A Walk around Sagada Philippines

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A Walk around Sagada Philippines


Sagada comes as a welcome relief to the traveler in the Philippines. Located high in the central Cordilleras Mountains of northern Luzon, it has a distinct history as well. Reachable by bus from Manila in about 12 hours, Sagada has become popular (but not too popular) with foreign backpackers and tourists from Manila. It still has an overall sedate (maybe something to do with the plethora of local, but still illegal, marijuana) feel, with enough guesthouses and cafés to keep visitors happy, but enough of a local population to keep Sagada feeling like a legit mountain town.



During the Franco years, Sagada acted as a sort of refuge for artists and intellectuals. The area is also known for its burial practices in the form of hanging coffins. There are also caves nearby, rock climbing, waterfalls, and swimming holes.


After suffering through the congestion and pollution of Filipino cities, Sagada, was a godsend. I took long walks through the tall pines, and enjoyed the quiet evenings and mornings sitting on my guesthouse’s balcony. I swam alongside the local kids under the cool Bokong waterfall and hiked out to the incredible Kiltpan vista of the rice terraces (it’s recommended to go there for sunrise, but I didn’t).


Check out more photos from Sagada below and use the small town as an escape and for recuperation when traveling in the Philippines. Due to its pleasant nature and ample budget accommodation, Sagada also makes a nice short home base for digital nomads. But be forewarned: the internet is slower than the bus that takes you to Sagada.


Rice paddies near Sagada in the mountains of the Philippines.


Visitors snap a photo with the hanging coffins of Sagada.


Swimming at the waterfall at Bokong in Sagada.


view over Sagada Philipines (2)


rice paddies Sagada (3)


rice paddies Sagada (2)


view of rice terraces near Sagada

View of the rice terraces from Kiltpan near Sagada Philippines.


view of rice terraces near Sagada (4)

The view of the rice terraces from Kiltpan.


waterfall near Sagada

Swimming in the swimming hole on a hot afternoon.


Sagada Philippines

The famous hanging coffins of Sagada Philippines


sagada philippines

My morning coffee with a view over Sagada, the Philippines.


view near Sagada Philipines

Me standing at the Kiltpan overlook.


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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine GoMadNomad.com. He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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