“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”-Robert Louis Stevenson
Nestled in the Mountain Province of Cordillera Administrative Region in Northern Luzon, Sagada offers weary urban travelers a cool and rejuvenating escape from the humid and the perpetual hustle and bustle of city life.
The place is well-known for its historic hanging coffins, a testament to the years of indigenous culture and burial traditions that you can still witness today; it was made popular by the local hit movie “That Thing Called Tadhana.” However, while Sagada is mostly known for its generous share of mostly untouched nature and great coffee, it is also a place rife with opportunities for adventure.
Through the years, there has been an evident change in the province. What was once a remote and sleepy town located in the valley in the Cordilleras has transformed into a rather popular destination where travelers—both local and foreign, seek a relaxing and laidback atmosphere, indigenous culture, and intrepid adventures. However, Sagada has not lost its charm and character. While tourists arrive by droves any time of the year, agriculture is the main source of economy. This is not to say that tourism is slowly becoming a pivotal part of their lives. However, the charming little town in Northern Luzon will still manage to steal your heart with its slow-paced lifestyle and authenticity. With plenty of things to offer, you would need months in Sagada to explore all the things you can do. If you do not have the luxury of time, it might be best to indulge the inner adventurer in you, explore the province’s great outdoors and try camping.
So, if you have been wondering where to camp in Sagada or are in search of camping sites in Sagada, the list below can serve as your guide.
a.) Marlboro Mountain
Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes hikers an average of an hour and a half to complete Marlboro Mountain. This back trail near Sagada Mountain is a popular area for camping, hiking, and backpacking. That said, you will likely encounter other tourists while exploring the trail. Marlboro Mountain is one of the best places to visit for camping, as you can witness a sea of clouds that changes its hues from grey to orange when you reach the peak. However, to make the most of your trip, starting early, such as around 4AM, is recommended so that you can still see the clouds when you are up there.
b.) Kiltepan Peak
An easy trail to conquer and navigate, Kiltepan is generally considered a hiking trail for beginners and only takes 52 minutes to complete. Like Marlboro Mountain, Kiltepan Peak is a famous trail for camping, backpacking, and hiking. If you want to enjoy the peak in solitude, be sure to time your hike during the quieter times of the day. It is advised to start your hike early, as Kiltepan Peak offers a breathtaking view of the sunrise cascading over the landscape complemented by a majestic sea of clouds.
c.) Mount Danac via Lake Danum
A moderately challenging route, Mount Danac via Lake Danum is a hiking trail perfect for those with spare time. The route takes approximately four hours to complete. While the trail is great for all sorts of outdoor activities, such as camping and hiking, you are unlikely to encounter other people while conquering this trail owing to its challenging difficulty.
d.) Sagada Loop
Another challenging trail near Sagada Mountain, the Sagada Loop, takes about 3 hours and a half to complete. That said, you need to plan accordingly if you wish to conquer this trail and camp out. The trail is ideal for birding, backpacking, and camping. It remains open all year round and is worth visiting any time of the year. Be sure to leave pets at home, as dogs are prohibited on this hiking trail.
e.) Sumaguing Cave
While Sumaguing Cave only takes an average of an hour and sixteen minutes to complete, it is considered a moderately challenging route. However, your enduring hike will be worth it as it is the perfect place to breathe fresh air and move on (at least according to a Filipino movie). As the movie made the trail popular, it has become the typical destination for those coming from Metro Manila and tourists looking for a quick but unforgettable vacation. Traversing the hiking trail will lead you to witness the piled coffins in Lumiang Burial cave and the well-known Sumaguing Cave. Take caution; however, it is recommended to have a local guide with you before you embark on this adventure.