Nestled in the heart of the Cordillera Mountains lies the picturesque town of Banaue. Known for its stunning rice terraces and rich cultural heritage, Banaue is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an authentic Filipino experience.
From exploring the famous rice terraces to immersing in the local culture, there are plenty of things to do in Banaue. So whether you’re an adventure seeker or a culture enthusiast, Banaue has something to offer everyone.
This article will take you through some of the best things to do in Banaue, from hiking the rice terraces to sampling local delicacies. So pack your bags and prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey to Banaue.
History and culture of Banaue
Banaue is a town in the Ifugao Province, in the northern part of the Philippines. The town was established over 2000 years ago by the Ifugao people, known for their impressive rice terraces. The rice terraces of Banaue were built by the Ifugao people using stone and mud walls as a way to cultivate rice in the steep mountainous terrain. These rice terraces are considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Philippines.
Aside from the rice terraces, Banaue is also known for its rich cultural heritage. The Ifugao people have a unique way of life and have managed to maintain their traditions and customs despite modernization. Visitors to Banaue can immerse themselves in the local culture by visiting the town’s various museums and cultural sites.
What to do in Banaue
1. Learn the history behind the rice terraces
The rice terraces of Banaue are a must-visit attraction for anyone traveling to the Philippines. These terraces are called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” and are considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ifugao people built rice terraces over 2000 years ago, which are still used today to cultivate rice. Visitors to Banaue can hike through the rice terraces and experience the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
2. Tackle the hidden trails
Aside from the rice terraces, Banaue offers some of the best hiking and trekking opportunities in the Philippines. There are several trails that visitors can take, ranging from easy to challenging. One of the most popular trails is the Batad Rice Terraces trek, which takes visitors through the Batad rice terraces and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Another popular trail is the Tappiya Falls trek, which takes visitors to a beautiful waterfall in the heart of the mountains.
3. Do hot spring hopping
Banaue is also known for its hot springs, which are believed to have healing properties. Several hot springs surround Banaue, including the Hapao Hot Springs and the Mainit Hot Springs. Visitors can soak in the hot springs and enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains.
4. Visit the waterfalls
Banaue is home to several beautiful waterfalls, which are located in the heart of the mountains. The Tappiya Falls and the Pula Falls are two of the most famous waterfalls in Banaue. They offer breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery. Visitors can hike to the waterfalls and take a refreshing dip in the cool waters.
5. Vist the museums and cultural sites
Banaue is home to several museums and cultural sites that offer visitors a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the Ifugao people. The Banaue Museum is a must-visit attraction, as it showcases the history and culture of the Ifugao people through artifacts and exhibits. The Tam-An Village is another popular cultural site where visitors can interact with the locals and learn about their way of life.
6. Try the local delicacies
Banaue is known for its unique cuisine, influenced by the local culture and traditions. One of the most popular dishes in Banaue is the pinikpikan, a traditional chicken dish prepared by beating the chicken with a stick before cooking it. Other local delicacies include the tinapay, a bread made from rice flour, and the etag, a kind of smoked meat.
Other must-try activities in Banaue
Aside from Banaue, several other attractions in the Ifugao Province are worth visiting. Sagada is a popular destination known for its hanging coffins and limestone caves. The town of Batad is also worth a visit, as it is home to some of the most beautiful rice terraces in the Philippines.
Best time to visit Banaue
The best time to visit Banaue is during the dry season, which runs from November to May. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and the rice terraces are at their greenest. On the other hand, the wet season, which runs from June to October, can be challenging for visitors, as the roads can be muddy and slippery. However, the wet season is also a great time to visit Banaue, as the rice terraces are most beautiful during this time.
How to get to Banaue
Banaue is located in the Ifugao Province, in the northern part of the Philippines. The nearest airport to Banaue is the Cauayan Airport, about 3 hours away by car. Visitors can take a taxi or a van from the airport to Banaue. Another option is to take a bus from Manila to Banaue, which takes about 9 hours.
Where to stay in Banaue
There are several accommodation options in Banaue, ranging from budget to luxury. The Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel is a popular budget option. At the same time, the Banaue Homestay is an excellent option for those looking to immerse themselves in the local culture. Finally, for those looking for a more luxurious experience, the Banaue Ethnic Village and Pine Forest Resort offer stunning views of the rice terraces and the surrounding mountains.
Tips for traveling to Banaue
- Bring comfortable shoes for hiking and trekking in the mountains.
- Pack warm clothing since the weather in Banaue can be cool and rainy.
- Carry cash, as there are limited ATMs in the town.
- Respect the local culture and customs, and ask for permission before taking photos of the locals.
Banaue is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the Philippines. From the stunning rice terraces to the rich culture and traditions of the Ifugao people, there is something for everyone in Banaue.