When travelling Batanes, Sabtang is the second most popular destination amongst tourists. Its proximity to Batan Island and the ease of travel which usually takes around 45 minutes boat ride from Ivana Port makes it a go to place for visitors. Unlike Batan Island which has experienced modernization of houses especially in Basco Town, Sabtang has retained most of its old houses especially in Chavayan Village.
Sabtang is known for its rolling hills similar to that of Marlboro Country in Batan, the old Chavayan village houses and the Nakabuang Arch in Morong beach. One will feel awestruck at the magnificence at the same time simplicity of this island and its residents.
Sabtang Tour in Batanes can be done in a compressed half day tour or a chill overnight near the lighthouse. The usual price of tour is ₱1500 – ₱2500. Check out klook promo here
Map of Sabtang
How to go to Sabtang?
Sabtang is 7 km away from Ivana Port in Batan Island, Batanes. The trip from Ivana to Sabtang will take around 45 mins by boat. For tourists doing half day tour, they will be picked up by their tour operator at 5am. There is also a jeepney that tourists can ride from Basco to Sabtang Port just before the first boat trip at 6am. The boat trip will cost ₱100. Upon arrival, tourists will be asked to pay ₱200 for the environmental fee then start their tour.
There is no direct flight from Manila or clark to Sabtang. Tourists must first travel to Basco airport and then ride the boat to sabtang island. Also, unlike Itbayat, Sabtang does not have an airport. You can check my blogs on how to go to NAIA airport terminal from PITX, Starmall Alabang, SM MOA Mall of Asia and Santa Rosa Laguna
The first thing tourists will see before they arrive in Sabtang is the towering Sabtang Lighthouse on top of the hill. Just like the Basco Lighthouse in Batan Island, Sabtang Lighthouse was included in the proposal of then congressman Florencio Abad to be built as both lighthouse and a tourist spot in 2003.
Beside the Lighthouse is also a homestay for tourists who are spending an overnight
Close to the Port lies San Vicente Ferrer Church or commonly known as Sabtang Church. During the Spanish period, most people in Sabtang were relocated to Ivana and the Ivana church were used by both by Ivana and Isabtang townsfolk. In 1844, Father Antonio Vicente started the construction of the church after the resettlement of the people of Sabtang.
Savidug is the closest village from Sabtang Port and is usually the first stop of the tour. The Village is lined with traditional Batanes houses made of stone walls and cogon grass roof. The village is also close to the coast, thus prone to strong rains and winds when a typhoon passes.
Apart from Morong beach in Sabtang, Savidug also has a white sand beach where tourists can also take a swim. Unlike other parts of Batanes whipped by strong waves and water currents, this beach is relatively calm and peaceful and is teeming with small fish and other sea creatures.
Note that if you are doing a half day tour, your tour operator may not stop in Savidug Beach due to the lack of time.
St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel
At the end of Savidug Village lies St Thomas Aquinas Chapel. This white painted chapel serves the townsfolk of Savidug. There is also an old house near the chapel called the “Beaterio” which served as the house of the priest. However, it is mostly used now for photo-ops of tourists due to its dilapidated state.
Chamantad – Tinyan Viewpoint
Chamantad – Tinyan Viewpoint is one of the highest areas of the Island. The location is similar to that of the Marlboro Country or Raku-a-payaman of Batan Island with a cliff overlooking the coast. Below the cliff lies a white sand beach however, only a few people venture going down.
Chavayan Village is located south east of the Island. It is nestled at the foot of the hills that protect them from strong winds during typhoons. Despite this, the village is built mostly with traditional Ivatan houses made of stones, limestone and cogon grass. The primary source of living of people here are making handicrafts, vakuls and roofs made of Cogon Grass
Tourists on half day tour will be having their lunch and last stop in Morong Beach. The area is famous for the Nakabuang Arch or Mayahaw Arch standing tall on a white powdery sand beach is itself an impressive area where tourists can relax and swim.
The waves in Morong beach is relatively calm due to the cove like nature of the beach. Note that if you are planning to swim here to bring sunblock as the sun will be high up when you arrive in the beach especially those doing half day sabtang tour. Also, you will have limited time to swim as you will still need to catch the boat going back to Ivana.
Sumnanga is a fishing village located west of Sabtang on the other side of Chavayan Village. Just like other villages, the houses here are traditional stone and cogon grass. This village is rarely visited by tourists as it is not included in the tour. However, if you are on an overnight tour, you can ask your tour operator or tricycle to bring you here and experience the village too. You will see several types of Fuluas lying near the coast.
Sample Half Day Itinerary
05:00am – Depart from homestay
06:00am – Arrive at Ivana Port
07:00am – Boat Departure
07:50am – Arrive at Sabtang Port
08:00am – Pay Environmental Fee, Start tour
12:00pm – Lunch at Morong beach
01:00pm – Rest, Picture taking, swimming
01:30pm – Back to the port
02:00pm – Return to Batan
Sabtang Island Promo
Check these klook promos for your Sabtang tour