xxxxxxxxxxx Welcome to banaue.info This page is: What to see and do
A BRIEF LESSON IN GEOGRAPHY
The Philippines is organized into provinces composed of municipalities, which are in turn further divided into barangays, the smallest political unit in the nation. Banaue is a municipality within the province of Ifugao. It's quite large and includes several barangays, including that of Uhaj to the west and Batad to the east, both of which are mentioned in this website. The downtown area is called Banaue proper. But for general usage everyone simply refers to the downtown area as Banaue and the barangays (sometimes called villages) by their own names. But they do in fact remain part of the municipality of Banaue. To further clarify some geographical confusion, the Banaue Rice Terraces are in Ifugao province while nearby Sagada (of hanging coffin fame) is in Mountain province.
MUNICIPAL TOURISM CENTER
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The Municipal Tourism Center. On arrival in town you will be asked to go there to register and pay a 20 peso environmental fee. They offer maps and information about lodging, transportation, tours, sight seeing, and trekking packages.
1000 PESO NOTE
The Rice Terraces appear on the older 1000 peso notes. When in Banaue be sure to visit the viewpoint from where this image was taken and have a 1000 peso note with you to match the images. The new 20 peso notes display the terraces as well but the image is not very distinct. (click image to enlarge)
The mountainous regions have some really unpredictable weather; while it may be sunny in one valley, it may be raining heavily on the other side of the mountain, and then 30 minutes later the situation is reversed. You can check current weather conditions at
Accu Weather or
The official Philippine government's website for weather is
PAGASA. Our recommendation is just go there since the weather can change from hour to hour and day to day and seems impossible to predict. Just bring rain gear as well as sun gear to deal with it. When the rain starts just find shelter, have a coffee, read a book, relax. The Ifugaoans are hardy and resilent people and have been dealing with this for centuries. We as visitors can deal with it as well.
NATURAL WONDERS OF THE PHILIPPINES
"THE Philippines is a country that comprises 7,107 islands. The places worth visiting are so numerous that tourists can only hope to see a few of them. But people who want to see only those that are truly unique to the country then we suggest the Banaue Rice Terraces. . . "
Read the entire article
MONEY, NEWSPAPERS, AND INTERNET
There are no banks nor ATMs in Banaue (It really is a very small town!). The provincial capital, Lagawe, 25 km south of Banaue, has a branch of Philippine National Bank and an ATM. Its machine typically dispenses only a maximum of 4000 pesos for a single transaction. If you're paying a large service fee for each withdrawl from your foreign bank this could be very expensive. Solano, in the province of Nueva Viscaya, about 70 km away, has several banks and many ATMs. Those of BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands) dispense 10000 pesos in a single transaction, BDO (Banco de Oro) 10000, RCBC 20000 pesos.
Foreign currency can be exchanged in Banaue but at very unfavorable rates.
National newspapers are available daily in Banaue but only after about 1PM because of the distance from Manila.
There are some internet cafes in town. If you travel with a laptop you can also get online from most areas of the region by using a USB dongle available from either of the two major mobile service providers in the country,
Cost is about P1000 for the modem and only 5 pesos for each 15 minutes of online access. If you travel with a tablet phone / computer you can purchase the SIM card for Smart or Globe for only about 60 pesos, and the charges are the same, only 5 pesos per 15 minutes of online access.
BANAUE RICE TERRACES
Batad is the primary outlying destinaton for most visitors. Because of recent road improvements you no longer have to stay overnight in Batad. You can instead leave early from Banaue for Batad, walk the terraces and see Tappiah Falls, then return to your lodging in Banaue.
Learn more about Batad.
Most Malay languages give stress to the second syllable so Banaue is pronounced "Bah NOW way". Similarly Batad is "Bah TAHD"; Hungduan is "Hung DEW an"; Mayoyao is "Mah YO ya oh".
on this website are in Philippine Pesos (PHP). Please remember that Banaue operates on a cash economy only. There are neither ATMs nor banks in town. Credit cards are not accepted. Here's a
THINGS TO SEE AND DO AROUND BANAUE!
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This map provided by the Banaue Tourism Office may be useful in finding your way around the region and reaching tourist attractions. Notice that Banaue town is the obvious hub for all tour activities in the region so staying downtown is your best option.
* DOWNTOWN *
(1) Visit the Cordillera Sculpture Museum, 1.8 km south of downtown, a comfortable walk if you want the exercise or you can take a trike taxi for only 10 pesos. It's directly across the road from the Las Vegas Lodge. (2) See the Banaue Museum with Ifugao culture artifacts like spears and baskets; just walk uphill from the transit center downtown. (3) Hike the road from downtown to the
Banaue Viewpoint to photograph terraces as well as tribesmen in native clothing; some options here: (a) walk to the viewpoint on the road and enjoy the scenery, then take a trike back to downtown. (b) or take a trike to the viewpoint and then hike back to town, not on the road but on the rice terraces; you will need a guide for this trek because you'll be walking on private property. (4) Walk downhill from the Banaue Hotel and see the
Tam-an village. (5) Visit the many shops in town which offer locally made items like blankets, statues, wood carvings, and handbags. (6) Visit the lobby of the Banaue Hotel where you can purchase handcrafts as well as local coffee. (7) Walk the
suspension bridge (the locals call it the "hanging bridge") that is below the market area and connects with the road to Batad. Many locals use it: students from the center area to get to their high school across the river, and those from the other side to go to market in downtown Banaue.
* TO THE EAST*
Batad, Mayoyao, and Cambulo Village are the principal sites of interest in the area. These are lovely destinations and clearly worth your time. If you do plan on taking trek tours out of Banaue then this direction is clearly the place to go with Batad as your first destination. See our Batad
page for more information.
* TO THE WEST *
The town of Hungduan, about 17 km away is accessed by a rather rough road but the views are beautiful. Hungduan has a guesthouse and some interesting things to see, such as the Spiderweb Terraces, the Hot Springs, and the trailhead to go to Japanese General Yamashita's last hideout, a cave about a six hour trek up the mountain and rumored to have buried there millions of dollars in stolen cash, gold, and jewels. On that same road to the west, and only 3km from downtown Banaue, there is the Hiwang Native House, a lovely park, recreation, and relaxation area.
* TO THE SOUTH *
Lagawe is the capital of Ifugao Province, just 25 km south of Banaue. Those with an interest in history might enjoy seeing the surrender site of Japanese Gen. Yamashita in Kiangan, the town west of Lagawe. Further south of Lagawe is access to the eastern highway that links Manila and Tuguegarao. Those interested in exploring caves of the region might want to see this Tourism Department file which tells of
caving opportunities near Lagawe. * TO THE NORTH *
Bontoc and Sagada with the famous hanging coffins are about three hours away from Banaue. But transport in that direction is best gotten early in the day, another reason to stay in downtown Banaue. Sagada might be included as part of a circle trip because transport is available from there to Baguio on the Halsema Highway, about an eight-hour journey.
The municipality of Banaue has published an informative and attractive
brochure which you can obtain at the Tourist Information Center. We also offer it here free as a downloadable PDF file.
GOING TO SAGADA?
If you plan to visit Sagada as part of your Cordillera trip you might be interested in reading these helpful
tips. At 8am every day a jeepney going to Bontoc will form up in downtown Banaue's market area near the Tourism Information Center. When it is full it will go to Bontoc, about two hours distance. When you arrive in Bontoc you can take another jeepney to Sagada, about one hour's ride from there.
MORE INFORMATION AND PHOTOS
Here are some websites you might enjoy; the owners have spent a lot of time and energy into creating informative and colorful sources of data about the Philippines with significant contributions about Banaue:
Travel Philippines, and
Lej Internet Plaza.
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