If you watched ‘That Thing Called Tadhana,’ then you’re probably familiar with Kiltepan Peak. Its recent fame is due to its fantastic view.
People go to visit the place to see the all-time favorite, the sea of clouds. From what others say, it somewhat resembles the view in Mt. Pulag during sunrise. After reading about the place, we decided to check the site out.
UPDATE (As of May 15, 2019): “Due to the fire incident in Kiltepan on November 8, 2018, all tours to Kiltepan Peak are temporarily prohibited until further notice. Please visit the Tourist Information Office for other options for sunrise viewing.” If you’re looking for an alternative sunrise viewing site in Sagada, there’s Marlboro Country.
Travel Tip: Check schedules and availability of buses to Sagada for booking online with 12Go Asia.
From our trip to Batad, Banaue, we managed to reach Bontoc just in time to ride the last trip to Sagada. By the time we reached Sagada, it was already 6:00 PM.
We were supposed to drop off by the petrol station near the road going to Kiltepan, but we figured we’d just ride the jeep going back to Bontoc later.
We proceeded to the town center to register at the tourist center but alas! They were already closed. To our dismay, the last trip to Bontoc has already departed.
Armed with nothing but our tent and backpacks, we started the 30-minute walk to Kiltepan Peak during twilight. The surroundings slowly turned darker as we walked. The trees became creepier by the moment.
All we could hear were our heavy breathes and the crunching of the gravel as we stepped on it. Add to that the sounds of the owls cooing in the dark. It was pretty much a setting for horror.
We didn’t meet anyone, nor saw any vehicles. Unlike in the city, here it’s stay-inside-when-its-dark-out.
Camping at Kiltepan Peak, Sagada
After the creepiest 30 minutes of my life, we finally reached Kiltepan Peak. There were already two other groups who were camping.
Good. At least, we wouldn’t be alone in the woods.
We tried to find some space to set up our tent when a group of boys came over to charge us for the camping fee. ‘A hundred pesos per person,’ they said.
They were the caretakers of the place and were employees from the only cafe in Mt. Kiltepan called Hinode Cafe.
After we paid, they helped us set up our tent. It’s pretty cold here at night-time, and I was thankful for the pine tree leaves that serve as cushions beneath our tent.
We immediately drifted off to sleep since we were too tired from the trip and the hike.
That night, we woke up from the loud noises from the supposed caretakers. They were drunk, running around and laughing.
Drats! I needed my sleep. We ignored them and thankfully I got back to dreamland as soon as I closed my eyes.
Morning came, and I excitedly woke up. The mountain was covered in fog when I opened the tent. It was beautiful and ‘creepy.’
It looked like a scene from a horror movie where the murderer would come out of the woods with an ax in hand ready to chop our heads off. But naaah, nothing like that happened. We patiently waited for the sunrise.
Slowly, crowds began to form. There were a lot of people hoping to view the sunrise and see the sea of clouds. Our tent was in the middle of all these people, and it was suffocating.
Trash was everywhere; it wasn’t about the lack of garbage bins, there were many. It was the lack of discipline and lack of care for the place that leads people to think that they can just throw their freaking garbage everywhere.
So while waiting for the sunrise, my friend and I walked around the place to pick up litter. Sheesh. It was maddening; I wanted to scream.
When sunrise came, the sea of clouds was hidden behind the thick fog. I was disappointed, everybody was disappointed that we weren’t able to view the sea of clouds.
But oh well, life goes on. At the very least we enjoyed the experience of camping and playing in the fog. I would say, the trip was worth it.
Camping Fee: 100 per person
How to get there
- Ride a GL Trans/ Lizardo bus at Dangwa Terminal. Travel time is 5 to 6 hours, and the fare is around 22o pesos. The first trip is at 5:30 AM and last is at 1:00 PM.
- Ask the driver to drop you off by the road going to Kiltepan Peak beside the Petron gas station.
- Afterward, walk to the peak. From the main road to the viewpoint is a one-kilometer hike.
- Ride a jeep heading to Sagada. Travel time is around 1 hour, and the fare is 45 pesos. First trip leaves at 8:30 AM and last trip at 5:30 PM.
- Then, drop by the Petron gas station and walk to the peak.
- Ride the Coda bus line at the HM Transport Cubao Terminal in Quezon City. They only have one trip which is at 9:00 PM. Travel time is 12 hours and fare is 720 pesos.
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- Batad Rice Terraces and Tappiya Falls: First Timer’s Budget Travel Guide
Johanes is a digital nomad and a web content writer who loves to go on spontaneous travels. She also likes to go camp under the stars and play with her dog and cats.