The short answer to the question “When is the best time to go?” is “any time when it isn’t raining too much”. Sagada is a good trip all-year long as long as the weather cooperates, really but since Sagada is in the middle of Luzon, there are micro climates that makes the weather a little bit harder to predict.
I’ve been to Sagada almost all months of the year and this is how I felt about it:
The first month of the year is probably one of the best times to go. January usually isn’t peak season for tourism so you’ll the town to yourself. The weather is still cold so the early evenings and nights can be quite an experience. From what I remember, it rarely rains during this month; if ever, it would only be in the afternoon.
This month is a lot like January but the big clincher here is the town fiesta during the first week. It’s a big local celebration so it would be a good idea to check it out to see another side of the town’s personality.
March and April
It gets hot real fast. I personally don’t like the summer months for two reasons – the amount of people in town usually doubles or triples instantly and the weather just becomes too similar to the warmer parts of the country. The road to Sagada gets a bit too dusty and it will be a challenge to people with asthma.
I’ve been to Sagada three times during May and it’s a mixed bag. The other two trips were unremarkable and very enjoyable weather-wise, but the latest one (2008) was absolutely rained out. It could be a bit risky.
June and July
The Aguid village near the Bomod-ok Falls (Big Falls) usually close the trail to the waterfall around this time. The exact date of closure is NEVER known in advance so you could be missing out on your chance to check out the waterfalls. The rains start to get more regular around this time and in this region, rain equals landslides. These roadslips can certainly slow down your transit time – especially from the Baguio side.
August, September and October
This is typhoon season. Fortunately, Sagada has not been heavily damaged by the last two super typhoons that has hit the area (Megi 2010 and Parma 2009). The towns around Sagada were devastated though and it made traveling to the area next to impossible. Power could also be unavailable in town during times of severe rains and typhoons. I went to Sagada August last year and the Baguio-Sagada trip that was usually 5.5 hours ended up being longer than 7 hours due to road repairs. It’s frustrating because the section that usually gets bad rock slides is in the barangay of Gonogon – just 40 minutes away from Sagada.
It starts getting cold around this time. Late November is a really good stretch to consider going – there aren’t a lot of people in town yet and the weather is probably as perfect as its going to get.
Early to mid December is a lot like November but a little bit colder. Late December is awesome if you like being in large groups. The annual bonfire activity is held every December 28 and its easily one of the biggest parties that the town hosts every year. If it’s okay for you to share a packed town that’s filled to the brim, December is the perfect time to go. I’ve gone the past three years and it’s been nothing short of a great experience.