Guest Post: Philippines: Why You Should Visit Sagada

Guest Post: Philippines: Why You Should Visit Sagada

Nestled between the Cordillera and Ilocos Mountain Ranges, Sagada is pure heaven for anyone who loves jaw-dropping scenery (who doesn’t?). After making my way to the bucolic paradise that is Sagada, my only regret was not having visited any sooner.

I grabbed my luggage and took a bus from Baguio at the crack of dawn with the intention of sleeping on the road. As the sun began casting its golden morning glow on the mountainsides and farmlands we passed, I could no longer sleep nor hold my excitement. Throughout the 5-hour bus journey, we passed emerald rice terraces, curvy mountainside ridges, and stunning forest scenery.

Upon arrival to Sagada, I could understand why so many travelers have fallen in love with this place… some of which have never left.

If you’ve never visited Sagada, here’s why you should:

The Magnificent Rice Terraces

Rice Terraces, Sagada, Philippines

The rice terraces of Sagada are a sight to behold. Carefully and painstakingly built by the local tribes, the rice terraces are a testament to hard work and sheer Filipino talent. The beautiful landscapes have been around for thousands of years, and continue to be a trademark of ingenuity.

A Place to Disconnect

If you’re looking for nightlife, Sagada isn’t the place to go. But for the rest of us who seek out tranquility, this is a good thing! In Sagada, most establishments close by 9pm and the rest of the town sleeps early. This is an excellent place to visit if you’re looking to truly disconnect from the chaos of urban life, catch up with sleep, and relax. The cool weather will lull you to sleep; many accommodations don’t have air-conditioning but there’s absolutely no need for it. Trust me when I say that I’ve had some of the most restful sleep of my life in Sagada – there’s the refreshing mountain breeze to thank for that.

Kiltepan Peak

Kiltepan Peak, Sagada

Watching the sunrise from Kiltepan Peak was definitely the highlight of my trip. While I’ve been lucky enough to witness many sunrises from mountaintops, thankfully I didn’t have to climb one to experience Kiltepan Peak. A van we rented picked us up at our accommodations at 4:30 am, and in just a few minutes we found ourselves standing at the edge of a forest overlooking a spectacular celestial show. The sunrise was sandwiched between two layers of clouds; the sun lent a fiery pink glow to the upper layer while the lower layer thinned out over the course of a few minutes. It revealed a valley of rice terraces beneath. In Kiltepan Peak, I witnessed what was easily the most beautiful sunrise of my life.

The Bohemian Culture

One visit to Sagada will tell you why it’s such a hot spot for free spirits, gypsies, and Bohemians. There’s just something about this beautiful place that attracts artists of all kinds; perhaps its because it’s a place that can inspire. If you’re a fan of alternative culture and all things New Age, you’d fall in love with Sagada the way I did. The Bohemian spirit is found in everything: the people you meet, the reggae bars, the vegan cafes, and even in the graffiti found throughout town.

The Coffee

Coffee in Sagada

Sagada is known for its amazing Arabica coffee. Be prepared to savor some of the most delicious cups you’ve ever had in your life! The best cup of coffee I had in my entire stay only cost $1 and came with a breathtaking view of the forest. Coffee in this region is abundant and inexpensive, yet of the highest quality.

The Friendly People

Camp fire in Sagada

It’s not uncommon to meet solo travelers in Sagada, so it’s fairly easy to meet people and make new friends. Our homestay was located in a compound with other accommodations, and we were lucky enough to have a communal camp fire area. Campfires are a great place to share stories and make friends while you share a bottle of the local rum, all while warming your bones.

The Food

Sagada is abundant with excellent, fresh produce that’s grown locally on the rice terraces and mountainsides. Produce, such as oranges and fresh vegetables are easy to find and at much lower prices than in the city. This is the best place to hoard produce! The yogurt is also made locally, and available at the famous Yogurt House café.

I hope my trip has inspired you to make your way to Sagada!

Author Bio: Diane is the co-writer of The Luggage List and currently lives in the Philippines. Equally, in love with both tropical and mountain life, her travel plans are fueled by the obsession of finding the best possible views at sea or on mountaintops.


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  1. May 20, 2017 / 8:31 am

    Lovely write up! I definitely want to go here now! Thank you ?

    • May 21, 2017 / 10:22 am

      Looks amazing, doesn’t it? I would love to explore the whole of the Philippines…one day!

  2. May 20, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    Sagada looks amazinggg!!!
    I’ve never visited the Philippines but would love to some day!
    I’ve heard incredible things about it and have a number of friends that come from there!

    • May 21, 2017 / 10:20 am

      It really does look stunning doesn’t it and with so many places to chose from the Philippines would make the perfect place to explore, especially Sagada!

  3. May 20, 2017 / 10:04 pm

    Honestly, with 7107 islands the Philippines is soooo under appreciated

    • June 3, 2017 / 11:56 am

      I’ve never been, but it really is high on my list – it looks so beautiful, especially Sagada! Always looking for recommendations though if you have any? ?

      • June 4, 2017 / 12:16 am

        Well, we’ve only been to the northern tip of Palawan. And its already majestic. Further down along that long stretch of island is yet more places to dive into for the sea life. And then there is Bohol, which we hope to get to some day. We think Cebu and Boracay are over-rated but hey! That’s just our opinion…

  4. May 21, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    I’d not heard of Sagada before reading this… the Philippines is full of beautiful destinations but it could well be top 😉 amazing views, quiet vibe and lovely coffee/people… What’s not to love – added it to my list 🙂

  5. May 23, 2017 / 1:06 pm

    Wow, what a place to visit! Will be adding this one to the list.

    • June 3, 2017 / 11:57 am

      Looks amazing doesn’t it! We’ve never been but the Philippines are up there on our list, it looks so beautiful and chilled out – perfect ??

  6. July 9, 2017 / 7:57 am

    Is December a good time to go to Sagada?

  7. July 10, 2017 / 3:56 am

    Wow thanks for sharing. Gave me another idea of where to go in the Philippines. I’m just wondering if Sagada is recommended for families with a 7-yr old? Thanks.
    – Amor