The Philippines surely has thousands of beautiful islands worth visiting. Whether you want a beach getaway or a trip to the mountains, there’s something for everyone, especially in Luzon. 

So if you’re itching to explore the Philippines, now’s your chance to travel to your dream destination for less! Check out e-Philippines’ various tour packages!

3D2N Banaue – Batad Promo Day Tour

As one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines, it’s no surprise that many travelers, especially hikers, dream of visiting the Banaue Rice Terraces. But with its jaw-dropping beauty, even non-hikers would want to see it for themselves. 

No of Travelers: Group of 4 persons

Rate: P2,800 per person

Must-read: Banaue Rice Terraces: The Magnificent Man-Made Cultural Heritage

Package Inclusions:

  • 3D2N Room accommodation at Banawe View Inn
  • Daily breakfast
  • Batad Adventure Day tour
  • Private jeepney transfers
  • Private tour guide
  • All permits and fees

Excludes:

  • Round Trip transfers from Metro Manila to Banaue
  • Other meals not indicated

Notes:

  • Rate is based on a fixed number of four travelers and is quoted PER PERSON. For other Banaue Tour Package, please visit: Banaue Tour Packages
  • Room Sharing: 1 Room (quadruple sharing)
  • Standard check in time is 200PM. Check out time is 12PM.
  • Rooms are subject to availability at the time of booking.
  • Promo is valid from July 1 to November 30, 2013 only

Book your slot here

3D2N Coron Promo Package

Coron, Palawan is one of the most popular travel destinations in the Philippines and we can easily see why. From breathtaking lagoons and marine life to majestic beaches, a trip to Coron might be just the one you need for a breather.

No of Travelers: Group of 4 persons

Rate: P3,100 per person

Package Inclusions:

  • 3 days 2 nights Standard aircon room accommodation at Village Lodge
  • Daily breakfast
  • Coron Island loop (1 day – see details below)
  • BBQ picnic lunch on days of island hopping ( 1 day)
  • Private boat charter
  • Private tour guide
  • Use of lifevest
  • Round trip hotel to seaport transfers for island hopping (via tricycle)
  • Round trip Busuanga Airport – Hotel Transfers

Book your slot here

3D2N Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin Promo Package

Don’t you just like it if you can score an awesome travel deal that lets you travel to two destinations for a price of one? 

No of Travelers: Group of 4 persons

Rates: P6,100 per person

Package Inclusions:

  • Overnight standard aircon accommodation in Casa Isabella in Cagayan de Oro
  • Overnight Family Loft aircon accommodation in Paras Beach Resort in Camiguin
  • Daily breakfast
  • Whitewater rafting adventure with lunch
  • Camiguin Countryside tour- aircon
  • White Island boat trip
  • Round Trip CDO and Camiguin land transfers – via Laguindingan airport

Book your slot here

It’s no surprise that the Philippines is on everyone’s bucket list of must-visit countries. The country has so much to offer from pristine beaches and natural wonders to historical and cultural sites. Whether its century-old structures, breathtaking mountains, thriving coral reefs, or the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Philippines, indeed, is full of places everyone just has to see. 

The recognition greatly helps identify Filipino heritage sites that highlight our culture and the wonders of nature. But more than giving an identity, it also helps in the preservation and protection of these man-made structures and natural wonders. 

9 Must-Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines

Here’s a list of heritage sites in the Philippines that every traveler must visit!

9. Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary 

Location: Davao Oriental

Year inscribed in UNESCO: 2014

Type: Natural

landscape view of Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

This mountain in Davao Oriental is home to 1,380 threatened and endemic species of animals and plants. One exciting thing about visiting Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary is the sightings of rare animals such as the Philippine eagle, the flying fox, tarsier, and civet. 

Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary is an important environmental treasure and the only heritage site in the region.

According to UNESCO, among the top reasons for Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary’s inclusion in the list of heritage sites in the Philippines is because it represents a complete, substantially intact, and highly diverse mountain ecosystem, in a significant biogeographic region of the Philippines.

8. Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva – Miag-ao, Iloilo

Location: Miag-ao, Iloilo

Year inscribed in UNESCO: 1993

Type: Cultural

facade of Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva
Photo source

One of the UNESCO Heritage Sites in the Philippines is the church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva in Miag-ao. It is among the best examples of the “fortress baroque” style in the country. Built of local yellow-orange sandstone, the church stands on the highest elevation of the town and was completed in 1797.  The church withstood typhoons and earthquakes and was burned twice: first was during the revolution against Spain in 1898 and the second was during the Philippine-American War.

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Filipino master carvers incised the church’s entire surface. The church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva is one of the best examples of the fusion of the western Baroque style embellished with Filipino folk motifs. With that being said, it’s not surprising why this church is among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Philippines.

7. Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion – Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur

Location: Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur

Year inscribed in UNESCO: 1993

Type: Cultural

facade of nuestra senora de la asuncion
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Another baroque church that’s among the 5 examples of tangible cultural heritage in the Philippines recognized as one of the UNESCO Heritage Sites in the Philippines is the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion in Ilocos Sur.

Built in 1765, the church of Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion exhibits a monumental brick facade and reinforced walls to protect it against earthquakes. Its appearance evokes a Mediterranean hill town, the only example of such in the Philippines.

Its key features include an 85-step stairway that leads to a carving of the Virgin Mary atop a tree, and a bell tower which was added in 1810. The power and simplicity of its geometric forms, and its location, make this UNESCO World Heritage Site Philippines an outstanding example of Peripheral Baroque architecture.

6. Paoay Church (Church of San Agustin) – Paoay, Ilocos Norte

Location: Paoay, Ilocos Norte

Year inscribed in UNESCO: 1993

Type: Cultural

facade of paoay church

Church of San Agustin or Paoay Church is known for its extravagant coral-block buttresses and ornate stone finials and is among the 5 examples of tangible cultural heritage in the Philippines. The construction of this world heritage site began in 1604 and was completed in 1710. Its coral stone bell tower, standing at some distance from the church, was finished in the second half of the 18th century. For your information, Philippine bell towers were constructed at a distance from the main church structure to avoid its falling on the church during earthquakes. Paoay Church’s bell tower was said to have been used as a Filipino watchtower during the 1898 uprising against the Spaniards.

This is one of the most notable “earthquake baroque” structures in the country where the primary concern was to design the church for earthquake protection. 

Being one of UNESCO world heritage sites in the Philippines, Paoay Church has become a top tourist destination in the region.

5. Church of San Agustin in Manila – Intramuros, Manila

Location: Intramuros, Manila

Year inscribed in UNESCO: 1993

Type: Cultural

interior of san agustin church in manila

Like the other baroque churches that are cultural heritage sites in the Philippines, San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila exhibits its remarkable features such as retablos (altars) of high Baroque style and wall buttresses separating cripto collateral chapels. What makes this world heritage site unique is its ceiling paintings in the tromp l’oeil style.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site San Agustin Church, built between 1587 and 1606, is considered the oldest and longest-standing church in the country. The church was the only structure left intact in Intramuros during World War II.

4. Historic City of Vigan 

Location: Ilocos Sur

Year inscribed in UNESCO: 1999

Type: Cultural

a kalesa passing through the cobblestone streets of vigan

Established in the 16th century, Vigan is the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia according to UNESCO. One of the reasons for its inclusions in the cultural heritage sites in the Philippines is that its architecture reflects the coming together of cultural elements from elsewhere in the Philippines, from China and from Europe, resulting in a culture and townscape that have no parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia.

Next to Manila and Cebu, Vigan was the third most important city during the height of the Spanish colonial era in the 18th and 19th centuries. Vigan was the center of Spanish colonial power in northern Luzon. The range of structures along the plazas and streets reveals the story of the town. The large buildings evoke political or religious power; grand homes speak of wealth, while others show more modest means; and cobblestones streets speak of history. This world heritage site is a living testament to the Spanish colonial era that exerts a strong cultural influence on the modern Philippine nation.

3. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park 

Location: Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Year inscribed in UNESCO: 1999

Type: Natural

a group of tourists in the boat exploring puerto princesa underground river

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is one of the world’s most impressive cave systems. What makes it to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Philippines is its uniquely and impressive features of spectacular limestone karst landscapes, pristine natural beauty, and intact old-growth forests and distinctive wildlife.

With an underground river measuring up to 8.2 kilometers, it is said to be among the longest in the world. The highlight of the heritage site Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is that it flows directly into the sea, with its brackish lower half subjected to tidal influence, distinguishing it as a significant natural global phenomenon. 

2. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park 

Location: Palawan

Year inscribed in UNESCO: 1993, 2009

Type: Natural

divers with schools of fish in tubbataha reef

One of the most remarkable heritage sites in the Philippines is the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park. Most people consider this UNESCO World Heritage Site as every diver’s dream as it covers 130,028 hectares, including the North and South Reefs. 

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is one of the Philippines’ best diving spots where you can see over 350 species of coral and almost 500 species of fish. The reserve also protects one of the few remaining colonies of breeding seabirds in the region.

1. Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras

Location: Ifugao Province

Year inscribed in UNESCO: 1995

Type: Cultural

majestic view of banaue rice terraces

Topping the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Philippines is the Cordillera Rice Terraces. It is an outstanding example of an evolved, living cultural landscape that can be traced as far back as 2,000 years ago.

While this UNESCO World Heritage Site was built a thousand years ago, the traditional farming technique is still practiced to this day. That’s why the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras are an important part of the Philippine culture and identity. It is also a living testament to the sophistication of pre-colonial Filipinos because the Cordilleras were hardly affected by colonization.

Its beauty continues to draw attention, even the international film industry has noticed, making it a setting for the blockbuster Marvel film Avengers: Infinity War

Among the world heritage sites in the Philippines, the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras have such a powerful presence that makes them one of the most outstanding places in the country. It also shows the harmony between humankind and the environment.

If you’re planning to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Philippines, we’ve got budget hotels near these areas. Make sure to book at www.zenrooms.com to enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free trip!

Frequently Asked Questions About UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines

Q: How many UNESCO World Heritage Sites are there in the Philippines?

A: There is a total of nine (9) UNESCO World Heritage Sites found in the Philippines.

Q: What are the world heritage sites found in the Philippines?

A: The nine (9) UNESCO World Heritage Sites found in the Philippines are:

  1. Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary
  2. Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva
  3. Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion
  4. Paoay Church
  5. Church of San Agustin in Manila
  6. Historic City of Vigan
  7. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
  8. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
  9. Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras

Q: What is important to the Filipino culture?

A: Filipinos value their strong ties to the family as part of the rich Filipino heritage. They are very hospitable, loving, and caring. They respect their elders so much and the beliefs that have been passed on to generations.

Q: Where are the Philippine rice terraces located?

A: The most popular rice terraces in the Philippines are found in Ifugao Province na isang mahalagang yaman ng Pilipinas na ginawaran ng UNESCO bilang world heritage site. But aside from this, you can also see beautiful rice terraces in the province of Bohol.

Q: Anong UNESCO sites ang makikita sa Cagayan?

A: Kung naghahanap kang world heritage sites sa Cagayan Valley, sa ngayon ay wala pang naitatala ang UNESCO Philippines na heritage site sa rehiyon. Pero ngayon ay mayroon pa lang na tentative list ang UNESCO ng Paleolithic Archaeological Sites in Cagayan Valley.

Q: Anong UNESCO sites ang makikita sa Iloilo?

A: Ang UNESCO site na makikita sa Iloilo ay Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva.

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

The Banaue Rice Terraces, locally known as the Hagdan-Hagdang Palayan, are undoubtedly a source of pride not just for the Ifugaos but also for Filipinos across the world. These have taken the center stage in tourism ads and are always a regular backdrop of many souvenir photos. 

Because of its magnificence, it has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995. Since then, the world has noticed and never stopped talking about the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras. Located at the foot of the Cordillera mountain ranges in the northern island of Luzon, this destination will definitely take your breath away as you get lost by the astounding view of these rice paddies. 

About Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue Rice Terraces also known as Hagdan-Hagdang Palayan, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ifugao. It features thousands of staircase-like rice paddies that were said to be built thousand years ago.

What’s inside this blog?

History of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras

Hungduan Rice Terraces

This jaw-dropping destination is not just among the Philippines’ must-visit attractions, but Banaue Rice Terraces history and origin will also leave you fascinated.

Built 2,000 years ago and passed on from one generation to the next, the expression of sacred traditions and a delicate social balance to preserve the Banaue Rice Terraces have helped to create a landscape of great beauty that expresses the harmony between the people and the environment.

The Ifugaos said that their ancestors built these rice terraces Philippines only by hand. And up until now, the new generations are still applying the same technique amid the modernization to preserve the breathtaking rice terraces.


The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras: A UNESCO World Heritage Site

majestic view of banaue rice terraces

According to UNESCO, the rice terraces Philippines are the priceless contribution of Philippine ancestors to humanity. Among the reasons for its recognition is that the terraces illustrate a persistence of cultural traditions and remarkable continuity and endurance, since archaeological evidence reveals that this technique has been in use in the region for 2,000 years virtually unchanged. 

UNESCO also noted that the rice terraces Philippines are a memorial to the history and labor of more than a thousand generations of small-scale farmers who, working together as a community, have created a landscape based on a delicate and sustainable use of natural resources.


What you need to know before traveling to Banaue Rice Terraces

The Locals

old locals posing and smiling

They are very accommodating. They are always smiling. One thing you might notice when you meet Ifugaos is that their mouth and teeth are red. This is because of nganga or betel nuts. Nganga is like an alternative to tobacco or cigarettes. However, this isn’t smoked but chewed and to be spit afterwards.

Nganga is part of the Ifugaos’ culture so expect that most of them, even women, are chewing nganga.

The Food

flatlay of the banaue longganisa

The food here isn’t cheap but not too expensive. Basically, a regular meal will already cost you around P150 but the serving is generous. You must try their native rice and longganisa! They’re a perfect combination, especially for breakfast. 

The tour won’t be easy

a tourist and local guide trekking the banaue rice terraces
Photo credits to The Girl Behind the Pen

Sure there are vans and other transportation services available to tour you around but when you’re already going to the rice terraces, expect a lot of hiking trips, some are easy and some are challenging but definitely worth the sweat and effort!


Banaue Rice Terraces Facts

aerial view of another rice terraces in banaue

If you want to learn more about the Ifugao rice terraces, here are some facts you must know.

1. There is a local term for the rice terraces Philippines

The Banaue Rice Terraces tagalog is “Hagdan-Hagdang Palayan.”

2. Ifugao Rice Terraces are different from Banaue Rice Terraces

A common misconception among tourists is that they often think that the Ifugao Rice Terraces and Banaue Rice Terraces are the same. This is one of the Banaue Rice Terraces facts that every traveler must know. Overall, there are more than 48 rice terrace clusters but only five of them are included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites

3. There are five inscribed rice terraces in the province

While the stunning attraction covers an extensive area, the inscribed property consists of five clusters of the most intact and impressive rice terraces, located in four municipalities.  

First is the Nagacadan terraces in Kiangan, a rice terrace cluster manifested in two distinct ascending rows of terraces bisected by a river; second is the Hungduan Rice Terraces that uniquely emerges into a spider web; third is the central Mayoyao Rice Terraces which is characterized by terraces interspersed with traditional farmers’ bale (houses) and alang (granaries); fourth is the Bangaan Rice Terraces in Banaue that backdrops a typical Ifugao traditional village; and fifth is the Batad Rice Terraces, that’s also in the town of Banaue, that is nestled in amphitheatre-like semi-circular terraces with a village at its base.


Places you can visit near the Banaue Rice Terraces

Here are some of the must-visit places in Banaue near the rice terraces.

1. Tappiya Falls

tappiya falls in banaue

Unlike other waterfalls that are easy to reach, Tappiya Falls is a challenge but definitely worth it. Expect a not so easy trek by any stretch, the path to the falls will take you up and down steep uneven steps, narrow rice terraces, and muddy slippery trails. The trek will take about an hour or two depending on your pace. Also, the water here is freezing cold! But that’s what you’ll be needing after the tiring trek.

2. Bogyah Hot Spring

bogyah hot spring ifugao

Like the trek to Tappiya Falls, you’ll be in for another challenge going to Bogyah Hot Spring. You will have to pass through narrow rice terraces and uneven steps for about an hour but all these will be worth it when you finally reach Bogyah Hot Spring for a dip. Banaue will surely give you loads of adventure and fun!

3. Ducligan Snake River and Mountains

After the endless rice terraces in Ifugao, Ducligan Snake River and Mountain should be your next stop. This will be your breather during the trip. It’s among the most beautiful mountains not just in Banaue but also in the Philippines featuring a snake-shaped river, hence the name.


How to get to Banaue Rice Terraces

There is only one way to reach the Banaue Rice Terraces location and it is by bus. From Cubao or Sampaloc in Manila, you can ride a bus bound for Banaue. There are two buses that go straight to Banaue: Coda Lines and Ohayami Trans.

The travel time will take about 9 hours at the minimum. 

Upon arrival in Banaue bus terminal, you can ride a tricycle going to your hotel or just tour the area directly.

The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras embody the absolute blending of the physical, socio-cultural, economic, and religious environment. Indeed, it is a living cultural landscape of exceptional beauty.


Frequently Asked Questions About Banaue Rice Terraces

Q: What makes the rice terraces extraordinary?
A: What makes the rice terraces extraordinary are the magnificent beauty of the Ifugao rice terraces and the culture that they had preserved over the years.

Q: What is the Banaue Rice Terraces tagalog?
A: Banaue Rice Terraces tagalog; hagdang palayan

Q: Why do you think the Ifugao built the rice terraces?
A: The Ifugaos built the rice terraces for many reasons but mostly to provide food for their families. When they built these thousands of years ago, they only had basic tools but the Ifugao managed to create an engineering marvel: rice terraces sustained by an elaborate irrigation system. 

Q: Where is Banaue Rice Terraces location?
A: The Banaue Rice Terraces location is in Ifugao Province in Northern Luzon of the Philippines.

Q: Is Banaue open for tourists now?
A: According to Jovita Ganongan, officer-in-charge of the Department of Tourism (DOT)-CAR, common attractions such as Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao, the town of Sagada in Mountain Province, and Mount Pulag in Benguet remain closed to tourists.

For more travel news, read this blog about Philippine Tourism News.

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.