Sagada: This Mountain Town Will Show You Why Cliffs And Caves Are Better Than Beaches

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One of the places you can visit when you head up north in Luzon is Sagada, a small town located in the province of Mountain Province that’s about 275 kilometers (171 miles) north of Manila.

From the zigzagging roads to the breathtaking mountain landscapes you’ll see on the way, the journey to Sagada alone is already an adventure.

If you’re seeking cool weather, adventure, culture, and plenty of nature, Sagada is the perfect gateway. For those who are tired of the usual Baguio summer vacation, Sagada is an excellent alternative option.

Things to Do in Sagada

If you find yourself planning for a trip to visit “Mountain Province’s Pride,” here’s a list of places you should make sure to visit.

Hanging CoffinsStaunton Rd., Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines

The Hanging Coffins in Sagada are a sight to behold, and is one of its main attractions. Not to be macabre, the hanging coffins show the unique culture of the Philippines’ mountain ethnic groups.

Hanging Coffins, Sagada, Philippines

Hanging Coffins, Sagada by Gino Mempin

The people of Sagada believe that a person’s burial ground is determined by the cause of his or her death. People who reach a ripe old age when they died were given the honor of burial in the cliff of the hanging coffins. People who suffered from unnatural causes of death such as disease, accidents, or murders are buried in Calvary Hill. Coffins hang off the cliff because the people of Sagada also believe that it brings one closer to heaven and their gods.

Cave ConnectionLumiang and Sumaguing Caves
Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines

The cave connection connects two caves: the Lumiang and Sumaguing Cave. Lumiang Cave is unique because its entrance is lined with coffins. The entrance of the cave served as a burial site for the indigenous groups living in the area. The cave connection is the perfect thrill ride for the adventurous at heart, one misstep and you will fall into a crevice inside the cave. If the guide tells you to step on any part of his body, you better do it… it may actually save your life.

Sumaguing Cave, Sagada by jaya on flickr

Sumaguing Cave, Sagada by jaya on flickr

The cave connection takes you through the breathtaking system hidden under Sagada. The gem of the cave connection is Sumaguing Cave. You will see many formations (formed for thousands of years) that take on different shapes and sizes. From towers to chandeliers to cakes, the caves in Sagada are worth the visit. The Cave Connection takes approximately 4 hours, depending on the pace of your group.

Kiltepan PeakKiltepan Rd., Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines

A trip up Kiltepan Peak rewards visitors with breathtaking views of Sagada’s landscape.

Kiltepan Peak, Sagada, Philippines

Sunrise at Kiltepan Peak by Arlene on flickr

The sea of clouds slowly moving over the landscape is picturesque. The best time to go to the peak is during sunrise, where the sun’s rays wrap the landscape with its golden light.

Bomod-Ok FallsPide, Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines

The most visited waterfall in Sagada is Bomod-Ok. The falls drop several meters down into a pool where visitors can swim in after a tiring 4.2 kilometer (2.6 miles) trek through rice fields. Make sure to bring your cameras with you as you’ll be seeing the beautiful Fidelisan Rice Terraces.

Fidelisan Rice Terraces, Sagada, Philippines

Fidelisan Rice Terraces, Sagada from enroutethechroniclesofawayfarer.blogspot.com

After about 1 to 2 hours of trekking, you will reach Bomod-Ok Falls. Its height of 200 feet combined with its mountainous landscape and surrounding jagged rocks make it a great spot for nature lovers.

Bomod-Ok Falls, Sagada, Philippines

Bomod-Ok Falls, Sagada by jaya on flickr

Pongas FallsBauko, Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines

For those looking for more adventure, Pongas Falls is another noteworthy destination while in Sagada. Although not as popular as Bomod-Ok falls, its hidden wonder is nothing short of majestic.

Pongas Falls, Sagada, Philippines

Pongas Falls, Sagada by Theofrenz Cayambas

The trek to Pongas Falls takes visitors through local villages, a hanging bridge, rice fields, streams, and breathtaking views of Sagada’s mountains.

Sagada Lemon Pie HouseSouth Rd., Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines

Lemon Pie from Sagada Lemon Pie House, Sagada, Philippines

Lemon Pie from Sagada Lemon Pie House from Yvette M.’s looloo review

You can’t leave Sagada without tasting its scrumptious lemon pie. This tangy dessert is the perfect remedy to a tired day of trekking, caving, or hiking. Take some home to enjoy with friends or family. You can buy a slice or box of lemon pie in Sagada’s Lemon Pie House.

How to Get to Sagada

The most popular route to get to Sagada is via Baguio.

Via Baguio

Ride a Victory Liner Bus for ₱460 from their Pasay or Cubao station; the trip lasts for 6 to 8 hours. There is a bus that leaves every hour.

Once you get to Baguio, ride a cab to Dangwa Bus Station. Look for the Lizardo Transit Station, and purchase a ticket for ₱220; the trip takes 6 to 7 hours. The first bus leaves at 6:30 AM and the last bus leaves at 1:00 PM.

Via Banaue

There is only one bus company, Ohayami, which travels from Manila to Banaue. There is only one trip per day during the entire year, except during peak season wherein a second trip leaves Manila. The bus leaves its Sampaloc, Manila station at 10 PM and at 9 PM during peak season. The bus fare is approximately ₱470 one way and lasts for approximately 9 hours.

Once in Banaue, ride an Immanuel Bus Line to Bontoc for approximately ₱100 and alight at the Bontoc Municipal Hall. Once in the municipal hall, ride a jeep bound for Sagada for approximately ₱35.

Where to Stay in Sagada

There are plenty of inns and affordable guesthouses scattered throughout Sagada.

One of the places you can stay in is Residential Lodge. Since the weather is cold in Sagada, you won’t have to use an electric fan or air conditioning. Residential Lodge offers rooms for ₱250/head/night for a room with common bath and toilet. You can get a room for ₱300/head/night with private bath and toilet. You can contact Residential Lodge through +63 919 672 8744 or +63 929 625 7419.

Alternatively, you can stay in Rock Inn & Café while in Sagada. The inn offers bunk rooms good for 6 to 8 persons for ₱450/head. There are mini executive and executive rooms that can accommodate 3 to 4 people for ₱1,500 to ₱1,800 per night. You can contact Rock Inn & Café through therock_sagada@yahoo.com.ph or info@rockfarmsagada.com and +63 928 213 1149 or +63 905 554 5950.

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About Author

Joshua Berida

When he is not blogging at The Wandering Juan, he likes to take long walks on the beach, eat candle-lit dinners, watch rom-coms till he cries, and make stories about himself online. He is out to discover the world and the Philippines one province and country at a time.

  • Juan

    One of the best homestays in Sagada is “Sagada Homestay”. Clean rooms, lots of bathrooms, and it’s beside 2 or 3 restaurants. They also have 2 bonfire places and they let you use their shaved wood for free.

    As for spelunking, all guides will tell you to wear rubber slippers. They say rubber slippers have more grip and are more predictable whenever you step on different stones inside the cave.

    And lastly, Sagada’s Lemon Pie House is overrated. 🙂

    I think the highlight of a Sagada tour is the Bomod-Ok falls. It’s just.. Majestic.