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Philippines Travel Guide

Philippines Travel Guide seeks to share the vibe of an authentic experience through our idea of adventure travel for explorers and memory seekers in the Philippines.

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SAGADA ADVENTURE TOURS

Sagada Adventure Tours

We spent 51 days on a planned and organized Philippines Travel tour adventure in 2017. We created the Philippines Travel Guide website to give travelers authentic insights about this archipelagic country in Southeast Asia, comprising almost 7,600 islands divided into three major island groups — Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
 

Two days (Day 28-29) before our trip to the Cordillera Mountains, we shopped a few things for our excursion at SM Mall of Asia in Metro Manila (island of Luzon). We stopped by Baguio City on Day 29, where we visited historical parks and the Philippine President’s residence during summer and holidays. Our short stay in the “Summer Capital of the Philippines” allowed us to see the beauty of Baguio’s culture and appreciate its historical significance.

Travel Diary for Day 30-31:

It was Day 30-31 of our Philippine adventure trip, we were all excited to have a glimpse of Sagada, Mountain Province in the Cordillera Administrative Region. Unlike other destinations in the Philippines with beautiful islands and white sand beaches, Sagada depicts simplicity as well as the Igorot tribe’s old funerary custom. Interested to see the hanging coffins? How about a close encounter with its lush green mountains, cold pine-scented air, top-notch cuisine, and delicious local coffee?

Day 30: How do we get from Baguio City to Sagada?

22 March:

Our day (Day 30) started early. We really wanted to visit the strawberry fields in La Trinidad Benguet, Baguio City in the Cordillera Administrative Region. To avoid the morning rush, we hopped on a taxi to get there earlier than the schedule.

Unfortunately, the annual strawberry fiesta was held a week before our arrival, so there weren’t many strawberries left. Just like any other best festivals and events celebrated in the Philippines, we saw a parade of colorful costumes, fun activities, and electrifying street dances to the beat of drums.

We had some strawberry ice cream, and bought a kilo of sweet strawberries as a pasalubong (a present) to our local friends in Sagada, Mountain Province. Benguet Province is known for its strawberries and variety of fresh vegetables– a must-try especially for first-time guests.

Travel like a local! This Baguio City ultimate travel guide gives you an idea on how to get there, how to tour around, what accommodation options available, which places to visit, and where to find good food.

How do we get from Baguio to Sagada by Bus via Halsema Highway?

By taxi, we hurried to the Lizardo Bus Terminal located at Rajah Matanda Street, Benguet Baguio (Cordillera Administrative Region). From there, we took the local bus through the famous Halsema Highway. Here’s a heads-up. Don’t expect much comfort during the trip because basic local buses traveling to Sagada are small and a little tight, especially for Western passengers.

But, traveling like locals from the Cordillera Region felt so good. Local buses have windows that can be opened so you can take good pictures of the view. However, doing so will be quite tough as the bus is constantly moving.

The drive over the legendary Halsema Highway that connects Baguio to Bontoc was adventure-filled. The highway has many curves, steep climbs, and stunning views of the Cordillera mountain range. No doubt why it became one of the world’s most spectacular roads.

Just the image of the mountains and valleys is worth-the-drive. Halsema Highway was built in the name of American engineer Eusebius Julius Halsema , who was the mayor of Baguio City from 1920-1937.

At last, we reached Sagada after approximately 6 hours of travel. It was past 9 p.m. when we checked into the Sagada Townhouse , located in Sagada Poblacion (town proper), that our friend Ricky owns. The journey had been very long and tiring . We were starving, so we went to the town center and had dinner at Masferre Inn and Restaurant. We were served with delicious European-Filipino fusion food .

However, Sagada has a curfew set at 10 p.m., after which everything closes. To show respect to the Igorot culture, everyone is discouraged to be too loud beyond the curfew hours. If you are coming from Manila, the journey will take around 12 hours by bus from Manila to Sagada via Banaue.

What are the Best Accommodations in Sagada?

Sagada will be your happy spot if your idea of a great holiday is waking up to sunny but chilly weather and gorgeous natural surroundings in the backdrop. You can choose from the different lodging options like Sagada budget hotels, backpacker hostels, guesthouses, and Airbnbs around.

What are the backpacker hostels in Sagada?

If you are a backpacker, you’ll definitely find Sagada a great place to visit because of the wide array of backpacker hostels to stay in. Modest lodging and accommodations around Sagada accept pre-booking. All you have to do is contact them via Facebook page. Also, feel free to look for accommodation listings available on the internet.

Guesthouses and hostels in Sagada are affordably priced, starting from PHP 400 or USD 8 per night.

 

Is Airbnb in Sagada available?

Now, you’re probably wondering if there are cottage Airbnbs in Sagada. Yes, but few. If you want to be close to nature, there are a lot of best areas to stay in Sagada where you come close to the town’s unspoiled landscape. For a country experience, choose an Airbnb accommodation that is situated in areas overlooking the town.

For as low as PHP 500 or USD 10 per day, these Airbnbs in Sagada offer comfortable, traditional spaces, a private bathroom, and enough room for 2 guests.

Google My Maps Sagada Travel Adventures: Day 30-31

If planning a trip to Sagada, check out the Google My Maps below to experience activities and adventures, and get to know different routes and directions, accommodations to stay, attractions to visit, and restaurants to dine in. Visit the Sagada travel Google My Map to learn more about our Philippines Travel routes and adventures.

Day 31: How do we Explore the Tradition of Sagada?

23 March:

We got up early to make the most of the day at the townhouse in Sagada. Romy, Ricky’s brother who is the townhouse’s owner, told us the night before that the people in Sagada town will celebrate the traditional rice harvest (the Begnas) on the next day. Locals in the village usually wear their traditional Igorot costumes and walk from Dap-ay to Dap-ay (ritual site) as a way of thanking the Almighty for the bountiful harvest.

At the end of the ritual, the village women bring food and drinks, which are shared to everybody taking part in the celebration. The people of the Cordillera Mountains in the northern part of the Philippines, mostly Igorots, have a very traditional way of living. Despite the call of modernization in all parts of entire country, they still practice their traditions. And, watching them celebrate their Begnas ritual was an opportunity to get to know their admirable culture.

Discover how the people of the Philippines & their culture are a unique blend of diversity from a distinct Asian background and strong Western influence.

How do we Explore the Foods in Sagada?

We got hungry and went to a Pinikpikan restaurant, a very traditional place in Sagada, Cordillera Administrative Region. Pinikpikan is a traditional meal made from uniquely-butchered local chicken. The chicken is mixed with Etag (salted, air-dried, and smoked meat of the Igorots). Since it was breakfast time, we ordered a typical Filipino traditional breakfast or almusal, with rice of course.

Because we already had enough to kick start our Sagada adventure, we went back to the Townhouse and took photos of the rooms and the beautiful nature around us.

While you’re in Sagada, there are many places to dine serving different types of cuisines.

How do we Visit the Cave and Sunset Viewpoint in Sagada?

Later that day (Day 30), we went to see the caves of Sagada. First, we went to the Tourist Information Center , which was located at the topmost part of the town, facing the Sagada Municipal Hall. We registered and hired a tour guide who can walk us through Sumaguing Cave.

After a 20-minute walk from Sagada Town, we reached the cave. Since I (Dani) have claustrophobic sickness, I preferred not to go in. With the tour guide, Zak and Karl (Zak’s Filipino friend who now lives in Sydney) had so much fun exploring the Sumaguing Cave.

After the cave trip and Zak’s many slip-ups, we went to a sunset view point. Situated at the north of Sagada proper, the hill is popularly called as “Wedding Hill”. When the weather is good, it is a great spot to enjoy the sunset. Unfortunately, it wasn’t for us because clouds moved in and we couldn’t see anything apart from fog and clouds.

It is always fun to travel when you know some interesting facts and information about the geography of the Philippines.

When we got back to the Townhouse in Sagada, Romy and Carol, the hostel’s caretakers, had already prepared dinner. They served us Sagada’s signature dish, the traditional Pinikpikan. Even though it took us some time getting used to Etag, it was a great dinner.

Later that night, we had a nice chat with Romy and Chris, a longtime friend from Sagada. Together, we planned the rest of our Cordilleras Trip, with Chris as our tour guide.

What are the Top Things to do in Sagada?

The Igorots of Sagada are incredibly proud of their rich indigenous culture and traditions. In fact, they have battled hard to preserve them. The hanging coffins, depicting their unique form of burial, have made Sagada an interesting place to visit

If you are looking for some ideas when traveling to the Sagada, here is a list of the things to do, places to visit, and food to try.

The renowned hanging coffins are one of the main reasons why many people travel to Sagada. Sagada's Igorot tribe traditionally buried their deceased in brightly-painted coffins, hanging in limestone rock faces or heaped up near cave entrances.

Sounds interesting, right? You can arrange an Echo Valley trip through the Tourist Information Center, or simply visit the place along with a local friend from Sagada.

If adventure is in your blood and you are backpacking across the Philippines, spelunking is the right pastime for you. The Cave Connection tour, which can take you from Lumiang Cave to Sumaguing Cave, is the most popular spelunking excursion in Sagada.

Wading over icy rivers, rappelling down waterfalls, and squeezing through tight spaces are all part of the underground cave system's exploration.

Note: When planning to go on cave tours, make sure that you are physically fit and have no problem with tight cracks where you need to slip through.

Up in the mountains, it can become hot throughout the day. Plunge into a deep refreshing pool beneath a rushing waterfall.

The waterfalls are some of the best places to visit in Sagada, where you can either go on an arranged trip or self-explore with a local friend. For a safe and comfortable waterfall excursion, an arranged Sagada tour may include a visit to these waterfalls upon signing up.

Bokong Falls is one of the most-sought after waterfalls in Sagada because of its deep, wonderfully-sculpted rock pool, and proximity to the town. Never miss Bomod-Ok Falls and delight in its incredibly high falls flanked by rice terraces. If you crave for an adventurous and challenging climb, you can never go wrong with Pongas Falls. Many adventure lovers find its slick pathways and a stunning dropdown intoxicating.

Wondering about the best time to go to Sagada? Pay all ears. The months of November to February are ideal time to visit the place, because the weather is cool and dry during these months.

Note: For safety reasons and to avoid getting lost, get a local guide when planning to go visit Sagada’s waterfalls.

Although the Philippines is not famous for its cuisines, Sagada raises the bar when it comes to coffee. Due to the higher altitude and cold mountain temperature, Sagada arabica coffee grows exceptionally well in this hilly area of the country. Many local cafés serve the finest roasted coffee beans that coffee lovers in and outside the country would surely love.

And the best part? Drink the world's most expensive coffee, Civet coffee or Kopi Luwak, at a much cheaper cost that it is back home. Not a coffee person? Try Sagada’s mountain tea instead.

If you've always wanted to try rock climbing, give it a go. Sagada's rock climbing is popular to many foreign tourists and locals, especially those low-skilled rock climbers.

It is located behind the Sagada town cemetery, Mountain Province (Cordillera Administrative Region). Simply ask at the Tourist Information Center for assistance and further information, or go on a self-guided tour. A caretaker will be happy to assist you upon arrival.

Do you know that Sagada is the jumping point to exciting adventures in the Mountain Province? Popular for its amazing nature and verdant mountains, Sagada is a perfect hiking spot. Get to know this comely place better by going on a long hike, which could last for a couple of days or a week. Surely, you wouldn’t want to miss the great opportunity to explore the untouched rivers and waterfalls of Sagada.


If you like to get more information about the long hikes in Cordillera Mountains’ off-beaten tracks, contact us. We will be happy to share with you our experiences and adventures. We can also link you with the most knowledgeable guides that we know.

Another mind-blowing activity that you can do in Sagada is touring around the Cordilleras by motorbike. You will get to experience the challenge of the bumpy roads, explore the different towns, and meet local people. If you are excited to ride a motorbike up the Cordilleras, get in touch with us, so we can help you make the best adventure out of it.

Google My Maps Philippines Travel Diary: Day 1 to Day 51

Check out the Google Maps below, to have an overview of the entire 51 days of Philippines travel adventure including exciting attractions and activities we did, destinations we explored, and travel directions in the Philippines.

Why do we Create the Philippines Travel Guide?

Zak and Dani created the Philippines Travel Guide while on 51 days Philippines travel adventure in 2017. Focused on the idea to explore travel routes and documenting location information by using the Google Maps application in the Philippines.

We created a detailed Philippines travel diary each day about our Philippines eco-adventure traveling experiences, including the production of pictures and videos of our trip through the Philippine archipelago.

Philippines Travel Guide is passionate about helping other self-minded adventure travel lovers, to make the best out of the trip to the Philippines by providing real information that passionate travelers and enthusiasts need to know about the archipelago.

Philippines Travel Guide is an ongoing process to work out public shared and detailed Google MyMaps of the entire Philippines to provide easy navigation for travelers.

This website also contains a collection of interesting authentic insights and travel tips and tricks and destinations in the Philippines.

SUMMARY: Sagada Adventure Tours

Our 2-day (Day 30-31) adventure trip to Sagada, Cordillera Administrative Region dragged us closer to the local people’s rich tradition and unparalleled culture. On Day 30, we visited the famous strawberry fields in La Trinidad, Baguio.

It was on this same day when we traveled the world-renowned Halsema Highway by a local bus to reach Sagada. The second day (Day 31) of our Sagada trip was spent touring around caves. We even tried watching the sunset on the hilltop, but the weather didn’t permit us to.

More and more people start to discover Sagada’s paradise, because of the backpackers and adventure seekers who initially explored it. The waterfalls, its amazing view of nature, the hanging coffins, and the culture of the tribes are worth-knowing. For a better experience and adventure, make sure to bring the right clothes and gears when you travel.

If you want to experience the top destinations in the northern part of the Philippines, visit the magnificent Banaue rice terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For the next 2 days (Day 32-33), we will move on to Buscalan in the Province of Kalinga, as our next destination for this Philippine adventure.

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