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Mountain Province Travel Guide

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

Located in the Cordilleras, Mountain Province was named so for its location in the Cordillera Central Mountain Ranges, the Philippines’ biggest and highest chains of mountains. Consisting of 10 municipalities, with Bontoc as its capital, it is bordered by the provinces of Kalinga, Ifugao, Benguet, Ilocos and Abra. The Philippines’ version of Shangri-la, Sagada, is the number one tourist destination in the province and known for its mummy caves and hanging coffins. Mountain Province was used to be the collective name of provinces in the region. It was then divided into 4 independent provinces in 1967 and Mountain Province was declared as one. The province is blessed with panoramic sceneries -- rivers, waterfalls, caves and mountains. It is home to two of the highest mountains in the country, Mount Kalawitan and Mount Amuyao.

Where to go in Mountain Province

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Abatan Grotto and Tree Park

Bauko, Mountain Province, Cordillera Administrative Region, 2621, Philippines

Allob Waterfalls

Barlig, Mountain Province, Cordillera Administrative Region, 2623, Philippines

Amchuwichun Falls

Barlig, Mountain Province, Cordillera Administrative Region, 2623, Philippines

Amfitayok Waterfalls

Barlig, Mountain Province, Cordillera Administrative Region, 2623, Philippines

Angoten Cave

Sadanga, Mountain Province, Cordillera Administrative Region, 2617, Philippines

Apa Camp Site

Sabangan, Mountain Province, Cordillera Administrative Region, 2622, Philippines

Apatan Rice Terraces

Natonin, Mountain Province, Cordillera Administrative Region, 2624, Philippines

Balanganan Cave

Sagada, Mountain Province, Cordillera Administrative Region, 2619, Philippines

Balew Rice Terraces

Bauko, Mountain Province, Cordillera Administrative Region, 2621, Philippines

Bana-ao Falls

Tadian, Mountain Province, Cordillera Administrative Region, 2620, Philippines

How to Get Here

GETTING HERE
Mountain Province is synonymous to Sagada where the world famous hanging coffins are located. It takes roughly 12-14 hours of land travel to reach this quaint, beautiful town.

CODA Lines, with terminal in Cubao, Quezon City, offers direct trips to Sagada. One way fare is Php 720.00 per person.

Northbound buses like Victory Liner, Dagupan Bus and Philippine Rabbit have regular trips to the Summer Capital, Baguio City, for a fare of Php 445.00. From Baguio, take a cab to the bus terminal headed to Sagada. Taxi fare is around Php 70.00. Buses going to Sagada depart every hour; fare costs Php 220.00 per person.

Another way of reaching Sagada is taking the Manila-Banaue-Bontoc-Sagada route. Ride a Ohayami Bus en route to Banaue, Ifugao. These buses leave its terminal located in Sampaloc at 9PM, 10Pm and 10:15PM. One way trip costs Php 450.00. Once in Banaue, there are vans and jeepneys offering transfer to Sagada with fare of Php 150.00 for jeepneys and Php 300.00 for vans.

Via Bontoc: From Banaue, van transfer costs Php150.00. There are jeepneys in Bontoc Town Proper that leave for Sagada from 6:30AM until 1PM. Jeepney fare is Php 45.00.

Popular Food

Etag is the general term in the Cordilleras about its traditional way of preserving pork. The meat is cured in salt, air-dried or smoked using the wood of the tree alnos. Etag is cooked by grilling and served with hot rice or used as main ingredient in native vegetable dishes.

(c) @bmacliingamangay / instagram.com

Sagada’s famous lemon pie uses lemons grown in the area. Every bite is a perfect combination of sweetness and citrus flavour that goes well with a cup coffee or lemon tea.

(c) @frejerels / instagram.com

Pinikpikan is a warm and hearty chicken soup dish popular in the region and among the Igorots. It is cooked similar to nilaga or tinola, and etag is added to the broth, giving it a much bolder and smoky taste. Best paired with organic rice for a healthier option.

(c) @janny_labs / instagram.com

A traditional beverage that originated in Mountain Province, tapuy is an alcoholic rice drink. This clear full-bodied wine is usually served on special occasions such as weddings, fiestas and rice harvesting ceremonies.

(c) @ms.charmainesajonas / instagram.com

What to Do

Go on a hiking adventure
Mountain Province is a hiker’s paradise -- conquer Sagada’s highest peak, Mount Ampacao or hike to the summits of Mount Polis and Mount Pagturao and be spellbound with the panoramic view of Chico River.
Learn and shop for earthenware and hand-woven items
The Sagada Pottery and textile weaving workshop are interesting activities where artisans of Sagada demonstrates their fascinating skills. Numerous lovely items can be purchased as souvenirs on both places.
Take a chilling dip in the province’s waterfalls
Mountain Province is endowed with impressive waterfalls scattered all over its expanse. Surrounded by cliffs, boulders, rocks and thick greenery, each waterfall has its own beauty to gloat. Truly, Mountain Province is an exciting destination for water-based fun!
Sample the local cuisine
From the intriguing taste of etag, the comforting broth of pinikpikan, the delightful sweetness of lemon pie and the aroma of freshly brewed mountain coffee, Mountain Province is a haven that should be in gastronomists’ bucket list.