5 Stunning Lighthouses to Visit in Batanes
The northernmost province has some of the most beautiful lighthouses in the country.
by Kara Santos | April 03, 2018
Lighthouses, these dramatic, towering, lonely structures, serve two purposes: their light guides seafarers across the sea, and they also stand proudly as icons and landmarks of a place.
In the Philippines, some of the most beautiful lighthouses can be found in the northernmost province of Batanes. These modern structures provide visitors with a stunning backdrop and offer spectacular vistas for those who choose to climb up the towers.
Although most tourists are familiar with the three main lighthouses (Basco Lighthouse, Tayid Lighthouse in Mahatao & Sabtang Lighthouse), there are at least five lighthouses scattered about in the northernmost province of the country. If you’re heading there anytime soon, why not try and visit all five?
Basco Lighthouse, Basco (Batan Island)
The easiest lighthouse to visit is Basco Lighthouse, which you can find in Naidi Hills on Basco, Batan Island. Anyone can easily bike or walk to this lighthouse from the main center of Basco. Standing at 66 feet high, this white lighthouse with striking blue doors and a red-roofed tower was constructed in March 2003 to serve as a navigational facility for local fishermen. It has now become one of the most popular landmarks and tourist attractions in Basco.
From the top of the lighthouse, you can get stunning unobstructed views of the West Philippine Sea to the west, Mt. Iraya to the north, and the Basco Town Proper to the south. You can also find Bunker’s Cafe nearby and enjoy an amazing view of the sunset from the hills here.
Tayid Lighthouse, Mahatao (Batan Island)
Another stunning lighthouse you can visit on Batan Island is the modern Tayid Lighthouse in Mahatao. The structure you’ll see is built in 2000, as the original 1700s lighthouse near the San Carlos Borromeo Church is now barely recognizable.
This charming structure with a hexagonal tower, red lantern room and roof lies atop a hill on the coast of Mahatao, facing the Pacific Ocean.
Unlike Basco Lighthouse, Tayid Lighthouse is less accessible due to its remote location up a steep hill. Visits here are usually included in the South Batan island tours. From the top of the lighthouse, you can get a 360-degree view of Mt. Iraya, the West Philippine Sea, and the town of Mahatao. You can get a dramatic view of this lighthouse from afar from the main viewing point of Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country) and Diura Fishing Village.
Boat Shelter Port Lighthouse, Mahatao (Batan Island)
One of the newest lighthouses on Batan Island can be found right next to the Mahatao Boat Shelter Port in Mahatao. The sheltered port is a man-made refuge made to keep the boats of Batan safe during bad weather.
While not as grand or tall as the Basco and Tayid Lighthouses, this lighthouse which began construction in 2016 has a charm of its own. Most tourists just see the boat shelter from above right after visiting the Chawa View Deck during the South Island Tour. If you actually go down to the port, you can stop by and get a view of the small lighthouse up close. You can also spot it from afar with Mt. Iraya in the background from the shores of Homoron White Beach.
Sabtang Lighthouse (Sabtang Island)
Sabtang Lighthouse is one of the major icons of Sabtang Island, greeting tourists and visitors coming by boat from Basco. This structure perched on a cliff overlooking the sea has been around since 2006. It’s just a short five to 10-minute walk from the port.
The 18-meter high Sabtang Lighthouse has a round tower with a rubble masonry finish all the way to the gallery deck and a red lantern room. It was recently converted into a homestay, with additional structures right next to the lighthouse.
Lighthouse in Itbayat (Itbayat Island)
Itbayat, the northernmost and largest of Batanes’ islands doesn’t get as many visitors as Batan and Sabtang Island. But for those who venture all the way there, they’ll be amazed at the stunning and rugged landscapes.
Itbayat is known not to have any beaches and shorelines, so disembarking from a boat is a bit of a challenge for first-time tourists. The port of Valanga on the Western side of the island is just one of the various ports located on different parts of the island. The lighthouse built on a hilly area above the Valanga Port is relatively new and still rarely visited. So if you find yourself in Itbayat, it might be well-worth worth a visit.
Do you love lighthouses? Tell us about your favorite ones in the comments!