A small group of islands in Northern Luzon in the Philippines offers an abundance of amazing panoramic views as well as some of the nicest people in the world.
Batanes has become a famous tourist destination for both local and foreign travelers. “Beautiful” is one word that best describes the serene grassland carpeting the rolling hills of this clump of small islands in the northern tip of the archipelago.
Most people say that a trek at the hills in this province is very gratifying that you won’t even feel exhausted at all.
Batanes is a great destination for soul-searching or for people who really love long peaceful walks. A pleasant environment and calm ambiance awaits all the travelers longing for some rest among the natural wonders the land has to offer.
Batanes is divided into six municipalities – Basco, Itbayat, Ivana, Mahatao, Sabtang, and Uyugan.
It would be ideal to bring your own vehicle if you want to make a full tour around the province, bring a 4×4 SUVs or maybe a pick-up truck. You can also bring your own motorcycle, so which will it be?
Now let’s get to it, here are some of the things you must not miss during your visit to Batanes.
The Basco LightHouse
Just recently constructed, the Basco lighthouse was built overlooking the giant waves and guiding travelers both on land and sea. The majestic view of the vast sea from the monolith is mystifying, which is accentuated by the mild ocean breeze. Currently, there are so very few lighthouses in the Philippines and the country is proud of the Basco lighthouse.
There’s also an open café next to the lighthouse, the Bunker’s Cafe, where you can have a cup of coffee or grab a bite to eat while admiring the scenery. An important reminder, don’t forget to have your picture taken with the blue door of the lighthouse as backdrop.
The Marlboro Hills
The hills of Batanes are almost interwoven. You can go for a morning hike with your family or buddies on the high and low points of the hills that may resemble the waves of the vast body of water surrounding the islands. The Marlboro hills in Mahato has been a hot destination for years, you have to bring your bicycle and ride it on the hills. Open your arms widely for the inviting blue skies and listen to the mellow tune sung by the wind.
Look further to the hills and find yourself mystified by the shrubs, bamboo trees, tall grass, and corn growing next to each other forming a labyrinth like vista. An evergreen image and truly one of the hidden gems in the Philippines. Liveng in english is small trees.
Meet the Ivatans
The locals of Batanes are called the Ivatans, a group of welcoming and hardworking people. There is no clear information about the origin of the Ivatans, one thing we all know about them is their ability to adapt to every situation they face. With no access to electricity, the Ivatans live a simple life. They practice agriculture for their food and income. Their houses are also outstanding in terms of appearance and construction. In order to protect themselves from calamities like earthquakes or storms, the Ivatan built their houses with limestones and cogon grass that grow abundantly in the area.
There’s also a small gallery of Ivatan art called the Yaru na Artes Ivatan. These beautiful paintings and drawings with wood as the canvass could be ideal tiny souvenirs for your family back home.
It doesn’t matter what your religion is, you can’t miss the several churches scattered all over the province. First is the Tukon chapel in Basco inspired by the Ivatan house. It’s a church made of limestone and glass windows. What a great place for a small and intimate wedding.
Considered as the birthplace of Christianity in the province, Imnajbu village in Ivana is home to the spectacular San Lorenzo Ruiz chapel. It’s a small chapel to commemorate the first Filipino saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila. Along the vicinity are a mix of blooming flowers and bright green grass that complete the picturesque scenery.
Mahayaw Arch and Morong Beach
This natural stone arch has been a stop over for many travelers for a satisfying and quiet lunch. Next to the arch is the seawater and white sand haven, the Morong beach. Enjoy the cool waters during siesta time.
Chawa View deck
Like what was said in the beginning of the article, Batanes is a province filled with wondrous views and there are several locations to best admire these sceneries. One of the best view decks is the Chawa. Chawa offers a view of the sea tides breaking at the rocky mountainside. This area has been a popular photoshoot setting.
If you love an amazing nature trip as well as go crazy taking pictures of amazing destinations, then you should really consider visiting Batanes. The price isn’t that expensive and you’re surely going to have a great time.
Travel and discover the beautiful Batanes.