I don’t know when exactly I became fascinated with a small highland town up in the Mt Province but for many years now I have been wanting to visit Sagada. I am an island girl but mountains and cool climate draw me more than waves and sands. So when I finally had the means and the time to take a long vacation, the road finally took me to Sagada.
The planning took less than a week and helped tremendously by the internet and the informative site of the SAGGAS. Together with my boyfriend/official bags carrier Titus we made reservations for the Cable Bus (Manila to Bontoc, A MUST!), and the hotel where we will be staying, the affordable George Guest House. We also contacted a guide through the SAGGAS website and printed a sample Sagada itinerary too so we were ready! Sweeeeeet!
HOW TO GO TO SAGADA FROM MANILA
There is no airport in Sagada so the only way to get to this famous town in the Mountain Province from Manila is via land, that is via bus or private vehicle.
- We opted to ride a CABLE BUS TOUR for our bus from Quezon City to Bontoc, their bus terminal is located in front of Trinity University along E.Rodrigues Ave. Please have prior reservation as this Sagada bus has the tendency to get filled-up at the last minute. Kudos to the bus operator for they left the terminal on time at exactly 8:30pm! Thus begin our looong bus ride to the highlands (10 hours to Bontoc hehehe) Bus fee @P600.00/pax
Alternate Route: Cubao – Baguio – Sagada (longer travel time)
2.If you take the Quezon City – Bontoc – Sagada route you will not have the opportunity to check out the Rice Terraces of Banaue but no worries because Sagada has its own beautiful terraces! And I personally like the Aguid Rice Terraces.
We arrived in Bontoc, if you are not in a hurry please take time to visit the Bontoc Museum that houses artifacts, photographs and the history of the Igorot and the different tribes. Entrance fee per person is P50.00. As with other museum you can’t take picture of what’s inside but the Bontoc Museum has a miniature village structures outside where you can have your fill of pictures!
Bontoc Museum in Ifugao
A sample of typical Igorot village at the grounds of Bontoc Museum
We took a tricycle ride from the Bontoc Museum to the Sagada jeepney terminal at P7.00 each
3. We got lucky! This maybe the newest jeepney plying the Bontoc-Sagada route! It’s a bonus that the jeepneys leave the terminal even if they are not yet full for they observe a 30 minutes pick-up time. Jeepney fare is P40.00/pax and reaches Sagada in 45minutes.
If you are afraid of heights then the Bontoc to Sagada jeepney ride will make you shiver and cringe for the jeepney follows a winding road up the mountain! and you can see the cliffs on either side of the road at times! There won’t be the darkness of night that will eclipse the scenery. The road will take you higher and higher, and of course the cliff drop will become deeper heheh but again no worries for the jeepney drivers are used to the road. A great suggestion is to busy yourself by feasting your eyes on the beautiful highland countryside. Lots of rice terraces, mountain slopes, the Chico River or you can also chat with your co-passengers. Our experience is that Sagadans are very fluent in English.
4. On going back, we took the bus with Sagada to Baguio route at P250.00 per person. Its another long bus ride, 6 hours at least, that will take you around Mt Province with their endless cliffs, mountains and valleyfull of vegetable farms and then to Benguet to get to the city of pines.
PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Last trip for the Sagada to Baguio bus is at 1pm!
Are you wondering WHAT TO DO IN SAGADA? Sagada is a traveller’s dream! The highlands offers lots of activities and adventures. We had a lovely time exploring its nooks and crannies, and the food! They are fresh and delicous! We truly enjoyed Sagada!
Waiting for the sun to rise at Kiltepan’s Peak
I wanted to walk in the clouds when the sun finally rises and we saw the sea of clouds! We were there when it was still so dark then gradually the sun started to rise — awesome view!
Click to Read more –>>> Kiltepan Sunrise: A Walk in the Clouds
SUMAGUING CAVE ADVENTURE
It was awesome to go spelunking in Sumaguing Cave and see all its cool rock formations including the famous ones like the queen of the cave and the king’s curtain.
Click to Read more —> Conquering Sagada’s Sumaguing Cave
Hike to Mt Ampacao and Exit in Lake Danum
It was a long trek to the top of Mt Ampacao, tiring yes but definitely worth it. And we got to see wild flowers & trees too!
Click to Read more —> Mt Ampacao, Sagada’s Mountain Trail
Goofing in Lake Danum
At the end of the rainbow err at the end of our mountain hike, Lake Danum greets us with its serene water and beautiful view as we waited for the sun to set.
Lake Danum ala Juday and Piolo hahahaha
Aguid Rice Terraces & Bomod-ok Waterfalls!
The whole of Sagada and the Mt Province is dotted with these rice terraces that we can truly be proud of.
Click to Read more —> Aguid Rice Terraces & Bomod-ok Falls
We took a dip in the chilly pool of Bomod-ok Falls.
Picked some orange at Rock-Inn Farm
Watched a Sagada pottery maker in action
We just got to watched because the finish pots and jars were a bit on the expensive side and we can’t afford them as Sagada pasalubong and souvenir hehhe.
Trekked to Echo Valley to see Sagada’s old burial tradition – Hanging Coffins.
We checked the hanging coffins right after arriving in Sagada, the trek down to Echo Valley almost made me faint literally LOL, my excuse? i haven’t gotten used to the climate, the altitude, and the trekking itself, nope, not yet.
Sagada means walking, trekking, hiking, climbing.
And of course sampled their food, glorious food!
Post script: some of my friends who went to Sagada this 2011 brought noodles, canned goods etc and just cooked there to save on funds as meals in Sagada restos are a bit expensive; some affordable hotels/houses do have kitchenettes
but i do implore you to try the yoghurt at Yoghurt Haus!
Flowers blooming in the highlands of Sagada.
Finally, I’ve set foot in Sagada. A long time wish has come true.
I hope this will not be my first and last trip to the highlands
*crossing my fingers ^_^
Me at Yoghurt Haus waiting for what else but their signature yoghurt hehhe
tired but oh so hAPpy! – Finally, Sagada!