Below are the details you need to know if you want to join one of Barefoot Travel's future Sagada trips. I got these details from the primer they sent me a week before my scheduled tour of Sagada. You will receive one too should you decide to join them. You can also read my introductory post about Barefoot Travels and my Sagada excursion with them. Just go to this link here: Sagada with Barefoot Travels: An Introduction. Barefoot Travels has an upcoming Sagada trip this February 7-9 so be sure to register!
If you wish to contact them for further details and clarifications, feel free to email Barefoot Travels at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us at +63917-3589716 or +63923-5610062 Go Travel. Be Practical. Have Fun. Go Barefoot. Work Shoes: OFF LIMITS!
The Annual Sagada Bonfire Fest, now on its 5th year and held every last week of December, is organized by the Sagada Genuine Guides Association or Saggas. It is a night of merry-making, food tripping, music jamming and cultural bonding. Experience this one of a kind bonfire feast as Barefoot Travels brings you to the heart of the Mountain Province this December.
SAGADA EXTREME: Php5,500 per person (Php5,250 for early birds)
Sagada Rice Terraces
PACKAGE INCLUSIONS for Extreme and Standard:
- 2 nights accommodation at Sagada
- Roundtrip transfers Manila-Banaue-Sagada-Baguio-Manila
- Jeepney transfers when touring Sagada
- Stop over at Banaue Rice Terraces view points and La Trinidad Strawberry Farm
- Services of local guides and Travel Coordinators and Tour Director
- Barefoot souvenir bagtag
- Sagada town tour: Echo Valley, Hanging Coffins, St. Mary's, Calvary Hill,
- Sagada weaving, Lumiang Cave, Pongas Falls
- Meals: buffet dinner at Log Cabin and 2 breakfasts
- Entrance fees, local fees, environmental fees
PACKAGE INCLUSIONS for Extreme
- Cave connection: Sumaguing & Lumiang Caves
- Bonfire party with dinner on Day 2
- Barefoot souvenir shirt
PACKAGE INCLUSIONS for Standard
- Spelunking at Sumaguing Cave
Lumiang and Sumaguing Cave Connection
10:00 PM Meeting at McDonald’s Quezon Ave. corner EDSA
10:30 PM Boarding of Passengers
10:45 PM ETD Manila to Sagada
07:00 AM ETA Banaue; Breakfast (c/o Barefoot) and side trip at Banaue Rice Terraces View Points 09:00 AM ETD from Banaue to Sagada
11:30 AM ETA at Sagada, Registration, Check-in
12:00 NN Lunch (on pax account)
01:30 PM Trek and Swim at Pongas Falls/Bomod-ok Falls
07:30 PM Buffet Dinner at Log Cabin (c/o Barefoot)
04:00 AM Call Time
05:30 AM Sunrise at Kiltepan Viewpoint (optional)
06:30 AM Orange picking at Rock Inn
08:00 AM Breakfast (c/o Barefoot)
09:00 AM Spelunking Adventure – Lumiang and Sumaguing Caves (Cave connection for Extreme participants)
12:00 NN Lunch (on pax account)
01:30 PM WalkingTour: St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Calvary Hills, Echo Valley, Hanging Coffins, Underground River and Bokong Small Falls, Sagada Weaving, Yoghurt House, etc. Optional Adventure: Rock climbing (on pax account)
07:00 PM Dinner (pax account for Standard Package) Bonfire Party and Dinner (for Extreme participants)
07:00 AM Breakfast (on pax account) Free time
09:00 AM ETD from Sagada to Baguio
12:00 PM Lunch along the way (pax account)
03:00 PM Stopover at La Trinidad Strawberry Farm for pasalubong; Baguio stop-over
06:00 PM ETD from Baguio to Manila
11:00 PM ETA Manila
The Hanging Coffins
WHAT TO EXPECT (and not to expect)
i. We will be traveling on a chartered bus/van all throughout (Manila-Banaue-Sagada-Baguio-Manila). Barefoot Travels participants will have exclusive use of the bus/van.
ii. The trip from QC to Banaue, Ifugao is around 8 hours long. Sleep if you can. If you can’t, please let others sleep . For “wiwi” moments, just inform the Tour Coordinators.
iii. It will take us 2 hours to travel from Banaue, Ifugao to Sagada, Mt. Province. Expect great (green) scenery. Sorry, no skyscrapers here, just towering mountains, rice terraces, and more rice terraces
iv. From Sagada to Baguio will take us around six hours.
v. While in Sagada, please expect plenty of walking and trekking. There are no tricycles or taxis there.
vi. Expect to get wet while spelunking.
vii. Expect bumpy travel from Banaue-Sagada-Baguio.
viii. Since this is a group tour, please be conscious of time.
i. A must try are the “pinikpikan” and “etag”, a native delicacy in Sagada. If you want to know more about these delicacies, we suggest you Google them now.
ii. Try the coffee. Residential Lodge (where some are staying) has overflowing coffee served to its guests. Bana’s Coffee is the premier café in town. It is located just across Residential Lodge at Traveler’s Inn.
iii. The Log Cabin is perhaps the best restaurant in terms of the menu and over-all ambiance. It is best known for its Saturday night buffet featuring the cooking of French-native (and adopted son of Sagada) Chef Aklay.
iv. Try the yoghurt or the Hiker’s Delight at the Yoghurt’s House. They also serve other great foods. I suggest you have lunch there upon arrival at Sagada.
v. For breakfast, Masferre’s and Shamrock’s are a must. Café St. Jo at St. Joseph’s Guesthouse also provides great food amidst great ambience. Misty Lodge and Resto (pink structure) offers great food as well (a good 10-15 minute walk from the town proper, but we guarantee that it will be all worth it).
vi. Other must tries:
1. Lucky’s Shanghai Hauz – Sagada’s version of fast food. Shanghai for only P180 for 20 pieces, cheap but ultra-YUMMY. Pre-order is suggested since food preparation takes usually long.
2. Lemon Pie House – for lemon pie and other pies (great for pasalubong) Php25/slice or Php180/pan. Better to reserve early if you’re buying for pasalubong. Their lemon pie is the best! They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner as well (Php100-150/meal)
3. Kimchi Restaurant
4. Pinikpikan Haus – try their pinikpikan, of course
5. Strawberry Fast Food – This tiny no-frills Sagada restaurant serves two simple but classic Filipino dishes remarkably well. The breakfast dish of Arozcaldo (chicken and rice stew) and Mami (pork or chicken noodle soup) are both delicious and cost only Php50. (Opposite Log Cabin)
6. Cuisina Igorota – Tourist hardly even venture here which is a shame as this stark establishment is one of the top Sagada restaurants to offer typical Igorot food. Best at lunchtime, a Php70 meal of pork stew, pork chop, bones soup, sinigang, adobo or chicken is severed with generous portions of local vegetables. (Behind St Theodore's Hospital)
c. AMBIANCE and WEATHER
i. If you’ve been to Baguio between December – February, just imagine Sagada being much colder.
ii. Sagada is a great retreat for those seeking tranquility and an escape from the urban life. Pine trees, fogs, fresh flowers, rice terraces are just ordinary.
Banaue Rice Terraces Viewpoint
i. Technically, there are no hotels in Sagada so please don’t expect rooms with Aircon, fancy lobby, cable TV and the likes. Instead, you’ll have freezing temperature in and out of the lodge, great views from your windows and lots of action outside the confines of your room. Hospitality is their number one priority.
ii. Please don’t expect a lot from Sagada’s inns. Common CR is common in all lodging facilities in Sagada. Learn to share
i. Where else can you find market stalls where goods are left unmanned overnight? And the prison cell, it’s filled with cobwebs.
ii. Sagada has observed a 9pm curfew for decades. This came about during the armed conflicts of the Marcos era. When the conflict ended, Sagadans decided to keep the policy as a way of controlling public drunkenness, a problem in neighboring towns. Sagada is a farming community and most town folks are up early to go to the fields, thus closing down before 9pm makes a lot of sense. The stores close, the restaurants stop serving food and the streets become quiet. People can do whatever they like within the walls of their homes and most restos will remain open until you leave, without pressuring you to do so. There is no problem about being out after 9pm or past midnight. It is just very quiet and curfew can conjure up all sorts of images. Often, tourists are troubled by it
iii. If you like to party, make a lot of noise and drink plenty of alcohol until the early hours of the morning, you might not like Sagada. People come to Sagada to enjoy the peace and tranquility, so better choose a different destination. To you, this may be a tourist town, but for 99% of the people living in Sagada, this is a farming community. And they would like to keep it that way.
iv. Just respect their customs and culture and you will be fine.
At the highest point of the Philippine Highway System
WHAT DO WE HAVE TO BRING (and not to bring)
a. Luggage and bags. Pack light. Bring a bag (back pack is highly recommended) that can fit your clothes for the next three days. A belt bag or water proof back pack will come in handy when trekking and spelunking to secure wallet, water, first aid kit, and other essentials. Zip lock plastic bags are highly suggested for cameras, video cams and cell phones. Plastic bags for trash (don’t leave your trash behind) and soiled clothes and an empty foldable bag for “pasalubongs” for your friends left behind.
b. Clothing, Shoes, Weather gear.
i. Light shirts, long sleeved shirts, hooded shirts
ii. Pants: light weight shorts/hiking shorts, jogging pants (short pants are for spelunking, jogging pants for trekking), tights
iii. strap on sandals/trekking or hiking sandals/durable pair of slippers
iv. arm covers if you don’t want to get dark while trekking to the falls, sun glasses or shades,
v. light raincoat (although not really needed) in case it rains (though walking in the rain is much lovelier)
vi. JACKET and/or SWEATERS and socks(it gets really cold at night)
vii. A “malong” will come in handy as well
viii. Hats/caps to protect you from the sun
c. Toiletries and medical supplies.
i. Medicine for motion-sickness (BONAMINE), diarrhea, gas pain, fever, ALAXAN, Salon pass or mentholated ointment, sun block, insect repellant
i. Cameras, video cams
ii. Headlights for spelunking (optional, Php100 in Divisoria )
iii. Bring water all the time specially during trekking
iv. Sense of humor and lots of smiles
THINGS TO BUY IN SAGADA
a. General items. Arabica coffee, mountain tea, rice and fruit wines, souvenir T-shirts, trinkets and other low products are generally available almost anywhere in Sagada.
b. Sagada Weavers. Famous for its sturdy locally woven cloth made into backpacks, sling bags, small bags, purses, etc. This is a local business worth supporting. Many other shops sell locally woven cloth and bags, etc.
c. Pottery. There are locals and foreigners who produce fine pottery from the local clay. A few minutes walk (1.3kms; for locals, it’s just a few minutes walk) from the town center, one can visit this place to see the works. If interested in buying, there are items on sale as well. A nearby pottery store is also located under Travelers Inn where Lope Bosaing displays and sells his pottery.
d. Other Shops worth visiting:
i. Ganduyan Souvenirs
For further details and clarifications, feel free to email Barefoot Travels at email@example.com or contact us at +63917-3589716 or +63923-5610062 Go Travel. Be Practical. Have Fun. Go Barefoot. Work Shoes: OFF LIMITS!