Updated Travel Guide: Sagada

Five thousand feet above the sea is a small and tranquil town of Sagada in Mountain Province, 275 Kilometers north of Manila. A remote town with so much to offer to anyone who chooses to experience its distinct appeal. With its temperate weather, wondrous caves and cliffs, lofty rice terraces and waterfalls, luscious foods and delicacies, rich heritage and traditions, Sagada promises everyone an unforgettable and truly remarkable experience with nature and culture.

Sagada

Sagada also embraces its visitors with the warm hospitality of the locals that complements the beauty of the place. Undoubtedly, the charm of this mountain town is still incomparable to most tourist destinations in the country, making it one of Lakwatsero’s favorite destinations, a home away from home, like most local and foreign tourists do.

Whether you are a laid back traveler or more into adventure, young or old, Lakwatsero of any background and age, you definitely have a place here.

Sagada

Sagada’s Hanging Coffins

Sagada

Sunrise over the sea of clouds at Kiltepan Viewpoint

How to Get There

There are no direct trips to Sagada from Manila, it can only be reached either via Baguio, Bontoc or Banawe with almost the same travel time and fare.

Via Baguio

Most bus companies heading to Northern Philippines have trips to Baguio. But Lakwatsero prefers Victory Liner, their Baguio bound buses leave the terminal (Manila, Pasay, Cubao and Caloocan) every hour. It is a five to six hours travel for P450.00. The most ideal time to travel is around 10:00 to 11:00 PM for you to reach their Baguio Terminal by 5:00AM the next day. Other bus Lines that ply to Baguio are:

  • Dagupan Bus (EDSA cor. New York,  Cubao , Quezon City/ Contact No: (02)727-2330) – P430.00
  • Philippine Rabbit (Rizal Ave., Sta. Cruz, Manila)
  • Dangwa Transit (Dimasalang, Sampaloc, Manila)
  • Saulog Bus  – P430.00
  • Genesis Bus – P420.00

From Victory Baguio Terminal, catch a cab to Baguio Dangwa Terminal where the buses to Sagada can be found. It is a short taxi ride (around 10 minutes) for approximately P40.00. Then ride a Lizardo or GL Transit bus to Sagada, the earliest leaving Dangwa around six in the morning. The fare is P220.00 (student and senior citizen: P176.00) for a 6 to 7 hour ride passing along the scenic Halsema Highway. Almost the entire stretch is paved and smooth rode except from the junction going to Sagada. The bus will stop in front of the Municipal Hall.

Via Bontoc

Bontoc, the capital of Mountain province is a 12 hours ride from Manila. Cable Tours (Contact No: +639298194688-Manila and +639185215790 – Bontoc) has daily trips to Bontoc, leaving Manila at 8:30 PM for P650.00. Their station is in E. Rodriguez Avenue in Quezon City, on the street beside Trinity College. The trip passes through Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya and Banaue with the entire stretch of paved road.

From Bontoc catch a jeepney to Sagada. These jeepneys leave Bontoc every hour, travel time is one hour, fare is P45.00. You may opt to ride on the jeepney rooftop to enjoy the view and the sea of clouds of Sagada.

Via Banaue

Banaue route is a good choice if you plan to drop by to the famous Rice Terraces of Banawe. Ohayami Bus is the only bus that operates the Manila to Banaue route, their terminal is in Sampaloc Manilla, near UST. Contact No: +639276493055 or (02)-5160501. You may also check  out their website at: http://www.ohayamitrans.com

From Banaue, ride a tricycle (P30.00) from the terminal to the Banaue town proper and catch a jeepney or bus to Bontoc for P150.00. It  will drop you off near the Bontoc Municipal Hall. From there, ride a jeepney to Sagada for P45.00. You may opt to ride on the jeepney rooftop to enjoy the view and the sea of clouds of Sagada.

Sagada

Pongas Falls

Sagada

Sagada Cemetery

Where to Stay

Since Sagada embraced tourism, a couple of inns and lodges sprouted in almost every corner of the town proper and surrounding area. But Lakwatsero’s top pick of course is the Residential Lodge, owned by very kind and accommodating Tita Mary Daoas (Contact No: +639296257419/+639196728744). It is a three-storey lodge equipped with free WiFi, with a common area per floor where guests could watch TV or interact with other guests. Room rate is as low as P250.00 per head per night for a room with common toilet and bath, and P300.00  per head per night for a room with own toilet and bath. Free coffee and tea for all :)

Other places to stay are:

  • George Guest House (Contact No:+639185480405/+639206070994)
  • St. Joseph’s Rest House (Contact No: +63927360344)
  • Travelers Inn (Contact No: +639207992960)
  • Rock Inn Cafe (Contact No: +639209095899)
  • Ganduyan Inn (Contact No: +639212738097)
  • Sagada Guest House (Contact No: +639189385601/+639193002763)
  • Masferre Country Inn (Contact No: +639183416164)
  • Yellow House Inn (Contact No: +639092549783/+639478351985)
  • Gecko Inn (Contact No:+639202895471/+639197261114)
  • Sagada Kanip-aw View Lodge (Contact No:+639282847507/+639298162233)
  • Shamrock Tavern (Contact No: +639301955680)
  • Yabami Bed and Breakfast (Contact No: +639497472245)
  • Mary Hillz Homestay (Contact No: +639153794860)
  • Churya-a Hotel Annex (Contact No: +639064300853 /+639215331030)
  • Mapia-aw Pension (Contact No: +639052164055/+639082027969)
  • Ligaya’s House and Cottages (Contact No: +639183438415/+639207849633)
  • Billy’s Haus (Contact No: +639216032745)
  • Green House (Contact No: +639187367831)
  • Alfredo’s Inn (Contact No: +639185883535)
  • Alapo View Inn (Contact No: +639183113161/+639213279055)
  • Alibama Inn (Contact No: +639208135797)
  • Canaway Inn (Contact No: +639182915063)
  • Hilltopville (Contact No: +639129014749)
  • Misty Lodge (Contact No: +639994459899)

Alternatively, if you prefer camping, you can just pitch a tent in Lake Danum, Mt. Ampacao, Marlboro Hills, Calvary Hill or in Kiltepan :)

Sagada

Inside Lumiang Cave

Activities

With the variety of activities to choose from, places to see and foods to eat, Sagada is truly an adventure, nature and food haven. Here’s the (growing) list of it:

  • Spelunking in Sumaguing, Lumiang or Crystal Caves.
  • At least three hours of cave connection from Lumiang to Sumaguing (or vice versa)
  • Tour of Echo Valley, Underground River, Bokong Falls, Cemetery and Calvary Hills
  • See the hanging coffins up close and see the other ancient burial sites
  • Try rock climbing in Echo Valley Cliffs
  • Walk through the rice terraces of Suyo, Ankileng, Balugan, Bangaan (on the way to Bomod-ok Falls) and Kiltepan
  • Trek to Bomod-ok Falls and Pongas Falls
  • Commune with nature and culture of Sagada
  • Try the mountain tea, the famous yoghurt of the Yoghurt House and the lemon pie of Sagada Lemon Pie House
  • Taste the local delicacy called Pinikpikan or battered chicken :)
  • Experience the Saturday night buffet at Log Cabin
  • Look for the wild horses in Sagada’s Marlboro Country
  • See the sunset at Kiltepan Viewpoint
  • Walk to Lake Danum
  • Trek Mt. Ampacao
  • Witness the Panag-apoy and Begnas Festival
  • Visit Sagada Pottery and Ganduyan Museum
  • Buy weaved products at Sagada Weaving and other local shops
  • Experience the year-end bonfire at Mt. Ampacao
  • White water rafting in Chico River
  • Try biking in Sagada

Check out also my “What to do in Sagada” post that lists the activities that are best for first timers in Sagada.

Sagada

Lemon pie and tea from Sagada Lemon Pie House

Sample Itinerary and Budget

Here’s the 3D/2N itinerary that I followed during my my first visit to Sagada in 2007.  You may follow or tweak it depending on your liking. Estimated cost for this trip is around P3500 – P4000 :)

Day 1

2230H: Departure from Victory Liner Pasay

Day 2

0350H: Arrival at Victory Liner Baguio/Taxi to Dangwa Terminal
0400H: Arrival at Dangwa Terminal/Breakfast
0530H: Departure of Lizardo Bus to Sagada
1115H: Arrival at Sagada
1145H: Lunch
1300H: Spelunking – Lumiang to Sumaguing Cave Connection
1700H: Finish Caving
1900H: Dinner

Day 3

0630H: Breakfast
0730H: Trek to the Big Falls (via Bangaan Rice Terraces)
0830H: Arrival to the Big Falls
0930H: Trek back from the Big Falls
1030H: Back to the starting point of Big Falls trek
1130H: Lunch
1300H: Rock Climbing
1500H: Tour Echo Valley, Hanging Coffins and Underground River
1700H: End of Tour
1900H: Dinner

Day 4

0630H: Breakfast
0700H: Departure from Sagada to Baguio
1300H: Arrival at Baguio/Lunch
1400H: Shop and Some tour of Baguio
1800H: Departure from Baguio to Manila

First publication: May 2, 2008
Updated: November 23, 2012

41 Comments on “Updated Travel Guide: Sagada

  1. hi,
    i hhave set a plan of travelling to the northern part of luzon. like laoag, vigan and pagudpud by plane.
    i was wondering if the plan of taking the bus from manila to laoag is possible with stopovers is doable.
    the plan is:
    manila- zambales (anawangin and the other coves)
    zambales to baguio
    baguio to sagada
    sagada to pagudpud
    pagudpud to laoag+vigan
    and then back to laoag to manila by plane.
    i was thinking setting a one travel schedule all the way to the north instead of seting an apart tour of pagudpud and sagada.

    please need your advice.