a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Aiming For Batanes?

Here’s some good news for those who are planning to go to Batanes, the northernmost province in the Philippines.

Starting October 12, 2009, Sea Air will have daily flights from Manila to Basco (Batan Island, Batanes). Currently, Sea Air flies there thrice a week – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
That’s only 50% good news, because the fare is still quite high but I tell you, it’s worth it. Batanes is the most beautiful place I have seen this year and I’ve already been doing a lot of wandering around.

Here’s a sample airfare computation for a flight for November 2009:
Total Roundtrip airfare via Sea Air : 13,647.20 Philippine Pesos

We were quite blessed because when we went here last June, we only paid 5,000 Pesos ++ which we booked via Zest Air. Unfortunately, Zest Air has stopped servicing this route and had moved us to Sea Air months before our flight. It was a good thing because Sea Air has expensive fares. I wouldn’t have been able to go if the air fare was this high. It’s even more expensive than a flight to Kuala Lumpur via Cebu Pacific.

Once you have booked a flight to Batanes, the amount of money you will require depends of the kind of traveler you are. You can spend less than 3,000 pesos for 3 days including food, transportation and lodging if you are the backpacker type.

When is the Best Time to Go to Batanes ?

According to the Sea Air website, with Batanes’ proximity to Taiwan, it experiences four seasons :

"Fall is from September to November, winter is from December to February, spring is from March to May, and summer is from June to August."

So take your pick! I think I want to experience the Batanes winter next time I go here. That would be more exciting. We went there during the Batanes summer – which was the start of the rainy season for Manila. What an adventure it was because the day we left, typhoon Feria was heading straight towards Manila. The sky was practically gone, the rain was pouring hard as we made our way to the domestic airport. With fervent prayers, our flight finally pushed through after a two hour delay.

Please visit my blog post regarding our Batanes trip. Links to the pictures, travel information, budget needed, other sources of Batanes information are there too.

Other travel information on Batanes here : http://www.flyseair.com/destinations/batanes

How to Get to Batanes:

To Book a flight for Batanes coming from Manila, go here : http://www.flyseair.com/

Alternatively, you can also fly to Batanes from Tuguegarao, Cagayan Valley via Chemtrad (sorry, I do not have their contact information).

Additional Information from my Multiply Contact, the Batanes Mountaineers:

"Skypasada has flights from Laoag to Basco and Tuguegarao to Basco.Their roundtrip fare start from 8k to 9k.Take advantage of our 2 mountain Climb promo. Visit our multiply site.***Batanesmountaineers.multiply.com***E-mail: batanes_mountaineer@yahoo.com"

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