2018 • 06 • 25
See full Batanes travel guide here: BATANES ON A BUDGET 2018: Travel Guide & Itinerary
Sandwiched by the West Philippine Sea and the mighty Pacific Ocean, the coast of Sabtang Island, just like the other islands of Batanes, is no stranger to forceful waves. Most shores are used as fishing ports, but one beach stands out because of an iconic rocky arch, the Nakabuang Arch, gracing its shore. Aside from the arch, the relatively fairer sand and gentler waves draw tourists to Morong Beach.
WHAT'S IN THIS GUIDE?
How to Get There
Nearest Airport: Basco Airport (Basco)
- Not only are the waves and the weather notorious in Batanes but also the airfare. The regular fare to Basco, Batanes is very expensive. Score a good deal via your trusted booking site with a fare comparison feature. Travel time from Manila or Clark is 90-115 minutes.
- From Basco Airport, ride a tricycle to Ivana Port (P220-250/ride).
- Once at the port, take a passenger boat (faluwa) to Sabtang Port (P100/way). Travel time is about 45 minutes. Note: The boat leaves for Sabtang Island sometime between 6 AM and 7 AM and returns to Ivana Port between 1 PM and 2 PM.
- Once you get to Sabtang Port, go to the tourism office and pay the environmental fee of P200. After paying, start your tour. You may choose to take the Tricycle Tour or join a guided group tour.
Entrance Fee and Other Charges
- Entrance Fee: FREE
- Camping Fee: Camping is not a thing here.
- Cottage Fee: No cottages. The only establishment there is the Paypanapanayan Canteen.
- DIY Tricycle Tour Rate: P1000 (good for 2 pax)
- Sabtang Guided Group Tour: P2000/pax (insclusive of meals and boat/inland transfers)
- Sabtang Environmental Fee: P200
- Others: P25/hr (old bicycle rental); P300/day (Japanese bike rental); P600-1000/day (mountain bike rental); P500-1000/day (motorcycle rental excluding gas)
- Marvel at Nakabuang Arch and take some photos.
- While you’re at it, have a mini photo shoot with your friends. Morong Beach is very scenic, especially when the grass covering the nearby hills is vivid green.
- Explore. Have a short trek up the low hills surrounding the beach or walk from one end of the beach to another. It’s just a short stretch.
- Swim and just chill.
- Have enough cash with you. If you need to withdraw, do so while in Manila or in Basco. Basco has 3 ATMs — 1 PNB and 2 Landbank.
- There’s a canteen in the vicinity, but if you want a cheaper option, there are carinderias near Sabang Port which serves equally delicious meals for less.
- You can also bring your own food and drinks since the food supply in Batanes is limited and some of the ingredients are shipped in from Manila. BUT clean up your mess. Observe proper garbage disposal. If you would bring in food from Manila, avoid cup noodles or those that use plastic. Lessen the use of plastic. Let us help Batanes manage the increasing volume of waste brought about by the growing number of tourists.
- Bring protection from the sun, especially during summer when it’s scorching hot: sunglasses, hats, rash guard, environment-friendly sunscreen, umbrella, etc.
- Cellphone signal is patchy. I’m using Smart and my friend, Globe. Smart’s reception is better than Globe in almost all areas of Batan Island and Sabtang Island.
- Bring your power bank or bring extra batteries to keep your cameras and phones charged. There’s a limited supply of electricity in some of the areas of Batanes.
- Bring a first-aid kit and your own supply of medicine (if you are taking special medication).
If You Have More Time and Budget
- Whether you took a guided group tour or DIY tricycle tour, you will see other attractions that are included in the itinerary other than Morong Beach like Chamantad-Tiñan Viewpoint, Chavayan Stone Houses, and Sabtang Lighthouse.
- Experience North Batan and/or South Batan Tours. You can even push further for Itbayat.
- Try the Ivatan delicacies such as libang (flying fish), uved/tabtab (ground banana corm with fish or meat, shaped into balls), luñis (salted pork cooked in its own fat), and venes (dried gabi stalk with either fish or meat). The lobsters are relatively cheap too!
- Rent a bicycle or motorcycle and explore on your own. Appreciate the scenic ride.
Where to Stay
Most of the accommodations available in Sabtang are guesthouses, homestays, and inns. Hotels are still novel here. Basco has the most concentration of lodgings in Batanes. If you are only doing a day tour in Sabtang and want to explore Batan next, here are some of the choice accommodations in Basco according to Agoda users, in no particular order.
- Amboys Hometel. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Midtown Inn Batanes. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Nathaniel’s Lodge. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- DDD Habitat Lodging House. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY