North Batan Tour: 10 amazing places in Basco, Batanes

I had to pinch myself as I threw another admiring gaze at Chadpidan Boulder beach from the top of a hill. even before we landed, there was an great sense of accomplishment in me just taking a look at the gorgeously wrinkled landscape of Batan Island. Batanes has always sat conveniently on top of my list of dream local destinations, and I was finally here. Batanes is surreal.

The 10-piece Batanes group of Islands formed after colossal underwater volcanic activities millions of years ago. Batan Island was the first to take shape. The capital, Basco, is in the north, in the shadow of Mt. Iraya, an active stratovolcano which last erupted in 1454.

Batan Island is small and can be explored by bicycle, if you have the stamina. The hilly terrain can be quite a challenge. For many tourists who wish a much more unwinded tour, the tricycle is a good option. many traveler spots on the island are divided into two: North and South.

North Batan trip covers the sites in the capital Basco, which takes the northernmost third of the map. numerous who have been to Batanes consider it the least overwhelming of the organized trips (by trike or van), but that may be because it is also the shortest. This makes it the ideal activity on the first day as it gives you a sneak peek of what’s to come. but to give you a sneak peek of what North Batan can offer, here are the places that make up the tour.

ما هو مغطى في هذا الدليل؟

1. Valugan Boulder Beach
2. Nakamaya Burial Grounds
3. Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel
4. Fundacion Pacita
5. PAGASA weather station – Basco
6. Tukon Church (Mt. Carmel Chapel)
7. Vayang Rolling Hills
8. Chadpidan Boulder Beach
9. Naidi Hills (Basco Lighthouse + Bunker Cafe)
10. Basco town Proper

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1. Valugan Boulder Beach

شاطئ فالوجان
Mt. Iraya’s restlessness reached another top in 400AD when it coughed out numerous boulders into the surrounding beaches. Valugan beach lies on the eastern foot of the volcano. The boulders are actually andesite rocks, which have been continuously polished by the tides and the waves.

Boulders disappear toward the southern end, where shingles and smaller pebbles fill the coast. but if you have swimming plans, forget it. It’s not going to happen here. The waves are wild, raging, and as angry as your boss that they are ready to toss unsuspecting swimmers straight onto the rocks. Strangely enough, it is a ideal spot to chill and simply view the day go by.

2. Nakamaya Burial Grounds

Like many indigenous groups in the Philippines, the Ivatans believed in life after death. They considered the sea their final resting place. This belief is visible in Nakamaya Burial Grounds, which is shaped like a boat and faces the water. Human skeletons discovered here date back to ad 1600.

3. Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel

The 5-door Dipnaysupuan tunnel was built at the height of world war II, when Batanes was also occupied by the Japanese. hidden in the hills of Tukon, these tunnels served as shelter and even a lookout post for the Japanese soldiers.

Inside the Dipnaysupuan Japanese tunnel
You can explore the tunnel’s numerous chambers or climb to the hilltop for another breathtaking panoramic view of the island.

4. Fundacion Pacita

Fundacion Pacita
Fundacion Pacita is a boutique hotel (pricey and way out of my budget range), but day trippers are welcome to explore numerous parts of the place. The place is owned and run by the Abads, the province’s many influential family.

If you have the dough or you’re on a honeymoon, this beautiful hotel has the best accommodations Batanes can offer.

5. PAGASA weather station – Basco

View from PAGASA weather Station
The search for the best vista in Batanes doesn’t stop. another good contender is the PAGASA weather station in Tukun. Perched atop a hill, it allows a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape which is composed of Mt. Iraya, the sharp cliffs by the beach, and the rolling hills gridded by a web of hedgerows called liveng, used to shield the crops from رياح قوية.

Farther into the horizon is Dinem Island and the faint silhoutte behind it is Itbayat, one of the only three occupied islands of Batanes.

6. Tukon Church (Mt. Carmel Chapel)

Tukon Church is also known as Mt. Carmel Chapel
One of the most visible structure from the weather station is a small hand-hewn chapel built the conventional way. Boulders make up the church’s walls, interrupted only by carved wooden doors and stained glass windows. Inside, hand-painted images of the province’s patron saints, one for each municipality, wrap its ceiling.

Batanes representative Florencio “Butch” Abad had the church built as the realization of his late parents’ wish to have a place of worship within walking distance.

7. Vayang Rolling Hills

The rolling hills of Vayang face the West Philippine Sea
This is the part where you would want to burst into song and, on top ofyour lungs, belt out a lyric about the hills being alive and all. and they are alive, indeed. The crumpled landscape creates layers of different shades of green, and amid them are cows and goats grazing and resting prettily.

Vayang Rolling Hills.
The hills are alive!
The virid land fades out to the blues of the West Philippine Sea below, whose playful waves tickle the commanding cliffs. Their fresh breeze are carried by the wind, in some cases dangerously pushy. From here, the Naidi Lighthouse (Basco Lighthouse) can be easily seen, standing majestically as it prepares to welcome seafarers.

8. Chadpidan Boulder Beach

Chadpidan as seen from Vayang Rolling Hills
Another outstanding sight from the Rolling Hills: the Chadpidan Beach. The twin sister of Valugan, this boulder beach lines the western coast of Basco, facing the West Philippine Sea.

9. Naidi Hills (Basco Lighthouse + Bunker Cafe)

Naidi Hills
The province’s many renowned structure, Basco Lighthouse is one of the only two in the island and three in the entire province. (The other two are in Mahatao and Sabtang.) The six-story tower stands mightily in the middle of Naidi Hills. Naidi comes from two Ivatan words: Na, implying “past”; and Idi, meaning “settlement.”

A seeing deck circled the fifth floor, offering a fantastic view of  the West Philippine Sea and the town proper.

Basco Lighthouse was erected in 2003 at the site of the town’s former lighthouse and American telegraph facilities, which were destroyed during the war.

10. Basco town Proper

After the tour, walk around the town center if you still have the energy. try the numerous restaurants (some require advancement reservation) and street food in the streets.

End the trip with a visit to the Sto. Domingo Cathedral (Basco Cathedral), the first Catholic Church in Batanes, built in the early 18th century.

Basco town Proper
Note: Chadpidan beach and Nakamaya Burial grounds are NOT typically part of North Batan Tour. If you want to visit these sites, please inform the trip guide/coordinator. additional charges may apply.

Batanes Tricycle Driver: Our contact was Dale Veracruz. +63 929 341 0941. Rate: P1000, good for 2pax.

How to get there: From Manila, fly to Basco through buddy express (Philippine Airlines) or Skyjet. At the town center, you may rent a bike or hike a tricycle for a North Batan Tour.

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