I don’t quite know where to begin with Batanes. My vocabulary and writing abilities are too restricted to explain how breathtaking it truly is. It was a near perfect getaway with my husband. We snuck away from the children for a few days and explored a piece of heaven on this earth. It was remarkable. The views were so beautiful that scaling the mountains was they only way I knew of their reality. The air was so clean and pure. The slow life of the Ivatan People has me questioning all my choices in life (jk). I have broken this trip up into multiple posts because there really is too much to cover in one post. Let’s start with the basics of getting there, where to stay and where to eat.
We got a great deal on PAL with our tickets costing around 9000php each. It may seem high but in comparison that really is a sale price. We left at 6 am which was awesome because then we had a whole day to start with.
The quaint runway that runs up towards Mount Iraya. The Basco Airport is tiny which has its perks. Upon entering Basco you do have to register and pay tourists fees. *I absolutely agree with these fees and would be happy paying an even higher premium. When tourists visit Batanes we use up limited resources. I think it is the least we can do as visitors for this community.
We stayed at Martin’s Inn which was clean, in a great location and affordable. It was just a three minute drive from the airport but also walking distance. It was in the heart of Basco and near the pier. You can buy your breakfast through them and arrange tours. Their tour prices were higher than others and they charged us for the shuttle from the airport to our hotel which bugged me since they didn’t tell us until check out. Ha! There are many hotels in Basco but most are not luxury. Batanes is not a place where you go for a luxury hotel unless of course you are staying at Fundacion Pacita.
This is from the balcony near our room, breakfast with a view.
Ryan of Bisumi Tours recommended a local eatery we walked to our first morning. We enjoyed walking around Basco admiring the slow and peaceful life.
Our first meal was at San Dominic College canteen and it was good and cheap. It is just down the street from Martin’s Inn next to the left of the provincial capital building, just north of the Basco Oval.
We started day 1 of our Bisumi tour eating lunch at a local’s home and it was the best start for digging into Batanes. I love when tours use native community members’ homes and skills. The experience for visitors is better and it is offering livelihood to the local community and economy. Ryan actually caught the lobster we had at lunch! Plus, we got to eat the local dish that is wrapped in the kabaya leaf. Mmm sarap!
There are a number of eating establishments in Basco but you will find no chain restaurants. We ate lunch at the Octagon Bed and Dine. It was nice to finally eat vegetables as they do seem scarce up there. The fried chicken was really good but the serving was small. If you are a big american you should not plan on sharing. 🙂 Our last morning we had breakfast at a hotel on the corner of National Rd and Contra Costa Diversion Rd. It was cheap, around 200php, and delicious. I have grown to love Filipino breakfast. *Food in Basco in general was a bit pricier again because of limited resources.
There are plenty of shops around Basco where you can pick up instant oatmeal and bananas like we did for breakfasts and snacks.