Discover Banaue Rice Terraces - Manila
Banaue is a sleepy town in the province of Ifugao, known all over the world to be the home of the world-famous Rice Terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage site. These rice terraces have been carved right into the mountains of this hiking paradise like stairways ascending to heaven and is truly a sight to behold, even for the casual traveler.
It's said that the terraces were built two thousand years ago. They begin at the base of the mountain range where the province is located, extending several thousand feet upward with a combined length that would encircle half the planet if placed end-to-end. It is an engineering marvel and a testament to the industrious spirit of the Ifugaos, the name used to refer to the indigenous people of the province. Other than the terraces, you can head over to Tappiyah Falls in nearby Barangay Batad, a majestic waterfall straight out of a fairy-tale book that empties itself out onto a pool below banked by rocks. Swimming in the pool is allowed, though the low temperature up in the mountains typically discourages doing this for too long.
Most attractions are typically an hour's walk from the town proper. Because the roads are steep and most places are inaccessible by motorized vehicles, it's best to equip yourself with comfortable clothing and shoes in order to have the best experience. Trip Guru suggests those who seek a respite from the great outdoors can opt to head into either or both of the two museums in Banaue, the Banaue Museum and the Cordillera Sculpture Museum. The food is excellent here; the coffee moreso. There's also some shopping to be had, for those inclined towards bringing home a small trinket or some native-inspired furnishings for the home.
Banaue is 333 kilometers from the city of Manila. There are air-conditioned buses that can take you direct to the town, and travel time should be about eight to nine hours.
What our experts tell about this experience.
I can’t believe that the terraces were built two thousand years ago.. The structure just amazes me. I was lucky that when I went there they weren’t harvesting yet. So the fields were still green and gold.
The terraces has the people of Ifugao as it’s caretakers. I have read and heard from the people there that the culture here revolves around rice. Once you’re here the terraces will capture your appreciation of agricultural engineering. The waterfall of Tappiyah is truly a majestic sight as they say it is to be. I had a lovely stay and would like to visit again soon.
I never thought I would get to see the Banaue Rice Terraces up close, but I'm very glad I did. Seeing the gorgeous greenery, it seemed almost unbelievable that it was all planted by hand. My favorite spot of the entire trip is definitely the Tappiyah Falls though, perfect for photographs.
The Banaue Rice Terraces are a work of agricultural art, really. I really liked taking photos of the entire area, it feels so surreal. After all the trekking, the delicious food and coffee was the perfect pick-me-up. I feel selfish for enjoying it alone, so I'm definitely bringing along a friend or someone special soon.