BATANES: 3 Days Itinerary, Expenses and Tips

Batanes. The northernmost province of the Philippines has been slowly gaining ground as one of the ultimate destinations in the country. One major hindrance, however, is not the distance but the price of airfare going to this coveted paradise.

Batanes trip planning: Personal experience

Ever since my first boss recounted his trip, I have been hooked. Since 2014, I have been waiting patiently for online seat sales to Basco but to no avail. So last February, I decided to take the proverbial bull by the horns and toughed it out for a day at the PTTA Travel Tour Expo 2015 just to book those golden tickets. I went home before closing, triumphant, managing to score discounted tickets for 4 pax.

The only problem I didn’t foresee right away because I was too blinded by the golden tickets was the fact that I could get my heart broken by traveling during the rainy/off-peak season. It turned out, circumstances broke my heart three times before we were finally able to set foot on Batanes soil. What can I do, Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with.

I shared more of our Batanes escapades in other posts but for now, let me share with you our itinerary, expenses, and some tips before you book your golden ticket.

Racuh a payaman – Marlboro Hills, Batanes, Philippines (https://www.instagram.com/pointandshootwanderlust/)

Batanes Three Day Itinerary

Day 1 North Batan

READ: North Batan Tour and Itinerary 

TimeItinerary
0600HETD NAIA 3
0745HETA Basco Airport
0800HArrival at Marfel Lodge Annex (pick-up c/o Marfel)
1030HStart of North Tour (Vayang Rolling Hills | Naidi Lighthouse)
1230HLunch (6 to 8 Panciteria)
1315HMt Carmel Chapel | Radar Tukon (PAGASA) | Idjang Viewing | Fundacion Pacita | Dipnaysuhwan       Japanese Tunnel | Valugan Boulder Beach
1500HEnd of tour
1515HMarfel Lodge (start of free time) | bike around the Provincial Capitol, plaza, Immaculate Conception Church, port, Shanedel’s Inn
1830HDinner (Octagon Restaurant)
Batanes valugan boulder beach
Valugan Boulder Beach

Day 2 Sabtang Island

READ: Sabtang Island Day Tour and Itinerary

TIMEITINERARY
0600HCall time
0620HIvana Port | visit San Jose de Ivana Church while waiting for the boat
0645HETD for Sabtang
0715H ETA Sabtang San Vicente Port
0720HStart of Sabtang Tour (Nakabuang Arch, Morong Beach, Sabtang Church, Tourist information center -registration; Sabtang Idjang; Savidug; St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel; Chavayan Tinyan viewing
1100HLunch
1300HETD for Ivana Port
1330HETA Ivana Port; Marfel Lodge (refresh/free time)
1800HTawsen Souvenir Shop
1900HDinner (D’Island Restaurant)
Batanes savidug ivatan houses
walk down memory lane in Savidug

SEE ALSO: WHERE TO EAT IN BATANES

Day 3 South Batan Tour

TIMEITINERARY
0800HCall time (start of South Tour); Chawa view deck; Mahatao Boat Shelter; Tayid Lighthouse; Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country); Imnajbu; Old Naval Base; Alapad; Uyugan Church; Song Song Ruins; Honesty Cafe; House of Dakay; Bridge of San Jose; White Beach; Blue Lagoon; Mahatao Church
1300HLunch (Paulvana’s)
1530HSwimming
1800HDinner (SDC Canteen)
Batanes chawa viewdeck
view from below Chawa view deck

Day 4 Manila

0600HCheck in Basco Airport
0810HETD Basco to Manila (NAIA 3)
Klook.com

Batanes: 3 Days Expenses

Computation per person (souvenirs not included)* — Prices as of 2015

Accommodation (3 nights) Php 1500 ( Php 500/night)
3 Days Tour (all in) Php 4000
Day 1 lunch Php 100
Day 1 dinner Php 150
Day 2 lunch Php 300
Day 2 dinner Php 150
Day 3 lunch Php 300
Day 3 dinner Php 100
_________________
Total Php 6600
Airfare (RT) Php 6539
Php 13,139

*Note: Your spending habits may be different from mine. You can lower the expenses by cooking food in your accommodation and bringing with you miscellaneous items like coffee and snacks.

TRAVEL DATE: AUGUST 2015


Batanes Travel Tips

Flights to Batanes: How to get to Batanes

In 2024, there are currently three airlines flying to Basco:

  • Philippine Airlines (Manila to Basco)
  • Sky Jet Airlines
  • North Airways (Clark to Basco)
  • Sky Pasada (Tuguegarao to Basco)

PHILIPPINE AIRLINES

Philippine Airlines has a flight time of 1 hour and 50 minutes (MNL to BSO). According to Google Flights (May 2023), the least expensive flights from Manila to Basco usually cost between ₱13,000–17,500.

Philippine Airlines Domestic Timetable 2024:

Manila to Basco flights

PR 2932 (Daily – March 31, 2024 to October 26, 2024)06:4008:30
PR 2936 (Friday to Sunday – March 31, 2024 to October 26, 2024)08:4510:35

Basco to Manila flights

PR 2933 Daily – March 31, 2024 to October 26, 202408:5510:40
PR 2937 Friday to Sunday – March 31, 2024 to October 26, 202411:3513:20

NORTH AIRWAYS

North Airways in partnership with Leading Edge Air Services (LEASCOR) started flights to Batanes in April 2023. The flight schedule is CLARK to BASCO every Tuesday and Friday.

SKY PASADA

Sky Pasada offers flights from Tuguegarao to Basco (and vice versa). They have flights from Monday to Saturday. The first flight departs at 8:30 am (7 am check-in) and the second flight departs at 12:30 pm (9 am check-in).

Personal experience with Philippine Airlines flight to Batanes

After being canceled for the first time last July, PAL automatically rebooked our flight the next day. I’ve heard that this is not the practice done for Skyjet, although their flight time is shorter and their jet can fly even if it’s windy.

Seat sales may be rare, but you just gotta look out for them. So better subscribe to the airline’s pages to stay tuned. I know of people who managed to get less than Php 2,000 roundtrip tickets.

Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

Basco Airport

At the one-floor Basco airport, you will be asked to pay a Php 350 Visitor Sustainable Ecotourism fee at the Tourism Information Center should your travel agency/tour operator haven’t paid it yet. This is under Provincial Ordinance No.146 s.2015.

To get to your accommodation, you can either choose to be picked up by your accommodation or your tour operator or take a tricycle to the town center. You can also opt to walk.


Batanes food: What and where to eat in Batanes

You can read more about our Batanes foodscapades here.

Banks in Batanes: ATM locations

As much as possible bring cash because your credit cards won’t have use there. There is a Landbank and PNB branch in Basco. Credit cards are not accepted in Batanes.

Internet in Batanes

Some hotels and homestays provide Wi-Fi so if that’s a requirement for you, better check before you book. Mobile data is very hard to come by in Batanes so exercise a lot of patience if you ever get an H+ signal.

What to pack for Batanes

Because of the heat and humidity, light and easy-to-dry material for shirts is highly encouraged. Bring power banks because power interruption is normal in Batanes.

Bring lots and lots of sunscreen and anything that can protect your skin from the evil UV rays. Best to waterproof your things for the faluwa ride.

Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash
Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

2018 Update: PAMB Resolution No. 2015-16 and 2017-18 of the Batanes Protected Landscapes and Seascapes (Amendment)

Protected Area Entrance Fees

  • Filipinos – Php 50 (Adults); Php 20 (Students); Free (Senior Citizens, PWD, and children below 7 yrs old)
  • Foreigners – Php 100

Eco-Tourism Fees

  • Water Sports  (Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Boating) – Php 500/head/visit/site with PAMB permit
  • Mountain Trekking (Climbing/Hiking) – Php 150/head/visit/site with PAMB permit
  • Camping – Php 150 (3 pax); Php 200 (4+ pax) with PAMB permit
  • Forest Tour – Php 250/head/visit/site with PAMB permit
  • Video Taking Using Drone – Php 5,000 with PAMB permit/formal request as to the use or purpose of taking pictures/videos (submitted to PAMB through DENR office)

Batanes tours

There are a lot of tour operators now in Batanes and it’s up to you to choose. Aircon vans are usually used for groups.

You can opt to do DIY if you’re solo or there are only two of you by hiring a tricycle. Tricycles in Batanes cannot be hired on the spot, but rather you have to call them beforehand. Make sure that your tricycle driver has also attended the Tour Guiding and/or Tourist Driver seminar conducted by the local government and DoT.

BATODA hotline: 09297038404 (source: Batanes government official website).

Klook.com

Other Activities in Batanes

Biking
Usually, there are bikes for rent in the accommodations. Rates differ per hour or per day. Marfel’s Lodge offers bikes for rent for Php 25 per hour.

Motorbiking
You can also rent motorbikes to go around the island of Batan. You may inquire at your accommodation.

Swimming
Popular swimming options include Fountain of Youth, Blue Lagoon, and the beach behind Octagon. All are accessible in Batan. There is a bit of hiking included though before you reach the Fountain of Youth.

ATV Tours 

You can now go on tours using ATV in Batanes. One whole day’s rent for an ATV is around Php 2,000. You can also rent it per hour.

OTHER TIPS FOR TRAVELING IN BATANES

Batanes can get very very hot and humid so prepare accordingly especially if you’ll be out touring the whole day. Even in the rainy season, it can still get hot and humid. Batanes is also very windy, especially near the ocean.
If you have more time, opt to stay overnight or more in Sabtang to experience how the Ivatans live in stone houses.

On the day of your South Batan tour, don’t forget to drop by the Fountain of Youth. Mountain climbers and enthusiasts may also opt to trek Mt. Iraya (1,009 masl).

To get the full Batanes experience, I highly suggest that you go to Itbayat and explore the island as well as more of Ivatan culture.

I will surely come back for Itbayat!


Frequently Asked Questions about Batanes

How many days do you need in Batanes?

It depends on your budget and how many days of vacation you have. You can go for as little as 3 days or at least 5 days.

If you really want to fully explore the islands, it’s best that you allot more days so you can also have an itinerary that is not so jam-packed and wherein you can have more time in each place.

What month is good to go to Batanes?

The best months to visit Batanes are March and April because it’s also the peak of summer and dry season. However, that means that it’s also a popular time for travelers.

May and June are still good considering that there is still minimal rainfall during those months.

Winter months are December to February and the weather during this season can be unpredictable.

Why is Batanes so expensive?

Because of its location (northernmost islands of the Philippine archipelago), limited flights, as well as weather and sea conditions, traveling to Batanes can get expensive, especially the airfare (round trip tickets).

Why Batanes have a zero crime rate?

Aside from the low poverty rate in the province, the Ivatans are well-known for their honesty and kindness which is why Batanes has almost zero crime rate in The Philippines.

Is there WIFI in Batanes?

Previously, the province didn’t have a wireless internet connection, that changed in 2021 with the Free WiFi for All Project of the Department of Information and Communications Technology in the Province of Batanes.

In 2023, many hotels and homestay accommodations in Batanes now provide WiFi to guests and visitors. However, cellphone/mobile signal can still be spotty in some parts of the islands.

Is there Jollibee in Batanes?

No. As of 2024, there are no fast food restaurants in Batanes like Jollibee, McDonald’s or KFC.

How do you say thank you in Batanes?

Dios Mamajes!


Watch the video below for a glimpse of our Batanes adventure: 


Are you planning your Batanes trip?


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Darlene is currently on the road again and traveling full-time after being an expat/overseas Filipino worker in Qatar. She's rediscovering what it means to travel solo and in her 30s while working on her blogs.

Comments

  • Wow this is such a complete informative post! I love this. I wanna go to Batanes so bad 🙁 i’ll definitely check this again when i’ll go there!

  • Hi, did you book your tour thru a travel agency or a DIY tour with the tricycles there? Going in 2 weeks. Please let us know contact numbers as well. thanks much!

    • Hi Vivian! We booked through a friend of mine who knows a tour operator there in Batanes. But my friend is already abroad and we also lost our contact in Batanes. If you are a big group, booking through a travel agency will be more convenient. But if you’re just 2 people and doing budget travel, tricycle tours would be good. 🙂 Hope you enjoy Batanes!

  • Thank you very much for this info. Big help! Enjoy your trips.. -_-

  • Hi Darlene! What was/were the highlight/s of the trip for you? <3

    • My favorite would have to be Chavayan-Tinyan in Sabtang. Well I actually wanted to sleep in Sabtang (homestay) but we dont have enough time. Marlboro Hills too was really memorable for me. As per friends, you shouldn’t skip Fountain of Youth and Itbayat! ?

  • Jojoy Sinahon

    Thanls for posting this one. A big help to us aspiring to go to Batanes ourselves.

    We’re goin this July. Do you happen to have the contact number of Marfel’s Lodge?

    • Hi Jojoy! thanks for taking the time to comment. Here are their contact numbers: Ms. Fe @ 09088931475/09178574493

Comments are closed.