I was hesitant to see yet another set of rice terraces in Southeast Asia as I literally had just been to the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces in Bali, which are also appointed as UNESCO World Heritage and which are certainly impressive!

And getting to Banaue is not exactly a smooth trip on the Autobahn. However, once I got there I was simply blown away. Lying at 1500 meter above sea level, the Banaue Rice Terraces are proclaimed the “Eighth Wonder of the World” and known for its majestic natural stairway to heaven.

The terraces were originally build almost entirely by hand to solve the problem of growing rice on land prone to erosion. Even today, the terraces are still fed by an ancient irrigation system.

If you have the time, I highly recommend you include Banaue and moreover Batad into your overall Philippines travel itinerary! You definitely don't want to miss those 2000 year old rice terraces, no matter if you have seen others around Southeast Asia.

Batad Philippines Lookout

Related Article: Where To Stay In Manila

Things To See In & Around Banaue

Hapao Rice Terraces And Hot Springs

Take a beautiful walk through the rice Hapao rice terraces and take a bath in the Bogyah hot springs at the end of it.

The walk is very scenic and this was probably one of my favourite adventures in Banaue as we got surprised by rain and thunderstorm which added to the fun of the slippery narrow track right through the rice fields. Entrance to the hot springs is free.

Banaue Rice Terraces

The 2000-year-old rice terraces you probably came here for, also commonly referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” however they are unfortunately not as well-maintained anymore.

Tam-an Village

This village is located 240 steps down from Banaue Hotel where you can experience the typical daily life of the Filipinos and purchase wood carvings and woven products made by locals.

It's the most visited village by tourists because of proximity and accessibility.

Mayoyao Rice Terraces

Mayoyao rice terraces are the least visited terraces in the area due to their remote location.

It's also another 2.5 to 3 hours ride on a narrow dirt road in one of the Jeepneys.

Batad Rice Terraces

The most beautiful and best-maintained rice terraces out of the five different areas around here you have to visit, even though it takes another good hour driving from Batad.

Batad Ifugao Province

The Batad Rice Terraces were declared as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 and are located at Barangay Batad, a small and remote village with a population fewer than 1500 people.

The Batad rice terraces are only accessible by foot and will differ in color depending on the month. You can opt for a variety of treks to see the rice terraces.

If you want to get the best view of the amphitheater-like grandeur of Batad, take the 2-hour trail from Ramon’s Native Homestay to Awa View Deck. It’s challenging but worth it!

Batad Rice Terraces Viewpoint

Your Batad visit would be incomplete without seeing the beautiful Tappiya Waterfalls. The beauty of this spot is not just from the view itself but the entire experience that begins with the physically challenging trek towards the waterfalls.

Mind you, the trek in itself is an adventure. You will pass up and down uneven steps. You'll balance yourself through the narrow rice terraces and the muddy path.

One cool part of the trek is that you get to stop and have drink of fresh coconut on one of the few little huts on the way.

Tappiya Falls Batad

The Tappiya Falls are 230 ft high and more or less a 1-hour walk from Ramon's Native Homestay where you can sleep the Ifugao way in traditional huts.

If you are keen on swimming here, head downstream where you can wade in the river. After your refreshing swim, prepare yourself for another 1-hour challenging way back.

When To Visit Banaue

Batad Rice Terraces Hiking

If you want to witness the terraces in their greenest, then the best time visit the Banaue Rice Terraces is during April-May or October-November.

But if you prefer to see the terraces ripe for harvesting, you can enjoy its golden hue during the months of June and December.

July and August is a no-no for travellers since the rainy season makes the area very landslide-prone and you wouldn't want to go hiking here around then.

How To Get To Banaue Rice Terraces

To get to Banaue in the Ifugao province, you will have to take a 9-hour bus ride from Manila. Depending on traffic this can take more like 10 to 15 hours.

The roads are windy and crowded with cars and trucks travelling up on Luzon island, which is also the largest and most important island in the whole Philippines. Hop on the evening bus, you get to wake up to the pristine view of the rice terraces.

There is one official bus company which I recommend using for travellers, they are called Ohayami Trans. Take a jumper on the bus and stock up on a few snacks as there are not many stops on the way and air-con can be very cold. Alternatively, have a look at the Florida Bus.

How Much Time To Spend In Banaue

I'd recommend to spend at least 3 days, better 4 or 5 so you have time for all the hikes and maybe even travel further to explore Sagada with its amazingly creepy hanging coffins.

Where To Stay In Banaue & Batad

I stayed at Native Village Inn which proofed to be an amazing choice and I cannot recommend this place enough.

It's certainly nothing fancy but you get to sleep in little wooden huts among a lush green garden and the views you get all around over the rice terraces are absolutely incredible.

Banaue Native Village Inn

Almost all days, there was hot water and electricity only at certain times of the day as outages are common especially when the storms and monsoon hit in the afternoon.

Native Village Inn is actually not right in the town of Banaue but about 9km outside so you'll need to get a Jeepney or tricycle to take you there but the staff was really helpful in calling transportation whenever needed.

If you are looking to relax after a long day of exploring the eco lodge Native Village Inn really hits it. There was wifi too but it is a bit shaky and definitely not the fastest as it is unfortunately in most parts of the Philippines.

Welcome to Native Village Inn
Native Village Inn Banaue Philippines

If you are looking for another alternative, check out the following options:

  • Rice Homestay, overlooking Banaue Town. Check current rates on: Booking.com | Agoda.com
  • The cozy Banaue Homestay right in the center of town. Check current rates on: Agoda.com

Where To Stay In Batad

Another option for accommodation would be staying directly in Batad.

Check out the following accommodation options in Batad directly:

  • Hillside Inn right in the heart of town with a view over Batad Rice Terraces. Check current rates on: Agoda.com
  • The rooms at Batad Transient House are basic but the experience of staying between the rice terraces will take your breath away. Check current rates on: Booking.com | Agoda.com

All are fairly basic but the views and surround are just killing it. Who wouldn't want to wake up to this?

Hillside Inn Batad

Where To Eat In Banaue

I almost ate every day at Native Village Inn as they prepared the meals freshly and the curries were especially delicious.

For other options in town, check out the infamous Las Vegas Lodge & Restaurant as they serve up very affordable and flavourful meals.

Or try the homely 7th Heaven's Café where proportions are big enough for sharing and staff is friendly plus you get a view overlooking town.

Banaue Town Center

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