Set your foot on Batanes and you'll fell in love with the place instantly. Batanes is one of the top tourist destination in the Philippines. Who wouldn’t especially when you stayed in a Nature Lodge nestled on top of rolling hills called “Fundacion Pacita”. This was once the home studio of internationally-acclaimed artist Pacita Abad. The lodge is a very peaceful accommodation with a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean. The building is a work of art itself, made of natural limestones and a lush garden surrounding it.
Batanes is well known for its rich cultural heritage. Located in a town called Mahatao is the San Carlos Borromeo Church, listed as one of the country’s National Cultural Treasures by the NCCA because of its significance and architecture.
You'll find a unique sari-sari store here called the "Honesty Coffee Shop." This store doesn’t have any cashiers or people to look after their merchandise. If you go inside the store, all items are individually labeled and there’s a drop box where you have to put your payment for your purchase. The owner of the shop is a busy farmer so she just open the store early in the morning then will leave to farm and then goes back in the afternoon to close it up. Nobody will dare to cheat here if you see what she had posted on her store.
Next to Mahatao is Ivana town where you can find the “House of Dakay”. It was built in 1887 and was believed to be the oldest vernacular house in Batanes. The house is kept and owned by one of the oldest women in town named Lola Ida. It is also the only stone house left after a strong earthquake hit the province.
Because of Batanes’ rolling hills and green pasture, different pasturing animals like cows and carabaos are abundant in this province. Would you believe that they don’t get their beef from Manila or neighboring provinces because they have an abundant supply of fresh cow’s meat. In Batan island, you’ll find what the locals call the “Marlboro Country” because of the luscious green grass and rolling hills.
There are three different lighthouses in Basco, Mahatao and Sabtang Island. The first is the lighthouse in Basco. The lighthouses in Batanes resembles that of the lighthouses you can see in other countries which adds to the beauty of the lush greens of the rolling terrain in the area. You can stay there for a while to enjoy the sunset and the cool breeze coming from the ocean.