Adjacent to Bontoc, between the Ilocos Range and the Cordillera Ranges lies the legendary town of Sagada. It is found in the bosom of a valley on the upper-end part of the Chico River’s Malitep tributary about one and a half kilometers above the sea level. Its remote location attributed to its preservation of unique indigenous culture, preventing the Spanish conquistadors to invade the tribesmen except for a bit of influence when an 1882 Spanish Mission successfully reached the place.
Sagada is characterized by lush green mountains, limestone cliffs, picturesque rice terraces, flowing waterfalls, and pine trees in the forested valleys. It is a welcoming and relaxing destination away from the hustles and bustles of city life, an oasis of tranquility. It is where you enjoy long walks, enjoy fresh produce, and happily sip the locally-brewed coffee.
Here are the coolest things to do in Sagada:
#1- Visit the Iconic Hanging Coffins in the Echo Valley
It is the top-notch attraction of Sagada. Nowhere in the Philippines or maybe in the world will you find hanging coffins, a burial ritual that is still practiced today by the natives of Sugong. However, to be buried in this manner, there are certain qualifications which include being married and produce grandchildren. And the family needs to shell out a high price to get the honor.
You can view it from a designated viewing deck on the road’s left side. If you walk from the town proper of Sagada, you can reach it in about 30 minutes. Best to go with a guide.
#2 – Explore the Sumaguing Cave
This beautiful cave has the most amazing stalactite and stalagmite rock formations and cave system. It was a refuge for Filipino soldiers who valiantly fought against the Japanese forces during the World War II.
It is an absolute place to visit when you go to Sagada. Get a tour guide to help you spelunk the cave interior, which can be dangerous because of the slippery rocks and dimness. It takes about 2 hours to explore the cave. Be prepared to wade through chest-high waters and do a rappel up and down the 10-foot rope to cross over.
#3- Take a Trek on the Echo Valley
For more adventure, explore the Echo Valley with a guide after seeing the hanging coffins. The valley offers a splendid view of clustered pine trees and limestone walls. While you’re there, visit the stonewalled St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church.
#4 – Watch the Sunrise at the Kiltepan Viewpoint
See how the sun displays its fascinating beauty while hovering from the behind the Cordillera mountain amidst the thick sea clouds which will eventually dissipate to reveal the Kiltepan rice terraces below. This breathtaking view is a must-have when you are in Sagada.
It is 4-kilometers away from the town, so you can arrange a round trip van transport or walk with a guide.
#5- Go Hiking at Mt. Ampacao
It is the highest peak of Sagada with its towering height of 1.889 meters above sea level. You can reach its summit with or without a guide. The start of your hiking adventure begins from the jump-off area near the Ambasing Elementary School.
#6 – Pay a Visit at the Ganduyan Museum
This museum which name is derived from the old name of Sagada is home to Kankanaey artifacts, accessories, utensils, traditional clothes, sculptures, furniture, and other mementos of the ancient times.
#7- Watch How Weavers Work at Sagada
Sagada Weaving is known for its quality craftsmanship of handcrafted bags, purses, and other local souvenirs. You can watch the weavers as they perform their tasks in the building behind their shop.
#8 – Enjoy the famous coffee and local dishes
One of the things to do in Sagada that you should include to your bucket list is to taste the Patupat rice delicacy of Sagada, the Bugnay wine, and of course the Kopi Luwak (local version of civet coffee).
Things to Remember When in Sagada
- Register at the Tourism Office and pay
- Hire a registered guide to help you explore famous destinations.
- Be sure to be
back beforenightfall because it can be dangerous along the trails and roads at night. There is a 10:00 PM curfew.
sufficient cashbecause there is only one ATM.
- Waterproof all
your gadgetsand other valuables when you go trekking, hiking, or spelunking.
permission beforetaking pictures with the locals.
properly becausemost Sagada attractions are sacred to the local folks.
- Be responsible
for yourown litter and conserve water.
- Make sure that
your insuranceis active, especially if you are extremely adventurous.
Are you ready to get your adrenaline pumping? Gear up and be prepared for an experience of a lifetime in a journey to this highland. List your own itinerary of the wonderful things to do when in Sagada, right now!
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