Your Ultimate Travel Guide to Kalinga Province
Kalinga, a province in the Cordillera Administrative Region of the Philippines, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Known for its rich culture and breathtaking scenery, Kalinga has become a popular destination for travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience. The province is home to various indigenous communities, each with its own unique customs and traditions that have been passed down for generations.
One of the main draws of Kalinga is its natural wonders. The province boasts stunning rice terraces, waterfalls, and rivers, all surrounded by lush greenery. Visitors can take a dip in the refreshing waters of Binalasan Falls or hike to the top of Mt. Kupapey for a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. Kalinga is also home to the Chico River, which is a popular spot for white water rafting and kayaking.
Aside from its natural beauty, Kalinga is also known for its traditional tattoo artistry. The province is home to the Kalinga people, who have been practicing the art of tattooing for centuries. The tattoos, which are done using a traditional hand-tapping method, are not only a form of art but also a symbol of the wearer’s identity and status within the community. Visitors can learn more about this ancient practice by visiting the village of Buscalan, where they can meet the legendary tattoo artist Whang-Od and get inked themselves.
Kalinga province is a perfect destination for travelers seeking adventure and nature. Kalinga offers a wide range of activities that can satisfy every traveler’s thirst for exploration.
One of the best ways to explore Kalinga is through a road trip. The province is known for its scenic routes, which offer breathtaking views of the mountains, rivers, and rice terraces. Travelers can rent a car or a motorcycle and drive around the province at their own pace.
Kalinga is also home to several indigenous communities, which have preserved their traditions and culture for centuries. Travelers can immerse themselves in the local culture by visiting the villages and interacting with the locals. They can witness traditional dances, music, and rituals, and even get a chance to try the local cuisine.
Nature lovers will also find Kalinga to be a paradise. The province boasts several natural attractions, including waterfalls, rivers, and hot springs. Some of the popular tourist spots include Binalasan Falls, Balbalasang-Balbalan National Park, and Lubo Rice Terraces. Travelers can go trekking, swimming, or simply enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings.
Kalinga is a province known for its rich culture and history, particularly the Kalinga people, who are one of the indigenous groups in the region. The Kalinga people have a long and fascinating history, dating back more than 2,000 years.
One of the most famous aspects of Kalinga culture is the hand-tapped tattoo, also known as batok. This traditional tattooing method has been passed down through generations of Kalinga people and is still practiced today. The most famous practitioner of this art form is Apo Whang-Od, who has gained international recognition for her skills and has become a cultural icon.
Today, Kalinga is a popular destination for travelers who are interested in history and culture. Visitors can learn about the Kalinga people and their traditions, visit the famous hand-tapped tattoo artists, and explore the beautiful Cordillera Mountains. Kalinga’s historical significance and rich cultural heritage make it a fascinating destination for anyone who wants to learn more about the Philippines and its people.
Traveling to Kalinga
Here are some tips for traveling to Kalinga.
Getting to Kalinga
The most common way to get to Kalinga is by land travel. From Manila, there are several bus companies that offer trips to Tabuk City, the capital of Kalinga. The travel time is around 12 hours, and the fare ranges from Php 700 to Php 1,000. Another option is to take a bus to Baguio City and then transfer to another bus going to Tabuk City.
Manila to Tabuk City
- Victory Liner – Kamias 7:00 PM / 8:30 PM / (2 Trips Daily) Sampaloc Terminal – 7:00 PM / 9:45 PM (3 Trips Daily)
- Dangwa Bus – Morning and Afternoon (2 Trips Daily)
- ES Transport – AM and PM (2 Trips Daily)
Baguio City to Tabuk City
- Dangwa Bus – AM and PM (2 Trips Daily)
- GL/Lizardo Trans – AM and PM (2 Trips Daily)
- Northlandia Vans
Tuguegarao City to Tabuk City
6:00 AM to 5:00 PM Daily Trips
For those who prefer to travel by air, the nearest airport to Kalinga is the Tuguegarao Airport in Cagayan Province. From the airport, you can take a bus or van to Tabuk City. Another option is to fly to the Cauayan Airport in Isabela Province, around 2 hours away from Tabuk City.
- Cebu Pacific (Daily Morning and Afternoon Flight)
- Philippine Airlines (Clark-Tuguegarao-Clark – 4x a week)
Getting Around Kalinga
Once you arrive in Kalinga, the best way to get around is by hiring a private vehicle or taking a tricycle. There are also jeepneys and buses that travel between the different towns and municipalities, but they can be quite crowded and uncomfortable.
Kalinga has a lot to offer, and it can be overwhelming to plan your itinerary. Here are some suggestions:
- Visit the famous Buscalan Village in Tinglayan, where you can see the traditional tattoo art of the Kalinga people and experience their unique way of life.
- Explore the stunning landscapes of Tinglayan, including the Banaue Rice Terraces, the Chico River, and the Sleeping Beauty Mountain.
- Visit the Tabuk Museum to learn more about the history and culture of Kalinga.
- Take a dip in the hot springs of Balbalan or the cold waters of the Kalinga River.
- Attend the Kalinga Bodong Festival, which is held every February and celebrates the peace pact tradition of the Kalinga people.
Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Kalinga that visitors should not miss.
Lubo Rice Terraces
Lubo Rice Terraces are located in Tanudan, Kalinga Province. Lubo Rice Terraces is known for its fresh vegetables and awesome rice, as well as its culture and coffee. It is also a popular tourist attraction, offering magnificent views of the valley and the surrounding mountains.
Mangali Rice Terraces
Mangali Rice Terraces are located in Tabuk. Mangali farmers cultivate traditional rice varieties known as “Unoy.” The Mangali Rice Terraces, like other rice terraces in the Cordilleras, are also a popular tourist destination, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Buscalan Village is located in Tinglayan, Kalinga. It is known for being the home of the last Kalinga tattoo artist, Apo Whang-Od, who practices the traditional art of batok or tattooing. Buscalan Village is also the beating heart of the Butbut people, an indigenous group with a rich culture and history. Tourists visit the village to experience the traditional way of life of the Butbut people, as well as to get a traditional tattoo from Apo Whang-Od. The village is accessible by a 2-3 hour hike from the town center of Tinglayan.
Palang-ah Falls, also spelled as Palan-ah Falls, is located in Tulgao West, Tinglayan, Kalinga. It is one of the best attractions in Kalinga Province. The falls are known for their natural beauty and are surrounded by lush vegetation. Visitors can also take a dip in the hot springs near the falls to relax and unwind. The area is accessible by a 1-hour hike from the village of Tulgao, which can be reached by a jeepney ride from Tinglayan.
Chico River white water rafting.
Chico River white water rafting is a popular adventure activity in Kalinga Province, Philippines. According to Chico River Quest, the river is classified as a Grade III-IV river, which means it has rapids that are suitable for experienced rafters.
The river is known for its scenic views of the surrounding mountains and rock formations. The best time to go rafting on the Chico River is during the rainy season, from July to November, when the water level is high.
Mount Binuluan is a mountain located in Kalinga Province. The elevation of Mount Binuluan is 7641 feet or 2328 meters. It is one of the highest peaks in the Cordillera Central mountain range. The mountain is surrounded by the municipalities of Lubuagan, Pasil, and Tinglayan and is known for its scenic views of the surrounding valleys and the Cordillera mountain range. Mount Binuluan is also a popular hiking destination, with several trails leading to the summit. The difficulty level of the mountain is classified as mild to moderate, depending on the trail chosen.
Sulfur Hills in Pasil
Sulfur Hills, also known as Mt. Amfertungan or Ambalatungan, is located in Pasil, Kalinga Province. It is listed as an inactive volcano by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).
The hill contains a steep-walled crater with hot springs and sulfur-encrusted fumarolic vents that produce loud noises. Its yellow, sulfuric soil and rocks add to the unique beauty of the area. Sulfur Hills is a popular tourist destination, offering scenic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains, as well as a unique natural experience with the hot springs and sulfur vents.
Mount Mating-oy, also known as Sleeping Beauty Mountain, is located in Tinglayan, Kalinga Province. The elevation of Mount Mating-oy is 1872 meters or 6142 feet. It is named Sleeping Beauty Mountain because its shape resembles a woman lying on her back.
Mount Mating-oy is a popular hiking destination, offering scenic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The mountain is also known for its rich flora and fauna, including several species of birds and butterflies. The best time to hike Mount Mating-oy is during the dry season, from December to May.
Kalinga Capitol Tourism Complex
Kalinga Capitol Tourism Complex is located in Tabuk City, Kalinga Province, Philippines. It is a one-stop destination for learning about the history, culture, and tourism of Kalinga Province.
The complex is home to several attractions, including the Kalinga Museum, which showcases the rich cultural heritage of the province, and the Tabuk View Deck, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The complex also has a park, a playground, and several food stalls, making it a popular destination for families and tourists.
Naneng Heritage Village
Naneng Heritage Village is located in Tabuk City, Kalinga Province, Philippines. It is the oldest settlement and the old center of Tabuk and is known for its rich cultural heritage and traditional way of life. The village is home to several traditional Kalinga houses made of wood and bamboo, which are still inhabited by the locals.
Visitors can experience the traditional way of life of the Kalinga people, including their farming practices, weaving, and other cultural practices. The village is also known for its women weavers who produce intricate and colorful textiles using traditional methods. Naneng Heritage Village is a popular tourist destination, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Kalinga Province.
Kalinga is known for its traditional and indigenous cuisine, which is a reflection of its culture and history. The region boasts a unique blend of flavors and ingredients that are sourced from local harvests and wild foraging.
One of the signature dishes of Kalinga is Pinikpikan, which is prepared using time-honored methods. The dish involves beating a live chicken with a stick to toughen its meat and enhance its flavor. It is then roasted and served with rice and vegetables. While the method of preparation may seem controversial to some, it is an important part of Kalinga’s culinary heritage.
Another popular dish in Kalinga is Inandilaan, which is made from pork that is cooked in its own fat. The dish is typically served during special occasions and celebrations, such as weddings and fiestas.
In addition to these dishes, Kalinga also has a variety of delicacies and snacks, such as Kiniing, which is a smoked meat that is similar to jerky, and Tapa, which is a dried meat that is typically served with garlic rice and egg.
Overall, Kalinga’s cuisine is a testament to the region’s rich cultural heritage and the importance of using locally sourced ingredients. Visitors to the region should make sure to try some of the local dishes and delicacies to fully experience Kalinga’s unique flavors.
Kalinga Province offers a variety of accommodation options for visitors, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels. It is important to note that most of the accommodations are located in the capital town of Tabuk, where most of the province’s attractions are easily accessible.
Visitors looking for a budget-friendly option can choose from a variety of hostels and guesthouses. These accommodations offer basic amenities such as shared bathrooms and dormitory-style rooms. Some popular options include the Kalinga Inn and Backpackers and the Kalinga Native Guesthouse.
For those looking for a more comfortable stay, several mid-range hotels are available in Tabuk. These hotels offer amenities such as private bathrooms, air conditioning, and Wi-Fi.
Luxury accommodations are also available for visitors who want to indulge in comfort and style. These hotels offer amenities such as swimming pools, spas, and fine dining restaurants. The most popular luxury hotels in Kalinga Province include the Grand Zion Garden Resort and the Davidson Hotel.
It is important to note that during peak travel season, accommodations in Kalinga Province can fill up quickly. It is advisable to book accommodations in advance to ensure availability and to get the best rates. Visitors can use online booking platforms such as Agoda.com and Booking to find and book accommodations in Kalinga Province.
Traveling to Kalinga can be an exciting and memorable experience, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind to ensure a smooth trip. Here are some travel tips to consider before embarking on your journey:
Hire a Local Guide
Kalinga is a remote province with many hidden gems that only locals know about. Hiring a local guide can help you discover off-the-beaten-path destinations and provide insight into the region’s rich culture and history. A local guide can also help with language barriers and ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience.
While some establishments in Kalinga accept credit cards, it’s always a good idea to bring cash with you. Many local shops and restaurants only accept cash, and there are limited ATMs in the area. It’s also a good idea to have small bills on hand for purchases like transportation and souvenirs.
Stick to a Budget
Kalinga offers a range of activities and accommodations, from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts. It’s important to set a budget before your trip and stick to it to avoid overspending. Researching accommodation and activity options ahead of time can help you make informed decisions and stay within your budget.
Kalinga is a province in the northern part of the Philippines that is known for its rich cultural heritage and breathtaking natural beauty. Travelers who visit Kalinga are often captivated by the province’s stunning landscapes, unique traditions, and warm hospitality.
One of the best ways to capture the essence of Kalinga is through photography. With its towering mountains, cascading waterfalls, and verdant rice terraces, Kalinga offers countless opportunities for capturing stunning images. Visitors can take photos of the province’s natural wonders, as well as its vibrant festivals, traditional crafts, and colorful markets.
One of the most iconic images of Kalinga is the traditional tattoos of the Butbut people. These intricate designs, which are created using a traditional hand-tapping method, are a symbol of the tribe’s identity and cultural heritage. Visitors can capture these tattoos in photos, as well as learn about their meaning and significance.
In addition to photography, visitors can also capture the essence of Kalinga through other art forms, such as painting, drawing, and writing. The province’s stunning landscapes and vibrant culture have inspired countless artists and writers over the years, and continue to do so today.
Whether through photography, painting, or writing, capturing Kalinga is a rewarding and enriching experience that allows visitors to connect with the province’s unique culture and natural beauty.
Lorraine A. Ngao-i
Supervising Tourism Operations Officer
Email: [email protected]
Facebook Page: Kalinga Tourism, Philippines
Christalyne M. Balicao
Tourism Operations Officer 1
Email: [email protected]
Joyce B. Calpito
Email: [email protected]
Facebook Page: Province of Kalinga
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some popular tourist spots in Balbalan, Kalinga?
Balbalan is a municipality in the province of Kalinga that is known for its scenic spots. One of the most popular tourist spots in Balbalan is the Pasil River, which is known for its crystal-clear waters and stunning rock formations. Another must-visit destination in Balbalan is the Balbalasang National Park, which is home to various flora and fauna and offers breathtaking views of the mountains.
What are the must-visit tourist spots in Tanudan?
Tanudan is a town in Kalinga that is known for its rich culture and natural wonders. One of the must-visit tourist spots in Tanudan is the Lubuagan Kalinga Museum, which showcases the town’s history and culture. Another popular destination in Tanudan is the Lubuagan Rice Terraces, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its stunning views.
What are the wonders of Tabuk City, Kalinga?
Tabuk City is the capital of Kalinga and is known for its natural wonders. One of the wonders of Tabuk City is the Chico River, which is a popular destination for white-water rafting. Another must-visit destination in Tabuk City is the Mabilong Weavers Village, which is known for its traditional weaving techniques.
What makes Binasalan Falls in Kalinga a must-see destination?
Binasalan Falls is a stunning waterfall in Kalinga that is known for its crystal-clear waters and lush greenery. It is a popular destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Visitors can swim in the cool waters of the falls or hike in the surrounding forest.
Why is Sleeping Beauty mountain in Kalinga worth visiting?
Sleeping Beauty mountain is a popular destination in Kalinga that is known for its unique shape. It is called Sleeping Beauty mountain because it resembles a woman sleeping on her back. Visitors can hike to the summit of the mountain and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
What are some famous tourist spots in Mountain Province near Kalinga?
Mountain Province is a neighboring province of Kalinga that is known for its stunning natural beauty. One of the most famous tourist spots in Mountain Province is the Banaue Rice Terraces, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its stunning views. Another must-visit destination in Mountain Province is the Sagada Cave Connection, which is a popular destination for spelunking and adventure.
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