Here is your complete DIY travel guide to the tourist spots in Natonin!
Where can we find the longest rice terraces in the Philippines? You might say, “It’s in Banaue, Ifugao!” Nope. It is actually found in a remote municipality called Natonin.
Natonin is located in the eastern Mountain Province. It is one of the hardest to reach due to rugged road conditions and mountainous terrains. It is only then that road improvement is almost in full swing.
From a bird’s eye view, Natonin looks like a bowl of rice terraces, surrounded with towering peaks. These peaks feed numerous brooks and streams leading to the Siffu River. The abundance of water and fertile soil makes Natonin a hub for heirloom rice production.
How to Get to Natonin
Manila to Bontoc. Ride a Coda Lines bus. This is the only bus heading straight to Bontoc, the primary jump-off point to Natonin. The time of departures is 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm. Reminder, they do online booking. If you don’t want to miss out seats, book in advance. Or go to the station as early as 5:00 pm to grab a ticket. For more information, click on their website here. From Manila to Bontoc, the trip takes 10- 11 hours.
Baguio to Bontoc. There are two options. First, you can ride GL buses. These park at Dangwa Terminal (back of Center Mall). Times of departures are 7:30 am, 8:00 am, 10:00 am, 1:30 pm, and 2:30 pm. Second, you can ride Rising Sun buses (stationed at Slaughter Compound, Magsaysay). They have bus schedules from 4 am to 4 pm.
Bontoc to Natonin. There is only one scheduled trip bound to Natonin regularly. The mode of transport could either be a jeep or a mini-bus. These station alongside All Saints Cathedral. The time of departure is 10:00 am. It is advisable, however, to be at the station at least an hour before the departure for reservation purposes. From Bontoc, it takes 6 hours to reach Poblacion, Natonin. Poblacion is the town center.
Behold Natonin’s Tourist Spots
1. Apatan Rice Terraces
These terraces are alongside Mt. To-or Viewpoint. You can view them from the national highway. Unlike those found in Banaue, the terraces here have stone walls to protect them from erosion. Experience indigenous farming of heirloom rice when you get here.
2. Lamayen Rice Terraces
4. Mt. To-or
Mount To-or provides one of the best views of Natonin’s rice terraces from east to west. This is actually a small and forested hill in the middle of rice terraces. Before, Mt. To-or is owned by a clan for generations. However, it has become a communal spot. Resembling the shape of a turtle, Mt. To-or also offers a vantage view of the lower barangays of Natonin. There is a shade constructed atop it. From the national highway, it takes around 20-30 minutes of a hike to reach Mt. To-or’s zenith.
4. Mt. Binaratan
Mt. Binaratan is the most locally-popular mountain in Natonin. Dubbed as the “Silent Mountain,” you won’t hear any bird’s chirping while you’re on the summit. Mysterious, right? From barangay Maducayan, it takes five to six hours of a hike to reach its summit. The trail is rustic and ecologically diverse and from time to time, you’ll catch sight of wildlife above the forest canopy. During good weather conditions, the summit rewards you with a panoramic view of the forest-covered mountains of Barlig and Kalinga province. The famed “Sleeping Beauty” Tinglayan can also be seen.
5. Mt. Patiking
Mt. Patiking is also a popular destination among the locals. Atop this mountain is a big boulder that resembles the head of an elephant. Standing on this boulder, one can view the extensive rice terraces and different barangays of Natonin. From here, you can also see the Siffu River as it snakes its way among the mountains. It is best to come here early morning to catch a glimpse of the spectacular sunrise. From the national road at sitio Purag of barangay Banao, it takes 45 minutes of a hike to get here.
6. Naropaan Falls
Naropaan falls is one of the several cascades found in barangay Sta. Isabel. It can be reached via a 5-minutes’ walk down from the road. It measures 45 feet high and has a little pool at the base. Like heavenly drizzles, the cascading waters provide a natural massage and invigorating relief to the body.
7. Letalet Falls
Letalet waterfall drops lazily amidst the tropical forests of barangay Banawel. From the road, it takes just a few minutes of hike to reach it. Letalet falls measures around 30 feet high and has a naturally-built pool with icy-cold and crystal-clear waters.
8. Laken Living Stone
A mystic stone located along the Siffu River at sitio Balanga. According to the locals, the stone was originally small (lagan) and slowly, it grew, making them wonder. That certainly sparks mystery.
9. Vuyon Salt Spring
Located along the Maducayan River, this spring emerges from a rock opening and has a salty taste. Oftentimes, crabs gather in the spring for unknown reasons. There is an interesting story about this, however, I would not like to spoil your excitement. I’ll leave it to the locals to share it with you. To get here, one needs to hike for about an hour from barangay Saliok.
10. Agomoyamoy Falls
Agomoyamoy falls found deep in the forests of Maducayan. It takes hours of arduous hike to get here, passing across dense trails. But if you’re seeking extreme hiking, then it’s worth the challenge. The falls is two-layered and cascades like a bridal veil from afar.
11. Mt. Balikongkong
13. Mt. Luwaan
Mt. Luwaan is one of the least explored tourist spots in Natonin, found in barangay Maducayan. Mossy forests cover the mountain entirely and only a few hunters were able to glimpse of its beauty. According to the locals, Mt. Luwaan is bordered with Lias community in Barlig. Expect extreme adventure if you wish to get here.
14. Turgak Falls
15. Mt. Gitgit
16. Maducayan River
Maducayan River emanates from pristine mossy and dipterocarp forests. It thrives with endemic marine species such as eels and crabs. The waters are cold, enough to soothe the hardened muscles. The river’s upper tributaries teem with several waterfalls and rapids. If you’re an adventurer, these are wonders you should not miss.
17. Siffu River
Siffu river originates from the mountains of Barlig and grows bigger as it traverses Natonin. Fishes and eels also abound though illegal fishing depleted their population in recent years. It takes hours of trek from the nearest barangay to get here. But no worries, your exhaustion immediately dissipates as you relax on its invigorating waters.
18. Lagan River
19. Penadna Falls
Penadna falls is one of the locally-frequented tourist spots in Natonin. It can be seen along the national highway and takes a minute or two to get to its base. It measures around 80 feet high and is surrounded by verdant vegetation. It’s best to view the falls during the rainy season as it dries up during summer months.
20. Purag Rice Terraces
These are the first rice terraces of Natonin you will see when arriving from Barlig or Bontoc town. From the highway, these look like cascades surrounded by mountain slopes. You can also view them when hiking to Mt. Patikking, one of the rising tourist spots in Natonin.
Where to Stay in Natonin?
There are only two operating lodging houses in Natonin, both found in Poblacion. These are:
- Php 200/night/person
- Has four rooms
- Contact person is Mr. Colalading – 09989866891
- Php 100/night/room
- Php 150/night/room if the kitchen is used
- There are three rooms (each good for two pax)
- With cold shower
If these lodging houses are filled to capacity, coordinate with the local tourism or the municipal/barangay officials for them to recommend where you can stay.
Some Important Reminders
- Tourism is not yet fully-established in Natonin, thus, there are no organized tour groups and packages. That is why, proceed immediately or coordinate with the Tourism Office of Natonin. It will be up to them to recommend local guides.
- In some barangays, the coverage of Smart and Globe is either weak or absent. It is only in Poblacion where there is a strong network connection.
- Most of the tourist spots in Natonin don’t have signage so don’t hesitate to ask the locals for directions. Oh yes, do make friends with them.
- Respect local culture by refraining from utterances and acts which are offensive to the community. Among these include wearing of mini-shorts and public display of affection (PDA).
- Help in the preservation of the tourist spots in Natonin by following basic protocols such as proper waste disposal.
For your Information:
If you need further information that may help in setting up your itinerary to the tourist spots in Natonin, simply ask them in the comment section below. You can also message us on our facebook page namely, Daniel’s Eco-Travels. I will be more than glad and willing to answer them whenever I can:)