Batanes is an archipelago province in the Philippines situated in the Cagayan Valley region. It is the northernmost province in the country, and also the smallest, both in population and land area. Its capital is Basco located on the island of Batan. The entire province is listed in the UNESCO tentative list for inscription in the World Heritage List. The government has been finalizing the site's inscription, establishing museums and conservation programs since 2001. The government aims to push for the site's inclusion between 2018-2019. Seven intangible heritage elements of the Ivatan have been set by the Philippine government in its initial inventory in 2012. The elements are undergoing a process to be included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists between 2018-2025.
One visit to Batanes and you’ll immediately see that it is a solo backpacker’s paradise. Homestay accommodations are cheap, many of which house single rooms. You can easily and enjoyably explore the capital town Basco by bicyle and the rest of Batan Island and Sabtang Island by motorcycle or tricycle. Because the primary activity for tourists here is simple sightseeing, you don’t need to have company to appreciate much of what it has to offer. Batanes is one of those destinations that captivates effortlessly. It is visually stunning and culturally fascinating, but what sets it apart is its reclusive calm. Batanes has a natural ability to force you to reflect, get lost in thought, and find peace even for a moment.