Sagada Philippines, home to spectacular views and breathtaking natural wonders, remains one of the top tourist destinations in the country especially for the backpackers and “soul searchers.”
It’s a popular soul-searching destination as the place offers sunny but cool weather, lush natural landscapes, and a sea of clouds that will let you think whether you’re still on Earth.
Discover Sagada’s must-see tourist spots beyond the hanging coffins and caves in the mountains as you read along the 10 best places to go in Sagada.
1. Echo Valley Hanging Coffins
The most popular and most iconic spot in Sagada Mountain Province is the Hanging Coffins at Echo Valley. Igorots in Sagada follow a unique burial ritual. Instead of being buried underground, the coffins are hung either inside the caves or on the face of the cliffs, near the hanging coffins of their ancestors. Igorots believe that the higher the dead were placed, the greater chance of their spirits reaching a higher nature in the afterlife. This tradition has been practiced for over 2,000 years.
To get there, you need to trek for about 15 to 20 minutes from the town proper. And when you shout there, you’ll hear echoes all the way, hence the name.
2. Sagada Rice Terraces
Banaue and Batad in Ifugao are the most popular sites to see rice terraces in the Philippines but Sagada also has its own share of magnificent landscapes. While the rice terraces in Sagada are smaller, it is still an amazing site. You can find the rice terraces in Sagada in the towns of Suyo, Ankileng, Balugan, Bangaan (on the way to Bomod-ok Falls) and Kiltepan.
3. Bomod-ok Falls
There are many Sagada tourist spots that you can visit and among those are the three waterfalls in town: Pongas, Bokong, and Bomod-ok. Of the three, Bomod-ok Falls is the largest and tallest standing at 200 feet, that is why it’s dubbed as the “Big Falls.”
4. Bokong Falls
If there’s a “Big Falls” there’s also the “Small Falls” and that is Bokong. Compared to Bomod-ok Falls, the trek to Bokong Falls is easier. As the name suggests, it is smaller and less crowded, so you can go for a dip and take lots of photos without photobombers blocking the view.
5. Pongas Falls
If you’re too tired from the endless walk across the Kapay-aw Rice Terraces, consider Pongas Falls as your respite from the exhausting trek. While it is smaller than Bomod-ok Falls, it is just as impressive.
6. Sumaguing Cave
Known as “The Big Cave,” Sumaguing Cave has the largest enclosure of all the 60 caves found underneath Sagada Philippines. Once inside, you’ll discover countless stunning rock formations that are in the shapes of animals, food, and people.
7. Lumiang Cave
If you want to experience the most of spelunking in Sagada Philippines, make sure you visit the Lumiang Cave. Sumaguing Cave can serve as your entry point while the Lumiang Cave will be your exit point. The overall caving adventure will take about 4 to 5 hours.
Upon arrival at the Lumiang Cave, you will be welcomed by tiny coffins stacked on top of one another and blend with the surrounding rock for over 500 years.
8. Marlboro Hills
If caving isn’t your thing, then maybe a hike to the rolling hills will give you the adventure you want. At the Marlboro Hills, you will get a 360-degree view of the seemingly endless Cordillera mountains and low-lying clouds interspersed with the grassy hills.
You can also watch the sunrise over a sea of clouds in Marlboro Hills, as this is the less crowded option over the more popular Mt. Kiltepan.
9. Mt. Kiltepan Viewpoint
At 5,367 feet, Mt. Kiltepan is one of the highest peaks in Sagada Mountain Province, and a great vantage point to watch Sagada’s best sunrise. From the town proper, it will take about a 10-minute drive or 40-minute walk.
10. Blue Soil Hills
Blue Soil Hills is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Sagada Philippines. Once you catch sight of the amazing Blue Soil Hills and the towering trees surrounding it, you’ll feel like you’re in a fantasy land. Make sure to wear appropriate trekking equipment to avoid injuries when going here.
Manila to Sagada
Getting to Sagada Philippines can be a bit of an adventure already because you have to take a 9-hour bus ride to Banaue, take a 2-hour van ride to Bontoc, then go on a 45-minute jeepney ride to Sagada—which may or not be a top-loader (a.k.a. you might have to sit on the roof, which we think is fun). For a more detailed guide on how to travel from Manila to Sagada, here are some ways to commute.
Taking the bus is the easiest way to visit Sagada due to the amount of operating companies available in Manila. It’s also the most budget-friendly way to travel. However, this can be a bit of a challenge because of the multiple stopovers you have to go through.
From Manila, you can ride a bus bound for Baguio that will take about 4 to 6 hours of travel time and take a 5-hour bus ride bound for Sagada.
Another option is you can take the bus in Sampaloc, Manila bound for Banaue that takes 9 hours of travel time. Upon arrival in Banaue, take the 3 to 4-hour jeepney ride to Sagada.
By bus directly to Sagada
If you want to skip all that multiple stopovers, you can take a direct trip to Sagada via Coda Lines. From Quezon City, the travel time will take about 15 hours going to Sagada, including the stopovers. This bus is also a great option when you’re traveling from Sagada to Manila.
Best places to stay in Sagada
From budget to luxury accommodations, you’ll never run out of options to spend a night or two in Sagada Mountain Province.
There are many Breakfasts (BNBs), private hotels, hostels, and homestays in Sagada to stay at. Among the best places to stay in Sagada are Agape Log Cabin and Restaurant, Isabelo’s Inn and Cafe, Coffee Heritage House & Hostel, Inandako’s BNB, Martha’s Hearth, and Nellie’s Chalet Sagada.
For a complete guide to Sagada Philippines, you can check out our previous post featuring the best places to go in Sagada, the best time to visit, and more!
The next time you’re free and ready to take on your much-needed vacation, whether you’re alone or with someone, make Sagada number one on your must-visit list. The journey there is as unforgettable as the destination itself.