Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ

Welcome to our frequently asked questions area. Here we’ll try and answer your most common queries about our Banaue Rice Terrace tours.
1How many hours is the drive from Manila to Banaue?
Journey times in Luzon are long in the twisting mountain roads and night driving is not safe. Flying is not possible.

Here are some ride times to help you to plan your trip:

  • Manila-Banaue: 9-10 hours
  • Banaue-Baguio: 6 hours
  • Baguio-La Union: 3 hours
  • Baguio-Vigan: 5 hours
  • Baguio-Hundred Islands: 3 hours
  • Banaue-Laoag: 8 hours
  • Banaue-Vigan: 6 hours
  • Banaue-Bontoc: 1.5 hours
  • Banaue-Sagada: 2.15 hours
  • Sagada-Bontoc: 0.45 hours
  • Cauayan airport: 4-5 hours
2Do you pick-up and drop-off at any hotel or airport in manila?
For our seat in coach tours we pick you up and drop you off at Zamboanga restaurant, adjacent to our office. For our private tours we will pick you up and drop you off at any location in manila.
3What clothing should we bring?
Please bring flashlight, walking shoes, rain gear, sweater, spare and swimming clothes.
4What kind of accommodation do you provide in our seat in coach tours and does it have air con?
We use the best available accommodation in the area and the best choices are limited to 1 or 2 hotels/pension houses per destination. The hotels/pensions in the mountains do not provide air con rooms since the temperature is much lower than in the lowland. The hotels in Vigan, Tinglayan, Subic, Angeles and Tarlac have air con.
5How far from Banaue to Batad drop off point (the saddle) and view point in Batad.
It’s a 45 min travel by jeepney and then a 45 min walk to Batad view point.
6What activities are available at Batad viewpoint?
1) Lunch or drinks, if you wish to rest.
2) Hike to Batad Village. 1,5 hour hike back and forth.
3) Visit the Tappiyah waterfalls. 2 hour hike back and forth.
4) Cambulo village 2,5 hour back and forth.
5) Hike to Banga-an village. 3 hours, then we pick you up there and return to the hotel. In Banga-an village is a restaurant.
7Do we need a guide and can we choose our own guide?
The local regulations insist on the need of a local guide. We can request our favorite guides.
8Why do you use a jeepney to get to Batad drop off point, Hapao rice terraces and Moyayao rice terraces?
The local regulations insist on using local jeepney’s as the roads are rough and unsuitable for our luxury cars.
9There are many rice terraces why do you recommend Batad?
Batad rice terraces is a Unesco World Heritage side and offers the best views. It is also the most accessible location from Banaue.
10Can we travel to the other rice terraces?
Yes for an additional charge, we can arrange jeepney rides to the other rice terraces. The journey from Banaue to Mayayao rice terraces is 1,5 hour ride and Hapao rice terraces 45 min.
11Which locations do you recommend driving to after Banaue?
Sagada 2 hours, Baguio 7 hours, Kalinga (Tinlayan) 3 hours (dry season and 4×4 car) Vigan 8 hours, Tuguegarao 8 hours(If via Kalinga in a 4×4 car in dry season).
12How long are the journeys to the other recommended sites from Sagada?
1.5 hour less than the above journey times.
13What are your recommendations for places to visit?
Sagada offers activities such as caving and is a relaxed place. Kalinga is mystical and untouched. Vigan is steeped in culture and history. Baguio, although well known among Filipino holiday makers, only has a few sites of interest, it is over-populated and plagued with traffic jams.
14Can the 10 hour trip from Vigan to Manila be broken with stopovers?
You could either fly out from Laoag or you can stay overnight near 100 islands in Lingayan, which is blessed with a nice beach. The attached children’s water park is open from Tuesday to Sunday.
15Can you recommend a place in the north for beach lovers?
Pagudpud 4 hours travel by car from Vigan and 2 hours travel by car from Laoag has the best beach in Luzon. It is remote, quiet and relaxing.
16Should we add: Bataan World War 2, Mount Pinatubo or Subic tour to the itinerary when going to Banaue?
Yes as all these places are a 2-3 hours travel by car from Manila and would provide a pleasant stopover. Stopovers in Subic, Tarlac or Angeles are recommended according to your onward journey.
17Can I shorten the trip by travelling during the night?
We strongly advise not to travel at night. Many road users, such as tricycles, do not carry backlights, roads are unlit. We will only travel at night by using 2 drivers (extra cost). Your safety is our priority.
18Why do I see Banaue/Sagada tours offered at lower prices than our company?
Most of them they are not licensed.

They use old vehicles and often take on board at least 12 passengers.

They drive at night and stay at the cheapest accommodation.

They often have “hidden extras”.

The driver often does not speak good English and cannot function as a guide as he is not familiar with the mountain area.

Our drivers are experienced tour drivers and have a long record of safe driving.
19What makes you different from other tour operators?
If you check on forums and Trip advisor, you will see that our drivers/guides are one of the best in the industry. We offer our guests free wifi (upon request and subject to availability), newer cars with ipod/iphone connection possibilities, coolbox for your drinks and E-tag for easy access on the toll way. Your comfort and safety is our concern.
20Can we change your suggested itinerary?
You can commence your trip with a day tour to Mt Pinatubo, Subic, Bataan World War 2 tour, 100 islands, Vigan or Banaue.
21What method of payment do you prefer?
We accept all credit cards, PayPal, usd and pesos cash at our offices and euro’s/usd at our bank in Holland/Philippines.
22What sets you apart from other tour operators?
Our vehicles are less than 4 years old and you can choose from:

– 4×4 Mitsubishi Montero Sport 7 seater, good for 3-4 people with luggage, third row seat only good for children.
– Toyota Grandia with 6 captain seats, plus co driver seat, good for 7 pax with luggage.
– Toyota Grandia with 10 regular seats, good for 7 persons max, with luggage.

All our cars have WIFI, connection for ipod and similar devices, aircon, coolbox, neck pillow and etag for passing toll gates thru special dedicated lanes.

Our experienced driver/guides are fluent English speakers and experienced tour managers. They have long records of safe driving and are recommended on some internet forums.