Banaue Rice Terraces © Magalhaes
The northern reaches of Luzon Island draw travellers craving adventure and an authentic taste of traditional Filipino culture. Lush, mountainous terrain characterises the region, though much is lacking by way of infrastructure. Banaue is one of the most popular tourist stops, with villagers still living according to age-old tribal traditions. Constructed about 3000 years ago, the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Banaue Rice Terraces starts from the base of the Cordillera Mountains and extends upwards for thousands of feet. Nature lovers can also enjoy nearby waterfalls, natural pools and scenic hiking trails. Caving and hiking are among the area's draw cards near the local town Sagada, though its main attractions are ancient burial caves with remarkable hanging coffins perched on limestone outcrops.