Maligcong Rice Terraces: travel guide

MaligcongRiceTerraces - compressed.jpg
Panorama of the rice terraces through a 35mm prime lens.

Whenever I think about rice terraces, it is the ones in Ifugao province, usually, in Banaue or in Batad, that instantly pops out from my mind. Understanding the topography of Cordillera Administrative Region, mountainous terrain proves a feat and challenge in agriculture, notably in growing rice because of the flat contour it requires. This does not stop the local tribes in the region to harness the nature’s gift and prove their resourcefulness to create gigantic marveling structures – terraces.

mt kupapey mt fato maligcong bontoc favuyan favarey travel guide (3)
One of the views leading to Favarey Photo by Lajon Tangangco

Carved from mountain slopes of varying altitudes and degree of sloping, these people in the Cordillera mountains created this captivating structures either by hand or by using varying tools.

maligcong rice terraces by qing pineda.jpg
At the paddies with amazing view. 

Bontoc boasts not only of its rich culture and heritage but also unique majestic rice terraces, amongst with these is the Maligcong Rice Terraces. Situated at a higher altitude compared to Bontoc Poblacion itself, its unique undulating paddies are an awesome scenery to behold. It is one of the best-preserved rice terraces in the Philippines. Going to these hidden gems is not an easy task because one has to endure lengthy land travel along scenic winding mountain roads of the Cordillera region from the lowland regions.

Visiting Maligcong Rice Terraces is the latter part of our three-day road trip in the mountainous provinces of CAR.

maligcong rice terraces (1).jpg
Maku’s first time to explore the Maligcong Rice Terraces


It is not in our itinerary to traverse through the rice terraces, but by chance that part of the group has descended quite quickly without our guide and got lost on the trail. Trusting our gut feels and believing that we have traversed this path, we continued walking and found ourselves to an awesome vantage point to view the rice terraces. Such a nice way to get lost! We felt that we are certainly lost and start shouting to our guide. Luckily, the trail between the original path we took is not far and our guide was able to locate us. Our team member who was with her took the original path alone and got back to the homestay ahead of us.

maligcong rice terraces (2).jpg
Arriane and Michael traversing the rice terraces

We took mandatory pictures of the trail which is hard not to do because of the commanding and breathtaking view of the terraces. The golden hour added punch to our photos.

maligcong traverse to favarey.jpg
traversing the paddies

We had a brief experience amongst the terraces after our descent from Mt. Kupapey since we have to catch the 9:00 AM jeepney trip back to Bontoc.

maligcong rice terraces (3).jpg


“A trip to Maligcong is worth to adventurers who love walking and walking and walking without getting tired. A long trip will be paid by a grand view of the rice terraces, a quiet village living in harmony with nature and amazing hospitality of the locals. A quick hike to Mt. Kupapey to catch the sunrise and equally-stunning sea of clouds is a must-try before eating your breakfast. And oh! They also grow arabica coffee so make sure to taste the spirit of mountain coffee” – @vansquared32


“Maligcong Rice Terraces is a must place to visit. You will never get tired of looking at this place, as it offers a jaw-dropping view from the top of Mt. Kupapey. What surprised me is when I got to trek into the rice terraces, you will notice how big the place is and planting rice on these terraces is not the easiest task to do. Kudos to the people of Maligcong for maintaining and preserving the beauty of this land’s treasure.” – @tommyboy.14


“The trek to Maligcong Rice Terraces gives you a deep meaning, understanding and so much respect to the locals who live and preserve these wonderful clusters. When I first laid eyes upon it from afar, I thought it was just another rice terraces – nothing fantastic. But hell no, I was surprised to see how majestic and calming the place is. It is one of the priceless feelings you could ever experience in your life – to go back in time.”  – @backpackingph


“One way to experience the scenic beauty of Maligcong Rice Terraces is to hike to Mt. Kupapey, a one hour trek from our transient house to the summit. You can also try and experience bon-firing to keep you warm from the cold morning breeze while waiting for sunrise and sea of clouds of Mt. Kupapey.

At the summit of Mt. Kupapey is the overlooking view and surreal beauty of Maligcong Rice Terraces.” – @jonie_lakwatsero



From Manila, take a bus ride to Bontoc town. Upon arrival, walk to the jeepney terminal to Maligcong which is near the commercial center, the front of Pines Kitchenette. During Sundays, the terminal is temporarily transferred near Bontoc Museum because of the bazaar that would occupy the terminal space. No need to ride a tricycle to locate the terminal, ask any locals you have met along the way and they might direct you, anyways, you would notice that almost everyone is treading the streets. Codalines has a direct Manila-Bontoc route and has online reservation for your convenience.

Codalines Schedule: (Manila-Bontoc rates)

  • Semi Deluxe leaves 08:00PM daily (without CR) Php725.00
  • Super Deluxe leaves 09:00PM daily (with CR) Php935.00
  • 35 Seater leaves 10:00PM daily (with CR) Php935.00 – my personal choice
  • Regular AC leaves 10:30PM Php725.00


Jeep to Maligcong in front of the post office and beside the Bontoc museum

The fare is Php20.00 and travel time is approximately 20-30 minutes. It is advisable to topload should it be your first time to visit Maligcong. The uphill road brings you to scenic viewpoints of Bontoc town, plus cool mountain breeze would cloak you.


mt kupapey mt fato maligcong bontoc favuyan favarey travel guide (5)

Bontoc-Maligcong Jeep Schedule 2016 (Php 20.00 Fare both route)
Bontoc to Maligcong Maligcong to Bontoc
First Trip 8:00 AM 6:30 AM
12:00 PM 8:00 AM
 Route we took during our trip 2:30 PM 9:00 AM
4:30 PM 2:00 PM
Last Trip 5:30 PM 4:00 PM

Bontoc can also be reached either through Baguio or Banaue route. GL Trans Bus Lines ply the Halsema Highway to Bontoc from Baguio, the first trip is 7:00AM and estimated arrival in Bontoc is around noontime.

There are jeepneys and vans in Banaue going to Bontoc. In our actual itinerary, we took a van from Manila to Solano and alighted to Bagabag Junction, we took a bus going to Banaue which took another roughly two hours travel. Upon arrival in Banaue, we took the Bontoc bound jeepney and have a stopover at Mt. Polis. Banaue to Bontoc is approximately 1.5-2hours travel time.

Other Routes:

Manila-Banaue-Bontoc-Maligcong Route

  1. Take the Ohayami Night Bus or Florida GV Night Bus en route Banaue (9-10 hours) and alight near the Banaue Tourism Office. (ETA Banaue  6AM 7AM)
  2. Walk to the Jeepney or Van going to Bontoc  (ETD 10:00AM, 1.5-2 hrs, topload if you must) and take the morning trip (ETA Bontoc Noontime)
  3. Upon arrival in Bontoc, have lunch and discover Bontoc on foot and take the 2:30 PM Trip (30 minutes, top load is a must) to Maligcong (ETA Maligcong 3:00 PM)

Manila-Baguio-Bontoc-Maligcong Route

  1. Take any Baguio bus (Victory Liner, Genesis Bus)  Night trip and target to arrive before 6AM in Baguio City. Take a cab or you can walk to Dangwa Bus Station in Baguio City. (From previous experience, we walked from the bus terminal near SM Baguio to Dangwa Station, we asked for directions with locals we met along the way.) 
  2. Reserve your bus seats with the first trip 7:00 AM bound to Bontoc. (5-6 hours)
  3. Arrive in Bontoc around noontime, have lunch and walking tour for 2 hours
  4. Take the 02:30 PM jeep bound to Maligcong (30 minutes), arrive in Maligcong around 3:00 PM


You can book your direct Manila-Bontoc Bus Seats through the Codalines Website.  Thanks to the heavens for this convenience. I do not need to travel from Pampanga to Cubao, Manila just to reserve bus tickets. The Coda Lines Bus terminal is located within the HM Cubao Terminal. You can choose from a Regular 45 AC Bus or Premium 35 Seater Bus for your comfort – additional leg space for the long land travel.

Florida GV  Bus Lines has Banaue and Bontoc routes.



3 routes to Bontoc


Receiving area of the homestay with the dogs.

Suzette’s Homestay is notable for its strategic and panoramic view of the rice terraces and its proximity to the jump-off point to Mt. Kupapey or Mt. Fato.



You would be welcomed with a warm soothing Maligcong Coffee and Freshly baked Banana Bread, in our case,  as you arrive on homestay after the 20-30 minute uphill travel from Bontoc. Along with these yummy treats are the 4 canine-squad that would warmly welcome you as the initially grace the homestay, happily tail wagging. Don’t misinterpret their barks as a warning, but a signal of excitement. They are so friendly and that well-known dog, Kunig! Really, so friendly and gentle. As soon as Kunig really felt at ease, he would dive his head between your legs signaling that he wants more petting.

maligcong rice terraces.jpg
View of the Terraces from the homestay’ balcony

Earlier published blogs would feature Kunig as the owner’s lovable and ultra-friendly pet. It is by surprise that they already now own, 4 playful pets – added to the squad are Maku, Tiny and Misty. All of these three new pets are ultra playful too.

Kunig, the uber friendly dog

I would rate Ma’am Suzette’s service as 10 out of 10. She answers most of our queries the best she can and really made our stay comfortable. I would want to credit her integrity as we hurriedly boarded to jeepney back to Maligcong and had not noticed that forgot my camera, few minutes, she phoned me about it.

You can call Ma’am Suzette at +63 915 546 3557


As Maligcong is lacking with stores or eateries nearby homestays, it is advisable to bring your own food or pre-arrange your meals with Ma’am Suzette. You can advise your preferences so she can purchase in Bontoc Market. As for me, I requested non-pork meals and she recommended a chicken meal dinner and fish breakfast.

Our “naimas ti dinner” – Fried Chicken with Tinola-style soup and Maligcong Rice




Sample solo traveler from Pasay City via Baguio-Bontoc:

Pasay to Baguio (Victory Liner) ₱445.00
Baguio to Bontoc (GL Trans) ₱212.00
Bontoc to Maligcong (Public Jeepney) ₱20.00
Accommodation with Suzette’s ₱350.00
Lunch and Dinner ₱240.00
Guide Fee (max of 5 pax) (+ P100/ extra pax) ₱500.00
Maligcong to Bontoc (Public Jeepney) ₱20.00
Bontoc to Baguio (GL Trans) ₱212.00
Baguio to Pasay (Victory Liner) ₱445.00
TOTAL ₱2,444.00

Here is the actual cost to prepare your budget. Comparing the cost to a group of seven from Pampanga:

Dau, Pampanga to Baguio (Victory Liner) ₱306.00
Baguio to Bontoc (GL Trans) ₱212.00
Bontoc to Maligcong (Public Jeepney) ₱20.00
Accommodation with Suzette’s ₱350.00
Lunch and Dinner ₱240.00
Charge for 7 pax (P800.00) ₱114.29
Maligcong to Bontoc (Public Jeepney) ₱20.00
Bontoc to Baguio City (GL Trans) ₱212.00
Baguio City to Dau, Pampanga (Victory Liner) ₱306.00
TOTAL ₱1,780.29

Things we missed doing and will be back for these:

  1. Explore Mainit village on foot and check Mainit Hotspring (45minutes – 1 hr trek)

Read about Mt. Kupapey, on how we summited this gentle mountain.

Agyamman kami!

8 thoughts on “Maligcong Rice Terraces: travel guide

  1. My first time to explore a place which I never heard best travel experience so far. And it was rewarded by a majestic view of the terraces from Mount Kupapey.. Maybe next time I write, Ill try to include the intinerary too and other details. THank you sir, nice write up you have here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The surprise is remarkable and breathtaking.

      I have learned Maligcong just through blogs and made sure to see terraces myself. Regardless of the season, the undulating paddies are picturesque and captivating from Mt. Kupapey.


      1. Actually, I was just driven by curiousity for the terraces. I’ve seen very few posts on Fb about the place. Then I looked it up, read blogs and did my own exploration of the place. The sunrise is the best! I did not expect we’ll do the traverse on the terraces itself. Masarap balikan ang Maligcong, kung wala masyado tao. YUng ibang bundok kasi, crowded na, hind mo na ma-appreciate. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s