Mountain Province Travel Guide

Overview of Mountain Province

The hanging coffins in Mountain Province that contain the mummified remains of the native forefathers are its most famous feature. Other attractions include many historical locations like the Dap-ay or Ato, where tribal elders still gather to discuss issues and concerns today, and the several tribal festivals that anyone can attend, such as the Lang-ay Cultural Festival. Learn to weave native baskets and textiles while you hone your art and talents. Bring a few items home as mementos.

Where to Go

Banaue Rice Terraces

Marvel at the awe-inspiring beauty of the Banaue Rice Terraces, often referred to as the "Eighth Wonder of the World." These ancient terraces, carved into the mountainside over 2,000 years ago by the Ifugao indigenous people, showcase the ingenuity and engineering prowess of the local community. Visitors can trek through the terraces, interact with locals, and learn about the traditional farming methods that have sustained the Ifugao people for generations.


Explore the charming town of Sagada, known for its stunning landscapes, caves, and cultural heritage. Visit the iconic Hanging Coffins, a traditional burial practice where coffins are suspended on cliffs, and explore the intricate cave systems such as Sumaguing Cave and Lumiang Cave. Sagada is also famous for its breathtaking sunrise views at Kiltepan Peak and its vibrant arts and crafts scene.

Bontoc Museum

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the Mountain Province at the Bontoc Museum. The museum houses a diverse collection of artifacts, photographs, and exhibits showcasing the traditional way of life, customs, and rituals of the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera region. Visitors can learn about the history, beliefs, and traditions of the Igorot people and gain insights into their cultural practices and artistic expressions.

Mt. Province State Polytechnic College Museum

Delve into the history and heritage of the Mountain Province at the Mt. Province State Polytechnic College Museum in Bontoc. The museum features exhibits on the province's archaeology, anthropology, and ethnography, including artifacts, tools, and cultural artifacts from various indigenous tribes. Visitors can learn about the region's pre-colonial history, colonial period, and contemporary issues facing the indigenous communities.

Maligcong Rice Terraces

Discover the scenic beauty of the Maligcong Rice Terraces, located in the municipality of Bontoc. These terraces are known for their intricate stone walls, lush greenery, and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Visitors can hike through the terraces, interact with local farmers, and learn about the traditional agricultural practices and rituals of the indigenous communities.


Explore the remote and picturesque municipality of Barlig, known for its pristine natural beauty and cultural heritage. Barlig offers opportunities for trekking, hiking, and eco-tourism, with scenic trails leading to waterfalls, hot springs, and traditional villages. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local way of life, participate in community activities, and learn about the unique customs and traditions of the indigenous tribes.

What to Do

Trekking and Hiking

Embark on scenic treks and hikes through Mountain Province's breathtaking landscapes, including the iconic Banaue Rice Terraces, Maligcong Rice Terraces, and surrounding mountains. Explore picturesque trails that wind through lush forests, terraced fields, and traditional villages, offering panoramic views of the stunning scenery. Whether you're a seasoned trekker or a casual hiker, Mountain Province offers trails of varying difficulty levels, ensuring an unforgettable outdoor adventure for all.

Cave Exploration

Discover the fascinating underground world of Mountain Province by exploring its intricate cave systems, such as Sumaguing Cave and Lumiang Cave in Sagada. Join guided spelunking tours that take you deep into the caves, where you can marvel at impressive rock formations, underground rivers, and ancient burial sites. Adventure seekers can also try activities like cave rappelling and cave tubing for an adrenaline-pumping experience unlike any other.

Cultural Immersion

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and traditions of the indigenous tribes of Mountain Province by participating in cultural activities and interacting with local communities. Attend traditional rituals, ceremonies, and festivals that celebrate the region's rich heritage, such as the Panag-apoy Festival in Sagada or the Lang-ay Festival in Bontoc. Engage with locals, learn about their customs and beliefs, and gain insights into their way of life through homestay experiences, cultural tours, and workshops on traditional crafts and practices.

Visit Museums and Heritage Sites

Explore Mountain Province's fascinating history and heritage by visiting museums and heritage sites that showcase the region's cultural and archaeological treasures. Learn about the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera region at museums like the Bontoc Museum and the Mt. Province State Polytechnic College Museum, which house collections of artifacts, photographs, and exhibits on Ifugao culture, traditions, and way of life. Additionally, explore heritage sites such as the ancient burial caves and hanging coffins of Sagada, which offer insights into the region's unique burial practices and rituals.

Adventure Activities

Experience adrenaline-pumping adventure activities in Mountain Province, such as rock climbing, zip-lining, and white-water rafting. Test your skills and endurance on challenging rock faces and cliffs, soar through the air on zip-lines that offer panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, or navigate the rapids of the Chico River for an exhilarating river rafting adventure. Mountain Province's rugged terrain and pristine natural landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for thrilling outdoor adventures.

When is the Best Time to Visit Mountain Province

During the dry season, which typically spans from November to April, Mountain Province enjoys sunny weather with minimal rainfall. This period is considered the peak tourist season, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as trekking, hiking, and cultural exploration. The dry season offers clear skies and pleasant temperatures, creating optimal conditions for sightseeing and photography.

Conversely, the wet season in Mountain Province occurs from May to October, characterised by increased rainfall and occasional typhoons. While the wet season may not be as popular among tourists, it offers its own unique charm and advantages. The lush landscapes become even more vibrant during this time, with terraced fields glistening in the rain and waterfalls flowing at their fullest. Additionally, the wet season brings fewer crowds and lower accommodation rates, making it an excellent opportunity for budget-conscious travellers to explore Mountain Province's natural beauty and cultural heritage without the hustle and bustle of peak tourist season.

How to Get to Mountain Province

By Air

The most convenient way to reach Mountain Province is by flying to the nearest airports, such as Baguio-Loakan Airport (BAG) or Cauayan Airport (CYZ). From Baguio-Loakan Airport, travellers can take a taxi or arrange for private transportation to Mountain Province, which is approximately a 6 to 7-hour drive depending on the specific destination within the province.

By Sea

Since Mountain Province is a landlocked province and does not have direct access to the sea, traveling by sea is not a direct option. However, travellers coming from nearby provinces with access to the sea, such as Pangasinan or La Union, can take a ferry or boat to reach ports in neighbouring provinces like Cagayan or Isabela. From there, travellers can continue their journey to Mountain Province by land transportation, such as buses or private vehicles.

By Car / Bus

Traveling to Mountain Province by land transportation, such as cars or buses, is a common option for visitors coming from various parts of Luzon Island. Mountain Province is accessible by road from major cities like Baguio, Manila, and Clark, with well-maintained highways and roads connecting these areas to the province.

Travellers can either drive their own vehicles or take buses operated by various transportation companies that offer regular routes to Mountain Province from major cities and towns.

How to Get Around

By Taxi / Ride-Sharing Services

While taxi services may be limited in Mountain Province compared to urban areas, travellers can still find taxis available in major towns such as Bontoc and Sagada. Additionally, ride-sharing services like Grab may operate in some parts of the province, offering convenient transportation options for travellers.

By Car / Motorcycle

Renting a car or motorcycle is an excellent option for travellers who prefer more flexibility and independence in exploring Mountain Province's attractions and landscapes. Several rental companies offer vehicles for hire in major towns like Bontoc and Sagada, allowing travellers to choose the option that best suits their needs and preferences. Having your own vehicle allows you to explore at your own pace and visit off-the-beaten-path destinations.

What to Eat

Local Food

Experience the delectable local cuisine of Mountain Province by relishing delicacies at popular eateries like Fia's Sizzling House, Sagada Bistro, and Happy House Restaurant.

Fresh Seafood

Travellers exploring the areas will discover a plethora of seafood restaurants and eateries offering a diverse selection of ocean-fresh delights. Among them are D' Hunter's Town Restaurant, Anayah's Restaurant, and Salt N Pepper.

Western Food

In Mountain Province, several restaurants offer a delectable array of Western cuisine, providing a delightful contrast to the local flavours. Establishments like Rockwall Restaurant, Happy House Restaurant and Log Cabin Sagada.

What to Buy

When exploring Mountain Province, travellers can purchase a variety of unique souvenirs and handicrafts that showcase the region's rich cultural heritage and skilled craftsmanship. Popular items include handwoven textiles such as blankets and fabrics, intricately carved wooden statues and handicrafts depicting traditional symbols and motifs, and locally-made jewellery crafted from indigenous materials.

Travellers can find a wide range of locally-produced goods such as coffee, honey, and traditional snacks, as well as intricately woven baskets and bags.

Where to Stay

In Mountain Province, visitors can find a variety of accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to more upscale resorts, catering to different preferences and budgets. Options include cozy bed and breakfasts, comfortable hotels, rustic lodges, and charming homestays, allowing travelers to choose accommodations that best suit their needs and preferences.

Popular areas to stay include Bontoc, Sagada, and Banaue, where accommodations offer convenient access to key attractions such as the Banaue Rice Terraces, Sagada's caves, and the museums in Bontoc. Many accommodations also offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and landscapes, providing a tranquil retreat after a day of exploration in Mountain Province. It's advisable to book accommodations in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to ensure availability and secure the best rates for your stay in this captivating region.

What to Bring

  • Bring sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun's rays.
  • Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are ideal for beach outings, while a pair of sturdy walking shoes may be useful for hiking or exploring.
  • If visiting during the wet season, a compact umbrella and a lightweight rain jacket can come in handy.
  • Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle, particularly if you're engaging in outdoor activities.
  • Ensure your electronic devices stay charged by bringing the necessary travel adapters.
  • While there are ATMs in urban areas, having some local currency can be useful, especially in more remote locations.

What to Wear

For your journey to Mountain Province, it is advised to pack lightweight and comfortable attire, taking into account the tropical climate. Choose breathable materials such as cotton and linen to remain cool in the heat.

Bring swimwear for beach outings, and consider modest clothing when visiting religious sites. Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are suitable for casual outings, while a pair of sturdy walking shoes may be useful if you plan to explore nature reserves or hike.

Things to Note

  • Stay hydrated, especially in the warm weather, and use sunscreen to protect against the sun. Consider bringing insect repellent, particularly if you plan to explore nature reserves.
  • The local currency is the Philippine Peso (PHP). While ATMs are available in urban areas, it's advisable to have some local currency on hand, especially in more remote locations.
  • Keep a list of important contacts, including the local emergency numbers, contact information for your accommodation, and the nearest embassy or consulate.
  • Filipino and English are widely spoken, but learning a few basic Filipino phrases can enhance your travel experience and interactions with locals.

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