Banaue Sagada Baguio DIY Itinerary and Travel Guide 4D3N

Banaue Sagada Baguio DIY Itinerary and Travel Guide 4D3N

For a very long time, travelling to Sagada seems very unreachable to me. I always ask one of my uncles who frequent Sagada (they bring their own vehicle) when can I travel with them but our schedules don’t always match. I’ve always wanted to go to Sagada because of the cool climate, beautiful sceneries and the unique tradition and culture of the people there. This is even long before we watched the movie ‘That thing called Tadhana.’ So I told myself, I shouldn’t put any more hopes on travelling with my uncle. I then finally scheduled our trip this cold December not only to Sagada but to Banaue and Baguio as well!

Initially, it was supposed to be just my wife and me but our friend from Abu Dhabi tagged along the trip since she will be on vacation to the Philippines. The more the merrier! It was all our first time in Sagada.

In this post, you will get to know our Itinerary, expenses, travel guides and our wonderful experience in culture rich, simple but amazing Sagada. Read on folks!

Our Itinerary:

We really wanted to have a relaxed Itinerary. Just chillin’ and knowing the culture is enough for us. No extreme cave spelunking or mountain hiking.

Day 0 (Dec. 2)

10PM – Depart from Manila to Banaue via Ohayami Bus


Day 1 (Dec. 3)

7AM – Arrival in Banaue

Breakfast at Homestay Lodge

8:45AM – Depart from Banaue to Sagada by Van

Picture taking at Banaue Rice Terraces View Point

11AM – Arrival in Sagada

Check-in at Residential Lodge

Rest a bit

12:30PM – Lunch at Salt and Pepper

Pay Environmental Fee at Municipal Hall

Shopped a bit

Rest again

3PM – Start DIY tour (no guide) to Sugong coffins and Lumiang Burial Cave

4PM – Merienda at Sagada Lemon Pie House

Rest again (So good to sleep in a chilly climate)

7PM – Dinner at Lucky’s Shanghai Hauz and dessert at Strawberry café

Day 2 (Dec. 4)

4:30AM – Kiltepan Sunrise (500 Van roundtrip)

6:30AM – Rock Farm Cafe / Orange Picking (Additional 150 for the Van)

9:30AM – Echo Trail Tour (guide fee 600)

  • The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
  • Sagada Cemetery
  • Echo Valley
  • Hanging coffins
  • Underground River
  • Bokong falls

12:30PM – Sagada Weaving

12:45PM – Lunch at Centrum Building

Rest a bit

4PM – Supposed to walk to Lake Danum at 3PM but we overslept and woke up at 4PM!

Tried to walk to Lake Danum but failed so we ended up at Sagada Pottery.

6PM – Streetfood for dinner and shopped a bit

Day 3 (Dec. 5)

7AM – Travel to Baguio

1PM – Arrival in Baguio / Lunch at Good Taste Restaurant

2PM – Check-in Hotel Veniz

3PM – Souvenir Shopping at Good Shepherd and Mines view Park

5:30PM – Dinner at Ketchup Food Community

Day 4 (Dec. 6)

6AM – Breakfast buffet at Hotel Veniz

7:30AM – Shopping at Baguio Public Market

10AM – Pack-up

12PM – Check-out

2:10PM – Depart to Manila (Victory Liner)

TIP: For me, it’s much better if you go to Sagada on Weekdays rather than on Weekends or Holidays since it’s jampacked on those days. We had a calm and quiet trip on Sagada, just perfect 🙂

Transportation

We chose the Banaue-Sagada-Baguio route because we think it’s the most efficient and less tiring since we would be just chillin’ and buying souvenirs in Baguio.

Going to Banaue

We boarded the Ohayami Bus route at 10PM from Sampaloc, Manila to Banaue. Travel time took 9hrs with 2 stop overs.

Fare: 450 plus 20 online processing fee

Click here to book online.

For more information, go to www.ohayamitrans.com

Once in Banaue, there are drivers willing to take you to your destination whether it be in Sagada or your booked guesthouse in Banaue.

Going to Sagada

We boarded a van in Banaue for 300 each. Travel time took around 2hrs with a stop over in one of the amazing viewpoints in Banaue.

Banaue View Point

No words can describe how beautiful this place is. Breathtaking!

Many tourists also take the Banaue to Bontoc, then Bontoc to Sagada route riding at the topload of the Jeepney.

Going around Sagada

Walk.. walk.. walk… Sagada is all about walking but you can also hire a vehicle if you want to just like what we did in Kiltepan. We hired a vehicle for P500 going to Kiltepan and met the driver at the Saggas tourist information office at 4:30AM.

After Kiltepan, we decided to go to Rock Farm for Orange picking and breakfast. We just added P150 for the driver to take us there and to the town proper after. It’s a good deal especially if you are too full because of all the oranges you ate.

Kiltepan Peak

No sunrise, but still awesome.

For more info on the vehicle rates, click here.

Going to Baguio

We boarded the GL / Lizardo Trans Bus at the Sagada terminal at 7AM. I believe the earliest bus leaves at 5AM and the last one leaves at 12:30PM.

Sagada Terminal

The GL/Lizardo Trans bus we boarded to Baguio

Fare: P220

No need for advance reservation. Just go there before your planned departure and buy your tickets at the bus conductor.

Halsema Highway has one of the most amazing sceneries I’ve seen in my entire life (no kidding). This is also the reason why I chose to go to Baguio from Sagada for our last leg. Too bad I don’t have pics.

Going back to Manila

We boarded the trusted Victory Liner from Baguio to Manila. At first we thought we won’t get a ticket out of Baguio by Sunday (We went to the ticket office at Saturday) as all the trips were fully booked but fortunately they opened new trip schedules. We boarded at 2:10PM (just the right time out of Baguio) and arrived at Manila at 9PM.

Fare: P460

Travel time: 7hrs

Accommodation

In Sagada:

Residential Lodge – 2 Nights for P300 per person per night

We booked this lodge since it has rave reviews on the internet. It didn’t disappoint. Booking is hassle free (deposited 50% down payment through Landbank) and the contact person responds back immediately for queries. It’s one of my main criteria on booking a place.

The owner and staffs are really polite and helpful. The room is just adequate and cozy for those chilly Sagada nights. They have hot and cold shower and wifi in the main lobby. For 300 per pax per night? This is a great deal.

Residential Lodge Living Room

Residential Lodge Living Room

Click here for more info.

Contact them at: 0919 672 8744

For more recommended accommodations, check the following:
Kanip Aw Pines View Lodge
Agape Log Cabin And Restaurant
Masferre Country Inn and Restaurant

Or search and compare prices of accommodations in Sagada here

In Baguio:

Hotel Veniz – 1 night for P1395 Junior Standard room with no aircon plus 500 for additional person.

Who doesn’t know about Hotel Veniz in Baguio? Right at the heart of the city, this Hotel is one of those bang for your buck accommodations since it’s relatively cheap but with complete Hotel amenities.

We chose to book a Hotel since we needed a mini-staycation that stays on our budget. We won’t need airconditioning anyways.

More info at www.hotelveniz.com

Book your stay here in Hotel Veniz through Agoda! or compare prices here

Book your stay at Hotel Veniz through Agoda here!

Book your stay at Hotel Veniz through Agoda here!

Some more recommended stays in Baguio:
Microtel by Wyndham Baguio
Chalet Baguio
El Cielito Inn – Baguio

Or search and compare prices of accommodations in Baguio here

Tours

We didn’t join a group tour in our Banaue-Sagada-Baguio Trip since we wanted to go on our own pace. We went on a DIY trip where we just commuted from Manila to Banaue, then to Sagada, Baguio and back to Manila either by bus or van.

Upon arrival in Sagada, you can then go to the Saggas tourist information office and check the tours you wanted to avail. There are tours that you can DIY while there are some that is required to have a guide like spelunking in the Sumaguing Cave. If you’ll be going on DIY to some of the places, please ask the information officer in the Saggas office first if a local guide is required or not. This is very important! Safety and precaution first before doing anything stupid lol. For Kiltepan view point, you don’t need a guide but you can hire a vehicle since it’s a long walk from the town proper. All up to you though.

Before proceeding to the tour, you must register first at the Municipal Hall for the environmental fee for P35 each.

We only availed the Echo Trail tour which you will visit the following places:

  • The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
  • Sagada Cemetery
  • Echo Valley
  • Hanging coffins
  • Underground River
  • Bokong falls

Note that though these places are near to each other, you still have to walk and trek a lot up and down the trail. But don’t worry, our guide told us that the Echo Trail is one of the easiest trek in Sagada. I even saw old people doing this tour.

Guide Fee for this tour is P600 but if you are happy with how your guide assisted you, then please give them a little extra 😉

Sagada Hanging Coffins

Sagada Hanging Coffins

You can DIY the Echo Trail tour, but if this is your first time in Sagada, it’s much better to get a local guide to explain the history of the places and their tradition and culture

If you will just go to one place e.g. Echo Valley, then the guide fee is just P200 for a group of 15 persons.

You can check the Saggas Tour rates here.





Food

In Sagada

Eat Like a Tourist:

Sagada is not only known for its adventurous activities but it’s also known for its food. There are several restaurants to choose from but be prepared to shell out around 150 to 300 per dish as they cater mostly to Tourists. So how good was it? For us, it’s a hit or miss. We liked some dish but the others are forgettable. Click here for our Sagada Food Trip.

Eat like a Local:

If you are on a budget, but you still want to eat good food that the locals eat, then head to the basement of Centrum Building (a.k.a. Eduardo Gaudan Longid Centrum, besides the Sagada terminal). Our local tour guide in the Echo Trail tour suggested this to us as we are looking for good yet affordable food in Sagada.

Centrum Building

Centrum Building. Go to the basement for the small restos.

We ordered fried daing na bangus (P140), sinigang na bangus (P90) and nilagang baka (P100).

Sagada Food

Yummy! Nilagang baka is sooo goood!

It was really good! Home cooked meals at its finest! The servings are generous too plus we get to try the red rice of Sagada which the other restaurants we went to didn’t offer.

Eat like a pauper:

On our last night in Sagada, since we wanted to save more on our budget, we decided to just eat anything we see on the streets. First stop, we saw this barbeque stall on our way home from Sagada Pottery. One stick of fine barbeque meat cost P12.

Sagada Barbeque

Barbeque stand

Then next are all of Pinoy’s favorites – fishballs (3pcs for P2), chickenballs (P2 each) and kikiam (P1.5 each). Last but not the least, sweet corn on a stick which cost P35. A total of P64 per person, not bad right?

In Baguio

One of the branches of Good Taste restaurant is just besides Dangwa terminal in Baguio where the GL / Lizardo Trans bus last stop is. This is our 3rd time to eat here and of course, it didn’t disappoint. For P95 for a rice meal with ample servings and good taste (redundant lol), it’s definitely one of the best restaurants in Baguio.

After shopping for souvenirs in Good Shepherd, we went to dine in the popular Ketchup Food Community just right across Wright Park. Well, it’s popular because they really offer good food! We dined at Happy Tummy (Thai Food) and ordered Pad Thai (P195), Chicken Satay (P175), Sticky Mango Rice (forgot the price) and Lomo Pork Ribs (P205) at Canto.

Happy Tummy Pad Thai

Happy Tummy’s version of Pad Thai

The Pad Thai was really good! One of the best Pad Thai we had outside of Thailand and I’m glad we have it here in the Philippines. The Chicken Satay with I think, is a turmeric sauce is nice as well. The Lomo Pork Ribs at Canto is to die for! The meat is tender and soft and is marinated nicely. For dessert, we had the Sticky Mango rice that looks like a sunny side up egg at first look lol. It’s delicious too though.

Happy Tummy Sticky Mango Rice

Happy Tummy’s Sticky Mango Rice. Looks like an egg no?

Maybe I’ll create a separate post for my review in Ketchup Food community. Stay tuned.

Expenses:

Here is a summary of our Expenses for our 4 days trip in Banaue, Sagada and Baguio. Please note that shopping items and souvenirs were not included as this may vary per individual preferences. Food and drinks are shared between the two of us. Some items like the Van to Kiltepan are shared between the 3 of us in the group. Kindly see the remarks column for more information. I also didn’t include the expenses for bottled water as it is too tedious to note.

ExpensesPHPTOTAL (2pax)Remarks
Day 0 (Travel to Banaue - 9hrs)
Bus Manila to Banaue470940Ohayami Bus ticket is 450 plus 20 online processing fee
Day 1 (Banaue viewpoint, van to Sagada, Sugong coffins, Lumiang Burial Cave)
Homestay lodge breakfast105210Tocilog and hotdog breakfast meal for 105 each
Tip to Igorot warrior2550He's cool
Van from Banaue to Sagada300600300 per person
Residential lodge 2 nights6001200300 per person per night
Lunch at Salt and Pepper170340Chili Garlic Inutom - 170
Dinakiw - 170
Environmental Fee3570
Sagada Lemon Pie House37.575Lemon Pie Slice - 30
Egg Pie Slice - 30
Lemon tea - 15
Lucky's Shanghai Hauz162.5325Lucky Shanghai Roll Meal - 175
Bicol Express Meal - 150
Strawberry Café4590Strawberry Yogurt - 80 plus 10 for takeout
Day 2 (Kiltepan peak, Orange picking at Rockfarm Inn, The Episcopal Church of St. Mary, Cemetery, Echo Valley and hanging coffins, Underground river, Bokong falls, Sagada Weaving and Pottery)
Van to Kiltepan Peak and Rock Farm Inn217650Shared between the 3 of us. 500 for van to Kiltepan, then additional 150 from Kiltepan to Rock Farm / Town Proper
Entrance to Orange farm50100Eat all you can oranges for 30 minutes
Breakfast at Rock farm60120BLT - 120
Echo trail tour guide fee200600Shared between the 3 of us.
Tour guide tip50100My wife and I gave 100 but our generous friend gave more 🙂
Lunch at Centrum Building95190Nilagang Baka - 100
Sinigang na bangus - 90
Sagada Pottery demonstration fee50100
Tip to little kid in the pottery1020
Streetfood dinner64128fishball, chickenball, kikiam, barbeque and sweet corn
Day 3 (Travel to Baguio, buy souvenirs)
GL Lizardo bus to Baguio220440
Stop over food23.547Siomai, spanish bread
Lunch at good taste95190fish and tofu rice, chicken brocolli rice
Hotel Veniz 1 night Junior standard697.51395
Taxi around the city60181Shared between the 3 of us
Dinner at Ketchup Food Community215430Pad Thai - 195
Chicken satay - 175
Plain rice - 20
Black gulaman - 40
Day 4 (Travel to Manila)
Victory Liner bus to Manila460920
Takeout lunch at McDonalds37115Cheeseburger x 2@ 41, Fries @33
Taxi3060
GRAND TOTAL45849686

Let’s say we spent 5k each. Still not bad for 4 days getaway in 3 different places right? Items that can be lessened here are the Van to Kiltepan (you can just walk, but we prefer to take a Van coz it’s a long walk), not hiring a local guide in the Echo Trail Tour (but not recommended for first timers), not giving tips (also not recommended), eat packed food or streetfoods/carinderia all throughout (possible but really hard) and just stay at a guesthouse/inn in Baguio instead of a Hotel (we really need some staycation sometime lol)

Souvenirs in Sagada is also a little bit expensive but when you buy, just think that it’s a way of helping them in their daily lives and a way of saying thank you for such a wonderful visit 🙂

Some prices I recall:

Fridge Magnet – ranges from 50 to 100

Sagada T-Shirt – 150/160

Sagada Orange in Rock Farm – 60/kg

I hope this post helps you in any way on your planned trip to Banaue, Sagada and Baguio. Stay tuned for more posts regarding our trip. In the meantime, feel free to ask questions and I will try to answer them as much as I can. Thank you!


Related Links:

He is a programmer by profession but has a soul of a traveler. Aside from his ultimate dream of travelling around the world, he loves to eat, drink, listen to music, talk about aliens and the occasional secret guilty pleasure of singing love songs in videoke. His favorite superpower is to teleport from one place to another. I guess you know why.

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  • I love Sagada, and it looks like you had a wonderful time there too! It’s a place you can keep coming back to and always finding new things to explore! I think even coming in different seasons would impact your options (like white water rafting, for instance).

    I found some other neat bits you might be interested in checking out if you ever head back that way too. http://wheresidewalksend.com/city-guide-sagada-philippines/

    Thanks for sharing your discoveries 🙂 I’m excited to go back there!

    • Hi Ian Ord,

      Thanks for visiting!

      Your posts is very detailed and comprehensive! Nice work!

      Yes I agree. Sagada and Banaue is very beautiful. 🙂

  • Sar Sim

    Thanks for the blog, very helpful. It will be my first time in Banaue and Sagada next week, so I’m looking for backpackers who wants to join me. I have coordinated everything even the van..so if you’re interested, just text me at 0927 687 4929. Thank you 🙂

  • Fe

    Your blog is very helpful. Just what I am looking for. After going thru some tour packages, I haven’t found a reasonably priced package for a weekday tour for 2. It’s for my 21st anniversary so we also want a trip that wouldn’t be too hectic, which I noticed you had. I just have some questions, hope you can reply.
    My husband is quite used to driving long distances as his work is all over Mindanao. Do you think it would be easier to bring our own vehicle? Do you think it’ll be easy to find our way around? Maybe Waze can help us?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Fe,

      Thanks for visiting!

      Regarding your question, yes you can bring your own vehicle. My cousins who frequently goes there brings their own ride every time. I think the only problem is the parking. Maybe you can ask your accommodation to reserve you one or find you a spot once you get there. Anyway, for an experienced driver that wouldn’t be a problem 😉

      HTH.

      • Fe

        Yup, I read about your Uncle driving his own vehicle. Since you didn’t mention about difficulty in finding tourist spots, then I guess that isn’t an issue.
        Thanks!

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  • elle

    Hi I love your blog and we will most likely follow this… But I would like to ask.. I’m planning to bring with me my 8yr old. Which part of the blog do you think will not be suitable for her??

    • Hi Elle,

      Thanks for visiting!

      All of it are suitable. I’m sure your kid will enjoy. HTH

      • elle

        Nice. Thanks a lot!

  • jessalyn

    Hi! Your blog was very informative and detailed 🙂 We’re going to Sagada this coming weekend and we’re planning to take the ohayami bus. Ask ko lang mga what time earliest na may van going to sagada? 8 am ba may van na? tas from banaue bus terminal madali na makita yung mga vans? 🙂 thanks a lot!!! 🙂

  • junebride

    hi do you know if the bus can make a quick stop at Halsema Highway for photos?

    • Hi junebride,

      Sorry for the late response. I didn’t see your comment.

      Anyway, the GL Lizardo bus from Sagada don’t stop at Halsema Highway for photos. You can take pictures from inside the bus 🙂

  • Glorie Joyce Ramos

    Hi @thetraveldebugger:disqus ! Nice blog! I just want to ask how much is the cost of the van you’ve rented to sagada with banaue viewpoint sidetrip? Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks!

    • Hi Glorie,

      Thanks for visiting!

      We didn’t rent the van for ourselves. It’s a commuter van along with other passengers. They charge P300 per person the last time we went. I just don’t know how much it is now.

      HTH

      • Glorie Joyce Ramos

        Thank you so much! This is such a helpful blog! 🙂