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Basco Batanes Chasing Wonders Travel Travel Guides

South Batan Tour Travel Guide: 14 TOP Spots in Batanes

Batanes is so much blessed with seemingly endless rolling hills and greens, view of the Pacific Ocean, and kind-hearted and warm people.

There are three usual tours in Batanes:

  1. South Batan Tour
  2. North Batan Tour
  3. Sabtang Tour

However, you can also set a tour on the island of Itbayat, the farthest island in the province of Batanes.

In this blog, we will explore the beauty of South Batan.

  1. San Carlos Borromeo Church
  2. Honesty Coffee Shop
  3. Mahatao Boat Shelter Port
  4. Diura Fishing Village
  5. Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country)
  6. Imnajbu Beach
  7. Alapad Pass and Rock Formation
  8. Sitio Songsong Ruins
  9. House of Dakay
  10. Old Spanish Bridge
  11. Homoron Blue Lagoon
  12. White Beach
  13. Chawa View Deck
  14. Tayid Lighthouse

14 Best Spots You will See on your Batanes South Batan Tour

We have already toured Sabtang and North Batan when we discovered the wonders of South Batan.

It is said that South Batan has the m

1. San Carlos Borromeo Church

San Carlos Borromeo Church is situated in Mahatao. Also known as Mahatao Church, this church was declared as one of the Philippine National Cultural Treasures in 2001 because of its beauty and excellent state of preservation.

Historians said that the church was known to be running and active since 1789.

2. Honesty Coffee Shop

Honesty Coffee Shop is situated near the Port of Ivana.

The coffee shop is called such because the owners have a very high trust to the people in Batanes and to the tourists as well leaving it unmanned, with the foundation of trust.
Batanes is known to have a zero crime rate and is well known as well to have a very honest community.

Tourists who visit the place are usually amazed with the place. Honesty Coffee Shop offers coffee, snacks, breads, souvenirs, and pasalubong as well.

3. Mahatao Boat Shelter Port

Because Batanes is prone to big waves and typhoons, the Ivatans made the picturesque Mahatao Boat Shelter Port.

Mahatao Boat Shelter Port is one of the most picturesque spots in the South Batan tour. Once in the area, you will be amazed to see different boasts resting in place and the water is so clear that makes you wanna take a dip.

If photos are taken in the right angle, you will see a resemblance in one of the Mediterranean spots.

4 . Diura Fishing Village

This serene spot in Batanes is like your peaceful photo of a village with palm trees, boats and children running near the shore.

Diura Fishing Village is a small community in the South of Batan in Batanes. Coming from the term Yura, one of the four pre-Hispanic tribes that settled east of Mahatao, Diura Fishing Village traces its roots back to 1720 A.D.

The village, which was then inhabited by only 300 people, is currently home to boat-makers and fishermen, now called the Mataw. This is still evident today as you walk through the small coastal village.

Every home is in the style of Chivuvuhung or Jinjin, which uses cogon for its roof and walls. The walls are hung with fish, mostly dorado (yellowfin tuna) and flying fish, cured with salt and put under the sun to dry, preserving them for the rainy season. – Primer

If you have ample time, you may play take a swim/dip near the shore with the Ivatan kids.

5. Racuh-a-Payaman (Marlboro Country)

Racuh a Payaman is a large pasture land in Mahatao, Basco, Batanes. Other name for the place is Marlboro Country which was tagged by an American Tourist because it resembles the Marlboro Country in the commercial of Phillip Morris Cigarette.

From then on, the land was more known as the Marlboro Country of Batanes.

Marlboro Hills is a feast to every tourist visiting in the area. You wouldn’t even think that this place exists in the Philippines while looking at the peaceful rolling hills and vast, wide, ocean.

6. Imnajbu Beach and Hills

Imnajbu is just of the four barangays in the barangay of Uyugan in Batan, Batanes. It is near the Alapad Pass and rock formation.

7. Alapad Pass and Rock Formation

This iconic spot in Batanes is one of the most picturesque view of the south. The undeniable and articulate rock formation is a sight to behold and should never be missed by tourists visiting the area offering them a view of the Pacific Ocean.

This is the only spot where you can take a picture with the ‘Blow your horn’ sign.
Alapad Hills or Alapad Pass is also where the 1991 hit movie “Hihitayin kita sa langit” of Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta took place. 

Tourists usually copy the scene where Dawn was being lifted by Richard.

8. Sitio Songsong Ruins

Songsong Ruins used to be a village before a tidal wave hit the village in 1950’s. This seaside town of Batanes is now considered ghost town not because there are ghosts in the area but all that remains in Songsong are roofless and abandoned stone houses.

9. House of Dakay

Dakay is the nickname of Jose Villamayor Estrella, the owner of the house, which was there for the last 142 years.

Luckily, one of the relatives of Dakay was there when we arrived. She also mentioned that the grandson of Dakay, Lolo Francisco Estrella, is still living at the House of Dakay.
The roof is changed every 30 years. We were also introduced to the breadfruit situated just beside their house which is used as a plate before.

We also learned that the kitchen and comfort room is separate from the house itself. So the House of Dakay is just the living room and sleeping area of the entire house. We saw the kitchen and comfort room but these two are damaged already.

Surprisingly, there’s also a basement for their food and stocks since Batanes is known to always have a number of storms.

Another basement is the shelter for their goats and other animals whenever there’s a storm.

10. Ivana Tuhel Bridge (Old Spanish Bridge)

As history says, this old Spanish bridge was built by the engineer-architect is Fr. Nicolas Castano, from October 1802 to March 1810, he was the one who ordered the construction of this bridge and all in Batanes, such as the bridges of San Vicente, Basco and San Felix. – ViganTourism

11. Homoron Blue Lagoon

Homoron Blue Lagoon is located between rock boulders of Brgy. Ivana and Mahatao. Tourists and Ivatans usually go here for a dip.

12. Homoron White Beach

Near the Homoron Blue Lagoon is what they call White Beach of Batanes.
This white sand beach is a bit rocky although you can swim in its shallow waters. The white beach can be reached through motorcycle but there are no beach resorts in the area.

13. Chawa View Deck

Chawa View Deck is situated at the mountainside of Batan and Mahatao. This view deck is a surprise to everyone giving them a 270-degree view of the mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
What’s more interesting here is that Chawa View Deck has stairs going down the deck. Locals say that you can go fishing here as well.

14. Tayid Lighthouse

Tayid Lighthouse is one of the most serene places in the South of Batan. This spot overlooks endless rolling hills, Mt. Iraya, and if lucky, you will see herds of cows with their cowherd and his dog.

If you still have ample time, we suggest you stay a little longer here and take a rest at the back of the lighthouse. It is truly a once in a lifetime experience.

Batanes Travel Guide Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where to Stay in Batanes?
  2. What are the usual tours in Batanes?
  3. What and where to eat in Batanes?
  4. Best Batanes Tour Providers
  5. What to do in Batanes?

Where to Book Sabtang Batanes Tour?

We highly suggest you book your Sabtang tour with a well-organized, hassle-free tour provider. Tried Batanes DIY before — it was adventures, yes but would like to suggest to have a team who’ll help you maximize your Batanes trip.

Got ours from the Amazing Batanes Tours! From the name itself, this tour provider is actually amazing! They’ve got cool tour guides — whom I think knows everything! All our questions where answered and we were brought to many awesome places. Check them out!

Check this blog about them as well at Amazing Batanes Tour Provider Review.

Categories
Batanes Beach Getaways Chasing Wonders Staycations

Where to Stay in Sabtang: Pananayan Pension House and the Camping By the Beach Experience

Looking for the best place to stay on the beautiful island of Sabtang in Batanes? We would definitely like to recommend Pananayan Pension House!

Pananayan Pension House is the best homestay in Sabtang island if you want a perfect view of the ocean, the lighthouse, and if you want to try camping by the shore.

The term ‘Pananayan‘ is an Ivatan term for waiting area. I talked to Ms. Joyce Elesterio, the very welcoming daughter and manager of the homestay and Pananayan canteen, and she mentioned that their business used to be near the port which served to be a waiting area for people going in and out of Sabtang Island.

We actually planned in staying on the island for about three nights but our supposedly first day in Sabtang was canceled because of the typhoon that time. I actually thought we’ll never get to the island because of the storm.

Good thing we just got stranded in Basco for one night! Still a good thing though because we get to experience the Batanes storm together! Haha!

Anyway, I was actually excited to check-in because of happyandbusytravel’s blog about the Pananayan Pension House!

Pananayan Pension House, Sabtang, Batanes

Okay, I want you to be present with me. Imagine staying near Sabtang’s shoreline with the lighthouse near you. At night, you can hear the soothing sound of waves, with the moon above the ocean, and with the stars sparkling so bright at night — together with the love of your life. Isn’t it sweet? Hehe.

It was actually a dream come true.

The Smooth Check-In

It was around 8 o’clock in the morning when we checked in at the Pananayan Pension House in Sabtang Island.

Since there’s no data connection or mobile signal in the area, I was not able to message Pananayan Pension House that we’ll be moving our stay to the next day, if the weather permits.

When we got to the place, they welcomed us with a big smile and helped us through our room on the first floor.

I was actually a bit sad because I talked to them weeks before that we would want the room near the balcony.

But because of the typhoon, they were still cleaning the rooms on the second floor when we arrived.

We stayed on the first floor first and asked again if we can transfer to the second floor after they cleaned the room. So happy they agreed! Our room was near the balcony, overlooking Basco, the ocean lighthouse, and the port of Sabtang.

We were also the only guests at that time. The house was all to ourselves!

I wanna go back. Really.

What’s Inside Pananayan Pension House?

What I love about Pananayan Pension House is that the whole house is generally clean and well-maintained. Really happy we stayed here!

  • Dining Area – Glad that they have a dining area! They also have a water dispenser, kettle, coffee and sugar, and mugs! Really a plus for a coffeeholic like me! Hehe!
  • Kitchen – There was no common kitchen in Pananayan Pension House but they were already constructing one when we were there. No worries about the food though because they also own a canteen near the port which is a 5-minute walk from the homestay
  • Living Room– What I love about Pananayan is that they have a living room at the first and second floors. Since we were the only guests at that time, we had so much fun staying in the living room.
  • TV They have a television in the living room however, there was no signal that time because of the typhoon. Would be better if they have cards or anything that guests can use for bonding time.
  • Rooms – I love their rooms! Pananayan Pension House is somewhat new and I love that the rooms were all fresh and clean. The whole house is well-maintained and you wouldn’t think twice about the cleanliness of the place. Not to mention that comfort rooms are really clean as well!

Pananayan Pension House Sabtang Living Room (1st Floor)

Pananayan Pension House Living Room
Pananayan Pension House Living Room at the second floor
Pananayan Pension House Balcony overlooking the ocean

The Pananayan Pension House Rooms

Here are some of the rooms at the Pananayan Pension House in Sabtang, Batanes.


Pananayan Pension House Room Rates

We got our room for around P400 per pax but they now have new rates. Please see below rates from their Facebook Page.


The Camping Experience

One of the items in our bucketlist is to try camping near Pananayan Pension House. We opted to pitch our tent early in the morning because it was so dark to pitch at night, we chickened out. Haha!

We just knew after our morning camping that if we opt to camp in the evening, they will assist us with our very own bonfire. Huhu!

oh, hello there, Mr. Sunshine!
Lovely morning view from our camping tent.
Can’t believe we pitched a tent! haha!
Camping area by the lighthouse! Beautiful.

We were surprised that they even pitched a tent for us!

At first, we thought there were other guests who want to camp as well. But turns out they thought we didn’t bring a tent! So, they pitched one for us. So sweet.

Camping before swimming!

Swimming Time and Roam Around the Shore


Of course, we will never leave without experiencing Sabtang’s sea! Hehe We went picture taking first before we submerged ourselves to the cold lagoon near the homestay. It was half amazing, half scary because we’ll never know when will the big waves come and what’s inside these rocks. Haha!

It was a total adventure.

Ryan, being his pa-superman self, went to the upper side of the rocks which got me so disturbed. Haha! 

Pia’s Thoughts

Pananayan Pension House is actually the best place to stay during your Sabtang trip. I also urge you to stay two nights to really enjoy Sabtang and have intimate moments with loved ones and self (if you are traveling solo).

I think it would be best if Pananayan Pension House has a common kitchen for guests though. Not sure if the kitchen that they constructing the last time was built now. But still, we are highly recommending this place if you want a home away from home, access to Sabtang’s shore, near the lighthouse and if you want camping by the beach!

Pananayan Pension House Details:

Where to Book Sabtang Batanes Tour?

We highly suggest you book your Sabtang tour with a well-organized, hassle-free tour provider. Tried Batanes DIY before — it was adventures, yes but would like to suggest to have a team who’ll help you maximize your Batanes trip.

Got ours from the Amazing Batanes Tours! From the name itself, this tour provider is actually amazing! They’ve got cool tour guides — whom I think knows everything! All our questions where answered and we were brought to many awesome places. Check them out!

Batanes Travel Guide Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where to Stay in Batanes?
  2. What are the usual tours in Batanes?
  3. What and where to eat in Batanes?
  4. Best Batanes Tour Providers
  5. What to do in Batanes?

Check this blog about them as well at Amazing Batanes Tour Provider Review.