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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Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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100 thoughts on “Stunning Scenery of Rice Terraces in Banaue, the Philippines”

  1. 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!!

    1. 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

  2. Rika | Cubicle Throwdown

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

  3. Mary {The World Is A Book}

    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!

      1. 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

  4. 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 :-)

  5. 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. ;)

  6. 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 :)

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

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

  9. Bridget @ A Traveling B

    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.

  10. 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 :)

  11. Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)

    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!

    1. Agness Walewinder

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

  12. Jess @UsedYorkCity

    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!

  13. 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 :)

    1. Agness Walewinder

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

  14. 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

    1. Agness Walewinder

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

  15. Tim | UrbanDuniya

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

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

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