The Rice Terraces is commonly believed that the terraces were created with minimal equipment, largely manually. They are taken care by a traditional and old irrigation system from the rainforests above the terraces.
Locals still plant rice and vegetables on the terraces. Nonetheless, majority of younger Ifugaos do not like farming and often opt for the more lucrative hospitality sector generated by the Rice Terraces. This resulted in the gradual erosion of the characteristic "steps", which require constant rebuilding and nurturing. In 2010 drought was witnessed which dried up the terraces entirely in March of that year.
The Banaue Rice Terraces is a famous tourist attraction in northern Philippines which has been there for over 2000 years. It has been carved out of the mountain sides, mostly manually by the ancestors of the Ifugao, a traditional Philippine tribe.
The Banaue Rice Terraces, which are also called by the Filipinos as the eighth wonder of the planet, is located 5,000 feet above sea level and covers an area of 4,000 square miles.
They stretched over five provinces - Ifugao, Mountain Province, Benguet, and Apayao and have agricultural and cultural importance in Philippine history. In 1995, it was declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
It is viewed as one of the world’s ultimate engineering achievements. If the terraces were created end to end, they would stretch half way across the world.
One of the greatest tourist attractions of the Banaue Rice Terraces are the many hiking trails in the locality. There are several young locals, mostly college goers who serve as guides.
To get the most spectacular view of the Banaue Rice Terraces, you should hike on the terraces manually. It is ideal to hire a guide to assist you in reaching the villages and finding the simplest path around the sometimes tricky ways. The average height of the terraces of Banaue is almost ten feet, so if anyone unfortunate to slip and fall will not be hurt.
You can also visit the nearby villages of Batad and Bangaan. Batad is a beautiful hamlet located in the midst of terraces, halfway down the face of a mountain. From here, you can have stunning vistas and the chance to visit a waterfall and the traditional village, which manifests traditional Ifugao stilt houses.
The climate of Banaue Rice Terraces is quite cool and does not favor high yielding crop production. You can visit any time you wish to except rainy season as it becomes very slippery and muddy that time.