Batanes: Places to Visit in South Batan

Batanes Places to Visit in South Batan

The larger part of the Batan Tour is South Batan. It was my third day in Batanes, I didn’t rent a mountain bike this time but instead, I joined the same group that I was with on my Sabtang tour. Unlike its northern counterpart, some of the sites in this region are distant from each other. Most of the roads leading to the landmarks are along the coast; I was already in for a treat with the beauteous view of the hills, cliffs, blue skies and the big blue Pacific Ocean and South China Sea even before we get to our journey’s end. They say that if you have been enthralled by North Batan wait until you see the South.

Chawa or Chanarian View Deck

Nearest to Basco, it was our first stopover for the day. There is an image of the Virgin Mary on the view deck and some seats if you wish not to go down the cliff because mind you, though it would be nice to experience what it’s like near the rocks with the sea splashing on it, it is taxing to go back up.

Chanarian View Deck Batanes
Chawa or Chanarian View Deck
Grotto at Chawa View Deck Batanes
Grotto at Chawa View Deck

San Carlos Borromeo Church - Blank Book Archive

It was first built in 1787 with light materials. In 1789, the stone edifice was established. It was declared by the National Museum as a National Cultural Treasure on July 31, 2001. Just next to the church was the blank book archive - a room filled with books with blank pages, where one can put in whatever is on their mind. It was still closed when we got their so we weren’t able to get in. So, I guess it would be a great excuse to go back, don’t you think? 🙂

San Carlos Borromeo Parish Batanes
One of the old churches in Batanes

Tayid Lighthouse

Standing tall facing the majestic Pacific Ocean is Tayid Lighthouse on the hills of Mahatao. Unlike the Basco Lighthouse where you can easily walk up to it from the town proper, Tayid Lighthouse is more difficult to reach without a vehicle. But like the former, it would not disappoint and would make your eyes marvel of what it has to offer.

Tayid Lighthouse Batanes
Tayid Lighthouse

Mahatao Boat Shelter

It is where fishing boats take cover when the weather becomes punitive.

Mahatao Boat Shelter Batanes
Mahatao Boat Shelter

San Jose de Ivana Church

The church was declared a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in 2008. Originally built as a chapel in 1787 the stone structure was constructed in 1797.

San Jose de Ivana Church from Ivana Port Batanes
San Jose de Ivana Church from Ivana Port

Honesty Coffee Shop

It is located just a few steps away from Ivana Port and San Jose de Ivana Church. Unmanned at all times, the owner just comes in on certain times to refill the goods. If you want to buy any of their products, just take what you want and record it in their logbook and drop your payment in their cash box. You should prepare the exact amount but if you don’t have exact change, anything is excess is regarded as tip. This is how trustworthy the Ivatan’s are. The store has been very successful that most home stays have embraced its concept to their own businesses.

Spanish Bridge

It was built in the 17th century by the Spaniards to link villages and to encourage locals to go to church. It is still being used until now. Our tour van just passed by in front of it but we didn’t go down anymore.

House of Dakay

Built since the 18th century, it is the oldest stone house in Batanes and had survived a lot of natural calamities including the 8.3 magnitude earthquake in 1918. It has been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Building. The original owner was Luisa Estrella then later on willed it to his nephew Jose Dakay Estrella to whom it got its name. Now, the house is still occupied by the only living descendant of the Estrella’s but tourists are welcome to come in for photo ops, just have to ask for permission.

Homoron Blue Lagoon and White Beach

It is sort of a hidden lagoon, before we were able to reach it we need to go downhill passing through some bush. The lagoon is in between cliffs with several big rocks scattered all over it. Our guide said that we will be going to the next site, he then led us through a small cave, its opening fits one person at a time, it was about 8-10 meters in length, 3 meters wide and 3.5 meters high and a few minutes later, voila we emerged at the White Beach.  No picture of the white beach though.

Homoron Blue Lagoon Batanes
Homoron Blue Lagoon

Sitio Song-Song Ruins

A tsunami in the 1950’s struck this town where everything was wiped out and has been a “ghost town” since then. The residents were relocated to a different province but came back eventually. Unfortunately, I was not able to take some pictures.

Alapad Hill – Alapad Pass Rock Formation

This road cutting through the hill is located in the town of Uyugan. It is a famous spot and everybody knows it as a location of a local movie.

Marlboro Country - Racuh A Payaman

This is where we had lunch in a nearby hut. I have experienced tranquility in feeling the strong wind on my face, seeing nothing but the green grasses cloaking the hills, grazing cows and clear skies. From this vantage point is an astounding sight of Tayid lighthouse, Mt Iraya and the Pacific Ocean. What a nice place to end our tour.

Have you been enthused to pay a visit in Batanes?

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I have always yearned to try out new things but I tend to procrastinate or too reluctant to take that first step to making it happen and being an introvert only made it even harder. When In My Journeys is all about stepping out of that comfort zone and bringing all those aspirations come to life while exploring different places, trying the not so familiar things and meeting new souls. Seize the moment! Let us all Go Out, Travel, Enjoy and Live Life!


  1. The Moment Keepers

    Beautiful photos of Batanes! Happy 2017!

    1. wheninmyjourneys

      Thank you TMK. It was nice to have connected with you. All the best for 2017. 🙂

  2. Oh Batanes where can I visit your innate beauty? Thank you for sharing about this blog post, this made me motivated to save money so I can visit visit this amazing Gem soon.

    1. wheninmyjourneys

      Thank you for taking the time to read. Batanes is really amazing and I’m sure you can experience it too sooner than you think. Abang abang lang ng seat sale 🙂

      1. Sana nga salamat sa tips.


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