So Batad was quite an experience. It took us awhile to get there, but it was well worth all the sweat and twisted ankles. So it goes from Banaue – Private Jeepney to the saddle (around 2500-3000 pesos including return trip) – Hike from the saddle to Batad. The Jeepney ride is bumpy as hell:
Once you go on the hike from the saddle to Batad, say your prayers to the mountain gods and strap your boots well. To give you an idea how steep the path is from Banaue tto Batad, here it is:
Now imagine that for 5 miles carrying 50 lbs of bags and DSLR camera in the other hand.
Once you get to the village, make a right and head to Rita’s. She’s the most awesome and friendliest grandmother you’ll ever meet, and the dorms are quite charmingly rustic:
After settling in, go for a hike to the gorgeous Tappiya Waterfalls.
How do you do that? Just hike down from Rita’s and continue down down down some steep paths:
Cut across the village at the foot of the terraces and walk across the terraces to the other side of the hill (opposite of Rita’s). Then climb BACK UP the same height you descended upon until you hit a “Waterfall Hut” at the top of the ridge, then BACK down to the foot of the waterfalls:
Keep following the single path down down down down, up (you go back up a brief series of stairs when you pass by the Waterfall View Restaurant) and then back down more stairs until you see this:
Then reward yourself with a swim in crystal clear waters:
or simply just enjoy the view:
Afterwards, go cook a chicken with Rita’s family:
Or prepare rice with Rita herself:
After a nice quiet night, be awoken by the caws of roosters. They want you to wake up in time so you can enjoy the sunrise with a nice cup of coffee:
After you’ve had enough (is that even possible with Batad?), say goodbye to Rita & co. and pack up your gear for the journey back up to the saddle:
Once you conquered the grueling hike to the saddle, you’re well on your way home to Manila.
Enjoy 200+ pictures on my flickr account: CDS_SoHo
THINGS WE LEARNED:
- There are no mosquitoes in places like Batad; I came out bite-free with minimal DEET application!
- If you do not see sun, you might still get burned since you’re so high up; my arms and neck got burned even on a cloudy day.
- You don’t need guides. Although they’re cheap for 200 pesos for a hike to the waterfalls, as long as you follow my route (down to village, across the terraces, up the ridge opposite of where you’re staying, and then back down to the waterfalls), you’ll be fine.
NEXT UP: Tagaytay & Taal Volcano! The only volcano island within a lake, within an island, within an island…in the world. And it’s an active volcano too.
- At time of posting in Manila, Philippines, it was 82.4 °F -
Humidity: 100% | Wind Speed: n/a | Cloud Cover: scattered clouds