Sagada is popular among tourists for its culture, cool and refreshing climate, caves, waterfalls and other scenic natural attractions. It’s a perfect getaway for nature lovers, and for those who want to take a relaxing journey amidst the peace and quiet of nature.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT. It is important to note that Sagada is relatively a small town and could get really crowded during the Holy Week and long weekends and holidays. No peace and quiet during these days. The area itself, its people, and tourist facilities are not yet ready to host hordes of tourists twice its population yet. While one may visit Sagada anytime as long as it isn’t raining too much, the best time to go is during the months of November to February. Here are some information that could help you plan your trip and itinerary.
SAGADA MOUNTAIN PROVINCE TRAVEL GUIDE: How to Get There, Where to Stay, Things To Do, Where to Eat, Itinerary
GETTING THERE AND BACK:
Sagada takes approximately 12-14 hours to reach by land transportation from Manila. Here are 4 ways to get to Sagada, Mountain Province
MANILA TO SAGADA. Coda Lines (formerly KMS Lines) offers a direct trip to Sagada from Manila.
Schedule: The bus leaves Legarda Station in Manila at 8PM and arrives in Sagada at 8AM the next day.
For inquiries and reservation, their contact numbers are: +639771860548 and +639394677863. You may also reach them through their Facebook Page. https://www.facebook.com/codalinescorp
MANILA TO BAGUIO TO SAGADA: It is best take a night trip from Manila preferably at 11PM. Luzon northbound bus companies (Victory Liner, Dagupan Bus, Philippine Rabbit, etc. ) have regular trips to Baguio City (takes about 4-6 hours, costs around Php450) Fares and schedule may change without prior notice. It is best to call the bus company to inquire/confirm the schedule before your trip.
Victory Liner has bus terminals along EDSA in Cubao (Contact number: +632-7274534) and Pasay (contact numbers: +6328335019 to 20.) Buses bound for Baguio City are scheduled to leave from Cubao and Pasay stations every hour daily. They also have a bus terminal in España, corner Galicia Street, Sampaloc, Manila (contact number: +6327411436) Buses from España bound for Baguio City leaves at 4:30AM, 7:30AM, 10:00AM, 1:00PM, 3:00PM, 11:00PM.
Dagupan Bus Lines terminal is located at New York Street, Cubao, Quezon City (contact numbers: +6327272330 | +632-929-6123) Baguio bound buses leaves every hour daily except at 2AM to 4AM.
Philippine Rabbit buses are stationed at 819 Oroquieta Street, Manila (contact number: +6327349836, ) while Dangwa buses are located at 1600 Dimasalang, Sampaloc, Manila (contact number: +6327312879) Please call them for trip schedules.
Saulog Transit offers a Cavite-Manila-Baguio trip. It is stationed at 1377 Quirino Ave., Parañaque City. Please call +632825-2926 | +6328252972 | +6328252930 for inquiries.
Upon arrival in Baguio City, hire a cab to take you to Baguio Dangwa Terminal (takes 5-10 minutes, costs P50) where GL Trans/Lizardo buses are stationed. Trips to Sagada begins as early as 5:30 AM. Last trip leaves at 1PM. The trip from Baguio to Sagada may take approximately 6 hours. Fare costs approximately Php220.
GETTING BACK: SAGADA-BAGUIO-MANILA ROUTE. Lizardo bus bound for Baguio city leaves Sagada every hour from 6AM to 10AM. The last trip leaves at 1pm. Victory Liner trips to Manila from Baguio is available 24 hours.
MANILA TO BANAUE TO BONTOC TO SAGADA. This route offers an amazing view of the Banaue Rice Terraces. This option is also best for those who intend to visit the Banaue Rice Terraces before heading to Sagada. The trip from Manila to Banaue takes about 8-9 hours. Fare costs approximately Php450.
OHAYAMI TRANS. Bus Terminal is located at Lacson Avenue, Corner Fajardo Street, Sampaloc, Manila. Regular schedule of bus leaving Manila for Banaue is at 10PM, daily. They have additional trip during peak season, and every Friday which is scheduled to leave at 9PM. For reservation and inquiries, you may email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or send them an SMS at 09175617344. You mal also call them on this numbers: +639276493055, +6325160501 (Manila) and +639175617344 (Ifugao). Please visit their website for more details: http://www.ohayamitrans.com
Note: As of March 2014 , due to an unfortunate incident, Auto Bus and Florida Bus Lines Manila-Banaue-Bontoc franchise was cancelled.
From Banaue, either ride a jeep, a van or bus (Immanuel / Von-Von) going to Bontoc. Immanuel (Emmanuel) and Von-Von (Bon-bon) buses usually pass by the Municipal Tourism Center in Banaue from 8AM, 9AM and 11AM; while the only jeepney trip from Banaue to Sagada leaves at 8:30AM. Public vans bound for Bontoc leaves at around 9AM, and then will be followed by a trip at approximately 1PM and 2PM. These public vans usually wait for passengers coming from Manila. They leave once the van is full. If you’re a big group, you may also charter a jeep to take you directly to Sagada for P700.00. The trip from Banaue to Bontoc is about 2-3 hours and fare costs Php120 for the bus and Php150 for the jeep.
In Bontoc, ride a jeep to to Sagada. A jeep leaves Bontoc every 45 minutes with the first trip scheduled at 8:30AM and last trip at 5:30PM. Travel time is about an hour and costs Php45.
GETTING BACK: SAGADA BONTOC BANAUE MANILA ROUTE. A jeep bound for Bontoc leaves every 30 minutes starting at 6:30AM then every hour from 10AM to 1PM. The trip takes about 40 minutes and costs P45. In Bontoc. there’s only one jeepney trip from Bontoc to Banaue which departs at 12NN, while a public van from Bontoc to Banaue leaves at 8:30AM, 10AM, and 1PM. . Buses from Banawe leaves at 7AM and 9AM. The trip from Bontoc to Banaue may take approximately 2 hours and costs Php150. Ohayami Trans trip to Manila is scheduled to leave Banaue at 7:00PM. An additional trip may be available during peak season at 6:30PM.
MANILA-BITALAG(Tagudin)-CERVANTES-ABATAN(Bauko)-SAGADA. I won’t recommend this if you’re coming from Manila. This is the best route however if you intend to go to Sagada from the Ilocos Region. If you’re coming from Pagudpud, Laoag or Vigan, ride any bus going either to La Union, Baguio, Pangasinan or Manila and tell the driver to drop you off at Bitalag Junction. At Bitalag junction, there are vans going to Cervantes as early as 7AM and leaves Bitalag Junction as soon as they are full. (Travel time is about 2.5 to 3 hours and costs Php150) You need to leave before 10AM to catch the van in Cervantes bound for Abatan at 1PM. Travel time from Cervantes to Abatan takes about an hour and costs Php70. From Abatan, transfer to van bound for Bontoc. (While the bus may pass by a junction to Sagada, on the way to Bontoc, it is best to go directly to Bontoc, as transportation may be full by the time they reach the junction.) Travel time from Abtan to Bontoc may take 45 minutes and costs Php100. From Bontoc, ride a jeep going to Sagada (please refer to the details mentioned above.)
WHERE TO STAY. Please Click Here to Read My List of Sagada Accommodation
SAGADA ACTIVITIES: Most of the activities in Sagada require a considerable and strenuous physical exertion. Be sure to follow the usual outdoor safety precautions.
1. Spelunking in Sumaguing Cave. This is the most popular and probably the best tourist activity in Sagada. It is a two to three-hour thrilling, challenging yet certainly a great fun experience. It involves climbing and rappelling down some steep and slippery rocks as well as twisting and squeezing your body through tight crevices. Sumaguing cave wows its visitors with its spectacular rock formations. There also natural pools to swim in, if you can stand the ice-cold water. If you’re a “serious spelunker” you may want to do the 4-hour Cave Connection which starts at Lumiang Cave and ends at Sumaguing Cave. Other caves that can be explored are the equally awesome but less touristy and far-from-town Balangagan Cave, and the most extreme, most expensive, but most amazing among the caves in Sagada – the Crystal Cave.
Guide Fee: Sumaguing Cave – Php500 per guide for 1-4 persons, Php600 for 5 persons. Max number of guests per guide is 5. A group of 6 or more requires additional guide/s. | Cave Connection – Php800 per guide for 1-2 persons, Php1200 for 3 persons. A group of 4 or more is charged P400 each. Max number of guide per guest is 3. | Crystal Cave – Php2,500 each for 1-2 persons, P1,500 each for a group of 3 or more.
2. Catch the Sunrise at Mt. Kiltepan. Approximately an hour by walking, and about 20- minute drive away from town, Mt. Kiltepan wows its visitors with a dramatic view of Sagada Rice Terraces as the sun rises above an amazing sea of clouds. If you decide to hike, start walking as early as 4AM to reach the spot before the sunrise. The place gets really crowded specially during the peak season and on holidays. This is a hit or miss though as one may not get lucky to see the sunrise when it gets too foggy and cloudy. Guide Fee: Php200
3. Trek to Bomod-ok Falls. The waterfall may not be as incredible when compared with other popular falls in the Philippines, but it is nonetheless beautiful, and the walk through the Sagada Rice Terraces passing by a village and other amazing sceneries easily earns the approximately one-hour tiring and challenging trek to Bomod-ok falls five stars. If you’re up to a challenge, a dip in that waterfall’s freezing water is rejuvenating. Guide Fee. Php500
4. View the Sugong Hanging Coffins. One can easily see the hanging coffins from afar, on the way to Sumaguing cave. Those who may want to get a closer look at the coffins can follow a steep trail going down from Echo Valley. The practice of hanging coffins on the cliff comes from the belief that it brings the dead closer to God (the higher the coffin, the closer to heaven and God) The trek may last for about 30 minutes going down, and take longer going up.
5. Go See the Lumiang Burial Cave. Accessible through a quick hike on the main road and down to a trail that leads to the entrance of the cave. No guide needed if you don’t intend to enter the cave. This is where the Cave Connection Tour starts. You’ll see small wooden coffins piled up at the entrance. It is believed the light coming from the entrance of the cave will protect the dead from bad spirits and that the light will guide them up to heaven. Interesting spot and a nice place which may make the visitors appreciate the local customs and practices of Sagada.
6. Shout at Echo Valley. And then listen to the sound of your voice as it echoes across the mountain range. The echo is considered as a blessing and an acknowledgement from the spirits. Close to town, it’s a nice and leisurely walk up and down the mountains, a nice link to the hanging coffins, and to the underground river and Bokong falls (small falls)
7. Visit Pongas Falls. Another challenging, quite risky but enjoyable trek passing through villages, hanging bridge, rivers, small waterfalls, and rice terraces. It takes about an hour, or more, trek from the jump-off point. The path is steep and slippery and you are to climb some rocks in a few areas. The water is freezing but the view near the falls will surely make you appreciate that long, difficult hike.
8. Climb the Mountains. Sagada is a great destination for mountain climbing enthusiasts. The most popular destination for this kind of activity are Marlboro Mountain and Mount Ampacao. Both promise splendid views and beautiful sunsets, with a side trip to Blue Hills and a chance to see wild horses for the Marlboro Mountain hike. You can do a side trip at Lake Danum when you climb Mt. Ampacao.
9. Fly over and in between the trees and terraces through the Sagada Zipline. Fee. Php150
10. Rock Climbing. The fee is Php400 per head, which includes complete climbing gears and a guide.
Other places to visit in Sagada are Ganduyan Museum, The Episcopal Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Sagada Weaving, Natividad Cave, Mount Polis, and Mount Sisipitan.
WHERE TO EAT:
1. Gaia Cafe & Crafts Restaurant. Tasty vegan food, great view
2. Sagada Brew Restaurant. Great Coffee, lovely food and desserts
3. Yoghurt House. Good meals and great yoghurt.
4. The Log Cabin Restaurant. Great place for a rustic dinner.
5. Bana’s Restaurant. Best place in town for coffee and breakfast
6. Kimchi Restaurant. The veggies are delicious and cooked perfectly
7. Rust ‘n Wood Restaurant. Great place to have a meal or refreshments.
8. Salt and Pepper Restaurant. Tasty with a great view.
9. The Sagada Lemon Pie House Restaurant. Yummy lemon pie.
10. Strawberry Cafe Restaurant. Strawberry Yogurt is a must try.
When visiting Sagada, it is always best to keep in touch with the SAGGAS ( Sagada Genuine Guides Association Inc.) They can answer your questions and help you plan your itineraries. Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Contact Number: 09295569553. Website: http://www.saggas.org.
Hugot na! 🙂