25 Photos That Sum Up My Batanes Experience

It’s official. I’m in love with Batanes. I visited my dream destination, the northernmost province of the Philippines, for the first time this year. I remember the day I first clipped a newspaper article about Batanes and vowed to go there when I got older. Now I finally have my own articles about Batanes.

Like other travelers who were enamored with the place, I took hundreds of photos. It’s tempting to want to show off every single one on social media, but one exercise I practice is to ask myself, “If you had to narrow it down to only 10-20 photos, which ones best represent your experience?” I went a little off the boundary with 25.

The steep Chawa Viewdeck was part of my Batan South Island tour.
Look out below! After climbing down 100+ steps, you’ll see Chawa’s cave and lagoon with waves constantly splashing on the rough rock formation.
From the Tukon Radar Station you can see Mt. Iraya, an active volcano that last erupted in 1454.



A distant view of Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge, the most expensive accommodation in Batanes. The home studio of late artist Pacita Abad, it is run by the most powerful political clan in Batanes.
At Fundacion Pacita, where nature meets art.
A double rainbow appeared after our Ivatan Fortress expedition.
The Valugan Boulder Beach along Contra Costra Road was formed after Mt. Iraya erupted in 400 AD. This caused the rocks to scatter around Batanes.




Vayang Rolling Hills, where you will see cows and goats grazing around.
View from the top of Rolling Hills
The Basco lighthouse at Naidi Hills is one of the three lighthouses in Batanes. The other two are in Sabtang and Mahatao. When I reached the top of this 6-storey structure, I was treated to a view of the lush green hills, residential stone houses, and Basco Cemetery.
My first glimpse of Sabtang Island, a 45-minute boat ride from the Radiwan Ivana Port in Batan. Batanes is actually made up of three major islands: Batan (where you’ll find the capital of Basco), Sabtang (photographed), and Itbayat (more rugged and difficult to explore). There are other islets surrounding the three main islands.




Sabtang Island’s Savidug vernacular houses. These traditional Ivatan homes are made of stone to withstand any weather. Being at the northernmost part of the Philippines, Batanes is the point of entry of storms and typhoons.
Tiñan Viewpoint, one of the most breathtaking sights at Sabtang Island
Halfway from the edge of Tiñan Viewpoint
I conquered Tiñan Viewpoint. Pictures don’t show it, but my tummy whirled from the height of the peak overlooking the Pacific coast.
Chavayan Village in Sabtang Island is where you’ll find many of Batanes’ traditional stone houses. The residents are used to seeing tourists walk around their community. Some have even put up souvenir stalls to make extra income.
The Mayahaw arch at Nakabuang Beach
Sabtang Island’s Nakabuang Beach (or Morong Beach) makes a great alternative to the tourist-heavy white beaches around the Philippines.



My only regret is not having enough time to explore Batanes’ coffee shop culture. There are plenty of quaint cafés around Batan, including Shanedel’s Inn and Café located next to Yaru Art Gallery.
Among the several churches found in Basco, Batanes, Mt. Carmel Chapel is the most famous. Also known as Tukon Chapel, Mt. Carmel was designed by Filipino architects Joven Ignacio and Tina Turralba with traditional Ivatan stone houses in mind. It stands on top of a hill where you can see a view of the West Philippine Sea and Pacific Ocean.
We found love outside San Carlos Borromeo Church.
Next to Tayid lighthouse in Mahatao is this private land overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
With the wind blowing against my face, I trekked through Marlboro Country past the horses and onto the highest peak of the hills where my stomach whirled once again.
Homoron Blue Lagoon in South Batan

Trekking down Homoron Blue Lagoon was tricky. From the top I couldn’t imagine how someone could possibly descend down the slippery rocks, but I did—slowly and surely! I celebrated this feat by dipping into the clear waters. Look closely for the girl in the white shirt. That’s me waving from below!

All photos by KateWasHere.com, except for photos #22 and #25 by Mimi Quiogue

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