The Batad Rice Terraces


Before the agricultural age, people have gone where there is food and followed thw ways the animals do. After that, we learned how to grow food on land that we had, but in some cases, that land was not appropriate for agriculture, so we moved along to another area. The people of the Cordillera Mountains in the northern Philippines didn’t give up so quickly, they created the Batad rice terraces and learned to live with what Mother Nature game them.

The Batad rice terraces are considered a UNESCO (The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage site, and as such are protected by international law. Upon arrival in this region, some 150 miles north of Manila, you will see the creative work done by the Ifugao tribespeople over 2,000 years ago.

By carving small terraces into hard rock mountains, they created mini gardens which appear as steps in a mountain. This engineering marvel now exists almost solely for tourist reasons, but in some places, farmers still grow crops on the terraces.

The Batad rice terraces are a must-see destination in the Philippines and well worth the trip into the mountains. But, be prepared for a hike. In order to get the full flavor of what you are seeing, you will want to strap on your hiking boots and backpack and start your trek up the steps. You can also take a jeep tour of the area if you are feeling a little less fit and get to see the terraces from a distance.

The Philippines has a tremendous amount of activities to offer modern-day tourists, many of which are very different than traditional tourist destinations. A trip to the rice terraces is one that you will never forget and that will give you a completely different view of the Philippines.

Andrew H. is a perpetual traveler and travel blogger who’s written extensively about his experiences at the Batad Rice Terraces including the Batad Rice Terraces. You can learn more about Batad at