Sagada was at the top of my list for my post-graduation self-retreat last 2022. It’s something I have mentioned to my family before my graduation in July. So when I got my first paycheck two months later, I finally managed to go to Sagada, then come back again with my friends in November.

The first time I went to Sagada, I walked a lot and probably explored most of the town (or the downtown at least and a little farther) by foot. So during my second time in Sagada, my friends jokingly asked “taga dito ka ba?”, because it was like I was living there already. I knew where the roads led and where the eateries and restaurants were located. I also knew where to buy the cheapest bottled water around town.

It was a 4 day trip, arriving at Sagada on Thursday morning and leaving at noon on a Monday. Of course, I didn’t want to be idle with the perfect weather almost every day I was there. From my accommodation near Salt and Pepper, I managed to walk to Sagada Pottery, Sagada Cellar Door, and beyond. By beyond, I mean a cool secret spot overlooking the town I found by walking aimlessly and following what I thought were “shortcuts”.

The view from the “cool secret spot” overlooking the town of Sagada

It turned out there weren’t shortcuts, but I thought it must be cool up there and made the detour anyway.

Another view from the “cool secret spot

Mind you, just walking from Salt and Pepper to the tourism office the first time literally took my breath away – I gasped for air, and maybe stopped twice, with around 10 hours of half awake sleep in the bus. During the second day however, my body finally remembered I am a hiker and walked restlessly since then. Finally, on my last day, I explored downhill from my accommodation and reached Gaia Cafe and the beautiful rice field overlooking-view by the road, which was also far, by the way. 

The beautiful rice field overlooking-view from the road

I’ll be sharing here my budget travel guide, credits to my 4 restless days in Sagada, and also the time I went with my friends.

Sagada Homestays

You have to believe me when I say I have browsed through every single accommodation on Sagada’s website, and have inquired at the ones which passed my screening process, in order to find the best affordable homestay there is in Sagada. These are the three homestays I have stayed in, which cost just Php 400 a night, the cheapest rate there is in Central Sagada.

Sagada Guesthouse

Sagada Guesthouse is the third nearest accommodation, next to Isabelo’s Guest House and St. Joseph’s by several meters, to Sagada’s tourism office. If you plan to tour a lot for several days when you visit Sagada, it’s convenient to book your accommodation near the tourism office, and one of the cheapest choices is the Sagada Guesthouse, just a 1-minute walk.

My solo budget room at Sagada Guesthouse, for one night

The downside is that their blanket is not a comforter. It can get chilly at night and you’ll have difficulty sleeping. But that sacrifice of not being able to sleep well is worth Php 300, the amount you save, because Sagada Homestays’ average rate per person is Php 700. Their budget rooms that cost Php 400 has shared bathrooms, but they also have rooms that have private bath at Php 450.

Residential Lodge Sagada

Residential Lodge Sagada has great, kind hosts, who I found out are relatives of Sagada Guesthouse’s owner. When they asked me why I changed accommodations (because apparently, I am now farther from the downtown’s center), I just said “so that I’m near Salt and Pepper”, which is a lie, because I didn’t want to tell them I wasn’t able to sleep well because of the thin blankets.

My room at Residential Lodge Sagada, where I had good sleep under a comforter, for two nights

The rate at Residential Lodge Sagada is also Php 400 a night. It has a private bathroom that even comes with a bath tub, or maybe it was just in my room. The downside is that it is far from the tourism office and the walk uphill is tiring. Although if you plan to eat a lot at restaurants, this is an ideal location.

Villa D Familia

I did not want to share this at first, because it’s the ultimate deal, really. It’s a nice accommodation near the tourism office, but still available at last minute. I wanted to gatekeep it so it’s still always available at last minute. They also have the most important thing for a comfortable sleep – comforters. 

My friend Nikki, in the living room of Villa D Familia

For 400 a night, you have a nice room, with one private bathroom and two shared bathrooms in the living area. There is also a common kitchen that you can freely use – with the stove, utensils and all. Just leave it like you found it. The owners live in a separate house so you also won’t feel like you’re disturbing them while using the kitchen or hanging out in the living area.

Where to Eat in Sagada

Public Market

Sagada Public Market

The meals at the public market are priced Php 100 for solo and Php 160 for two, although you have to ask if the meal is for one or two people. You don’t want to be served a meal you can’t finish because they’ll serve you the biggest meal ever if you mistakenly got the two people meal. The first time I ate there, I was served a meal for 2 or probably 3. As expected, I failed to finish the meal. The second time at a different eatery, I was still served a meal for 2 to 3 people because my friend and I misunderstood the waiter. Of course, we didn’t finish both of our meals.

The meals at the public market are not inexpensive, though these are the cheapest in Central Sagada. However, they serve the meals cold, or sometimes just the rice is served cold, and my friends and I all agree that the food is not delightful to eat. That said, just eat at restaurants. Sorry.


Budget travel is not always about getting the cheapest deals and eating the cheapest food, but at least getting the most out of your money’s worth. So even when you’re on a tight budget, you do not want to skip the famous restaurants in Sagada and splurge a little.

Yoghurt House in Sagada

Restaurant meals range from 250 to 500 per person, with the best meals priced at around 300, and here are my recommendations:

Log Cabin Sagada

Known for their “Etag” or smoked meat, Log Cabin Sagada serves the best-tasting food in town, or for me, at least. The ambiance is great as well, which is completed when the fireplace is lit during dinner. They serve a buffet once a week, but you probably have to reserve seats for that.

Yoghurt House

The most famous restaurant in Sagada, Yoghurt House, is known for their yogurt, if not obvious. But don’t be pressured to order the yogurt, if you’re not a fan. Their meals for lunch and dinner are also one of the best, and the natural view on the upper floor is a great sight when having your meals.

Salt and Pepper

I first saw this restaurant at one of Erwan’s vlogs about Sagada and it has the homeliest vibe among all of the restaurants in town. All the walls, tables, and chairs are wood that really makes you feel like you’re up in the mountains. Aside from that, the food is also great but I liked their rice meals more than the pasta.

Sagada Bistro

A restaurant where you’ll find pansit and shanghai lumpia, Sagada Bistro offers meals that are best for groups. It was the restaurant where we had the chance to be a little thrifty, as we ordered a few meals and shared the bill. We were more than satisfied with the delicious food because we also spent less for it.

The meals served in the above list are expensive compared to fast food, but it is worth it and also healthy. To be on budget, I brought and ate oatmeal for all of my breakfasts, ate at an average looking restaurant at lunch, and splurged Php 300-500 for one meal at a famous restaurant during dinner.

TIP: If you can’t choose on the menu, you can never go wrong with ordering a chicken meal in Sagada.

Mode of Transportation

How to Get to Sagada

From Metro Manila, we rode the Coda Lines Bus at the HM Transport Inc in Cubao, which costs Php 1,000+ per head. Although you may have to reserve your seats, especially from Thursday to Saturday because they easily get full.

You can reach them at Facebook or thru text at (0927) 559 2197.

Getting Around Sagada

Unfortunately, there are no available jeeps or tricycles for commuting around town. Hiring a motorcycle costs around Php 300 per day, according to our guide. That is, if you want to explore further than downtown.

The famous restaurants are walkable from a Central Sagada accommodation, and you can explore around town by foot. All the tours in Sagada have an optional shuttle service, which are usually already added to the displayed cost of the tour.

Sagada Tours

As of February 2023

All outsiders who wish to tour Sagada need to pay a Php 100 registration fee.

They also offer Php 100 optional insurance at the tourism office.

Paytokan Walk

Me at the Hanging Coffins

The Paytokan Walk tour starts at the Church of Saint Mary, passing by the Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins, and ends at the Coffee Farm. It takes 2-4 hours. You can also walk to Sagada Weaving after this tour.

Guide Fee: Php 1000 (up to 10 pax)

Access Fee: Php 10 per person

Rock Climbing is available from Friday to Sunday, which costs Php 500 per person.

Lamagan to Blue Soil Trail

Blue Soil Hills

The sunrise hike from Lamagan (also known as Marlboro Hills) to Blue Soil Hills takes 4-5 hours. You’ll be able to enjoy views of cloud inversions, echo valleys, pine tree forests, and the popular blue soil hills.

Guide and Shuttle Service Fee: Php 2900 (up to 10 pax)

Bomod-Ok Falls

Bomod-Ok Falls

The Bomod-Ok Falls takes 3-4 hours and a thousand steps of stairs to reach. You’ll be able to pass by villages and rice terraces along the trail.

Guide and Shuttle Service Fee: Php 1150 (up to 10 pax)

Access Fee: Php 10 per person

Nabas-Ang to Ampacao Trail

My friends and I at Mt. Ampacao

Mt. Ampacao is the highest peak of Sagada and the sunset tour to hike this mountain takes 4-5 hours to complete. Hiking through the trail, you’ll be able to enjoy grasslands, pine trees, and berries.

Guide and Shuttle Service Fee: Php 1850 (up to 10 pax)

Spelunking Tours

Lumiang to Sumaguing Cave Connection

The entrance of Lumiang Cave

This spelunking tour starts at Lumiang Burial Cave and ends at Sumaguing Cave. It takes 3-5 hours to complete. You can read about our whole experience of this tour here.

Guide and Shuttle Service Fee: Php 1900 (up to 3 pax)

Sumaguing Cave

The entrance of Sumaguing Cave

This Sumaguing Cave Spelunking Tour’s entrance and exit is at Sumaguing Cave and it takes 1-3 hour/s to complete. This tour consists of sightseeing rock formations inside Sumaguing Cave.

You can book your tours online at their website, Umali Kayo Sagada or directly at the tourism office.

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