- Travel by canoe to Pagsanjan Falls to enjoy views of the Taal volcano
- Explore the famous Banaue Rice Terraces carved into the mountains of Ifugao
- Visit the Tarsier Sanctuary on Bohol and try to spot the tiny creatures
- Enjoy a day of climbing, rappelling, and cliff jumping at Kawasan Falls
- Tour the karst islands and visit the white-sand beaches around El Nido
|Arrive in Manila
|Pagsanjan Falls Trip, Taal Volcano Viewpoint
|Explore Banaue Rice Terraces
|Visit Batad Rice Terraces
|Transfer to Sagada
|Transfer to Manila, Fly to Bohol
|Bohol Island Hopping, Snorkeling with Sea Turtles
|Bohol Countryside Tour
|Ferry to Cebu, Free Day
|Canyoning at Kawasan Falls
|Transfer to Palawan, Firefly River Tour
|Underground River Tour, Transfer to El Nido
|El Nido Island Hopping
|Free Days in El Nido, Fly to Manila & Depart
Day 1: Arrive in Manila
Welcome to the Philippines! This nation comprises over 7,000 islands, over 2,000 of which are inhabited. You'll begin this epic adventure on the largest island, Luzon, where you'll touch down in the capital city of Manila. Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will pick you up and transfer you to your accommodation, where you can settle in and relax after your long flight.
If you're up for a bit of exploration, there are several shopping malls close to your hotel as well as a variety of bars and nightclubs that are a short taxi ride away.
Day 2: Pagsanjan Falls Trip, Taal Volcano Viewpoint
In the morning, you and your driver will travel outside Manila to the province of Laguna and two natural wonders: Pagsanjan Falls and the Taal volcano. Upon arrival, you'll switch to a canoe and paddle down a narrow ravine lined by dense jungle until you reach the falls. Along the way, you might even spot monkeys jumping between the trees. Upon reaching Pagsanjan, enjoy the remarkable beauty of this 390-foot (120 m) cascade, and reward yourself with a refreshing dip in its lagoon.
Afterward, you'll drive to the popular holiday town of Tagaytay. The town sits on a ridge overlooking the Taal volcano and is a great place to stop for a relaxing lunch. As you eat, enjoy views of the volcano, which is located in the middle of a lake bearing the same name. After eating, you'll return to Manila.
Day 3: Explore Banaue Rice Terraces
Meet your guide after breakfast and drive north for 8-10 hours to the famous Banaue Rice Terraces. Along the way, break up the trip with stops at noteworthy sites to learn about local traditions and culture. You will also stop for lunch and enjoy some of the regional delicacies.
Eventually, you'll arrive at the terraces. Dating back over 2,000 years, these stunning rice paddies were carved by Indigenous residents of the region. Even more impressive is that they are still in use today. The Banaue Terraces are UNESCO protected and are an impressive example of ancient man's ingenuity and connection with nature.
Day 4: Visit Batad Rice Terraces
Today, you'll travel 2.5 miles (4 km) outside Banaue to the amphitheater-like Batad Rice Terraces. Here, you'll embark on a day trip that will take you to scenic landmarks in the area, like the 98-foot (30 m) Tappiya Falls and Bangaan, a traditional village home to the Ifugao people.
The village and the whole region offer an excellent opportunity to see how the Malay-ethnic Ifugao tribe of the Philippines live off the land, cultivating rice. It's also impressive to see how they preserve their traditions in the modern world. At the end of the tour, you'll return to Banaue.
Day 5: Transfer to Sagada
Continue your adventures this morning, driving three-to-four hours north of Banaue to Sagada. This town is nestled in the Cordillera Mountains, which are dotted with rice terraces. The drive to get there is nothing short of spectacular, and there will be plenty of opportunities to stop along the way to stretch your legs and take photos.
Once in Sagada, you'll stop at the Bontoc Museum to learn about the region's ancient culture long before the Philippines' colonial influences were present. You'll tour some of the most famous landmarks in the region, which include the Lumiang Cave, a burial site housing coffins dating back centuries, and Sumaguing Cave, known for its unique limestone formations. You'll also visit the Echo Valley here and see the famous coffins hanging on the cliffsides.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Transfer to Manila, Fly to Bohol
It's an early start this morning as you say your goodbyes to Sagada. Hop back in the car and begin the full-day, 12-hour drive to the airport in Manila. Upon arrival in the early evening, you'll catch a 1.5-hour flight south to the beautiful island of Bohol. A driver will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to your hotel, where you'll settle in for the night.
Day 7: Bohol Island Hopping, Snorkeling with Sea Turtles
Wake up early and transfer to the marina, where you'll board a boat for a full day of island hopping and aquatic activities. Spot dolphins from the deck of the boat as you travel to Balicasag Island, a marine sanctuary with excellent snorkeling conditions. Alternate your time between lazing on the beach and swimming in the water. The reefs around Balicasag are home to a large population of green sea turtles, so there's a good chance you'll spot them when out snorkeling.
From Balicasag, continue to Virgin Island (also known as Pungtud Island). Enjoy lunch on this remote coral islet and then relax on its long, curved sandbar. You'll enjoy lunch amid remote and peaceful surroundings. In the early afternoon, you'll return to mainland Bohol.
Day 8: Bohol Countryside Tour
After breakfast, your driver will meet you at the hotel, and you'll head out for a full-day tour of the Bohol countryside. It begins with a stop at the Chocolate Hills, one of the most unique geological formations in the country. These 1,700 or so conical hills are spread over 20 square miles (51 sq km), and during the dry season, they turn a deep brown, hence the name. There is an option for an ATV tour to see them up close.
From there, you'll stop at an impressive man-made mahogany forest before continuing to the nearby Tarsier Sanctuary nearby. The shy tarsiers are one of the world's smallest primates, and this sanctuary is one of the few places where they thrive in their natural habitat.
Continue east to the Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park, where you can choose from various outdoor activities, including rock climbing and ziplining. Enjoy lunch at a floating restaurant on the Loboc River before returning to your hotel in the late afternoon.
Day 9: Ferry to Cebu, Free Day
Head over to the marina this morning and catch a 1.5-hour ferry to Cebu. This long, thin island is one of the prettiest in the Philippines, known for its white-sand beaches, waterfalls, and excellent snorkeling. It was also the country's capital until the 17th century, so there's quite a bit of Spanish colonial history here.
You'll arrive on Mactan Island, just across the coast from Cebu City. Here, you'll check into your hotel and spend the day however you like. If you want, spend the day relaxing on one of Mactan's soft white-sand beaches fronting turquoise waters. Or, you can head back to Cebu for a city tour. There are many historical landmarks here, including the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Taoist Temple, and the 16th-century Fort San Pedro.
Day 10: Canyoning at Kawasan Falls
After breakfast, you'll drive 2.5 hours to the south end of Cebu and the trailhead to one of the island's most stunning natural wonders: Kawasan Falls. Nestled in the jungle, this cascade plunges 130 feet (40 m) over a rock cliff into a bright turquoise lagoon. At the drop-off point, meet your local guide and embark on a moderate hike to the falls. The journey is strenuous, but it's also fun, as along the trail, you'll climb, scramble, rappel, and cliff jump down to the river. When you reach the falls, celebrate with a barbecue lunch and a swim before returning to your hotel. The hike takes around four hours in total.
Day 11: Transfer to Palawan, Firefly River Tour
Transfer to the Cebu City airport this morning and board a 1.5-hour flight west to the island of Palawan and the coastal city of Puerto Princesa. Palawan is one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines, known for its unspoiled beaches and towering karst formations. Upon arrival, you'll transfer to your hotel in Puerto Princesa.
You'll have some time to relax before venturing out for a river tour to spot fireflies. During this evening excursion, you and your guide will paddle in a canoe along the Iwahig River through mangrove forests as you search for fireflies. It's an easy and scenic ride that lasts around three hours and includes a buffet dinner. Afterward, you'll return to your hotel and can take advantage of Puerto Princesa's nightlife.
Day 12: Underground River Tour, Transfer to El Nido
It's another early start today, as you'll meet your driver and travel north to the entrance of Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. The name of this 85-square-mile (220 sq km) protected area is self-explanatory. It comprises a vast network of limestone cave systems and a 5-mile (8 km) underground river. You'll explore these caves on a guided boat tour down the river, during which you'll see amazing rock formations and learn about the geology of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Following the tour is a buffet lunch, and you'll have the option to visit a beach before returning to Puerto Princesa. Here you can go on a zipline tour, do some sunbathing, and go swimming. Afterward, you'll continue driving north four-to-five hours to the beach town of El Nido, where you'll check into your hotel.
Day 13: El Nido Island Hopping
El Nido is a popular base for boat tours around the stunning karst islands offshore of Palawan. Today you'll see many of the highlights on a boat excursion to Shimizu Island, Seven Commandos Beach, Helicopter Island, Star Beach, and Matinloc Shrine. At these locales, there will be plenty of opportunities to swim and snorkel. Also, if you like, you can opt to do the tour on a speedboat, which allows you to quickly zip between the destinations and reach them before the tourist crowds.
Days 14-15: Free Days in El Nido, Fly to Manila & Depart
The last couple of days are yours to enjoy El Nido however you wish. Rent a motorbike and explore the interior, or catch a ride to Nacpan and Calitang Twin Beach, two pristine stretches of white sand. If you prefer something more organized, you can book a day trip into the countryside, where experienced guides will take you to secluded beaches and waterfalls. There's also the option for another island-hopping tour to visit off-the-beaten-path locales. On the morning of day 15, you'll fly to Manila and catch your connecting flight home. Safe travels!
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