AIRSCAPE EXCLUSIVE: I Traveled to Batanes with a Travel Agency
Posted on 14 October 2016
Words by Siege Ventura

It had always been a dream of mine to visit Batanes. There’s something about its fresh air, picturesque views, and stunning beaches that always left this little wandering heart of mine curious. Growing up, I’ve only seen the beauty of this island through the four corners of our TV set with all the movies and documentaries. So I must admit, seeing it through my own two chinky eyes, literally took my breathe away! Batanes is a sure perfect getaway for travelers who love photography, nature, architectural designs or just simply those who want to escape the busy life of the city - and just want to go soul searching. This province is known as “Nature’s Playground”, and it really was!

Luckily, our friends over at the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) turned my dream into a reality when they offered this tour exclusively for their travel agency partners! Don’t fret, Airscape Travels, Inc is working extra hard to bring this tour right to your fingertips so keep posted on our website as well as our social media accounts!

I must say, Batanes should be in your #travelgoals and #bucketlist, too! Until then, let me take you on a virtual tour of what went down during my 4 days / 3 nights stay in beautiful Batanes!

How to get there?

There are three airline carriers that offer flights directly to Batanes. Skyjet, Philippine Airlines and Wakay Air operated by AirSwift at Terminal 4 (Domestic Terminal). When you plan to go to Batanes, I highly recommend you take Wakay Air or Skyjet rather than taking Philippine Airlines (PAL) as these smaller aircrafts are more convenient and designed for the unpredictable weather in Batanes. Thanks to Wakay Air, we had a smooth 2-hour flight!

When is the best time to go?

The recommended time to go is of course, summer time! While it’s always summer in the Philippines, February to June or March to June (dry months) is most recommended! Batanes is also known for its unpredictable weather. We’ve all seen the news, and probably one of the reasons why travelers are hesitant to go to this beautiful place is because of the weather conditions.

With our experience, Our group went September (rainy season), that time there was a low pressure area detected within Batanes. Luckily we have been permitted by the Philippine Coast Guard and PAG-ASA to push through and Mr. Sun cooperated for the whole duration of our trip though it was a bit windy! It was literally, “mahangin sa labas!”

Where to stay?

I personally recommend Bernardo’s hotel. Located 3.4 km away from Basco airport. It offers seven spacious and fully air conditioned rooms with a total capacity of 25 persons. Like I said, Batanes is a very serene and relax place. No rowdy crowds and majestic hotel lobbies here! Just pure family-style accommodations. Each room is complemented with a queen-sized bed or either a single / double sized bed, private bathroom with hot and cold shower, cable TV, Wi-Fi connection and a relaxing interior design that matches the paradise vibe. Oh, and It is also near the beach! Score!

You can check out their website for more information: www.bernardoshotel.com

Some quick tips:

- Always check the weather in the Batanes! It might be super sunny in Manila but sometimes it’s the opposite in Batanes.. It could be rainy or worse, a typhoon.
- You’ll do a lot of walking and climbing up hills & mountains. So make sure you bring your most comfortable shoes and clothes.
- Bring a camera, it’s a travel essential!
- Always bring a power bank for your cameras and phones. Don’t risk a having low battery gadget, you might miss out on the fun of taking photos!

Here’s a glimpse of my AWESOME TRIP!

DAY 1:

The first stop was ironically windy, it took my breath away! I guess it’s nature showing off its awesome view. Here I am at Vayang Rolling Hills.

Second stop was at Naidi Lighthouse. You can also get a breathtaking view of the town atop of the 66-feet lighthouse.

The view at the top of Naidi Lighthouse!

Third stop: Mt. Carmel Church
One of the most visited churches in Batanes! Planning a wedding? You might consider getting married to this place! Ladies, imagine this place filled with flowers and the chilly wind slowly touching your skin as you walk down the aisle... Uuuuy! Inimagine nya!

Fourth stop: Dipnaysuhan Japanese Tunnel
It’s a five door manmade tunnel. It was a bunker that served as a lookout spot and a water reservoir. It was made during the Japanese occupation. As eerie as that sounded, you can still sense the culture and imagine the happenings that went down this spot.

Fifth Stop was at Valugan Boulder Beach, a beach facing the Pacific Ocean and it is literally surrounded by large stones which came from volcanic eruptions.

Sixth stop: the last stop of the day! We had a quick photo op at the Basco PAGASA Complex. They take weather seriously here in Batanes because of the dozens of low pressure areas and typhoons that pass by the area.

DAY 2:

Walking tour at Brgy. Savindug and Brgy. Chavayan, Morong Beach and Chamantad View Point. As you can see, the people here at Batanes work hard to preserve the heritage and culture that the Ivatans have built and left for the future generations to come.

Vernacular Houses

Chamantad View Point

Morong Beach – Natural Stone Arch

Morong Beach

DAY 3:

Sightseeing tour at South Sabtan Island, Paderes View Point, Chawa View Point, Mahatao Shelter Port, Honesty Coffee Shop, Mutchong Hilltop, Alapad Hills and Rock Formation and Marlboro Country.

I personally loved how everyone in Batanes is very closed-knit. While it is in our blood as Filipinos to be hospitable and warm towards people, Batanes really gave off a vibe that is just as unique as their people are. One of the most famous spots here in Batanes is the Honesty Coffee Shop: it’s commonly known as the “Honesty Store”. Everything you buy here must be written in a log book first, then you’ll just drop your payment in a box. Yes, there is no one manning the store, no CCTV’s either, it’s all PURE HONESTY. Cool right?

Mahatao Shelter Port

Alapad Hills and Rock Formation plus with the famous “Blow UR Horn” sign!

Honesty Coffee Shop

Marlboro Country – facing the West Philippine Sea

Alapad Hills and Rock Formation

DAY 4:

Sadly, as with all good things must end sometime. Today at 7am I had to say goodbye to this gem of a place and dream about it again until I come back. It was easily one of the hardest goodbyes I had to face, but I will always have the photos, people (and this blog post) to look back on!

More about my trip:

Here’s the exact itinerary we followed throughout!
4D/3N BATANES ITINERARY:

DAY 1:

- Vayang Hills (Rolling Hills)
- Naidi Lighthouse
- Mt. Carmel Church
- Valugan Boulder Beach
- Dipnaysuhan Japanese Tunnel
- Tukon Radar Station

DAY 2:

- Sabtang Island Tour
- Walking tour at Brgy. Savindug
- Walking tour in Brgy. Chavayan
- Vernacular Houses
- Sta. Rosa de lima Chapel
- Morong Beach/Ahao/Natural Stone Arch
- Chamantad View Point

DAY 3:

- South Sabtan Island Tour
- Paderes View Point
- Chawa View Point
- Mahatao Shelter Port
- San Carlos Borromeo Church
- Old Spanish Bridge
- House of Dakay
- Honesty Coffee Shop
- Mutchong Hilltop
- Song Song Ruins (Ghost town)
- Alapad Hill and Rock formation viewing Loran Station
- Rakuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country)

DAY 4:

GOING BACK TO MANILA


Again, thank you to our friends over at PTAA, Wakay Tours and WakayAir by AirSwift for the unforgettable and truly memorable experience!

For more information on how you can avail of this tour for yourself, leave us a message at inquiry@airscapetravels.com.ph or get in touch with us at 02 8943357! We’d love to hear from you and may you #escapewithairscape!

Follow me on Instagram for more travel inspirations - @siegeventura