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,

    Been there with my officemate last Sept 6. The long trip was really tiring we even encountered a landslide along the way. But thank God it was all worth it. We stayed at Tita Mary’s Residential lodge (truly highly recommended). The caves were awesome, especially the rock formations inside Sumaguing Cave. Its just sad we missed the Lemon Pie house.

    We’re planning to go back summer next year to try the cave connection and Mt. Ampacao trek. This time i’ll make sure we’ll never miss the Lemon Pie house.

    Thanks Bleue for the info posted here. It really helped us a lot. More tours and more blogs to you! :)

    Thanks Darknight! Reading your comment makes me wanna go back to Sagada NOW!!! hehehe!

  2. hi po…am planning to go to sagada this OCTOBER??is it wise for this time of year??

    Sagada on October sounds great. Wag lang may typhoon affecting the area.

  3. Hi, me and my friends are planning a road trip on Sept. But we will be in Laoag first then travel down to Sagada. Can you give us tips on how to get there? Bus rides, schedules, fare rates and those stuff. Some of the sights and places we wanted to see in Mt. Province are Bontoc, Banaue – the rice terraces and Sagada itself.

    Can you recommend an itinerary for us? That we would be able to cover these places. Thanks!

    Hi cat, VisitSagada.com has an entry of going to Sagada from Ilocos region:
    http://www.visitsagada.com/2009/04/27/ilocos-vigan-laoag-and-pagudpud-to-and-from-sagada/

    You may also browse the other entries in the site for tips, suggested itineraries and everything you need to know about Sagada. :)

  4. hi sir. ask ko lang po which is the best and easiest way to go to sagada, via baguio, banaue or bontoc? im planning a trip in june 5-8 sana. thanks =)

    Hi anna, Baguio and Bontoc routes are my choices. Baguio route because the Manila-Baguio buses (Victory Line) have comfortable seats, though the six hours Baguio-Sagada ride are provincial bus type. Bontoc route because, it passes through Banaue, and the Cable Tours buses (from Manila to Bontoc) although not as good as Victory buses, offer a convenient ride straight to Bontoc that is just an hour or less jeepney ride to Sagada.

  5. Hi! Thanks so much…will follow your advice.

    Looking forward to communing with nature!

    Regards,

  6. Hi.
    Which is the easiest and cheapest way to get to these places: sagada, baguio, and pagudpud?
    Thanks..

  7. Hi!

    Thanks for the response. I intend to stay for 3D/2N exclusive of the bus travel from and to Manila.

    I see, well since this is your first time in sagada, I suggest you go caving, trek to the big falls and tour of the area. For a 3 days/2nights, assuming you arrive Sagada at noon you can have your spelunking in the afternoon. You can go spelunking in Sumaguing or if you are into adventure try the cave connection from Lumiang Cave to Sumaguing Cave. The next day, you can trek to the big falls in the morning and tour in the afternoon – Underground River, Echo Valley, Cemetery, Burial Sites. On your third day, you can spend it exploring the area, by then you can be able to walk to the Church, cemetery and even Echo Valley alone, then shop for pasalubongs and try the famous lemon pie, yoghurt, cinnamon roll, etc and etc. By lunch time, catch the last bus to Baguio/Bontoc. P.S. Don’t forget to eat in yoghurt house. Hehehe! To summarize.

    Day 1
    Noon: Arrival
    Afternoon: Caving

    Day 2
    Morning: Big Falls
    Afternoon: Sagada Tour (Three spots)

    Day 3
    Morning: Explore the area/buy pasalubongs.
    Noon: Departure

    That is how I figure your itin, just play with it! Enjoy Sagada!

  8. is it okey to go for sagada from baguio by saturday 6am, then go back for baguio the following day around 11am? do you the group can already enjoy? thanks

    Hmm, quite tight sked, but yes that’s doable and enjoyable. If you depart from Baguio at 6AM, you’ll be in Sagada by noon, you can go Caving in the afternoon. If you take the cave connection, that would consume your entire afternoon but it is a must try, but if you will just go basic spelunking in Sumaguing, you can add tour of Echo Valley, Bokong Falls, Underground River and some burial sites. Then wake up early the next day to view sunrise at Kiltepan or early trekkking to Bomod-ok Falls. One more thing, don’t miss the yoghurt house. Hehe!

  9. Hi!

    Need an advice/idea for itinerary for a female solo traveler.

    Thanks a lot!

    Sagada is a safe place for a solo traveler. How many days do you plan to stay in Sagada?

  10. hai, actually im pure sagadanian but im living here in america. . .. .your column is great that you are making our place more exciteful
    maybe we will go their this vacation. .
    I mis Sagada. . . thank you very much.
    Matago tao tako amin..hehe its hard to pronounce now!

  11. hi, ask ko lang if safe pumunta sa kin sa sagada with a heart problem, kasi its a long walk daw and matataas and mga roads. problem ko kasi madali ako hingalin… is there a way na di ako maglakad? hows the tranportation there?

    thanks and have a great day…

    There are places and activities that require walking talaga and physical strength, like the trek to the big falls, cave connection, Mt. Ampacao, rock climbing to name a few. Pero take it easy, don’t tire yourself too much. Oks lang siguro yung mga short and easy walk like the Echo Valley or Sumaguing Cave, and a tour to Danum and Pottery via rented van. Okey lang cguro na itry mo, and assess if you can, pag di naman, you can back out anytime.

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  13. Hi, Lakwatsero. We are planning to go to Sagada this Christmas Season. Do you think it is wise to go there considering it’s going to be sooooo cold? Our group consists of 8 adults, 1 teenager, 1 10-year old and a 4 year old. What’s the best place for our group to stay? Can we already make a reservation for the hotel and tourist guide? How much do you think will we spend for a 5 day stay there (hotel, food, guide, entrance fees to the spots, etc.)? Thanks so much. We are so excited to visit Sagada especially after reading this site.

    Sagada in December is great. Again, I recommend Tita Mary Daoas (+6329296257419), she is really really kind. It would be best to reserve a room as early as now. For the guide, no need to reserve. They have pool of guides, just go to SEGA Office in the municipal hall or in the SAGGA office, they have standard rates for the tour. I think, P4000.00 – P5000.00 per person would be enough (or too much :P ) for a 5 days stay in Sagada.

  14. I am planning to go to Sagada and stay at the best possible accommdations – with best view and complete amenities. Also, who should I contact to serve as my tour guide? Thanks so much for all your help!

    There is no 5-star hotel in Sagada, not even a 4-star or 3-star. I am biased with Residential Lodge, the place is good and clean, and the owner is very kind and warm, and considering the value for money, it is definitely a great choice. But then there are other inns, popular are St. Joseph’s Inn (Contact No: 09185595934) , Rock Valley Inn (Contact No: 09186432784), George Guest House (Contact No: 09185480406/09206070994). For guides, just go to their Municipal Hall. They will assign a tour guide for you.

  15. Pingback: First Time in Sagada: Part 2 of 3 | Lakwatsero

  16. is it ok to go to sagada by December?

    sounds great! sagada is a good place to go anytime of the year as long as no typhoon directly affecting the area.

  17. Pingback: First Time in Sagada: Part 1 | Lakwatsero