Are we the only ones who get confused on where to go? Especially when the options are all beauties? We think not!
Whenever there are holidays, most families in the Philippines immediately opted to go to cold temperature places due to the heat here in the Metro. Included at the top list of provinces with cool climate are:
Since we always wanted to go on side trips, why not include a visit to the beautiful BATAD rice terraces as well as have a quick hop off at BONTOC church.
Ready for some adventures? Get ready for a very detailed 5-day travel guide. Let’s GO!
- Day 1 Manila-Banaue-Batad
- Day 2 Batad-Banaue-Bontoc-Sagada
- Day 3 Sagada
- Day 4 Sagada-Baguio
- Day 5 Baguio-Manila
- Full Itinerary + Expenses
HOW TO GET TO BANAUE:
There are buses going directly to Batad. You have to drop off first at Banaue and ride a jeepney going to Batad. We rode:
- OHAYAMI Bus line at A H Lacson Ave, Sampaloc, Manila
- Daily Bus Schedule: 10:00PM – approximately 9 hours to Banaue
We advise you to reserve your ticket beforehand especially when going on a friday due to the high amount of travelers visiting the province.
Once we arrived at Banaue, we were asked to pay the environmental fee.
Hopped on a jeepney for free (included in the bus fare) to Halfway Lodge and Restaurant (which offers travel tours as well) to fill our tummies.
While having our delicious breakfast, we were already offered packages for different places in Banaue. But what we really wanted to see was the BATAD RICE TERRACES, ended up joining other travelers.
- PACKAGE INCLUDES:
- a jeepney ride to Batad
- a Guide to and back from Batad Rice Terraces
- a Sidetrip to Tappiyah Falls
You can also ride the local jeepney that travels from Banaue to Batad Saddle Point (both in the morning and afternoon).
After an hour of bumpy jeepney ride, we were dropped off at the start of Batad Trail until we reached the Batad Viewpoint.
We were asked to checked in first to where we were going to stay for the night before proceeding with the tour.
- Unfortunately, Ramon’s Guesthouse which is very famous and recommended by a lot of bloggers was already full.
We had to look for another guesthouse to stay and luckily we found the perfect place:
- BATAD TRANSIENT HOUSE
- 250 pesos/day – just a few walks down from Ramon’s
Settled our belongings and had a quick lunch before finally going on the tour.
As we walk around the terraces, our guide started telling us Batad rice terraces’ history. Stories and historical information on how suddenly travelers discovered the beauty of Batad.
- Always a plus to hear and discover new things as you pass by a new place.
Note: Never forget to be ALERT especially on your safety whenever walking through terraces to avoid any chances of falling.
New found friends who came from different parts of the world
Stopped by a souvenir shop to check out the antiques made by the locals. Feel free to look around, appreciate or even bring home some of their good stuff.
Few more treks plus sweats before finally reaching the top, overlooking the whole Batad. The view as well as the cold breeze were too overwhelming. It reminded us of all our realizations in your life. haha! What a perfect combination!
Beautiful. Can we just stay here for much longer?
TIME CHECK! we had to go down and proceed with our tour before it gets dark. Our guide told us that the situation going to our next destination TAPPIYA FALLS was quite unstable due to the weather.
For those who were still willing to go can go, but those who didn’t want to, can stay at the waiting area.
Since we’re already here and its one of our goals to see the falls, we’ve decided to proceed with the tour.
NOTE: ITS YOUR CHOICE, DO NOT PROCEED IF YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE IT. PRIORITIZE YOUR OWN SAFETY.
To be honest, the trek here was very exhausting! Especially going back up the waiting area. But looking at our smiles, you can see that everything was truly WORTH IT!
Went back to the transient and rested before taking a cold bath. A VERY COLD BATH.
Had some delicious dinner before heading to Ramon’s Guesthouse where everyone’s welcome to witness and join their TRADITIONAL DANCE PRESENTATION and BONFIRE.
NOTE: We suggest not to skip this part even when you’re tired from a whole day of trekking. This will give you feels of the true warm tradition and culture of IGOROTS living in BATAD.
Woke up by the relaxing chirps of birds and the excitement of seeing the perfect sunrise in Batad. It rarely happens that you see a view of the terraces as soon as you open your eyes.
Very lucky to have the best view from where we stayed. Full plate of breakfast on a cool bright morning. Highly recommended that you stay for at least a night to be able to experience the best of Batad.
What a way to end our Batad Adventures
Prepared for depart and immediately trekked back to the Saddle point. It is suggested to come as early as 9:00 am since the public jeepney leaves at around 9:30 in the morning.
First time to ride TOP LOAD STYLE! Truly an enjoyable experience! Having the full view of the mountains while transporting like a local. Try it!
THINGS TO DO IN BANAUE:
Arrived at Banaue and searched for the location of BANAUE MUSEUM to check out and learn more about their culture. A visit here will help you understand and discover the history of the place as well as its people.
Note: No taking of pictures when inside the museum!
BONTOC SIDE TRIP:
Walked to the public transport going to Bontoc. There’s an FX that goes directly to Sagada but we were not quite sure of the time and location, it wouldn’t hurt to do a little side trip right? So Let’s go to Bontoc!
- You can ask the driver for a stop over at Banaue Rice Terraces viewpoint (as long as you they agreed) if you want to take pictures. But for us, we were already satisfied just by seeing it along the way.
After hours of travel time, we were dropped off at the town of Bontoc to roam around, see the church and have our lunch before proceeding with our travel to Sagada.
Cathedral of All Saints – Bontoc, Mountain Province
After filling our tummies, time to hop on the jeepney going to Sagada. No dull moment in traveling due to the beautiful landscapes that can be seen along the way.
After more than an hour of bumpy ride, we finally arrived at the quiet and peaceful town of SAGADA. Its quite raining and the weather made us crave for some hot coffee. Why not start this Sagada Travel Guide and stop over at SAGADA BREW for a quick break before settling in our AIRBNB (booked for 2 nights stay as we were on our way).
Caramel Cappuccino, Cafe Latte and Blue Berry Cake
Walking a bit far from the main land, we finally found the location of our airbnb. Immediately smelled and saw newly baked BREADS as we enter. Luckily, we were able to book the place of the famous bread maker going around Sagada!
WHERE TO STAY IN SAGADA:
Our kind host gave us a welcome snack of their own baked bread plus some home brewed sagada coffee to warm ourselves up.
All wood interiors with a common bathroom and kitchen. The place was very polished and truly taken care of. The host was very welcoming and accommodating.
Since we were still full from our merienda but don’t want to wake up of hunger in the middle of the night, we looked for a place to eat some snack before freshening up and ending the day.
First time to try an original greek yogurt, too sour for our palettes yet with a hint of honey, the flavor became balanced and a bit addicting! Note: Took a picture of the yoghurt’s house in the morning since the details were too dark at night.
SAGADA TOURIST SPOTS:
Woke up early to prepare for a whole day of activities. Bought some breakfast from our host before starting our Sagada adventures. Unfortunately, we forgot to register at the tourism office when we arrived, that is why our first agenda was to register and search for the tours which will fit our preferences.
We booked for the Central ECHO VALLEY tour (HALF-DAY ONLY) which consists of a visit and a guide at the following: (Joined 2 other travelers: 600 pesos – 4 pax)
- St. Mary the Virgin Church
- Sagada’s Cemetery
- Echo Valley
- Hanging Coffins
- Underground River
- Bokong Falls (Small Falls)
- Sagada Weaving.
NOTE: This is a full walkatour around the center of Sagada and it is advised to not be too noisy nor take pictures when not stated by the guide to avoid disrespecting their ancestors and of course the tradition. AVOID THROWING YOUR TRASHES ANYWHERE. BE A RESPONSIBLE TRAVELER.
The Church of St. Mary the Virgin
The Sagada Anglican Cemetery
Beautiful landscapes along the way
The Hanging Coffins of Sagada
Skipped the Bokong Falls since it is currently used as a place for offering to the ancestors.
- Our guide said that there was a recent incident wherein a tourist had been behaving badly during the tour and suddenly saying lots of bad words very loudly to other people. It was said that the tourist might got possessed by bad spirits in the forest due to its misbehaving attitude while on tour that is why they needed to offer to them.
We all do not know the real reason but its better to just follow the rules especially when you enter an unfamiliar place to avoid such bad happenings.
End of Central Echo Valley Tour, we proceeded to the Public Market to buy some goods and souvenir before having our lunch at the STRAWBERRY CAFE and RESTAURANT
Tasted the best strawberry flavored yogurt in this place! Highly recommended!
Went back at the airbnb to rest for a bit and since its a DIY sometimes we do not really have any next plans on where to go, so we’ve included with our rest was finding nearby places where we can try and experience new activities as well as discover new places just by walking.
Discovered the SAGADA POTTERY from our fellow bloggers where tourists can try to make their own pots. As we were walking, we passed by our airbnb host and surprisingly she was one of the operators of the pottery business we were about to go to.
Ramen bowl by Doc and Teapot base by Cah
There are lots of potteries you can take home as a souvenir, take note that the prices are a bit high due to the skills, time and effort needed in making these arts.
After finishing our pottery training, we have one more place we were dying to visit before sunset. A few long walks around the mountains and finally arrived at the LAKE DANUM
We were the only ones here when we visited. The place was very quiet and peaceful. The air will sing you to sleep. Watching the calm waters while watching the sunset were again a perfect combination.
Before walking back to our place, we stopped by the public market to buy some unique ingredients to cook for our dinner. Had a quick coffee break at CIVET CAFE then finally resting back at our airbnb.
As early as 4:30 am, we woke up to catch the famous sunrise at the KILTEPAN PEAK. We asked our host the day before for a ride going there since it is advised to be there at around 5:00 am to catch it.
While waiting for the sun to rise, we bought some BLACK CHAMPORADO to help warm ourselves up since the air was too freezing. To think we were already wearing 3 layers of clothing, the coldness still runs through our skins.
Sunrise at KILTEPAN PEAK
The sun was a bit shy. It was covered by loads of clouds yet as we look forward to it, the feeling was overwhelming. Its like a chance peeking and waiting to be grabbed.
It was indeed a GREAT MORNING in Sagada.
Departed back to our bnb and looked for quick activities to do before leaving this peaceful town. Asked our driver/guide and he offered us the SHORT COURSE CAVING TOUR(HALF-DAY) which we will join a solo traveler. The tour includes:
- A view of the Dokiw Hanging Coffins (wasn’t able to take pictures)
- Caving at Sumaguing
- A visit at the Lumiang Burial Caves
You need to have strong legs and arms in doing this tour. It might be shorter than the tours with Spelunking but the activity will surely be a little physical challenge for some people. WE DO NOT SUGGEST THIS TOUR FOR THE OLD ONES AS WELL AS FOR SMALL KIDS.
CAVING at SUMAGUING
Beware of slippery floors!
Lumiang Burial Cave
Actual coffins with bones inside
Headed back to our airbnb as soon as we were finished with the tour. Cooked and ate homecooked lunch before freshening up and preparing for our depart.
Walked to the bus terminal going to Baguio and bought snacks for the bus ride. After more than 6 hours of travel time, we arrived at BAGUIO CITY.
- Stopped by Good Taste to take out our dinner which will be eaten at the airbnb (booked during our travel from Sagada to Baguio for 1 night stay) before resting for the day.
Arrived at the SWEET STAR TRANSIENT : we suggest this airbnb for big families or barkadas up to 15 pax since they have lots of room and the kitchen as well as the living room were big perfect for reunions.
Photo from AIRBNB
Prepared and ate breakfast as soon as we woke up to be able to still do some activities before our check out. Rode a taxi going to BURNHAM PARK. Roam around and relaxed by the trees.
Got a taste of the famous STRAWBERRY TAHO before walking to the Public Market to BUY PASALUBONG for our loved ones left at home.
Other Places to visit in Baguio:
- Mines View Park
- Wright Park
- Session Road
- The Mansion
- Baguio Cathedral
- Lion’s Head
- Bell Church
- Bencab Museum
- Camp John Hay
After all the walking and buying of pasalubongs, we had to get back to the transient to pack our things up and check out.
- Rode a taxi going to the bus terminal and had a quick coffee break at the BOOK CAFE just near it.
Photo from: heyladyspring
Now time to head back to reality, rode a bus going straight to MANILA. Hello again work!
Bye for now! BANAUE-BATAD-BONTOC-SAGADA-BAGUIO! See you again soon!
FULL ITINERARY + EXPENSES
- 10:15 PM – Departure from Manila – 450 pesos each
- 7:30 AM – Arrival at Banaue – Free jeepney to tourism office
- Tourism Office Environmental Fee – 50 pesos each
- 8:00 AM – Breakfast at Halfway Lodge – 120 pesos each w/ coffee
- 9:30 AM – Jeepney to Batad – Joiners
- Package: 800 pesos each w/ guide to Batad rice terraces and Tappiyah Falls
- 10:30 AM – Arrival at Batad Saddle Point
- 10:45 AM to 11:30 AM – Trek to Batad Viewpoint
- 11:30 AM to 12:00 NN – Picture taking, Check in and drop things at transient
- Batad Transient House – 250 pesos/night per pax
- 12:00NN to 1:00PM – Lunch – 170 pesos each (BIG SERVINGS! good for 2)
- 1:00PM to 4:30PM – Start of tour
- Batad Rice Terraces
- Tappiyah Falls
- 4:45PM to 6:30PM – Fix things, Rest, Take a bath
- 6:30PM to 7:30PM – Dinner (170 pesos good for 2) – 85 pesos each
- 7:30PM to 9:00PM – Traditional Dance Presentation c/o Ramon’s Guesthouse
- BONFIRE with co-travelers
- 9:00PM – Lights off
- 6:30AM – Wake up and see the beautiful view of Batad
- 7:30AM to 8:00AM – Breakfast (170 pesos good for 2) – 85 pesos each
- 8:30AM – Prepare for depart and check out
- 8:30AM to 9:15AM – Trek to Public Jeepney going to Banaue
- 9:45AM to 10:45AM – Top Load ride to Banaue – 150 pesos each
- 10:45AM to 11:30AM – Banaue Museum
- Entrance Fee – 50 pesos each
- 11:45AM to 1:00PM – Van/FX Ride to Bontoc – 200 pesos each
- 1:00PM to 2:30PM – Roam around Bontoc
- Church of All Saints
- Lunch at the Drop By Cafe – 140 pesos each
- 2:45PM to 3:50PM – Jeepney to Sagada – 40 pesos each
- 4:00PM to 4:40PM – Coffe at Sagada Brew – 350 pesos good for 2 – 175 each
- 5:00PM – Arrival at BNB on the hill, Rest
- AIRBNB 2 nights: 2091 pesos – 1045.5 pesos each
- 8:00PM – Dinner/Snack at Yoghurt’s House – 90 pesos each
- 9:15PM – Back at the airbnb
- 10:00PM – Lights off
- 6:30AM – Wake up, have breakfast and prepare for depart
- 7:30AM to 8:30AM – Walk and register at the tourism office
- Registration Fee – 35 pesos each
- Central Echo Valley tour package – 150 pesos each
- 8:30AM to 11:00AM – Central Echo Valley Tour
- St. Mary the Virgin Church
- Sagada’s Cemetery
- Echo Valley
- Hanging Coffins
- Underground River
- Bokong Falls (Small Falls)
- Sagada Weaving
- 11:30AM to 12:20NN – Lunch
- Strawberry Cafe and Restaurant – 380 pesos – 190 pesos each
- 12:30 to 1:00PM – Back at airbnb, rest, freshen up, prepare for depart
- 1:00PM to 1:30PM – Walk to Sagada Pottery
- 1:30PM to 2:30PM – Sagada Pottery Training, Souvenir hunting
- 100 pesos each for registration
- 100 pesos each for hands-on training
- 2:30PM to 3:15PM – Walk to Lake Danum
- 3:15PM to 4:15PM – Bond, relax, watch the calm water of Lake Danum
- Watch the sunset if you have a ride back to downtown
- 4:15PM to 5:15PM – Walk back to downtown sagada
- 5:30PM – Coffee break at Civet Cafe – 150 pesos for 2 – 75 pesos each
- 5:45PM to 6:15PM – Shopping at Public Market-home cooked dinner -100 pesos each
- 6:30PM – Back at the airbnb, Cook and eat dinner
- 8:00PM – Lights off
- 4:30AM – Wake up and prepare for depart
- 4:50PM to 5:15AM – Travel to Kiltepan Peak – 150 pesos each
- Breakfast – Black Champorado – 50 pesos each
- 6:00AM – Watch the sunrise
- 7:00AM – Back at the airbnb and prepare for depart to next stop
- 7:30AM to 10:00AM – Short Course Caving Tour Package-850 for 3
- 283 pesos each
- Dokiw Hanging Coffins
- Sumaguing Cave
- Lumiang Burial Cave
- 10:00AM to 11:00AM – Early Lunch, prepare things for check out
- 12:00NN – Checked out. Walk to Bus Terminal.
- 1:00PM to 6:30PM – Bus Ride to Baguio – 220 pesos each
- 7:00PM – Take out dinner from GOOD TASTE-125 pesos each
- 7:30PM – Arrival at Sweet Star Transient
- AIRBNB 1 night: 1000 pesos for 2 – 500 pesos each
- Taxi ride – 80 pesos for 2 – 40 pesos each
- 8:00PM – Dinner
- 9:00PM – Lights off
- 7:30AM – Wake up, Have Breakfast and Prepare for depart
- 9:00AM – Roam around Burnham Park
- Taxi – 70 pesos – 35 pesos each
- 10:00AM – Pasalubong buying at Public Market
- 11:40AM – Back at airbnb – 75 pesos – 37.5 pesos each
- 11:50AM – Check out and travel to bus terminal
- 12:00NN to 12:40NN – Coffee and tea break
- Book Cafe – 220 pesos – 110 pesos each
- 1:30PM – Bus ride to Manila – 500 pesos each
- 7:30PM – Back in Manila
Total expenses: 6,616 pesos each ALL IN
for 5 Days and 4 Nights!!!
Expenses depend on your preferences. We don’t usually keep ourselves from buying lots of foods. We believe that its better to always fill up and taste newly discovered foods whenever we visit new places.
- Bring snacks and own tumbler. Sometimes airbnb hosts provide mineral water for their guests. This will lessen your expenses on water and food.
- Make use of GOOGLE MAPS. We used this most of the time when we do walkatours. It will save you some travel expense and make you see hidden places along the way.
- Wear proper attire. Especially in February, Mountain Province can be very cold and one jacket may not be enough. Make sure to always be prepared and research.
- Pack Light. Since you are going to do a DIY, we recommend you to bring just one backpack and one small body bag for your valuables.
- Bring extra money but stick to the budget. Emergency funds are usually used for sudden price change of activities and packages.
Feel free to ask and comment about this DIY Travel! We hope that this guide can help you in exploring the beautiful Mountain Province. Never be afraid to try and discover new things, you may not know what might surprise you.
See you on our next adventures!
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