Sagada The Beautiful Mountains
During summer, lots of people head down to their favorite beach destination to soak up the sun and ride the waves. Others, however, prefer to escape the sweat-provoking tropical heat by climbing to high-altitude tourist spots where they can enjoy cooler, fresher scenery.
At 1500 meters above sea level, the picturesque town of Sagada in Mountain Province is the perfect summer getaway for those who can forego a tan just this once.
On The Road To The Mountains
Baguio City, which is much further down the mountains, has become one of the busiest and most peopled tourism hubs in Northern Luzon. Despite its distance from hectic Manila—six hours’ drive, to be exact—one can’t help but feel as if the mountain experience in Baguio is not all that serene.
For someone who wishes to go someplace with only the pine trees, clouds, and considerably fewer people for company, going further up the mountainous terrain is the only option. It’s a longer drive, true, but the view and the ambiance of Sagada is definitely worth the additional mileage.
It used to be that there was only a dirt track leading up to the town, but the upsurge of both foreign and local tourists has brought about a positive change in road work. Today, Hanselma Road, the main artery to Sagada, is mostly concreted.
Sagada is most popular for the breathtaking vistas atop the mountains in the area. The most stunning views are usually during the early morning, when the fog is cleared away with the heat of the rising sun.
You will see the verdant rolling mountains all around you and the town itself somewhere down below, with houses looking like so much small toys and roads resembling thin ribbons.
Up top, it feels as if you can really touch the clouds. Visibility is reduced to a few meters due to the thickness of the fog. There are guided tours specifically for climbing the mountains and viewing towers, so you should book one if you want to get the most out of your stay in Sagada.
The charming inns and guest houses also make for a different, but nonetheless pleasant, view. Most are made of local wood because hauling up construction materials to the town was quite difficult in the past. The furniture and decorations are likewise largely made from wood.
One With Nature
Instead of getting your feet wet, you will have to don your sturdiest and most comfortable walking shoes to climb the steep streets and trails that crisscross this charming town valley. Forget your stilettos and dress shoes for a while. Up here in Sagada, you will do lots and lots of walking because there are few public transport options.
In fact, there are no tricycles in the town, which only adds to the quiet, calming atmosphere of the area. It’s the ideal place to rest, meditate, relax, read, and sleep. If these are the kind of things you miss out on the most in your hometown, grab the chance to do them as much as you can while you’re in Sagada.
You won’t find any nightclubs or bars disrupting the silence of the night, so this is one place where you don’t have to stay up late partying. Instead, you can watch the stars dotting the sky, or listen to the hum of insects and birds in the lush forest.
During the day, you can also explore the many beautiful caves and waterfalls tucked away in hidden corners of the mountainsides. Camping is highly recommended if you wish to spend most of your time in the fresh outdoors, but remember to pack weather-appropriate wear to help you sleep through the chilly night.