“Wow, I feel like I’m in Machu Picchu.”
Of course, I haven’t been to Machu Picchu yet. But it definitely was the thought in my mind when Peja and I went up a little bit higher from the viewpoint to get a better bird’s eye view of the Batad Rice Terraces. Along with our 68-year-old guide, we traverse the rice terraces to start off our 2018.
How to Go
Manila to Banaue
From Cubao, we rode the Coda Lines bus that will take us directly to Banaue. The fare is Php 550 for the deluxe bus that offers more spacious seat (compared to the Php 500 ordinary AC bus of Coda Lines) and its own comfort room inside. Travel time will take around 9 hours and the trip has only one stopover. The bus leaves at 9:00 pm and arrives in Banaue around 5:30 am.
Banaue to Batad
From the Banaue Tourism Center, a lot of the locals will offer you different services and tours. If you’re a foreigner, I suggest you book tours and services directly with the tourism center to avoid being ripped-off. It’s also for security and safety purposes.
For locals, just be smart enough and make sure you can get the best deal out of everyone. Here’s the situation we experienced first-hand. We arrived around 5:30 am in the Banaue Tourism Center. The moment we arrived, there were a couple of different locals offering to take us in Batad. The cost of a one- way trip to Batad in the tourism center is Php 700. A man approached us and offered us a one-way trip for only Php 600. It was a good enough deal for us considering he was kind and very informative to talk to. So, we made an arrangement with him. While waiting for the sunrise in a nearby shop, another man (we referred to him as Hito), slyly approached us and offered us a trip for Php 500. He seemed a bit shady and very insisting so we politely declined his offer.
The sun was already up and we were ready to leave and get on our way to Batad. Our service told us that Hito offers a cheaper price because he doesn’t really drop off the tourists in the main-drop off point. Instead, he will drop you off somewhere and make up a story, therefore making tourists walk few hours instead of just a few minutes to the Batad village. Whew! Good thing we dodged that! It was already a common issue among the local services in Banaue. So make sure you choose wisely, guys!
From the main drop off point in Batad Eco Saddle, it will just take you 20-30 minutes to trek your way down to the Batad village.
The photo below is where the trek to Batad Village will start.
I think I dressed up like a tita tourist here. Officially in the tita zone now.
Note: To get back to Banaue from Batad, you can catch the public jeepney that departs at 9:00- 9:30 am every day. The next trip of the jeepney to Banaue town proper is at 2:30 pm in the afternoon.
Where to Stay
We stayed in the Batad Transient House for our 3 days/2 nights stay in Batad. It offers basic accommodations, but great views of the rice terraces from its common veranda. A night will cost Php 300 per person and the food prices range from Php 150-250 only. The serving of the food was plentiful and delicious (although some dishes were a bit salty). They serve a bowl of rice instead of a cup of rice. 😆 Also, make sure you order in advance because they really take a long time to serve the meals.
The owner was very kind and accommodating. I definitely recommend this place to tourists. From what we’ve seen, this house has the best-unobstructed views of the terraces. You can also book their Ifugao huts for the maximum local experience!
To book an overnight stay, contact their Facebook page here or call 0997 568 3317.
The photo was taken from their Facebook page.
We even saw a rainbow from their veranda.
Batad Viewpoint Trek
The trek to the Batad Viewpoint and the Tappiyah falls combined will take around 4 to 5 hours, depending on your speed. Since my contracted tour guide didn’t show up, Batad Transient House asked us if we wanted to take Auntie *** (I forgot her name, sorry!) instead. I was a bit of in doubt at first because she was already 68 years old. My first thought was, “Can she still take on these kinds of treks?”
Boy, I’ve never been so wrong in my life.
The first few moments of the trek was an easy peasy. It was like a walk in the park at that time, to be honest. There was also a spring where we refilled our water bottles and freshened up. The views on the way were gorgeous and surreal. In no time, you’re already in the viewpoint. There’s a store there that offers snacks and drinks where you can rest after the hike.
We decided to climb up way higher the store to get a better view. A foreigner told us to take some precaution because it’s a bit high and dangerous up there. At that time, I was thinking, “What the hell are we doing?”
But once we reached high up, I instantly felt at peace. The view was waaaay better than the one in the store!
Now, this is where the hard part begins. Going down the rice terraces will challenge your knees and foot resistance from falling down the steps. I was amazed to see these kids just running down the steps like it was nothing.
When we came in the falls, there were a lot of tourists so we waited a little while for the coast to clear so Peja can get decent shots. While waiting, I did some stone balancing and I also tried swimming in the cold water. My freezing ass didn’t even last a minute.
A local told us the best time to visit the falls is during the month of May when the foliage is in its greenest.
Going back up from the falls was probably the reason why I’m not going back to Batad anytime soon. It’s also probably the most tired I’ve ever been. Until now, I still hold my breath remembering it. Our 68-year-old guide didn’t even break any sweat from it. Panis na panis kami.
After the trek, I ate like a full-grown man in his prime. Then, I slept like a baby.
By the way, the tour guide fee is Php 1,000. Remember! Do not haggle with the Batad locals to help support their living.
Things to Take Note
There are no ATM’s in Batad so make sure you’re stocked up on cash.
Only bring light luggage. Going back to Banaue from Batad will require hiking again.
Remember the jeepney schedules bound to Banaue: 9:00 am and 2:30 pm only.
There is no signal in Batad. Make sure to text family and loved ones first before you depart Banaue.
Bring with you a walking stick to help with balancing when trekking.
Wear comfortable and non-slippery shoes or sandals.
Wear light clothing when trekking.
8:00 pm- Check in at Coda Lines Bus Terminal
9:00 pm- Depart to Banaue
5:30 am- ETA in Banaue
6:30 am- Depart to Batad
7:30 am- Arrival in Eco Saddle/ Beginning of the trek to Batad Village
8:00 am- ETA in Batad Village/ Check in at chosen homestay or inn
9:00 am onwards- You can choose to rest for the day, explore the village, or start with tours.
8:00 am- Breakfast
10:00 am- Start with tours
12:00 pm- Arrival back at the inn and lunchtime
1:00 pm onwards- Rest (or tour again if you’re Superman)
8:00 am- Start the trek back to Eco Saddle
9:00 am- Aboard jeepney to Banaue
10:00 am- ETA in Banaue
That’s it! Hope you can survive Batad, just like we (barely) did!
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