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Sagada

Sitting among mist-shrouded mountains, tiny Sagada is the closest thing the Philippines has to a Southeast Asian backpacker hub, yet it's possible to find tranquillity along its many hiking trails and get your adrenalin pumping on adventures in the depths of its caves. There's a mystical element to this village, a former refuge for intelligentsia fleeing dictatorship: the centuries-old coffins high up along limestone cliffs lie close to the sky, and days and nights are peaceful thanks to the lack of tricycles or much other traffic.

If you're lucky, your visit will coincide with a begnas (traditional Kankanay community celebration), when women wear tapis (woven wraparound skirts) and older men don G-strings and gather in the dap-ay (outdoor patio); chickens are sacrificed, gongs are played and general merriment ensues. Sagadans are of Applai (northern Kankanay) ancestry and their native language is Kankanay.

Explore Sagada

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Sagada.