Batanes is a province located in the Luzon Strait in the Philippines.

Also called Batanes Islands, it is situated between Taiwan and the Philippines and is the topmost island of the country. It is also the smallest province but boasts of rich wildlife, beautiful beaches and breathtaking natural resources.

batanes_mapYou can travel to Batanes by boat or by airplane to Basco airport, although the latter can be quite expensive. You can also check with a travel agency for package deals. These can average $350 to $450 per person for a span of 3 days and 2 nights, including accommodations and breakfast. There are boats that regularly travel to Ilocos Norte, although tourists might have to get a whole boat to take them across to Batanes. Flights to Batanes are 2 to 3 times each week, depending on the airline. Traveling in groups will lower costs.

The best time to visit Batanes is during the summer, from April to May, so you can enjoy great weather and clear skies. The beaches are also safer in the summer since the sea is much calmer. Some tourists, however, might find the weather a bit balmy or too hot for their taste. Overall, it is a great tropical destination for individuals who like to experience nature in its raw form. There are lodges, motels and inns in the area which cost $5 to $50 per night depending on the quality and type.

There are a number of notable resorts in the area that offer a spectacular view of the beach, serene waters and fine sand. You can also visit a number of ancient stone houses and other structures aging a century old. See some rare animals that are not normally seen in other places in the Philippines and dine in some local restaurants, like Shenedel’s Inn and Batanes Seaside Restaurant, to enjoy fresh seafood and local delicacies.

Nights in Batanes are quiet, although you can enjoy some wine or a beer under the stars with a peaceful view of the ocean and forest. During the summer, more people tend to visit Batanes so you can visit a number of bars and mingle with other tourists.

Some of the best places to see in Batanes include Basco Cathedral which was built in 1783. Visit the burial caves in Itbayat town where human remains are placed in jars of clay. Mt. Iraya is another tourist spot which is a dormant volcano with a lot of ancient stories. You can also bird watch in Cuyab, where species of birds flying straight from China come to the island each year. Rolling Hills is a great place to witness the sunset. Di-atay Beach is another must-visit resort which showcases colorful rocks.

Always bring cash when traveling to Batanes since no establishment accepts credit cards.