10 Amazing Things to Do in Sagada
Imagine this: a highland town with the perfect cuddle weather to spend your entire week with your significant other. You sit on a wooden chair, wrapped in a wool blanket, sipping your cup of tea and more things to do in Sagada. Sounds like a good holiday plan, doesn’t it? Too good to be true even.
Luckily for you, that place actually exists, and you don’t have to take a half-day-long plane ride to get there. It’s in the Cordillera region.
Here’s why you have to visit Sagada at least once in your life and what to do when you get there.
10 Things to Do in Sagada to Make Your Visit More Memorable and Fun
There’s a reason Sagada is often listed as one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines. With a beauty so intoxicating, Sagada will make you fall in love with it the second you see the place. If you’ve never been to this alluring town, it’s time to. But before you set out, check out this list of things to do in Sagada you will definitely enjoy.
1. Watch the sunrise at Kiltepan Peak
Be sure to wake up as early as five to catch the sunrise from Kiltepan Peak. However, it’s worth mentioning that the weather on the peak isn’t always fit for early-morning sight-seeing, so check the weather first before going.
Watching the sun rise and fill up the dark skies as you stand on the peak situated 1640 meters above sea level is an experience you wouldn’t want to miss. So when you go to Sagada, be sure to include the Kiltepan Peak in your itinerary.
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2. Chase waterfalls
Sagada is home to many waterfalls, all of which boast a breathtaking beauty. To name a few, Bomod-ok, Pongas, and Bokong falls are a must-visit.
The trailhead of Bomod-ok, also known as Big Falls, is an hour away from Sagada’s metropolis. This is then followed by another two-hour-long trek down. The long walks are worth it, though, as you will get to see the place’s rice terraces along the way.
Just like the journey to Bomod-ok, a visit to the Pongas falls requires another two-hour-long trek. Worry not, though, because what will meet you at the end of it is nature at its finest.
If you do not fancy an extreme trekking adventure yet still want to splash in one of Sagada’s waterfalls, Bokong is the place to go. The water of the Bokong falls is a bit warmer and a lot more accessible with only a light trek from the city center.
3. See the hanging coffins up close
Another iconic landmark of Sagada are the hanging coffins of Sugong.
The place is exactly what its name implies. Coffins are perched on high stones and cliffs—the locals’ traditional way of burying the dead. The burial rite is still practiced up to this date, but locals have to pay a fortune if they want to be buried this way.
The Sugong cemetery is about half an hour trek from the city proper. It could be an exhausting walk, but seeing the cemetery is one of the best things to do in Sagada and you surely wouldn’t want to let the chance slip.
4. Spelunk in Sumaguing and Lumiang
Sagada is a haven not only for waterfall chasers but also for spelunking junkies with its navigable cave connections.
Sumaguing is an easy trek even for first-time spelunkers. The beautiful stalagmite and stalactite formations inside are a great delight. Locals even gave fancy names to some of the formations, including the King’s Curtain, Queen’s Curtain, and Pregnant Woman. (You can play a game of “name that formation” as you explore the cave.).
Fun fact: the cave also served as a refuge for Filipino soldiers from Japanese invaders during World War II.
If you are the more adventurous type, spelunking through the cave connection from Sumaguing to Lumiang (or vice versa) is one of the best things to do in Sagada you shouldn’t miss. The close to four hours of spelunking will be a test of endurance and flexibility, but it’s a trial worth taking.
5. Marvel at the Kapay-aw rice terraces’ beauty
Kapay-aw’s cluster of rice terraces can be seen on the way to Sumaguing Cave. It’s best to go during the harvest season, but if you can’t, you will still enjoy looking at the lush green fields of rice.
6. Binge at local restaurants
A trip to an unfamiliar place won’t be complete without trying local delicacies. To make your Sagada trip even more memorable, dine at Salt and Pepper Diner, Yogurt House, or at Vincent’s Coffee and Grill.
These three are the most frequented places in the area. Surprisingly enough, they’re hard to locate. You’re lucky if you can spot the Salt and Pepper Diner with its minute signage hanging outside. But the place serves food good enough to make you book another Sagada trip only weeks after your visit.
The Yogurt House, on one hand, is a cozy log cabin in Sagada that serves the best-tasting homemade yogurt in town. So after a meal at Salt and Pepper Diner, go for a short walk and satisfy your sweet tooth at Yogurt House.
If you prefer a quaint and hippie place to dine, Vincent’s Coffee and Grill is the restaurant you’d want to try. It’s a good all-day restaurant that will surely fill you empty tummy with luscious food.
7. Go mountain biking on the uphills
Sagada is a mountain biker’s paradise, so really, it’s not a surprise that one of the most-recommended things to do in Sagada is, well, mountain biking. The dirty trails, challenging uphills, and cool temperature are a thrill for experts in technical mountain biking.
If you don’t have your equipment with you, worry not, as sports equipment such as bikes, helmets, and other essentials are readily available for rental.
8. Eat Sagada’s etag
Etag is the official ham of Sagada. Although often listed as one of the most bizarre Filipino foods, etag has become so popular, there’s even has a festival named after it.
Etag is salted native pork cured by smoking or storing in earthen jars for weeks. Nothing is more stomach-churning than its foul smell, dark color, and the fact that maggots have probably already feasted on the dish before you could even take a bite of it. But it doesn’t really taste as bad as it looks, well at least for tourists who have tried it.
9. Drink Cerveza Sagada
If you’re a craft beer enthusiast or you just want to try something new, one of the best things to do in Sagada is try their cerveza. Cerveza Sagada is the first home-made craft beer available at Sagada Cellar Door. The beer uses local ingredients from the Cordillera region.
10. Try the local coffee
Thanks to the cooler mountain temperatures, coffee grows exceptionally well in Sagada. If you want to try their famous civet coffee, or kopi luwak, the most expensive coffee in the world, it’s your chance to try it without having to pay much. If you are more of a tea person, many local restaurants also serve mountain tea.
Of course, there’s more to Sagada than what’s on this list. For a small town, there are a lot of things you can do in the area. Make the most out of your visit.
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