Located off Southeast Asia and with a strong Spanish influence, the more than 7000 islands of the Philippines offer diverse landscapes and wonderful experiences worthy of being called “a paradise on Earth”.
Here, each island has something different to offer: hiking around rice terraces, boat trips through green islands in perfect harmony with turquoise blue water, villages with indigenous or mystical culture and incredible biodiversity.
After a long journey, you will be transported from the airport to our accommodation.
At night, we have dinner together and exchange the first impressions of the adventure that awaits us in the upcoming days.
We start our adventure in the great city of Manila, where we visit two of the city´s most historic districts.
We begin in Quiapos, where several beliefs cohabitate. Here, in this multicultural city centre, we have the first opportunity to try local food.
After lunch, we proceed to Intramuros, the walled city. This area conserves the Spanish heritage after the end of the colonial era, and it’s a reference about the country’s history.
We will catch a night bus which, after 12-hour journey, will take you to Sagada.
We arrive early in Sagada which, due to its remote location in the Central Cordillera Mountains, didn’t suffer almost any Spanish influence. Therefore, it is a region with a rich indigenous culture and proud of its traditions. Igorot’s are famous for their death ritual’s that consist of the “burial” of its deceased in colourful coffins suspended in the cliffs.
After lunch, we take a 3 to 4-hour walk with a guide to immerse ourselves in the traditions of the region and explore its surroundings.
This morning is free time. For early risers, we suggest watching a fabulous sunrise at Mount Kiltepan viewpoint (activity not included). For the more adventurous and in good shape, you can explore the deepest cave of the country (activity not included). Or you can rest and enjoy the daily life of this region.
After lunch, we proceed to Banaue. On the way, we will stop to visit Bontoc’s Museum, about the history of various ethnic groups (Igorot, Ifugao, etc.) and with a photographic exhibition on the dreaded “head hunters” who lived in this region.
We wake up to the toughest day of this adventure! But first, we eat a reinforced breakfast overlooking the rice terraces of Banaue.
At the Ifugao’s province, sculpted over generations and estimated to be over 2000 years older, you can find the magnificent Banaue and Batad rice fields. Along 15 km, we get into the forest, surrounded by mountains, and walk through rice fields considered to be the 8th Wonder of the World. We cross streams and waterfalls and finish the day in a remote village where we will stay in simple accommodation.
Meals: breakfast and dinner
We arrive in Batad mid-morning, a village in which the surroundings resemble an open-air amphitheatre, consisting of several rice fields levels that are a UNESCO World Heritage site. With a local guide, we walk around the village and the rice fields that characterise it and learn a little more about this ancient natural farming system.
At the end of the afternoon, we catch a bus that will take us to Manila on a 9-hour night trip.
Accommodation: night bus
We arrive at Manila by dawn, flying then to Legazpi. Still, inside the plane, you will be dazzled by the majesty of one of the most active and impressive volcanoes of the country, known for the perfect symmetry of its cone: Mount Mayon. It’s an image you will keep for the rest of your life!
Tired, and through local transport, we travel south, where you can rest by the pool (or at the beach if you prefer) and get prepared for the next day,
As an option, you can take a night boat ride along Donsol’s river to observe the dozens of fireflies that illuminate its margins (activity not included).
Donsol’s Bay is considered one of the best places for whale shark watching. Rich in plancton, this region has one of the largest populations of this specimen.
Today, we share the waters with these sweet giants of the sea. However, considering that this observation happens in their natural habitat, it is not 100% guaranteed that we will have the so expected encounter. We want to ensure an authentic and sustainable experience.
Early afternoon we return to Legazpi where, using local transports (Jeepneys), we visit the ruins of an old church whipped by Mayon volcano.
We will then fly to Cebu.
In books, we can travel to Oz or Hogwarts. In real life, we go to Siquijor.
During the colonial era, this island was a feared place, being named the Island of Witches. Nowadays, it continues to emanate mysticism and locals believe in the existence of wizards and healers among them.
After two boat trips, we reach Siquijor where you can enjoy relaxed beaches and watch a fantastic sunset.
After breakfast, we set off to discover this island that will amaze us with its beauty and history. Paradisiac beaches, hot springs, waterfalls, enchanted trees, fish spa and churches await us. Along the way, perhaps, we are lucky enough to cross path with some “mananambal” (the local term for healer).
Explore the charms of the Island of Witches by your own, maybe looking for a sorcerer and buying a love potion. Or why not go to little Apo Island and swim in an underwater garden with giant turtles (activity not included)?
We meet again at the end of the day, to catch a night boat to Cebu.
Accommodation: night boat
Recognised countless times as the most beautiful island in the world, Palawan dazzles anyone who visits it, particularly El Nido region. That’s where we fly today, dedicating the next few days to its exploration.
After travelling by van for 6-7 hours, we settle at one of the most beautiful beaches in the region. The rest of the day is free to enjoy the tranquillity provided by the surroundings and white sand of Nacpan and to watch an unforgettable sunset.
Today we escape from the usual tourist routes and jump from island to island on a 2-day expedition around Linapacan area.
Paradise islands in the middle of nowhere, unexplored little villages, the most crystal waters you will see in your life, limestone cliffs and a marine life filled with fishes and corals of all colours… You’re in for a treat!
We end up as if we are shipwrecked, “abandoned” in one of the islands where, in a laidback environment, we stay overnight at the beach.
Accommodation: camping tent
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
We continue our journey through these waters. Brother Island, Diapila Beach, Maosonon Island and Cala-Cala will be just a few of the place we’ll visit. At the end of the day we’ll all be smiling – we discovered paradise!
We return to Nacpan Beach, wishing we could continue sailing these waters. Use the rest of the afternoon to enjoy Nacpan Beach or stroll through the bustling fishing village of El Nido and do any last-minute shopping. We meet again at dinner, celebrating our last meal together.
Accommodation: camping tent
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
The paradisiacal adventure through the Philippines has come to an end, with unforgettable memories for the rest of your life.
Depending on your flight time, you will be redirected to the airport of your choice.
Safe travels and see you soon.
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