A couple of years after I wrote the first part, I decided to finally continue writing about this trip. But maybe on a different style. I was a different person then, and a very simple minded person on a vacation brings a lot of excitement in stories.
There are a few things I can recall when we traveled there, mainly that there are three basic tours you can do: The northern Batan tour, Southern Batan tour, Sabtang Island tour. Some more adventurous travelers goes to Itbayat Island, its more challenging and trickier to get to but it’s your itinerary so, go ahead!
We did the Northern Batan Tour, and we did for half a day, it includes the Valugan Boulder beach, The Vayang rolling hills, Fundacion Pacita, Japanese tunnels, the famous lighthouse.
We hired a tricycle and paid Php 500 each (in 2015), though the rate might have changed since. I suggest doing this tour first. It will serve as an introduction to Batanes, and you can expect more amazing sceneries in the following days to come.
The second day, we did the Sabtang Island tour. We arranged this easily via our accommodations. The tours are easy to arrange, since the island is small, they work through a network and they would easily know which tour groups are available that day. I would say that you should definitely go here during the summer, because as the locals put it getting to the island is a bit trickier during the rainy season. Waves are high that the island cannot be seen from the port, and that’s when they know that it is not safe to travel. Though the waves are a bit scary too when we went there.
Rugged terrain and rock formations will greet your eyes as you stepped off the boat. It is like being in the dessert in the middle of the ocean. Doesn’t make sense right, but I wouldn’t know, I haven’t been in the desert. This tour will take a whole day, but lunch is included in your payment so its good. Better bring your own water too.
The roads are winding and narrow and it seems like only one vehicle can pass there, but the drivers there are very experienced so its just a breeze navigating. Don’t forget to Blow Ur Horns around the blind spots. 🙂
The third tour that we took is the Southern Batan tour, this takes a whole day too, and included in the itinerary is the well known Honesty Store, and the “Marlboro country”-esque fields.
If you’re Pinoy and haven’t been here, it is worth saving up for. It is a bit expensive, but there are now a lot of travel expos and travel seat sales that you can watch out for to save money from the air fare. From the time that we went here, PAL and airswift are the only airlines flying here directly.
We’re here for four days and still it doesn’t seem enough to explore this island. Philippines is slowly revealing its secrets to its inhabitants and I’m worrying that we wouldn’t have enough time to discover them.