Monday, November 12, 2012

Batanes: 3-Day Itinerary Turned 5 Days

by Shawi Cortez
When you visit Batanes, you will most likely be taking a package tour of the islands. Like all others. That's what we intended.

stone house in Batanes

But because my cousin missed his flight due to late check-in, our schedule and our financial budget got screwed up. Ms Noemi (Manager of DDD Habitat) gave us a fixed price to cover the entire tour for four people. So when Maki didn't show up, everything had to be divided into 3 and our individual share had to be bigger than usual.

Luckily, she was gracious to tell us to just do it on our own. Another option we had was the help of Ryan, a local tour guide, giving us the rates without the middleman price or service charge. They gave us the rates of the boats, the van, the tour guide, the entrance fees, and the food arrangement. We didn't really have much of a choice and in the end we were just glad that we did it ourselves.

Because there are a few who did it on their own, I'd gladly share how ours went.

Here is a typical itinerary and the expected expenses, details of which, shall be tackled in my future posts. So do come by again.

Sample Itinerary: 

Day 1: Northern Batan Island (Half Day)
Day 2: Sabtang Island (Whole Day, returning to Batan 3pm)
Day 3: Southern Batan Island (Whole Day)

Sample Expenses:

typical transportation expense

Thanks to SEAir's constant flight changes, our original flight was moved; therefore, we had to spend an extra day, which we actually didn't mind, and which allowed us to enjoy Batanes at a leisurely pace.

Actual Itinerary

This is what our itinerary actually looked like:
Day 1: Southern Batan Island
Day 2: Basco Lighthouse (am); acclimatized ourselves (pm) 
Day 3: Sabtang Island (overnight at Chavayan)
Day 4: Travel back to Batan Island (am); Fundacion Pacita (pm)
Day 5: Sunrise at Valugan beach and sunset at Basco Lighthouse

Actual Expenses

This is how much we actually spent:
actual transportation expense

We had the option to visit another island called Itbayat; but since the additional tour would already be steep for our budget, we opted out. Also, so we would have another reason to visit Batanes for the second time!

In the coming posts, I'll give you the lowdown on one of the best eats, how to catch the sunrise in Valugan Bay, and our meetup with the oldest man in Batanes.

Meanwhile, salivate while viewing these pictures. Talk to you soon.


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