Sabtang Island Tour
You need to wake up as early as 5:00am to be able to reach at the San Vicente Port by 6:30am and the boat leaves by 7:30am. It has only one trip a day going to Sabtang Island from Batan Island.
I could say that Sabtang Island is the highlight to my visit to Batanes. It is where you can see the old and authentic stone houses, natural limestone and coral landscapes, exciting zigzag roads that feels like it’s your final destination, the thrill of the views, and the fun of seeing less people.
Upon arrival, you must register at the registration area and present your Batanes tourism passport. You may rent tricycle for your tour or your travel agency will provide your own vehicle for the tour in Sabtang.
Chavayan Village (Stone Houses)
Chavayan is the village in Sabtang where you can still see a lot of stone houses that were built to withstand the winds of storms and typhoons. Most houses in most parts of Batanes are already modern, you may see few of them but not as much and as preserved in Chavayan. They have tried to apply as UNESCO World Heritage Site but failed due to the modern houses that were built in their village. Modern houses are now being preferred by the locals due to the lower cost and faster construction in erecting the house. Some still prefers the traditional stone house but they mix it with modern designs.
Only the Ivatans in Sabtang still use the real purpose of Vakul and Kanayi to protect them from sun or rain. Others only use them for tourism purposes only.
Chamantad has one of the most breathtaking viewpoints in Batanes. The sight of crashing waves on the stony shores, the natural clear view of the hills, the view of white sand beach (wish we could swim there) and turquoise water, the breath of fresh air, and the challenge not to step on goat poops. Just kidding, but yeah, there are plenty of goat poops at Chamantad Viewpoint. It’s still one of my favorite sites in Batanes and of all the places I have been to.
St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel
St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel was established by the Dominican Friars. All of the churches in Batanes were established by the Dominicans.
Morong Beach is the nicest white beach in Batanes; however, we don’t have enough time to stay there and enjoy the pristine water and white sand of the beach because we only have limited time in our tour and we also need to go back to the Sabtang port on time because there is only limited schedule of boat everyday going back to Batan Island. I would really love to swim there if given another chance.
We were lucky enough to see a pod of dolphins on our way back to Batan Island. It was really a rough sea ride and it was really difficult to take photos or videos, but I was really delighted to see dolphins in the wild. It was just a really quick encounter because they just passed us by and we’re speeding back to Batan.
South Batan Tour
Mahatao Chawa Viewpoint
We’re so swerte, it was raining on our third day. Huhu! It wasn’t really a nice experience because we cannot see clearly the view from the top. But it was still nice. There’s an unfinished lighthouse, it wasn’t finished because it’s located too low and would defeat its purpose. It should have been built on top of a hill.
Tayid Lighthouse is one of the three working lighthouse in Batan. It was built in early 2000s and it was meant to look like it was built during the Spanish era. It also serves as a tourist destination. Maulan noong pumunta kami, super mega takbo at kapote kami para ‘di mabasa.
Rakuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country)
It was raining hard and it’s zero visibility but we just braved the rain and still try to see what’s with Marlboro because it’s famous for its viewpoint. It was fun even all we saw was fog and rain and the winds were so strong, it feels like it will blow us away down the hill.
It was named after the Marlboro Country in the US by the Americans during their occupation in Batanes because it has similar looks in the same location.
Alapad Hills and Rock Formation
This is where you can have a photo opportunity with the Blow UR Horn sign. Did you know that Batanes was already using the text format of UR before the shorthand text messaging was invented. — Nakita ko lang na trivia somewhere in Batanes, I guess it’s true. Hahaha!
Honesty Coffee Shop
The Honesty Coffee Shop in Batanes is the only existing honesty store in the Philippines. Others have tried but failed. It used to be a coffee shop only, but it has now grown in to sari-sari and pasalubong store. The prices are indicated on each item, you need to list the item you want to buy and drop your payment at the drop box. There is no change, so you need to prepare an exact amount.
House of Dakay
The House of Estrella, more popularly known as House of Dakay, after its original inheritor, Jose “DAKAY” Estrella, was built in 1877 for Luisa Estrella, his spinster-aunt, through the bayanihan system called “qapanidungan”. The roof is thatched cogon and is replaced every 25 to 30 years, depending on its thickness.
This is the bridge built during the Spanish era. Joke, hindi ko talaga sure. Wala masyadong nakwento ang tour guide namin. Hahaha!
White Beach is the nearest white-sand beach in Basco that you can swim for free! Unfortunately, it was raining that day and it was really cold, I wasn’t able to swim in Batanes. Well, at least I was able to feel the sand and sea of Batanes for a while.
Spanish Blue Lagoon
The Spanish Blue Lagoon used to be exclusive swimming area for the Spaniards who occupied Batanes during the Spanish colonization. They did not allow the Indios to use the lagoon for leisure swimming. Imagine that, you are not allowed to swim in your own country!
San Carlos Borromeo Church and Spanish Lamp Post
San Carlos Borromeo Church (Spanish: Iglesia Parroquial de San Carlos Borromeo), also known as Mahatao Church, is a Roman Catholic church located in Mahatao, Batan Island, Batanes, Philippines. The church’s titular is Saint Charles Borromeo whose feast is celebrated every November 4. Its beauty and excellent state of preservation made it a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines on July 31, 2001.
We thought that the Spanish Lamp Post was a Lighthouse, it was just a small lamp post located outside of the church to give warning to the Spaniards.
Day 1 Batan North Tour (You can start your tour in the afternoon, if you still have energy upon your arrival. Travel agency starts their tour at 2pm on the first day.)
- Tukon (Mt. Carmel Chapel)
- Tukon (Radar Station)
- Fundacion Pacita – Viewing
- Basco Ijang (Ancient Ivatan Fortress)
- Japanese Tunnel
- Valugan Chanpan (Boulder Beach)
- Basco Cathedral (Sto. Domingo)
- Vayang Ranch (Rolling Hills)
- Naidi Hills (Lighthouse)
Day 2 Sabtang Island Tour
- Be at San Vicente Port at 6:30am
- Boat ride to Sabtang Island (30 to 45 minutes)
- Registration at Sabtang Heritage House
- San Vicente Ferrer Church
- Viewing of Idjang (Ancient Ivatan Fortress)
- Chamantad Viewpoint
- Barrio Chavayan
- St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel
- Morong Beach and famous rock arch formation (Lunch)
- Travel back to Sabtang port back to Batan Island (Be there before 1:30pm, because there is only 1 boat ride back to Batan)
Day 3 Batan South Tour
- Mahatao Chawa View Deck
- Spanish Lamp post
- San Carlos Borromeo Church
- White Beach & Spaniards Blue Lagoon
- Spanish Bridge
- House of Dakay
- San Jose de Obrero Church
- Honesty Coffee Shop
- Motchong Viewpoint
- Ruins of Songsong
- Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Chapel
- Alapad and Lo-Ran Station
- Rakuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country)
- Trekking at Tayid Lighthouse
|Roundtrip Airfare (yeah it’s mahal)||₱14,500.00|
|Accommodation (Amboy 3 nights)||₱6,000.00|
|Airport transfers (complimentary)||₱0.00|
|Breakfast & Lunch (complimentary)||₱0.00|
|3-Day Tour (Batan and Sabtang Island inclusive of boat fares)||₱5,000.00|
|Dinner and Merienda for 3 days||₱1,400.00|
|Tricycle (personal tour to town proper)||₱60.00|