10 reasons to visit Batanes

Batanes is the northernmost province of the Philippines and is closer to Taiwan than to Luzon, the country’s largest island. It is on the bucket list of Filipino travelers, as it should be due to its magnificent scenery that can match that of New Zealand.

From its rolling hills to the renowned honesty shop, this archipelagic province holds plenty of surprises on its ten islands. Standing on a hill, tourists will have a commanding view of the waters that surround the province: the Bashi and Balintong Straits that connect the Western Philippine Sea to the Pacific Ocean. The breeze is like a lullaby; that is why in Batanes peace is easy to find.

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10 hospital premises

The residents of Batanes are called Ivatan, known in the Philippines as peace-loving, resilient, and honest. Most of them worked on farms and fished in the sea, and when tourism slowly flourished, they enthusiastically welcomed travelers who wanted to be in the presence of rolling hills, windy mountains and salty breezes. In addition to the sporting smiles of the residents, some women wear a wig-like head covering called a vakul, and locals will let tourists borrow it for a few snaps. The Ivatans are the charm of Batanes.

9 Honesty is a lifestyle

Apart from its impressive natural surroundings, Batanes is known for its honesty store, a self-service establishment where there is no guard or any other employee. Therefore, the customers of this cafe must pay honestly, get the correct amount of products, and when the change is due, they must write it down in a notebook and return to pick it up the next day. It is a testimony to the honesty of the ivatanes and an enriching experience for tourists. The store has been around since the 1990s and is now one of the must-see attractions in Batanes.

8 The crime rate is low

Since Ivatans value honesty and have a strong sense of community, it is rare to hear of crime in the province, and detainees are only guilty of violating ordinances, such as riding a bicycle without an early warning device. The crime rate has been low from the late 1980s to the present day, making it a friendly tourist destination and a place where peace is not just a word but a lifestyle. Its archipelagic nature and small towns facilitate law enforcement in the province. Thanks to the welcoming community of Batanes, tourists will have a sense of belonging.

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7 Unique Beaches

Of the 10 Batanes Islands, three are inhabited. As such, the other seven are pristine, with some only used by locals for grazing. Some of them are difficult to access when the weather is unpredictable, making their beaches highly sought after. However, those who stay on the three largest islands of Batan, Itbayat and Sabtang will find the shorelines perfect. On Batan Island, tourists will appreciate the unique Valugan rocky beach. Meanwhile, Sabtang has Morong Beach, famous for the Ahau Arch. Lastly, there is the less traveled Kaxobcan beach on Itbayat Island. Wherever tourists plan to walk along the beach, they will have vivifying sun-kissed memories.

6 charming islands

In addition to the larger islands, some uninhabited Batanes Islands are home to attractions that tourists will enjoy. The humble island of Ivuhos prides itself on its coral beach, and history buffs can also visit its archaeological sites. Meanwhile, Mavulis (Y’ami) Island is run by the army as it is the northernmost point of the Philippines. Tourists are welcome on the island, where they can explore military installations in addition to its natural beauty. Those who dare to conquer these islands will have endless stories to take home.

5 exciting boat rides

When tourists visit various islands, which is a must, they will have a satisfying experience of riding on boats called falua. Even if the weather is calm, conquering the waves of Batanes is an exciting experience. For a long trip, tourists can head to Y’ami from Itbayat, which will take around five hours. Those who want to test their fishing skills can join the local fishermen from the village of Diura. Whether it is a simple walk or an adventure fishing trip, the passengers of the boats in Batanes will have vitamin from the sea day after day.

4 The rolling hills are majestic

The hills are alive in Batanes, and there are many in this island province. The Vayang Rolling Hills in the capital Basco is the most famous, an attraction straight out of a postcard. Meanwhile, in the town of Mahatao, the presence of Marlboro Hills will leave tourists speechless because it is impressive. For a moment on top of the world, Mount Iraya is waiting for excited hikers. The province has many viewpoints where travelers can enjoy the sights and sounds of the seas and hills.

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3 Resilient Houses

Batanes is known in the Philippines as a province that is always in the path of typhoons, so not only its residents are resistant, but also their houses. The traditional houses of Ivatan are not seen anywhere else in the country, perhaps in the world. These are made of stone, lime, wood, and thatched roofs, all working together to resist wind and typhoons. Some of these heritage houses are well preserved, especially the Sinaduparan type, attracting curious tourists. Not only honesty, but also resilience is another reason for Batanes’ fame.

two Rich history and culture

Apart from the heritage houses, there are other historical and cultural places in Batanes that will satisfy tourists who want to explore new things. The province has archaeological sites, a ghost town, weather stations, churches, idjangs or the settlement of the first ivatans and the historic Radiwan Point. Tourists should also not stop posing near the lighthouses, standing tall in the middle of a seabed. Meanwhile, art lovers will enjoy visiting the Pacita Foundation, a hostel that presents the masterpieces of renowned painter Pacita Abad. In Batanes enriching the soul is easy.

1 the food is sumptuous

As on other islands, food production on Batanes is limited, but that doesn’t mean an adventure for the stomach is impossible. For starters, the province is rich in seafood, particularly flying fish and mahi-mahi. Ivatans also love dried carabao, pork, or cow skin; plantain and malanga stems; sweet potato; sweet potato; and lunyi, which is pork cooked in its fat. Tourists must imagine this: after their breakfast or lunch, they will have stunning views of the hills for dessert. What a sweet life.

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