Your Batanes Travel Guide: Tips and tricks to travel in a tight budget


Where is Batanes? For all who doesn’t know where this paradise is, it is located at the northernmost part of the Philippines. It has been one of my dream as a Filipino Traveler to reach this province. Just to explore and visit the end points of the country is really something to put on your bucket list. Everyone is saying that visiting Batanes would really cost you a lot, but hey I did visit this place with a really tight budget. Here’s you Batanes travel guide that will help you to enjoy the province’s without draining you pockets.




Batanes is the northernmost province of the Philippines. The province has 3 major islands, namely Batan, Itbayat and Sabtang. Because of the province’s location, the way of living in Batanes is very simple. Very provincey! Ivatans (people of Batanes) are very nice and friendly.

How to get to Batanes?


FLY! The easiest way to go here is by air for 1.5hrs. The airport of Batanes is in Basco, it can only accommodate small aircrafts. Only Philippine Airlines and Skyjet Air fly from Manila to Baso (vice-versa). The price of the ticket would range from 12,000 to 15,000 pesos. But good thing, I got mine for only 2,200. HIHI!

TIP: Plan ahead and wait for ticket sale! I got mine in a Travel Expo (2014). Book a ticket like 6 months ahead because it is WORTH THE WAIT!!

How many days should you book?


Batanes is a small province but it would take days to explore that whole province because of the ease of transportation. The tourist attractions are cliffs away and mountains apart that’s why it takes days to explore it. You’ll need 4 to 5 days to explore Batan and Sabtang. Maybe like 6-7 days to explore Batan, Sabtand and Itbayat.


Vakul and Talugong made from dried Voyavoy or Philippine Date Palms.


Where to stay?


Tight budget? Don’t worry there are a lot of guesthouses, homestays and lodges in Batanes. Fundacion Pacita, a grand and lux hotel in Batanes. By the way, Fundacion Pacita is the only hotel in the place.

Good thing the choices of accommodations there are really affordable and most of them are located at Basco City proper. They are near the marketplaces, grocery stores and other establishments; like bank, LBC, and pharmacy. So if you’re a budget traveler, you would want to look for your accommodation within the city proper, you’ll save a lot and other establishments are really accessible.

I’ve read good reviews in Crisan Lodges at Tripadvisor but unfortunately when we got there, they are fully booked so they recommended us to stay at Berlen Lodge. We had a cool experience there even if Basco is experiencing an electricity problem. We even asked the Berlen Lodge if we can sleep at their garden (there’s a bermuda garden at the top of their house), so they’ve provided us lamp, folding beds, pillows and blankets. We slept under the sky full of stars and cool provincey breeze of Batanes.

Berlen Lodge
PRICE: 400/person/night Fan Room (with breakfast)
500/person/night AC Room (with breakfast)

Crisan Lodge
09999907548 or 09158490178
PRICE: 400/person/night Fan Room (with breakfast)
500/person/night AC Room (with breakfast)


Where to Eat in Batanes?


Batanes also offers good food but I must say almost all of the restos I’ve tried are all pricey. Don’t worry they have carinderia and small time food stalls if you are on a tight budget. You can always buy your own food from the grocery stores and cook them in your lodges. But if you want to try their dishes, go ahead try the restaurant and café I’ve listed below.

Pension Ivatan offers authentic Ivatan cuisine. The restaurant is located near the airport. We had a chance to try their Ivantan version of Adobo which is Lunis and Uved balls, some of their Ivatan dishes.


Café De Tukon is Fundacion Pacita’s new restaurant. They offer gourmet Ivatan dishes that will very savor your tastebuds. They have scenic location that is overlooking Mt. Iraya, PAGASA Weather Station and Tukon Chapel from your dining table.

Phil’s Brew is the only coffee shop in Basco. This place is our go-to place every after tours to wrap up our day in Batanes. The place is really cozy plus Tita (the owner) is really nice! They have coffee and really healthy pastries. Try their Tsokolate tableya and malunggay muffin!


Paypanpanayan Canteen is located in Sabtang. It is near the Morong Beach, overlooking from your table. It is a cool place to have lunch after touring around Sabtang beautiful spots. They offer set meals for 300 pesos. You can buy food outside and let them cook it for you for 100 pesos.

TIPS: Try Batanes’s Coconut crab! You can buy them in Sabtang, ask your guide to get you a Coconut crab for a cheaper price. We got one whole and a baby coconut crab for 1,000 pesos (1.25kg). If you buy the crab in Batan they sell it for 120 pesos per 100 grams.


Coconut Crab


Must see spots in Batanes


North Batan is where the airport is located and also a lot of homestays and lodges. To save a lot why not take time to ride a bike and visit the places around North Batan. It would take time so yea, you might want to do this for like 2 days if you have free time.

Basco Lighthouse

Rolling Hills

Naidi Hills

Fundacion Pacita


North Batan Tour:

  • Rolling Hills
  • Basco Church
  • Naidi Hills
  • Basco Lighthouse
  • PAGASA Weather Station
  • Tukon Chapel
  • Fundacion Pacita
  • Japanese Tunnel
  • Valugan Beach


South Batan consists of 3 municipalities; Uyugan, Mahatao and Ivana. Touring here would take 6-8hrs because there are a lot of spots to see in this place. So I would suggest to pay for a tour to visit different places that are in South Batan.

Honesty Coffee Shop

Mahatao Boat Shelter

House of Dayak

Marlboro Country

Alapad Rock Formation

Tayid Lighthouse

South Batan Tour:

  • Alapad Rock Formation
  • Marlboro Country
  • Mahatao Boat Shelter
  • Mahatao Church
  • Mahatao Lighthouse
  • Honesty Coffee Shop
  • Tayid Lighthouse
  • House of Dakay
  • Chanarian Viewdeck
  • Homoron White Beach
  • Spanish Lagoon
  • Song Song Ruins
  • Spanish Bridge


Sabtang Island is located at the southern part of Batanes. You have to ride a ferry for 30 minutes to reach Sabtang Island. You can tour around Sabtang to Vernacular Houses (Bahay na bato) and the maker of weedrobes (Vakul and Talugong) are located in this Island. You can also visit Vuhus Island or Cow Island.

Duvek Bay

Morong Beach Natural Stone Arch

Tinyan Viewdeck

Chamantad Cove

Sabtang Island Tours:

  • Morong Beach
  • Chamantad Cove and Tinyan Viewdeck
  • Savidug Village
  • Chavayan Village
  • Duvek Bay
  • Sabtang Lighthouse
  • Vernacular houses
  • Vujus Island
  • Nakanmuan Village aka Little Hongkong


Super cheap budget!!


Here are the expenses and fees breakdown that our group made when we visited Batanes for 5D4N. This may vary because we spend in trips differently. Just to give you idea and figures that you may save before going to Batanes.


Number of person

Group Price

Price per person

PAL Airfare




Berlen Lodge (4 days)


1,600 (fan room with breakfast)


Bike Rentals for North Batan


100 (4 hours)


Sabtang stay (1 Night)




Sabtang and Vuhus Island tour (with van and boat rental)


2,500 (1st day) and 1800 (2nd day)


Sabtang Lunch (set meal and coconut crab)


2,100 (set meal) and 1,100 (coconut crab)


Basco to Ivana and vice versa (transpo)




Sabtang other fees


200 (registration) and 150 (roundtrip ferry)


South Batan Tour




Basco Airport terminal fee




TOTAL: 6,217 pesos per person*

*everyday food is not included in the computation

The rates for the tour is from the owner of Crisan Lodge. They organize a tour for their guests. They have this car (L-300 type car) with cogon roof that will stroll you around the island.

Sir Mon – 09158490178 (Basco)

Rudy – 09085607833 (Sabtang)


You can enjoy and explore Batanes in a tight Budget! So it’s not true that visiting the island would cost you a lot. You just have to be smart and practical.

We never thought that we can save a lot for this trip. Good thing, we met 4 people and joined them on their tour so we were able to divide the expenses for 7 people. We were able to cut the cost of our trip and we met new friends in exploring the beautiful island.


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Mc Pol

Mc Pol Cruz is the owner and publisher in this travel and lifestyle blog, Weekend Sidetrip. He love being under the sun and doing things that he loves, traveling. Mc Pol is ready to explore various culture, stop foot to stunning places, savor different cuisines and help other travelers in their adventures.

5 thoughts on “Your Batanes Travel Guide: Tips and tricks to travel in a tight budget

  • July 9, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Wow!!!! Smart and practical backpacking. Gandang guide nito, thanks for sharing Mcpol!!! 🙂

    • July 9, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      thank you Helen! 🙂

  • July 9, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    This blog helped me a lot! I’ll share this with my friends!!!!!! 🙂

  • July 13, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Simply amazing! Batanes is among the last frontiers of Philippine adventure travel. This guide will be super helpful for us in formulating our Batanes travel plans.

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