Here is your complete DIY travel guide to the tourist spots in Bauko!
Bauko, Mountain Province is considered a Salad Bowl, owing to its abundant supply of temperate vegetables. Its towering peaks also serve as headwaters to major river systems namely, Abra, Chico, and Agno. But there is more to that. Unknown to many, Bauko also hosts fascinating tourist spots, mostly-nature based.
Thanks to the active efforts of its local authorities, Bauko gradually emerges as a premium ecotourism destination.
I have been visiting Bauko several times already. And I tell you. There is so much to learn and explore here. It’s no wonder why Bauko is touted as the hiking capital of Mountain Province.
How to Get to Bauko, Mt Province
Bontoc to Bauko. There are vans operating from Bontoc to Abatan, Bauko. Regular trip departures start at 7:15 am to 5:00 pm. Each van departs once filled to capacity.
Baguio to Bauko. Bus and vans operate from Baguio to Bauko (I’ll add more details about this soon).
Manila to Bauko. You have two options. First, take a Coda Lines bus from H.M. Bus Station, Cubao, Manila. The schedule of trips are 8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, 10:00 pm, and 10:30 pm. It takes 10 to 11 hours to reach Bontoc. If you are not familiar, tell the driver to drop you at Bontoc town since the buses are bound to Sagada. Fare is 725 pesos for semi-deluxe and 935 pesos for deluxe. Click on their website for more information here. From Bontoc, take regular van trips to Abatan, Bauko.
The second option is to ride Victory Liner Bus and North Genesis Bus to Baguio. Both bus companies have stations in Cubao and Pasay. They have hourly trip departures. From Baguio, take buses and vans to Abatan, Bauko.
Behold Bauko’s Tourist Spots
1. Mt Polis
Mt. Polis is among the most visited tourist spots in Bauko. This is not to be mistaken with another mountain between Ifugao and Mountain Province which also bears the same name. Mt. Polis in Bauko is characterized by rugged slopes and patches of pine forests.
Trekking to the top is almost like a walk in the park. The trails are well-established. From the road, it takes just about an hour to reach Mt. Polis’ summit. From here, one can view the neighboring municipalities of Sagada, Sabangan, and Bontoc. Beautiful rice terraces and towering peaks such as Mount Kalawitan and Mount Amuyao can also be seen. Occasionally, a sea of cloud form during the early morning.
2. Mt Data
Mt. Data is a vast plateau that used to be entirely covered with vast and thriving mossy forests. Almost its entire summit, however, has been converted into vegetable gardens. The few remaining mossy forests feed creeks leading to waterfalls cascading on the slopes of Mt. Data.
From the peak of Mt Data, one could see both municipalities of Benguet and Mountain Province. Parts of Ilocos Sur can also be viewed here including the mighty Abra River. Hopefully, this mountain gets the protection it deserves especially that it’s a national park.
3. Toktok Allan
Toktok Allan is a big boulder that sits on the slope of a pine-covered mountain. Legends say that Allan was a cruel giant. Because of that, Kabunian (Igorot god) turned him into a rock. From a distance, the rock resembles the head of an ape.
4. Mt. Bandilaan
5. Mt. Nentingle
6. Paradise Falls
Paradise Falls is one of the rising tourist spots in Bauko. Hidden deep in the pine forests of barangay Monamon Norte, Paradise Falls takes at least two hours of hike to reach.
You might be wondering why it’s called “Paradise Falls”? That’s because you would feel like you are in paradise once you’re there. Paradise Falls is actually-three layered. Collectively, it measures around 40 meters high. It has small and shallow pools. It’s crystal-clear and icy-cold waters emanate from pine and mossy forests upstream.
7. Inodey Falls
The towering Inodey Falls can also be viewed from Bauko. It measures hundreds of meters high, making it perhaps, the highest falls in Mountain Province. From the summit of Mt. Data, Inodey cascades into a series of beautiful falls. However, it literally dries up during summer. During rainy months, however, it is a complete beauty.
8. Mosgok Falls
9. Payangapang Falls
10. Talimpayok Falls
11. Malannas Falls
12. Bukingking Falls
13. Laayan Burial Cave
Laayan Burial Cave is one of the several burial caves in Bauko, found in barangay Poblacion. From the Abatan-Bagnen road, it takes around 45 minutes of a hike to get here. The cave contains three jars and 39 wooden coffins. The locals believe that it was the burial ground of the offspring of Padoka and Adian, mythical characters.
14. Balintaugan Healing Cave
Balintaugan Healing Cave was used as a quarantine site when there was no hospital back then. This cave signifies the indigenous health knowledge and practices of the locals.
15. Stone Graves
These stone graves in barangay Banao contain artistic inscriptions including the names of the deceased.
16. Dap-ay View Points
This site offers a breathtaking view of the famous “Sleeping Beauty” of Tinglayan, Kalinga and the historical Tirad Pass in Ilocos Sur.
17. Kutkut-Aso Spring
Kutkut-Aso Spring is just a small hole on the ground which contains pure and crystal-clear waters. It has an interesting story to tell though. It is a story about a dog that saved a man’s life after discovering the hole. I’ll leave the locals to tell the complete version of the story. Interestingly, the spring does not overflow during rainy months. It does not also dry up even if a huge drum of water is taken out.
18. Pandey Rice Terraces
Located at barangay Bila, these terraces showcase the ingenuity of the locals. Like ladders rising to the sky, these terraces were made by hand and native tools such as wood and stones. Experience indigenous farming of organic rice when you get here. Plus, you’ll get a stunning view of the surrounding mountains.
19. Miligan Rice Terraces
Similar to Pandey Rice Terraces, visiting here would give you a glimpse of the hard work and unity of the locals of Bauko. Carved on harsh mountain terrains, their ancestors were able to build these earthen masterpieces without metals.
20. Incadang Rice Terraces
21. Pengsaan Falls
Pengsaan Falls is rapidly gaining popularity. Who would not be blown away by its majestic height of more than 100 meters? It displays its full grandeur during the rainy season that even when you are far away, its mists can make you wet. It takes more than 30 minutes of hike from the nearest barangay to get here. Along the way, expect to see rice paddies, vegetable gardens, and sunflower farms.
Where to Stay/Eat in Bauko
Bauko has several tourism amenities dispersed in different barangays.
- Amcaweng Inn and Restaurant in Sinto
- Cross Town Inn and Restaurant in Abatan
- Domogo Bistro and Café in Abatan
Tips and Reminders
- Tourism is not yet fully established in Bauko, Mountain Province. Thus, it’s better to first coordinate with the tourism office for them to help in setting up your itinerary.
- Don’t forget to pay an environmental fee of 30 pesos per person.
- Respect local culture. Refrain from acts or utterances which may be offensive to the community. Among these include Public Display of Affection (PDA) and wearing of revealing clothes such as mini-shorts. Remember, you are in an indigenous municipality.
- Always secure a guide when traveling to remote tourist spots of Bauko such as mountains and falls. This is both for your safety and convenience.
- Don’t ever litter. Let us help in keeping the tourist spots in Bauko clean and green.
- Let us help keep the place peaceful and sacred.
- Some tourist spots in Bauko lack or don’t have signage. So don’t hesitate to ask the locals for guidance.
- Yes, do mingle with the locals. Make friends with them. You’ll learn a lot from their stories and enjoy their company.
For more information:
If you want to know more information that may help in setting up your itinerary to the tourist spots in Bauko, do contact:
- Ms. Arsenia P. Addon, Municipal Tourism Officer – 09107280900.
You may also message us on our facebook page, Daniel’s Eco-Travels. Or post your inquiries in the comment section below. I would be more than glad and willing to help you in whichever way and whenever I can.
Photos Courtesy of Bauko Tourism Office and Rose Lily Sangdaan.