How to get there and what to expect


To visit this eighth wonder of the world, we will have to travel by air to Manila, and by road to arrive at the slopes of the mountains. Visitors can expect a tenhour bus trip to the town of Banaue.

Banaue seems to be more popular with the foreign tourists while the locals would vouch for the real beauty of Batad. However, the latter is not for the faintheart­ed. The route consists of neglected roads, washed-out bridges and the adventurer­s may sometimes encounter landslides. Batad is about an hour away from Banaue so you will need to take a jeepney ride to Batad Saddle Point.

A jeepney is a passenger vehicle that was originally made from the US military jeeps left over from the Second World War. The jeep is usually cramped and the rooftop is converted to provide extra passenger seats. This is quite a common mode of transport in the northern provinces. Usually bigger than the ones found in the urban cities, the jeepneys here have the feel of a dirt road truck.

From the trailhead, tourists will have to embark on a downward trek for about an hour through the rough terrain. Local tour guides are available for hire and it is highly recommende­d to engage one, as they know the best paths and sites. There are a number of guesthouse­s in Banaue and Batad. Since Banaue is more urbanised than Batad, the guesthouse­s there, with their native nipa-hutson-stilts theme, provide a semi-resort experience. In Batad, however, local residents rent out their homes for a fee, somewhat in a bed-and-breakfast style and occasional­ly offer home-cooked meals and homemade rice wines. Tourists must be prepared to rough it out and enjoy the rustic charm of nature, for it is in Batad that one gets to experience nature and culture at its raw and authentic form.

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