5 Tips For Visiting Batanes

1. Don’t eat the coconut crab.
The Birgus Latro, better known in Batanes as tatus and in layman’s terms, the coconut crab or palm thief, is on the list of endangered species. Thanks to the lack of information dissemination, many tour operators, caterers, and restaurants still serve coconut crabs to visitors. Don’t be that type of tourist who says, “Ooh, let’s eat it because it’s going to be extinct soon!” If they offer it to you, decline and explain that it’s illegal.

The coconut crab, also known as palm thief or robber crab. Photo credit: J. Turner of Darwin Initiative.

The coconut crab, also known as palm thief or robber crab. Photo credit: J. Turner of Darwin Initiative.

2. Take it slow.
Life in Batanes isn’t as fast-paced as Manila, so please keep your cool when the service is slow. They’re not being incompetent or doing it to irk your highbrow taste; life in Batanes is simply laid-back. It is you who needs to adapt to their culture and respect their lifestyle, and not the other way around.

3. Keep Honesty Café honest.
This café/sari-sari store is one of the most popular tourist spots in Batanes because there are no waiters or servers tending it. They rely on the honesty of the customers. According to the owners, Honesty Café‘s has been 98% honest since they started in 1995. Please don’t be one of the douchebags who would take food without paying, just to see if you can get away with it or for the mere heck of it.

Honesty Coffee Shop is located on National Road, Ivana, Batanes. It's right next to the Port of Ivana.

Honesty Coffee Shop is located on National Road, Ivana, Batanes. It’s right next to the Port of Ivana.

4. Disconnect from social networking.
Cellphone signal is decent in Batanes, but 3G and internet connection are intermittent. The only working Wi-Fi signal I found was in Fundacion Pacita, the most expensive lodging in Batanes. There is Wi-Fi in the administrative office, but only 3 people at a time can use it. If more than three people use the Wi-Fi, the connection disappears. Just enjoy your vacation the old-fashioned way, and wait until you get home before flooding your Instagram feed.

At Fundacion Pacita, where nature meets art.

At Fundacion Pacita, where nature meets art.

5. Deviate from the tourist list.
There are many cafés and spots not listed in the usual tourist itinerary. Don’t be afraid to walk or bike around town to explore on your own. Batanes has zero crime rate, so the only danger you have to worry about is clumsily slipping down the cliffs.

Date of trip: April 9-12
Cost of plane ticket: ₱11,680 via Philippine Airlines
Group tour: ₱10,598 via Jeron Travel and Tours (includes complementary daily breakfast and airport shuttle)
Miscellaneous expenses: ₱2,500



6 Comments

  1. Ericka S wrote:

    Waaaaaa! Batanes is my ultimate travel goal here in the Philippines! Too bad super mahal po ng mga packages for this tour. Naalala ko tuloy last October we were waiting for SkyJet’s seat sale, after ilang hours, ubos na agad yung seats! 🙁 Hoping I could go there next year. Hihihih.

    PS: Peg na peg ko po talaga yung shots niyo sa Fundacion Pacita! Waaaaaaa! Ganda ng color combi! :))

  2. I would highly recommend Batanes to my best friend who loves to travel! Gonna show her these tips for her to fully enjoy the trip!!! And hopefully, I could visit Batanes too! xx

  3. Been wanting to go to Batanes soon with boyfie. Thanks for this awesome tips, buti nalaman ko yung about sa coconut crabs. I don’t want to eat something endangered. :/ I so want to try that Honest cafe! Super cool. I really had a conception that Batanes pips would not be fast, since their place is just so calm. 🙂 Super cute naman ng Fundacion Pacita. “Batanes has zero crime rate, so the only danger you have to worry about is clumsily slipping down the cliffs”, that’s one of my fears when climbing places. :/

  4. Jeremy Garcia wrote:

    Ganda ng at fundacion pacita! I miss travelling na talaga, when I was still single and not yet a mom I used to travel a lot. Beaches is my home! Anyways, seeing your post of your travel ventures bring backs my inner love on travelling. Thanks for the tips and info about Batanes. Btw, you might wanna go on San Gabriel La Union, it has a great water falls I’ve ever seen.

  5. Kate wrote:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, ladies! 🙂

  6. Jeroen wrote:

    It’s a good thing you pointed out that the coconut crabs are on the list Of endangered species. If only more bloggers who have been to Batanes would do the same. ? Anyway, I look forward to visiting Batanes! Thanks for the tips!

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