Early this year, there have been talks about Airphil taking over the flights from Manila to Basco. Finally, it was confirmed with an opening salvo promo. For the limited period of February 25-28,2013, Airphil Express opened sales for their discounted rates from Manila to Basco. The promo base fare of P688 was limited for travel period May 1, 2013 to August 31,2013. Although the total amount of the airfare would be more than P688 considering the fuel surcharge, terminal fee, aviation security fee, etc. the sales was nonetheless brisk, up to August bookings. Would-be visitors of Batanes clamored for more promo fares.
Hopefully, with the coming in of more competing carriers to Batanes, the plane fare would be cheaper.
The Batanes Cultural Travel Agency (BCTA) announced the flights of Skyjet from Manila to Basco and vice-versa. Schedule is as follows:
Every Monday / Wednesday / Friday/Sunday
Manila – Basco (5:30 am – 6:40 am)
Basco – Manila (7:10 am – 8:30 am)
To make it easier on the budget of tourists, Skyjet launched two special promo fares for tourists and a special discounted rate for Ivatans. The latter is for Sunday Flights only, and for all Ivatans worldwide. That means even if they are working or staying abroad, provided they are holders of BCTA Ivatan ID Card, they can avail of the P1,000.00. discount. Ivatan Rates are P 5,900 per way. + P 200.00 Terminal Fee for Manila - Basco Bound Passengers.
UPDATE; SEAIR HAS NOW CEASED OPERATIONS IN BATANES. Now, there are two other airlines flying from Manila to Basco and vice-versa.
Seair was then the only plane flying from Manila to Basco, the capital of Batanes. We were lucky to have availed of Seair's Buy 1 Take 1 Promo for Batanes. Hubby learned about it through a photo buddy on the very morning of the last day of the promo; 'twas a real treat. If you want to go to Batanes, watch out for their promo fares, usually announced on the months of May and November.
This is what we spent for the roundtrip (of 2 pax):
PHP 11,777.16 Basic Plane Fare
PHP 1,000.00 Tax/Charge INS
PHP 1,536.84 Tax/Charge PV
PHP 30.00 Tax/Charge ASF
Total Price PHP 14,344 for 2 pax already; only PHP 7,172/pax (A GOOD DEAL, INDEED!)
Additional Expenses: P200 Terminal Fee @ MIAA Terminal4 (Going back to Manila, the terminal fee @ Basco Airport is only P20)
Before I went to Batanes, I was aware that SEAIR is the only airline that flies to Batanes. But, when I was in Basco, I found out that there were 2 other: Skyjet and Skypasada. Though, I don't know if the other 2 fly to manila via Basco.
I suggest if booking a trip to Batanes, do it at peak season aka the summer months to avoid being stranded. And also avail the insurance.
The flight going to Batanes took 1 hour and 30 minutes. And going back to Manila was 2 hours because of air traffic at NAIA.
What I don't like with flying with seair was the smell of the plane. It smelled like someone puked all over the plane. The scent was overpowering upon entering it. It's also the same scent during the flight going back to Manila. But during the flight, the odor lessened or I was just being immune with the scent. If you are sensitive with things like this, I suggest what the passenger next to me did, she sprayed a cologne to her hanky, and sniffed the hanky during the trip.
When you plan to travel here in Batanes
the first thing YOU have to do is to reasearch...........and ask persons who have done their travelling in that place.....usually theu will answer you...just post your questions........
and then second thing - its much better if you have already availed the package tour especially if you are travelling alone.....
four days and three nights will only cost Php 6,000 + food, tour, tourist permits, etc. included
it will save you a lot of time and money
i saw someone paid Php 1,500 a day for a trip to sabtang....he just joined our tour for a day
i also saw group of friends spending Php10,000 each for the 4 days 3 nights trip -......they hired a trike ,a van, tour guide.... everytime they go out for the tour.......
so CHOOSE.................spend PHp 6K and a hassle free 4D 3N tour or spend Php 10K for the same number of days.... plus.......the HASSLE......:)
choose and be wise :)
It is fairly difficult to get around Batanes on your own, as most of the sights cannot be easily accessed (unlike other areas I've been to). In our case, we count ourselves lucky that we booked a tour, and that the van transporation was part of the tour. Most of the beautiful scenery are up in the mountains and you're moving from one area to another which would be most difficult if you did not hire transportation for the day. The same thing when we've taken the boat to Sabtang - we already had a jeep that would take us around the island as the distances were far.
It's the fastest way to reach Batanes from Manila. If you book several months before your departure, make sure you check the schedule if it's the same as the one you're originally booked. When we booked last Dec '07, they were flying 5x/wk and they changed it to 3x/wk. Our original booking was changed and the airline called us only a month from the actual date.
Seair now also flies to Batanes.
There is only one plane that flies from Manila to Batanes and Manila to Boracay. During the day that we were flying, the plane had to trips to Batanes. There were angry travelers who were complaining because they had a flight scheduled on that day, but it was cancelled. It turns out that due to bad weather the previous day, the Batanes flight was cancelled, and so there were two trips that had to be done in one day (this was during the 3rd week of August).
The only option flying to Basco from Manila is through SEAIR. It's a pity there is only one choice, but a good thing at the same time that this options is available for us to discover this beautiful land.
One should be careful though - so many situations of flights being canceled and delayed, which I experienced myself. It was difficult for me, because their service was horrible and SEAIR was just very unhelpful. I decided to compile my practical tips when in this situation, read about it here:
The Budget Traveler Blog: http://tinyurl.com/4pwju5d
Hope you find this helpful and enlightening!
Hi, local airlines are dumping airfares so reconsider your plans to go via land.
Land route includes a Victory that ply the Cagayan Valley route then transfer to a ferry to Batanes. Another option is to get to Currimao, Ilocos Norte (Farinas liner or Viron, I think)then take the MV Ivatan Princess (63-0917-793-0102) to Basco. Smaller ferry boats take you to Batanes.
Victory Liner bus: http://www.victoryliner.com/
Batanes tourist website: http://www.batanesonline.com/VisitingBatanes/VisitingBatanes.htm or http://www.philsite.net/batanes.htm
Join a tour group to visit Sabtang island or you can organize the trip yourself. Here's how to:
1) Take the tricy to the Ivana boat station. P375 2-way for 2 pax. Or you can get up early and catch the 6am public jeep going to Ivana. Back from Sabtang, the (almost full) jeep was waiting at the Ivana boat station.
2) Take the falowa* to Sabtang. P40 1-way. 1st boat leaves 7am. Before you get off, ask the boatman when the boat returns to Batan. Ours was supposed to leave at 2pm but due to the bad weather condition we left early at 12noon.
3) Tour Sabtang by multicab. We went to Sabtang with no idea how to go around the island. Luckily the boatman was very helpful and found us a driver that can hire a multicab. We paid P1000 for 2 persons. Our driver Carding Ornedo can be reached thru Marites Agcaoili at 0921-3609574.
*The falowa is the 'banca' of Batanes sans the outrigger. It is designed to just glide along with the waves. Riding a falowa on the way to Sabtang is an adventure.
The channel crossing to Sabtang Island is where the South China Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. The waves that form on this channel are the biggest I've seen. The 5-km, 45-min ride to Sabtang was fine, but the ride back was pure terror.
Leaving Sabtang pier, the wave was slamming so hard we nearly capsized when the falowa was being maneuvered to face out to sea. The boat hands were all excited. They used long bamboo poles to steady the boat. My knuckles were turning white from fear. But that was just the beginning. The boat ride itself was no better, no thanks to the giant waves. My only consolation was seeing the locals looking more concerned about getting wet than being swallowed whole by the waves. The boatman, seeing terror in my eyes, was encouraging me with the thumbs up sign. The falowa proved to be THE boat for such crossing. The outrigger of a 'banca' would never have a prayer.
On the positive note, the crossing is said to be tamer near/during the summer season (Feb-May). Hope that its true.
When we were part of the tour group, (our day1) we rode in a jeepney around southern Batan Island.
On a another day, we hired Batanes Resort's van (Delica 4x4) which can sit 8 (including the driver) for Php1,500 to go around Batan Island. We were out 10am - 6pm. And just gave a tip to our driver/guide. Kuya Nards 0915-3827136, he knows a lot of the town folk.
If you're taking the falowa to Sabtang, it will be good to take Bonamine before you hop in. I don't know what's with the waters there. I've NEVER been sea sick before & I've rode several boats, bancas and ferries. But in this case, both ways, I was feeling dizzy and felt like throwing up. Better be safe, I was sorry.
The boat ride to Sabtang where you will find a more authentic Batanes takes 45 minutes. It is a bit choppy. I suggest you request that the crew leave the side covers up to allow for air. The smell of diesel in an enclosed area can be nauseating.
It is possible to just hire a jeepney to take you around the island for a day for P1,800 including driver and petrol. You may also throw in a Tour Guide to show you Batan Island for about P500. Contact Romy Merida for your tour. Note : This is one way of saving if you are a big group as a full day Batan Island Tour would cost P1,000 per person inclusive of lunch while a half-day Basco Tour would cost P500 per person.