The town of North Batan is a great starter tour when in Batanes as its primed destinations serve as bench markers to the succeeding tours in the province. Here, we listed eight attractions for you to add to your itinerary for your Batanes visit.
1. Valugan Boulder Beach
Apart from the white sand beaches we have in the Philippines, Batanes’ Valugan Boulder Beach offers a bizarre shoreline. The beach was beautifully created after the eruption of Mt. Iraya in 400 AD. After the eruption, the wild waves of the Pacific Ocean pushed and refined the rough andesite boulders that came out of Mt. Iraya, forming the now remarkable Valugan Boulder Beach.
2. World War II Japanese Tunnel
Remnants of the catastrophic world war are definitely chilling but they are worth each visit. The Dipnaysuhwan Japanese Tunnel is a five-door tunnel with a complete series of chambers. It also has a bunker for a lookout spot and a water reservoir, all constructed during the Japanese occupation. The tunnel used to have Tatus or coconut crabs in it, but they eventually drifted as time went by. Above the tunnel is a scenic hill overlooking Mt. Iraya. Be sure to trek on it!
3. Idjang Viewing
Idjang or stone fortresses are where the old Ivatan tribes used to live. These stone fortresses are naturally built to defend and protect them from unwanted visitors and colonists. This spot, however, can only be viewed from afar.
4. Fundacion Pacita Nature Lodge
Owned by the Abads, Fundacion Pacita Nature Lodge is known to be the most expensive accommodation in Batanes, whose rates range from PHP 8,000 to PHP 12,000++ per night. It has justifiable prices as it holds one of the most breathtaking views in the province. Adjacent to it is the in-house restaurant Café du Tukon, while its famed garden overlooks the calming Pacific Ocean.
5. PAGASA “Tukon” Radar Station
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or PAGASA Radar Station used to be the headquarters for monitoring Batanes’ weather, but is no longer functioning now. However, setting foot here will give you a 360 degree-view of Batanes. In front of it is a mini waiting area where its best to get that much needed peace of mind while being one with nature.
6. Mt. Carmel Chapel
Beautifully built on the crest of Tukon Hill is the Mt. Carmel Chapel. It is one of the newest churches in town and has immediately become one of the most preferred wedding locations for both tourists and locals alike. With its traditional Ivatan stoned-house structure, unbeatable ocean view, and lush-filled pathways, we wouldn’t mind exchanging vows here too.
7. Vayang Rolling Hills
If you want to lay eyes before the three major islands of Batanes all at once, which are Batan, Sabtang, and Itbayat, Vayang Rolling Hills would surely suffice. Covered with cogon grass used for the Ivatans’ house roofing, it contains several farms from Mahedhed, Maluyuluy, Vayang, Sakaan, Mayahaw, Mayawyawen, and Mapia’s Katakey.
The seemingly endless waves of rolling hills became a popular venue for sunset watching and for photo shoots because of the perfect seascape and landscape it has.
8. Naidi Lighthouse
The Naidi Lighthouse is technically the Basco Lighthouse, which was called otherwise because it is situated atop the hill of Naidi, which means “former human settlement.” It used to be the abode of an Ivatan chieftain known as Bayas who was later baptized as Don Carlos Abad after welcoming Christianity in the town. The elevation of Naidi and its picturesque landscape is a tactical spot for town chiefs to overlook the town of Basco on both east and west sides.
The popular landmark in Basco is standing-strong at 66-feet tall since 2003.