If there is one place I would recommend anyone to visit in the north of the Philippines, it would be Banaue. With its culture and tradition, it is impossible not to be amazed and fall in love with the place; especially when you are surrounded by the Banaue Rice Terraces, which are considered a Unesco World Heritage Site.
On our second visit to Banaue, we wanted to make sure we stayed longer and visit as many places as possible. We were very excited because we really missed the place and we had some good memories of our first visit.
Manila – Banaue – Sagada V.V. by BUS?
When going to Banaue, expect long hours of a bus ride. You are talking about 8 hours of travel. If you are going to Sagada, it’s even longer. But what’s nice is that you can relax and catch up on your sleep while on the bus. One bus company I know that travels to these places is the CODA LINES.
Hiwang Native Village
There are so many places to stay in Banaue. But upon searching, we ended up staying at Hiwang Native VIllage. The native village is located a few minutes away from the main town. But it didn’t really bother us because the view from Hiwang will leave everyone speechless!
We stayed in a native Ifugao hut overlooking the rice terraces. It was peaceful and cold. We loved this place! The huts are also quite far from each other, so you have your own privacy as well with a CR and shower for your exclusive use a few steps away from the hut.
We stayed in one of the topmost huts which provided a stunning view, but expect a climb and many steps! But the steps are all laid out in a naturally landscaped garden which makes many steps a pleasant journey.
Hiwang Phone Numbers
0920-893-3125 | 0927-753-8668
Banaue Ifugao Tourist Destinations
For 3 days two nights. We really wanted to maximize our itinerary. We arrived early morning in Banaue; literally, it was around 5 am. It was still dark and cold. I loved it! We asked Hiwang Native Village to organize a pick-up van for us at the Tourist Center. That’s where the bus stops too.
If you haven’t arranged a pick-up, do not worry because there are so many tricycles readily available. We immediately rented a van to take us to some places around Banaue organized by the Hiwang Native Village and coordinated by the Banaue Tourism Center.
Banaue Rice Terraces View Deck Areas
There are 3 viewing deck areas that your tour guide will bring you. I totally forgot some of them.
My apologies for that but some of them appear on our Php 20 and 1000 banknotes. But these places are great to get a nice glimpse of the Rice Terraces. You will also find many souvenir shops here, so no worries about bringing pasalubong to your friends or family.
Things to see around Hungduan Ifugao
After visiting the viewpoints around Banaue, we then headed to Hungduan Ifugao. It’s approximately a 20 min ride from the main town. Once you get there, you have to register at the Tourist Information and Assistance Center.
Environmental Fee: Php 70.00
Hapao Rice Terraces
After your registration, you will then go to the drop-off point where a local guide will be allocated to your group and accompany you on your hike along the terraces.
The hike takes you from the viewpoint along the walls of the terraces to the Hapao Hot Spring. It was so much fun but do be aware to walk cautiously as the walls are narrow and the drop quite high. It was beautiful, especially seeing them all lush and green with newly planted rice.
Bogya / Hapao Hot Spring
One of the main tourist spots here, aside from the rice terraces, is the hot spring. It is located next to a river with freezing water. I am not sure where the volcano is, but you could really smell the sulfur in the water. It was relaxing! After the hot swim, we went to the main river to call off and back to the hot spring again. It’s like a hot and cold bath!
Hungduan Heritage Village
After Bogya Hot Spring, we walked back to a Heritage village where the local people live. It was nice because the people were very friendly and some even speak English very well. It was special and an interesting trek back to our van!
After an uneventful short trip back from the Hapao Rice Terraces, we headed back to the town proper and decided to walk a few meters towards Banaue Hotel for an appetizing meal while overlooking rice terraces. I find it very romantic, especially with the view. After a pleasant meal, we took a tricycle towards our resort.
Batad Rice Terraces
On the next day, we woke up early and went to visit Batad Rice Terraces. You will have to travel from the town proper for at least an hour to get to Batad. You can take a Jeepney, but it may take a while. So it’s better to hire a vehicle to take you there. It’s best to coordinate with the Tourism Center.
When we arrived at the Batad Rice Terraces, we were so amazed at how beautiful it is. I couldn’t believe it myself that everything is man-made. There are so many restaurants offering a nice view of the rice terraces. So slow down and take some time to absorb everything. It’s quite overwhelming, actually! The hike along the terrace walls here is even more challenging for those with a fear of heights as the drop is higher than the terraces at Hapao, but it is all part of the adventure!
What’s more interesting in Batad Rice Terraces is the Tappiya Falls. With your local tour guide, you will actually be walking along the rice terraces going to the falls. That was exciting because walking around. You can get a different view of the terraces. Just prepare yourself for a long walk because going to the falls could be challenging for some. Make sure you have water with you, and pause if you need to – especially on the long climb back to the terraces.
After a few minutes of walking, we finally caught a glimpse of the falls. It was amazing! And after the long walk, I couldn’t think of anything but to have a dip in the freezing water. Yes, the water was really cold, but it was refreshing! It’s worth it! I think this is one of the most beautiful waterfalls you could find in the Philippines.
Other tourist spots to visit Banaue
After having lunch in Batad, our tour guide took us to different rice terraces around Banaue, such as the Bayninag Rice Terraces, Bangaan Village Rice Terraces, and the Ducligan Snake River. All of these places can be seen from the road above.
What I like about these terraces was how each one is actually different from the other. It was also interesting to find villages in the middle of the terraces. The farthest was the Ducligan Snake River, where the river goes around in the shape of a snake. But for me, this is more of a lifeline providing water to the terraces and other crops around the area.
Bayninag Rice Terraces | Bangan Rice Terraces |
Ducligan Snake River
Bronzesmith at Barangay Bokos
On our last day, we checked out early and decided to stay in the town proper. Based on the tourist map, there is bronzesmith around the area. I was really intrigued, so I asked my friends to take a walk to the bronzesmith and maybe buy some souvenires.
With Google Walk and asking local people, we ended up at the home of one of the bronze smiths and, because of their hospitality, had a unique experience. When we arrived at the house, we couldn’t find any bronzesmith and this lady came out of the house, her name is Elsa. We told her that we were looking for the Bronzesmith, and she said, yes, this is the place, but her husband, who was doing it, was taking a break because he was not feeling well.
She was so sweet because she said that she still has stocks that she could sell, and she even showed us how they make it. They were so accommodating that they even invited us inside their home and had a chat. They even let us tried their homemade Basi (Rice wine), and that was delicious!
Before we left, they even gave us Banaue Rice that came from their terraces. They were so hospitable, and it made our trip to Banaue even more memorable! Sometimes, aside from the destination, it’s the people of the community that makes a trip, a trip to remember!
Banaue definitely has a special place in our hearts. It makes you slow down from the fast-paced life in the Metro, and I like that. The place is beautiful, the people and the culture are amazing, and it’s the experience that is difficult to let go of! Banaue, Ifugao is definitely a place to visit and a place to be protected! In the first place, it’s a National Heritage, and I am very proud of that!