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Sagada

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Philippines : Sagada
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Sagada is a small town in the mountain province of Luzon in the Philippines. Many visit for its cool and refreshing climate, beautiful caves and hanging coffins as well as the serene mountains. Take enough cash with you, when you visit it. The whole town only has one ATM, which is not always working. Although exchange rates are quite bad.

Get in

By bus

  • From Baguio there are several buses a day, starting at 06:00 and taking about 8 hr depending on road conditions. Last bus is about 13:00

Lizardo Trans buses takes 6-8 hr and costs ₱220 (On a Holy Friday, only one bus will travel and it will operate on a first come, first served basis.)

  • From Bontoc local jeepneys ply this route throughout the day (first one 08.30 and last one 17.00) for ₱50.

Get around

On foot

Explore the beautiful mountains around Sagada. There's a number of sights that can be seen within a fifteen or twenty minute walk from the town center and the tourist office, although the caves can (with good reason) only be be explored with the help of a guide.

By Jeepney

Can also be hired for "special journeys'

See

Popular sights include: The Mission Compound, Kiltepan Rice Terraces, Echo Valley Cliffs, Sumaging (the Big Cave), Bokong and Bomod-ok Waterfalls, Burial Cave, Mount Ampakaw, Underground River, Lake Danum

  • Hanging coffins There are several places in the area, where you find hanging coffins. One spot is quite downhill in the town, but it's not very spectacular. So if some locals send you there, when you ask for hanging coffins, don't go there unless you're on the way downhill anyways. The main location is in the north of the valley behind a Christian graveyard. Coming from Sagada central main road, head north / uphill for the municipality hall. Turn right there, following main road, and after the basketball court, turn right again. Pass the church on your left and go up the stairs until you face a small gate. Turn left and on the Y-fork after 150 meters, turn right. Cross the graveyard straight ahead. Follow the small path for maybe 300 meters and still uphill, you should already see the coffins on the opposite side down in the little valley. Go downhill, keep right, and you run straight into the main coffin spot. Hidden around this area, you can find several other coffins decorated into some rocks. Best light for pictures is in the afternoon. No guide required.

Do

Entrance to the big cave at Sagada
Inside the big cave at Sagada
  • Caving. A 2-3 hour cave connection trip including a visit of the Sumaguing Cave, the burial cave / Lumiang Cave and the hanging coffins goes for ₱800 for 1st person, ₱400 for an additional person. The group goes in from Burial Cave and comes out from Sumaging cave. Book at the tourist information counter. Prepare to get wet and ziplock all the belongings. Normal caving costs 500P for a group of 1-4 person, ₱500 for a group of 5, other changers for a larger group.
  • Hiking Bumud-ok Falls (Big Falls). Take a jeep near the Municipio, one heading for Bangaan. Fare is ₱15. You do not need a guide to go to the big falls. It has a well-established path. Make sure to try jumping from the ledge.
  • Rock Climbing, Near Echo Valley. It only costs P400 per person inclusive of all gears and guide fee. No time limit.
  • White Water Rafting, [1]. White Water rafting is available on the Upper Chico River, typically from July to early January, but that may vary slightly with rainfall. The sections of the river being rafted are downstream from Bontoc, except in unusually high water when rafting above Bontoc is possible. Most sections have numerous class 3 to 3+ rapids and several class 4 rapids. Equipment is international standard and guides are trained by US rafting professionals. Cost ranges from 2500 to 3500 pesos/person depending on group size and section being rafted. Inquire at Sagada Outdoors, in the white commercial building across from the jeepney stop.

Buy

  • Sagada Weaving (Sagada Weaving and Souvenir Shop), Nangonogan, Poblacion, Sagada (10 minutes walk from the center of the town towards the direction of St. Theodore's Hospital), [2]. -- Store for local and handwoven products are one of the more popular souvenir shops in Sagada. It is one of Sagada's biggest employers and one can visit the weaving looms to view how intricate the weavers go about in producing the handwoven raw materials. Very affordable prices too.

Eat

  • Yoghurt House (Bolkana House), Dagdag (Go down the main road from the municipal hall). The Yoghurt house at the boundary of Poblacion and Dagdag is a popular and restaurant serving meals from breakfast to dinner. Specialities include varied yoghurt dishes and fresh local produce.
  • Shamrock café. (formerly Bilig Café) Located at the basement of the municipal hall. If you are facing that hall, look for stairs at the side of the building. The cafe has excellent rice meals, pancakes, fantastic coffee, and more. Check out the cool postcards on the ceiling. ₱40-120.
  • Salt&Pepper, Dagdag, Sagada, Mountain Province (On the main road down the municipal hall), +63 908 177 4972. The restaurant has good vegetarian options, Filipino specialties and picnic baskets to take out for a hike! The friendly staff also take orders for late dinner (beyond the curfew hour) and early (before 06:00) breakfast or packed meal. Wi-Fi also available. The restaurant also offers tour meal packages for a cheaper price. Contact the number above for inquiries.
  • St. Joe's Cafe. Attached to St. Joseph's Resthouse. Inconsistent food, but the sizzling plates are quite good, and the building feels like a ski lodge.
  • Bana Cafe. Green building which serves native coffee and excellent breakfasts on a ledge overlooking Sagada valley. on the left hand side of the main road, before the Yogurt House.

Drink

Many of the guest houses have an attached bar/restaurant. The city has a late-night curfew and is dark at night, so don't anticipate a night of bar-hopping.

  • Kimchi Restaurant and Bar. Right in the center of town, when most of the places close down, and the lights go out, this is the only place still open late into the night. Nice music. They close up when people stop drinking.
  • Treasure rock resto bar and inn. Overlooking a hanging coffin or two at the end of the main Sagada road before you cross the bridge in the direction of the big cave. Jerry, the owner of the restobar, will light you a bonfire while you watch the sun disappear from the front of the bar and if you're lucky his wife will cook some damn tasty fried chicken too. Latest karaoke, has no official closing time. Difficult to find, look for the hand-painted sign and climb upwards then to the left for 2 min. With free Wi-Fi, Contact jerry +63 921 286 5424, email jerry.fatiig@yahoo.com.
  • Pinikpikan Haus, Across from Indigenous Handicrafts (From the market square with the police station on your left and Ganduyan Museum on your right turn left 150 m downhill past Masferre Country Inn on the left side and George's Guesthouse on the right side. It's on the left side of the street.), [3]. Specializing in the Sagada special - Pinikpikan, the Pinikpikan Haus offers other dishes for breakfast/lunch/dinner and world-class hospitality.

Sleep

  • Isabelo's Inn just down the stairs from Sagada Guesthouse (or behind the big building opposite the bus stop). 500PHP for a double room (Jan 2013) WIFI in the room, currently a shared bathroom (with hot water), but construction is under way to make rooms ensuite. Rooms have a balcony.
  • George's Guesthouse, [4]. Try getting the penthouse rooms. You will have a balcony where you can hang out at night, lay out mats to check out the stars, have a cool view of Sagada. The owners are extremely helpful. P200 ($3-4) per person. Cheaper rooms are also available.
  • Masferre Country Inn and Restaurant. Masferre Country Inn and restaurant offers hotel-like amenities including a full service restaurant. It also houses the world-renowned photographs of the father Philippine photography, Eduardo Masferre.
  • Residential Lodge. Various rooms, no dormitory. Cooking facilities, Free coffee & hot or cold water, hot shower, wifi included, lots of info on local area. good views. ₱250.
  • Yellow House Sagada, (in front of Youghurt House), +63 947 835 1985. wifi, hot shower, souveirs shop, cooking service, restaurant with philippine cusine, motorbike for rent. ₱250 common bathroom, ₱300 private bathroom, ₱400 whole house per person.
  • Alibama Inn & Restobar (Pinikpikan Haus (restaurant)), Across the street from (Facing the market and walking towards the church then police station (both on left side) turn left (downhill) on the main road for about 200  m. Located on the left side across from the Italian pizza/pasta store. When walking from the market you'll pass SAGGAS guide station on the right, Yoghurt House on the right, and George's Inn shortly before coming upon the Inn), +63 920 813 5797, [5]. checkin: Proprietor:; checkout: Graal M. Bayang. Alibama Inn is a small budget Inn located above the Pinikpikan (famous Sagada cuisine) featuring single, double, and 4 person dorm rooms. Prices from ₱250 shared showers/bathrooms. Buckets of hot water available. Allan, the husband of friendly Proprietor Graal M. Bayang, can help you with all your Sagada tour needs! 250 PHP.
  • Davey's Inn and Restaurant. checkout: 11:30am. The restaurant serve some good food too. If you plan to come back late (meaning after 22:00), just tell the owners before. (Formerly known as Alfredo's Cabin.) 500PHP for a double bed with share bathroom, but hot water. Wi-Fi available..

Get out

  • The Rice Terraces at Banaue and en route to Banaue are truly spectacular and not to be missed.
  • Bontoc has an interesting museum of Bontoc Igorot culture.


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