Exclusive Batanes tours can be expensive especially if you are a couple or a solo traveller. Alternatively, you can join a group tour. It is fun because you get to meet new people and gain new friends. However, a group tour means restrictions and time pressure. You are restricted of staying in a tourist destination as much as you want as you are in a group. Since I wanted to enjoy our very first Batanes trip, I wanted an exclusive tour without emptying our pockets. Good thing is that Bisumi Tour & Services offer Batanes Tricycle Tours at an affordable price.
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Quick Fact: BISUMI stands for 6 municipalities that make up Batanes.
Touring Batanes in Van (Group Tour) VS. Tricycle (Exclusive Tour)
I’m pretty sure that most of you are surprised that my choice is to tour Batanes in a tricycle. Here are the reasons why:
Van (Group Tour)
- Comfortable because vans are air-conditioned
- Faster travel from one destination to another
- You don’t get to see and appreciate the beauty of the surroundings because van windows are tinted
- You don’t get to experience the fresh air since vans are enclosed
Tricycle (Exclusive Tour)
- Can be a bit uncomfortable. Remember you are in Batanes for adventure!
- Slower travel from one destination to another. This is a pro as you get to savor Batanes’ breathtaking views!
- Since the tricycle is open, you get to see the real beauty of the surroundings.
- Affordable. Cheaper alternative to a van/group tour.
Batanes Tricycle Tour Rates
3 Days Tour in North Batan, South Batan and Sabtang Island
- Solo – 6,000 Php / Person
- 2 Persons – 5,000 / Person
- 3 Persons – 4,500 / Person
Rate per Batanes Tourist destination
*Additional 500 for each destination if traveling solo
- North Batan – 1,000 Php / Person
- South Batan – 2,000 Php / Person
- Sabtang Island – 2,000 Php / Person
Since Jen and I are staying in Batanes for four days, we picked the 3 day tour in North Batan, South Batan and Sabtang island for 5,000 Php per person. The tour is inclusive of tricycle driver / tour guide / photographer, Basco airport transfers, all lunch during the tours, municipal fees and permits, roundtrip boat ride to Sabtang island and BISUMI Tours souvenirs.
3 Day Batanes Tricycle Tour Itinerary
Day 1 Batanes Tricycle Tour – North Batan
The Batanes North Batan Tour will bring you to tourist attractions in Basco. Tour duration is half-day.
Whether you are touring in a tricycle or a van, the North Batan tour starts at noon. Edwin, our tour guide, picked us at Amboy Hometel before lunch time.
We were surprised that the tour will start with a sumptuous lunch! Edwin brought us at Vunong Dinette at Jessicas Place – a Batanes restaurant serving Ivatan delicacies.
Other Bisumi guests arrived while we are waiting for lunch to be served. There was a solo traveler and a group who are like us, are about to experience the breathtaking Batanes. It was nice that a tour guide was there sharing information about Batanes and Ivatan culture.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Sto. Domingo de Guzman Parish or Basco Church was the next Batanes tourist destination on our itinerary. Basco church was first established in 1783 and was first built in stones in 1795.
Located on the westside of Basco, the breathtaking Vayang Rolling Hills was the next stop of our Batanes Tricycle tour. Showcasing waves of rolling hills, this picturesque site is the perfect spot to view Batanes’ three major islands.
Basco Lighthouse was built in 2003 to serve as a navigational facility for local fishermen. Located in Naidi Hills, this 66 ft. Batanes lighthouse is one of Basco’s popular landmarks.
We also visited a view deck with “Welcome to Basco” signage. I’m not really sure if this is part of the tour but our guide was kind enough to stop in the area to have our pictures taken.
Built in 2005 to 2008, Mount Carmel Church is Sitio Tukon’s center of worship. This church became a part of North Batan tour in 2009. Sadly, Mount Carmel Church was ruined by the super Typhoon Ferdie in 2016 and is currently under renovation.
Another popular Batanes tourist spot is Fundacion Pacita. This hotel is the most expensive and the most luxurious accommodation in Batanes. It was nice that the owner and management of Fundacion Pacita allows tourists to visit the hotel.
We had our snacks at the Fundicion Pacita’s beautiful restaurant – Cafe de Tukon. I find their food a bit pricey for budget travelers. Nonetheless, Cafe de Tukon offers breathtaking views of lush greens and rolling hills.
Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel in Tukon was the next spot on our itinerary. This tunnel was built during the Japanese occupation. We walked inside the tunnel complete with helmet and flashlight courtesy of our guide.
Apart from Vayang Rolling Hills, Valugan Boulder Beach is one of our favorites in North Batan tour. This beach is known for its long stretch of Boulders caused by Mt.Iraya erruption in 400 A.D.
After an exhausting but fun North Batan tour, we headed back to Basco. Out tour guide brought us to BISUMI Souvenir shop to claim our freebies from BISUMI Tour & Services. We got 2 sets of coin purse, bag tags and keychains.
Day 2 Batanes Tricycle Tour – South Batan
The Batanes South Batan Tour will bring you to Mahatao, Uyugan, Ivana. Tour duration is whole day.
A typical 3-day Batanes tour is divided into 3 destinations. Day 1 is North Batan tour, Day 2 is for Sabtang Island and the last day is South Batan tour.
It was day 2 and we were excited for Sabtang Island. We woke up early as Edwin will pick us up at 5:00 AM for us to catch the boat in Ivana port which leaves at 6:00 AM.
At exactly 4:30 AM, Edwin knocked at our room and informed us about the sad news. The boat trip to Sabtang island was cancelled that day due to storm signal #1. I felt sad as I badly want to see the stone houses in Sabtang Island. Edwin informed us that we’ll just have the South Batan tour that day. And if weather improves the next day, we’ll proceed with the Sabtang Island tour.
Our first stop for the South Batan tour is the San Carlos Borromeo Church. Located in Mahatao, the original church was built-in 1798. A new church was built on the same site by Fr. Polo in year 1873. In July 2001, San Carlos Borromeo Church has been declared as a National Cultural Heritage Treasure. It is one of the 26 churches in the Philippines recognized as cultural icons.
Just beside San Carlos Borromeo Church is another interesting Batanes tourist spot – The Blank Book Archive. This mini library contains hundreds of hardbound books with blank pages. Guests can freely choose a book and write anything they want on its blank pages. It’s nice to randomly pick a book and read randomly writings of people who has visited the Blank Book Archive.
Spanish Lamp Post is located just few meters away from San Carlos Borromeo Church.
Tayid Lighthouse was our next stop on our South Batan tour. Built in 2000, this Batanes lighthouse offers a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean.
Our favorite on South Batan tour is Racuh a Payaman – Marlboro Country. Pegged by the Americans as Marlboro Country due to its contour and breathtaking rolling hills. I’m telling you, photos do not give justice to the picturesque views if you are wandering around Marlboro Country.
Next on our itinerary is San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel. This mini chapel is said to be the site of the very first mass in Batanes.
Alapad Rock Formation is our next stop. This Batanes tourist attraction became popular for the movie “Hihintayin Kita sa Langit” starring Dawn Zulueta and Richard Gomez.
The view in this Batanes tourist destination is amazing! I remember watching rock climbing goats in Youtube and I did not expect that I’ll see them in the gigantic rocks of Alapad.
From the viewing deck of Alapad, we’ve also seen the breathtaking view of Naval Base in Mahatao. The Americans built this according to our tour guide.
I was excited when we arrived at Batanes’ most popular store – The Honesty Coffee Shop. We had quick coffee and in this self-service store. Also, there is a beach behind which I think unknown to many tourists.
Also, we visited Ivana Church. This was first built as chapel in 1787 and was built-in stones in 1795.
House of Dakay is the next destination on our itinerary. Built in 1887, House of Dakay hold the title of the most photographed Ivatan house.
We also visited Homoron White Beach or simply known as White Beach. This beautiful South Batan tour destination is a popular picnic place for locals. The crystal blue waters and fine white sands remind of beaches in Tawi-Tawi.
Here is a short video of the White Beach:
After enjoying the beautiful White Beach, we visited Diosdado Macapagal – Jorge Abad Sr. Boat Shelter Port. This port is built under Governor Vicente Gato’s administration. The shelter port aims to support the goal for Batanes’ fishing industry which are fish sufficiency and job generation.
Last on our itinerary was the Chawa Viewing Deck. This view deck showcases breathtaking views of the West Philippine sea. Also, it was spectacular to see strong waves of blue waters go against the rocky coastline.
Day 3 Batanes Tricycle Tour – Sabtang Island
The Batanes Sabtang Island Tour will bring you to the beautiful Sabtang Island. Tour duration is half day.
Come 3rd and last day of our 3-day Batanes tour. There is only one daily boat trip to Sabtang Island and we can not afford to miss it. We woke up around 5:00 AM as we the boat in Ivana port going to Sabtang island leaves at 7:00 AM. Our tour guide Edwin picked us in our hotel before 6:00 AM and we arrived early in Ivana port.
I was amazed that BISUMI provides high-quality vests to their guests. Other non-BISUMI tourists were handed cheaper life vests.
Our first stop in Sabatang Island is Morong Beach. This beautiful Batanes beach is popular for its Natural Stone Arch or Ahaw. Just like other Batanes beaches, there are no resorts in Morong Beach. Perhaps this the local government’s way of preserving the natural beauty of Batanes’ beaches.
I was impressed on how organized the system was when we arrived at Morong beach. Everyone was patiently waiting for their turn to have their pictures taken in the Natural Stone Arch.
One of the reasons why I want to visit Batanes is to see the stone houses in Sabtang Island. Sividug Village is popular for its streets with stone houses. Guests can rent traditional Ivatan headgear and clothing for only 20 Php for photo ops.
The beautiful Chamantad-Tiñan Viewing Point was next on our itinerary. This hill offers picturesque views of the sea, rocky coastline and white sand beach. Truly one of the most beautiful places in Sabtang Island.
After enjoying the breathtaking views from Chamantad-Tiñan Viewing Point, we headed to Sabtang Weaver’s Association in Chavayan Village. Since we brought toys for my Travel with a Purpose Project, Jen and I decided to look for kids to give toys instead of visiting the Sabtang Weaver’s Association.
Chavayan Village is relatively small. Like Sividug Village, it was fascinating to see the old stone houses. It felt like I was on a totally different dimension.
There is also Sta. Rosa de Lima Chapel located on the other end of the Chavayan Village. We learned from our tour guide that this is the only remaining Batanes church roofed in cogon grass.
Wakay Beach is the last stop on our Sabtang tour itinerary. This white sand beach with crystal blue waters offers scenic and picture perfect views. Also, we had our free sumptuous lunch in this beautiful beach.
After lunch, we headed back to Sabtang Port to catch the boat going back to Basco.
Overall, we enjoyed touring the breathtaking Batanes in a tricycle. Kudos to BISUMI Tours & Services especially to our tour guides Edwin and Jimmy for making our very first Batanes trip fun and memorable!