Banaue and Sagada Travel Guide for First Timers

by - Friday, February 10, 2017

Every first time can be thrilling, exciting, scary, emotional and overwhelming experience. That’s what I felt during my first time to travel in Banaue and Sagada. I found myself wanting so desperately to take my first birthday travel in a new place as a gift to myself. So to sum it up, here it is my 3-days Travel Guide for first timers like me in Banaue and Sagada.

How to Get There

Together with my bestfriend, Jeric Domilom (Part-time Photographer, you can contact him for your events or any kind of photo shoot) we board bus going to Manila to Banaue via Ohayami Bus (Located at Sampaloc, Manila near University of Sto. Thomas, trips only at 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM only. Travel Time is 9 hours, fare is Php 470.00).

Make sure to reserve your ticket a week in advance to guarantee yourself a seat. If you go there by walk-in you will end up with aisle seat, like what supposed to happened in our trip we go there just walk-in, but, luckily there are two who cancelled their trip so we got the seat. You can visit the Ohayami Trans website for information on how to reserve a ticket.
Early in the morning we ended up in a beauty of Banaue rice terraces. We boarded a tricycle (P200) who also tour us to the best spot to take pictures.  And then when were done we go straight to Sagada.

From Banaue, either ride a jeep, a van or bus going to Bontoc.  We take a 2-3hr Bus to Bontoc for P120.00. In Bontoc, ride a jeep to Sagada cost P45. Travel time is about an hour.  
Getting Back: In our case since we didn’t make early reservation on bus from Sagada to Manila, we take instead Sagada to Baguio (Victory liner) then Baguio to Manila.

Sagada Activities

Here’s the list of the activities to try in Sagada:

1. See the magical sea of clouds at Mt. Kiltepan. During that time the movie “That thing called Tadhana” is still fresh so a lot of people are opt to see Mt. Kiltepan to ofcourse scream their heart out or witness the magical sea of clouds. 

2. Shout at Echo Valley and be amazed with the Hanging Coffins. This is one of the must-do for first time travelers in Sagada. Echo Valley is I guess the most beautiful and cleanest cemetery I’ve ever seen in my life. The place is surrounded by pine trees and a deep valley going to the hanging coffins. And want thing that would really amazed you is that when you shout it echoes across the mountain range. This is not bad actually the echo is considered as a blessing and an acknowledgement from the spirits.

When we reached the viewpoint we can view the hanging coffins from afar. It was kind of scary thinking that a cemetery is actually a tourist spot. Hanging Coffins is a unique burial tradition of Igorot in Sagada Province. The Igorot ancestors believed that the higher your body is laid – the close they are to ‘heaven’. Another reason was to protect the bodies from natural disasters like earthquakes and floods and also to keep the corpses away from wild animals.

New found friend

3. St. Mary the Virgin Church. This Church was said to be built in the 1900’s which makes it about a hundreds years old monument.

4. Sagada Weaving. Best to buy souvenirs in this shop. Famous for its weaved bags, wallets, slippers etc.

5. Go Orange Picking at Rock Inn. Though its so sad that we haven’t tried this but this is another popular activity in Sagada. From September to February, you can pick and eat as many oranges as you like for just P50.00. The oranges are said to be at their best in December.

6. Splelunking in Sumaguing Cave. One of the most popular tourist activity in Sagada. It is a two to three-hour thrilling, challenging yet certainly a great fun experience.

7. Trek to Bomod-ok Falls. Approximately one-hour tiring and challenging trek to Bomod-ok falls. Guide fee. P500.00

Where to Eat

1. Gaia Café. If you’re looking for all natural and vegan food plus a great view, then, this place is for you.

2. Lemon Pie House. I’ve craving for lemon pie ever since and I’m glad we had the opportunity to taste the best lemon pie in the country.

3. Yoghurt House. Has been voted the #1 restaurant in Sagada that every local or foreign tourist must visit as part of their Sagada experience.

4. Salt and pepper Diner. You must try their Inuton chicken.

Where to Stay

There are lots of inn or guesthouse that you can choose from. Just click the book.

Sample Itinerary and Budget

9:30 PM – Bus going to Manila to Banaue (Ohayami Bus located at Sampaloc, Manila near UST (University of Sto. Thomas, trips only at 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM only. Travel Time is 9 hours, fare is Php 470.00 
Php 470.00
DAY 2 (April 30, 2016) Saturday

7:00 AM – Banuae Rice Terraces Visit+Photo Ops

7:30-8:00 AM – Breakfast along the road

8:00 Am – Bus Banaue to Bontoc (2 hrs)
Php 150.00
Bontoc to Sagada (Jeep)
Php 45.00
Accommodation: Canaway Inn, Residential Lodge, Lodge Labanet
Php 300.00
Tourist Reg. Fee
Php 35.00
Sagada Cemetery+Echo Valley+Hanging Coffins Tour
Php 200.00
Walk to Sagada Weaving

Spelunking at Sumaging Cave
Php 150.00
Day 3 (May 1, 2016)

5:00 AM Sunrise Viewing at Mt. Kitelpan
Php 50.00 (tentative)
7:00 AM Departure to Manila
Php 720.00
Php 500.00
Php 3,620

Overall it was a nice experienced, make a new friends, been to new place. It was indeed a check to my bucketlist.

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  1. This is indeed a nice article. I love how you take pictures and how candid it is. Keep up the good work. Love lots Beatrice.

    1. Thanks Beatrice! I'm glad that you love it :) Thanks for reading and commenting!!



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