Batanes: A Wonderland in the North

by Cielo Fernando

Batanes will amaze you with its vast greenery with a view of the Pacific Ocean and the West Philippine Sea/ Cielo Fernando

Perhaps, most would agree that traveling abroad is cheaper than in Batanes. While this is true, I can assure you that it’s worth every penny because there’s no other feeling like seeing the beauty of Batanes.

Your welcome treat will be alternating majestic views of the rolling hills, clean roads sandwiched by the turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean and the West Philippine Sea, a breath of fresh air, and locals who are, without a doubt, the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. These will be your everyday backdrops at the province.

Batanes will amaze you with its vast greenery with a view of the Pacific Ocean and the West Philippine Sea/ Cielo Fernando

Racuh A Payaman, which many refer to as Marlboro Country is something I would never forget. Once up there, there’s an unexplainable pleasure you’ll get that only nature can give. I’ve gone there twice during my stay, yet same feelings arose.

At Racuh A Payaman, you’ll get a view of the Mt. Iraya, Diura Beach, Tayid Lighthouse and the Pacific Ocean/ Cielo Fernando

Traffic is nonexistent here. The primary mode of transportation in Batanes is motorcycle or tricycle. If you know how to drive a motorcycle, it’s better to rent one because it’s cheaper than tricycles or vans.

Road to Alapad Rock Formation/ Cielo Fernando

Another iconic sign of Batanes is the lighthouse. They never run out of these. Some that I saw are the Basco Lighthouse, Sabtang Lighthouse, and Tayid Lighthouse. To me, the most beautiful is the latter.

Basco Lighthouse/ Cielo Fernando
Tayid Lighthouse/ Cielo Fernando

The Honesty Coffee Shop is also a must-visit. It’s the famous coffee shop in the province where customers will help themselves in buying products and paying it in all honesty. No one mans the store. The price is displayed near the items and there’s a counter where you can pay and get your change. What surprised me was the nipa hut and hammocks down the shop, and in front of it is a serene view of the beach. This place lets your mind escape from the metro’s hustle and bustle.

Photo by Cielo Fernando
The beach lounge of Honesty Coffee Shop where you can enjoy their treats and a scenic view of the beach/ Cielo Fernando

Although Batanes is not known for palm trees and beaches, they too, have beautiful white sand shores to boast of. One is the Morong Beach in Sabtang where you’ll also find the Nakabuang Arch. The sand there is finer than other beaches in Batanes.

A typical day in Morong beach—cold crashing waves, fine sand and unpopulated still/ Cielo Fernando

Add also to your list the Valugan Boulder Beach. Taking it from its name, the beach is full of boulders and less sand.

Valugan Boulder Beach beach is known for its smooth boulders that line the shoreline/ Cielo Fernando

Of course, no Batanes trip is complete without visiting the stone houses. Good thing, the traditional Ivatan houses made of stones and cogon still exist.

Most stone houses are situated in Sabtang and only few in Batanes’ capital, Basco/ Cielo Fernando