Discover Stunning Tourist Attractions in Mountain Province
Introduction: A Brief Overview of Mountain Province as a Tourist Destination
Nestled in the heart of the Cordillera Administrative Region, Mountain Province is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by adventurous souls seeking to explore unique destinations that are off the beaten path. This landlocked province is known for its rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and abundance of natural wonders that would leave any traveler in awe. Mountain Province spans an area of 2,153 square kilometers and has ten municipalities namely Sadanga, Natonin, Paracelis, Barlig, Bontoc, Besao, Sagada, Bauko, Tadian, and Sabangan.
Its capital town is Bontoc which serves as the gateway to most of its tourist destinations. The province is home to a number of indigenous tribes such as the Kankanaey, Bontoc Igorots, Ifugao, and Kalingas who have passed on their traditions from generation to generation.
These tribes contribute a significant part in the preservation and promotion of their own culture which can be seen through their practices like mummification or tattooing. With its temperate climate and mountainous terrain ranging from 700 meters above sea level up to over 2000 meters high above sea level; visitors can expect cool weather all year round with occasional rains during monsoon season.
Mountain Province offers a wide range of activities for tourists such as trekking through rice terraces or exploring caves filled with hanging coffins. In addition, it also provides opportunities for cultural immersion by visiting traditional villages or joining local festivals that showcase the province’s diverse cultural traditions.
Exploring Mountain Province’s Municipalities: A Closer Look
A hidden gem, Barlig boasts natural wonders that inspire awe, from terraced fields to enchanting caves.
Nature and heritage intertwine in Bauko, where verdant landscapes and historical sites create a captivating blend.
Step into the embrace of Besao’s mountains, rivers, and rice terraces—a haven for both adventure seekers and tranquility lovers.
The heart of Mountain Province, Bontoc is a cultural hub, offering insights into the traditional ways of the Cordilleran people.
Natonin’s rolling hills and waterfalls provide a serene escape, inviting you to unwind in nature’s embrace.
Adventure beckons in Paracelis, where lush forests and exhilarating trails offer unforgettable outdoor experiences.
Sabangan’s serene landscapes offer a soothing respite, and its vibrant festivals celebrate the spirit of the community.
Immerse yourself in Sadanga’s heritage, where ancient rituals and stunning vistas intertwine seamlessly.
World-renowned for its mystic charm, Sagada enchants with hanging coffins, limestone caves, and a profound sense of spirituality.
Tranquility thrives in Tadian, where terraced fields and traditional practices paint a picturesque backdrop.
Each municipality in Mountain Province brings its own unique flavor to the province’s mosaic of experiences. Whether you’re drawn to nature’s wonders, cultural heritage, or the warmth of local communities, Mountain Province promises a journey of discovery and appreciation for the beauty that abounds in this enchanting province.
Sagada Caves and Hanging Coffins
The Unique Burial Practices in Sagada
One of the most fascinating aspects of the culture in Sagada is their burial practices. Unlike traditional Western burials, where the deceased are buried underground, the people of Sagada prefer to hang their loved one’s coffins on the sides of cliffs or caves.
This practice is believed to bring the deceased closer to heaven and closer to their ancestors. The hanging coffins are made from hollowed-out logs and are decorated with intricate designs.
Families will often keep their loved one’s coffin in a private location until it reaches its final resting place. The traditions associated with death in Sagada are deeply rooted in their history and beliefs, making it an unforgettable experience to witness.
Exploration of the Caves and Their Formations
Sagada is also famous for its many caves that have formed over thousands of years due to erosion and other natural processes. The most popular cave to explore is Sumaguing Cave, which has unique formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, and columns that have taken on shapes ranging from angels to vegetables!
Visitors can arrange guided tours through this cave or one of several other nearby ones like Lumiang Cave or Crystal Cave. The guides will take you through tight crevices where you may have to crawl on your hands and knees at times!
Trekking To See the Hanging Coffins
Hiking up to see these stunning hanging coffins can be a challenging but rewarding experience for visitors. There are several places where you can go trekking around Sagada including Echo Valley where most of these hanging coffins are located. The trek up involves walking through narrow paths surrounded by lush greenery while enjoying breathtaking views along the way.
Once you arrive at Echo Valley, you will be able to see the hanging coffins up close, and it’s an opportunity to learn about the stories and traditions behind this unique practice. Sagada offers a one-of-a-kind experience that is not found anywhere else in the world.
Exploring the caves and seeing the hanging coffins are just two of many exciting things to do in this picturesque town. Visitors will leave with memories that will last a lifetime while gaining a deeper appreciation for Filipino culture.
Bomod-ok Falls: A Natural Wonder
Mountain Province is home to many natural wonders that captivate tourists and locals alike. One of the province’s most popular tourist destinations is Bomod-ok Falls, a breathtaking waterfall located in Sagada.
The falls, also known as Big Falls, are located in Brgy. Bangaan can be accessed through an easy trek.
Location and Accessibility
The trail to Bomod-ok Falls involves crossing streams and walking on rocky terrain so it’s recommended for visitors to wear sturdy footwear. There are also local guides available who can assist tourists during the trek for an additional fee.
Description of Natural Beauty
Once visitors reach Bomod-ok Falls, they will be rewarded with a stunning view of a 200-meter-high waterfall surrounded by lush greenery and towering cliffs. The sound of cascading water combined with the fresh mountain air provides a refreshing break from city life.
Visitors can take a dip in the cool waters at the base of the falls or simply sit by its edge while taking in its natural beauty. The area surrounding Bomod-ok Falls offers plenty of opportunities for hiking as well, with various trails leading up to nearby rice terraces.
Swimming, Hiking, and Picnic Activities
Aside from swimming and hiking around Bomod-ok Falls, tourists can also enjoy picnic activities at designated areas near the falls while soaking up its scenic views. Visitors are advised to bring their own food and drinks as there are no stores or restaurants nearby.
Overall, a visit to Bomod-ok Falls is a must-have experience for anyone traveling to Mountain Province. It offers an escape from city life and the chance to connect with nature in a truly unforgettable way.
Experiencing Local Festivals: Lang-Ay Festival & Begnas Festival
One of the best ways to experience the rich cultural heritage of Mountain Province is by attending one of its colorful festivals. Here are two of my favorites:
Held annually during April in Bontoc town, Lang-Ay Festival celebrates the different tribes that call Mountain Province home. It features street dancing competitions with performers dressed in vibrant costumes showcasing their respective culture’s dances to lively music mixed with gongs. The celebration ends with an evening concert featuring live bands playing local folk songs as well as contemporary tunes.
Top Tourist Attractions in Mountain Province
- Sumaguing Cave: A popular cave known for its stunning rock formations and adventurous spelunking experience.
- Bomod-Ok (Big) Falls: A breathtaking waterfall surrounded by lush greenery, perfect for swimming and relaxation.
- Marlboro Hill: A picturesque hill offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
- Kiltepan: A popular viewpoint for witnessing the famous “sea of clouds” during sunrise.
- The Hanging Coffins of Sagada: A unique burial site featuring coffins suspended from cliffs.
- Mt. Amuyao: One of the highest summits in the Philippines, offering challenging hikes and stunning views.
- Maligcong Rice Terraces: Beautiful rice terraces located in Brgy. Maligcong, Bontoc.
- Mt. Kalawitan: A tall mountain offering hiking opportunities and views of the surrounding forests.
After exploring the various tourist attractions that Mountain Province has to offer, it’s clear that this region of the Philippines is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking natural beauty and cultural immersion.
Visiting Sagada Caves for some caving adventures is the highlight of the region.
Bomod-ok Falls offers tourists natural beauty at its finest with picturesque views of their waterfall where visitors can swim, hike or just sit back and relax.
Mountain Province truly stands out as one of the most stunning destinations in the Philippines with countless opportunities for adventure, cultural exploration, and scenic beauty, all wrapped up into one unforgettable trip!
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