Adventures Destinations Highlight Trips Latest Post Philippines

Trekking in Banaue – An untouched Unesco World Heritage Area

By on 28. März 2017

Trekking in Banaue might be one of the best things you can do in Luzon – Philippines. The whole area is absolutely stunning and it was built thousands of years ago. It is such a remote place and you will feel like you have been set back in time. This UNESCO World Heritage area really impressed me right from the start. I have to admit, that I did not really know anything about it, but it was a great decision to go there and hike around the jungle.


Trekking in Banaue – An untouched Unesco World Heritage Area

Guys, just like always I have to say, that everything you will read in the following is based on my own opinion and experiences, that I have made. I can not say that I am an expert about Banaue and the area, but I think, if you go hiking for 2 days in such a unique area, you can see a fair bit and get a good impression, because you soak up everything as much as you can. Generally the Philippines have been absolutely amazing to me and trekking in Banaue was one of the best things I have done on this trip. So I tell you upfront – make sure to stop by!

Viewing the rice terraces of Batad

Trekking in Banaue – General information

Banaue is a small community in the north of Luzon. It is the island where you also find the capital – Manila. It lies in the jungle, surrounded by lots of mountains. Mt Amuyao (2628 m) is the highest one of them. The whole area is very wet and humid. So prepare for a sweaty experience. The rice terraces you can find there are older than 2.000 years. Especially the ones in Batad and Bagaan are really impressive.

At the bottom of a 2.000 year old rice terraces

It is still a pretty untouched area, even though tourism already took over. You only find small villages here and there. The whole region has 171 ethnolinguistic groups and once every 3 years the people have an ethnic festival, which is very important for the local culture. The native people wear fancy dresses, drink a lot of rice wine and celebrate for a good future. Nowerdays this festival is used to integrate the local people into the modern society and luckily not as a marketing instrument for the goverment.

Flowering rice terraces and a small village

Trekking in Banaue – How to get there

You have different opportunities to get to this beautiful place and do your trekking in Banaue. The most common one is to book a bus ride from Manila. That’s what we did. It will cost you about 450 peso (9 $) per person. If you get told in Asia, that a bus ride takes 8 hours, than be sure to plan for about 10 hours. It is never what they tell you 😉

Also make sure to bring some warm clothes, food, drinks and maybe even care products for the bus ride. They will stop 2 times on the way at some small kiosk/ food stops with toilettes, but these places don’t have western standards in any way. So you might be better off bringing your own stuff. Also wear warm clothes. The busses will be cold, because of the air conditioning.

On the way to Batad to do the trekking in Banaue

Another way to get there is buying/ booking your own scooter and drive all the way up by yourself. This has the positive effect, that you will see a lot more cool stuff along the way. You can also stop wherever you want. On the other hand it might be exhausting and it can get pretty ruff, especially with bad weather. If you do it this way, make sure to drive during daytime. Never drive at night in Asia. It can be quite dangerous (I have done that in Vietnam). Also be aware of your driving skills, because driving in Asia is waaay different than in the western world 😉

The busses you use to get to the trekking in Banaue

Trekking in Banaue – What to see

Now to the fun part 🙂 Trekking in Banaue is wonderful. When you arrive, you will most likely be brought to the tourist office. The local guide will show you, what you on a map what you can explore in the area. You can do various kinds of tours. It is up to you. Even though I usually do not like tours, I recommend to do one, because it is quite hard to get around.

The main spots to visit are the rice terraces of Banaue, Batad and Bagaan. The guide told us, that you can also see even older ones, if you do a 5 -7 day tour. They would guide you over the mountains to the most untouched spots you have probably ever seen.

Rice terraces during the trekking in Banaue

Rice terraces in Bagaan

We did a 2 day tour (2.000 peso per person – 40 $), which was absolutely fantastic. You will stay in one of the different small guest houses, which are very basic. We stayed in Batad View Inn. The owners are very, very friendly and you will have a phenominal view onto the rice terraces of Batad. Especially the sunrise is something you will never forget!

Eating at the “Batad View Inn” during the trekking in Banaue

Very basic ways to live

Along your way through the jungle, you will see all different kinds of plants and insects. In between you will come along some small shops with owners, who have rarely seen anything in their lifes besides their shop and home/ village. Very isolated living, but pretty cool in my opinion. They have the most peaceful lifes I guess 😉

Who you’ll meet in small villages during the trekking in Banaue

The Procedure

The first day we hiked about 6 hours to a completely untouched village in the middle of the mountains. They will cook you the most delicious meal, which is free of any chemicals or additives. One of the best meals I have ever had.

Such an awesome meal

Brilliant food in the middle of the jungle

What you see along the way

You will see some other rice terraces, small waterfalls, local shops, etc. along the way. Additionally you have to climb and walk on the edge of the rice terraces sometimes. It’s good fun 🙂 Make sure not to step over or you will get a huge fine, because you are not allowed to damage their property. The guide will explain you everything you want to know. How they plant everything, how people live there, the history, etc. Really cool!

It can get even narrower than this

Trekking in Banaue is quite difficult

The first day of trekking in Banaue with bad weather

On the second day we have been brought to the Tappiya Falls and the Bagaan rice terraces. Both places have been absolutely incredible. The size and the beauty of the rice terraces as well as the waterfall have been unbelievable for me. During the walk, you will also see some beautiful turquoise rivers. I think I have rarely seen a landscape like that before.

Wonderful landscape and rivers during the trekking in Banaue

Bagaan rice terraces from above

Tappiya Falls after a long hike

What a beautiful place

I have to admit that the tour is quite hard, even though I like hiking a lot. So make sure to mentally prepare for that a bit, when you go trekking in Banaue or anywhere in the area.

I can not say what impressed me the most. The caring people, the views, the hike itself, the food, the history or or or…

One of the most beautiful areas I have been to so far

Trekking in Banaue – What I have learned

The trekking in Banaue reminded me of something very valueble. At least it is for me… I guess you know this feeling of being really tired and anoyed of every single person on the planet. Your daily life pisses you off and you slowly get more angry or frustrated. The only thing you want, is to have some time off/ piece.

Most of us don’t stop when it is time to relax. We keep going on and on and on. This is just how our society works nowerdays. We get trained to do so. Not having a look at how you feel and what might be good for ourselfs in a certain situation. You have to keep pushing. We do it for our families, bosses, jobs, friends, etc.. We want to make them proud.

The “I” is secondary. Everything comes down to good performances and achievements. What a human beeing needs or wants is irrelevant. And exactly that causes a lot of damages for many people. Even physical and mental diseases…

Taking time off from the rat race

What you should do

From my point of view we all have to learn again, how to slow down. There is nothing bad about being ambitious or wanting to get the best out of your life/day. This is exactly the same mindset that I have as well. BUT we need to remind ourselfs, that we sometimes need breaks in order to recharge our batteries. Because after you have fully relaxed, you will be able to keep going even faster/ better with whatever you want to do.

It is just a good thing to do. For me, the trekking in Banaue helped me a lot to realize that again. Even though it is physically quite tuff, it was still a good mental recharge to just to keep walking through nature and to enjoy the enviroment.

At the end of the day, I can only say, that trekking in Banuae is really worth doing. Even though I have seen something pretty similar in Vietnam, I can say, that this tour was something that helped me a lot to focus again and it is something I will always remember.

Just go trekking in Banaue for a couple days and you will be good



Want to know more about Moalboal on Cebu? Read here





Christian "Volle" Vollmert
Hamburg, Germany

My name is Christian "Volle" Vollmert. I am a german dude, who loves travelling and exciting adventures from bottom of his heart. I want to inspire other people to get out of their comfort zone and travel the world. Plus I really want to show how much personal development as a human being comes along with it!

Check this out

Follow my journey
  • Driving along the east coast of Vietnam with a motorcycle is probably one of the coolest things you can do all over Southeast Asia... 😍😎
Would you agree when you see these kind of views??? .
#vietnam #roadtrips
  • One of the most amazing moments I have had in my life so far 😍
Seeing the rice terraces of Batad in Banaue 🌱
A UNESCO World Heritage site to simply fall in love with 💚
TELL ME: What was the best travel destination you have ever been to?
#travelgoals #travelmoments
  • Loving the streets of Copenhagen. One of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to! 😍🌍
🔽➡New Video on YouTube about the trip to Copenhagen - LINK IN BIO! ⬅🔼
#copenhagen #cityphotography
  • Whereever your path might take you,  always remember where you come from... 💙💪
#lovemycity #hometown
  • Sometimes you just gotta breave in and soak up all your beautiful surroundings 🙏
Especially, if you only have one day to spend at a new place! 😉
🔽➡ New blog post - how to spend 24h in Copenhagen. LINK IN BIO!!! ⬅🔼
#traveldenmark #denmark
  • Traveling really teaches you a lot of things
Especially when you are away for a longer term. But also short trips like my recent one to Copenhagen always help me to remember some lessons and show me some new ones
Traveling teaches you about other cultures, nature, other people, politics, human behaviors and ultimately about yourself
But just like anything in life, the great learnings don't just happen all of a sudden. You need to keep moving forward in order to get smarter and better at whatever you do
And if you want to become a better version yourself and learn as much as you can, then you have to work hard on your behaviour and always stay open minded
At the end of the day it's all about putting one foot in front of the other. Just never stop learning. And if you need a good teacher, start travelling as much as you can. Even if it's just for a short trip to Copenhagen... 😉
#travellessons #learnfromtravel
  • I didn't know that Copenhagen has castles that can make you feel like you are in an old fairy tale... 😍🏰
#surprisesurprise #copenhagen
  • Wandering around the colourful streets of Copenhagen just proved me once again, that I will never get enough of exploring new destinations 🌍😍
I just love it
It's the best thing ever and I can't get enough it 😊
It is just the best thing to do. We are not designed to stay in one place all the time to do the same boring things over and over again
We are made to go discover new places, see amazing spots we have never seen before and do things we have never done before
It's all about making as many days count as you possibly can❗
🔽 ➡ New post & video online. LINK IN BIO!! ⬅ 🔼
  • There is just nothing that can beat this, right? 😍🌴🌞
🔽➡ New blog post about the 6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia ⬅ 🔼
#philippines🇵🇭 #siquijor

Where to next