Travelling to one’s vacation place can be a tiresome and tiring wait. This is true even to those visiting the beautiful tourist town of Sagada. Sagada is on a remote location in northwestern Philippines. It is one of the smaller towns in Mountain Province. Until the late 1990s, travelling to Sagada from the Philippine capital of Manila can take as much as 16 hours. Conditions have improved so far, and with the advent of different choices of travel, one can now reach Sagada from Manila in as little as 2 hours. There’s a catch to that though. It can only be done via a helicopter ride.
As that can be relatively expensive and can not be afforded by majority of travelers, the next best thing is land travel. Sagada is accessible through different routes. For this article, I will be discussing the Manila to Sagada route via Bontoc.
Most bus trips to Sagada are direct service from Manila to Sagada and return from Sagada to Manila. The bus departs from Quezon (greater Manila area) to the village of Sagada in the Ifugao province. It’s a modern tourist bus, and one of the best buses in this route – that means the bus is comfortable, relatively spacious, and there are no isle seats. This is a night bus which leaves every day at 21:00.
However, night bus to Sagada is also available and you can catch up with it in case you are late for the day bus.
Manila to Bontoc – SAGADA:
There are two bus lines going from Manila to Bontoc. Bontoc is a town adjacent to Sagada and is the capital town of Mountain Province. The travel to Bontoc is about 12 hours, and the fare rates are from P500 – P650, approximately $10 – $13. From Bontoc, there is a 45-minute ride to Sagada for the rate of P35 (Advantages of this Route:
Through this route, visitors may opt to see what Bontoc has to offer before proceeding to Sagada. There is the Malegcong Rice Terraces, similar to the Sagada Rice Terraces. Bontoc also offers some sites that are not available in Sagada. This include the Mainit Hot Springs. There is also the Bontoc Museum where one can get a glimpse of the past tribes from the town itself, from Ifugao and also from Sagada. If you are in Bontoc on the right time of the year, you may also be able to watch the Lang-ay Festival, the province’s most attended event. Visitors may also want to check the Bontoc Public Market and the Mountain Province Trade Center for crafts, souvenirs and items that are only available in Mountain Province.
One’s visit to Sagada may also be enhanced by a stop-over in Bontoc. Though these towns are just a few kilometers away, one can see the contrast between the two towns. Bontoc is warm, Sagada is cool. Bontoc is relatively crowded, Sagada is not. Bontoc has no natural tourist attractions, while Sagada has a lot. Even the way the people talk are different in Bontoc and Sagada.