
Sabtang Tourist Registration fee – ₱ 200.00/pax
RT Jeep Basco-Ivana port – ₱44.00 rt

Accommodations:
Nanay Cita’s Homestay – 350/pax fan room contact # 0939-9193616
Marferl’s Lodge – 400/ pax fan room Contact # 09088931475 / 09209764966
Tours:
North and South Batan – Kuya Derrick Contact # 0908-151-0875
Sabtang Tour – Kuya Jimmy Gido Contact # 09089538553

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