Rice Terraces Banaue: Meet old Ifugao ladies and see traditional hand craft

Whenever you read in a travel guide to the Philippines, besides the beaches, it is inevitable to hear about Sagada, Banaue and Baguio in North Luzon. The three cities are the starting point for adventures in the breathtaking Cordillera region with its spiny mountains, that rises up to 2900m.
From the famous hanging coffins, to dark and unexplored caves, the steep slopes of the rice terraces or sleepy villages – the Cordillera has it all.

Rice Terraces in Banaue
photo credit: Pretty sweet ne? via photopin (license)

So you decided to stay in Banaue for a few days? Then here are all the informations you need to go around Banaue.

How to go to Banaue?

The tour Manila to Banaue is operated by Ohayami Transportation. The buses start 09:00 PM in Manila and will arrive around 6:30 AM next day. Make sure you book at least 2 days in advance. The one way ticket is about P600.

What are the best accommodations in Banaue?

Banaue isn´t that big so it should be easy for you to navigate to a guesthouse or a hotel. In the high season between December and February it can be pretty crowded so make sure you get an accommodation in advance. If there is no time for that, don´t worry. There are many places to stay. Here is a list of Hotels in Banaue where you can stay:

  • Banaue View (Tel: +63 916 694 4551)
    The Inn is just about 100 meters from the Ohayami bus terminal. Its located on the top of hill overlooking town and rice terraces The rooms are pleasant and clean.
  • Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant (Tel: +63 (02) 475 5314, Mobile: +63 939 939 0128, Mail: susanmparedes@gmail.com)
    Sanafe has basics but comfortable rooms. There is a nice balcony at the back with a pleasant view.
  • Greenview Lodge (Tel: +63 920 540 4225, greenview12@yahoo.com.ph)
    Nice rooms and nice food. There is no veranda so you have to live with the view out of the window.
  • Banaue Hotel & Youth Hostel (Tel: +63 908 400 7596, Mail: pta_banauehotel@yahoo.com)
    The Hotel and Youth Hostel is run by the same owner, but attracting two different tourist groups. If you want a little bit more luxury then you should decide for the hotel with it´s 81 rooms. Students and Backpackers mostly prefer the Youth Hostel.
  • Native Village Inn (Tel: +63 916 405 6743)
    HHere you can stay in transplanted Ifugao huts. The Village is around 8km away from Banaue. The cottages are all original and will give you a native feeling while sleeping. Prices range from P1,600 (2 pax/night) to 2,800 (4 pax/night)
  • People´s Lodge & Restaurant (Tel: +63 386 4014, Mobile:+63 919 532 5605, Mail: erwin_t@yahoo.com)
    A nice backpackers Lodge directly in the heart of Banaue. All rooms are situated at the back of the house and usually very quite.
  • Spring Village Inn (Tel: +63 916 927 9623)
    The Spring Village Inn is just a stone throw away from the bus and jeepney stop. It has 20 rooms available and cozy social zones to relax. Within a short walk you can also reach a waterfall.
  • Las Vegas (Tel:+63 998 608 2799, Email: leonajoy.bustamante@yahoo.com.ph)
    The Las Vegas exists since 1982 and is just a few steps away from the Tourist Information center. They have 9 rooms that can shelter up to 30 persons. Besides the clean rooms you can also book tours from here)

What to do in Banaue?

There are severals things you can do in Banaue. Here I give you a list of the things you shouldn´t miss.

Viewpoint Rice Terraces

Panorama of the Rice Terraces Banaue
Panorama of the Rice Terraces Banaue

Of course you have come to Banaue to see the famous mud-walled terraces. The best way to go there is by a 10-minute tricycle ride (round-trip P180). The best time to go is in the later afternoon when the sun is already going down. You can by a Pasalubong at one of the many souvenir shops or take a picture with old Ifugao ladies dressed in full tribal regalia.

Museums

On a rainy day their are two museums in Banaue you can check out and learn more about the culture and history of the region:

  • Banaue Museum
     Owned by anthropologist Otley Beyer has a decent colletion of Ifugao, Bontoc and Kalinga artefacts
  • Museum of Cordiellera Sculpture (Tel: +63 919 774 8507, Email: cordilleranmuseum@yahoo.com)
    Is next to Spring Village Inn and consists bulol and Ifugao woodcarvings

Hike from Taman to Poitan

Waterfall next to Banaue
Waterfall next to Banaue

To soak up the fascinating atmosphere of the rice terraces why not take a 45-minutes walk through the rice fields. You could do this route on your own, but you might get lost. Better: Book a walking tour from Taman to Poitan in Banaue. The guide will lead you through the field and show you rural villages where people carry out their old craft. Along the walk you pass by Matanglag, where a few bronze smiths work and Bocos, which is famous for its woodcarving. My personal highlight was the waterfall on this way. You can jump in and take a (very) cold bath.

If you can´t get enough yet from the Cordillera you might check out Sagada or Baguio.

Banaue Travel Information

When to go: December to February
Visa: 30-day visas at arrival for the Philippines. More Information: Philippine Bureau of Immigration


Tell me from your adventures in the mountains. Have you seen any ghosts? Let me know in the comments.

Hi! I´m David and I like sharing my travel experiences with you. I´m passionate about traveling and want you to be part of my adventures. If you have any tips or if you want to share your experience, just kick it in the comments. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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