Jesse McLaughlan

Travelled to 14 countries / regions

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Visited Banaue Rice Terraces in 2019



Asia > Philippines > Banaue Rice Terraces > Useful Info
Updated on Oct 31, 2019 Useful Info

Best way to get to Banaue Rice Terraces in northern Philippines

  • The Banaue Rice Terraces is located 260km north of Manila, in the province of Ifugao on the island of Luzon (which is the same island that Manila is on)
  • It's always been one of the coolest places to check out in Philippines and one of the country's top draws, but its reputation got a boost after being used as a set for Avengers End GameUser submitted photo of Banaue Rice Terraces
  • Getting to the Banaue Rice Terraces is not overly complex, but it does take a long time because it's deep in the mountains far from population centres
  • I hiked through the rice terraces back in August 2019 for 3 days. I travelled there from Manila and can tell you that while the trip there is exhausting, it's definitely worth a visit!

  • Here's how to get to/visit the Banaue Rice Terraces:
  • Step 1a) Make your way to the town of Banaue by bus (very cheap but takes a long time)
  • The town of Banaue has many guesthouses and hotels, and is where most visitors use as their base camp for visiting the rice terraces in the surrounding area. It's also the transportation hub of the region so it's the logical first stop when travelling to the rice terraces
  • From Manila:
  • The direct option to get to the town of Banaue from Manila is by coach bus. There are 2 bus operators you can choose from:
  1. Coda Lines: Tripadvisor (rated 3/5), website, interior picture:User submitted photo of Banaue Rice Terraces
  2. Ohayami Trans: Tripadvisor (rated 2.5/5), website, interior picture:User submitted photo of Banaue Rice Terraces
  • Prices: 575-650PHP ($11.5-$13USD) per person each way for Coda Lines, 540PHP ($11USD) per person each way for Ohayami
  • Travel time: 8-9 hours for Coda Lines, 9-10 hours for Ohayami
  • Bus schedule: all the buses are overnight buses
  • Coda Lines: 4 daily buses departing Manila at 8:00pm (4am arriaval), 9:00pm (5am arrival), 10:00pm (7am arrival), 10:30pm (7:30am arrival)
  • Ohayami Trans: 2 daily buses departing Manila at 9:00pm (6am arrival), 10pm (8am arrival)
  • Check Coda's and Ohayami's websites for the current information
  • Departure station in Manila: Coda Lines depart from this spot in Quezon City in Manila, Ohayami departs from this spot in central Manila. Best way to get to these stations is to take a Grab taxi
  • Arrival station in Banaue: Coda Lines drop you off at this spot, Ohayami drops you off at this spot, both are close to each other smack in the middle of the main town of Banaue. All the guesthouses and hotels are pretty much within 5-15 minute walking distance from where the bus drops you off at
  • Return bus schedule: all return buses are overnight bus as well
  • Coda Lines: 4 daily buses departing Banaue at 1:00pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm
  • Ohayami Trans: 1-2 daily buses departing Banaue at 6:30pm, 7pm. Note the 6:30pm bus may not always be running so it's best to check with the bus company
  • From Baguio:
  • If you're in northwestern Luzon (like Vigan), you can get to Banaue via the city of Baguio instead of having to come all the way down to Manila
  • I won't cover how to get to Banaue in this post, but I'm sure you can easily find it because Baguio is a major city and a transportation hub in northern Luzon
  • From Baguio, there's only 1 daily bus going to Banue, operated by Ohayami Trans (Tripadvisor, website):
  • Price: 480PHP ($9.5USD) per person each way
  • Travel time: 9 hours
  • Bus schedule: 1 bus a day departing Baguio at 8:30pm (or 9pm) arriving at 5:30am (or 6am)
  • Departure station in Baguio: located here in central Baguio
  • Arrival station in Banaue: drop off at this spot in the town centre of Banaue
  • Return bus schedule: 1 bus a day departing Banaue at 5:30pm
  • Check Ohayami's website for current information: https://ohayamitrans.com
  • Coda Lines may be operating buses between Baguio and Banaue as well. Their website indicates that they do, but their booking site does not show this route as an option. I suggest checking with them just in case if you need more options

  • Step 1b) Make your way to the town of Banaue by flight (expensive but takes less time)
  • There's a non-direct option to get to Banaue from Manila, by flying to Cauayan Airport first, then taking a car to Banaue. Note that the only flights landing in Cauayan is from Manila, so if you're coming from other places you will have to connect in Manila which will increase your total travel time (although it still might be worth thinking about just to avoid taking the overnight bus)
  • This option is much more expensive than the bus option, but it lets you avoid having to take an uncomfortable overnight bus, and takes about half the time compared to traveling by bus from Manila
  • Price: $130-$150USD total
  • Flights from Manila to Cauayan Airport costs around $50USD per person each way
  • Car from Cauayan Airport to Banaue costs around 4,000-5,000PHP ($80-$100) each way
  • Travel time: 4-6 hours total
  • Flight from Manila to Cauayan takes 1h15min
  • Drive time for the car from Cauayan to Banaue takes 3-4 hours
  • Flight schedule: 1 flight a day at 7:30am from Manila operated by Cebu Pacific. Coming from other places you will have to transfer in Manila
  • How to get a car at the Cauayan Airport: you might be tempted to book a car ahead of time, but there's really no need. There are plenty of drivers at the Cauayan Airport willing to take you to Banaue. Once you land, just go to the arrival area and you will approached by lots of drivers

  • Step 2a) Pay the admission at the tourism center: once you get to the town of Banaue, you need to go to the Municipal Tourism Center, located at lat: 16.911033, lng 121.061082 (Google Maps link here), and pay 20 PHP ($0.4USD) in admission fees. The tourism center is located within walking distance to where the bus drops you off. This is what the center looks like:User submitted photo of Banaue Rice Terraces

  • Step 2b) Check into your guesthouse/hotel: technically you can do the Banaue Rices Terraces in a day. Since the buses to Banaue arrives early in the morning, you can theoretically do the hike during the day and then catch a return bus to Manila in the evening. However, I do not recommend it! You'll be sweaty and exhausted at the end of your hike, not a good condition to be in for another overnight bus. It's better to find a local accommodation and stay there for the night

  • Step 3) Get to the trailhead for DIY hike, or sign up for a tour
  • You can either get a tour guide or hike on your own. I'd say about half the travelers get on an organized tour and the other half do it on their own. I did it on my own, but if you're planning to do a multi-day, in-depth hike, I highly recommend getting a tour guide
  • Finding a tour in Banaue is easy, there are 3 main ways you get a guide: 1) ask your guesthouse to get you one, 2) walk around the town center around the bus terminal area and you will be approached by guides offering their services, and 3) you will come across tour agency's offices as you walk around the town. Price should be about. 2) is the cheapest, with the average prices I was quoted being 800-1200php ($15.5-$23.5USD) for an entire day
  • If you want to hike on your own, the trailhead is located at [Lat 16.913535, Lng 121.061013] (Google Maps link). This spot is located about 10 minutes walk away from the Municipal Tourism Center. When you get to this spot, turn to the side road like this to start your hike: User submitted photo of Banaue Rice Terraces
  • This trail is 4.6km long and require you to climb up 477 meters in total. It's not overly difficult to do and most visitors will have no problem completing it in about 3-4 hours

  • Note that the Banaue Rice Terraces that I just covered is not the only rice terrace in the area. In fact, just one hour east of it there's what many people regard as a more "pristine" terrace, called Batad Rice Terraces. If you're planning to visit Banaue Rice Terraces, you may want to consider visiting Batad Rice Terraces as well. To get to the Batad Rice Terraces you will need to take a Jeepney or tricycle from this spot in front of Banaue Public Market. Read how to get to Batad Rice Terraces here