Batanes

From its vast emerald landscapes and crashing azure waves to its charming old stone houses, there is no end to the picture-perfect sceneries one can capture in Batanes. This unspoiled archipelago province tucked away in the northernmost part of Luzon is a treasure trove of natural wonders just waiting to be discovered.

Most travelers begin their journey in Basco, the provincial capital and main gateway into Batanes province. Located on Batan Island, this humble town houses the official seat of Batanes’ provincial government, Casa Real. The Basco town proper is also home to the famous 18th-century Sto. Domingo Cathedral, the first Catholic church ever built in Batanes.

Fans of religious architecture will enjoy touring the province’s collection of majestic centuries-old churches. Some of the churches you can check out are the San Carlos Borromeo Church in Mahatao, the San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel in Imnajbu, and the Sta. Rosa de Lima Chapel in Chavayan, the only remaining chapel in Batanes roofed with cogon grass.

Sitting humbly atop a foothill in Basco is one of Batanes’ most famous churches, the Mt. Carmel Chapel. Inspired by traditional Ivatan stone houses, this hand-hewn chapel features carved wooden doors, stained glass windows, and walls made up of boulders.

A trip to Batanes wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Marlboro Country, one of Batanes’ most iconic natural destinations. Also known as Racuh a Payaman, this stretch of land is a communal pasture where horses, cattle, and water buffalo roam and graze freely. Here, you’ll find a stunning panorama of lush green hills, meadows, and hedgerows bordered by the shimmering blue sea.

If you still feel the need to prance around and sing your heart out in verdant landscapes after experiencing Marlboro Country, head to the Vayang Rolling Hills and Naidi Hill, two other popular sightseeing spots on Batan Island. Perched on top of Naidi Hill is the Basco Lighthouse, where guests can enjoy a commanding view of Batan Island and the West Philippine Sea.

Basco Lighthouse is actually one of Batanes’ three magnificent lighthouses, which have become popular destinations among tourists because of the panoramic views they offer. Those who want to view the Pacific Ocean can check out Tayid Lighthouse in Mahatao. You can also visit the Sabtang Lighthouse, which sits atop a seaside cliff in Sabtang Island.

Batanes is also known as the home of the Ivatan, a Philippine ethnolinguistic group that lived in the province long before the arrival of Spanish colonizers. Travelers can still visit Batanes’ oldest Ivatan stone house, the centuries-old House of Dakay, in Ivana. You can also learn more about the rich history and culture of the Ivatan by visiting the Ivatan communities in Sabtang Island.

Once you reach Sabtang Island, make your way to the traditional Ivatan villages of Savidug and Chavayan. Get to know the locals and take a walk around these villages’ narrow streets, where you’ll find centuries-old Ivatan stone houses with thick walls and cogon grass roofs. You might also encounter an idiang, one of the ancient Ivatans’ fortified settlements, while exploring Savidug.

You might also want to visit the Diura Fishing Village, an ancient village of fisherfolk tucked away in a hidden cove of Mahatao. You’ll find several dorado (dolphin fish) drying on the roof of every home in Diura, where locals practice the traditional way of communal fishing. If you visit during the fishing season, you might be lucky enough to witness their Kapayvanuvanua or “cleaning of the shore” ritual.

Those looking for a more rugged nature experience can try hiking up Mt. Iraya, the province’s “mountain of winds.” Locals say it’s best to climb Mt. Iraya during the “mini-summer” in September, when there are less clouds obscuring the panoramic view of Batan Island, the Pacific Ocean, and other neighboring islands.

Since Batanes is an archipelago, you can also expect to find picturesque beaches scattered all around the province. Visit the iconic Valugan Boulder Beach, where the shore is lined with large boulders spewed out centuries ago by Mt. Iraya. You can also check out the unique stone stacks in Chanarian Beach or lounge along the calm white sands of Morong Beach.

Once you start feeling hungry from your adventures, sample the delicious Ivatan dishes of popular restaurants like Bunker’s Cafe, Pension Ivatan, Octagon Restaurant, and Fundacion Pacita, the repurposed studio of local artist Pacita Abad. Don’t forget to drop by the famous Honesty Coffee Shop, an unmanned store that relies on its guests’ honesty to pay for whatever they took.

Make sure to pass by a market or souvenir shop on your way out for some woven goods, camote cookies, tubho (Ivatan wild tea), bukayo (coconut meat dessert), and other signature Batanes products to bring back home from your trip.

Top Rated Restaurants in Batanes Browse All

  1. Cafe Du Tukon
    4.5 Stars
    Café
    6 Reviews View
  2. Paul Vana’s Canteen
    5.0 Stars
    Filipino
    2 Reviews View
  3. Casa Napoli
    3.5 Stars
    Pizza
    6 Reviews View
  4. Bunker Cafe
    3.5 Stars
    Café
    3 Reviews View
  5. Koocharah Express
    4.0 Stars
    Pizza
    1 Review View
  6. Vatang Grill and Restaurant
    4.0 Stars
    Filipino
    1 Review View
  7. 6 to 8 Panciteria
    4.0 Stars
    Filipino
    1 Review View

Top Rated Hotels in Batanes Browse All

  1. Fundacion Pacita Nature Lounge
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    6 Reviews View
  2. Marfel's Lodge
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    4 Reviews View
  3. Amboy Hometel
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    4 Reviews View
  4. DDD Habitat Lodging House
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View
  5. Shanedel's Inn
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View
  6. Nanay Cano Homestay
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View
  7. Dive Batanes Lodge
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View
  8. Octagon Bed & Dine
    3.5 Stars
    Hotel
    4 Reviews View
  9. Midtown Inn Batanes
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View
  10. Brandon's Lodge
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View

Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Batanes Browse All

  1. Naidi Hills
    5.0 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    9 Reviews View
  2. Chawa Viewdeck
    4.5 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    6 Reviews View
  3. Savidug Village
    5.0 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    3 Reviews View
  4. House of Dakay
    4.5 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    3 Reviews View
  5. Songsong Ruins
    5.0 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    2 Reviews View
  6. Sumnanga Village
    5.0 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    1 Review View

Top Rated Places in Batanes Browse All

  1. Racuh a Payaman
    5.0 Stars
    Great Outdoors
    10 Reviews View
  2. Basco Lighthouse
    5.0 Stars
    Historical Site
    10 Reviews View
  3. Mahatao Tayid Lighthouse
    5.0 Stars
    Historical Site
    9 Reviews View
  4. Naidi Hills
    5.0 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    9 Reviews View
  5. Valugan Beach
    5.0 Stars
    Great Outdoors
    7 Reviews View
  6. Vayang Rolling Hills
    5.0 Stars
    Great Outdoors
    7 Reviews View
  7. Morong Beach
    5.0 Stars
    Great Outdoors
    7 Reviews View
  8. Fundacion Pacita Nature Lounge
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    6 Reviews View
  9. Chawa Viewdeck
    4.5 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    6 Reviews View
  10. Sabtang Lighthouse
    5.0 Stars
    Historical Site
    4 Reviews View

Popular Areas in Batanes

  1. Basco

    Basco

    34 Places
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  2. Sabtang

    Sabtang

    11 Places
    View
  3. Mahatao

    Mahatao

    6 Places
    View
  4. Itbayat

    Itbayat

    6 Places
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