Sagada, Mountain Province: Choose Your Own Adventure

Sagada Mountain Province Sumaguing Lumiang Cave Connection

The rugged landscapes of Cordillera highlands consist of colossal peaks that soar passed clouds and mists and fog, and countless clusters of rice fields hand-carved on slopes. The imposing geography can easily strike awe. Many were struck deep – including me. Its uncanny charm brings me back, once or twice or thrice a year, to different destinations found on this mountainous region. This year, I found myself back on Cordillera’s terrifyingly scenic highway headed toward a town renowned among travelers, local and foreign alike. No further introductions required – this is Sagada, Mountain Province.

Sagada Mountain province

Sagada sits on a craggy valley, cloaked in a verdant blanket of tall pine trees with jagged limestone cliffs piercing through lush foliage. Here, the earth breathes a cool and crisp mountain breeze that drop to freezing temperatures during nights and at times, even during days. Nevertheless, the nippy climate can’t stop travelers from wandering the town proper’s narrow road, exploring shops, restaurants, bars, and cafes. A local tourism office and tour guide station can also be found within the area. Visit the office, register, learn, and choose activities that suits your appetite for adventure.

Sagada town proper, mountain province, cordillera

Sagada Mountain Province cordillera

Hanging Coffins of Echo Valley

The ancient Igorot believed that burying the departed six feet underground makes reaching their ancestors in heaven six feet harder. Instead, they fixed the coffin, made from a single hollowed-out log, on a solid rock face six feet (and way higher) above ground. The bizarre burial method is actually more practical – in a spiritual way. Though rarely practiced nowadays, the hanging coffins can still be found at Echo Valley, an easy 20-30 minute walk from the town proper, pass the Episcopalian church of St. Mary The Virgin and Sagada’s modern-day cemetery.

Hanging coffins echo valley Sagada mountain province cordillera

Bomod-Ok Falls

Several waterfalls can be found in Sagada but Bomod-ok Falls is certainly the biggest of them all. Bomod-ok Falls, or Big Falls, sends icy waters gushing down from a staggering height of 200 feet, and creates a thunderous roar resonating amid the massive gorge. Going here can be quite challenging (especially the return hike) yet Bomod-Ok Falls is one of the most visited attractions in Sagada.

Bomod-ok Falls Sagada Mountain Province

Lumiang-Sumaguing Cave Connection

If you’re looking for an even greater challenge, the intense 4-hour Lumiang-Sumaguing Cave Connection would fit you just right. Lumiang Cave, a huge cavern used as a sacred burial site,  serves as the entry point while the route ends Sumaguing Cave or the big cave. In between these caverns lies a series of obstacles, such as narrow openings, rappelling and climbing, and water crossings to name a fewBut don’t let these intimidate you. You’ll be surprised when you stand on the opposite end realizing the feat accomplished.

Lumiang burial site cave connection sagada

Lumiang Sumaguing Cave Connection Sagada Mountain Province

This was my first time in Sagada.The wide array of adventures this quaint town can offer earned it local and international reputation as one of the top vacation destinations in the Philippines. Sagada can cater to any type of travelers. Whether you’re a thrill-seeking adventurer who wants to push beyond personal limits, or a laid back type of traveler who simply love sightseeing or maybe the curious type who’d love to engage themselves in local scene, learn the culture and traditions – there’s always something for everybody. In Sagada, you define your own adventure.

Sumaguing Cave Sagada Mountain Province


1. There are two ways to commute to Sagada from Manila. First, the Baguio route

Baguio Route: Take a bus bound for Baguio (Victory, Genesis, Viron, Dagupan, etc.) which takes around 5-6 hours travel time and costs around P500.00 on an average depending on the bus liner. From Baguio, go to Dangwa Terminal and take a GL Bus bound for Sagada which takes another 6 hours and costs around P250.00.

Banaue Route: Take a bus bound for Banaue via Ohayami Trans which leaves Sampaloc Terminal around 9PM daily. Travel time takes 8-9 hours and costs around P450.00. From Banaue, there are vans that go directly to Sagada which costs somewhere around P250.00-P300.00, or you could take the jeepney which costs P150.00 (I’m not sure about the jeepney if it goes directly to Sagada or Bontoc). Travel time is 3 hours.

I usually take the Banaue Route going up because I never get tired of seeing Banaue Rice Terraces, and when I go back to Manila, I take the Baguio route because I love the scenic route of Halsema Highway. Plus, taking the Baguio route provides me numerous options of buses coming from Baguio City.

2. Where To Stay in Sagada: I visited Sagada twice and stayed in two different lodges. George Guest House (0918 548 04 06 or 0920 948 31 33), the annex building, is a bit further down the road but more quiet and has a nice view. They have ample parking space, wifi, and hot & cold shower (I don’t really mind having hot & cold bath but in Sagada, I think it’s a necessity). Residential Lodge (0919 672 87 44), on the other hand, is within proximity of restaurants, cafes, bars, souvenir shops, etc. They also have hot & cold shower, wifi, and best of all, there’s free coffee. Both charges P250.00/person per night

3. There are many restaurants and cafes and bars in Sagada. Food or meals costs P150.00 on an average, but it’s definitely a hefty serving. Some lodges also provide cooking services, or may permit you to cook your own food.

4. Visitors are required to register at the municipal hall. You could also ask for a map which is free. Some souvenir shops sell it for P20.00 also.

5. Attractions listed in this post are only the few offered by Sagada Genuine Guides Association (SAGGAS). Check out their website for more destinations, activities, services offered, and rates.

6. Some activities such as spelunking require guides, while others like echo valley and hanging coffins, you can do it on your own.

7. A 10:00 PM curfew is observed.

8 For an easy and hassle-free trip to Sagada, visit Biyahe Lokal on Facebook or contact Yani 09063623854 for further inquiries.

9. More about Mountain Province.

10. Like Biyaherong Barat on Facebook..

11. Follow @BiyaherongBarat on Twitter

12. Be safe and happy travels.

kiltepan peak sagada mountain province



21 thoughts on “Sagada, Mountain Province: Choose Your Own Adventure

  1. Sir, we are planning to go to Sagada. My planned route is Manila-Banaue-Sagada then going back, Sagada-Baguio-Manila. I’m bringing my car (Suzuki Ertiga – it’s like an Avanza). Ask ko lang sana kung kayanin kaya ng auto, may mga rough roads pa ba? Yung sa Kiltepan, rough road pa ba pataas? And pwede bang wala nang guide sa Kiltepan and Hanging Coffins since sa blog mo tinuro mo naman na yung directions so pwede ko na lang follow to? Not sure if they are strict na dapat may guide pa. Plan ko sana kumuha lang ng guide sa spelunking and Bomod-ok Falls. I would appreciate your response. Thanks in advance boss.

    • Hello JR, may mga nakikita akong mga sedan dun, so I guess baka kaya (but I’m not sure, a. I haven’t tried). May mga parts pang rough road though sa paakyat ng Sagada.

      Di na kailangan ng guide sa may hanging coffins, madali lang pumunta dun. Basta dapat may resibo kayo nung registration, minsan kase may naghahanap, e.

      Sa Kiltepan, di na rin kailangan ng guide, pagpaakyat kayo from Bontoc, makikita niyo yung Petron sa right side, yun yung daan pa-Kiltepan, pero medyo rough road yun. Pwede naman lakarin kahit park kayo ng auto sa may petron lang. Yung iba naglalakad lang from town proper.

      Basta pagdating niyo ng town, before o pagtapos niyo magcheck in sa lodge, register na kayo sa may town hall. Kase hahanapan kayo ng resibo sa karamihan ng puntahan niyo.

      Bomod-ok and Cave Connection yun kailangan ng guide talaga.

      • Thank you boss that was a quick response. I hope we could make it before sunset sa Sagada next week. 6 Am kasi ang alis namen night shift kasi. AKo lang mag drive mag isa so goodluck saken, pero siguro with all those pictures you have there lalo na mga views along the way eh those will keep me awake the entire trip LOL! Thanks po. If I have questions, post ko lang dito boss. Malaking tulong po Salamat!

  2. Additional question boss, dun sa Lake Danum, kelangan pa ba ng guide? Tinignan ko kasi sa map mukang accessible naman. Tapos lakad na lang konti papuntang Lake, tama ba boss?

  3. Sometimes I just scroll down with the images but this blog is really different. The amazing images can be compared with the penmanship of the author. Very interesting and amazing. Sagada is really beautiful. Diba meron ditong destinasyon ngayon Holy Week? Saan nga yun?

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  8. HI po! we’re planning to go to sagada. and we are thinking if mag take kami ng tour package or sariling sikap na lang.baka kasi halos pareho lang ng expenses. can you please give us a few tips. we are considering din kasi ang budget…heheheehe…which way kaya kami mas makakatipi and at the same time mag eenjoy? salamat po…hope to hear from you the soonest possible time. god bless.

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