Banuaue in Ifugao Province, Philippines is the home of the beautiful Bangaan, Banaue and the majestic Batad Rice Terraces.
The amphitheater-like Batad Rice Terraces, Banaue, Ifugao, Philippines
The famous Banaue Rice Terraces, Ifugao, Philippines
Bangaan Rice Terraces, Ifugao, Philippines
If you are a budget solo traveler or with a group of 2 to 3 persons, the best and cheapest way to explore Banaue is via motorized tricycle.
Motorized tricycles are a common means of passenger transport everywhere in the Philippines, except on busy major highways and very busy city streets, where they are used as public utility vehicles either plying a set route or for-hire.
Since I didn’t had any inn/hotel reservations and did not avail any tour package prior to my trip to Banaue, I was clueless how would things turn out when I arrive in Banaue. Luckily, my bus seatmate (from Manila to Banaue) who is also a solo traveler did not have any reservations. We partnered and decided to explore Banaue together.
Me and my Banaue travel buddy- Jana, a solo traveler from Spain
Finding The Perfect Service Around Banaue
When we arrived in Banaue proper, we asked some locals where to find inns in the area. We were advised to walk to the town proper where inns and tourism office are located . While walking, there was a tricycle driver (his name is Martin) who approached us and offered to take us to the Banaue center where most of the inns are located. He offered the ride for free and later offered if he can be be our guide during our stay in Banaue. He initially offered 800 Pesos to drive us around Banaue.
Martin, Banaue tour guide
Just to make sure that we are getting the best deal, Jana and I decided to visit the Banaue tourism office to check the rates.
Price: 600 Peso tour / person
Two way trip (Banaue proper – Batad)
Con: you will join a group of tourists, thus will only have a limited time and will not have the freedom to stop anytime you want
The tourism officer also informed us that if we are not joining the tour and will rent for a two way tourism accredited tricycle service (Banaue proper to Batad) it would cost us 1000 Pesos. Once we reach Batad, we will have to pay another 600 Pesos each for the guide who will accompany us to the Batad rice terraces. Note that the price varies on the guide. The tourism officer advised that these are government accredited transportation services and guides and we may opt to avail offers outside the tourism office.
Con: Pricey as it would cost us 2,200 Pesos (1,000 for tricycle + 1,200 for guide to Batad rice terraces)
Banaue Tourism Officer
Since Jana and I are on a budget travel, considering the price and the perks of having your own service, we decided to take Martin’s offer. His 800 Peso offer to drive us around Banaue is way cheaper than 1000 Peso rate which will only include two way Banaue proper-Batad transportation.
Option C (Martin’s Offer)
Drive and tour us around Banaue’s Rice Terraces (includes Batad Rice terraces and Bangaan Rice Terraces)
Price: 800 Pesos
Pro: Cheap, you will not have to follow the timelines of a package tour
Con: Arranging a tour with a non-accredited service/guide may be risky . In Martin’s case, Jana and I felt safe and really enjoyed the tour.
An IT Operations analyst by profession, Ed started solo traveling last year when his friends (who used to be his travel buddies) started settling down. Born with a short left arm, it did not hinder him to continue traveling and exploring the Philippines. He may have limitations but he is using what was given to him.. feet to walk and wander. (E-Mail: email@example.com / iMessage: firstname.lastname@example.org)