Philippines – Mystical Islands of Paradise

Join us as we unlock this mysterious combination of ancient and modern cultures which populate a myriad of islands resplendent with mountains, jungles and sandy beaches

The stunning Philippines is composed of more than 7,100 islands. Strong ties to Spain and America date back to three centuries of colonial rule. It exudes a rich culture which reflects the diverse indigenous populations from its many islands. In more recent times the Philippines is enjoying more European and Japanese influences. The result is a melting pot of cultures old and new which is truly unique and vibrant. Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion and it is the only Catholic country in Southeast Asia. There is a stunning variety of natural landscapes from rugged mountainous regions in the north to some of the most pristine and enticing beaches and island communities in the world. Often overlooked the Philippines never disappoints

15 Day Itinerary
Departure:15th February 2025(Saturday to Saturday)
Day 1 - Arrive Manila
A vibrant and bustling city, Manila will sweep you away into the turmoil of one of the Pacific’s most robust capitals. If you arrive early be sure to take in some of the markets at Baclaran and Quiapo. Manila also has an excellent range of museums and galleries. We meet in the evening to discuss our journey ahead. Following this we can head into the busy streets for dinner and some of the legendary nightlife
Day 2 - Manila to Banaue
We travel to Northern Luzon today by road arriving at Banaue. This is the home to the ancient and stunning Banaue rice terraces. We arrive in the afternoon and settle in to enjoy the mountain air and the rural settlements. An easy day as we rest up for tomorrows trek through the rice terraces
Days 3-4 - Banaue Overnight rice terrace trek
Our trek begins this morning as we head into the vast array of rice terraces. The Ifugao tribes originally constructed these terraces by hand over 2000 years ago and have been maintaining them to this day. The fields are still in use and stretch across the valleys, reaching as high as 1500 metres. This UNESCO World Heritage site has quite rightfully been described as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. The trek takes us through villages along tracks and pathways filled with friendly smiles and welcome rest stops. We will visit waterfalls and cross streams providing us with welcome swimming opportunities. Our village accommodation is basic and we are privileged to stay in a remote rural setting with the locals. Throughout the journey we are constantly surrounded by the stunning stepped landscape of the terraces and truly experience life in this remote location. Arriving back in Banaue in the afternoon of Day 4 we can enjoy the small town atmosphere as well as a relaxing drink with million dollar views
Day 5 - Banaue to Sagada
We take a bus today across the Central Cordilleras, a stunning mountain range. Our first stop is the provincial capital of Bontoc where a visit to the museum is a must. Remnants of the tribal history of the region are quite confronting with photographs of the regions headhunting past. After lunch we travel on to the peaceful mountain town of Sagada. We base ourselves here for the next 2 nights and enjoy the quite untouched feel the region. It cools down in the evening so be prepared. The townsfolk are very laid back and there are some excellent restaurants to enjoy the local cuisine
Day 6 - Sagada
Today we enjoy a guided visit to Igorot villages in the mountains. A unique aspect of this region is the famous ‘Hanging Coffins’ of Echo Valley which we view after a short journey through the lush jungle. The ‘coffins’ are hung from the limestone cliffs in a precarious fashion as per the customs of the local people. We need to have our exploring boots on today as we have a full day of adventure. This includes a visit to the extensive cave systems which served as burial grounds in ancient times as well as a planned swim in the nearby Bokong waterfalls. At the completion of this fantastic day of exploration and activity we head back to our base in Sagada
Day 7 - Sagada to Baguio
Our destination today is mountain retreat of Baguio. We enjoy a wonderfully scenic drive crossing the highest pass in the Cordilleras. We arrive early in the afternoon to enjoy Baguio with its extensive market, an excellent spot for tribal handicrafts and art. The Tam-awan Village is a cultural centre where you can learn more about the tribal heritage of the region. There are excellent views of the town at the top of the Lourdes Grotto if you are prepared to climb the imposing stairs!
Day 8 - Baguio to Manila
Heading south to Manila we hopefully can stop en route to view Mt Arayat. Arriving in Manila late afternoon we can freshen up and enjoy an evening in the buzzing city in preparation for our journey to the island paradise of Palawan tomorrow
Day 9 - Manila to Sabang (flight)
A short but exhilarating flight takes us to the pristine island paradise of Palawan. This really is Philippines at its frontier west. The long sliver of an island is actually a sub merged mountain range with numerous islands and reef systems to explore. We head north to the settlement of Sabang where we are spending the next 2 nights. Time to unwind and soak up the serenity!
Day 10 - Sabang
A highlight of our visit is a journey into the fabled caverns of the Underground River. Our boat journey takes in only a part of this astonishing natural feature. We have time later after to return to our base via the Monkey trail which takes us through the jungles of the national park. We cap the day off with a glorious sunset and dinner on the beach
Day 11 - Sabang to El Nido
A change of pace on our travel day today. We board a banca, which is a Philippine outrigger, and journey north along the coast to the quiet and secluded town of El Nido. The surrounding area is composed of reefs and beaches as well as Rainforest and mangrove systems. The wildlife is diverse and numerous and it is truly a nature watchers paradise
Day 12 - El Nido
We are on a boat today venturing to many of the islands that are prevalent in the waters near El Nido. We check out the wildlife and diversity of the area and enjoy some optional snorkelling and swimming throughout the day. There is only one thing to eat here, deliciously fresh seafood delights
Day 13 - El Nido to Puerto Princesa
Returning south our destination is the tiny Palawan capital of Puerto Princesa. The road is rugged but the scenery is stunning. The drive along the national highway is a different way to experience the remoteness of the island. We settle in and enjoy the ambience of this harbour town
Day 14 - Puerto Princesa
There is much on offer here. The Palawan Museum is interesting and there is also numerous hot springs in the region. For something quirky and different you may visit the Iwahig Prison. Alternatively you could enjoy a full day exploring the numerous islands in the Honda Bay. We enjoy a final meal together in this sleepy town in one of the many delightful restaurants
Day 15 - Puerto Princesa to Manila (flight) depart
Our short flight returns us to Manila. Your tour ends at the Manila airport. Extra accommodation is available if required

Trip Options

Single Travellers:InquireDetails
Extra Accommodation: Single InquireDetails
Double Inquire
Arrival Airport Transfer:USD$40Details

*Airport Transfer cost is per car

Forgot Password
Forgot Username
Verify Password:
Display Name:
Email Address:
Please enter your username.
Please enter the email address you used when you created this account.
New Password:
Verify New Password: