All our Banaue tours are on a "seat-in-van" basis, with a Minimum
of 2 persons per group. Enquire here for larger group rates.

Rice Terraces Banaue: A Brief History

The Banaue Rice Terraces ("Hagdan-hagdang Palayan ng Banawe" in Tagalog)

The Philippine Rice Terraces were carved into the Cordillera, North Luzon Mountains in the Philippines over a 2000 year period by ancestors of the indigenous "Ifugao" people. Ifugao became an independent province in 1966.

The Banaue Rice Terraces are commonly referred to as the "Eighth Wonder of the World". They are variously located approximately 1500 meters (5000 ft.) above sea level and cover about 4000 square miles of mountainside. They are fed by an ancient irrigation system from the rain forests above the rice terraces. The system comprises of dams, sluices, channels and bamboo pipes, which are open and closed in co-operation with each owner. They were built using hand tools only.

The local people still plant rice and vegetables on the terraces, wet weather causes damage so the steps need constant renovation.

Ifugao rice terraces are stone walls which can reach as high as 50 feet, they are constructed along the natural contours of the mountain side. The terraces are then backfilled and another wall is then built at a slightly higher elevation. This process is commenced from the valley floor upwards.

Terraces require an elevated water source to flood the fields during the growing season. They also dam the water during construction to aid in moving boulders and earth. Irrigation water is sometimes channeled long distances by stone lined channels or bamboo aqueducts that traverse the sides of the mountains.

Tourist preferred locations nearby to the Rice Terraces Banaue include 4 other similar Ifugao terraces:

  • BATAD rice terraces
  • MAYOYAO rice terraces
  • HAPAO rice terraces
  • KIANGAN rice terraces

  • All are well worth a visit and are included in our regular tours.

    The majority of the Ifugao have maintained their identity and cultural heritage, they live in harmony at the Rice Terraces of Banaue with the beliefs of their sacred ancestors, despite Spanish and American attempts throughout history to change them, they remain proud and independent.

    They acquired the necessary expertise in water irrigation, stonework, earthwork, and terrace maintenance at the Philippine Rice Terraces over centuries.

    These days, many of them are now working as local guides for Rice Terraces Banaue and in other Tourism related occupations.

    We offer three Banaue tours:

    Banaue Tour 1: Banaue Rice Terraces 2 Night Tour

    Banaue Tour 2: Rice Terraces 3 Night Heritage Tour

    Banaue Tour 3: North Luzon 5 Night Historic Adventure Tour

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    Banaue Rice Terraces 2 Night Tour

    Rice Terraces 3 Night Heritage Tour

    North Luzon 5 Night Historic Adventure Tour

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