Batanes is so beautiful that you may have to actually see it in person to believe that it’s real! With its sandy beaches and open skies, it might be difficult to imagine a place so scenic in the Philippines.
If you’re thinking of visiting Batanes, we’ve got your back. We want you to have the best time possible—and not forget anything—so here are some tips for your adventure to this gorgeous northern destination.
1. Know the weather patterns.
Photo credit: Eugene
Generally, the weather in Batanes is pleasant and balmy—the average monthly rainfall is approximately 450 mm! However, depending on the time of year that you visit Batanes, you may experience a variety of climates which will influence what you are going to be packing, doing, and seeing.
If you like hot, sunny weather, the best time for you to visit is February through June. The sky is clear and bright and the ocean is calm—perfect for touring the island by bike. For those that can’t take the heat and prefer rain and wind, October through January might be the best time for your visit. If you’re not really sure what you like and are up for an adventure, visit July through October (their off season) to experience the monsoon storms that Batanes is famous for. Ensure that you leave time for potential flight cancellations—the weather is unpredictable after the summer months.
Regardless of the month, ensure you pack cool clothes that can be layered, light waterproof gear, and a warm jacket or sweater for chilly nights.
2. Bring sun protection.
Photo credit: Kaboompics
Well, you know the drill. When it comes to vacationing in a tropical climate, you’ll need lots of sun protection. If you are visiting in the summer months, weather in Batanes can get HOT! In May, average temperatures can range from 30 degrees Celsius to 35 degrees Celsius, making sunscreen is a no-brainer when traveling to North and South Batan and Sabtang Island. But don’t forget other essentials, too, such as a cute brimmed cap, a pair of sunglasses and SPF for your lips.
3. Bring different footwear for different activities.
Photo credit: Izf / Shutterstock
Yes, you will do a lot of walking and hiking so bringing comfy shoes and sandals is essential. The thickly forested Mt. Iraya in Basco is a major landmark in Batanes—which is no surprise considering its beautiful view from the top (an elevation of 1,009 metres). If you plan on doing this hike (or similar ones) allow yourself a whole day for it (including rest time)! It’s also important to check hiking costs, as tour guide fees can be up to P1,500 per group, meaning that you may want to include more hikers in your group. You may also want to start your hike early—around 6 or 7 am— to avoid the worst of the heat going up or down. Because of the muddy/slippery nature of Batanes’ mountains, ensure that you pack comfortable shoes with good traction.
Also, it’s important that you bring along some cute strapped sandals to throw on for your post-hike lounge on the beach!
4. It’s going to be expensive—but worth it.
Batanes can be quite expensive because travelling to and from the island is a challenge. Only certain types of aircrafts are rated to land in Basco Airport, as it can only accommodate small planes. Smaller planes=less passengers=higher rates.
But trust us, it is well worth the journey and with a little preparation, you can enjoy the island at a lower cost. Forego a hotel for a homestay and bring your own bicycle for touring the island. On average, daily lodging in a homestay costs 350 Php per night (hotels can be double that at least), meals would cost around 100-150 Php (multiplied by 3 meals per day, unless you cook them yourself), and a guided tour in Batanes can cost up to 1500 Php per person, per tour. With this in mind, it’s essential to come prepared with both cash and a plan to ensure that you can enjoy your time in Batanes to the fullest.
5. Find the deals.
Photo credit: Camz Co
Round-trip airfare to Batanes can skyrocket to about P15,000. So be prepared and plan ahead. Look online for the best deals and budget the rest of your trip accordingly—you can start with PAL Express and Skyjet. Fortunately, the only other money you will be spending is on any of your travel experiences and accommodations! There is little in the way of shopping in Batanes so at least you don’t have that to worry about. Plus, who wants to shop when you have miles of beautiful beaches to walk?
6. Explore and take lots of photos.
Photo credit: chemanyulo
Anyone who’s ever been to Batanes swears by the beauty of the province. With stunning spots like the Basco Lighthouse at Naidi Hills, Chadpidan Beach or Batanes’ Rolling Hills, you’ll be glad you brought those extra batteries and an extra memory card or two. If you weren’t a shutterbug before, you’ll fast become one when you visit Batanes.
Though you can certainly explore the province on your own, it might be better to book a package from Batanes tour services and hire a local guide who can help you experience the real beauty and culture of Batanes from a unique perspective.
Photo credit: JL Gavino
Overall, if you’re making Batanes your next travel destination, do a little planning. If you follow these tips and budget your costs and time effectively, you will better be able to enjoy your experience in Batanes. It may not be easy to get there, but it’s definitely worth it!
Do you have other packing tips for travel to this beautiful province that you want to share with us? Let us know in the comments below! :)