Take a 12 day tour of the northern Philippines, from the capital city of Manila to the beautiful Bataan Peninsula, Puerto Princesa, Taytay and more. See the Spanish history of the country, as well as the unbelievable natural landscape of this island nation.
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Day 1 TUE. Manila
Welcome to the Philippines, and its capital on the island of Luzon. The city was called the ¨Pearl of the East¨ as a result of its central location on the vital sea trade routes around the Pacific. Transfer with our assistant from the airport to the hotel. Dinner included and accommodation.
Note: According to the arrival times of most participants, dinner may be included the following day.
Day 2 WED. Manila
After breakfast, we include a visit to the MANILA inside the walls, the Spanish walled city founded by Legaspi in 1571. We will visit Santiago Fortress to see the life of José Rizal, who caused the people’s revolution through literature. We will also visit Manila Cathedral. Free time for lunch before going on our way to visit St Augustine’s Church. We will have the option of taking a ride on a ‘calesa’ (horse-drawn carriage) through the city. In the afternoon, we will go to the city of ASEANA, a new commercial district and the modern side of Manila, where we will have free time to shop. Return to the hotel and accommodation.
Day 3 THU. Manila – Bataan – Balanga city
Free time in Manila. First thing in the afternoon, we take the fast ferry to travel to the beautiful BATAAN peninsula. We cross the Bay of Manila in one hour. Here we will see one of the darkest episodes of the Second World War: the Memorial of the March of Death of Bataan. This was a forced march of 101 km done by 76,000 prisoners of war and Philippine and United States civilians. Continuation to BALANGA, where we have time for a stroll in the Cathedral area of this active provincial city. Dinner included and accommodation (in Balanga or somewhere nearby).
Note: The ferry from Manila to Bataan is sometimes cancelled due to the weather. At these times this stage will be done by road.
Day 4 FRI. Balanga – The Philippine Houses of Acuzar – Solano
After breakfast, we leave for The Philippine Houses of Acuzar. This is an open-air museum where they have taken numerous Spanish colonial buildings and stone houses from different parts of the country. We can stroll, visit the ancient buildings and even take a boat trip along the canals if we wish. We go on our way to the interior of the ISLAND of LUZON, Lunch included en route. Pleasant scenery. SOLANO, at the foot of the island’s high mountains, a small and active village. Dinner included and accommodation (in Solano or a nearby village).
Day 5 SAT. Solano – Banaue
We will leave after breakfast, travelling through impressive scenery on the way up the mountain range. In around two hours we will be in BANAUE, where its rice paddies, built 2,000 years ago, are today World Heritage. We find ourselves in an area inhabited by the Ifugaos, head hunters in times past. We will go to Banaue viewpoint and walk among its rice paddies, lunch included. In the afternoon, we will visit a typical Ifugao village with its stone and wooden houses, where they will tell us about the traditions of this culture. Dinner and accommodation.
Day 6 SUN. Banaue – Bontoc – Sagada – Vigan
Spectacular countryside throughout the whole stage in the mountains. Between the mountains and over sections between the rice paddies, we come to BONTOC in the centre of the range, where there will be time for a stroll and a coffee and to see the Bontoc Museum that tells us about the indigenous culture, its music, its traditions, and shows numerous old pictures. After this, continuation to SAGADA, a small city very popular amongst backpackers, where we see their centuries-old tombs hanging on chalk cliffs, lunch included. We go on to the China Sea, crossing the Bessang National Park and incredible countryside with waterfalls, forests and immense hillsides. VIGAN, arrival at the end of the day.
Day 7 MON. Vigan – San Agustin de Paoay Malacanang del Norte – Manila
Visit to VIGAN, a city declared UNESCO World Heritage as it is the best preserved Spanish colonial city in Asia, with unique architecture that blends the design of the buildings in Asia with European colonial architecture. We continue northwards to visit one of the best preserved Baroque churches in the Philippines, the Church of SAN AGUSTÍN DE PAOAY, declared UNESCO World Heritage. It stands out for the enormous contra forts on the sides and at the rear of the building to protect it from earthquakes, lunch included. We continue to MALACANANG DEL NORTE, where there is a very beautiful mansion by a lake, housing the presidential Museum of Ferdinand Marcos. Continuation to LAOAG airport where we will take a flight last thing in the afternoon to MANILA – Arrival, transfer to the hotel and accommodation.
Note: The stage may be adapted in accordance with the flight time. When drawing up the program, a flight is planned with departure from Laoag at 9 PM, sometimes the accommodation may be given in Laoag, flying to Manila first thing on Monday morning.
Day 8 TUE. Manila – Puerto Princesa – Sabang Underground river – Puerto Princesa
Transfer to the airport to take a flight (included) to PUERTO PRINCESA, the capital of the ISLAND OF PALAWAN, and to enjoy one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Sabang Underground River National Park to the north of Puerto Princesa, UNESCO World Heritage. Lunch included. You will be impressed by the stalactites and stalagmites that took thousands of years to form. Return to Puerto Princesa – dinner included.
Day 9 WED. Puerto Princesa – Bay Island – Puerto Princesa
A day to enjoy. A boat trip from island to island across the Honda Bay. We will visit Starfish Island which has the largest population of starfish and the whole of Palawan. Then on to the Luli Island, which rises and sinks between the low and high tides. Lunch included in one of the cabins on the island. Then a chance to relax on Pandan Island before returning to the hotel. After the dinner included, carry on watching some glow-worms along the river Ihawig. Return to the hotel and accommodation.
Note: The glow-worm activity may not be possible when demand is excessive in the high season with excessively long waits. In this case, we will visit “Palawan wildlife conservation centre” where we will have the opportunity to see its big crocodiles.
Day 10 THU. Puerto Princesa – Taytay – El Nido
Departure for EL NIDO in the northern part of Palawan. Along the way we will stop in TAYTAY, the former capital of the island where we will see the SANTA ISABEL FORTRESS built in Spanish times to defend the city from the pirates and Muslims (note: There will be no stop in Taytay if there are fewer than four travellers registered, in which case transport will be given on a regular service and this stop will be cancelled), lunch included.
Continuation to EL NIDO, and free time on arrival to explore this beautiful place and to rest. Its port full of fishermen with their ‘bangkas’ in the morning is the main base from where excursions are made to the enigmatic islands of this archipelago. Dinner included and accommodation.
Day 11 FRI. Islands of El Nido
Today we will take one of the most beautiful boat trips that can be made on our planet to see some of the prettiest beaches in the world. We include a tour of the island. We will visit the Large and Small Lagoon, as well as the Secret Lagoon, where it is possible to go by canoe to one of the most majestic creations of nature, full of limestone and crystal clear waters. Then spend a peaceful moment on the island of Shimizu, to go snorkelling and see the coral and Commando beach, with a chance to relax. Lunch included and Dinner included this day. Return to the hotel and accommodation.
12 SAT. El Nido
After breakfast, transfer to the airport at the time when you have your flight. End of our services.