If there is one place in the Philippines where you can experience a
calm, serene, and idyllic vacation, it should be Batanes. Covering an
area of 219.01 square kilometers, Batanes is the northernmost and the
smallest province in the archipelago. Batanes may be small in size but
it is big in natural resources. A patchwork of green fields, reeds, and
stone houses brings tourists in this cozy paradise to another dimension.
Batanes, which is surrounded by bodies of water, can be reached
through a one-hour-and-forty-five-minute plane ride from Manila. Fresh
winds and cool breeze welcome visitors in the province, which is often
described as a premier tourist destination in most Philippine travel guides.
What separates Batanes from other island paradises in the archipelago
is that it satisfies the most demanding travelers even without giant
shopping malls, posh resorts, luxury hotels, sublime events, and hip
Home to the great Ivatans, Batanes is composed of ten islands and is
subdivided into six municipalities. Its tourism industry is buoyed by
natural features such as a subtropical climate, magnificent landscapes
and seascapes, and rich cultural heritage. Here is a sampling of what to
do and see in Batanes.
House of Dakay
The stone houses of Batanes are surely a visual treat for tourists. The
most photographed and frequently visited of them is the House of Dakay,
which was built in the 18th century. Located in San Jose de
Ivana, this fabled house survived a strong earthquake that leveled the
entire town. It has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Building.
House of Dakay is currently occupied by an 82-year-old woman who is
fondly called Lola Ida.
Mt. Iraya is an active volcano situated on Batan Island. At 1,900 feet
above sea level, the mountain houses a spring water where the town gets
its drinking water. Expert climbers said Mt. Iraya is perfect for
hikers and wannabe mountain adventurers. It is home to the Batanes pit
viper, an arboreal snake that it endemic to the province, and to dozens
of exotic fauna and flora.
Ruins of Song-Song
Another must-see attraction
in Batanes in the Ruins of Song-Song. These are the remains of a
village in the town of Uyugan after a tidal wave out an entire community
in 1954. The group of destroyed lime and stone houses is located just
several meters from the Song-Song beach, which is comparable to other
great beaches in Luzon and those in Visayas and Mindanao.
A common travel tip to Batanes visitors is not to forget a trip to
Sabtang Island. It has unspoiled white-sand beaches, steep mountains,
and deep canyons, making it one of the 12 Best Destinations in the
Philippines as recommended by the Department in Tourism in 1994. This
beautiful island southwest of Batan can be reached by a 30-minute boat
ride from Radiwan Port in Ivana.
Built in 1783, the Church of Sto. Domingo de Basco is the oldest and
the most important church in Batanes. The church, locally known as Basco
Cathedral, is designed to withstand strong typhoons and earthquakes. It
is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, the municipalitys
Other notable travel destinations in Batanes are Di-atay Beach in
Mahatao, Chewa Cave, the Sumhao Wind Turbines, and San Jose Church.
Aside from sightseeing, tourist can also do trekking in the Marlboro and
Naidi Hills and surfing at Madiwedved in Mahatao.
Local Philippines is your travel buddy. We have information
about the destinations, how to get there, what to do while in the area
and more! Destinations in the beaches or in the mountains, destinations
under water, destinations right at the middle of the urban hub, name it
and Local Philippines will most likely feature it.