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Travel block - Philippines

North Philippines Round Trip - Stairway to Heaven

Highlights

  • Relish unforgettable views at the Banaue rice terraces

  • Learn about the everyday life of different indigenous groups

  • Stroll through the colorful markets

  • Explore the picturesque mountain scenery

  • Experience unique cultural lifestyles

Description

Join us for an exploration tour of what should be the eighth wonder of the world: the stairway to heaven. Lush rice terraces and breathtaking beauty characterizes the region around Banaue in northern Luzon. And to top it off, there’s no other province in the Philippines that unique so many ethnic minorities. The “people of the mountains” live in harmony with nature.

Destination

Asia

Manila - Banaue - Baguio - Bontoc - Mount Data

Today, a transfer will pick you up from your separately booked Manila hotel and drive you north toward Banaue. Say goodbye to the bustle of the metropolis as lush rice fields, majestic mountains, and cloud forests begin to surround you. As you climb at an altitude of 1300 meters, notice the small villages that you pass. On the last stretch of today’s drive, you’ll have the opportunity to find breathtaking photo spots around each bend. Were you able to capture unforgettable photos of the unique landscape?

Banaue is a small yet busy town nestled in the middle of the vast terraces, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take some time to go sightseeing and hiking through this gorgeous landscape.

Travel time: 370 km / approx. 8 hours

2 nights at Banaue Hotel **/* with breakfast in a standard room, Banaue, Philippines

Hop into a traditional Jeepney (Filipino’s way of transport) and head to Banga-by. The small village is a short hike from the main road and is home to the Ifugao. The mountain farmers, also known as the “people of heaven,” began building the surrounding rice terraces around 3,000 years ago. You wouldn’t believe that human hands created these fields with the simplest tools — it will astonish you. Spend some time in the village and learn about the indigenous people’s daily life.

Afterward, head over to a lookout point and marvel at the impressive scenery. And then, visit the local market and taste the delicious delicacies or buy a local handicraft souvenir.

After a refreshing breakfast, continue north to Bontoc. Learn about the history and culture of the countless Filipino tribes at the culture museum.

Now it’s time to see these cultures in action — drive to a small village in Sagada where the Igorot live. They believe that the deceased's soul suffocates when they are buried, which is why they are known for burying their dead in hanging coffins. They wrap the bodies in cloth and bury them in coffins hanging from rocks, enabling the souls to come and go as they want.

In the afternoon, continue your journey through the indescribably beautiful landscape to Mount Data. After you reach its 2200 meter high summit, check into your hotel. The rest of the day is at your disposal in these picturesque surroundings.

Travel time: 100 km / approx. 3 hours

1 night at Mount Data Lodge** with breakfast in a standard room, Mount Data, Philippines

Today’s drive to Baguio will take you through the hilly Mountain Trail. Relish impeccable views of the endless vegetable terraces the cover the surroundings.

Finally, you will reach Baguio, a popular place for locals during the summer months. Wealthy Manila residents retreat to their summer villas to escape the hot and humid weather. The president also has a summer residence here that you can see during a short city tour. Burnham Park is an ideal location to walk around its small lake.

Finally, mingle with the locals at the public market and watch vendors sell local produce.

1 night at El Cielito Inn with breakfast in a standard guest room, Baguio, Philippines

Today is the last day of your tour through northern Luzon. Continue the last leg of your journey on the legendary MacArthur Highway through the endless expanse of the central plain back to Manila. Make individual stops at Lion’s Head, the Bridal Veil waterfall, and a vegetable market.

When you arrive in Manila in the early evening, your unforgettable journey will come to an end. If you are interested in an extension, please contact us.

Travel time: 350 km / approx. 7 hours

Banaue Hotel**/*, Banaue, Philippines (2 nights)

Banaue Hotel is in the city center and close to the market. Facilities include the lobby, reception, a swimming pool, and a function room. In the 81 rooms, there’s a bath and shower, toilet, air conditioning, telephone, TV, desk, and some even come with a balcony.

Mount Data Lodge**, Mount Data, Philippines (1 night)

Mount Data Lodge nestles amongst the stunning landscape. They offer 22 rooms, some with beautiful views of the surrounding forests, and private bathrooms with warm showers. During your stay, enjoy a bite to eat at the restaurant or unwind in the lounge area.

El Cielito Inn, Baguio, Philippines (1 night)

El Cielito Inn welcomes you to its city center location. It has a bar, reception, lobby, and swimming pool. After an exciting day of sightseeing, pamper yourself at one of the massage rooms. The 47 rooms are bright and friendly, offering a bath/shower, toilet, air conditioning, TV, a telephone, and a desk.

Duration of the trip: 5 days / 4 nights

Including

  • 5-day privately guided round trip from/to Manila

  • Transfers, boat trips, and visits according to the program with a local English-speaking tour guide, including entrance fees

  • 4 nights at the mentioned hotels, including breakfast

  • 5x lunch, 4x dinner

Excluding

  • International flights

  • Personal expenses (tips, etc.)

  • Visa fees

  • Services and meals not mentioned in the itinerary

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