I have never considered Batad in Ifugao as somewhere I would travel solo to. For one, it seemed so far away and hard to reach. Also, I didn’t know any friends who have actually been there, so I didn’t know who to ask. Is it safe? How about the transportation? Is it easy enough to go to one place and another without any guide?
Fortunately, these doubts didn’t stop me from going. Thanks to all the travel bloggers nowadays, when you want to go somewhere, all you have to do is to search it on the Internet. Lucky me I found some recent posts that led me to finding which bus to take, where to stay, and even some itinerary suggestions. After doing some research about it, it looked like it wasn’t as hard as it seemed after all, so when I had an opportunity to go with a recent long weekend holiday, I jumped at the opportunity.
I took the 10pm Ohayami bus trip from Manila going straight to Banaue and arrived around 7:30 the next morning. Once in Banaue, I went straight to Sanafe Lodge to drop off my things and have something to eat before heading on to Batad.
Sanafe (above pic is its viewing deck) is just walking distance from Ohayami’s bus station in Banaue. They can also recommend guides and arrange tours for you. But I already had pre-arrangements and asked my guide to meet me there, instead.
Since I was staying in Banaue just only for 2 days, I planned to visit Batad and Tappiya on the first day, and then tour around Banaue on the second day. During my trek to Batad and Tappiya Falls, there were a bit of rain showers every now and then, but generally it was a clear day.
From Banaue I rode a tricycle going to the “Saddle” and from there you have to walk going to Batad, then continue walking going to Tappiya Falls. With this trail, you start the trek descending and going back to the Saddle was a continuous uphill climb. I would suggest that you bring a walking stick (you can rent it there). Also bring at least 2-3 liters of water (bottled water is sold along the way in some resting areas but it is expensive. The nearer you get to the falls, the more expensive it gets.) It was on the way back when I was climbing the steep stairs from Tappiya that I started to sweat profusely and my legs felt my entire body weight with every step. It was harder than I anticipated it to be. Should have brought a stick.
It was the most tiring trek I have ever done, but the place was just fantastic that it was all worth it. The amphitheater-like terraces of Batad was a sight to behold. Pictures don’t do it justice. You have to see it yourself.
When I finally got back to the lodge, I immediately went to my room and collapsed on my bed. I was so tired I didn’t move for hours. Next time I would consider staying in Batad town proper overnight, instead of going back straight to Banaue on the same day.
The morning after, there was a flea market right outside the street. They said they only have it during Saturdays so I decided to roam around. Just a few steps from the lodge was a carinderia so I was pretty happy about it. Sanafe was a good place to stay at but their food was very expensive. Then I pretty much just walked around the town and at around 3pm, I met with my guide again and went to the different Banaue Rice Terraces’ amazing view points.
This trip has been one of the most fulfilling trips I have ever made. I am glad that my restlessness won over my apprehensions or else I wouldn’t have experienced one of the most awesome places this country has to offer. Would love to go back someday.
Address: Cor. J Fajardo Street, Lacson Avenue, Sampaloc, Manila (Near UST Main Entrance)
Contact numbers: 09276493055/09175617344
They have 9pm and 10pm schedules. It would be best to reserve your tickets at least a week before your trip since they seem to have only 2 trips, they get full rather quickly. You can reserve the bus station or via bank deposit. Just call or text their numbers and say that you would like to reserve via Bank Deposit and they will text you back the details. You can also already reserve your tickets going back to Manila (their schedule is at 7pm Banaue-Manila).
To go to the Bus Station from Quezon City, take the Project 2-3 jeepney going to “Quiapo” in Anonas or in Kamias/Kamuning. Tell the driver to drop you off at Lacson Avenue, cross the street, and the bus station is walking distance from there.
Sanafe Lodge and Restaurant
Contact numbers: 09189477226/09399390128
P800 for a single standard room. No need for bank deposits to reserve. Short walking distance from the Ohayami bus station in Banaue. (There are also lots of other cheap accommodations in Banaue and Batad).
Tour Guide in Banaue and Batad
Joel Ognayon – 09184367708
He is a licensed tour guide so you’re in good hands. He also has his own tricycle which makes it more convenient. One of the best.
10pm – Manila to Banaue (P450 one way)
7am – Arrive in Banaue, check in Sanafe Lodge
9am – Tricycle to the Saddle (P800 back and forth)
10am – Arrive at the Saddle, start of trek to Batad (P500 guide fee)
11:00am – ETA Batad, register (P50 environmental fee), Lunch
11:30am – Trek to Tappiya Falls, will pass through the Batad Terraces
12:10pm – ETA Tappiya Falls
12:30pm – Trek back to the Saddle
3:30pm – ETA Saddle, rest
3:45pm – Tricycle to Banaue
4:45pm – ETA Banaue
Rest, free time
3:30pm – Tour view points of Banaue Rice Terraces (Tricycle P200 back and forth)
5pm – Back in Sanafe Lodge
7pm – ETD Banaue to Manila