Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Summer in Sagada 2014 (updated December 2015)


Going to Sagada has become a yearly activity. It all started in 2010 when I first stepped in Sagada and I was awed by its serenity, beauty and grandeur. From 2010 to 2013, I always go to Sagada during Christmas season. And the last trip was my first summer tour of Sagada.


How to get there

There are three options. You can either go to Baguio or go to Banaue.

Banaue Route 
I know for a fact that Floridablanca Bus (not operating) is the one servicing this route. But I have no idea on their schedules. I have never tried the Banaue route. I tried once the route from Banaue to Manila but not Manila to Banaue.

Baguio Route
Board a bus going to Baguio either from Cubao or from Sta. Cruz, Manila. The buses available are Genesis, Victory Liner, Dagupan Bus Liner, Five Star or Philippine Rabbit. It is a lot better to travel at night. The last trip in Sta. Cruz, Manila is 8:30 pm and the first trip is 11:00 pm. I usually board the 11 pm trip of Genesis to Baguio. You can also board the 10 pm trip of Dagupan or Victory in Cubao (better to call them or make reservation). The fare from Manila to Baguio is P445.

After 6-7 hours of travel, you will reach Baguio. Then, from the bus terminal, flag down a taxi going to Dangwa or bus terminal to Sagada. The fare is not more than P50 and travel time is less than 10 minutes depending on the traffic.

Arriving at the Dangwa bus terminal, board a bus going to Sagada (not Bontoc). The schedule of their trips are as follows:
 Besao via Sagada  - 6:30 am
Sagada Ambasing - 8:30 am
Besao via Sagada - 9:30 am
Besao via Sagada - 10:30 am
Sagada Ambasing - 11:30 am
Besao via Sagada - 1:00 pm

Tip - The best schedule is to have the 6:30 am trip. But you have to arrive early at the bus terminal. During peak season or long weekends (November - January) , the queue for the ticket is really long. 

Travel time to Sagada is 5-6 hours. Fare is P220. The first stop is in Sayangangan, Atok, Benguet after 2 hours of travel. Next stop is the small market and you are just 2 hours away from Sagada. Then, the bus will cross a small wooden bridge and you are just 1 hour away from Sagada. 

Third Option
Coda Lines Corporation
Coda Lines is the only company that gives you a direct trip from Quezon City to Sagada.
Trip Schedules.

Quezon City to Sagada – 9:00 pm
Sagada to Quezon City – 3:00 pm

Terminals
Quezon City
277 E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Cathedral Heights Quezon City (Proceed between TUA and Shakey’s )
#0927 559 2197 / 0929 521 3229

Mt. Province
Poblacion, Sagada, Mt. Province
# 0929 521 3247 / 0936 971 9216

Poblacion, Bontoc, Mountain Province
# 0977 326 8080 / 0929 521 3235




Before I continue with this blog, let me first share to you my other Sagada blogs. 

Related links
Everything About Sagada - A Profile - http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2013/12/everything-about-sagada-profile.html
Sagada - Coolest Place in Philippines - http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2013/12/sagada-coolest-place-in-philippines-4th.html
Backpackers' Trip to Sagada - http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2013/03/backpackers-trip-to-sagada-my-third-trip.html
Adventures in Sagada - http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2012/11/my-adventures-in-sagada-plus-itinerary.html



Regarding accommodations, tours and guides, you can view them in the link - Everything About Sagada.

I arrived in Sagada 12:30 pm that day. I immediately went to my accommodation. It is actually a homestay and the fee is only P250/day at Karen Galas' homestay - 0907-771-4431. This is where I stay whenever I am in Sagada. Before, I use to stay at Tita Mary's Lodge but it is very difficult to reserve and it feels home in Ate Karen's homestay. The trek to the homestay is 15-20 minutes.

I rested and fell asleep and was awakened by a rain. Good thing it stopped and I trekked my way to Lake Danum. The trek to Danum Lake from the town is more or less 4 kilometers or 30-40 minutes of ascending walk. Along the way, I passed by the Sagada Pottery. There is actually a Sagada Town Tour comprising of the Sugong Hanging Coffins, Church of St. Mary, Sagada Museum, Sagada Pottery, Sagada Weaving/Looming, Lake Danum and sunset viewing. But I did not join the tour. 

  
The Sagada Pottery is just a 10 minute walk from where I was staying. From the town, it would take you 25 minutes. In my five years of travel in Sagada, that was the first time I was given the chance to see and experience the pottery. Good thing there were also tourists that day and I just went inside without being invited. 

Part of the tour is the history of pottery in Sagada and the process of making a pot.
Contact numbers: Siegrid - 0919-671-9875 / 0930-577-7005


My first time to see the actual making of pottery was in Vigan and the second time was in Vietnam. But the process still amazes me. The tour includes a light snack but I was not officially part of the tour and I did not get one. The pot making demonstration amounted to P100. 


While I was inside the pottery, it rained anew and I waited for the rain to stop. Well, it did not stop but I continued my way to Danum Lake. It was a gamble that I had to make that day. Usually, whenever it rains, it follows that there will be no sunset. But I was persistent and eager that day to have the summer sunset in Sagada.


And after 15 minutes of walking from Sagada Pottery, I arrived at the lake.


It was past 5 pm and I was eager to see the sunset at the lake. 


During summer, they have boating and kayaking at the lake. Contact numbers are:
Siegrid - 0919-671-9875
Brenda - 0912-367-2244
Maritess - 0939-181-4622

I was told by the locals that I had to climb the hill to have the best spot of the sunset and I did ascended.


And I was able to get the best spot and the best sunset for the day. After the sunset, I went back to the town and took my dinner.

Day 2


There are four things that I had to do in Sagada in that trip, sunset in Danum Lake, sunrise in Kiltepan, buy in the Saturday market and buy ornamental plants. Day 2 is sunrise viewing in Kiltepan View. The ideal time is to be at the site 5 am so that you can witness the sunrise as it unfolds. 

Ride to Mt. Kiltepan and Danum Lake - Victor 0948-384-3378.

The rent for the vehicle is P500 and I shared it with a foreigner and paid only P250.


Good thing I was on the site at exactly 5 am and I awaited the sunrise as it unfolds.


After a few minutes, it was coming out.


And there we have it, the sunrise!


After the sunrise, I went back to the town. And the scenery was really BREATHTAKING!


Last part of the trip was the souvenir shopping, I was able to buy northface and columbia jackets and the plants that I needed. After the shopping, I boarded the bus back to Baguio. The first trip is 5 am, second is 7 am, third trip is 8 am and the last trip is 1 pm.

New activity -
Cordillera Paragliding - 0999-554-3296

Youtube links:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgiGiLI79s4

Useful words in Sagada -
Wen - Yes
Adi - No
Mangan - Kakaen
Iyaman - Salamat
Umalikayo - welcome
Gawis aywakgat - Good morning
Gawis aymasdem - Good afternoon
Nauwat - gutom
Nabanug - pagod
Manbugaw - maganda
laylaydeksika - I love you
Adyak - ayaw ko
Kaat nan isang - magkano
nagngina - mahal
mabalintawar - tawad

Sagada Cellar Door
Open 4 pm - 9 pm
0918-942-8506 / 0917-554-1345 / 0932-885-2428

Burger Steak, fried chicken, pizzas, burgers at Misty Lodge - 0999445-9899 / 0928332-7817

River rafting - 0908-721-6200

UPDATED INFORMATION (December 2015)
  
Fare from Manila to Baguio via Genesis
P440, P570, 690

Fare from Baguio to Sagada via GL Liner
P220


Register at the Municipal Tourist Information Center and pay PhP35.00 for the environmental fee. This will be your personal ticket to all the destinations.

Engage the services of local guides. Never engage the services of children. Always get a guide for all your tours.

TOURS

Cave Connection
Last entrance to the cave – 4:00 pm
Guide fee: P800 for 2 visitors or less, plus 400 for each additional visitor
Optional: Two-way transportation – P400

Short course caving
Last entrance to the cave – 4:00 pm
Guide fee: P500 for 4 visitors or less / P600 for 5 visitors / P1,000 (2 guides) for 6-9 visitors
Shuttle optional: P350

Balangagan Cave Spelunking (Marcos Cave)
Last entrance to the cave – 4:00 pm
Guide fee: P650 for 4 visitors or less
Transport: P650
Sight seeing in Hanging Coffins and Lumiang Burial Cave
Guide fee: P200 for 10 visitors or less

Rock Climbing and Rappelling
No time limit, equipment provided
Around 30 meters high
Fee: P800 for 1 visitor /P400 each for 2 or more visitors

WATERFALLS

Bumayeng Twin Falls
Fee: P2,500 for 5 visitors or less (includes guide fee and packed meal)
Hike duration – 3 hours or more one way
Transportation: P650 two-way

Bomod-ok Falls
Fee: P500 for 10 visitors or less
Transportation – P650 two-way vehicle hire via Aguid / P500 two-way vehicle hire via Bangaan
Hike duration – 3 hours (back and forth)

Pongas Falls
Fee: P600 for 10 visitors or less
Transportation – P650 two-way vehicle
Hike duration – 1 hour one way

Bokong Falls
Fee: P200 for 10 visitors or less
Transportation – P250 two way vehicle

ECO-TOUR
3 hours of loop hike to Echo Valley, Hanging Coffins, Sagada Underground River, St. Mary’s Church. Bokong Natural Swimming Pool
Guide Fee: P600 for 10 visitors or less

Adventure Trail (3 hours trek)
Guide Fee: P1,000 for 10 visitors or less

Echo Valley Hanging Coffins
Guide fee: P200 for 10 visitors or less

Camp by the fire
Includes a boodle fight dinner at any preferred campsite (Kiltepan Peak or Danum Lake)
Minimum of 4 for only P1,800
Inclusions: meals and shuttle back and forth

Kiltepan Sunrise
Leave for Kiltepan at 4:30 am
15 minutes drive from the town center
Transportation fee: P500
Best time: summer

Lake Danum Sunset at 4:30 pm
20 minutes drive from the town center
Transportation fee: P550

MOUNTAIN TREKKING
1.       Mt. Ampacao Traverse (3 hours or more)
Guide fee: P800 for 10 visitors or less

2.       Grassy Land / Marlboro (2-3 hours trek)
Guide fee: P600 for 10 visitors or less
                Shuttle fee: P650

3.       Langsayan Danum Traverse (3 hours hike or more)
Guide fee: P1,000 for 3 visitors or less

4.       Mt. Sisipitan (highest mountain in Sagada, 2,20 meters)
Guide fee: P2,000 each

5.       Mt. Polis
Guide fee: P1,500 for 3 visitors or less

6.       Marlboro Hill / Blue Soil Traverse Trek  (4-5 hours trek)
Guide fee: P1,800 for 3 visitors or less
Transportation: P1,350

SAGADA TO MAINIT HOTSPRING
                Guide Fee: P2,500 each visitor for trekking
                Additional fee from the hot spring to Maligcong

Municipal Tourism Officer – 0999 991 1801
Mobile No. 0998 886 6081

Recommended Accommodations for 5 pax or more
Sagada Green Hills (0905 455 7820)




6 comments:

  1. Di mo sinubukan mag caving sir or pumunta sa bomod-ok falls? Hehe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. done that 2010 =)
      have been in Sagada for the 7th time =)
      Enjoy

      Delete
  2. Hi Sir, optional po ba yung tour guides for Danum Lake, echo valley and Mt.Ampucao traverse?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is such a helpful blog. I've been in Sagada for a few times and honestly it is hard to do a DIY in Sagada. First its expensive , destinations are very far and costly. I'd rather suggest getting a package or join a tour so you can make sure you'll get to visit everything at a shared cost. Just make sure you pick the agency with good ratings. I've tried HideOut Travel and Tours twice and they seem great on foods, tour and the itinerary is flexible. You can check on them if you want. I believe the number is 0916-6125934 or hideouttravelandtours.com.

      Delete