Unlike the South Batan Tour which is a whole day tour, the North Batan tour only takes half a day. We did our North Batan road trip in the afternoon of our Day 4. We met our guide at the Pension Ivatan where we had a hearty lunch of different Ivatan cuisines. Due to its popularity, you need to book a reservation here especially during peak season since the Ivatan platter tend to run out of stock.
After our special Ivatan lunch, we met our guide and we were off to our North Batan tour! Our first stop was Mt. Carmel Chapel or popularly known as Tukon Chapel. It was built by the Abad family in 2000 and inaugurated in 2003. According to our guide, the people in Tukon had a hard time going to Basco Cathedral to attend mass that’s why Congressman Abad then had the chapel built so that the Tukon residents don’t need to travel far every week.
A few steps from the chapel is the PAG-ASA / DOST Observatory / Radar Station. They said you can climb to the top of the tower but it was damaged when we were there due to a recent typhoon.
Close to the radar station is Fundacion Pacita Nature Lodge. It is a beautiful resort that has breathtaking scenic views of Batanes. It was a home and studio of Pacita Abad, an internationally-acclaimed artist, and that it was changed and renovated by her brother, Butch Abad, former DepEd Secretary. There are a lot of art here and they said that the money they get from the accommodations is used to fund the local Ivatan artists. During our 2016 trip we were not able to explore the inside of the resort but was able to take really good pictures of the facade and the entrance to their garden.
After looking at the greenery of the Batanes hills and Mt. Iraya, we went to Valugan Boulder Beach where we were greeted by lots and lots of boulders, said to have come from Mt. Iraya, an active volcano. It was a unique experience and we had fun playing “zen” with the smaller rocks and enjoying the strong splash of the Pacific Ocean waves as it hit the boulders.
From the beach, we went to see more hills. By this time, our jaws were really tired from all the “ooohs”, “aahhhs” and all the dropping. But still, the only words that we can say seeing the Vayang Hills and the Naidi Lighthouse are “WOW” and “ang gandaaaaaaaa!” Kasi maganda naman talaga! 🙂
We ended our North Batan tour at the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral, a.k.a. Basco Cathedral.
Other posts from the Batanes Series: