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10 Things To Include In Your Batanes Itinerary In 2020

Is this the year you finally visit this magical place?
PHOTO: (left) instagram/gcelmonjardin, (RIGHT) instagram/gewhh
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Batanes is the Philippines’ northernmost province, known for its unassuming, yet colorful culture and lush terrain and beaches that look right out of a storybook. While it is also the country’s smallest province, its abundance of destinations and attractions for travelers makes up for its humble size. Multiple travel agencies and online platforms offer fixed day tours of the best of this renowned archipelago, but if you’re up to DIY it for the sake of an awesome adventure, take a look at these things to do and all the places you’ve got to tick off that Batanes bucket list.

  1. Pay a visit to Diura Fishing Village.

    A good place to learn about Ivatan culture is Diura Fishing Village, a small settlement on the coastlines with a population of around 300 people. Local boat makers and fishermen can guide you in riding their handmade boats for a small fee. You may also roam the village and marvel at the homes adorned with fish, which the villagers salt and dry to preserve for stormy weather. Their culture dates back to the pre-colonial era, so it’s always a treat to learn about ancient roots. 

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  2. Bathe in the Spring of Youth.

    Tucked in a secluded beachfront just 30 minutes away from the village of Diura is the Spring or Fountain of Youth, known as Rakuh-a-idi to the locals. This man-made spring, with fresh waters coming from Imnajbu, is a hidden gem overlooking the ocean and the picturesque scenery of Mount Iraya. Locals say that dipping into this spring keeps them young, hence its namesake. You can also choose to bring some snacks for a picnic by the sea!

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  3. Take a breather at Fundacion Pacita.

    Fundacion Pacita is one of the more renowned accommodations in Batanes, thanks to its prime location on top of a lush hill that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. If you’re not already staying here, you could simply drop by and have a snack at Cafe du Tukon to relish authentic Ivatan cuisine before snapping gorgeous photos of the view and the resort’s rustic architecture.

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  4. View the sunset at Marlboro Country’s rolling hills.

    Feel like you’re in Europe when you visit the pastures of Batanes’ Marlboro Country, abundant with green grass, grazing cattle, and rolling hills like you’ve never seen before. It’s nice to stroll around this area with your loved ones while enjoying the endless sea breeze and ocean views. The place is also the perfect location to watch the sunset.

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  5. Grab a treat at the famous Honesty Coffee Shop.

    You may have heard of this unique sari-sari store and coffee shop. A sign that says “This store is too small for dishonest people,” shows the trust that its owner has in customers. Guests may stay for some coffee, roam around for some snacks, and simply leave their payment inside a drop box. Souvenirs and shirts are also sold for customers looking to bring something back home.

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  6. Tour the famous stone houses.

    The famous Ivatan stone houses are a must-visit for any tourist in Batanes. These one-of-a-kind homes are built to protect residents from the province’s harsh and stormy weather. The House of Dakay is one of the oldest surviving stone houses in Basco and is maintained by the oldest living woman in Batanes. These stone buildings can also be found in Sinakan, Chavayan, and Savidug.

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  7. Wear traditional Ivatan attire on Sabtang Island.

    Sabtang Island is home to the famous Sabtung Weavers Association, where female weavers make vakul. Vakul attire and headgears are used to protect locals from the strong winds and rain of the location. The headgear costs around P400, but you can rent one to take pictures with for just P20! It’s also a good idea to visit the association itself and see exactly how vakul is made by Sabtung’s talented weavers.  

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  8. See Batanes’ renowned lighthouses.

    Batanes is known for its lighthouses, and you’re definitely in for a more pleasant experience than Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe in that one movie. The province has three main lighthousesBasco, Tayid, and Sabtangall majestic sights to behold, towering over the waters. It’s always a treat learning about the structures used to guide seafarers back to shore while seeing one in all its glory.  

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  9. Lounge by the beaches.

    Batanes also has its fair share of white sand beaches, and its most famous one is Morong Beach, home to the iconic Nakabuang Arch (which will undoubtedly look great for your Instagram feed). If the waves aren’t too strong during your time of visit, go for a dip after strolling through its white sand. 

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  10. Go sightseeing at various tourist attractions.

    Batanes may be small, but it’s got tons of places to see, such as its old stone churches, majestic rock formations, eerie ruined buildings, wondrous caves, and plenty more! List places like the Old Spanish Bridge, Chawa Viewdeck, Songsong Ruins, Alapad Hill Pass, and a handful of others down on your bucket listthe sceneries you’ll be witnessing for yourself will all be worth it.

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