The Batad Rice Terraces
The main activity at the Batad Rice Terraces in the Philippines is to gape open mouthed at the verdant green rice fields built into the mountains by the Ifgugao people over 2,000 years ago. No matter how beautiful a sight is there must be exciting adventure surrounding the destination to keep the traveler occupied.
There are several options once Batad is reached. There are several hiking trails that lead to more rice terraces in nearby villages. This would be an interesting option because most tourists only go to Banaue or Batad, so the nearby rice terraces would definitely lack crowds.
Hike to the waterfall
Some may not have sufficient time to hike to other places as that would take a day or two. For the best day trip from Batad hike down into the village and then find the river and hike to the waterfall.
The waterfall is easy to find and a guide is not needed; however, for a small fee just about anyone in the village will be happy to guide. On my way down to the waterfall I had several villagers yell out of their huts asking if I wanted company. There was also a young Filipino who came by our guesthouse asking if anyone wanted a guide to the waterfall or the nearby rice terraces.
To get to the waterfall from the guesthouses simply walk down into the rice terraces and cross them into the village below. The stone wall dividers between rice fields make for an easy hike and there are convenient rocks steps on the side to help keep balance.
The photograph above perfectly illustrates the way. One must travel down to the village in the middle of the terraces. Then continue straight across the next set of terraces to the cluster of houses below the mountain with the rock faced cliff in the shade lies. There is a notch there between the rock face and the mountain on the left where the terraces are.
After crossing the next set of terraces there is a path that goes up to the village and it meets a stone path. From here the stone path descends into the river valley. The river can be heard from here and reassures the hiker that they are on the right trail. One can always ask someone if they are unsure of their whereabouts.
The distance from the guesthouse to the waterfall is little over a mile, perhaps two, but the falls and the pool below are worth the trek. Be sure to bring swimming gear as a dip in the pool below is heavenly after the hike in the Philippine humidity.
To get to Batad click here
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