Sagada! Almost everyone who hears this destination has something positive to say about the place. If you have been there, then it would surely bring back happy memories. If you haven’t then maybe its time to pay a visit soon.
Here’s a SAGADA Travel Guide I and Kara Santos of Travel Up prepared for those of you who are planning to visit Sagada soon:
1. Describe the destination.
Kara: Sagada is one of the most scenic places in the country. The place is so laid-back and you can just relax, enjoy the cold weather and beautiful scenery and really think up there.
James: A lot of people tell me that its Baguio City way way back. It has a Baguio feel but more relaxed, smaller and lesser tourists. It’s an adventure destination better enjoyed with barkadas. Or if you are looking for solitude
smoke, then Sagada is for you.
2. What do you like most about the place?
Kara: The cool climate, delicious food, rich culture, and all the outdoor activities you can do there.
James: Laid-back and cold weather. If I can find a cheap place to stay there for a month, I would try to write some chapters of my book there- with the green rice terraces on my sight.
3. Is there anything the local government can do (or stop doing) in order to make the place more tourist friendly?
Kara: The roads going up to Sagada are much better than before, which is why a lot more people have been visiting Sagada recently. Maybe having a major bank with an ATM would probably encourage people to spend more. Eating out can be pretty expensive, so it would help a bit to have more restaurants with budget-friendly options.
James: They are doing good. I hope they continue to make sure that its the locals who own the restaurants and hotels/inns in the area. And maybe regulate the cutting of pine trees.
4. Don’t go home without seeing/visiting/experiencing ____________.
Kara: Outdoor rock climbing on Sagada’s cliff walls. The view from the top is spectacular. If you visit during All Soul’s Day, it’s also great to experience the Panag-aapoy ritual where locals light bonfires in the cemetery.
James: Spelunking- Sumaguin Cave is beginners-friendly spot. The hanging coffins are easy to spot- plus they are a unique tradition of the Igorots.
5. Don’t go home without trying/eating ____________.
Kara: Pizza, steaks and the really delicious blueberry shake from Misty Lodge Cafe. Salt & Pepper’s Dinakiw (a grilled meat dish) is to die for. Rock Inn Cafe has a great ambiance too and is worth checking out.
James: Papaitan at the carinderia near the public market. Saturday is there market day, so don’t miss visiting and you would find cheap veggies and local produce.
6. Traveler’s Tip:
Kara: Rent a mountain bike or motorcycle and explore Sagada on your own. Use this to visit establishments or try out the different restaurants located a bit further from the main town center.
James: Get guides for the Waterfalls and Spelunking. Try to do-it-yourself for Kiltepan Sunrise, hanging coffins and echo valley. Walk around town and even to places that are not usually tourist destination.
If is possible don’t go there on weekends. It gets crowded and you will find it hard to enjoy.
7. Recommendation Hotel, Inn?
Kara: There are lots of cheap options and homestays in Sagada, but if you want to be centrally located, St. Joseph’s Resthouse is a good option. The place is just so beautiful surrounded by the gardens, the rooms are very comfortable and the staff there were so helpful.
James: I stayed at Tita Mary’s Residential Lodge, contact her: 0919-672-8744 or 0908-166-1077) Php250/night/pax.
How to get to Sagada?
1. Easiest route coming from Manila-
Take any bus going to Tuguegarao (Florida, Victory Liner, Baliwag Transit, etc) and get off at Junction Bagabag (6-7hours travel time), Nueva Viscaya.
From Junction Bagabag there are buses going to Bontoc (3.5-4hours travel time).
From Bontoc, take the jeepney going to Sagada (45mins.), last trip is at 4pm. Nice view if you are toploading, amazing display of pine trees and fog.
2. Via Baguio
Take the bus going to Baguio (Victory Liner), at Dangwa Terminal, Baguio (6hours), there are buses (Lizardo and GL Trans) going straight to Sagada (6-7hours).
3. Via Bontoc (Cable Tours)
There are a minibus from Manila that goes directly to Bontoc. Call them- 09298194688. Their terminal is located at E. Rod St. QC, near Trinity College (at the back of Shakey’s). Bus leaves Manila at 8:30pm, reserve a seat before going there.
For more information and stories about Sagada, please do check out my past articles:
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If you want to join the Travel Bloggers Collab, please do email me at journeyingjames(AT)gmail(DOT)com together with the place you want to talk about. I want to learn from you and see from your perspective.