Few weeks before my trip, I already sent inquiries to Ryan Cardona, owner of BISUMI Tours and Services. BISUMI stands for the 6 municipalities of Batanes namely Basco, Itbayat, Sabtang, Uyugan, Mahatao, and Ivana. My 3-day tour costs a total of ₱4,300 inclusive of land/boat transfers and lunch.
For first day of my tour, I was alone and had my own driver and tour guide. Sosyal di ba? LOL. It was kind of awkward at first, donya levels kasi yung drama pero ok lang, masaya naman siya. Haha. Anyway, the tour started with lunch at Octagon Bed and Dine...
Super hebigat ng lunch ko di ba? There's beef soup, a mini lobster, huge serving of roast beef and bukayo for dessert. Day 1 pa lang sira na kaagad ang diet.
I just had to have lunch outside the resto to enjoy the view of Naidi Hills and the Basco Lighthouse.
First Stop: Mt. Carmel Chapel also known as Tukon Church
Second Stop: DOST-PAGASA's Weather Station where you'll find the northernmost doppler radar in the Philippines.
Across the station is a waiting shed with a view of the Pacific Ocean. See the tiny buildings on the left part of the photo? That's Fundacion Pacita.
Third Stop: Fundacion Pacita
Fundacion Pacita reminds me of the boutique hotels in Tagaytay. The place is filled obviously by artworks of Pacita Abad as well as up-and-coming artists from the Pacita Abad Memorial Foundation, Inc.
Fourth Stop: Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel
Here's my tour guide Art leading the way inside the tunnel. Are you fit and want a bit of adventure? Ask your tour guide to take the longer route as seen on the right photo above. Medyo steep siya, so dapat naka mountaineering/hiking sandals kayo para mas makapit. Don't worry if you don't have a flashlight, you can rent one for a minimal fee from the tourism personnels outside the tunnel.
Medyo nakakapagod din yung pagpasok at paglabas ng tunnel so I had to rest for a few minutes and enjoy the view of the hills.
Fifth Stop: Valugan Boulder Beach
Sixth Stop: Santo Domingo Church also known as Basco Cathedral
This is the oldest church in Batanes that was established in 1783.
Seventh Stop: Vayang Rolling Hills
Afraid of heights? Time to conquer your fear and just enjoy the lush view of the rolling hills. Plus, I can totally imagine getting inside a zorb and just roll down the hills. Great idea to further boost tourism no? Haha.
Eight Stop: Basco Lighthouse
The Basco Lighthouse is the last stop of my northern Batan Island Tours. It's five floors high and offers a 360-degree view of Batan Island. The lighthouse is facing the West Philippine Sea so this is a great spot if you're into sunset photography. Notice the the small buildings on the right photo? They used to be the radio and communication center of the Americans during World War II. The white one was converted to a restaurant called Bunker Cafe but is closed during off-peak season.
Anyway, I noticed in Batanes the gazillion number of stars you see at night. Sharing this evening shot of the lighthouse captured by one of the tourists I met at Amboy's Hometel that flew in from South Korea. Photo credit to Chul Park.