Banaue Tour Guide and One Day Tour Itinerary

All I wanted was to see the famous Banaue Rice terraces and the beautiful Batad Rice Terraces. I packed my backpack and headed to Ohayami Bus station in Manila without any concrete plans on my Banaue adventure.

I was lucky enough that I was seated next to a beautiful backpacker from Spain. Like me, she did not have any lodge/hotel bookings yet and do not have any contacts in Banaue. We then agreed to travel Banaue together.

When we arrived in Banaue, everyone in the bus had tour services waiting from them in the bus station. Since Jana and I didn’t have any reservations, we just decided to walk to the town proper.  We were grateful that Martin, a local tricycle driver/tour guide approached us and offered to tour us around Banaue.

One Day Banaue Tour Itinerary 
Price: 800 Pesos
Tricycle Service and tour guide to the following destinations:
Batad Rice Terraces
Tappiya Falls
Bangaan Rice Terraces Viewing Area
Banaue View Deck
Native Village

6:50 AM – We left Banaue Proper
7:00 AM – Martin showed us a mini rice terraces

mini rice terraces

7:40 AM – We arrived at Batad Junction and started trekking to Batad Saddle and Batad Rice Terraces view deck
8:10 AM – We arrived at Batad Rice Terraces view deck

A short video of Batad Rice Terraces


The amphitheater-like terraces

8:30 AM – We started trekking from the view deck to Tappiya Falls




trekkers in batad
Trekkers exploring the beauty of Batad


Simply beautiful


10:00 AM – We arrived at Tappiya Falls which is literally hiding behind the mountain of Batad Rice Terraces. Couldn’t believe that I was able to survive trekking entire stretch of the Batad Rice Terraces.

I was really amazed by the clear waters of Tappiya falls

10:30 AM – We left Tappiya falls and tekked back to Batad Rice Terraces Viewing Deck

 One of the resting place from a very challenging uphill trek from Tappiya falls


A tourist with her lovely puppy on their way to Tappiya falls


Our tour guide Martin, me and Janna.. We were all exhausted!

1:00 PM  -After 2 and a half hour trek, we finally arrived at the Batad Rice Terraces view deck

A video of Jana and I resting after a tirig trek from Tappiya Falls

1:30 PM – We left Batad Rice Terraces view deck and trekked back to Batad Saddle and Junction
2:30 PM – We arrived at Batad Junction
3:00 PM – Martin brought us to Bangaan Rice Terraces

Bangaan Rice Terraces

3:15 PM – We left Bangaan Rice Terraces and headed back to Banaue Proper
4:00 PM – We arrived at Banaue Proper, BanaueView Deck

Banaue Rice Terraces View Deck

old ifugao people waiting for tourists
Photo opportunity with the locals

A short video of me and Jana in the viewing deck

The postcard perfect view of the Banaue Rice Terraces
viewing deck in banaue
beautiful rice terraces of banaue
another view of the terraces

4:20 PM – We left the Banaue Rice Terraces View deck
4:40 PM – Arrived at the Native Village

Native Village is a mini park showcasing Ifugao culture. Few meters away from the village is Native Village Inn. A one of a kid accommodation where guests get to experience sleeping in a Nipa Hut. I would definitely check-in here when I visit Banaue again.

   View of Banaue Rice Terraces from Native Village Inn
There are Nipa Huts in the village showcasing the traditional Ifugao home and furnitures
 Martin shows Jana how this native Filipino instrument is played
learning ifugao culture
Martin Explains Ifugao culture
nipa hut
    Accommodation at Native Village Inn


beautiful flower in native village
Lovely flowers are everywhere in the village
banaue orchid


backpacking in banaue
    Me and my Banaue travel buddy – Jana


carvings in nipa hut
  Carving beside the door of a Nipa Hut



native village banaue
Janna heading back to the tricycle
5:30 PM – We returned to the lodge/hotel
Martin is not Banaue tourism office accredited service/guide but we opted to avail his offer as it is cheaper and more convenient compared to joining a package tour. We were very lucky that Martin is very accommodating, honest and kind.

Batad Rice Terraces in Banaue, Ifugao, Philippines

Batad Rice Terraces is one among the five terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras inscribed in the UNESCO World heritage. Built around 2,000 years ago, this breathtaking site is a must see when you are travelling to the Philippines.

Located 18 km. (mi) from Banaue, Batad, home of the breathtaking Batad Rice Terraces is 1 hour and 30 minute tricycle ride to Batad junction.

Captured this wonderful moment of a group of friends while I was on a tricycle back ride to Batad Saddle

Alternatively, you can take jeepneys from Banaue to Batad junction. Note that the Batad junction is the farthest place motorized vehicles can reach. From junction, one must trek 3 km downhill to reach the place they call as Batad Saddle.

The trek from the Batad saddle to the viewing deck is quite challenging for first time trekkers and to those who are unfit (I’m guilty of The trek includes countless downhill steps and steep paths. Needless to say, the uphill trek going back to the Saddle from the terraces is more challenging. It took us an hour to reach Batad town proper from the Batad Junction.

Jana and our tour guide Martin on a very steep downhill path to Batad Saddle

There are parts of the trail with cemented pathways

Downhill path to Batad proper

Unfortunately, I was unable to take photos of the challenging trails from the saddle to the Batad town proper. I was very grateful during the trek as my Banaue travel buddy – Jana and our tour guide Martin were very supportive.

Upon reaching the Batad town proper, tourists must register and pay 50 pesos environmental fee.

The majestic amphitheater-like Batad Rice Terraces

Short video of the Batad Rice Terraces from viewing deck

Selfie with the beautiful Batad Rice Terraces

Viewing deck

Despite the grueling trek, seeing the postcard perfect view of the Batad Rice Terraces is such a relief. There is a viewing area where tourists can simply relax and take photos of the breathtaking rice terraces.

Getting Around Batad
There are no vehicles in Batad. Getting around means trekking and walking around in this beautiful town.

Martin, our tour guide and Jana

Some tourits exploring Batad Rice Terraces

Green is relaxing

Rice Terraces is also known as “Hagdan hagdang Palayan” in Filipino

There are lodges in the area if you want to spend the night in this magnificent place. Most of the lodges are situated where guests can enjoy the perfect view of Batad Rice Terraces. Since there are no cellular signal in Batad, this is the perfect place to those who would like disconnect and reflect.

After enjoying the breathtaking views of Batad Rice Terraces, we trekked from the viewing deck to Tappiya falls.

Travel Banaue, Ifugao on a Budget

Banuaue in Ifugao Province, Philippines is the home of the beautiful Bangaan, Banaue and the majestic Batad Rice Terraces.
The amphitheater-like Batad Rice Terraces, Banaue, Ifugao, Philippines
The famous Banaue Rice Terraces, Ifugao, Philippines

                                                 Bangaan Rice Terraces, Ifugao, Philippines

If you are a budget solo traveler or with a group of 2 to 3 persons, the best and cheapest way to explore Banaue is via motorized tricycle.

Motorized tricycles are a common means of passenger transport everywhere in the Philippines, except on busy major highways and very busy city streets, where they are used as public utility vehicles either plying a set route or for-hire. 

Since I didn’t had any inn/hotel reservations and did not avail any tour package prior to my trip to Banaue, I was clueless how would things turn out when I arrive in Banaue. Luckily, my bus seatmate (from Manila to Banaue) who is also a solo traveler did not have any reservations. We partnered and decided to explore Banaue together.

                                  Me and my Banaue travel buddy- Jana, a solo traveler from Spain

Finding The Perfect Service Around Banaue
When we arrived in Banaue proper, we asked some locals where to find inns in the area. We were advised to walk to the town proper where inns and tourism office are located . While walking, there was a tricycle driver (his name is Martin) who approached us and offered to take us to the Banaue center where most of the inns are located. He offered the ride for free and later offered if he can be be our guide during our stay in Banaue. He initially offered 800 Pesos to drive us around Banaue.

                                                               Martin, Banaue tour guide

Just to make sure that we are getting the best deal, Jana and I decided to visit the Banaue tourism office to check the rates.

Option A

Price: 600 Peso tour / person
Two way trip (Banaue proper – Batad)
transportation (van)
Pro: cheap
Con: you will join a group of tourists, thus will only have a limited time and will not have the freedom to stop anytime you want 
The tourism officer also informed us that if we are not joining the tour and will rent for a two way tourism accredited tricycle service (Banaue proper to Batad) it would cost us 1000 Pesos. Once we reach Batad, we will have to pay another 600 Pesos each for the guide who will accompany us to the Batad rice terraces. Note that the price varies on the guide. The tourism officer advised that these are government accredited transportation services and guides and we may opt to avail offers outside the tourism office.

Option B

Price: 1000 Pesos (for tricycle) + 600 Pesos per person (tour guide to Batad Rice Terraces)

Two way trip (Banaue proper – Batad)

transportation (tricycle)

Pro: Tourism accredited service/guides

Con: Pricey as it would cost us 2,200 Pesos (1,000 for tricycle + 1,200 for guide to Batad rice terraces)


                                                           Banaue Tourism Officer

Since Jana and I are on a budget travel, considering the price and the perks of having your own service, we decided to take Martin’s offer. His 800 Peso offer to drive us around Banaue is way cheaper than 1000 Peso rate which will only include two way Banaue proper-Batad transportation.

Option C (Martin’s Offer)

transportation (tricycle)

Drive and tour us around Banaue’s Rice Terraces (includes Batad Rice terraces and Bangaan Rice Terraces)

Price: 800 Pesos

Pro: Cheap, you will not have to follow the timelines of a package tour

Con: Arranging a tour with a non-accredited service/guide may be risky . In Martin’s case, Jana and I felt safe and really enjoyed the tour.

For the complete itinerary of our tour with Martin, please visit my post – Banaue, Ifugao Tour Guide and One Day Tour Itinerary.

How to Get to Banaue Rice Terraces from Manila

If you are planning to visit the postcard perfect views of Banaue’s rice terraces, the only way to get to Banaue from Manila is via land transportation. There is no direct plane flights from Manila to Banaue, Ifugao province.
Banaue Rice Terraces, Ifugao, Philippines
Batad Rice Terraces, Ifugao, Philippines
The only bus lines catering direct trips from Manila to Banaue is Ohayami Transit.
How to get to Ohayami Trans
Ohayami trans is located along Lacson road and is near España.

If you are coming from Ninoy Aquino International Airport, just inform the airport cab that you will be going to Ohayami trans along Lacson avenue corner Fajardo St. in Manila City.
Trip Schedules from Manila to Banaue
During off-peak season, there is only 1 to 2 trips from Manila to Banaue which departs at 10:00 PM.
During peak season and Fridays, there are numerous trips where the first bus also departs at 9:00 PM

          Bus Trip schedule during peak season

One way trip costs 450 Pesos.  It is highly recommended to reserve a ticket and your way back to Manila. There were instances, especially during peak seasons, that trips from Banaue to Manila easily get fully booked.
What to expect
Ohayami buses are quite smaller than the usual buses travelling long trips. I find the seats quite small compared with that of other provincial tourist buses in the Philippines.

The trip from Manila to Banaue is 8 to 9 hours which includes 2 stopovers. The first stopover is in San Miguel, Bulacan and the second one is in Nueva Vizcaya. Passengers are given ample time to have their snacks and take restroom breaks during these stopovers.

As for the safety, I should say that the bus trip is very safe. There are two drivers during the entire trip. The first one will drive during the first half of the trip and the other one on the remaining hours of the trip. Being seated at the back of the driver, I witnessed how careful they were during the entire trip.
How to get to the Banaue Rice Terraces from Ohayami bus terminal in Banaue
Once you arrive in Banaue, the Banaue Rice terraces is 2.1 km from the Ohayami trans bus terminal. You can walk from the terminal to get to the terraces or you can simply wait for tricycles or jeepneys leading you the Banaue town proper.