Heading from Manila to Banaue? This town in the Cordillera mountain range is known for its incredible rice terraces carved into the mountainsides. Often called the Eighth Wonder of the World, the terraces are over 2000 years old and are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take a tour and learn about their history and the indigenous Ifugao people who built them largely by hand.
The only way to directly travel the 385-km distance from Manila to Banaue is by bus. Tickets cost 680 PHP ($13.50) and the bus ride takes at least 8 hours, depending on traffic. There is also an option to fly, but the nearest airport from Banaue is at least 3.5 hours away.
The bus is the most common option travellers use to get from Manila to Banaue. Note that only overnight buses are available for the 8 to 11-hour ride. Buses are clean and well-maintained, but not very spacious and can be uncomfortable for tall passengers.
If you don’t want to spend a night on a bus, you can also take a flight from Manila to Cauayan Airport in Isabela. The flight takes only a little over an hour. But from this airport, you will need to take a 3.5-hour land journey to Banaue.
If you add your waiting time at the airport, you don’t really get to save a lot of time with the flight. Also, short-haul flights like this are very harmful to the environment.
The bus is the most common mode of transport when travelling from Manila to Banaue.
There are 2 well-known bus companies that service this route. These are Coda Lines and Ohayami Trans, both of which only provide night trips. This makes sense as the journey can take between 8-11 hours, depending on the traffic when heading out of Manila. Travelling at night allows you to save both time and a night on accommodation.
Fares start at 680 PHP ($13.50) for a one-way trip and you can book your ticket online via BookAway.
The two bus companies stop at the Poblacion (town center) in Banaue. Tourist buses do not have on-board toilets and aren’t the most spacious. They do make at least 2 stops along the way for bathroom and meal breaks. Overall, don’t expect too much from the buses operating in the Philippines.
If you want more comfort and a good night’s sleep, we think it is worth paying a couple of extra bucks for Coda Lines’ VIP bus. They offer reclining seats with footrest, an onboard toilet, as well as blankets. Note that overnight bus rides in the Philippines can get really cold.
Departs from Ohayami Trans Bus Terminal, Lacson Avenue (near University of Santo Tomas), 2.5km from the city center
Arrives at the Ohayami Bus Terminal in Poblacion (town center), next to Banaue Hotel
Ohayami Trans provides direct trips from Manila to Banaue. However, the buses are not that big, and they are often old and worn.
Departs from Coda Lines Bus Terminal, Monte de Piedad corner Maryland St., Cubao (8.3km northeast from the city center)
Arrives at Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel in the town center
Coda Lines provides standard bus service, but they receive minor complaints such as drivers driving too fast.
Manila to Banaue by Flight
Duration: 5.5 hours Cost: 5,870 PHP ($116)
There is no direct flight from Manila to Banaue. You need to book a flight to Cauayan and from there, hire a transfer to get you to Banaue.
Step 1: Manila to Cauayan by Flight
Duration: 1h 10min Cost: 1,870 PHP ($37)
Cebu Pacific offers the only flight from Manila to Cauayan. This leaves at 6:35 from Manila Airport Terminal 3. The flight time is just a little over an hour. Ticket prices start at 1,870 PHP ($37) for a one-way trip. You arrive at Cauayan Airport. For easy booking, just click on the button below.
Once you arrive at Cauayan Airport, there will be van drivers just waiting for passengers to arrive. Some of them will offer to take you to Banaue. Use your negotiation skills to obtain a good deal since they will always quote a higher price. Usually, a somewhat pretty good deal is about 4,000 PHP ($77) for the entire van. If you can get this price lower, then the better.
If you need a convenient transport for going around Banaue, you can also get a deal with the driver.
Alternative Transport from the airport to Banaue
From Cauayan Airport, you’ll be able to spot some tricycles or drivers are likely to approach you. Ask one of the drivers to take you to the bus stop. Most often than not, they will help you hail a bus that passes through Bagabag Junction. The tricycle ride costs about 100 PHP ($2). Just don’t expect the tricycle to be very spacious. The bus ride costs about 100 PHP ($2).
Get off the bus at Bagabag Junction then wait for a jeepney bound for Lagawe. When in Lagawe, transfer to another jeepney bound for Banaue. You will be dropped off at the town center. The entire jeepney trips cost around 150 PHP ($2.80).
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