Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Batanes Diary 1. How To Get There

Batanes is the northernmost province of the Philippines and is considered remote, unspoiled and raw. We wanted to find out for ourselves if this was still true.

If you're in the Philippines, getting to Batanes is easy via Manila. Pal Express (of the Philippine Airlines group) has flights to and from NAIA 3 daily at 6am (!) using the Bombardier Q400. It's a 76-seater turboprop that flies quietly and smoothly. 

Photo from Pal Express website

Regular fare is P7,000. one-way, but we waited and waited for promo flights, and got ours at P7,000. roundtrip. Half-price!  Life is good!

Basco is the destination to look for - it's the capital town of Batanes, and is located in Batan, the biggest island in this cluster of islands. 

After a smooth 1 1/2 hour flight (we all were asleep through most of the flight), we were excited to see this.

What surprises awaited us, Batanes? We're a long way from Davao City!

The closer to the airport we got, the  more structures we saw...

The beautiful Mt. Iraya behind Mats welcomed us. Although Mt. Iraya last erupted in 1454, it is still considered an active volcano.

All eight travelers accounted for, and happy to be at the stone house-inspired airport terminal before 8am. The early arrival meant we had the whole day to start our Batanes exploration! We were ready, Batanes!

"Travel...the best way to be lost...and found...all at the same time." - Brenna Smith

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