10 Basic Travel Guidelines For Ifugao First Time Travelers

Tinawon ifugao rice

Squeezing in the entire bucket list of Ifugao destinations on a tight 3-day endeavor compromises the balance between time management, and savoring the experience. Therefore, filtering the destinations by proximity and organizing a schedule would certainly maximize activities during your stay. Listed below are merely suggestions that may assist in planning a complete itinerary that fits a first-time visit in the province.

1. Ride Ohayami Bus to Banaue.

Ohayami have daily trips going to and from Banaue. Air-conditioned buses leave Sampaloc terminal at 9PM and 10PM, then arrive in Banaue around 6AM or 7AM. Travelers could sleep during the travel and start fresh in the morning when they arrive in town which would provide them more time getting around target destinations.

Ohayami Bus terminal in Sampaloc ManilaTicket booth in Ohayami Sampaloc Terminal.

Terminal is located in J. Fajardo Street corner Lacson Avenue in Sampaloc, Manila. You could reach them through landline, (02) 516 0501, or mobile 0927 649 3055

2. Check-in at Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant.

Feel right at home within the cozy confines of Sanafe Lodge. With it’s rooms cost from as low as P200.00 per person, Sanafe Lodge can accommodate travelers from all walks of life. Choose from a wide array of international dishes served in their in-house restaurant or sip on a warm cup of native coffee while enjoying the majestic panorama of the rice terraces, viewed from the famous balcony of Sanafe Lodge. Read more in Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant: Your “Home” in Banaue, Ifugao.

room in sanafe lodgeStandard Double Room in Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant.

veranda in sanafe lodge & restaurantVeranda of Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant.

3. Hike to Chappa Falls.

To break yourself in to upcoming hikes in this Banaue vacation, try climbing Chappa Falls which is only a little over an hour walk from the town proper. The ascent offers a stunning view of the Banaue town proper and surrounding rice terraces. Take a refreshing bath in its cascading waters running from the mountains to a small catch basin. Read more in Banaue, Ifugao: The Underrated Ascend To Chappa Falls.

Chappa Falls in Banaue IfugaoChappa Falls in Banaue, Ifugao.

Chappa Falls seen from banaue townChappa Falls from Bocos Village.

4. Visit Museums.

Get deeper into the roots of Ifugao and the Cordillera region with the 2 museums just within proximity of Banaue town proper. Behind Banaue Museum‘s doors, located in Banaue View Inn, lie memorabilia of Ifugao’s colorful history immortalized through the rare photographs and also houses priceless artifacts from the rich heritage of the peoples of the mountain.

Banaue Museum ifugaoDoor to Banaue Museum.

Cordillera Sculpture Museum is home to a vast collection of wood-carved masterpieces from different groups in the Cordillera Region. Exhibits are not limited to the numerous deities that play as centerpieces in the two-storey institutions, but also extends to the indigenous groups’ every day living and lifestyle. Read more in Banaue, Ifugao: Cordillera Sculpture Museum.

Cordillera Sculpture Museum in Banaue IfugaoCordillera Woodcarving Museum in Banaue, Ifugao.

5. Marvel at Banaue Rice Terraces.

Massive proportions of multiple-layered rice fields put Banaue Rice Terraces in the tourism maps. No other ancient civilization in the entire planet have mastered an agricultural feat like Ifugao’s terraces. Banaue Rice Terraces, the 8th wonder of the world, truly lives up to its monicker. Read my two-part feature, “Chasing The Light“, and “From A Different Perspective”.

Banaue Rice Terraces viewed from Main View Point.

banaue rice terraces ifugaoRice terraces in a huge scale.

6. Trek to Batad Rice Terraces & Tappiya Falls.

Among the rice terraces inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, Batad’s cluster which resembles an amphitheater, is probably among the popular. Hiking in Batad is strongly recommended for intermediate to strong hikers, but I think as long as you don’t have serious medical conditions, even beginners will enjoy this adventure. End the hike with a refreshing dip in the large natural pool of Tappiya Falls which majestically plunges from several feet in the air. As I’ve heard from other travelers who had been here, an Ifugao adventure won’t be complete without a day in Batad. Read more about Batad in “Batad Rice Terraces: A Man-Made Marvel of Ancient Filipino Engineering”, and Tappiya Falls in, “Batad, Ifugao: Pushing Forward to Tappiya Falls.”

batad rice terracesBatad Rice Terraces

Tappiya Falls in Batad Ifugao

7. Get The Best Guides.

Banaue, being home to these beautiful places, thrives on the tourism industry. Thus, many locals venture in tour guiding services. However, not all guides are registered, trained, and certified by the Department of Tourism, which leads to educational, trust, and safety issues. Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant have hand-picked guides equipped with the proper knowledge and practice safety measures like the lodge’s recommended guide, Joel Ognayon. To arrange guiding services, see contact details of  Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant. (Note: Registered guides have a standard rate; Sanafe Lodge do not get a cut from them)

Joel Ognayon, guide in Banaue Batad IfugaoJoey Ognayon, one of the best guides in Ifugao.

8. Eat In Banaue.

Rice is a staple food all around the Philippines. Wherever you go, travelers will find rice to match their home-cooked meals. But not everywhere in the entire archipelago has top quality rice similar to the Cordilleras. Tinawon, meaning ‘annually’, is the heirloom rice grown in the fertile rice terraces and harvested only once every year due to absence of chemical fertilizers that boost crop growth. In addition, though annually harvested, rice in the Cordilleras is so abundant that it could supply the entire region for a year without exporting from the lowlands.

harvested rice tinawon ifugao cordillera
Tinawon rice in Ifugao

mary's chicken batad pension house
Tinawon rice served with in local dishes.

9. Try Ifugao’s Native Coffee.

Best way to counter the cool climates of the cold months in Banaue is to indulge in a freshly brewed native coffee of Ifugao. A coffee lover’s beautiful morning will definitely be heightened by the local brew that accompany their breakfast, not to mention the stunning view of the terraces as backdrop.

Native coffee of Ifugao.

Hot cup of local coffee while enjoying the view.

breakfast longanisa ifugaoBreakfast served with native coffee.

10. Buy Souvenirs.

Woodcarvings, bags, ornaments, handicrafts – these are only some souvenirs from a wide variety of take home goodies available for sale in Banaue. Buying souvenirs do not only complete a travelers vacation but it also helps the local community to earn a living. Read “Chasing The Light” to find out where to buy souvenirs.

souvenir shop in banaue

A familiar souvenir found in the Cordillera is the brightly colored cloth woven traditionally using a back strap loom. The vivid hues of cotton threads came from mixtures of indigenous plants where the raw materials are dyed with. The entire process is called, binudbudan, in Ifugao’s traditional cloth-making and the LAB (Lugo, Amganad, Banaue) Weaver’s Association, spearheaded by Benita Balangtu and Lily Beyer Luglug, continues the traditional practice and strengthen the efforts of the local weavers. Visit their shop within Banaue View Inn and Banaue Museum’s compound.

back strap weaving traditional cloth of ifugaoTraditionally woven blanket.

back strap loomBack strap loom with pedals.

Lily Luglug of LAB (Lugo, Amganad, Banaue) Weaver’s Association

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27 thoughts on “10 Basic Travel Guidelines For Ifugao First Time Travelers

  1. Yes, u can bring your own vehicle too to add more of the convenience on your travel. The roads from Manila to Banawe are well-paved that guarantees less stress on your travel. ATM machines (Land Bank and PNB) are also available in the capital town, Lagawe. You will pass by Lagawe on your way to Banawe. You can also include Sagada in your itinerary if you plan to visit Banawe. Roads going there are also well-paved. You will pass through Mt. Polish and it’s a total guarantee you will enjoy the grandeur of it. You will pass by one of the most unique roads in the Philippines. Elevation and thrill plus the view of some other rice terraces and mossy forests.

    • Thank you, Alimunju, for that very helpful information.

      Bringing own vehicles to Banaue could give more opportunities for beautiful photographs since you could make stopovers every time. During my bus ride, I had moments when I wished that there is a nearby stopover for the view was very stunning especially when the clouds are lower than the mountains that morning. Such a spectacular view.

  2. How much was your budget all in all??? Me and my friends plans to have the trip by February “Heartbroken Adventure” ahahahaha… :p Thanks!

  3. Wow, I love your Blog, your photos are stunning. I’m coming in less than a week to Manila and we will start our trip to Banaue and Sagada. My question is, do I need to go to Batad to see those amazing rice terraces or are they also seen in Banaue? The photos you posted here at #5 “Banaue Rice Terraces viewed from Main View Point.” – where is this Main View point? In Banaue? Hope you can help me, I can’t wait to discover your amazing country! Cheers from Istanbul :)

    • Hi Sab,

      Thank you very much. Both Batad and Banaue have their own clusters of rice terraces, and both have their own unique characteristics. For me, visiting the Batad cluster and Tappiyah Falls is also quite the experience.

      Main View Point is in Banaue. It’s a 5-10-minute tricycle ride from town proper.

      Thank you Sab for visiting my country. I wish you lots of fun and safe trip to the Philippines.

  4. Wow, I love your Blog, your photos are stunning. I’m coming in less than a week to Manila and we will start our trip to Banaue and Sagada. My question is, do I need to go to Batad to see those amazing rice terraces or are they also seen in Banaue? The photos you posted here at #5 “Banaue Rice Terraces viewed from Main View Point.” – where is this Main View point? In Banaue? Hope you can help me, I can’t wait to discover your amazing country! Cheers from Istanbul

  5. Hi there! nice post and pictures. What month you went to Banawe? I was planning to go to November this year.. is it okay???

    • Hello Ysay,

      I went to Banaue last September. Visiting Banaue on November is ok, but I think you should double check with the bookings. As the holiday approaches, most lodgings become fully booked.

      • I’ve read that Oct-Nov is the greenest in Batad’s terraces. :)
        Oh i see..but I’ll be there later part of the month, oh well.. I guess I need to book ahead of time. Anyways, thanks a lot! :)) I enjoyed reading your blog! More power . :)

  6. Pingback: Ifugao: Banaue, Touched By Splendor and Simplicity | Biyaherong Barat

  7. Pingback: Batad, Ifugao: Sweeter The Second Time Around | Biyaherong Barat

  8. Hi sir.. just want to thank you for this helpful blog.. First time kong magbasa ng blog tas na excite akong magtravel. Actually a year din bago ako nakapunta sa ifugao, nung January lang this year, pero nung December 2012 ko pa nasimulang basahin tong blog nato. :) Tapos ngayon naman nakita ko yung recent travel niyo sa Quezon. And again, nananabik na naman akong makapunta dun.. Excited to see and witness what you are sharing about.. Thank you ulit sir.. For awakening the desire in me.. hehehe.. Please continue sharing barat travel tips :)

    • Hi Meimei, naku nakakatuwa naman at kahit papano nakakatulong ‘tong blog na ‘to. And I’m soooo glad for you. I hope naenjoy mo sa Ifugao. I love that place dearly.

      Lapit lang nung sa Quezon, kayang kaya mo yun. =D

      Maraming salamat din po at nakatulong ‘tong blog ko sa pagtravel niyo.

  9. I got this site from my pal who shared with me about this website and now this time I am browsing this web page and reading very informative posts at this time.

  10. Hi sir. Your blog has been very helpful. Very detailed. I wonde if you have created an outlined itinerary with budget? It will be very helpful :) Also, I was trying to call Ms Susan and Sir Joel using the mobile numbers you have provided but theyre always unattended? Would you happen to have their updated numbers? Thank you so much! :)

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