Some valuable tourist information
The first time I went to Banaue it was on Good Friday of the Lenten season and it took us 7hrs only to get there by daylight. Road was deserted.
It is around 388kms from Manila airport to Banaue via SCTEX. The second time was on a rainy day and it was a long 12hrs drive… with lots of stops though. Night trip would be the best time to travel from manila to Banaue but I strongly advice not to travel at night anywhere in the mountain region. Toyota Innova is best for a long drive especially if you’re alone or three.
Banaue town is a good base for exploring the rice terraces in the mountain province such as the Batad, Bangaan, Sagada, etc.! The town basically a stretch of road along a mountain trail, within which there are other little networks of streets that go up and down the mountain that the town sits on. There is an assortment of budget guesthouse on the main strip in Banaue.
I always suggest Banaue view inn... They sit on top of a hill which has a very good view of the whole town. Problem with this place is they don’t have wi-fi and restaurant. I usually stay at my friend’s place… The Banaue Homestay. It’s is not in the center but the rooms is quite better than most. It is a home away from home for me and the place is quieter than those in the center. http://banauehomestay.weebly.com/rooms.html
Batad is the most popular terraces for its amphitheater landscape. It is about 21kms away from the Banaue.
One needs to ride a tricycle to Batad junction which is about 12kms on winding and bumpy roads. It takes about 45 minutes.
A trek uphill from junction to the saddle point. You can rent a jeep to saddle point for convenience. Foot trail along the side of the mountain from saddle point to Batad town is about 4kms. The accommodation in Batad is quite basic and not that many. There are five inns located on the hill overlooking the Batad Village.
For those who are out of shape, you can visit Bangaan village instead of Batad. It is a half hour trek to Bangaan.
Other sites not to be missed are the viewpoints in Banaue.
If your going to Banaue, you might wanna consider Sagada too. It would be a shame if you miss it. It has a unique atmosphere and has more activities to offer.
Will post soon for more pictures...