When visiting Batanes, top of mind to consider is a place to stay. To be honest, I imagined that I would find only traditional Ivatan houses. Little did I know, modernization has reached the shores of the northernmost province of the Philippines.
Basco is getting a facelift. Well, not much has really changed, as small traditional communities still stand, which is a good thing. Ivatans’ hospitality is intact and that invigorating rural ambiance is very much present.
You’ll land in Basco when you visit Batanes. It’s a municipality with only about 8,000 people. Their airport is probably the smallest I’ve ever seen so far in the Philippines.
The place has no shopping malls, but it has all the basic things you need. There are schools, churches, a hospital, banks and some restaurants.
The growing number of homestays in Basco is a good indication that tourism is starting to hit Batanes. Once you step out of the airport, you will see homes being extended to tourists as a place to stay in.
There’s nothing much to do in Basco, since points of interest are outside the town. But if you love walking or biking, you will enjoy its relaxing ambiance. Few vehicles are traversing the streets. Surroundings are clean and air is fresh. If you want to hangout and eat, I highly recommend Harbour Cafe Batanes.
Katuvang bed and breakfast was my first home in Batanes. When Tita Elda from Safetravel Philippines the onw who organized my tour in Batanes picked me up from the airport, I expected that I would stay at her home since it was too early to check in. I was surprised that she took me to the place where I would actually stay.
“It feels like home,” I thought to myself the moment I stepped inside Katuvang B&B.
There’s a small garden with two small kubo (nipa huts) where you can lounge at and talk to your companions over a few drinks. Katuvang is the Ivatan word for the Tagalog katuwang, or partner in English. The place is owned and managed by Mr. and Mrs. Mike Acebes. It used to be the ancestral home of Mrs. Acebes. She and her husband decided to turn it into a Bed and Breakfast.
The two were born and raised in Batanes, but they built their careers in Manila. Recently, decided to finally go back to Batanes and develop the old house to serve as their retirement business and their new home at the same time.
There are five rooms, all clean and cozy. What I loved about my stay was their bed. It was the right balance of firm and soft, giving me an extra comfortable sleep. The pillows were fluffy and the towel felt smooth to the skin. All rooms are equipped with hot and cold shower. Another great thing about them is that they’re using organic soap and shampoo!
Breakfast in the common dining area was part of the package. The house has a small living room for watching TV. The lovely couple made me feel at home during the entirety of my stay. We even had the chance to spend the evening talking about life over a few bottles of beer.
For reservation and inquiries, you can message them on Facebook or call and text them at 0920-410-8351
Another place I will recommend is Baletin Hometel, one of the newest to stay at in Basco. Hannah, the receptionist, greeted me with a charming smile and a contagious warm vibe, making me feel that I was in good hands.
The place is obviously new. The reception area is clean and spacious. People are very helpful, too. It’s two-storey structure with 12 rooms ideal for people traveling in big groups. Each level has its own television, dining table, and hot and cold water.
The room I got was facing Mt. Iraya, so everytime I opened my window, the green mountain and the cloudy sky served as mt view. The room was wide enough to accommodate four people.
All rooms have a private bathroom and fully air-conditioned. You can also enjoy free use of TV in dining areas, free hot and cold drinking water and free airport transfers, too!
Rate ranges from PHP2,500 for two, PHP2,500-PHP3,300 for three, PHP3,500 for four, and PHP3,300 for five.
They also serve food from breakfast to dinner, so there’s no need to look for places to eat outside. I guarantee you, they cook really good food.
If you want to get a 360-degree view of Batanes, go to the roof deck, an ideal place for a few drinks with friends, or for watching the stars.
Baletin is lucky to have Hannah who seemed to be able to manage everything. She was helpful whenever I needed anything.
For reservation and inquiries, message them on Facebook or call and text them at 09073897122 or 09164617781.
Most of the time, people with limited time to spend in Batanes go to Sabtang for a day tour only. What they don’t know is, they can stay overnight in Sabtang. If I had more time, I would love to stay there, a more quiet community where I could truly immerse in. I would also love to stay in Chavayan, another small community, my favorite in Batanes.
Neyala’s Homestay was my home during my two-day and one-night visit in Sabtang. If you need to catch the boat going to Basco and you don’t want rushing your tour in Sabtang, please do yourself a favor to stay overnight in Sabtang. It’s worth it, spend more time visiting their villages and be amazed by their scenic beauty.
The place will surely make you feel at home. It’s nothing fancy, but you’ll receive the warmest hospitality, making you feel even more comfortable. I got a room good for two to three people, with AC and a private bathroom.
Among the limited number of homestays in Sabtang, Neyala’s is highly recommended. The family owning the house was encouraged by the Department of Tourism to turn it into a homestay and extend their home to travelers. A clean simple place with all the basic things you need and warm people.
Price ranges from PHP300 to PHP1,500+ per night. For reservation and inquiries, please message them on Facebook or text and call them at 0949-317-7206 or 09199-88
There you go, whether you’re looking for a homestay, hometel or bed and breakfast, these places that served as my home during my nine-day stay in Batanes will surely not disappoint.