Valugan Boulder Beach
Valugan Boulder Beach is a unique and scenic attraction in Batanes, the northernmost province of the Philippines. It is a three-kilometer beach located along the coast of Batan Island, the main island of the province. The beach is not covered with sand, but with different-sized boulders that create an incredible landscape framed by almost vertical cliffs and rolling hills.
The boulders on the beach were formed by the eruption of Mt. Iraya, a nearby active volcano, in 1454. The volcanic rocks were spewed out from the crater and rolled down to the shore, where they were polished by the waves and tides over time. The boulders vary in size, shape, and color, ranging from small pebbles to huge rocks. Some of them are smooth and round, while others are rough and angular.
The beach is a popular spot for sightseeing and photography, especially during sunrise. The boulders reflect the rays of the sun, creating a stunning contrast with the blue sea and sky. The beach also offers a view of Mt. Iraya, which is often covered with clouds. The sound of the waves crashing against the boulders is soothing and relaxing, but swimming is not allowed due to the rough terrain and strong currents. There is also a grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes near the beach, where locals and tourists can pray and light candles.
The beach is easily accessible by tricycle or private van from Basco, the capital town of Batanes. It is part of the North Batan Tour, which usually costs P1000 per tricycle (good for 2 pax). The best time to visit the beach is during the summer season, from March to May, when there is less rainfall and more sunshine. However, it is advisable to bring a jacket or a scarf, as the wind can be chilly even on sunny days.
Valugan Boulder Beach is not only a beautiful spot for relaxation and rejuvenation, but also a symbol of the natural beauty, architectural heritage, and historical significance of Batanes. It showcases the rich culture and resilient spirit of the Ivatans, the indigenous people of Batanes, who have lived in harmony with nature for centuries.