Besides the white-sand beaches of the islands of Boracay and Palawan, another picture and postcard-perfect holiday destination that Philippines is known for is Banaue Rice Terraces.
Carved by the indigenous people of Ifugao, the Banaue Rice Terraces is a man-made miracle designed with sustainable agriculture in mind. For over 2 millennia, this natural wonder and its creatively-crafted contours have been a testament to the architectural and agricultural genius of the Filipino people. Now, more than serving its original purpose of being the answer to farmers’ requirement for effective water irrigation and terrace maintenance, the rice terraces of Banaue has continuously drawn the attention of both tourists and local city-dwellers, making it one of the most recognized places in the country.
Banaue Rice Terraces meets the sky at 1500 meters above sea level and despite being a well-known a national treasure, it is located in a remote area of Luzon. This means that if what you are looking for is some peace and quiet far from the manic metropolis, then a trip to Banaue Rice Terraces is exactly what you need.
There are many spots from where you can truly appreciate the picturesque beauty of Banaue; locally known as “viewpoints”. From here, you can take photos with the local tribes and purchase souvenirs like wood carvings. The terraces is also home to a world-famous national icon specifically associated to the tribes of Igorot- the bulul. Bululs are carved wooden figures believed by the locals as rice guardians; these are used in various Igorot ceremonies related to the production of rice.
You can visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site any time but the best time to do so depends on what kind of Banaue Rice Terraces sight you wish to see. The rice plants are only planted once a year and harvesting happens in August, this means that to see the terraces on its greenest, you should schedule a visit between April to July. However, if you are more interested in experiencing the terraces in their shade of gold, we suggest booking a visit in June. Lastly, if you also want to see this man-made miracle at its greenest while experiencing the cool chill and the month long preparation for Yuletide celebration Filipinos are known for, then a November to December visit would be great.
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