The Banaue Rice Fields are 2,000-year-old rice fields built on the Ifugao Mountains by the ancestors of the Batad ethnic group in the Philippines. They are often called 'the eighth wonder of the world'. The Batad Rice Terraces in Banaue are considered to be the most spectacular ones.
It is believed that the terraces were built with few tools, mostly by hand, using skills passed down from generation to generation. They are located at about 1,500 m above sea level and cover 10,360 km2. They are supplied with water by the tropical forest growing higher up in the mountains.
The Banaue rice fields are part of the Philippine Cordilleras rice terraces, structures that are 2,000 to 6,000 years old. As such, they are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The local people still grow rice and other crops on the terraces. Still, the younger generations are increasingly abandoning agriculture, preferring to work in tourism if possible, since the terraces attract many visitors, including from abroad. Because of this abandonment, the 'steps' of the terraces are undergoing progressive erosion, requiring constant reconstruction and maintenance.