Mayoyao Rice Terraces: A Birdwatcher’s Paradise in Ifugao’s Natural Marvel

Mayoyao’s rice terraces in Ifugao are a mesmerizing destination for birdwatchers. With its diverse avian population, from the striking Turquoise-browed Motmot to the regal White-bellied Sea Eagle, it’s a paradise for bird enthusiasts. Whether you choose a guided tour or venture independently, witnessing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat will create lasting memories for any bird lover.

In this blog post, we’ll explore what makes this place so special and how you can make the most out of your visit! Keep reading to learn more about the rice terraces of Mayoyao and the amazing array of birds that call it home.

Mayoyao Rice Terraces A Birdwatcher's Paradise in Ifugao's Natural Marvel


The Mayoyao Rice Terraces

The Mayoyao Rice Terraces, located in Ifugao, Philippines, stand as a testament to the rich cultural heritage and agricultural ingenuity of the Ifugao people. These terraces are a magnificent display of human engineering and harmonious coexistence with nature. Carved into the mountainside, the Mayoyao Rice Terraces are a breathtaking sight to behold, showcasing the meticulous craftsmanship and sustainable farming techniques employed by the indigenous communities for centuries.

Stretching over vast landscapes, the terraces create a mesmerizing panorama of cascading fields, resembling giant steps reaching towards the sky. The terraces are not only functional agricultural systems but also serve as a testament to the Ifugao’s spiritual connection with the land. Each terrace represents a profound understanding of water management, soil conservation, and the interplay between natural elements. The Mayoyao Rice Terraces, with their lush greenery and timeless beauty, continue to captivate visitors, offering a glimpse into the rich history and sustainable practices of the Ifugao people.

The Mayoyao Rice Terraces


Where to Go Birdwatching in Mayoyao

The rice terraces themselves offer a unique opportunity to see a variety of bird species. You can take a leisurely stroll along the terraces, stopping to scan the fields and nearby trees for any feathered friends. Some of the best spots for birdwatching include:

Where to Go Birdwatching in Mayoyao
Where to Go Birdwatching in Mayoyao


Terrace Edges and Viewing Decks

The terrace edges and specially designated viewing decks provide breathtaking panoramic views of the rice terraces. These elevated spots offer excellent vantage points to observe birds in flight or perched on nearby trees. Take your time to scan the vast expanse and marvel at the avian diversity that inhabits the terraces.


Water Sources and Ponds

Birds are drawn to water sources, making them ideal locations for birdwatching. Explore the areas near natural springs, streams, or artificial ponds within the terraces. These gathering spots attract various bird species that come to drink, bathe, or hunt for food. Be patient and observant near these tranquil oases to spot some unique feathered friends.


Forested Areas and Canopy Walks

The terraces are often bordered by lush forested areas. These habitats provide shelter and food for numerous bird species. Look for trails or canopy walkways that allow you to venture into the heart of these forests. You’ll have the opportunity to witness birds amidst the dense foliage and experience the enchanting chorus of their calls.


Trail Networks and Hiking Paths

Mayoyao offers a network of trails and hiking paths that traverse the terraces. These paths meander through diverse habitats, including open fields, shrubs, and forests. Follow these routes, keeping a keen eye and ear for bird activity. You may come across hidden gems like rare forest-dwelling species or birds foraging in the fields.


Rice Paddies and Fields

The rice paddies and fields themselves are teeming with avian activity. Birds such as egrets, herons, and plovers can often be spotted foraging for insects or small aquatic creatures amidst the wet rice paddies. Wander along the edges of the fields and observe the intricate interactions between birds and the agricultural landscape.

Where to Go Birdwatching in Mayoyao


The Birds of Mayoyao

The Mayoyao Rice Terraces are not only a stunning landscape but also a paradise for birdwatchers. The terraces provide diverse habitats that attract a rich variety of bird species. From colorful songbirds to impressive raptors, the avian residents of Mayoyao add enchantment to this natural wonder.

The Birds of Mayoyao
The Birds of Mayoyao


  1. Philippine Bulbul– The Philippine Bulbul is a small, brown bird with a distinctive crest on its head. It is a common sight in Mayoyao Rice Terraces and can be heard singing its melodious tunes throughout the day.
  2. Chestnut Munia– The Chestnut Munia is a tiny, sparrow-like bird that is found in flocks around Mayoyao Rice Terraces. Their chestnut-colored feathers make them easy to spot amidst the greenery.
  3. Philippine Serpent Eagle– The Philippine Serpent Eagle is a medium-sized bird of prey that is known for its sharp vision and hunting skills. They can often be seen flying over Mayoyao Rice Terraces in search of their next meal.
  4. Mountain Shrike– The Mountain Shrike is a beautiful bird with a grey head, black mask, and white underparts. It is often spotted perched on trees or bushes, scanning its surroundings for insects and small animals.
  5. Luzon Water Redstart– The Luzon Water Redstart is a small, brightly colored bird that is found near rivers and streams in Mayoyao Rice Terraces. Its bright orange-red plumage makes it easy to spot, even from a distance.
  6. Philippine Trogon– The Philippine Trogon is a stunning bird with vivid green feathers and a bright red belly. It is a rare sight in Mayoyao Rice Terraces but can occasionally be spotted in the dense forests around the area.

The Birds of Mayoyao


How to Get to Mayoyao

Located in Ifugao, Philippines, Mayoyao is a hidden gem nestled amidst the stunning Cordillera mountain range. While reaching Mayoyao may require some planning, the journey is well worth it. Here are some ways to get to Mayoyao and embark on your exploration of this natural marvel.


By Air

The nearest airport to the area is the Cauayan Airport, which is approximately 100 kilometers away from the site. From there, you can take a bus or hire a private vehicle to reach Mayoyao. Alternatively, you can also fly to the capital city of Manila and then take a domestic flight to Cauayan. With a bit of planning, you can easily reach this stunning destination and immerse yourself in the fascinating culture and breathtaking scenery of the region.

By Air


By Land

To get there by land, travelers can take a 9-hour bus ride from Manila to Banaue, and then transfer to a jeepney or van for the remaining 40-minute journey to Mayoyao. Another option is to take a direct 12-hour bus ride from Manila to Mayoyao, which is available on select days.

By Land


Private Transportation

Whether you’re traveling alone or in a group, renting a car or booking a private van can offer a convenient and comfortable way to reach your destination. Renting a vehicle gives you the flexibility to make stops along your journey and travel at your own pace. It also offers a hassle-free way to navigate the winding roads and steep inclines that lead to the terraces. By opting for private transportation, you can fully immerse yourself in the scenic views of the Ifugao countryside and arrive at the Mayoyao Rice Terraces feeling refreshed and ready to explore.

It’s advisable to check road conditions and weather updates before your journey, as mountainous areas can be prone to changes in weather and road conditions. Additionally, consider allowing extra travel time to account for any unexpected delays or stops to enjoy the scenic landscapes along the way.

Private Transportation


Tips for Birdwatching in Mayoyao

Birdwatching in Mayoyao Rice Terraces is a remarkable experience, immersing you in the captivating world of avian diversity amidst the stunning landscapes of Ifugao, Philippines. To enhance your birdwatching adventure and make the most of your time in this birdwatcher’s paradise, here are some valuable tips to keep in mind.

Tips for Birdwatching in Mayoyao:


  1. Bring binoculars and a camera to capture the birds’ details and behavior.
  2. Wear light clothes and comfortable shoes for a more relaxed birdwatching experience.
  3. Study the birds’ habitat, behavior, and calls to identify them quickly.
  4. Visit early in the morning or late afternoon when birds are most active.
  5. Ask local guides for information on the best birdwatching spots and the bird species found in the area.
  6. Respect the birds’ habitat by keeping your distance and avoiding loud noises.
  7. Bring water and food as there are no restaurants or stores near the rice terraces.
  8. Stay overnight in a homestay or lodge in Mayoyao to have more time for birdwatching.
  9. Join a birdwatching group to learn from other bird enthusiasts and share your sights.
  10. Enjoy the stunning views of the rice terraces while birdwatching.

Tips for Birdwatching in Mayoyao


 In conclusion

The Mayoyao Rice Terraces in Ifugao, Philippines are a breathtaking destination for birdwatchers. From colorful songbirds to majestic raptors, this avian paradise is the perfect spot to observe and appreciate the beauty of nature.

Whether you choose a guided tour or plan your own expedition, these tips will help make your visit to the Mayoyao Rice Terraces an unforgettable experience. So pack your bags, grab your binoculars, and explore this captivating birdwatcher’s paradise in Ifugao!