Sagada with DIY Itinerary

2023 Ultimate Travel Guide to Sagada with DIY Itinerary & Budget

There’s no way you will not love the place and its people. I can’t remember how many times I’ve visited Sagada. As an adventure junkie myself, Sagada will always have a special place in my heart! So I created this Travel Guide to Sagada with DIY Itinerary & Budget that contains everything you need to know including where to stay, best things to do, where to eat, etc.

Sagada is a great place to try a lot of things including sea of clouds, trek to Marlboro Hills + Blue Soil, Sagada pottery and weaving, lemon pie, local food tag, spelunking, rice terraces, catching waterfalls, hanging coffins and immersing oneself in Sagada’s culture.

Sagada with DIY Itinerary
Mission Compound Graveyard at Echo Valley

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Getting to Know Sagada

The municipality of Sagada in the province of Mountain Province is popularly known for its rich culture, limestone caves, scenic rice terraces, refreshing waterfalls and sea of clouds.

Did you know? Sagada preserves its culture and destinations by not allowing foreign investors to their land. For instance, you won’t be able to see establishments like Jollibee or McDonald’s in Sagada. Our tour guide Kuya Rafy gladly shared this trivia to us.

  • People & Language – the local residents of Sagada are Igorots /Kankana-eys who speak a language called Kankana-ey. Most people can also speak Tagalog and English so don’t worry if you need to ask for directions.
  • Currency – the currency accepted in Sagada is Philippine Peso (PHP). Some establishments like restaurants accept online payments like Cash, bank transfer and credit cards.
  • Best month to visit – the coldest month of the year in Sagada is January. Moreover, Sagada has 2 seasons – rainy and dry. Hence, the best time to visit Sagada is during dry season from November – April and the lean season is during the rainy months of May – October.

How to get to Sagada DIY way?

If you are not traveling in a time-sensitive manner, I highly recommend P2P Bus from Cubao to Sagada. The time of departure is at 8:00PM and travel time is 12 hours.

Otherwise, you can follow the DIY steps below to get to Sagada.

Step 1: Manila to Baguio by bus. Ride a bus in Cubao going to Baguio City. The fare is Php550.00 – 720.00 depending on which bus line you will choose. Travel time is 7-8 hours.

Step 2: Upon arriving in Baguio, take a taxi cab to GL Trans Terminal. Then ride a bus to Sagada for Php220.00 and travel time is about 6 hours. Take note that the earliest schedule is at 5:30am and latest schedule is 1pm. Make sure to be in Baguio before lunch time.

Step 3: Proceed to the Tourism Office located in the town proper just beside the Police Station. Hire a local guide and pay the registration

Where to Eat in Sagada?

I highly recommend trying the best lemon pie in town! The Lemon Pie House is located in the town proper of Sagada. Additionally, another favorite go-to restaurant is Sagada Brew which is about 2 minutes walking distance from Lemon Pie House.

For sea of clouds and sunrise viewing, there is no other place to go but the Reversed House. Wait for the sunrise while having a cup of coffee or choco of your choice.

Local food to try in Sagada

I also suggest local food etag and pinikpikan. These 2 local delicacies are famous in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). To give you a bit of information, etag is the native’s traditional way of preserving pork a slice of pork cured in salt for weeks and then air-dried under the sun or smoked for weeks.

Moreover, pinikpikan is also a traditional soup dish wish is a combination of chicken and etag. You can also find this dish served in local karinderyas in Sagada.

Where to Stay in Sagada?

  1. BOOK ROOMS AT REDDOORZ SUNRISE VIEW SAGADA FOR PHP1,300.00 GOOD FOR 2

2. BOOK ROOMS AT AJJAA’S PLACE FOR PHP850.00 GOOD FOR 2

3. BOOK ROOMS AT WAGAZ HOMESTAY AND CAFE FOR PHP1,000.00 GOOD FOR 2

If you have budget for accommodation, I recommend staying in Sagada Heritage Village.

4. BOOK ROOMS AT SAGADA HERITAGE VILLAGE

Best Things to do in Sagada

If it’s your first time in Sagada and you’re only staying for a limited time, my top 3 recommended places to visit are (1) Echo Valley’s Hanging Coffins, (2) Sumaguing Cave and (3) Marlboro Hills + Blue Soil. And for food, do not miss out Lemon Pie House and sunrise in the reversed house.

Try Spelunking in Sumaguing Cave

Also known as the The Big Cave in Sagada Sumaguing Cave is a good place to try spelunking for beginners. The activity will last for 1.5-3 hours depending on your group’s pacing. Explore the limestone cave and check out the mysterious rock formations inside.

Read separate article here: Sumaguing Cave Travel Guide & Expenses

Travel Guide to Sagada
Sagada with DIY Itinerary

Chasing Waterfalls

Did I mention that Sagada is a complete package? For minor trekking, rice terraces and waterfalls adventure you might want to check out the biggest falls in Sagada which is Bomod-ok Falls. Bathe in its refreshing pool of water after 45 minutes of trekking down.

Read separate article here: Bomod-ok Falls Travel Guide & Expenses

Sagada with DIY Itinerary
Bomod-ok Falls
Travel Guide to Sagada
Rice Terraces to Bomod-ok Falls

Trek to Marlboro Hills + Blue Soil

One of my favorite destinations in Sagada are (1) Marlboro Hills and (2) Blue Soil. I’ve visited these places twice and I’ll gladly do it again! The trek to Marlboro Hills and Blue Soil is easy and good for beginners. Best time to trek to Marlboro Hills is early in the morning at 4am so you’ll arrive just in time for sun rise and sea of clouds.

Read separate article here: Marlboro Hills + Blue Soil Travel Guide & Expenses

Sagada blue soil
Sagada’s Blue Soil
Sagada budget
Marlboro Hills sea of clouds

Check the Hanging Coffins of Echo Valley

You’ve never really been to Sagada if you didn’t see the hanging coffins of Echo Valley. One of the reasons why Sagada is a top visited destination is because of its unique and rich culture and traditions. For instance, the hanging coffins is their traditional way for their dead.

Echo Valley’s hanging coffins are places high on cliffs while century-old coffins are stacked and piled up in burial sites like Lumiang Cave.

Sagada with DIY Itinerary
Sagada Budget
St. Mary’s Church

Sunrise and Sea of Clouds at Reversed House

If you’ll stay in Sagada for more than 2 days, I highly recommend breakfast at Reversed House. This is also a good place for sunrise, coffee and sea of clouds.

Try Lemon Pie

If you are a foodie, the lemon pie of Sagada is one thing you should never miss out. I always grab a bite or buy a box of lemon pie whenever I visit Sagada. I just love this pie so much because it’s a combination of sweet and sour taste. Moreover, the Lemon Pie House is located in the town center so it’s easy to find it.

lemon pie house sagada

Visit the Wrecked Bus

Literally a wrecked bus which every now and then the youngsters of Sagada paints it differently. I can describe it as very similar to a freedom wall where people can vandalize and paint whatever they want. It’s free access and the best time to go here is at 6-7am for better chances of a foggy and dreamy vibe like that of Taylor Swift’s Folklore.

Complete List of Sagada Activity Rates

Below are the updated destination list with entrance fee, guide fee and shuttle fee. Guide fee is good for 5-10 pax. (Updated as of April 2023)

Entrance Fee:Guide Fee:Shuttle Fee:
Paytokan WalkPhp10.00Php1,000.00None
Echo ValleyPhp10.00Php300.00None
Bukong FallsNonePhp300.00None
Nabas-ang AmpacaoNonePhp1,200.00Php650.00
Marlboro Hills + Blue SoilNonePhp1,600.00Php650.00
Marlboro Hills onlyNonePhp800.00Php650.00
Blue Soil onlyNonePhp800.00Php650.00
Sumaguing CaveNonePhp800.00Php400.00
Cave ConnectionNonePhp1,500.00Php400.00
Lumiang EntranceNonePhp300.00Php400.00
Bomod-ok FallsPhp10.00Php500.00Php650.00
Pongas FallsPhp10.00Php600.00Php650.00
Balangagan CaveNonePhp650.00Php650.00

Important note: an additional Php250.00 will be added to the shuttle fee with the accommodations far from the town center.

Sample Sagada with DIY Itinerary & Expenses

Below are sample Sagada DIY itineraries with budget for 2 person. Please take note that some expenses like accommodation and food are only estimated costs. It still depends on where you will choose to eat and stay for overnight. Extra pocket money and transportation within Sagada is not included in the total cost. Prepare Php30.00 each for jeepney transportations around Sagada.

Upon arriving in Sagada, proceed directly to the Tourism Office and pay the fees for the activities you are planning to do. If you are going to follow the suggested itinerary below, make sure to pay all the fees for the activities included on the itinerary.

Sample Day Tour Sagada Itineray

DAY 0 (CUBAO TO SAGADA)ACTIVITYPRICE
8:00PMP2P Bus to SagadaPHP1,240.00/pax
DAY 1 SAGADA
8:00AMTourist Registration FeePhp100.00/pax
8:30-10:00AMEcho Valley/Hanging Coffins + St. Mary’s ChurchPhp300.00/group
10:30-12:30PMSumaguing CavePhp800.00/group
12:30-1:30PMLUNCH at Lemon Pie House / Sagada BreweryPhp200.00/pax
1:30PMVisit Sagada Pottery and Sagada Weaving
3:00PMVisit the wrecked bus and Reversed House
5:00PMETD Sagada to BaguioPhp500.00/pax
9:30PMETA Baguio

TOTAL EXPENSES PER PERSON: PHP2,590.00 excluding other miscellaneous fees
Note: expenses are divided into 2 (group of 2 travelers)

Sample 2 Days 1 Night Sagada Itinerary

DAY 0 (CUBAO TO SAGADA)ACTIVITYPRICE
8:00PMP2P Bus to SagadaPHP1,240.00/pax
DAY 1 SAGADA
8:00AMTourist Registration FeePhp100.00/pax
8:30-10:00AMEcho Valley/Hanging Coffins + St. Mary’s ChurchPhp300.00/group
10:15AMShuttle Service from homestay to Sumaguing CavePhp400.00/group
10:30-12:30PMSumaguing CavePhp800.00/group
12:30-1:30PMLUNCH & check in at homestayPhp500.00/pax
1:30PMShuttle service from homestay to Bomod-ok jump offPhp650.00/group
3:00-6:00PMBomod-ok FallsPhp500.00/group
7:00PMWash up, dinner, socialsPhp200.00/pax
9:00PMLights out
DAY 2 SAGADA
3:00AMWake up time, prepare things
4:00AMShuttle service from homestay to Marlboro Hills jump offPhp650.00/group
4:20-8:30AMMarlboro Hills + Blue SoilPhp1,600.00/group
9:00AMBack at homestay, freshen up, early check out
10:00AMBuy pasalubong at Sagada Weaving, Sagada Pottery, Wrecked Bus
11:30AMLUNCH at Lemon Pie House/Sagada BreweryPhp200.00/pax
1:00PMP2P BUS TO MANILAPHP1,240.00
1:00AM THE NEXT DAYETA CUBAO ***end of tour***

TOTAL EXPENSES PER PERSON: PHP5,920.00 excluding other miscellaneous fees
Note: expenses are divided into 2 (group of 2 travelers)

Sample 3 Days 2 Nights Sagada Itinerary

DAY 0 (CUBAO TO SAGADA)ACTIVITYPRICE
8:00PMP2P Bus to SagadaPHP1,240.00/pax
DAY 1 SAGADA
8:00AMTourist Registration FeePhp100.00/pax
9:00-11:00AMEcho Valley/Hanging Coffins + St. Mary’s ChurchPhp300.00/group
11-1:00PMLUNCH at Sagada Brewery & check in at homestayPhp500.00/pax
1-1:30PMShuttle service from homestay to Sumaguing CavePhp400.00/group
2-4:30PMSumagung Cave SpelunkingPhp800.00/group
5:00PMBack at homestay, wash up
7:00PMSocials, bonfire
9:00PMLights out
DAY 2 SAGADA
5:00AMWake up time
5:45AMBreakfast and sun rise at Reversed housePhp200.00/pax
6:45AMVisit the wrecked bus
8:00AMShuttle service from homestay to Bomod-ok Falls Php650.00/group
8:30-12:00NNTrek to Bomod-ok FallsPhp500.00/group
12:30PMBack at homestay, wash upPhp500.00/pax
2:00PMLate lunchPhp200.00/pax
3-5:00PMVisit Sagada Pottery and Sagada Weaving
6:00PMDinner, socialsPhp200.00/pax
9:00PMLights out
DAY 3 SAGADAShuttle service to Bomod-ok Falls
3:00AMWake up time, prepare things
4:00AMShuttle service from homestay to Marlboro Hills jump-off pointPhp650.00/group
4:20-8:30AMTrek to Marlboro Hills + Blue SoilPhp1,600.00/group
9:00AMBack at homestay, freshen up, rest
11:00AMEarly lunchPhp200.00
1:00PMP2P BUS TO MANILAPhp1,240.00
1:00AM THE NEXT DAYETA Cubao ***end of tour***

TOTAL EXPENSES PER PERSON: PHP6,810.00 excluding other miscellaneous fees
Note: expenses are divided into 2 (group of 2 travelers)

Tips From Joan’s Footprints

  • Travel with a group! This way you can minimize expenses because you can split the guide fees. Best to travel with 3-4 friends with you.
  • Bring dri-fit clothes for trekking and spelunking.
  • Bring flashlights.
  • GCASH is widely accepted in many establishments but still bring enough cash with you.
  • Bring a humble attitude, do not throw your garbage anywhere.

Help me improve my Travel Guide to Sagada! By commenting suggestions in the comment section below, I am very open to new ideas. 
Drone shots by Milo Quinantoto.
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