Explore Mountain Province’s hidden treasures: Samoki Village and its indigenous traditions, the ancient marvel of Rice Terraces, and the unique accommodations and stargazing at Rock Farm Inn. Discover the secrets of Alab Petroglyphs, relax at Cagubatan Spring’s natural oasis, and savor the serenity of Besao Sunset – six remarkable experiences in one enchanting region.
In this blog, we’ll take you off the beaten path and reveal 6 hidden gems in Mountain Province that are worth adding to your travel itinerary. From quaint villages to ancient petroglyphs, get ready to explore the lesser-known but equally stunning side of this beautiful province.
1. Samoki Village, Bontoc
Samoki Village is a cultural haven that beckons travelers seeking an authentic and immersive experience. This indigenous community offers a fascinating glimpse into the traditional way of life of the Kankanay people.
Visitors to Samoki Village have the unique opportunity to witness age-old customs, rituals, and craftsmanship that have been meticulously preserved through generations. The village is a living museum of indigenous culture, where you can learn about tribal traditions, from intricate handwoven textiles to indigenous music and dance, providing invaluable insight into the rich cultural heritage of the region.
Samoki Village is not merely a tourist attraction but a place where visitors can engage with the local community and gain a deeper appreciation for the resilience and traditions of the indigenous people of Mountain Province. The warm hospitality of the residents, combined with the stunning natural surroundings, make Samoki Village an essential stop for those looking to experience the heart and soul of the Philippines’ indigenous culture while surrounded by the breathtaking landscapes of the Mountain Province.
For directions, click here.
2. Rice Terraces, throughout Mountain Province
The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a testament to the ingenuity and hard work of the indigenous Ifugao people, who carved them into the mountains over 2,000 years ago.
The terraces are a marvel of engineering, with a complex irrigation system that ensures that the rice fields are always watered. The terraces are also a testament to the Ifugao’s deep connection to the land, and their understanding of the natural world.
These rice terraces are an important part of the Philippine cultural heritage. They are a symbol of the country’s rich history and diverse cultures. The terraces are also a reminder of the resilience of the Filipino people, who have overcome many challenges to preserve their traditions and way of life.
Here are some of the most famous rice terraces in the Mountain Province:
Kapay-aw Rice Terraces: Carved into the mountainsides, they showcase a breathtaking example of ancient farming engineering and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enticing travelers with their awe-inspiring beauty and historical significance.
Address: 3V9X+2X, Sagada, Mountain Province
For directions, click here.
Balew Rice Terraces: These terraces not only serve as vital agricultural platforms but also offer a serene escape for those seeking to immerse themselves in the peaceful rural life of Mountain Province.
Address: 2V9V+XV, Sabangan, Mountain Province
For directions, click here.
Bayyo Rice Terraces: The terraces not only contribute to local agriculture but also offer a visual feast for travelers, with their lush green fields and terraced landscapes, making it a must-visit spot for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts.
Address: Bontoc Mountain Province
3. Rock Farm Inn, Sagada
The Rock Farm Inn is an extraordinary accommodation that seamlessly blends modern comfort with the rugged beauty of the mountainous terrain. This unique and charming inn is more than just a place to stay; it’s an adventure hub and an ideal escape for travelers looking to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The inn provides visitors with an opportunity to immerse themselves in nature, as it is surrounded by lush forests and offers a tranquil ambiance. Moreover, its remote location makes it an excellent spot for stargazing, allowing guests to revel in the brilliance of the night sky, unspoiled by urban lights.
What sets Rock Farm Inn apart is its distinctive architecture, designed to harmonize with the natural surroundings. Accommodations range from cozy rooms to rustic huts and even the famous “Cave House,” offering a variety of unique experiences.
The inn’s eco-friendly approach and warm hospitality create a memorable and sustainable retreat for those seeking adventure, relaxation, and an authentic connection with nature in the mesmerizing setting of Sagada.
Address: Rock Inn and Cafe, Staunton Rd, Sagada, Mountain Province
For directions, click here.
4. Alab Petroglyphs, Bontoc
Perched atop a massive rock formation in the remote village of Alab in Bontoc lies the Alab Petroglyphs. These ancient carvings, estimated to be over 3,000 years old, offer a rare glimpse into the lives and beliefs of the Bontoc people during the pre-colonial era.
The petroglyphs depict a variety of subjects, including human and animal figures, geometric designs, and symbols that are thought to represent different aspects of Bontoc culture, such as religion, warfare, and agriculture. One of the most notable petroglyphs is a large human figure with outstretched arms, which is believed to be a representation of a god or ancestor.
The Alab Petroglyphs were discovered in the 1970s by a group of local farmers and have since become a popular tourist destination, albeit a relatively off-the-beaten-path one. To reach the petroglyphs, visitors must trek for about an hour through scenic rice terraces and forests. The climb is moderately challenging, but the rewards are well worth the effort.
Address: 3W3P+XX7, Bontoc, Mountain Province
5. Cagubatan Spring, Tadian
Tucked away in the remote village of Cagubatan in the municipality of Tadian lies Cagubatan Spring. This crystal-clear spring is known for its pristine waters and lush surroundings, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and adventurers alike.
To reach Cagubatan Spring, visitors must trek for about an hour through scenic rice terraces and forests. The trek is moderately challenging, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Upon arrival, visitors are greeted by the sight of the spring’s crystal-clear waters gushing out from a rock formation and cascading into a natural pool below.
The spring is surrounded by lush greenery, including towering trees, ferns, and wildflowers. The air is fresh and clean, and the sound of birdsong fills the air. It is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate or to simply enjoy the beauty of nature.
In addition to its scenic beauty, Cagubatan Spring is also known for its healing properties. The locals believe that the spring’s waters have the power to cure various ailments, such as skin diseases, rheumatism, and digestive problems. Visitors can bathe in the spring’s waters or simply drink them.
Cagubatan Spring is a sacred site for the local Ibaloi people. According to local legend, the spring is guarded by enchanted eels that protect it from harm. Visitors are asked to respect the sanctity of the place and to refrain from polluting the spring or harming the eels.
6. Besao Sunset, Besao
Besao Sunset is a breathtaking natural spectacle that captivates all who are fortunate enough to witness it. As the day draws to a close, the serene beauty of the landscape is enhanced by the warm, golden hues of the setting sun.
The expansive vistas from Besao provide an unobstructed view of the horizon. Allowing visitors to savor the magnificent display of colors as the sun dips below the mountains, casting a warm, soothing glow over the valley. It’s a perfect way to conclude a day of exploration and adventure in this picturesque region.
Besao Sunset is more than just a visual treat, it’s a serene and contemplative experience that invites you to pause and reflect. The serene ambiance and the vivid colors of the sky make this an enchanting place to unwind and connect with the tranquil spirit of the Mountain Province, creating a truly memorable and meditative moment.
The Mountain Province has much more to offer than its famous tourist destinations. From ancient petroglyphs to hidden villages, from stunning rice terraces to unique accommodations.
The province is a treasure trove of natural and cultural wonders waiting to be explored. So next time you plan a trip to the Philippines, make sure to add these 6 hidden gems in Mountain Province to your itinerary for an unforgettable and enriching experience.