Weekend is not enough to explore the beauty of Sagada. Since this is in Mountain Province lot of things Sagada has to offer – its mountain ranges, rice terraces, falls and lake, and of course the chilly weather. One thing I love about Sagada is just chilling over a cup of coffee on a very breezy and cold weather with a backdrop of mountains – isn’t that great?
Since this is far from Manila – people usually takes tour packages from Manila for comfortable travel and all. But then 2 days is not enough unless you just want the usual tour package but if you want more of Sagada – try to hike Mt. Ampacao – and wait for sunrise in Marlboro Country.
I’ve been to Sagada through travel package and I would say that is was great – but then I told myself I will go back. From the prev weekend in Tirad Pass – I had no chance to continue my journey to Mt. Ampacao so I decided to be back the following weekend. The challenging part of doing DIY is that transport might change your itinerary because of the limited scheduled trips. From Pasay Victory I was on the 200th in queue for chance passenger, I transferred to Victory Cubao but the situation was even worst. Just to explore thee othe route I use the Bitalag – Cervantes Route from Ilocos Sur. I took Partas and get off in Brgy. Bitalag, Tagudin Ilocos Sur.
How to get there: There are routes coming from Manila via Banaue, or you may opt via Baguio plus to Bontoc or the route I used Cervantes Route. I will use my route for this blog.
From Taguidn Bitalag Junction take a van to Cervantes – from Cervantes take a Van to Bauko – from Bauko take a Van to Bontoc – from Bontoc take a jeep to Sagada – total of 12 hours travel for 5 transfers Cordillera Mountain range.
02:00 AM – Departure via Partas to Tagudin Ilocos Sur ( get off to Bitalag Junction)
08:00 AM – Arrival Bitalag, Tagudin P 491.00
09:00 AM – Depart Bitalag to Cervantes, Ilocos Sur via Van P150.00
11:15 AM – Arrival Cervantes, Ilocos Sur – Lunch. There are scheduled trips here. If you arrive early like 8:00AM there is Van directly to Bontoc.
1:00 PM – Depart Cervantes via Van P70.00
02:30PM – Arrival Bauko
03:00PM – Arrival Bontoc P60.00
04:00PM – Depart Bontoc to Sagada
04:30PM – Arrival Sagada – check in
04:00 AM Wake up call – trek to Marlboro Mountain / Star Gazing
06:00 AM – Sunrise
09:00AM – back to Sagada Proper and have dinner
02:00PM – Start trek to Mt. Ampacao
04:00PM – Arrival Ampacao – Take photos – descend
05:00PM – Arrival Sagada Proper
04:00AM Wake up Call – you can visit Kiltepan this time less crowd.
05:00AM first trip of Bus to Baguio
11:00AM Arrival Baguio
2:00PM – Depart Baguio via Victory Liner
07:00PM – Arrival Manila.
Budget P2500 inclusive of all.
Sagada has a lot to offer – its weather and ambiance is just good enough – what more if you try the other places it offers? Hike to Mt. Ampacao and witness the sunrise – you may also camp here overnight and wait for the sunrise. The trail is established and no reason for you to get lost. Just go straight to road down from market all the way to signage Sumaguing cave – and there you can ask where is the Ambasing Elementary School – that is the way up – just right turn and follow the road up to Ranch.
Marlboro Mountain is near the Rock In – you need guide here if you are first timer – we had our guide from hotel and we used his pick up all the way up for P800.00 guide fee and p550.00 rental of pick up. The sunrise here is just so lovely and amazing – there are times that sea of clouds forms here like of that Kiltepan. Interesting is Sagada has Echo Valley – but the echo here is a real echhhoooo – you can shout here with all the pain you have since less crowd and echo is echo.. hahaha.. Try and Find the other side of Sagada.