Getting To And From Banaue From Baguio City - Philippines
Banaue, further up north of Luzon from Baguio, is another popular destination for the adventurous traveler who has the knack for exploring rugged terrains. Banaue is a fourth class municipality in the province of Ifugao. It is most famous for the Banaue Rice Terraces, an engineering marvel dating back 2,000 years ago. The two terrace clusters, Bangaas and Batad, has been delared a UNESCO world heritage site, and its beauty has inspired the popular adage "where land merges with the clouds to meet the heavens" with the rice terraces dubbed as "the stairway to the sky."
There are a number of ways to get to Banaue, but the most familiar route is the one coming from Baguio City. Baguio City is the administrative seat of the Cordillera Autonomous Region and therefore the hop-in point for people who wish to visit Banaue and its famed rice terraces. Visitors coming from Manila also take advantage of the Baguio stopover as a sort of pit-stop, preparing them for the long and somewhat arduous journey to Banaue. The road to Banaue from Baguio, to prepare the first time visitor, is a mixture of great scenery and bad roads.
There are a number of buses that leave for Bontoc in the main bus terminal in Baguio, located just off Session road (to the right, behind SM mall). You may opt to board a mini-bus (more popular with the locals lugging chicken or veggies), or the more comfortable full-size buses (Rising Sun or GL Tans). Trips are scheduled every hour from 5 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon daily. The most common drop-off point is in Bontoc, and from there it’s another 2 and a half or three hours to Banaue via bus or jeepney (100 pesos, one way). If you are not sure about the fare, you may ask the locals that you will be traveling with, and they’d always be glad to share the information with you. If you are wondering about the “station”, it’s just where the bus happens be at the main road. The earliest bus leaves at 6 in the morning, and I heard that another bus leaves every hour up to 2 in the afternoon.
You may also get to Bontoc by taking the trip from either Slaughter House or at the back of Centermall, known as Dangwa Terminal. The bus route will likewise take you through the Halsema Highway. Bontoc, it is worth noting, is the place where direct links going back to Baguio or onward to Sagada, can be found.