Things To Remember Before Going to Batanes
Helpful insider tips for those going to Batanes for the first time.
Where to Stay
Book your accommodation early — always book your accommodation in advance, even months before going to Batanes. Batanes is a small place and available accommodations are sometimes booked a year in advance during peak travel season from October to early June. If you book very close to your travel date, it is very likely that your choices are limited and possibly none at all. Book at least three months before your arrival, you’ll have much better breadth of choices.
Here is a list of accommodations in Batanes that you can choose from. If you cannot find a place you like in the list, feel free to chat with us and we’d be happy to help you find a place to stay.
Insider tip: we personally know the owners of the accommodations in Batanes, being Ivatans ourselves so what you get is a verified and trusted place to stay. Best of all, we can tell you the prices of these accommodations without added charges. Of course, you may choose to book through your usual booking site or travel agents if you have no problems with their extra charges. Here at MAVIDaLugar, the price we quote is the same price as what the owners will charge you. You can talk to them directly or you can talk to us. It’s your choice. We don’t charge service fees, because we are here to serve you.
How to Tour Batanes
If your purpose for visiting Batanes is to tour, and this is your first time to visit Batanes, the simplest and easiest way is to book for a packaged tour. This will save you the hassles of coordinating your vehicle, your driver, your tour guide, where to eat, dealing with municipal permits, arranging your boat transport, airport pick-up, and where to buy your basic necessities.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) tour in Batanes
If you are already familiar with the surroundings of Batanes, then you can do a do-it-yourself (DIY) tour. You can rent a vehicle like a van or tricycle with driver. You may also rent a motorcycle if you have a license to drive one. Another fun, healthy, and economical way to travel is by bicycle.
Transportation within Batanes
Transportation in Batanes is not like the rest of the Philippines. Batanes is not like other provinces in the Philippines where there are many vehicles on stand-by that you can just walk out on the street and wave your hand at a vehicle for transport. If you assume that you can just arrive in Batanes and call a vehicle at the airport, most likely, you will not find any. If you will be able to find any, chances are the prices will be much higher.
Batan island has only two jeepneys as of the moment (2019). These jeepneys can carry only 14-16 persons. They have very few trips – two in the morning and two in the afternoon, and seating is not guaranteed so these are not practical for tourist transport.
Vehicles for Rent
Vehicles for hire, whether vans or tricycles, are available in Batanes, but these are of limited quantity. It is best to book them in advance. If you have no contact yet in Batanes to book them, feel free to chat with us.
Tricycle is the most common transportation in the province. These are perfect for 1 – 3 persons. However you cannot find them roaming around the town empty. To get a ride in Basco, call/text their dispatcher at 0929 703 8404 to come and fetch you. Fare is P 40 minimum per way per tricycle (not per person) in Basco town proper. Fares are posted inside the tricycle for easy reference.
Further distances have higher fares, simply discuss your destination to your driver and ask for a quote. These trikes can be hired to travel to other towns within the island.
If you are a group of four (4) or more people, I would recommend a van. Most of these are air-conditioned. The rental for vans depend on where you intend to go. They range from 2,500 ~ 4,500. Feel free to chat with us if you need van for hire.
There are also open vans purposely built for tours – open on the sides to allow easy access and unobstructed view for picture taking. Most of these open vehicles are found in Sabtang. They are not airconditioned of course but Batanes has a mild climate.
Motorcycles for rent are available for P1,000 per day. You should have a license to drive one for you to be able to rent.
A healthy, economical, fun way to travel Batanes is by riding a bicycle. It is one of the most exhilirating way of experiencing Batanes. You can ride slowly, pause and enjoy the views, chat with the locals and move on at your own pace. You can rent mountain bikes for P500 a day. Ordinary bicycles can be rented for P300 a day. Not all bicycles are the same — proper mountain bikes can handle unpaved and rough terrain, while ordinary bicycles can only be used on paved roads. Chat with us if you need bicycles and we can point you at the right place to rent.
Going to Sabtang from Batan island
Sabtang is an island about 5km from Batan island and the transportation is by faluwa (boat) from Ivana port to Sabtang. Travel time by boat is about 30 minutes. Fare is ₱100 per way (as of 2019). The boats leave Ivana before 7AM . On the return trip, they leave Sabtang around 1 PM and reach Ivana by 2 PM. It is highly recommended that you reserve your seat in advance. If you are coming from Basco, you need to allocate at least 30 minutes of travel from Basco to Ivana, you also need to arrange for your land transportation in advance — send-off and pick-up. It is recommended that you arrange this with tour operators so that you have less to worry about. If you are on a package tour, this is arranged by your tour operator. Feel free to chat with us if you need help arranging your tour.
Weather and Climate in Batanes
Weather – during December to February, it’s sometimes chilly so bring with you some cold weather clothes like sweater and jacket. It can also have occassional drizzles but not enough to interrupt your day. It’s not too cold during this time but thin clothing will be uncomfortable. From March to May is dry weather and little chance of rain. From June to November, it can rain so make sure to pack your rain gear.
Where to Eat
Sample Ivatan dishes so that you have deeper appreciation of our culture. If you want to try sea food, ask your host or your tour guide to check and reserve in advance so that expectations are properly set. Seafood is most plenty from March to June, fishes like dibang and arayu. Do not order tatus (coconut crab), it’s illegal to consume them in Batanes.
There several choices of restaurants in Basco and your tour guide can point you to the right place. The prices are reasonable, from P150 – 350 per person depending on your choice. When going on tour to South Batan or Sabtang, it’s suggested that you reserve your meal through your tour guide so that the tour guide will arrange with the restaurant to ready your meals as scheduled.
If you have other questions about Batanes travel, feel free to chat with us. It’s our pleasure to answer your questions.
Galileo Valiente, Ivatan