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Exploring Philippines

Cordillera Heritage

Get a feel for ancient culture of the northern Philippines and more contemporary Spanish influence during this active 10-day tour of Luzon. Explore the bustling streets of Manila, marvel at the rice terraces of Batad and hanging coffins of Sagada, and bask in the culture of beautiful Vigan.

Your Itinerary

manila-skyline

Day 1 - Welcome to Manila!

This afternoon your overnight flight arrives in Manila, an energetic city with a historic heart. Your private driver will greet you at Nino Aquino Manila International Airport and transport you to your comfortable accommodation. We’ve not planned anything for this afternoon to allow you to recover from your flight, so relax or head out for a wander.

vigan-horses

Day 2 - Explore historic Intramuros by bicycle

Today you will tour the walled city of Intramuros on bamboo bicycles. Your guide will explain the history of the walled city as you cycle leisurely along on a hand-made bicycle. See the UNESCO-designated Saint Augustin Church, Fort Santiago, and other historic buildings. Exploring by bicycle allows you to see more of this historical area and absorb the sights and sounds of what was once the heart of Manila. The tour including time to reach Intramuros and return to your hotel takes approximately 4 hours. You may wish to have lunch in the old city, and the remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Cordillera-road

Day 3 - North to the heart of Ifugao

Rise early to beat the Manila traffic and head north to Banaue. As you venture into the Cordillera Mountains you’ll stop at historic monuments and view points along the way. This will be a long day on the road but the views as you rise into the mountains are nothing short of stunning.

batad-rice-terraces

Day 4 - The ancient rice terraces of Batad

Your guide today will take you out in a private jeepney to the stunning rice terraces of Batad. Visit the farming community of Banga-an to see the traditional Ifugao homes before beginning the walk to the rice terraces. These 2,000-year-old terraces are fed by an irrigation system just as old. If you’re up for more, your guide can lead you to a waterfall before you return to your jeepney and the ride back to Banaue.

bontoc-museum

Day 5 - Terrace views and the Bontoc museum

Your private driver and guide will take you through more mountains to Sagada today. On the way you’ll have stunning views of the rice terraces and a stop at the Bontoc Museum. This small museum is packed with photographs and artifacts of the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera region. You’ll reach Sagada in the early afternoon and have time to wander the quiet streets of this mountain town.

hanging-coffins-sagada

Day 6 - Coffins and Caves of Sagada

Sagada and other Igorot towns resisted the 16th century Spanish conquest of the Philippines. Traditional culture survived the centuries including the unique burial practices of hanging coffins. Your guide today will take you to see some of these and the Lumiang Burial Cave where more than 100 coffins are stacked in the entrance. If you want to continue your exploration, your guide can arrange a spelunking adventure into Sumaguing Cave.

vigan-bench

Days 7-8 - Colonial Vigan

Travel west to the city of Vigan, the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia. Walk the cobblestone streets and take in the architectural and cultural influences from China, Spain, Mexico, and indigenous Philippine peoples. You’ll have some time to relax and a little time with a private guide to see the some of the city’s historic highlights.

nipa-houses

Day 9 - Journey back to Manila

Travel north to Laoag for your flight to Manila. Along the way, stop at one more UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site: St. Augustine Church in Bantay. You’ll arrive in Manila during the afternoon and have the remainder of your time in the Philippines to yourself. Relax at your hotel and perhaps begin plotting your next trip to this beautiful country!

intramuros-evening

Day 10 - Bid farewell

Depending on your flight, you may be able to start the journey home late at night on your 9th day. Otherwise your driver will take you to the airport today for your flight home. Safe travels!

DETAILS: -

This itinerary costs from £1250 per person B&B and is based on two people sharing during the high season (Nov-May) excluding the Christmas and New Year, Chinese New Year, Easter, and other holiday periods. The price includes all private transfers and domestic travel but not international flights.

International flights tend to cost between £400 and £700 per person return – do ask us for advice. Alternatively we can book the flights for you but a booking fee may apply.

What's included?

INCLUDED:
  • Prices start from £1250 per person
  • Accommodation on B&B basis
  • Private transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Local taxes
  • Entrance fees
  • All excursions and activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Internal flight
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered
Make a booking
Manila
The bustling capital city is home to historic Intramuros and Rizal Park. Let us arrange a bicycle tour of the walled city so you can explore the narrow streets and learn about the nation's colonial past. More
Banaue
Ancient rice terraces in Batad, coffins mounted on a cliff in Sagada, the Cordillera is home to some of the most unique and fascinating bits of the Philippines. More
Vigan
Some of the best preserved Spanish colonial architecture in the world can be found in Vigan. Wander the cobbled streets, sample the Spanish-influenced cuisine, and relax in one of the city's historic boutique hotels. More
Boracay
Sink your toes into the white sands of Boracay. Grab a cocktail, take it easy, and watch the clear blue water lap against the shore. When night falls, join the parties of District Two or slip away to romantic Diniwid beach. More
Bohol
Chocolate hills, tiny tarsiers, Boholano art, beautiful beaches, and some lovely snorkeling and diving make Bohol one of our favorite parts of the Philippines. The gorgeous boutique resorts don't hurt, either! More
Negros Oriental
The island of Negros is home to world-class diving off the coast of Dauin and on neighboring Apo Island. Waterfalls and adventure are just a day trip away from the university town of Dumaguete. On neighboring Siquijor settle in to the tranquility of an island known for sorcery and healing powers. More
Negros Occidental
On the west coast of Negros you'll find Bacolod, the city of smiles. Sugar plantations in the area host historic mansions and in October, the streets come alive with the annual MassKara festival. More
Puerto Princesa
The gateway to Palawan, Puerto Princesa sits near one of the longest subterranean rivers in the world. Let us arrange a stay for you at a beachside hotel with mountain views just a short boat ride away. More
El Nido
When people refer to Palawan as the most beautiful island in the world, images of El Nido come to mind. Limestone cliffs jut from aquamarine water, lush jungle fills the interior, and the coasts are lined with dazzling beaches. Some of the finest resorts in the country dot the islands around this northern bit of Palawan. More
Coron
For divers, the WWII shipwrecks of Coron are one of the highlights of the Philippines. Natural hot springs, clear blue lakes, isolated beaches, and a rather surprising game reserve and wildlife sanctuary make Coron a fun destination for divers and landlubbers alike. More
Puerto Galera
Fast drift dives and schools of big fish await experienced divers in Puerto Galera while shallow macro dives make for excellent underwater photography, relaxing night dives, and the perfect place to learn or improve your dive skills. More
Tubbataha Reefs
The greatest variety of marine life in the Philippines is within Tubbataha Reefs National Marine Park; only accessible for diving mid-March to mid-June

Your adventure starts here!

Do you fancy having a chat about Cordillera Heritage? Personally, it's one of our favourite things to talk about.

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