Sorry to say, but there is no direct trip to Sagada from Manila. It can only be reached via these routes (Manila-Baguio-Sagada; or Manila-Banaue/Bontoc-Sagada). Tourist going to Sagada usually took the Manila-Baguio-Sagada route because of its accessibility. Basically all of these routes has the same travel time and fare it only differ on the scenes/views you can see along the way. Here in this post, I will be giving you a complete guide about how to go to Sagada from Manila or Cubao or the alternative routes to Sagada.
1. Manila-Baguio-Sagada Route
There are hourly bus trips plying to the city of Pines, Baguio City from Pasay, Cubao or Caloocan terminal, fare pegged at PHP445 and travel time would take approximately 5-6 hours. It is advisable to travel no later than 12 midnight to that you can reached the first trip bus bound for Sagada at 6AM. The bus terminal in Baguio that plies the Sagada route is at Dangwa terminal which is about 10 minutes cab from Victory Liner Terminal just inform your cab driver that you will be going to Sagada. Non air-conditioned buses (Lizardo or GL Transit) to Sagada depart daily from 6AM to 1PM. Travel time from Baguio to Sagada could take 6 to 7 hours and fare should be PHP220. Your drop off point would be at Sagada Municipal Hall.
There is only one bus that offers that Manila-Banaue Route - the Ohayami bus line and their terminal is located at Sampaloc Manila. Time of departure is at 9PM, make sure to catch this trip because extra buses would only run on peak season. You can also make reservation beforehand (02)-5160501. Fare is PHP450 and travel time could take 8-9 hours because bus makes regular stop every 2 hours.
At the Banaue bus terminal, there are jeepneys or mini-bus that plies directly to Sagada. This trip would cost PHP300 per person and travel time from Banaue to Sagada is another 3-4 hours. The downside of this route is that jeepneys would not live the terminal until there are 4 passengers. So if you are travelling alone this is not a good option. Alternatively, you can take jeepneys bound for Bontoc from Banaue. Fare is PHP150 and travel time is 2-3 hours. Jeepneys plying this route is stationed at Banaue Public Market, just be there before 9AM to catch this trip. Then from Bontoc you can take another jeepney (1.5 hours) bound for Sagada.
Here is a comparison of the two routes going to Sagada from Manila
Manila to Baguio - 6hrs - fare - PHP445
Baguio to Sagada - 7hrs - fare PHP220
Total time and Fare: 13hrs; PHP665
Manila to Banaue - 9hours - fare - PHP450
Banaue to Sagada - 4hrs - fare - PHP300
Total Time and Fare: 13hrs - fare PHP750
Accommodation in Sagada | Where to Stay?
During our visit in Sagada, we stayed at George Guesthouse (Contact #: 09185480406/09206070994). Actually, there are plenty of accommodation you can choose from Sagada and the cheapest you can find cost about PHP250. For the complete list of accommodation in Sagada you may visit www.saggas.org.
Top things to do and see in Sagada
Here are my top list of things you can enjoy in Sagada
1. Spelunking | Cave connection Sumaging to Lumiang. The entire cave connection could take approximately 5 hours. Every activity in Sagada, a guide is required and this can be booked at the SAGGAS office.
2. Trek to Bomod-ok Falls. Unfortunately I have not tried this because there was a certain ritual performed at the time of my visit.
3. Trek Pongas Falls. This is the newest attraction in Sagada.
4. Camping at lake danum or Mt. Ampacao
5. Witnessed the Panag-apoy festival
6. Walking tour at Sagada town (museum, pottery, weaving, Episcopal parish, etc.)
7. Up close with the burial caves and hanging coffins
8. Sunrise viewing at Kiltepan Viewpoint
9. Food porn (Yoghurt House, Lemon Pie House, Log Cabin, pinikpikan, etc)
10. Top loading!