Stunning Scenery of Rice Terraces in Banaue, the Philippines

The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras is an outstanding example of an evolved, living cultural landscape that can be traced as far back as two millennium ago in the pre-colonial Philippines.

Rice Terraces in Banaue, the Philippines Rice Terraces in Banaue

The terraces are Philippines Pride and Cultural Treasure. Local folks call them “Stairs to Heaven” because of the ascending stairs of rice fields. Imagine! It takes the Ifugao ancestors 2000 years to build these great wonders. It’s really one of the best attraction to visit while in Banaue.

Rice Terraces in Banaue Rice Terraces in Banaue

The terraces are also called by many “Eighth Wonder of the World” as they are listed as UNESCO World Heritage site.

Rice Terraces in Banaue Rice Terraces in Banaue

The structures’ original builders used stone and mud walls to carefully carve and construct terraces that could hold flooded pond fields for the cultivation of rice. They also established a system to water these plots by harvesting water from mountaintop forests.

Rice Terraces in Banaue Rice Terraces in Banaue

You must see and experience these terraces. Actually Banaue is a region consisting of many hills with terraces and almost each of it is unique somehow. But, It’s not just sightseeing, it is also very nice hikes connected with meeting local people.

Rice Terraces in Banaue

During summer and fall abundant rains can sometimes cloud views of the slopes so June is harvest time, so the landscape is golden and activity levels are high.

Rice Terraces in Banaue Rice Terraces in Banaue

The Jeepney ride around the mountain roads (even better on top of the Jeepney roof) is an amazing experience, just hold on tight. Then the hike down the mountainside to see the Terraces is quite a challenge for the unfit, but well worth the effort. Whilst there at the terraces you really should take the additional walk across the Terraces and onto the Tappiyah Falls, the water is cold but makes a very refreshing dip after the walk to get there.

Rice Terraces in Banaue Rice Terraces in Banaue

It is truly magnificent to stand looking over these man made creations. Beautiful views and very scenic, right?

Rice Terraces in Banaue

How do you like the scenery?

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{ 102 comments… add one }
  • Heather March 13, 2014, 2:32 am

    These terraces are absolutely incredible! I’m amazed that they could be built into the side of the mountain like that. Would love to see them in person some day!!

    Reply
    • Ije March 21, 2014, 7:58 pm

      hi there,

      i am from the phils as well its really a nice place to visit but dont go there during rainy season between july to aug thou its rains often in the Phils. the best time is around sept to march for some thou summer is great due to the heat it can be a little uncomfortable if your not so used to the heat of the sun …

      good luck hope you will see it someday

      Reply
  • Rika | Cubicle Throwdown March 13, 2014, 3:44 am

    Amazing!! Also nice to see Cez up there in the terraces, his leg must be healing well for him to hike up there – wonderful!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 14, 2014, 2:32 am

      His leg is getting better, but he struggled a lot to get there!

      Reply
  • Mary {The World Is A Book} March 13, 2014, 4:31 am

    These rice terraces have always fascinated me as a child. They were one of the most recognizable attractions and landmarks in the Philippines. But, I never got to see them before we left. Thanks for this virtual tour. It’s great to know they’re still around and well maintained. Incredible scenery and it looks like it’s worth all the effort to see them. Love your beautiful photos!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 14, 2014, 2:32 am

      Thank you Mary for sharing. I hope you can make it there soon and make your dreams come true!

      Reply
      • Katarina Antonio March 20, 2014, 10:58 pm

        Great photos! I love the rice terraces as well. I’ve only seen them twice in my life but I’d love to go back. Were you able to go up to Sagada? It’s just a few hours away from Banaue. Also, while you were in the Philippines, did you get to see beaches? We have pretty amazing ones. :D

  • Rachel of Hippie in Heels March 13, 2014, 5:44 am

    Really pretty! I’m hoping to go this monsoon!

    Reply
  • The Guy March 13, 2014, 7:32 am

    Another great article Agness. I’m always fascinated seeing pictures of this landscape. With lots of your pictures it is great to be able to see a lot of the detail and complexity to the layers. Also thanks for the explanations as to why they are that way and the history. It certainly makes it more fascinating.

    I also love the picture of that statue :-)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 14, 2014, 2:27 am

      You gotta go there, that’s for sure! Thanks!

      Reply
  • Jen March 13, 2014, 8:38 am

    Its so beautiful Agness and you photos really capture it well.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 14, 2014, 2:26 am

      Thank you. The place looks more beautiful when you are there!

      Reply
  • Miranda Farley March 13, 2014, 9:13 am

    Wow. I have heard about the famous rice terraces in Banaue but was not able to visit it while I was in Luzon. Might get to visit it if I still have enough funds though. I’m here at Baler, Aurora at the moment for some surf and sand. ;)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 14, 2014, 2:26 am

      That’s definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to, Miranda!

      Reply
  • Stef March 13, 2014, 9:50 am

    Wow. This looks amazing. I’ve never been to a rice terrace before but after reading this and seeing your photos, I totally wanna go :)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 14, 2014, 2:25 am

      Add it to your bucket list!

      Reply
  • Sam March 13, 2014, 11:25 am

    Gorgeous! I travelled in northern Philippines in 2009, but didn’t make it to Banue – wish I had though. Next time, right?!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 14, 2014, 2:25 am

      Yeah, next time!

      Reply
    • KENDRA REYNOLDS March 20, 2014, 4:20 am

      nothing beats these pictures! eight wonder of the world indeed! killer photos

      Reply
  • J in Beijing March 13, 2014, 11:34 am

    Wow- they look beautiful. I’ve never been to any rice terraces, although hopefully I will see some while we are in China.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 14, 2014, 2:25 am

      You can see something similar in Guilin.

      Reply
  • Bridget @ A Traveling B March 13, 2014, 1:55 pm

    Stunning photos, Agness! It is easy to see why UNESCO would consider them a World Heritage Site. I cannot believe it took 2000 years to build them! I would love to visit them in the future.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 14, 2014, 2:23 am

      Thank you Bridget!

      Reply
  • Taylor March 13, 2014, 4:22 pm

    Love the photos, the rice terraces are gorgeous!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 14, 2014, 2:23 am

      Thanks!

      Reply
  • Mike March 13, 2014, 6:56 pm

    Absolutely beautiful, Agness and Cez. It always boggles my mind that they can keep those terraces intact with all of the rain. It’s an amazing system they have in place, isn’t it? Good post :)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 14, 2014, 2:23 am

      It is!!! Totally agree Mike!

      Reply
  • Lauren | JustinPlusLauren March 14, 2014, 1:08 am

    So breathtaking! beautiful photos and scenery! It must have been so amazing to visit there!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 14, 2014, 2:23 am

      I agree, the scenery was just breath-taking!

      Reply
  • Agness Walewinder March 14, 2014, 2:31 am

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) March 14, 2014, 4:30 am

    It looks so beautiful, Agness! We saw some really lovely rice terraces when we were in China, but everyone says that the ones in Banaue cannot be beat. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a part of the country that Tony & I were able to visit during our time in the Philippines (we ran out of time!), but it is definitely at the top for our next visit, whenever that should be. I’m glad I can experience them vicariously through your photos, but I can only imagine how impressive they must have been in person!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 15, 2014, 4:31 am

      Thank you Steph. I have also explored Guilin’s Rice Terraces, but what I have seen in Banaue took my breath away!

      Reply
  • Jess @UsedYorkCity March 14, 2014, 11:06 am

    Gorgeous photos, Agness! I can definitely see how this would be one of the great world wonders…it always amazes me the incredible things humans are able to do!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 15, 2014, 4:31 am

      Thank you Jess!

      Reply
  • Franca March 15, 2014, 8:31 am

    Incredibly beautiful views and photos of course. These rice terraces are really something special. It’s also nice to see Cez being able to get up there, it means he’s much better :)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 17, 2014, 2:13 am

      Cez id doing well. He’s sending his love. We’re back in Europe in summer so hope to see you there !!

      Reply
  • Noelfy March 15, 2014, 12:17 pm

    yes, enjoying the rice terraces from the top of the jeepney is just the best!!
    I remember the face of the locals when the 3 foreigner “insisted” to do the trip on the top even when the jeepney wasn’t fully packed(It definitely fully packed to our standards but they insisted we could fit there:P)
    You were lucky to get such a stunning pictures!
    It was pouring rain when i went there so most of my pictures I am soaking wet :P

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 17, 2014, 2:14 am

      Thank you sweetheart! As far as I remember, you recommended this place to us. Absolutely stunning! THANK YOU!

      Reply
  • Tim | UrbanDuniya March 15, 2014, 12:44 pm

    Gorgeous shots! Makes me want to go there! This reminds me a bit of the rice terraces in Flores, eastern Indonesia, as well :)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 17, 2014, 2:15 am

      Tim, you should definitely go there. Never made it to Flores, but I will check this place out!

      Reply
    • KENDRA REYNOLDS March 20, 2014, 4:19 am

      To be honest, I dislike Vietnam. I had a bad experience on the way to the rice fields… the transportation was eek.. horrible

      Reply
  • [email protected] March 15, 2014, 8:11 pm

    HI Agness, thank you for sharing these wonderful view of Banaue. I’m more inspired to go there when we visit later this year. Your photos are stunning!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 17, 2014, 2:16 am

      It’s been my pleasure. I’m so glad you guys liked it.

      Reply
  • Matt March 16, 2014, 1:25 am

    I had never heard about or seen these before but they look amazing! I’m sure it looks much better in person. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Arti March 16, 2014, 2:16 am

    Stunning captures Agness! I have seen terrace fields on my visits to the Himalayas and they are simply gorgeous. Gateway to Heaven, yes I agree with that!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 17, 2014, 2:16 am

      YES! YES! It was like being in a heaven!

      Reply
  • ben March 16, 2014, 3:44 pm

    Philippine pride Rice terraces, but not really taken care of by the government. If you look it closer some of the part of rice terraces are damage. The government should take serious action to preserve such beauty!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 17, 2014, 2:17 am

      Oh, I didn’t know. Thanks for the info. I totally agree, these Terraces should be taken care of!

      Reply
  • Dave @ Travel Transmissions March 16, 2014, 5:13 pm

    One of my biggest regrets on my trip to the Philippines was not visiting Banaue, but your gorgeous pictures nearly gave all the glory of being there. Thanks for sharing!!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 17, 2014, 2:18 am

      That was a real pitty, but maybe next time you can make it there… :)

      Reply
  • Charlie March 16, 2014, 11:15 pm

    Insanely incredible! I went to some rice terraces in Vietnam but they weren’t as incredible as this, although it was very misty so I guess the weather can make a big difference too!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 17, 2014, 2:18 am

      I have not seen the Rice Terraces in Vietnam :(, that was my biggest regret !!

      Reply
  • Aggy March 17, 2014, 8:02 am

    Wow just look at that view! I hope one day I get to visit this amazing place, I loved the terraced rice paddies in Bali and somehow this one looks a little different, both beautiful but a different kind of beauty.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 18, 2014, 1:33 am

      It was truly wonderful!

      Reply
  • noel March 17, 2014, 6:18 pm

    It’s been too long since I’ve been to the Philippines…especially this place…gorgeous vistas. I would love to hike down through some of the trails and discover a unique villages below!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 18, 2014, 12:22 am

      I’m glad you loved it there. One of my favourite places on this planet!

      Reply
  • Mike Critchley March 18, 2014, 5:59 am

    Great photos!!!! This is one place that I still have yet to visit in the Phils. You guys really do get around. Thanks for sharing — you’ve motivated me to get my butt up there on my next trip over! Happy travels :)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 19, 2014, 1:54 am

      I’m so glad you liked it! The landscape left us speechless…

      Reply
      • KENDRA REYNOLDS March 20, 2014, 3:39 am

        where is this?

  • Cat March 19, 2014, 2:17 pm

    Great pictures! I did not spend a lot of time the terraces in Banaue. It was just a sidetrip on my way to this mountain town called Sagada. Maybe next time you’ll visit Sagada too :)

    Reply
  • cool March 20, 2014, 3:40 am

    where is this place? and what is this?

    Reply
  • Jennifer Bang March 20, 2014, 3:52 am

    Bad photography. Or is it just that the camera you are using is cheap?

    Reply
    • Cez Krol March 20, 2014, 4:00 am

      Thanks for feedback, I’ll try to improve my photography skills.

      Reply
      • Chad March 20, 2014, 6:16 am

        Are you using a DSLR? Considering what you do, I highly suggest investing in a wide-angle lens, or at least an adapter. A gopro would be a great investment, but beware of the very limited battery life. Even just a lens clip for a smartphone would make for breathtaking photos. Ditch point-and-shoot cameras. Either use a smartphone, or a full sized DSLR/Mirrorless Cameras. Point-and-shoot cameras are a waste of space, and money; and most smartphones can do as good or even better.

        Also, get a cheap 50mm lens if you’re using a DSLR. :) have fun!

  • ShielaFilipina March 20, 2014, 3:01 pm

    Hi there pretty traveler lady! This post here is really amazing. I’m a Filipino myself yet I’ve not had the opportunity to go visit these terraces.I’m too young, and too preoccupied with studying. But I will definitely visit them one day, before I visit any other country! Thank you for the visuals :) and yes, jeepney rides are AWESOME.

    Actually Ate (can I call you Ate? It’s something we call older girls here in our country you see) I only explored your blog coz of your other article. The one with Filipino street food? I honestly just wanted to see a brighter side of your trip here in the Phil, to assure myself that you aren’t one of those bloggers who tear down reputations for the sake of views. People in the net can be really tricky, and as a writer, I hate it when people hide behind words to achieve another goal. I was offended. I wanted to comment back, but that was already done by my fellow Filipinos. But now,I hope they get to see this post of yours. Then, they’d see that you HONESTLY had a rough time during your ‘food trip,’ and that you appreciated other parts of your stay here. Please, please, please come back! :( I won’t promise that you’d learn to love the best of our cuisine, but I want you guys to at least have a decent meal here. Those people you bought your food from? Most of them use the cheapest of ingredients, because they don’t cook to serve great food, but cook to earn money to get them through the day.

    Sorry for the long comment! But in the end Ate, you’ve inspired me to travel more! I can’t let a foreigner be more exposed to the wonders of my own country than I am, right, right? :D

    Reply
  • Gerrard March 20, 2014, 4:47 pm

    Hi Agness,

    Ive been to Banaue rice terraces once and the view was so amazing indeed!!! I would say that it was well preserved by the people out there. Great culture was inherited from their ancestors up to present!! Love the article!!! thank you

    Reply
  • Jessica of HolaYessica March 21, 2014, 10:31 pm

    These are so cool! The views look great from the top. I’ve never traveled anywhere anything like this, so it almost looks like a different planet to me haha (in a good way!).

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 22, 2014, 3:44 am

      I absolutely agree, Jessica! The view’s incredible from the top!

      Reply
  • Marian March 22, 2014, 9:32 am

    In Mountain Province, there is also a beautiful place were you can enjoy so much adventure – spelunking, caving, hiking and river rafting in Sagada, Mountain Province. The Sumaguing cave, the Pongas falls, Bomod-ok falls are great. You can also view the smaller rice terraces known as the Kilte Pan rice terraces there. Try to eat some food in Yoghurt House and Lemon Pie House – they were very convenient places to have some relaxation while enjoying the food that were served. Trust me(it was based on my experience in traveling Sagada with my family)…

    Reply
  • Backpacking Panda March 24, 2014, 4:14 am

    Wow! The scenery is incredible. Beautiful pictures. Hope too visit the Philippinees some day.(=

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 25, 2014, 12:43 am

      Thanks! Glad you liked it :)!!

      Reply
  • Becky Padmore March 25, 2014, 3:07 pm

    Wow, truly beautiful sight and you’ve captured it so well!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 26, 2014, 8:09 am

      Cheers!

      Reply
  • Michelle March 25, 2014, 9:36 pm

    Wow that’s an amazing view! I love all the photos!!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 26, 2014, 8:05 am

      Thank you Michelle. Great to hear that!

      Reply
  • jessica March 27, 2014, 5:58 am

    I am a Filipino and I have never been to rice terraces!!!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 28, 2014, 2:09 am

      Hope you can make it there soon!

      Reply

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