MOVING AROUND


  • (Upon Arrival) All incoming flights arrive at Basco. The pre-War 1,250 meter-long secondary airport rests at the foot of Mt. Iraya. You will walk towards a one-floor terminal that houses both the arrival and pre-departure areas.
  • At the airport arrival area is the Tourism Information Center where basic orientation on the do’s and dont’s while in the province is conducted. If you are a walk-in tourist or if your agency has not paid your environmental fee, you are to pay an amount of P350.00 at the reception area or at the provincial capitol treasury office as an ecotourism fee. This fee will be used for the maintenance and improvement of the natural and cultural attractions in the different municipalities of Batanes (as per Provincial Ordinance No. 146 Series of 2015)
  • Tourists holding confirmed bookings at any of the local hotels are assured of airport reception by hotel staff. For those without pre-arranged transfer, you can hire a tricycle just outside the airport area (Batoda hotline: 09297038404) to take you to the town center. Or better yet, walk to the main town which is just half a kilometer away. For passengers bound for the other towns, ask direction from any of the airport staff where the jeepneys are parked or you may also hire a tricycle.
  • Everywhere in any town is walking distance. You can cover any town on foot in an hour. Most sites to see in any of the islands may be covered in a day.
  • There’s no need to stack on cash. There are Landbank and PNB ATMs in Basco that could serve your need for cash. You can choose not to bring your credit cards with you as no establishment accepts credit card transactions yet, so expect to pay in cash all the time. There are also no formal money exchange services in Batanes.
  • (Batan Island) Jeepneys from Basco to other municipalities are available from 0500H to 1630H. Private vehicles/motorcycles and bicycles may be rented to tour the islands of Batan, Sabtang and Itbayat.  This can be arranged with your hotel or your tour operator. The best way to make sure you cover all tourist sites is to rent a jeepney or a van to bring you to all the must-see spots. When asking for a tricycle service, it is best to ask for a driver who has completed the Tour Guiding and/or Tourist Driver seminar sponsored by the Provincial Government and the DOT.
  • If you opt for public transportation, you can get off in every town and wait for the next jeepney to take you to the next. This is the best way to interact with locals. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation. In Batanes, there’s no specific greeting for specific time of the day. All older man or woman is your “Uncle” or “Auntie” in Batanes. It’s an accepted way to say hello.
  • If you take the jeepney, it is best to find out first what time the last trip would be from the southernmost village (of Itbud). If you fail to catch this trip, you may suddenly find yourself getting stranded in the town or you may choose to call Batoda for a pick-up service (link: Batoda rates).
  • In Batan Island, three of the four 200-year-old churches are found. A visit to the local Roman Catholic churches should always be included in visiting every town with a reminder of wearing wholesome/conservative clothes when entering the churches as a sign of respect for the place.
  • (Sabtang) To get to Sabtang from Basco, you travel first via jeepney, tricycle or van to San Vicente port in Ivana. Motorized ferries bring to you Sabtang (750 pesos, 30-40 minutes). If you arrive at San Vicente Port at 6:30AM, you’re safe for the first boat trip to Sabtang. Make sure all your valuables are stored inside sealed plastic containers for water-proofing.
  • Sabtang is best enjoyed at least with an overnight stay and leave early the next day. It is the closest you can get to experience the old Batanes. Chavayan is probably the most pictured village in the entire province. It is not difficult to see why. It seemed time stood still in Chavayan with the entire village of old well-preserved Ivatan houses neatly huddled against the foot of a majestic mountain. The waves lull you to sleep here. No cellphone signals here.
  • While in Chavayan, it would be nice to contribute to the local economy and buy the famous traditional headgear for women called Vakul from the local women’s cooperative which produce the item. A group of local women gather daily in the shop, to produce the Vakul worth around P500 pesos.
  •  (Itbayat) To go to Itbayat, you can either take a 12-minute plane ride or enjoy a three to two and a half-hour motorized banca ride crossing the West Philippine Sea. A boat with maximum passenger capacity of 50 that costs P450.00 one way is available everyday (where weather is good), while by plane, you may take a 4 to 8 seater plane that costs around P1,800.00. The road leading to the center of the town is quite rugged. Expect to do lots of walking here since there are no public transportation within the island. Either you rent a motorcycle or hitch in one of the privately-owned or government-owned vehicles passing by. Water in Itbayat is not potable. Tourists are advised to bring mineral water or buy one in town center.

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