The Philippines is defined by its emerald rice fields, teeming mega-cities, graffiti-splashed jeepneys, smouldering volcanoes, bug-eyed tarsiers, fuzzy water buffalo and smiling, happy-go-lucky people. The Philippines is made up of more than 7,000 islands packed to the brim with natural wonders. Gaze in awe at spectacular untouched landscapes, be caught-up by the infectious warmth of friendly locals and discover an intriguingly diverse mix of cultures, traditions and sights. From the picturesque Sagada, the colonial Vigan to exploring the stunning Banaue rice terraces - this country will really grab a hold of your senses. 

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Why We Love It

Often referred to as the '8th Wonder of the World', the Banaue rice terraces were constructed over 2000 years ago.

Vigan is one of the few remaining 16th century Hispanic towns in the Philippines and has a very Spanish feel.

With its high pine trees, subterranean caves, limestone cliffs and scenic falls, Sagada is an incredibly unique.

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Day by day Itinerary

Northern Philippines

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Day 1

Manila

You will meet your guide on arrival, transfer and check-in to your hotel. Manila’s moniker, the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, couldn’t be more apt – its cantankerous shell reveals its jewel only to those resolute enough to pry. No stranger to hardship, the city has endured every disaster both human and nature could throw at it, and yet today the chaotic metropolis thrives as a true Asian megacity. Skyscrapers pierce the hazy sky, mushrooming from the grinding poverty of expansive shantytowns, while gleaming malls foreshadow Manila’s brave new air-conditioned world. The congested roads snarl with traffic, but, like the overworked arteries of a sweating giant, they are what keep this modern metropolis alive. It's clear to see Manila's not only one of Asia's most underrated cities, but one of its coolest.

Day 2

Manila

A unique way to get around Manila is by jeepney, colourfully and flamboyantly decorated vehicles originally made from jeeps left by American troops after the war. Your jeepney city tour will incorporate the new and old sides of Manila. From the financial capital Makati, through "Millionaire's Row," past the Mall of Asia shopping centre travel via scenic Roxas Boulevard to old Manila. Pass by the historic Rizal Park on the way to the Walled City of Intramuros and see the UNESCO World Heritage listed San Agustin Church and Spanish fortress Fort Santiago. In the afternoon visit Manila’s biggest slum, Smokey Mountain to talk to locals and learn about how they live, eat and earn. (B,L)

Day 3

Banaue

This morning depart Manila for Banaue where you will see the breath taking site of whole ranges of mountains, terraced from top to bottom for the cultivation of rice. The centuries old Ifugao rice terraces have been sculptured and carved out of the steep mountain sides by the Ifugao people with nothing but their bare hands and crude stone implements. Arrive in the late afternoon, check in to your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure. (B)

Day 4

Banaue

Take a ride in a Jeepney to the junction where you will start your 4 trek along the Batad Trail. From the head of the trail, hike over a steep ridge into the bowl shaped valley on the other side which has the most stunning rice terraces in the region. In the afternoon, proceed to the village of Banga-An where you will meet the Ifugao village folk. You will have the chance to visit the wet market and witness a typical Ifugao market day. Return to your hotel in Banaue after your hike. (B, L)

Day 5

Sagada

This morning depart Banaue, driving along winding mountain roads to the town of Bontoc. Bontoc is the historical capital of the Cordillera mountain province and home of the Bontoc Tribe, an indigenous people who actively engaged in tribal warfare up until the 1930s. Visit the Bontoc Museum, founded by the Belgian nuns who have been active in this area for decades. On arrival into Sagada check into your hotel then set out to explore this quaint little town. With its towering pine trees, famous hanging coffins, subterranean caves used as burial grounds by the natives, eminent limestone cliffs and scenic falls, Sagada is an incredibly unique and picturesque place to visit. You will have the opportunity to hike along some easy going trails which lead to some mountain summits with outstanding panoramic views. (B)

Day 6

Sagada

Today we enjoy an action packed 3 hour trek to visit the Hanging Coffins in Echo Valley. We visit the town cemetery and then stop to view the hanging coffins. Dangling high up on the limestone cliffs, the coffins are both mystifying and eerie in their presence. We then continue on by crossing a river, pass by a coffee plantation and a small waterfall. The trek then ends at the Sagada weaving factory. There is also the option of an afternoon sightseeing activity riding local transport to see the Klitepan and Kapay-aw rice terraces, the Sugong Hanging Coffins view deck and the entrance of the Lumiang Burial caves to see the stacks of coffins. (B) 

Day 7

Vigan

Depart Sagada this morning for the town of UNESCO heritage listed town of Vigan. You will arrive into Vigan in the early afternoon and check in to your hotel. Vigan is unique as it is one of only a few Hispanic towns in the Philippines that retains its colonial buildings and cobblestone streets giving it a very Spanish feel. The style of architecture here is a fusion of traditional Filipino building designs with colonial Spanish architecture. This afternoon take a tour of Vigan in a horse drawn kalesa. Visit the main street, Calle Crisologo and wander around taking in the sights of this beautiful and unique old town. (B)

Day 8

Baguio

This morning depart for the city of Baguio. Known as the summer capital of the Philippines due to its cool climate, the town is a gateway to the Cordillera Mountains. On arrival check in to your hotel then set out on an afternoon sightseeing tour of Baguio City. Like other hill stations, Baguio is a university town that boasts one of the Philippines’ largest student populations (a quarter of a million!), and is also a crossroads between hill tribe culture and lowland settlers. Tour the town on arrival. (B)

Day 9

Mount Pinatubo

This morning travel to the base of Mount Pinatubo to view this majestic volcanic mountain. For centuries, the residents of Angeles took the nearby volcanoes of Mt Pinatubo and Mt Arayat for granted. That changed suddenly on 15 June 1991, when Pinatubo, the larger of the two volcanoes, literally blew itself apart, sending a column of ash and rock 40km into the air. The mountain lost 300m in height, and fine dust and fist-sized fragments of rock rained down on nearby Angeles and the Clark Airport. Angeles is known as the entertainment capital of the Philippines. Arrive back in Manila in the late afternoon. (B). 

Day 10

Manila

Today you will transfer to the airport for your flight back to Manila from where you will connect with your departure flight. (B)

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