Quietly situated in the northernmost tip of the Philippine archipelago, Batanes is one of the most breathtaking places in this Southeast Asian country–possibly even in the world. It is a paradise that encapsulates every backpacker’s dream: the great outdoors, rolling hills, the sound of the blue waves, rich culture, captivating history and the friendliest faces you will ever see. The simplicity of life in Batanes and the countless grand landscapes matching it will not only surprise you. It will also earn a well-deserved spot on your bucket list.
Here are 5 reasons why Batanes, Philippines is your next dream destination:
1) It’s a treat for your senses
From the thriving green hills, to the magnificent smooth boulders by the beach, Batanes has them all. Because it is a mountainous island that is surrounded by water, you get the best of what nature has to offer. It’s difficult not to get overwhelmed by the lush landscapes and clear blue skies.
2. Quaint and pretty churches… who knew?
If you’re a typical urban resident, chances are you’ve never seen tiny stone churches like the ones in Batanes. They’re charming in their own quiet ways, and they complement everything in this island.
3. Motorcycle rides will never be the same
Picture this: You are riding a standard motorcycle, hearing nothing but the whistle of the wind, feeling nothing but the tickle of the breeze, and seeing nothing but the vast blue skies ahead, the mountains on your right, and the sea on your left.
How. beautiful. is. that.
4. Stone houses and lighthouses like you’ve never seen ’em before
Batanes infrastructures were made to survive the worst typhoons, the harshest winds, the cold nights and the extremely hot noons in this region. The limestone walls, reed and cogon roofs easily preserve the structure of the Ivatan houses, and true enough, they are still standing even after hundreds of years! The roofs are replaced every few decades, but just see how glorious they look. Photos will never do them justice, so you’ll have to see them for yourself!
Quick tip: Dinner by the lighthouse is always so romantic, so make sure your agency plans one during your trip!
5. Beyond the amazing sceneries is a simple community worth meeting
The people of Batanes are called the Ivatan. They are warm, endearing locals who have beautifully maintained their paradise and are now sharing it with the world. Despite the threats of commercialism, Batanes has remained true to its core by protecting its culture and preserving its history. Have a chat with the natives, watch them sew their traditional Ivatan attire by hand, and learn about Batanes from the very people who make it what it is.