Duration: 20 Days / 19 Nights
Route summary : Manila-Pagsanjan Falls-Mt.Pinatubo-Banaue-Batad-Sagada-Manila-Palawan-Cebu-Bohol-Boracay-Manila.
Should you wish to do more or less the same itinerary, but in 16 Days / 15 Nights, we suggest you >>Click Here
20 Days / 19 Nights Highlights of the Philippines
This extensive tour begins by shooting the Pagsanjan Gorge rapids in a dugout canoe. You will then hike up Mt Pinatubo to its scenic crater lake before travelling to The Cordilleras, a mountainous area in Northern Luzon up to 2900 meters high. You will see the famous rice terraces of Banaue that encompasses numerous remote provinces and travel by chartered local jeepney to visit a small traditional village. Get a sense of local culture at museums you visit as well as witness the ancient burial caves and mummified coffins of Sagada.
Paddle in Puerto Princesa’s Subterranean River, reputed to be the longest navigable underground river in the world before travelling to the heart of the Visayas Islands. Swim with the amazing gentle giants of the sea, dubbed locally as ”Butanding” (whaleshark), and see the world famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol Island. You will end your discovery of the Philippine islands with a couple of relaxed days on the White Beach of Boracay island.
Day 1: MANILA
Meet and greet at the airport then transfer to your hotel in Manila for a two night stay.
Day 2 : PAGSANJAN GORGE & FALLS
8:00 am pick up from your hotel and then drive around 2.5 hours south to the old town of Pagsanjan. Upon arrival you board a dugout canoe for the trip to the falls. As your boatman rows you the 20 minute journey upstream to the first fall the stunning lush greenery and towering cliffs unfold before you. At the second, main fall (another 25 minutes rowing, not reachable at high water), the water comes from 70 ft above. A bamboo raft will take you underneath this waterfall (not suitable for younger children). An awesome experience!
Your trip back downstream is an exciting experience as you “shoot the rapids”!! Your boatman will skillfully manoeuver the boat between the rocks & boulders until you reach the calm waters of Pagsanjan. Time to change into dry clothes and enjoy your lunch (included). After relaxing we drive to Manila and hotel drop off.
Day 3: MANILA- MT PINATUBO-BANAUE
A very early 04:00 pick up but worth it to see Mt Pinatubo – after 600 years of silence it suddenly erupted in 1991 with only minimal warning, hurling ashes and debris as high as 50,000 feet into the atmosphere. Considered the largest eruption of the 20th century, Mt. Pinatubo is now dormant, having left spectacular lava formations. You and your assigned private guide use a 4×4 jeep nearly all the way up and hike up and down the last 40 minutes only. Enjoy a well deserved rest over lunch (included) and then we continue our roadtrip to Banaue.
Banaue is part of The Cordilleras, a mountainous area in Northern Luzon up to 2900 meters encompassing numerous remote provinces. On the way we pass small towns in Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaja and make a stop for dinner (personal account) in a local restaurant. At around 23:00 we arrive in your hotel in Banaue (included, best available run of the house accommodation) where you will stay for two nights.
Day 4 : BANAUE – BATAD VILLAGE- BANAUE
08:00 – We have an early breakfast and then you depart with your English-speaking local guide. From Banaue Batad is approximately 16 kms away, the first 14 kms of which will be traveled by our privately chartered local jeepney. The rest of the distance is on foot using a mountain trail. The trip to Barangay Batad in Banaue, to witness the amphitheater shaped terraces located at 3600 ft., takes only a 30 minutes hike
After lunch, we stop at the panoramic Banaue viewpoint at 4800 Ft. that provides a perfect experience of the enormity & extent of the terraces followed by a visit to the Banaue Museum. Banaue Museum features decades-old books by anthropologist Otley Beyer and Igorot artefacts collected by his son William. The museum is on two floors featuring weaponry, jewellery, traditional dress and photographs of Banaue 100 years ago.
If there is still time before hotel drop off you may opt to visit the market and local shops which have colourful weavings and beautiful carved woodwork for sale.
Day 4: BANAUE-SAGADA
After breakfast in the hotel, we will start the day with a 3 to 4 hours ride (one way) to picturesque Sagada with its ancient burial caves and mummified coffins at Sugong & Echo Valley. Under guidance of a local English speaking guide you will glimpse Lumiang Burial Cave which houses more than 100 coffins are stacked in the entrance. The oldest around 500 years old. Many of them have images of lizards carved on them which are symbols of fertility and long life. We then enter the impressive Sumaguing Cave, known for it’s rock formations and impressive chambers.
Local dinner and simple overnight stay in Sagada.
Day 6: SAGADA – MANILA
Breakfast in the hotel, then departing for Manila. En route we will visit Bontoc’s tribal museum with artifacts and beautiful pictures from the mountain tribes and stop at Dalton Pass in Nueva Vizcaya. We will stop for lunch in San Jose, with an approximate 18:30 arrival at your Manila hotel.
Day 7: MANILA – PUERTO PRINCESA
We pick you up at your hotel in Manila on time to catch the morning flight to Palawan Island via Puerto Princesa City. Upon arrival you will be escorted by the tour coordinator for your half day City Tour. You will visit the crocodile farm and the Iwahig Penal Colony, both at the outskirts of Puerto Princesa in Palawan. You could also try weaving at Binuatan before heading to Sabang, a 2 hours drive one way from Puerto Princesa City, for a two nights stay.
Day 8: UNDERGROUND RIVER TOUR
After breakfast you are collected by our representative for a trip on the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. It is navigable up to 4.3 km. and is reputed to be the longest navigable underground river in the world. Park operated paddle boats will take you for an one hour tour of the cave to appreciate the different rock formations as well as the thousands of bats and swiftlets that inhabit the cave. Upon your return we conveniently included lunch for you.
Day 9: SABANG-PUERTO PRINCESA-CEBU
Rise early today. Transfer back by airconditioned minivan to Puerto Princessa where you will catch your afternoon flight to Cebu Island, part of the Visayas group of islands. Our representative will escort you from the airport to your accommodation in Cebu, where you will stay for two nights.
Day 10: SWIM WITH THE WHALESHARKS
After breakfast, exact time to be adviced, we pick you up at your hotel for your Whale Shark and Oslob Tours. Swim with these amazing gentle giants. Upon your return enjoy the lunch we included.
Day 11 : CEBU –BOHOL
After breakfast, exact time depending on the time of the fast ferry departure, we leave to the pier for an 1 hour and 45 mins fast ferry ride to Bohol island. On arrival into Bohol island’s capital Tagbilaran you will be met and escorted to your transfer to Panglao Island. It is here were you spend a relaxing day on the beach and check it at your exotic resort for a 3-night stay.
Day 12 : BOHOL’S CHOCOLATE HILLS, LOBOC RIVER CRUISE & CHURCH MUSEUM
We leave the hotel at 09:00 after breakfast.
BLOOD COMPACT SITE (Tagbilaran City) – View the spot where the Spaniards and the Filipinos fostered friendly relations through blood. This is considered as the First Seed of the United Nations and the first Treaty between the brown and white races.
BACLAYON CHURCH & MUSEUM – Behold one of the oldest stone churches in The Philippines, with religious relics dating back to the early 16th century inside the museum.
LOAY BACKYARD INDUSTRY (Loay) – Observe the local craftsmen as they make bolos and other handmade metal crafts. Witness also as the men and women transform Nipa leaves into roofing materials.
CLARIN ANCESTRAL HOUSE (Loay) – Visit a typical Boholano home, declared by the National Historical Institute as a heritage site. View the old collections of the Clarin Family displayed inside the house.
MAN-MADE FOREST (Bilar) – Feel the coolness of the air and view the awesome display of the thousands of painstakingly planted mahogany trees.
CHOCOLATE HILLS (Carmen) – You have to see for yourself – 1,268 haycock hills, which turn brown during dry season, and considered one of the wonders of the world.
LOBOC-LOAY RIVER CRUISE – Leisurely cruise along the Loboc-Loay River and its Nipa Palm plantations alongside, while you enjoy lunch on board.
Day 13: BOHOL , FREE DAY
Day 14 : BOHOL ISLAND-BORACAY ISLAND (via Cebu)
After breakfast, exact time to be adviced later depending on your fast ferry departure time, we leave for the 1 hour and 45 minutes fast ferry ride to Cebu Island. Upon arrival you will be met and escorted to Cebu’s Mactan airport for your flight to Panay Island. We will arrange for your land and boat transfer from Caticlan airport to the door of your accommodation for a relaxing 6 nights stay on Boracay Island and its world-renowned White Beach.
Days 15-19 : BORACAY ISLAND
Relax on the beach with a good book and a cold drink !! Alternatively, Boracay offers many activities such as scuba diving, sailing, surfing, boat rides etc.
Day 20: BORACAY – MANILA
Early pick up from your hotel, exact time to be advised depending on your flight departure time, for your pre-arranged boat and land transfer to Caticlan Airport. You will be met on arrival in Manila and escorted to your either your hotel in Manila or your designated international airport terminal for your flight back home.