Our First Trip Together in Batanes Philippines - The Hollapinos
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(Last Updated On: September 17, 2020)

Our very first trip together as a couple was to the most northern islands of the Philippines to the province of Batanes.

I was told by Katie that there are actually quite a few people in the Philippines that have not taken this trip because it tends to be a bit more expensive airfare than some of the more popular travel destinations in the Philippines.

Of course, she is very good with logistics and finding flight bargains, so we were able to fit this trip into our budget range.

We did not travel alone as a couple on this adventure as we also made the trip with two of Katie’s closest friends Eliza & Ali.

Our first trip together in Batanes gave me the opportunity to meet them for the first time and spend some time getting to know them.

Basco - The Hollapinos
First Day in Basco

The day of our trip to Batanes started with a very early departure from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

The flight was a little over seventy minutes and comfortable with little turbulence.

Upon our arrival at Basco airport in Batanes we noticed that it was considerably windy.

Once we located the staff that was assisting us with our touring, we had a short briefing and paid our ecotour fee before leaving the airport.

We were transported to our homestay and at 10am our tour guides arrived on their motorcycle taxis to pick us up and begin our tour.

We spent our first day our trip together in Batanes doing the North Batan Tour.

We brought our cell phones and GoPro to digitally record our adventure. One of the first stops we made was at a local church to confirm worship service time so we could attend and then all four of us were on our way.

Our First Trip Together in Batanes Philippines - The Hollapinos
Vayang Rolling Hills

I always enjoy travels to far away exotic locations and especially if it’s a new location that I have never been to before.

I can tell you that Day 1 in Batanes did not disappoint.  You encounter all the magnificent views that you see photographers, bloggers and vloggers post.

We were able to experience breathtaking views of the ocean, beaches, cliffs, rolling hills of green, gardens and grazing livestock that included cow & goats.

Our guides were very knowledgeable with taking us to the most desired tourist locations and they were very friendly and accommodating in assisting with taking pictures of us when we asked.

Our First Trip Together in Batanes Philippines - The Hollapinos
Valugan Boulder Beach

Among the locations we toured that made the biggest impressions on me was Valugan Boulder Beach where we spent quite some time watching the waves break onto the beach and taking pictures of one another and together while standing on the many small boulders.

Then Basco Lighthouse, Naidi Hills. The view from the inside the lighthouse was unobstructed and allowed for a 360-degree view of our surroundings.

I was able to take a picture of Katie in the doorway at the top of the lighthouse that instantly became one of her favorites.

Then it was off to probably one of the windiest, but most beautiful viewing areas of the day, Vayang Rolling Hills.

Our guides stopped just off the road at a location that allowed us to hike a short trail to the top of the hills that rewarded us with a view that felt and looked as if we were on top of the world.

We couldn’t help but take probably the most pictures we had taken at any one location that day and some of them that we took are now hanging on the walls in our house.

Nature’s beauty and memories of this day will last a lifetime.

Naidi Lighthouse - The Hollapinos
The Naidi Lighthouse
Naidi Lighthouse - The Hollapinos
Inside the Naidi Lighthouse

At the end our day of touring we were dropped back off at our homestay where we freshened up and then walked to a local plaza to dine.

On our walk back to our homestay we missed a turn or two and were briefly lost. 

Unexpectedly, it suddenly started to rain and not the typical warm tropical rain you would expect.

Eventually it let up and we were able to get back on track and find our homestay. It was time to shower and prepare our things for Day 2 tour which would be a trip in Sabtang.

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Sabtang - The Hollapinos
Faluwa Ride in Sabtang

Early the next morning our guides once again met us at our homestay and drove us to the port to take the small ferry to Sabtang.

The water crossing was a rough and too approximately forty minutes.

Once we arrived, we were greeted by our local guides that took us first to a local registration location and then to a very small local establishment for breakfast.

After breakfast we began our tour of Sabtang. We passed through provinces and many small villages along our way that provided us with spectacular views of lush vegetation and picturesque seascapes.  

One of the main attractions to view in Sabtang are the small stone houses with thatched roofs. They are very old and unique. We enjoyed the feel of location and the villagers were very friendly.

Our First Trip Together in Batanes Philippines - The Hollapinos
Stone House in Sabtang

Our favorite location visited this day on the Sabtang Tour was Morong Beach.

The shoreline of the sandy beach was lined with smooth, tiny seashells and the water was very clear and blue.

This is also the location of the Nakabuang Arch of Morong Beach, that was by far the most photographed location for tourists.

We ended taking one picture sitting together on Morong Beach that ended up being a personal favorite and was the wallpaper on my cell phone for many months.

After soaking up all the Morong Beach had to offer our guides took us to a local eatery above the beach and we enjoyed a delicious lunch.

At the end our tour day our guides took us to the local homestay where we would be spending the night.

Mahayao Arch - The Hollapinos
Mahayao Arch
Morong Beach - The Hollapinos
Morong Beach

I really enjoyed our homestay location. It was located on the main street of a very small village and just a five-minute walk to the port.

The home was very clean, quiet and comfortable. It was very relaxing to shower and take a nap in comfortable bed with the windows open to feel the refreshing tropical breeze.

When we woke for dinner, we walked downstairs to the kitchen to find a freshly cooked dinner prepared for us with local delicacies.

One of those delicacies was the local coconut crab, which is a land crab. My first time trying it and I have to say it was quite delicious.

After dinner we relaxed and took time to appreciate all that we were blessed with on this day.

If the opportunity presents itself to you, I highly recommend a trip together with your loved ones to Batanes.

It is a destination with many paths untraveled and does not possess the tourist congestion of many other popular tourist destinations.

You will be able to come and go with ease and enjoy many sites uninterrupted.

Our first trip together in Batanes remained fresh and vivid in my mind many months after leaving there and are still some of the most memorable of all my travels.

Most notably not just because it was our first travel together as a couple but because of the natural beauty and cultural we were able to experience.

Now go get yours!

Our First Trip Together in Batanes Philippines - The Hollapinos
Wearing the Vakul

Find cheap flights to Batanes

Book accommodation in Batanes

What to pack

Reusable Water Bottle: Nalgene

Immune Support: Airborne Chewables

Waterproof Action Camera: GoPro Hero 7 White

Comfortable Walking Shoes: ON Sneakers, click to read our best travel shoes for travel post.

Tips when planning your trip

Find cheap flights: Jetradar compare airfares from airlines and travel agencies to help you book the best flight deals to the countries ending with land. Click to read our how to find cheap flights guide.

Accommodation: Start with Hotellook! It will help you book hostels to luxury resorts at the best price comparing rates between Booking.com, Zen, Agoda, Expedia, Hotels.com, Trip.com, and others.

You may also check Hostelworld for hostels only. Click to read our guide on how to find the best hostel for you.

Car Rental: Book the best prices and services with Rentalcars.com

Search using your phone: Download the Jetradar mobile app in iOS or Android to set price drop alerts on flights and compare accommodation and car rental rates

Tours: Get Your Guide or book with Klook and Viator(a TripAdvisor Company)

And don’t forget travel insurance with World Nomads! Click to read our travel insurance guide.

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The Author

Mike is an OSP Engineer by profession. He is a dragon boat paddler and a softballer by passion. He has travelled to several countries prior to meeting Katie.

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