Apayao Travel Guide

Itinerary, Things to do, How to get there and more

Apayao, a landlocked province in the northernmost tip of Luzon mainland is previously a part of the single province, Kalinga-Apayao. The passing of RA Act No. 7878 in 1995 separated Kalinga-Apayao into 2 independent provinces: Kalinga and Apayao. Apayao is the least populated province in the Philippines. It is composed of 7 municipalities with Kabugao as its capital. It is bounded by the provinces of Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Abra and Kalinga. Apayao is divided into 2 regions – the Upland Apayao and Lowland Apayao. Its people are called “Isnag” and their land is devoted to agriculture. For the past 23 years, Apayao continues to grow, boasting its very own natural wonders and was given the title “Cordillera’s Last Frontier for Nature Richness.”

Where to go in Apayao

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Agamata Park

Calanasan (bayag), Apayao, Cordillera Administrative Region, 3814, Philippines

Anganupan Cave

Kabugao (capital), Apayao, Cordillera Administrative Region, 3809, Philippines

Apayao River

Calanasan (bayag), Apayao, Cordillera Administrative Region, 3814, Philippines

Awihan Falls

Kabugao (capital), Apayao, Cordillera Administrative Region, 3809, Philippines

Bacut Dam

Santa Marcela, Apayao, Cordillera Administrative Region, 3811, Philippines

Balasig Falls

Badduat Kabugao (capital), Apayao, Cordillera Administrative Region, 3809, Philippines

Bayugao Lake

Kabugao (capital), Apayao, Cordillera Administrative Region, 3809, Philippines

How to Get Here

Even though Kabugao is the capital town of Apayao, its capitol building is located in Luna, and where one should start to get to know and discover this exciting eco-tourism destination.

From Manila: There are buses plying the route Manila-Junction Luna. Travel time is around 11-12 hours. GV Florida Transport has sleeper bus that departs at 9PM daily from their Cubao terminal with a fare of Php 1,290.00 per way. At Junction Luna Terminal, ride a tricycle going to Luna town proper. Travel time is approximately 15 minutes.

From Laoag: There are daily PAL and Cebu Pacific flights to Laoag International Airport. From the airport, ride a tricycle or jeepney going to the city proper where there are buses and vans bound to Tuguegarao or directly to Junction Luna. Travel time is 3-4 hours. Alight at Junction Luna and ride a tricycle bound to Luna Poblacion. Tricycle fare is Php 30.00 per person.

Popular Food

This is a native course cooked in a young bamboo stem. It is mixed with either atang (gabi leaves and stalk), tuka (frog), iwa (eel), palilang (goby, a species of fish), tangingi (bean pods) and other combinations and enjoyed best with lots of sili.

(c) @sherylanneflorence /

Sagket is the native bagoong of the people of Apayao made by preserving palilang for a number of days and eventually cooked with sili and vegetables.

Serve as an appetizer, pinaltit is ground pork cooked with coconut milk, chilli powder and pomelo leaves cut in thin strips.

(c) @mampachi /

Found in rivers and creeks, agurong are mollusk with elongated spiral shell often cooked with coconut milk and vegetables.

(c) @kaishanequirante /

What to Do

Explore the Spanish church ruins
Aside from its natural wonders, Apayao has a beautiful old church ruins that tells the province’s rich history. Built in 1684, Mataguisi Church’s walls were made of stones quarried from the river but was abandoned in 18th century, and eventually deteriorated. The church now stands as beautiful ruins -- a testament of the Spanish settlement in the province.
Go spelunking
The province is home to a number of fascinating caves that will really pique the interest of avid spelunkers. In the municipality of Luna alone, there are already 3 impressive caves worthy to explore.
Trek its mountains
Challenge yourself and conquer the province’s highest peak which is considered a difficult hike even for accomplished mountain climber.
Take a swim
Apayao is a great swimming destination in the Cordilleras. It has unspoiled natural gems for those who are into water-based fun – crystal clear rivers, cold waterfalls and serene lakes that promise great, unforgettable adventures.