Today we have a guest post from another momma abroad, Alma or Kidsmorefun.blogspot.com. She has been my inspiration and exploring partner from the beginning of my adventures. She recently took a week long trip 10 hours North to Sagada Mountain Province and has shared her awesome insights below. Welcome Alma! What soars in Sagada? Our family's freedom, hearts and palates.
Our freedom because Sagada is a choose-YOUR-own-adventure place. On arrival, you go to the municipio (municipal hall). You register and pay your tourist environmental fee (35 pesos). And then... this municipality of the Mountain Province is yours. It's "yours" the way a ski resort or theme park is yours to explore after you've bought passes. You check out the A4-size map the municipio gives out or you stare up at the huge map drawn on its wall. You choose what level of difficulty you are up for and what attraction appeals to your family or group. You can decide on a gentle 20-minute hike down Echo Valley to a viewpoint of the hanging coffins, or opt to go 10 minutes farther down on a steeper descent to get your nose close-up to the coffins. If your group can last longer though, you can select the Eco-Tour which is 3 hours round-trip and covers the hanging coffins, Sagada underground river entrance and the small Bo-kong falls and pool. Or you might choose to explore Sumgaging cave. Or maybe everyone votes on the rice terraces of Fidelisan and the 60- meter high Bomod-ok Falls. Or someone sees the name "Blue Soil Hills" and decides he has to go see what those are all about. All of these attractions are 2-3 hour round-trip treks
Once you choose your adventure, you hire a certified guide from the municipio or from the jump-off point of the hike itself (all hikes require a guide to lead you and to help conserve the trails), and you're off! Now, note that like a theme park or ski resort, it's not all about the rides and skiing- or hiking. Wanting an adventure where you don't have to hike? You can opt to drive to gorgeous vistas like Kiltepan viewpoint to watch the sunrise, or to Lake Danum to see the sunset. Or, you can elect to visit the Sagada Pottery studio and try out their wheel, or Sagada weaving to see the magical loomweavers. Sagada is yours to explore, only sundown is the limit!
There's one more thing that soars in Sagada, and that's our tastebuds. Sagada's variety of unique cafes and restaurants serve both local dishes and meals suited to international travelers. The hearty vegetables and wild blueberries and strawberries grown in the area add oomph. We also love the local entrepreneurial spirit found here: goods like lemon pie, brick oven pizza, whole wheat bread and homemade yogurt are to be discovered here. It is so delightful and easy to feed my family wholesomely in this town.
Adventures. Nature. Plus full bellies. Equals extremely gratifying family travel.
And, our hearts soar in Sagada simply because of being out in the wilderness of the Cordillera and feeling the majesty of nature. You feel small next to the towering trees, and in the same cool breath, you are on top of the clouds and on top of the world. It's a pure and rustic environment, and being with your loved ones here reminds your exhilarated heart what it's all about.
For more photos and information on food, accommodation and adventures in Sagada, you can see Alma's full posts
. Thanks so much Alma!