Part 2 of our North Luzon loop was heading down to see the UNESCO world heritage site of the famous rice terraces of the mountain province coming from Sagada. Sagada offered picturesque rice terraces as well and the drive going to Ifugao also gave us a scenic view on these man made wonders. We were able to stay in an authentic Native Ifugao Hut and discovered Ifugao’s culture, traditions and beliefs in Hiwang Village. Updated April 2016
From our previous visit to Sagada in part 1 of this Northern Luzon road trip, we then planned our next stop towards Ifugao province to see the magnificent man made marvel of the UNESCO world heritage site of the rice terraces. Ifugao has many rice terraces and you can view them while travelling the roads towards Banaue. It is a 2 1/2 hr drive from Sagada to Banaue rice terraces (google maps coordinate).
Banaue Rice Terraces: UNESCO World Heritage Site
In this view deck you to get capture the post card perfect shot of Banaue rice terraces and also use the backdrop with a photo opportunity with the locals wearing native costumes. You can go down a few steps for a better view and rent the native costumes.
The Terraces: As captured in the old 1000 peso bill
The other view deck just down a few meters away is the site where Red Bull made its famous wake boarding video down the terraces. You can also frame a picture of the old 1000 peso bill photo of the terraces.
Staying in an Authentic Ifugao Hut: Hiwang Native House Inn
Finding a place to stay after being trigger happy with the camera’s shutter, we searched for accommodations that make us experience living in Ifugao huts. So we asked around town where we can find one and the seller of souvenirs pointed us to a native house stay in Hiwang Village (google maps coordinates). The village preserved authentic Ifugao Huts and even had 2 Huts occupied for a museum like display of Ifugao artefacts depicting their culture, traditions and beliefs. One night stay at this authentic Ifugao house is about 1500 Php so we stayed for 2 nights. The view was also spectacular with a wide horizon overlooking the terraces and the environment was so cold especially at night. We also did a survivor style living, camped out, cooked our own food and put up a bonfire at night.
We had a peek at the spooky Ifugao Hut that houses some native artifacts, idols and even animal and human skulls. This Native village is a must place to visit for a day (25 Php entrance) when you are in Banaue and more especially if you want to experience living in an Ifugao house.
Bangaan Rice Terraces: a hidden valley
We had a quick check at Banaue tourism office to see which other sites are interesting to visit and picked the Bangaan rice terraces which was not so popularly visited. Even finding the site was tricky since it is like a hidden valley (google maps coordinates) only accessible to a small passage way down the village. If you opt to have a tour guide with you it may cost you around 500-800 Php and if you have enough time you can go also to Batad rice terraces near the area. So we choose to find the place by ourselves as we mostly do a DIY style of trip.
The trek down the village will take you around 20-30 minutes and in the center of it is the village where you can also get refreshments and rent a costume for a photo opportunity with the rice terraces backdrop.
The following day before heading back to Manila, he had a quick stop at Banaue Museum (google maps coordinates). Entrance to the museum is 50 Php, it is small museum display of Ifugao culture and unfortunately you could not take pictures inside.
Driving back to Manila took us around 8 hrs travel time with some quick stops along Cabanatuan for coffee break arriving Manila very late at night. Indeed our trip towards the rice terraces of the North was worth the long drive.