Batanes

The real Cost of Traveling to Batanes

Ivatanyow

How much does does it really cost to travel in Batanes? You’ve heard the rumors right. It is much cheaper to travel in some of our neighbor countries than in Batanes. Why is that? Because 1) Basco’s airport has a short runway and cannot accommodate big airplanes. 2) There’s only are only 2 airlines that flies to Batanes. One used to be Seair. I dunno what happened but Seair no longer flies to Batanes. Now it is skyjet and palexpress. There’s not much competition hence the air fare can shoot up to more than P20,000.

But the good news is, Pal express has just started flying to Batanes. Well you can say that there’s still not much of a competition but at least you now have a choice in picking schedules and comparing fares.

I think there’s a need to improve Skyjet and Pal express’    flight schedule. because Skyjet fly only once around 5:00am (to and/from Batanes) during Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  While Pal express fly also around 6:00am to Batanes and 8:00am back to Manila, 3 times a week. Hence your 3d/2n tour will be chopped off to only 2 days.

Unless you’re lucky enough to catch a seat sale, the cost of the airfare alone is the following:

Skyjet:

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Palexpress (Airphil Express)

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Pal Express is a bit cheaper but Skyjet accomodates more passengers. Skyjet can accomodate 90 passengers and Palexpress accomodates 76 passengers.

This is just the beginning of your expenditures because you still have to book your hotels and tour.

In our experience we purchased a package tour which includes everything including air tickets, accommodation, day tours and meals and it costs around P25,000 per pax for 3d/2n.  tour. We were grateful for the price of the package because few months earlier the price of the package was P50,000 per pax. If you opt to stay longer the cost of a 4d/3n package is P30,000.

Tip: If you want to spend a little less and you have time to do some research, do not go through travel agents here in Manila. Book your own flights (wait for a seat sale) and accommodation, then find a tour guide that is based in Batanes because the travel agents here will just book your tours with  another travel agent there which means you are paying 2 agents. Hence it is better do the job of one and to go to another agent directly.

You might ask, why did we buy a package tour if I know all these things, It is because this trip wasn’t planned at all. I didn’t have the time to do a research and look for agents, compare,prices, find hotels, present them to my mother etc.

We stayed at Batanes Seaside and our Tour guide is in Batanes is BCTA. If we didn’t go through another travel agent the cost of the package will only be P73,000 for 3 pax. We will only save around P2,000. Not much really hehe..

It is really expensive, but don’t worry because it’s all worth it. If you’re a lover of nature, culture and history, you will love it here. We wanted to stay longer but the flights were fully booked. We were not able to visit Sabtang Island, I feel the need to go back and experience Batanes. There are many unexpected things that you will see here. I suggest that you should stay for at least 4 days.

If you want an update on the latest seat sale to Batanes, Follow this Blog or like our page on Facebook. Enjoy Traveling! 🙂

Categories: Batanes, Philippines, my country, my love | Tags: | Leave a comment

Trip to heaven in Batanes

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I have been dreaming of visiting Batanes for some years now. I always knew that it would take time before I will be able to visit this place because of the cost of travelling here.I have no job. Hence I cannot afford 50,000 trip out of my own pocket. But the opportunity came earlier than expected because of my mom. This tour wasn’t planned at all. This trip was booked only a month earlier. Unlike those we had before which were booked at least 4-6 months prior to the travel date.

I was expecting that the weather will be hot. I brought sleeveless clothes, dresses and shorts. But when I got there. the weather was chilly even if the sun was out. I was worrying that I will not be able to stand the cold weather in these clothes but I forgot how cold it was when I saw the view. Batanes is very welcoming. The people are remarkable and very kind.

We went to a lot of places. But I decided to make this blog post different from the others since my experience here is not like any of my travel experiences before. Hence I won’t spoil the things that you will see in this beautiful place.Image

Fundacion Pacita Lodge is a famous accommodation in Batanes which is a bit costly. Here the work of arts of Pacita, an Ivatan are displayed. Her paintings are remarkable and very colorful. She is also an international artist.Image

Reminds me of Lord of the Rings movie 🙂Image

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My first time to see a light house. It was locked and not open to the public. Because they’re fixing it. Seyeng nemen! I always dreamed of seeing a light house.Image

On day 1 we already had so much fun. The wind was so strong. I was literally being blown away. My shades flew. Thankfully my tour guide was able to catch it.

I heard my mom shouting “I LOVE YOU BATANES!” and my sister and I were laughing out loud because we were like kids enjoying the view and the wind.

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After playing, laughing like fools and posing like models on a photo shoot we were so hungry and ate a whole Ivatan platter at Ivatan Platter which costs P1550. It includes yellow rice, lobsters, coconut crab and many more ivatan cuisine.Image

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House of Dakay. Built in the 18th Century and a nominee as a UNESCO heritage site. This house is created out of limestone from the sea and rocks from the mountain. They have to cook the limestone for 1 week. When it gets exposed to the air it hardens like a cement. One cool thing about having this kind of home is that it’s ability to react to weather. When the weather is warm outside, the house inside will be cool and when the weather cold the house will be warm. Image

Lola Ida the only resident of this home. She’s already 87 and very sickly. I got sad for her when I saw her eating alone.

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It’s a sunny day but it’s still cold. I guess, It is still spring season in Taiwan.

Since Batanes is closer to Taiwan than the rest of the Philippines, it experiences 4 seasons. That’s why the weather is chilly and it was raining a bit. Batanes is the only province in the Philippines that experiences winter. However there’s no snow

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This is a lagoon where only the spaniards could swim in the spanish era. Now it is open to the public. too bad we didn’t go for a swim coz there’s much to do and to see.Image

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This is were Dawn Zulueta and Richard Gomez once did the famous “iDawn Zulueta Moko” I almost asked my tour guide to lift me up like Dawn Zulueta because of the wonderful view..hahaImage

The famous honesty coffee shop. This was really just a simply coffee shop with Thermos and mugs for the people waiting for their boat. But due to its popularity, the owner has placed more things to sell like t-shirts, sodas, noodles etc.

If you’ll ask me I want Batanes to remain this way. I don’t want it to be heavily commercialize like Boracay. It may be expensive but if that will regulate the number of tourist, let it be this way. Let’s make visiting Batanes a privilege. Image

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These are called vacul. They are being used by women as protection against the rain and the sun.Image

The people aren’t like any other on this planet. They practice bayanihan which is rare nowadays. They are honest, simple, contented, kind and very happy. They want more tourist but not so much that will place their province in danger. They care for the environment and their surroundings. They are not greedy. The officials are not corrupt. They are diligent they are angels in living in a little heaven in earth.

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Do not expect a night life. People sleeps at 9 pm and wakes up at 4 pm. You will be penalized for causing too much noise here. Sabi sakin ni Cris yung tour guide ma’am dito walang prostitute. At saka nya ko tinignan ulo hangang paa. Sabi ko naman pwes meron na ngayon! Imported galing Angeles City :p

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I stood on top of this hill beside the light house and a glanced at this place for the last time. The wind was blowing harder against my face. It was strong that it was about to strip my clothes and  hair off. It started to drizzle. I could hear the windows and doors of the lighthouse fighting against the wind and smashing hard. I heard the cows moo. Beneath the hills I could see the blue sea splashing hard against the rock formations and the grass were being blown by the wind swaying helplessly but dancing beautifully. The sky was getting darker and gloomy but  the color of the ocean, hills, flowers were able to compensate for the gloomy feeling of the weather.   The color of nature was so beautiful.  I could smell the salty smell of the ocean, my skin was getting wet and there were goosebumps all over my body. If only my boyfriend was here, I would hug and kiss him. The place is so romantic and I could feel love in my heart. And I realize something. This is God. I saw his face and I felt him right here in this blessed place. I felt his love and his presence with these lovely people

I closed my eyes and communed with God. I was grateful to him for this beautiful Island he gave the Philippines to be proud of and my mom for bringing us with her trips. The happiness I felt can never be bought. the beauty of Batanes is breathtaking. It is the best nature trip I’ve had so far

A friend once told me that he could die after he saw Batanes. I’d say I cannot die yet, because I have to go back. I dream of a quiet life in a quaint little town here in Batanes. When.When I’m old  I want to live in a lighthouse above the hills with the cows, chickens and my husband of course.

Dios Mamajes Batanes. I will be back soon. 🙂

Categories: Batanes, Philippines, my country, my love | Tags: , | 4 Comments

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