Sagada Travel Guide – DIY Itinerary and Expenses

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The Philippines, having known as an island country with more than 7,000 islands, is prominent for its white-sand beaches and clear salt waters. It is no wonder why a lot of Filipinos quickly offer places like Palawan or Boracay when asked of the best places to visit. If you are looking for a different kind of nature feast, there’s a perfect place for you – SAGADA.

Sagada doesn’t have cream sand or cool seawater. This place that lies at an elevation of 5,000 feet above sea level in the Cordillera mountain range of Northern Luzon offers diverse and distinct adrenaline rush as it provides the right mix of Filipino ethnic culture, nature, and adventure. Sagada boasts lush green hills and mountains, pine-scented air, very rich culture and tradition, unforgettable food options, picturesque rice terraces, refreshing waterfalls, and a lot more!

Use this helpful Sagada Travel Guide and prepare to enjoy the natural marvels of the place.

HOW TO GET TO SAGADA

See the road map below:

Direct bus from Manila (via Banaue)

The bus company Coda Lines Corporation offers an overnight trip direct to Sagada from Cubao Terminal in Quezon City. The night bus leaves daily at 8PM, 9PM, and 10PM. Regular bus fare is P760, travel time is 12 hours. For inquiry and reservation, contact them at +63 977 186 0548 and +63 939 467 7863 or you can directly book your bus tickets below for a minimal fee:

Powered by 12Go Asia system

Sagada is also accessible via Baguio, Bontoc, Banaue, and Ilocos Sur. Bringing your own car is also possible. Roads to Sagada are mostly paved and smooth but are narrow once you enter Banaue area.

Going back to Manila

The return trip of Coda Lines from Sagada to Manila leaves at 2:30PM and 3PM daily. If you fail to catch those trips, you may ride the local buses bound for Baguio that leave hourly from 5AM to 5PM. Going back to Manila from Baguio should pose as a hassle as buses bound for Manila abound in the area.

WHERE TO STAY IN SAGADA

Most accommodations in Sagada are basic and non-luxurious. Many of them do not provide toiletries. Here are just a few of the best rated among them.

Where to Stay in Sagada

Built in 2012, Isabelo’s Inn and Cafe is a distinct addition to Sagada and a smart choice for travelers. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city’s must-see destinations. At Isabelo’s Inn and Cafe, the excellent service and superior facilities make for an unforgettable stay. The hotel provides Wi-Fi in public areas, laundry service, a business center, shops, and restaurant to ensure guests the greatest comfort. LOWEST ROOM RATE: ₱800

Where to Stay in Sagada

Offering quality accommodations in the culture, sightseeing district of Sagada, Kanip Aw Pines View Lodge is a popular pick for both business and leisure travelers. The hotel lies 0.750 km from the city center and provides accessibility to important town facilities. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city’s must-see destinations. Take advantage of a wealth of unrivaled services and amenities at this Sagada hotel. The hotel offers access to a vast array of services, including Wi-Fi in public areas, vending machine, shared lounge/TV area. LOWEST ROOM RATE: ₱650

Where to Stay in Sagada

Conveniently located in Sagada, Coffee Heritage House & Hostel is a great base from which to explore this vibrant city. The city center is merely 3.5 km away and the airport can be reached within minutes. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city’s must-see destinations. LOWEST ROOM RATE: ₱1,400

Where to Stay in Sagada

Offering quality accommodations in the sightseeing, culture district of Sagada, Kenlibed Inn is a popular pick for both business and leisure travelers. Situated only from the city center, guests are well located to enjoy the town’s attractions and activities. With its convenient location, the property offers easy access to the city’s must-see destinations. The facilities and services provided by Kenlibed Inn ensure a pleasant stay for guests. Top features of the property include kitchen, Wi-Fi in public areas, car park, car hire, car park onsite. LOWEST ROOM RATE: ₱1,500

See the list of other SAGADA ACCOMMODATIONS HERE

If you prefer camping, you may set up a camp in Kiltepan Peak, Lake Danum, Mt. Ampacao, Marlboro Hills, and Calvary Hill is allowed.

LoveEatWander stayed at Casa Robina, a three-story lodge equipped with a kitchen and a common area per floor where guests can cook and interact. A room with a common toilet and bath only costs P300.00 per head per night, and P350.00 per head per night for a room with own toilet and bath. The place is a little far from the town proper, making it very ideal for those who want to stay away from the noise and busy streets. See the photos below to further appreciate Casa Robina.

WHERE TO GO IN SAGADA

Here are the top tourists’ destinations that you must visit.

WHERE TO EAT IN SAGADA / WHAT TO EAT IN SAGADA

Food options in Sagada are almost endless. The only limitation of Sagada when it comes to food is that seafood is not readily available. Why? Because it’s in a far mountainous region. For some reason, the prices of meals are high, maybe due to the tourists’ demands.

Our personal favorite is Sagada Grill because they have the most delicious baby back ribs we have tasted our entire lives, not to mention their other specialties like the quesadilla, T-bone steak, and Shawarma Rice. The place is just quite away from the town proper, just beside Casa Robina, but it’s so worth the visit. Did I mention they have affordable rice meals, too?!

Other tried and tested favorites are Bana’s Cafe, Yogurt House, Strawberry Cafe, Gaia Cafe and Crafts, Misty Lodge Cafe, Sagada Lemon Pie House, Ramyun Restobar, Masferré Restaurant, and Log Cabin.

3D2N SAMPLE SAGADA ITINERARY

DIY Sagada trip is a good idea but it requires a lot of effort and planning. It can also be more expensive than joining arranged tour packages.

If you plan to explore Sagada on your own, here is a sample DIY itinerary you can follow. This is good for 3 days and 2 nights.

Day 0 – 9:30PM ETD Cubao

Day 1

08:00AM ETA Sagada
08:30AM Breakfast
10:00AM Check-in at Casa Robina / Rest
12:00NN Lunch

01:00PM Bound for Bomod-ok Falls
01:30PM Briefing/Start Trekking
03:00PM ETA Bomod-ok Falls/ swimming, picture taking, etc.
04:00PM Trek back to jump-off
06:00PM End of 1st-day activities

Note: Bomod-of falls is a one and a half hours of trek downhill and 2 hours of trekking uphill with the amazing views of the rice terraces and Banga-an community.

Day 2

04:00AM Wake-up Call / Bound for Marlboro Sunrise
05:30AM ETA at Marlboro View Point
07:00AM Breakfast
08:30AM Prepare for Cave Connection Activity
9:30AM ETA Lumiang Cave/ Jump-off for Cave Connection
10:00AM Start of Spelunking Adventure
02:00PM End of adventure/ Late lunch
03:00PM wash-up and prepare for a walking tour
04:00PM Eco-Valley Adventure Trail
05:30PM Sunset at Lake Danum
07:00PM Dinner

Day 3

07:00AM Sagada Town Walking Tour
– Sagada Weaving
– Food trip
– Photo ops
10:30AM Back to Manila via Coda Deluxe bus

If you follow the IT provided above, you can visit most of the best places that Sagada offers. If you are joining an arranged group tours, stay away from those that offer cheap packages P3,000 below as they only cover transportation and accommodation. Pagdating ninyo sa Sagada, NGANGA, not worth it. Mura nga wala naman kayo napuntahan. Join those that has activities included, they may be a little more expensive P4,500 above but you will be assured of the quality of tour they provide. We suggest you contact our travel partner Sole Adventours for Sagada Packages full of actions and adventures. 

SAGADA EXPENSES / RATES OF ACTIVITIES

Check the image below for the list and rates of different Sagada activities.

Sagada Rates of Activities

SAGADA TRAVEL TIPS

  1. Register with the Tourist Information Centre when you arrive and pay the P35.00 environmental fee. Be sure to keep the receipt because you will be presenting it in almost every site you want to visit. The tourist information center is located near the bus drop-off point when you travel via Bagiuo. When you travel via Banaue, you can ask the van driver to drop you there. The information center is open from 7:00AM to 6:00PM.
  2. WHEN TO VISIT SAGADA: Sagada observes its annual Bonfire Festival between Christmas and New Year. If you like being part of the tradition, you can take part in this celebration for a minimal fee of around P250 with food, drinks, and transportation to the venue included. Expect an influx of tourists during this time. Visiting top attractions would require lining up and wasting too much time. Sagada is in its coldest at the end of October until late February. Outdoor activities such as hiking and trekking would be ideal on these months. If you are planning to visit the hanging coffin and limestone caves, avoid the rainy season (late May to September)  as the local government forbids visiting some places like Samaguing & Lumiang Caves and Mt. Ampacao for safety reasons. The rice terraces in Cordillera are at their greenest during the months of March to April.
  3. There is no need to book accommodation in advance unless it’s peak season. There are myriad of hostels/inns in Sagada. 
  4. Smart and Globe cellular networks work fine, but mobile data and Wi-Fi connectivity may not be reliable.
  5. There are only 2 ATMs in Sagada, one inside the Tourist Information Centre and another on the 2nd floor of the next building. It is important to stack up some cash as these machines sometimes go out of service.
  6. Be respectful of the local people and their culture. Behave yourself when going to different attractions as these places are sacred to locals. If you will have to take a photo of properties and people, always ask permission.
  7. Trekking is the major activity in Sagada due to unavailability of taxis and tricycles. Make sure you have non-slippery sandals or trekking shoes. Local vans and jeepneys can be rented at standard rate to take you to far destinations (see the photo of activities & rates above).
  8. Bring a warmer. The temperature drops at night.
  9. Observe curfew — 9:00PM to 4:00AM.
  10. Conserve water. The supply of water in Sagada is limited and expensive. Bring your own water bottle and just refill in your homestay/accommodation. This practice is more affordable and environmentally advantageous.

LET’S GO VISUAL!

Here’s our Sagada Travel Vlog:

Get insured before heading to Sagada

“If you can’t afford travel insurance, you shouldn’t be traveling.” Heard this phrase before?

So yeah, even if you are only going on a short trip or investing on a long journey, you should always travel with insurance. It is easier to have fun if you know you are insured.

Love. Eat. Wander. highly recommends a local provider PhilCare which offers affordable packages that cover travel insurance under Assist America.

*****

If you have additional tips, comments and suggestions to make this Sagada Travel Guide more helpful to tourists, please contact us or leave a comment below.



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