Maligcong Trip Guide and Itinerary

Maligcong Rice Terraces viewed from Mt. Kupapey's summit

Bordered by Banaue (Ifugao) and Sagada (Mountain Province) municipalities, Bontoc has been eclipsed by what these tourist-favorite towns have in store. In Bontoc downtown's elevated outskirts lies Maligcong, a quiet village that conceals a natural charm which may rival the more popular towns sitting next to Mountain Province's capital. Reachable in less than an hour from Bontoc town proper, Maligcong has already put its name on the tourist map though still considered an off the beaten track. Let this travel guide help you plan your Maligcong nature trip.


From Metro Manila to Maligcong

Getting there:
  • In Cubao terminal, take Coda Lines bus bound for Sagada, then alight at downtown Bontoc.
    Coda Lines has daily trips that leaves Cubao at the following intervals:
    8:00 PM — 9:00 PM — 10:00 PM — 10:30 PM

    Travel time: 11-12 hours; Fare: PHP 725 (Semi Deluxe) / PHP 935 (Super Deluxe), plus PHP 35 fee if the ride is booked online
    Address (HM Transport Inc.): Monte de Piedad cor. Maryland, Cubao, Quezon City; Coda Lines shares terminal with HM Transport located along EDSA south bound road, in front of Five Star Bus terminal
    Contact: (+63) 09275592197 / Facebook / Website
  • In Bontoc, take a jeep for Maligcong, then ask the driver to get you off at your chosen home stay.
    Maligcong jeepneys leave Bontoc town proper at the following intervals:
    8:00 AM — 12:00 PM — 2:30 PM — 4:30 PM

    Jeepneys park in front of Pines Kitchenette and Inn (near Bontoc Commercial Center), and wait for passengers until it gets full
    Travel time: 30-45 minutes; Fare: PHP 20

Going back:
  • Take a jeep back to Bontoc town proper.
    Jeepneys leave Maligcong at the following intervals:
    6:30 AM — 8:00 AM — 9:00 AM — 2:00 PM — 4:00 PM

    Jeepneys may pass by your homestay so you'll have to wait until they arrive. I stayed at Vilma's Home Stay where jeepneys park just outside for a couple of minutes to wait for passengers.
  • Take the Manila-bound bus in Bontoc.
    Coda Lines buses come from Sagada and passes by Bontoc at the following intervals:
    11:00 AM — 2:30 PM — 3:30 PM — 4:30 PM

    Ticketing office is at Cable Cafe & Restaurant (walking distance from Bontoc Commercial Center)

There are other ways to reach Bontoc from Manila; you may opt to take a Manila-Baguio-Bontoc or Manila-Banaue-Bontoc routes. But since I did not have plans for any side trip, I found the trip straight to Bontoc more comfortable and a bit time-saving.

Where to Stay

Vilma's Home Stay
Contact: (+63) 09057011448 / Facebook

Suzette's Maligcong Homestay
Contact: (+63) 09155463557 / Facebook

Dong-elay's Maligcong Homestay
Contact: (+63) 09353131724 / Facebook

Maligcong Terraces View Guest House (Rowena's Homestay)
Contact: (+63) 09151881732 / Facebook

Chen's Sacya-an Homestay
Contact: (+63) 09562805628 / Facebook
Vilma's Home Stay in Maligcong
Vilma's Home Stay in Maligcong

What to Do, What to See

  • Experience jeepney top loading on the way from Bontoc town proper to Maligcong
  • Climb up Mt. Kupapey and Mt. Fato
  • Witness sea of clouds or behold Maligcong Rice Terraces from Kupapey's summit
  • Walk across the rice paddies of Maligcong Rice Terraces
  • Marvel at Mt. Fato's rock formation
  • Visit Liknon Falls
  • Trek to the hot springs of the neighboring baranggay (Mainit Hot Springs)
  • Take a side trip to Bontoc Museum in downtown

Itinerary: Weekend in Maligcong

Day 0 - Overnight bus trip
  • 10:30 PM : Depart for Bontoc

Day 1 - Arrival / Mt. Fato
  • 9:30 AM : Arrive at Bontoc town proper, visit Bontoc Museum, stroll along the streets downtown
  • 12:00 PM : Jeep to Maligcong
  • 12:45 PM : Arrive at Vilma's Home Stay, take lunch or rest
  • 1:30 PM : Hike up Mt. Fato
  • 3:00 PM : Reach Mt. Fato's summit
  • 3:30 PM : Start descent
  • 5:00 PM : Arrive at homestay, take dinner
  • 9:00 PM : Lights out

Day 2 - Mt. Kupapey / Back to Manila
  • 3:30 AM : Rise and shine! Have some local coffee brew.
  • 4:00 AM : Hike up Mt. Kupapey
  • 5:15 AM : Reach Mt. Kupapey's summit, wait for sunrise
  • 6:00 AM : Start descent, take a detour to the rice paddies
  • 7:30 AM : Arrive at homestay, wash up and take breakfast
  • 8:30 AM : Jeep to Bontoc
  • 9:45 AM : Arrive in Bontoc
  • 11:00 AM : Depart for Manila

Walking across the rice paddies of Maligcong Rice Terraces

Fees and Sample Budget

Sample budget for solo trip; will be cheaper if you're in group.
  • Bus (Manila-Bontoc): PHP 725
  • Entrance to Bontoc Museum: PHP 70
  • Jeep (Bontoc-Maligcong): PHP 20
  • Overnight at Vilma's: PHP 300 per person
  • Environment fee: PHP 30
  • Guide (Mt. Fato): PHP 300 (good for 5 persons, plus 100 per excess)
  • Guide (Mt. Kupapey): PHP 500 (good for 5 persons, plus 100 per excess)
  • Jeep (Maligcong-Bontoc): PHP 20
  • Bus (Bontoc-Manila): PHP 725
Estimated budget is PHP 2690, food and other personal expenses are not yet included.
Meal rates at Vilma's Home Stay: PHP 70 (breakfast) and PHP 100 (lunch/dinner)

Other Trip Notes

  • Manila to Bontoc is a really long trip. Bring a lot of patience (and foods).
  • When taking the Maligcong jeepney ride, leave the seats inside to the ladies and elderly (chances are you'll ride with a bunch of them). Besides, you're in northern Philippines where top loading a jeepney is a one-of-a-kind experience.
  • Overnight camping is not allowed but you can put up a bonfire at the summit of Mt. Kupapey before sunrise comes.
  • Lights out for the entire village is at 9:00 PM.
  • If you want to see Maligcong Rice Terraces at its greenest, visit around May-July before it turns gold for the harvest season.
  • Bring a jacket as it gets cold at night, and wear proper trekking shoes and apparel.
  • Your home stay will provide the tour guide for you.
  • It's important to keep track of the jeepney and bus schedules to avoid spoiling your itinerary.
  • Nearest banks and ATMs are in Bontoc town proper (there's a LANDBANK and PNB branch near the jeep terminal).
  • SMART and SUN networks are weak to non-existent in almost all of Maligcong. Use Globe. Surprisingly, all networks are strongest at the top of Mt. Kupapey.
  • Maligcong is a peaceful, unsullied village, far from the hustles of urban living. Let's do our share to preserve that.

View form Mt. Kupapey, a community within Maligcong Rice Terraces

READ ALSO: I Almost Skipped the Hike to Mount Kupapey and Maligcong Rice Terraces

Note: Fees, prices, transport schedules and contact details indicated in this guide are as of June 2018.


DJ Rivera is an I.T. professional, entrepreneur, travel blogger, writer and the online publisher of based in Rizal province, Philippines. Click here to know more.

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