Nothing beats waking up in the morning on the sweet sound of the chirping birds, on the fresh breeze of the mountain air and on the majestic view of rice terraces! Nothing beats waking up in the morning in Batad!
A village of Banaue in the province of Ifugao, Batad is famous for its amphiteater-like rice terraces, one of the five clusters of rice terraces in Ifugao that are inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list since 1995.
Built around two thousand years ago by the indigenous people of Cordillera, the rice terraces of Batad are made up of compacted soil similar to other rice terraces in Ifugao. Many consider this Batad attraction as the best of all rice terraces in the region and even in the entire Philippines. Through the years, more and more tourists, local and foreign alike, flock to this side of Cordillera to see the magnificent rice terraces that carpet the entire mountainside of the small village.
Adventure awaits in Batad since most of the attractions in the area require trekking or walking. But walking along the rice terraces and being surrounded by amazing scenery make a day in the village a truly worthy one!
How to Get There
Batad is approximately 18 kilometers from Banaue town proper. The schedule and frequency of trips from the town proper depend on passenger traffic, but there are usually at least two public jeepneys daily to Batad Saddle, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, fare is P50 per passenger. There is no fixed location on where these jeepneys load passengers, but they are certainly in the town proper area, in or near the jeepney terminal or along the main road where most lodges and restaurants are found.
If you miss the direct trip to the saddle, you can take the public jeepney going to Bangaan or Mayoyao and get off at Batad Junction. Alternatively, you can also hire a jeepney to the saddle (at least P1,500 good for 20 pax) or a tricycle to Batad Junction (P100-P150 good for two to three passengers). Batad Junction is approximately three kilometers trek to the saddle. From the saddle, there is no other way to reach Batad Village but to trek down three kilometers.
Manila to Banaue
Ohayami Transit (Contact No: 0927-6493055 / 02-5160501) is the only bus company that offers direct trip from Manila to Banaue. Their buses depart Manila at 9PM and 10PM daily and arrive in Banaue around 7AM the next day. Their terminal is located along Lacson Avenue, in the corner of Fajardo Street and near University of Santo Tomas. On holidays and peak season, additional trips are mounted to accommodate the high traffic. Fare is P450 (as of May 2013), advance reservation is advise. For reservation options, trip schedule and other information, check out their website.
Solano (Nueva Vizcaya) to Banaue
There are jeepneys from Solano (Nueva Vizcaya) to Banaue via Lagaue. Travel time is around one hour and fare is less than P50. Buses from Manila to Tuguegarao stop at Solano.
Baguio to Banaue
There are buses that serve Baguio to Banaue route. Ohayami Transit has daily night trip to Banaue, travel time is around seven to eight hours and their buses are stationed along Otek Street near Burnham Park. Meanwhile, KMS Bus has two trips daily – one in the morning and one at night. Their minibus are parked near Rizal Park.
Clark to Banaue
If you are coming from Clark, you can go to Baguio or Manila to catch a trip to Banaue. You may also opt to go to Solano but it requires a lot of transfer (Clark to Dau, Dau to Tarlac, Tarlac to San Jose, San Jose to Solano and Solano to Lagaue/Banaue).
Bontoc to Banaue
If you are coming from Sagada or Bontoc, there is a local bus that goes directly from Bontoc town proper to Banaue near the Bontoc Municipal Hall. Buses depart every hour with the last trip at around 12 noon, travel time is two to three hours at P100.00 per passenger (as of June 2010).
Getting Around and Away
Batad is a mountain village, getting around is only by foot.
Going back to Banaue town proper from Batad village means trekking up for three kilometers to the saddle to catch the public jeepney that usually leaves at 9AM daily. If you miss the public jeepney, you can trek down for another three kilometers to the Batad Junction and catch a tricycle or jeepney to the town. Alternatively, you may rent a jeepney if there’s one available on the saddle, but it is advise to arrange the transport ahead if you are planning to rent a whole jeepney from the saddle back to the town.
Where to Stay and Eat
There are no posh hotels and resorts in Batad, accommodations are limited to lodges, inns and native huts. Rate is as low as P200 per person per night for a single fan room. You may also opt to stay in the native Ifugao huts for as low as P250 per night per person. Dining should not be a problem as most inns and lodges have their own restaurants.
Since mobile signal is very limited in the area, advance reservation is really not necessary. Afterall, there are a lot of lodges and inns in town to accommodate tourists. On my visit to Batad, I stayed at Rita’s Mount View Inn and Restaurant (Contact No: +639108423076), overlooking the beautiful rice terraces. They have six room that can accommodate up to 12 guests, rate is P200 per person per night.
Meanwhile, my friend Gael of The Pinay Solo Backpacker recommends Ramon’s Home Stay (Contact No: +639168743787/ Facebook: Ramon’s Native Homestay). Ramon Homestay also charges P200 per person per night for a room and P250 per person per night on a native Ifugao hut.
Other accommodations in Batad are Hillside Inn, Batad Pension, Simon’s Viewpoint Inn, Gilbert Homestay, Cristina Main Village Inn, Samson Homestay, Watefalls’ Side Inn, Batad Kadangyan Lodges and Foreigner’s Inn among others.
What to Do
- Walk along the rice terraces
- Hike to Awa View Deck to see the unobstructed bird’s eye view of the Rice Terraces
- Trek to Tappiya Falls
- Try the native rice wine
- Trek to Bangaan
- Trek to Kinakin and Cambulo
- Stay in a native Ifugao hut
- Taste Pinikpikan and other local delicacies
- Buy locally produce products and souvenirs
- Appreciate nature and culture
Here’s a sample itinerary for a Banaue-Batad tour which you can follow. Warning, this trip involves a lot of trekking and walking.
2100H: Departure from Ohayami Transit Bus Terminal in Sampaloc, Manila
0700H: Arrival in Banaue / breakfast
0800H: Halfday Tour of Banaue and Bangaan Rice Terraces
1300H: Proceed to Batad Junction / Saddle
1400H: Trek from Batad Saddle to village
1500H: Arrivain in village / check-in in a lodge / wash-up / rest / free time
1800H: Dinner / night social / lights off
0600H: Call time / breakfast
0700H: Trek to Awa View Deck and/or Tappiya Falls
1400H: Back in the lodge / late lunch
1500H: Wash-up / check-out / trek to Saddle
1700H: Arrival in Saddle / Proceed to Banaue
1800H: Arrival in Banaue / Early Dinner / Proceed to bus terminal
2000H: Banaue to Manila
- The best months to go to Batad is during dry season (December to May), with highlight on May where the rice terraces are at its greenest
- Guide fee to view deck and Tappiya Falls cost P1200; to Bangaan costs P1200; and to Kinakin-Cambulo costs P1500
- No ATM in town
- No establishment accepts travelers check, credit and debit cards
- Mobile signal is intermittent and very limited