The attractions in Sagada can be explored with a 1-2 day itinerary, a perfect weekend destination, with the tourist crowd peaking on Saturday.

My friends and I have planned a Sagada trip in November. Considering my friend’s free time from school, we scheduled it for the last weekend of the month. Next to Holy Week, December would be the second busiest time in Sagada, so it was almost as crowded as it is during December when we went there.

We left Cubao on Friday and arrived in Sagada on a Saturday. As expected, people flocked to the tourism office, booking their tours or waiting for their tour guides. I always take into consideration the day and time I would go to popular tourist destinations as it could greatly affect the whole feel and experience of my travel. So my friends and I carefully planned our itinerary to avoid the crowds. Our destinations in mind were 1) Hanging Coffins, 2) Marlboro and Blue Soil Hills, called as Lamagan to Blue Soil Trek tour, 3) Mt. Ampacao, and 4) Lumiang-Sumaguing Cave Connection.

We arrived on a Saturday morning, like the hundred other tourists we saw at the tourism office. By then, we thought they’d most probably book the nearest, easiest, and most popular tour, Hanging Coffins, also known as the Paytokan Walk Tour, so we decided to avoid that tour for the time being and went for the least booked one, the Nabas-Ang to Mt. Ampacao hike. We booked it for 3:00 in the afternoon, so that we had time to rest from our overnight bus trip, just in time to watch the sunset at Mt. Ampacao.

My friends taking a photo at Mt. Ampacao in Sagada
Cid, Nikki, and Kayla taking a photo at Mt. Ampacao

The following day, on a Sunday morning, we went for the Lumiang-Sumaguing Cave Connection tour. It was also a tour that’s rarely booked as people often go just to the Sumaguing Cave. If you’re up for a fulfilling unique adventure, you should definitely try spelunking the Lumiang-Sumaguing Cave Connection. Even though we got exhausted after the whole experience, my friends and I agreed that we felt fulfilled and didn’t regret what we did. I wrote a separate blog about it here.

My friends and I inside Lumiang Cave in Sagada
My friends and I, posing for a photo inside the Lumiang Cave

On Sunday afternoon, when the weekend crowd is starting to disappear, was when we opted for the Paytokan Walk Tour. It was when I realized that we really did a good job scheduling our time for each tour, as we had the Hanging Coffins all to ourselves. There was no group of tourists waiting for their next turn, and we didn’t wait either.

Our trip was until Monday morning, so it’s when we went for the Lamagan to Blue Soil Sunrise Trek. When we reached the top of the Marlboro Hills, our tour guide even said the number of tourists just yesterday was up to a thousand, if I remember the number correctly.


You probably want to go to Sagada to see the Hanging Coffins, Marlboro and Blue Soil Hills, Bomod-Ok Falls, and the deepest explored cave in the Philippines, Sumaguing Cave. With that in mind, think about “where would I like to go right now?” upon arriving, and save it for last. You can book your tours online or at the tourism office.

If you want to do the sunrise trek at Lamagan to Blue Soil Hills, you’ll definitely want to avoid Sunday morning. I haven’t tried a sunset trek to the Marlboro Hills, but if I wanted to avoid the crowds during a Sunday sunrise trek, I’d definitely choose a sunset trek instead.

For the Hanging Coffins, you might want to go there very early in the morning, earlier than 8:00 when the tourism office opens, that is, if you already have a contact number of your tour guide. You can also opt for very late in the afternoon, just like we did, to avoid the crowds.

I would recommend going to Bomod-Ok during the morning as tourists often go first to the Hanging Coffins then to the Bomod-Ok Falls in the afternoon. As for the Sumaguing Cave, I’d say Saturday early morning is also best when most tourists are still at the Hanging Coffins.

Bomod-Ok Falls in Sagada

These things have worked for us, but that doesn’t guarantee it could work for you too. Alternatively, if Sagada tourism is in an off-season, you do not need to worry about beating the crowds and going during weekends. This happened the first time I went to Sagada during September. When I planned to have dinner at Salt and Pepper on a Saturday, I was expecting a lot of people, but to my surprise, I was the only customer. I even thought they might be closed already when I entered. This also happened in Yoghurt House and Log Cabin Sagada during that time, where I clearly enjoyed all the empty tables and chairs around me.

Yoghurt House in Sagada

Planning your trip to Sagada soon? Read my budget travel guide here.

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