Sagada with kids
Stayed at a private rental cabin. Had 1 and 1/2 full days there, would have loved at least 2 full days.
Places to Eat:
Lemon Pie House: Nice to do after Sumaguing Cave bc it is close to there. Fun place to eat, all wooden. Filipino dishes like chicken curry and spicey red chicken and rice. Kids loved the fried chicken, and the breakfast dishes which we had for lunch - hot dogs (red) and eggs. Known for it's lemon pie. Oh and I almost forgot the kiddie tables inside and outside on the porch- wood carved tables and chairs in kid-size- the kids loved.
Strawberry Café: Kids liked it here because they have pancakes that have strawberry and blueberry jam. Strawberry plants growing outside. Rest of food was Filipino (like Adobo and Rice), they did have a good garden salad.
Loghouse Cabin: Cozy cabin atmosphere. Menu of Western food like potatoes and meat. Delicious breakfasts of omelettes/pancakes with local jam/bacon. Gets very busy and has limited seats, closes when it wants to- reserve ahead (by pre-ordering). They sell local jams made by a lady from Baguio who comes to Sagada to make and sell Jam made from locally grown strawberries, mulberries and blueberries (Filipino blueberries)- depending on the season. Which reminds me, there’s a market every Saturday in Sagada where you can buy these fruits in season.
Yoghurt Café: Known for it’s yoghurt esp. granola and yoghurt parfaits. Kids loved the strawberry lassi. Serves salads, pastas and sandwiches- not super easy with kids. But yummy food and ingredients.
Masferre: Didn’t eat here but had varied menu of Filipino food and western food. Also gets busy (we were turned away twice). Has black and white photos/portaits of Igorot people taken by photographer Masferre that were interesting to see.
All tourists need to register at the tourist office, 35 php/person age 10 and up (environmental fee). The tourist office was so helpful with a great information sheet/map of all the activities. I just asked her what we could do with kids and she told me. For any activity, you hire a guide at the tourist office.
Sumaguing Cave: You can just see the entrance of the cave by walking down stairs for 5 min. Or go in. Did the short hike with kids, one hour in and one hour out. Guide was 500 php for up to 4 people. No entrance fee. Babies/toddlers allowed but best with a carrier/backpack. Guide is definitely invaluable for telling you where to step. Rock is rough, wet and slippery, there are steep parts. Pitch black except for the guides lantern. First part can be overstimulating for kids because of darkness, mud, slippery rock, rocks covered in bat droppings, air smells like bat droppings. Second half is more fun/enjoyable. You take off your shoes and walk on smoother rock and shallow pools. Guide really does carry your kids quite a bit. You see cool rock formations. Way out is just the same way going in. Steep parts where you hold onto a rope to climb up, or climb on tires.
Sugong Hanging Coffins and Lumiang Burial Cave: you can see from the road going to Sumaguing Cave. Lumiang cave you can hike down to the entrance (15 min). On this road you also see the Balugan Rice Terraces- beautiful!
Echo Valley Hike: 20-30 min down and 20-30 min back. Hire a guide at tourist office (200 php) and walk from the tourist office. You get to a part where you can view the hanging coffins (make echoes here) or walk further down until you are right up to the coffins.
Sagada Pottery: Demonstration for 100 pesos per group. The clay is local to Sagada. Kids can try the pottery wheel for 100 php/kid.
Other things with kids (wish we had more time to do them!):
Sagada Weaving: Further past Sagada Pottery
Watch sunset from Lake Danum: Don’t need a guide for this. It’s past Sagada Pottery and Weaving, 20 minutes total from tourist office.
Eco-Hike: 3 hours roundtrip with kids. You do the Echo Valley Hike which leads to the underground river and then you end at Bokong Falls (small waterfall, the pool is clean to swim in). This hike is easier than the Sumaguing Cave Hike.
Bomod-Ok Waterfalls: 3 hours roundtrip with kids. Start at Bangaan (bring a guide) and hike down to Bomod-ok waterfalls. We didn't get to do this but I have friends who did it with their 6-year-old and about 2-month-old baby. Their photos of the rice terraces on the way to the waterfalls were gorgeous.
Watch sunrise at Kiltepan: Leave hotel around 5:15 to see sun rising by 6:00am.