Banaue Rice Terraces

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Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue (map) is a town in the Cordillera mountain range in the north of the island of *Luzon, in the Philippines. It is mainly visited for its stunning Banaue Rice Terraces, which are designated a National Cultural Treasure.

Rice terraces. Sometimes called the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, the 2000-year-old Banaue rice terraces are a designated National Cultural Treasure, and while many are still in use, the outer rims are showing signs of deterioration. They were created by the Ifugao (local native people), in a massive engineering project to cover the sides of the valleys (probably 200 m from floor to rim) for several miles.

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The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (map) are a World Heritage Site consisting of a complex of rice terraces on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. They were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995, the first-ever property to be included in the cultural landscape category of the World Heritage List.

This inscription has five sites: the Batad Rice Terraces, Bangaan Rice Terraces (both in *Banaue), Mayoyao Rice Terraces (in *Mayoyao), Hungduan Rice Terraces (in Hungduan) and Nagacadan Rice Terraces (in *Kiangan), all in *Ifugao Province, Philippines. The Ifugao Rice Terraces reach a higher altitude and were built on steeper slopes than many other terraces.

+ Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras

Batad (map). While the rice terraces of Banaue are mud-walled, those of Batad are stone-walled. They form an amphitheatre and are an impressive sight. 15 km on bad roads, followed by a 40-minute downhill hike, but worth it. There are a number of hostels and guest houses in the small village there, overlooking the rice terraces. If weather and time permit, Batad is probably a better place to spend the night than Banaue. There is a public jeepney plying the Banaue to Saddle Point (start of trek to Batad village) route daily. Banaue to Saddle Point is around 2 to 4PM while the Saddle Point to Banaue jeepney is around 9:30AM to 10:30AM. They may take extra trips during the peak season (e.g. Holy week). Head on to the Banaue public market and ask around.

Public transport

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 BUS >   Victory Liner, Five Star, Philtranco >> (*Bus travel in the Philippines).

 RAIL >   –

 AIRPORTS >   Ninoy Aquino International AirportMactan-Cebu International Airport

 WATERWAYS >   Trans Asia Shipping LinesCokaliong Shipping LinesLite FerriesOceanjet

*The Philippines has had some of the world’s worst maritime disasters in peacetime. If a boat appears to be overloaded, do not board. Always check the latest weather reports before travel by ferry, as some captains are willing to sail even when a typhoon is approaching.