Welcome to Hiro's Travel and Tours - provider of amazing, hassle-free, and budget friendly tours in Batanes!
We are looking forward to your visit here in Batanes!
Best time to visit Batanes? Depends on You!
If you like warm, sunny weather, then come February through June. This is the time that we have the most visitors! The weather is sunny, skies are bright, seas are calm - perfect for touring around the island.
If you like cool, rainy, windy weather, then come October through January. If you can't stand the heat, come during these cool months. You will actually need a jacket!
If you like unpredictability and excitement, then come July through October. For those brave enough to experience the monsoon storms that Batanes is famous for, come experience it for yourself! This is our off season due to the weather; on the other hand, you will get to experience real Ivatan weather - you will know why all the houses are built with thick cement! Make sure you give plenty of time for potential flight cancellations.
Why is it so expensive to go to Batanes?
Believe us, we wish it is much cheaper to get here. Flying to Hong Kong or Singapore is much cheaper than flying to Batanes! Yes, it is true. The cost of airfare to Batanes is much more expensive compared to other places in the Philippines. The main reason - it is hard to get here. Only certain types of aircrafts are rated to land in Basco airport. These aircrafts must be able to land in an incline runway and also stop within a very short distance. Batanes airport is a one way airport that can only accomodate small planes. Airbus or Boeing jet planes cannot land here. Most aircrafts that can land in Batanes seat about 30-50 people. In simple terms - since fewer passengers can fit in a plane, the passengers have to pay more; in contrast to flying to Hong Kong - an Airbus can easily fit 200+ passengers!
But look on the bright side! With Hiro's Travel and Tours, we provide you the best deal for your money. All our packages include island tours, hotel accommodations, meals, and all visitor's fees! If you have 4 persons in your group, you will get a private van and our most affordable rate.
Yes, it is expensive to go to Batanes, make sure you get the most of your vacation by having a reputable and licensed tour company to guide you.
Update: as of mid 2012 - Air Phil Express is now flying to Batanes - this means more affordable airfare for you!
Do I need to get a tour package and guide in Batanes?
If you have never been to Batanes and would like to see all the places that people rave about, then yes, you should absolutely book a tour package. Booking a tour package ensures all your transportation, food, lodging, and local guides are ready for you upon arrival. Don't risk not being able to find a van or a trusted, knowledgeable tour guide when you get here. There are limited number of vehicles and licensed tour guides in Batanes - and they are booked through Tour Packages. On another note, the distance between each famous attraction is far. You will not be able to walk through most of the destination - unless you are a good runner!
If you have been to Batanes before and you know your way around, then you do not need a tour package. You will be better off buying the tours a-la-carte. You can choose and pick which places you want to visit - and you will have a tour guide with you to ensure your safety and show you around. If you prefer, you can also go without a tour guide, however, more and more places are being restricted to visitors with Tour Guides only - for the simple reason that we want to maintain the beauty of Batanes and also ensure your safety. There are strict rules to damaging attractions or taking any items off the island. If you are caught, you may be fined or imprisoned! So, yes, it is possible to go without a tour guide, but be careful, reserve your transportation with tricycles or rent a scooter, or bicycle - we can help you with that too!
A friend referred me to a local guide - is it ok to go with him/her?
For safety reasons, we cannot endorse a specific local guide; however, if you should choose to go with an individual instead of a reputable tour company; do ask the following questions:
1. Is the tour guide licensed? There are many tour guides in Batanes, but only a few are licensed and trained to give tours. This means they are trained on the history of the sites, and also trained to look out for your safety.
2. Do you have a backup plan in case the tour guide gets sick or cancels the last minute? The risk with going with an individual instead of a company is that if something should happen to that person - you are pretty much stuck without a guide - after all the expense to get here - is it worth the risk?
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