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

How to Get There

There is no direct trip 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 P455.00. The most ideal time to travel is around 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, you may opt to go to GL Liner Terminal in Baguio Dangwa Terminal or in Lizardo Transit Terminal in Barangay Sto. Niño to catch a bus to Sagada. Both are just short taxi ride (around 10 minutes) for approximately P40.00 from Victory Liner Terminal. GL Liner has four trips daily starting at 6AM up to 1PM, while Lizardo Transit has only one schedule at 9:15AM.

If you have plenty of time, you can take a twenty ninute walk to the Baguio Dangwa Terminal which is just in front of Baguio City Public Market. Fare for both GL Liner and Lizardo Transit is P220.00 (student and senior citizen: P176.00), travel time takes around six (6) hours passing along the scenic Halsema Highway. Almost the entire stretch of the road to Sagada is paved and smooth. The bus will stop in front of Sagada Municipal Hall.

Sagada

Sunrise over the sea of clouds at Kiltepan Viewpoint

Via Bontoc

Cable Tours used to operate Manila to Bontoc route but the right was sold to GV Florida Transport but following the fatal accident of Bontoc bound GV Florida Transport bus in Febuary 7, 2014, the right to operate was cancelled. To date, there is no bus company that operates direct Manila to Bontoc route.

Via Banaue

Banaue route is a good choice if you plan to drop by to the famous Rice Terraces of Banawe. Ohayami Bus and Dangwa Transit operate the Manila to Banaue route. Ohayami Bus Terminal is in the corner of Fajardo Street and Lacson Avenue in  Sampaloc Manilla, near UST. Contact No: +639276493055 or (02)-5160501. You may also check  out their website at: http://www.ohayamitrans.com.

Dangwa Transit Terminal in Manila is in Dangwa Flower Market along Dimasalang Street, Sampaloc Manila. 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, travel time is approximately three (3) hours. The bus will stop 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 Bontoc and Bayyo.

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 Viewdeck :)

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
  • See the amazing Blue Soil Hill
  • Experience the year-end bonfire at Mt. Ampacao
  • White water rafting in Chico River
  • Go mountain 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

2330H: Departure from Victory Liner Pasay

Day 2

0530H: Arrival at Victory Liner Baguio/Taxi or walk to Dangwa Terminal
0600H: Arrival at Dangwa Terminal/Breakfast
0630H: Departure of Bus to Sagada
1230H: Arrival at Sagada / Check-in at Lodge
1245H: Lunch
1400H: Spelunking – Lumiang to Sumaguing Cave Connection
1800H: Finish Caving
1930H: 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, June 2, 2014

41 Comments on “Updated Travel Guide: Sagada

  1. Hi Bleue, Amazing! Ang dami pala talagang pwedeng gawin sa trip n iot! hehehehe.. We probably gonna go there this 2nd of July:-))… Thank you again Bleue:-)

    No problem Ruth, but honestly a trip to Sagada alone is worth your entire vacation since there are so much to do and so much to see in that place, and Sagada is best experienced if you stay longer. Eat yoghurt and lemon pie for me. And if you are staying with Residential Lodge, say hi to Tita Mary for me, tell her from Angel, he knows me by my real name. Hehe!

  2. Haha, anyway, at least eh naenjoy nyo ang Sagada, honestly Sagada is best experience if you stay longer! Wow! San ka sa min?

    := Bleue (aka Lakwatsero) =:
    _____________________________________________________

    ei bro… sa last response mo sa post ko, di ko nagets yun last na sinabi mo… senxa na… anu ba yung “san ka sa min?”

    Ooops, sorry, haha, don’t know where that question came from? Bangag yata ako nung nagreply ako dyan, hehe! Anyway, san ang next lakwatsa nyo?

  3. Hey Bleue, know what they still wants to travel to pagudpud hehehehe but not right after Sagada on the next month… I’ll keep the info you gave us so we wont get lost on our way (route) there… Thank you Bleue… :-)

    Yo Ruth, no problem, by the way, when do you exactly plan to go to Sagada? I am planning also to go there by July eh. Anyway, splitting your Sagada and Pagudpud trips sounds great. At least you will have more time on appreciating Sagada and Pagudpud separately rather then sticking to a hectic itinerary without room for delays to cover the entire leg. Meanwhile, if I may suggest, if you have plenty of time, the great combinations would be 1) Baguio-Sagada-Banaue-Batad; and 2) Tuguegarao-Aparri-Pagudpud-Laoag-Vigan, you may also add to any of the two a trip to Balbalasang and Tabuk in Kalinga (Balbalasang for a LOTR type of place and Tabuk for white water rafting adventure).

    Enjoy your northern Luzon trips! :D

  4. Hi Bleue! I guess we just have to travel in one destination and that is Sagada. hehehehe.. At last, they made up theyre mind hehehe… Geeeee! i never thought organizing a trip is as hard as making a college thesis. I’m glad I found your site its a very big help for me and the rest of the group. I thank you really!

  5. Hello Bleue! We had a meeting this afternoon regarding our trip and we end it up not travelling to tuguegarao and aparri anymore (hehehehe). they decided to go to sagada for 3 days na lang coz they don’t wana miss that place talaga. My question is can we take a bus going to ilocos(pagudpud)after sagada? and Bleue please recommend us the cheapest but very clean accomodation in sagada… Thank you thank you so much

    Hi Ruth, sad to Say Pagudpud and Sagada are way off. They may look close in the map but their roads lead to their opposites. From Sagada, your options would be to go back to Baguio then head to Pagudpud (SAGADA-BAGUIO-PAGUDPUD) or pass through Cagayan (haha, Cagayan, here we go again) that would be SAGADA-BONTOC-TABUK-TUGUEGARAO-PAGUDPUD, almost the same travel time. Are you coming from Manila?

    For accommodation, I recommend Residential Lodge, room is at 200-250 per person per night. Please text or call them Asap for reservation. The 250/room/night is for the room that has own T/B with hot/cold shower and bath tub.

  6. wow Bleu ! your a big help fo us travelers. Im a photographer hobbyist and i’m planning also to visit Sagada and banaue . Your opinions and suggestions are very helpful, im from Makati by the way.

    Thanks Conrad! Wow, I’m a photographer hobbyist too, and I’m planning este wishing to buy my DSLR soon. Hehehe! When do you plan to go to Sagada? I tried Manila-Baguio-Sagada-Banawe-Manila before, quite exhausting but all worth it.

  7. Hello Bleue (aka Lakwatsero)! Thank you so much the information. Its a big help for us. I think your right, we will just be wasting a lot of time on travelling on the bus so we will have a meeting again then maybe we can cancell some places but for sure we wont gonna miss Sagada! hehehe :-)! Your site is so helpful. we have tried some other site but its not as detailed as yours and your response is like a thunder storm sobrang bilis andyan agad! I hope we can decide right away which places we are going na. I will let you know the updates Bleue, and once were back from our travel i’ll promise i will share the experience our to you…. Thank you thank you thank you so much!!!!

    No problem Ruth, Let me know the changes in your plans and I’ll try to help :D

  8. Hello Bleue (aka Lakwatsero)! me again. yeah we are planning to stay overnight in each places we plan to go hehehe… we will leave here in Baguio City on the night of july 1st then till 7 ng july, ang plan of travel namim.Pero di nmin alam kung 6 days ay kaya nmin puntahan lahat ng places na un :-)!Bleue, how much should we bring travel money for this itinerary? I have no idea talaga hehehehe…. pls help thank you.

    Okay, now, I am not an expert on this and haven’t tried that caravan yet, and if you insist on Baguio-Sagada-Tuguegarao-Aparri-Pagudpud destinations, the route I can think of is Baguio-Sagada-Bontoc-Tabuk-Tuguegarao-Appari-Pagudpud.

    Baguio-Sagada: 5 hours
    Sagada: 3d/2n
    Sagada-Bontoc-Tabuk-Tuguegarao: 6-7 hours
    Tuguegarao: 1d/1n
    Tuguegarao-Aparri: 3-4 hours
    Aparri: 1d/1n
    Aparri-Pagudpud: 3-4 hours
    Pagudpud: 2d/1n

    My take, 6 days would not be enough, you will waste a lot of time in the bus, and take note that there are limited transport plying to these routes, so if you miss one, you might end up spending a night in one place. Then there are no night trips from Baguio to Sagada, the last trip leaves Baguio around noon. Budget wise, I think I can survive this trip with 8K in my pocket. I have tried the Tabuk-Tuguegarao-Pagudpud route, not coming from Sagada and not Passing to Aparri. That took us 4days/3nights, so if you add Sagada and Appari, I estimate it to be 7 days/6 nights or more. Hmmm… Oh well, i might be wrong, let me research this one.

    For those who have idea, please, now is the best time to share it. Let us help Ruth :D

    := Bleue (aka Lakwatsero) =:

  9. by the way po my starting point is on Baguio City po… Thank you.

  10. Hi lakwatsero! I am planning to go to sagada-tuguegarao-aparri- pagudpud. Which way should i take first in order to travel those places in a proper route. Ang alam ko magkakalapit lang sila but i dont have an idea how to get there and bus fare and cheap but clean and nice accomodation po sana.hehehe.. Pls help!!!

    Wowowow! great itinerary, but wait, are you planning to stay to those mentioned places for a night at least? The idea is great, but most people i know who planned the same route eh di kinaya at hanggang sagada lang, since there are so much to do and so much to see in sagada alone… enweis, how many days are you allotting for this caravan?

    := Bleue (aka Lakwatsero) =:

  11. tuguegarao and pagudpud… di na kinaya… kinulang na kasi sa oras… budgetwise ganun din, medyo kakapusin…

    yung oras e kaya kinulang e dahil dun sa pagpunta namin ng big falls… ang plan namin for that day e big falls then caving sa sumaguing and lumiang… ang nangyari after namin mag big falls e di na kinayang ituloy yung plan ng caving sa hapon kasi bagsak talaga yung kasama naming girl… ang nangyari tuloy napahaba lalo stay namin in sagada at di na natuloy sa pagudpud… pero sagada was enough for me… i really had a wonderful vacation… medyo namayat ako during the stay there pero pagbalik dito sa min lobo na ulit… dun kasi puro walk… wala ka magagawa kundi lumakad kasi wala namang transpo na pde sakyan sa short distances lalo na at halos napakaliit lang nun mismong town proper… e pagbalik dito.. ayun tamad na ulit sa paglakad… gained more pounds than what i shed during my stay there… hehehe…

    Haha, anyway, at least eh naenjoy nyo ang Sagada, honestly Sagada is best experience if you stay longer! Wow! San ka sa min?

    := Bleue (aka Lakwatsero) =:

  12. you’re welcome lakwatsero…

    and by the ways, my friend is protesting… di ko daw isinama yung palagi nyang sinasabi na “ang rice terraces… maganda lang syang tingnan… ayoko na syang lakadan…SWEAR!!!!” she said that almost always during our trek back to the van when we went to the BIG FALLS…

    Hahaha! Talaga? Naimagine ko tuloy yung paghihirap nya sa BIG falls. By the way, did you still go to Tuguegarao and Pagudpud?

    := Bleue (aka Lakwatsero) =:

  13. i forgot to mention things about the trip back home…

    na-overdoze ata ako sa anti-vertigo tabs na binili ko sa sagada… ayun… halos the whole trip going back to batangas e tulog ako… the only times i’m awake were during bus transfers and pee break… hahahaha…

    Hi Edsel, thanks for sharing your Sagada experience! :)

    := Bleue (aka Lakwatsero) =:

  14. my friends and i were in sagada from may 30 until june 02, 2008…

    grabe, windang ako sa byahe eh, ang haba… 2hrs from batangas to cubao, 6hrs from cubao to baguio and roughly 7hrs from baguio to sagada… non-stop yun ha… pero kahit nawindang ako sa byahe, it was worth it…

    i enjoyed the SUMAGUING CAVE so much… yung BIG FALLS was so nice too pero i almost died with the trek… josko ang haba… yung friend ko nga halos dalahin na namin sa hospital dahil sa di nakayanan yung trek… also went to echo park as well as the cemetery and church beside it… also went to the SMALL FALLS and LUMIANG CAVE where there are also lots of hanging coffins…

    what i enjoyed the most in sagada is the food… especially the mixed vegies they serve with a various meals… the vegetable fried rice in some restos… palibhasa fresh, medyo manamis-namis yung vegies… HADEKKU’S ( i don’t know if i spelled it correctly)and YOGHURT HOUSE were some of the restos i enjoyed… but none of them can be compared with the LEMON PIE HOUSE, we were not able to get the name of the middle-aged lady running/manning/serving in the place… but she’s a native of the place for sure… she’s so nice to us… would even share stories with us when there’s not much guests in the place… and the kitten who would always sit on my lap whenever we visit the place in the morning… kahit mukha syang yagit na pusa, nakakaaliw pa din sya…

    the place where we stayed is called GEORGE’S _______________ (i don’t know if they call it a guest house, an inn or anything), it was nice… the room we occupied was very clean, it has its own private bathroom with hot shower… could have been better if there’s a small space aloted for a cabinet to where we can organize our things… the room has its own television set… and the rate is so affordable… the person/s looking after the place were all nice…

    over-all… the sagada experience i had was fun… full of new things for me… i hate trekking, walking distances and hiking but i was forced to do so, wala kasing tricycle or pamasadang jeep na nagkalat… but despite the fact that i hate getting sweaty and stinky because of walking under the sun… i enjoyed it… so much….

  15. I don’t know where Residential Lodge is. I’ve stayed at St. Joseph twice and I think it’s the best. I’ve tried Ganduyan Inn twice also, but it’s not as clean and as inviting as St. Jo.

    Traveller’s Inn is also a good choice. Stayed there last April. My only complaint was their water pressure was weak. I wasn’t even able to use the hot shower.

    :)

    Oh boy! Your blog is really very good. How I wish I could travel all over the country just like you.

    Gotta save…gotta save…

    Hahahaha!

  16. thanks a lot lakwatsero…

    napakalaking help mo to me and my friends…

    more power…

  17. thanks for the reply lakwatsero, ask ko lang kung panu yung route na yun, hiwa-hiwalay na rides ba yun?meaning from sagada we’ll take a ride going to bontoc, once in bontoc, ride naman to tabuk and so on, or is it a single ride passing thru those locations lang??

    senxa na, really clueless lang on what to do… better ask a pro than take risks and get lost, hehehe.

    hi edsel! yep separate rides.

    sagada-bontoc (jeep) – 1 hour
    bontoc-tabuk (bus) – 3-4 hours
    tabuk-tuguegarao (jeep) – 1 hour
    tuguegarao-pagudpud (bus) – 5-6 hours

    haha. not a pro here! :P

    := Bleue (aka Lakwatsero) =:

  18. question lang po, my friends and i are planning on vacationing in sagada and pagudpud this coming week, ask ko lang po what route shall we take or should i just say how can we go to pagudpud if we’re already in sagada??? what’s the shortest easiest route???

    thanks po sa sasagot…

    Hi edsel, i think the easiest route will be sagada-bontoc-tabuk-tuguegarao-pagudpud.

  19. Pingback: Lakwatsero Beta » Callao Cave

  20. bro, tingen mo san ba pwede mag widraw dun? sa mga stop over ba ng bus meron kayang ATM machine? BPI ang bank ko eh. please email me @ ARBoiser[at]rgoc[dot]com[dot]ph

    Emailed you Anjo, but for the benefit of the readers of this site, there’s no atm in Sagada. The nearest are in Bontoc (45 minutes away): PNB, Land Bank and Metrobank.