Frequently Asked Questions Sagada & Banaue Tours

SHARED BANAUE & SAGADA RICE TERRACES TOURS:

Can we change the itinerary?

No, you cannot change the itinerary for the SHARED Banaue Tours as their date of departure and itinerary are fixed travelling in a small group on a seat-in basis.

However, should you wish to change something in the itinerary, we suggest you book a PRIVATE Banaue and Sagada Rice Terraces Tour instead, which can be shaped to suit your personal requirements. 

How many hours is the drive from Manila to Banaue?

Depending on traffic, 8-10 hours. This includes scenic photo stops along the way.

Do you pick-up/drop-off from/at any hotel or airport in Manila?

No, for our SHARED Sagada and Banaue seat-in-coach tours we have a fixed pick up/drop off point, being the Zamboanga restaurant beside Filipino Travel Center’s Malate office. This is in Adriatico Street at the junction with Pedro Gil Street.

However, our PRIVATE Sagada & Banaue Tours include pick-up/drop-off from your hotel.

What clothing should we bring?

You recommend you bring insect repellant, walking shoes, flashlight, rain gear, sweater and swimming attire.

What kind of accommodation you provide in the SHARED tours and do the rooms have aircon?

We use the best accommodation available in Sagada and Banaue, limited to one or two hotels/pensions at each destination. The mountain accommodations do generally not require air conditioning as the temperature is much lower higher up. Our hotels in Vigan, Tinglayan, Subic, Angeles and Tarlac all have air con.

How far from Banaue to Batad drop off point( the saddle) and view point in Batad.

45 minutes by jeepney and a further 30 minutes to the viewpoint at Batad.

Check our Banaue Map.

There are many rice terraces. Why you recommend Batad?

It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the most accessible location from Banaue. It also has the best views!

Why do you use a jeepney to get to Batad drop off point?

Local regulations insist on jeepney use to provide local livelihood, we fully support this initiative.

Do we need a guide ?

Yes, local regulations both in Sagada and Banaue insist on local guide provision. Therefore our shared Sagada and Banaue Tours already include English -speaking (basic level) local guide hire in Banaue and Sagada. Note that we have no control over which local guide will be allocated to you.

You have the option of booking, at an additional cost of PHP 4000 per day, German, Dutch, Spanish, French or Russian speaking guides. Their food and accommodation is a further cost, specific price dependent on destination.

I see Banaue and Sagada tours offered at lower prices on the internet. Why should I book with your company ?

  • Most of them are not licensed. We are accredited by Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA) & Phillipine Travel Agency Association (PTAA).
  • They use old vehicles, often transporting in excess of 12 passengers. Our tours are for 7 guests maximum, transported in our luxury fleet of (mostly) new Toyota Grandias and Mitsubitsi Montero Sport in case of 3 persons or less. These are upgraded to even more luxurious transport for our Private Banaue Tours. All our vehicles are under 4 years old and regularly maintained in authorized service centers. We offer free WIFI, subject to availability, ipod/ipad connection points,a coolbox for drinks and E-tag for easy access on the toll ways. Your safety is our primary concern but we strive to provide comfort too.
  • Others drive at night. We prioritize your safety by driving only in the daytime. If you insist on night driving, we will provide at extra cost a second driver.
  • Others use the cheapest accommodation, we choose the best available accommodation in the area for you.
  • Others surprise their guests with “hidden extras”. Our prices are as advertised.
  • Others employ drivers who have difficulty in conversing in English, cannot also act as a guide and/or are not familiar with the mountain area. Our drivers speak a good level of English, are also experienced tour managers with long records of safe driving of tour parties. Guest comments on online forums and TripAdvisor.

Are you insured  in case of a car accident?

We highly recommend that you have a valid general travel insurance policy. General liabilities and insurance coverage is very basic in the Philippines.

Where can I find more information about  the Cordillera’s, including Banaue, Batad, Bangaan, Bontoc, Sagada, Kalinga, Baguio, Vigan, Laoag, Pagudpud, San Juan and Hundred Islands, Baler and Tuguegarao ?

All this destination information, can conveniently be found by clicking this link

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PRIVATE BANAUE & SAGADA RICE TERRACES TOURS:

Can we change your suggested itinerary?

Yes, you can always request to customise a PRIVATE Banaue and Sagada Rice Terraces Vacation. For example by adding additional day tours to it, like Mt Pinatubo, Subic or Angeles, a World War II History Tour in Bataan, Hundred Islands and/ or Vigan. All are major Philippines tourist destinations in their own right,  and provide a pleasant stopover en route to other destinations.

We are the leading tour operator in tours to the mountains of the Northern Philippines and happy to assist to customise your Banaue and Sagada Holidays to your personal liking. 

Which cars are being used ?

Our luxury fleet of cars are all under 4 years old, have WIFI connectivity (although not available in all mountain areas), IPad/IPod connections, air conditioning, cool box and E-tag for access to fast, dedicated, lanes at toll gates.

We offer Toyota Grandias with 6 captain seats (reclining, with armrest), good for 7 guests traveling with average sized suitcases, max 20 kg.
We also offer the Toyota Grandia 11 seater that, for your comfort, we restrict to a maximum of 7 guests, 8 for day trips. This allows for 20kg luggage per guest.
For small groups of up to 3 guests maximum we offer even more comfortable 4×2 and 4×4 Mitsubishi Montero Sport 7 seaters.
During the peak season availability of specific transport might be limited so we recommend you book early to ensure you are able to travel in your car of choice.

Do you pick-up/drop-off from/at any hotel or airport in Manila?

Yes, for our PRIVATE Tours we can pick you up and drop you off at Makati, Taguig, Ermita , Malate and Pasay, be it your hotel/home or airport. Additional charge applies outside these areas.

Why do you use a jeepney to get to Hapao rice terraces and Mayoyao rice terraces?

Local regulations insist on jeepney use to provide local livelihood, we fully support this initiative.

What activities are available at Batad viewpoint?

If you wish to take a break you can buy simple drinks and snacksYou can also (i) hike to Batad Village (1.5 hrs return trip), (ii) visit the Tappiyah waterfalls (2 hrs return trip), (iii) visit Cambulo Village (2.5 hours return trip) or (iv) hike to Banga-an Village, 3 hrs away from where we pick you up.

Time frames given are for people of average fitness.

Can we travel to the other rice terraces?

Yes, subject to an additional charge (please contact us for a quotation) we can arrange jeepney transport for you to visit other rice terraces. Hapao rice terraces are around 45 minutes from Banaue,  Huang Dong rice terraces and the Mayoyao rice terraces are 2.5 hrs away.

Which locations do you recommend driving to after Banaue?

Sagada (2 hrs away), Baguio (7 hrs away), Vigan and Tuguegarao (both 8 hrs away). Kalinga (Tinlayan) is 3 hrs away, however, accessible with a 4×4 car only in the rainy season.

How long are the journeys to the other recommended sites from Sagada?

1,5 hour less than the above journey times.

>> Click here for map of Sagada and surroundings.

What are your recommendations for places to visit ?

Sagada itself is a relaxed town. In Sagada you can participate in caving and rock climbing.

Kalinga has a mystical, untouched feel to it. 

For history and culture buffs we recommend Vigan.

Baguio is a well-known tourist destination among Filipinos. However for most foreign tourists, it has few sites of interest, feels overpopulated and usually suffers from very heavy road traffic.

Can the 10 hour trip from Vigan to Manila be broken with stopovers?

Yes, by staying overnight near 100 Islands in Lingayan. It has a nice beach and a children’s water park attached. The water park is open Tuesday-Sunday. Stop over in San Juan La Union that has nice beach and offers surfing possibilities for beginners.

Can you recommend a place in the North for beach lovers?

Yes, Pagudpud – 4 hrs travel from Vigan by car, and 2 hrs travel from Laoag by car, has the best beach in Luzon, remote, quiet and relaxing.

Can I shorten the trip by travelling during the night?

Although others do so, we strongly advise against this. Many road users, such as tricycles, do not have backlights, roads are unlit and occasionally have rough surfacing. If absolutely necessary, we only travel at night with two drivers, at extra cost, as your safety is our top priority.Dicasalarin-Cove Baler

Another option to explore in North Luzon by car is Baler, which in recent years has become known as a seasonal, rather cool, surfing destination.

From Baler our experienced driver can drive you to Banaue or Tuguegarao, where the famous Callao caves are the premier attraction, beside rafting when the rainy season provides enough water to do so. Being the most accessible of all the caves, its entrance is reached by climbing 184 concrete steps. The Callao cave system is composed of seven chambers, each with natural crevices above that let streams of light to get into the cave, serving as illumination. See our ”Tuguegarao Short Holiday”.

If you like off-the-beaten-track, have time on your hand, do not mind to roughen the journey up and are prepared for the unexpected: From Tuguagarao one can drive, via Tabuk through the Kalinga area, all the way to Sagada.

More of the beaten track options are to drive to Santiago, a 2 hour drive from Solano and 6 hours away from Baler. From Santiago you can reach the Mayayao rice terraces in 3 hours and same road goes all the way to Batad and Banaue, which takes another 2 hours.

Where can I find more information about  the Cordillera’s, including Banaue, Batad, Bangaan, Bontoc, Sagada, Kalinga, Baguio, Vigan, Laoag, Pagudpud, San Juan and Hundred Islands, Baler and Tuguegarao ?

All this destination information, can conveniently be found by clicking this link