The Province of Batanes is located at the northernmost part of the Philippines. It is also the smallest province in the country, both in terms of population and land area. Basco is the province's capital.
The province is comprised of ten islands, collectively called the Batanes Islands, located about 162 km north of the Luzon mainland in the Luzon Strait and is part of the Cagayan Valley region in Luzon. Of this island group, the largest and only inhabited islands are Itbayat, Batan and Sabtang.
The Batanes Islands are separated from the Babuyan Islands of Cagayan Province by the Balintang Channel and from Taiwan by the Bashi Channel.
The northernmost island of the province, as well as of the Philippines, is Mavudis (Yami) Island. The other islands are Misanga, Siayan, Itbayat, Dinem, Batan, Sabtang, Ivuhos, and Dequey. Only the four largest islands (Batan, Ivuhos, Itbayat and Sabtang) are inhabited.
Because of its location, the province has been isolated from the rest of the Philippines for generations. Untouched by modernization, the islands of Batanes offer beautiful and magnificent vistas like no other in the Philippines and the rest of the world. Steep cliffs, rolling hills, deep canyons and boulder-lined shores characterize the unique Batanes landscape.
The people of Batanes, also known as Ivatans, have also developed a different culture all their own. They are honest, gentle and polite but brave and robust. They are proud of their heritage and their land.
Due to its location, weather in Batanes is cool and windy. Rain is expeceted any month of the year. It has an almost temperate temperature from December to February where temperatures dip as low as 7 degrees centigrade. And since Batanes lies along the typhoon belt, it gets hit by strong typhoons. The Ivatans build massive stone houses which were built to withstand storms.
Batanes offers a lot of fun activities to visitors: swim on the many beaches, see the old churches and lighthouses, island hop and marvel at nature's beauty.