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Tropical Experience Travel Services - Tours of the Philippines

TOUR E - Countryside Life: Landscapes and Traditions (Philippines)

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Guides

Our tours could be organized in two different ways:


A- Self-guided version, with English assistance

We'll organize your trip, then you and your companions will travel by yourself, supported (in English language) by experienced local operators in each destination. Before the start of the tour, you will received a Travel Handbook with your itinerary in full detail along with travel documents and tickets, passes and vouchers, so you'll be able to travel around the Philippines in a smooth and organized way. This solution is advised for those that have some travel experience and can communicate using the English language (a bit, at least!). Of course, it's also a good solution for those who want privacy or choose a rather simpler / not too complex tour.


B- Fully guided version, with an English-speaking tour leader

Alternatively you could choose to have a private tour escort appointed by Tropical Experience, who will coordinate all your activities and transfer, to offer the most comfortable way to travel around. We offer privacy and a professional approach. This option is ideal for bigger groups, people who are not comfortable speaking in English and/or have too little or zero travel experience. It can also be an advised solution for certain destinations that may have complicated logistics. Surely, it is also a service that fits those who need prime-level guide services.

 

Other "combinations" or different options can be discussed by E-mail.

General description

This tour is a product of the commitment to a sustainable and responsible tourism we promoted since the birth of Tropical Experience. This tour is designed for those who want to have a close experience with the country’s cultures and traditions. You will have a substatial and “meaty”  trip, discovering the most beautiful places that nature can offer, then you will sleep in small family-managed guesthouses and locally-owned accommodations. You will definitely have a genuine and complete experience of the Filipino province. The tours also take into account the needs of having a meaningful and pleasant vacation while letting you discover some of the most beautiful places of the Philippines.

 

We will start with a hint of the busy capital of the country, Manila. We will have a glance of the colonial walled city of Intramuros and experience the vibrant life of Quiapo market and Rizal Park.

 

Then we begin exploring countryside areas of the Philippines starting from “the top”, both for latitudine and altitude, discovering the marvelous Banaue Rice Terraces, in the Ifugao province. We will have the chance for some trekking around the small village dwellings scattered around this spectacular and ancient agricultural landscape, of which we will discover the traditions. We will also visit the typical one-room Ifugao houses, commonly known to the locals as “fale”, where we could even sleep for the night. We will also see handcrafting workshops as the province is famous for housing talented woodcarvers . We will then move to Sagada, in the Mountain Province,  famous for the funeral tradition of the “hanging coffins” in the Echo Valley, but also for adventurous limestone caves ready to be explored. Artistic pottery and and hand weaving are the local handiwork goods of Sagada that you could observe.

After all these walks, new adventures will come, but giving also the chance to relax a bit and enjoy the very beautiful seas of the Philippines. You will head to the Visayas Region and have a beautiful stay in Malapascua. Malapascua is a paradisiac small island on the northern part of Cebu Province. Thanks to wonderful white sand beaches and a transparent crystal-clear water, this island will be a great choice for an escape from noise and busy life. And, if you are interesting in diving and snorkeling, you will find one of the best reefs of the Philippines, rich of marine life and populated by the rare tresher shark, manta rays and sea turtles.

What kind of tour

This tour is planned for travellers with a strong interest in ecotourism and responsible tourism, who want to have a genuine experience of the Philippines, of its environment and its people. The overnight in Manila is organized in average level hotels, in Banaue and Sagada in simple locally-owned and family-managed guesthouses, while in Malapascua you will have a comfortable stay in one of the middle-range local small beach resorts.

Even if requiring an adaptive attitude, this tour is pleasant and alternates some active and lively activities with some relaxation and tranquility. No special abilities are needed. Trekking and spelunking are suitable for all but they are not advised to those with physical and health problems; it is anyway possible to have the same tour and decide on the spot if you want to have trekking, have just a part of it or not, enjoying the landscapes from comfortable panoramic viewpoints.

 

Transfers

We will visit Ifugao and Mountain Province areas with a private vehicle with about 8-10 hours from Manila to Banaue and about 10-12 hours from Sagada to Manila. We will transfer from Manila to Cebu and back with short domestic flights. Other minor transfers will be needed during the tours on the sea (small boats) and on land (car or van or jeep).

In Manila, we will use taxis or other private means of transportation depending on the size of the group.

 

Meals

If we are not having barbecue picnics or on-the-go pocket lunch during our daily trips, we will let you try the specialties of the tasty local cuisine. The local cuisine is quite varied, mostly comprising of fish and other seafood, meat (especially pork and chicken), some choice of vegetables, rice and plenty of tasty and fresh tropical fruits and juices. The Filipino cuisine is tasty but not spicy nor complicated and it generally matches with the Western taste. Some meals are included in the price (see specification for "included" or "not included"). Included meals are only the ones explicitly mentioned as “included” in the program. Included meals are standard set proposed by the guides: additional orders are not included.

 

Tour Program

 

Day 1 - Arrival

  • Meeting at the airport, transfer to hotel for resting. There are no other activities or meals included for this day. The program can be changed if your flight will arrive in Manila already in the morning or early afternoon and if your would entertain activities.

 

Day 2 – Visit of Manila

  • During this day, we will discover the walled colonial city of Intramuros. We will also experience the chaos of the modern Manila, with the popular Quiapo market and Rizal Park. Lunch on the way (not included).

  • In the evening, dinner in the well-known fisher’s market (included).

 

Day 3 – Transfer to Banaue

  • We will leave in the morning and we will proceed to the Ifugao province, passing by the countryside and rice fields of the Luzon region. Lunch on the way (not included).

  • Arrival in the evening, check-in at a local guesthouse. Dinner (not included).

Note about meals in Banaue and Sagada: for this part of the tour, meals are not included for logistic reasons and to let you choose autonomously. There will be several small restaurants with affordable prices: the guide will be available to help you choosing the best ones and also if you want to be accompanied for dinner.

 

Day 4 –Rice Terraces

  • With the help of a local guide, we will visit the local villages (UNESCO Heritage), where we will be able to admire the famous rice terraces and enjoy a bit of the local life. Lunch on the way (not included).

  • Back to hotel in late afternoon, autonomous night and dinner (not included).

 

Day 5 – Visit of Banaue Town

  • We will visit Banaue Town during the morning. We will see the traditional village and the most beautiful viewpoints to contemplate the magnificent rice terraces between the mountains. We will also visit the local handcraft and woodcarving shops. Lunch on the way choosing among one of the local restaurants (not included).

  • In the afterenoon, we will transfer to a resort with typical Ifugao fale* accommodations , where we will have an overnight and dinner (not included).

* the fale is small but comfortable and don’t have a private bathroom.There will be common bathrooms and the cleanliness is guaranteed. The fale is a very limited offering, in case of no availability at the moment of the reservation we will have another overnight in a guesthouse in Banaue. If you prefer to sleep in the regular guesthouse, please tell us before your reservation.

 

Day 6 – Sagada

  • In the morning, after breakfast, we shall transfer to Sagada via van. Check-in at local guesthouse and some free time for freshening up. Lunch (not included) in one of the local restaurants.

  • We will have a walk around the Echo Valley, discovering the “hanging coffins”, the famous funeral tradition. We will also explore a limestone cave that will tell us something about the marine origin of the local mountains. We will also see some of the handcrafting centers of pottery and weaving.

  • In the evening, have dinner (not included) in Sagada.

 

Day 7 – Back to Manila

  • We will admire the sunrise above the clouds from a viewpoint above the local rice terraces early in the morning. After breakfast, we will leave for Manila. Lunch (not included) during one of the stops on the way. At night, arrival in Manila, check-in in hotel and rest.

  • Dinner (not included) on the way or upon arrival, depending on your preferences.

Day 8 – New paradise: Malapascua

  • Transfer to Coron airport. Flight Coron-Cebu.

  • Arrival in Cebu and transfer by land to the northern tip of the province. From there, you will reach Malapascua island with a ferry.

  • Free time.

  • Lunch during the transfer (not included).

  • Autonomous dinner (not included) for the guests, choosing any of the several available restaurants in Malapascua.

 

Day 9 – Chill in Malapascua

  • Free day to relax or do autonomous activities, like snorkeling and diving (not included).

  • No meals or activities included for this day.

Day 10 - Malapascua

  • Free day to relax or do autonomous activities, like snorkeling and diving (not included).

  • No meals or activities included for this day

  

Day 11 – Malapascua

  • Free day to relax or do autonomous activities, like snorkeling and diving (not included).

  • No meals or activities included for this day

Day 12 – Return to Manila

  • In the morning, transfer to mainland Cebu. Follows transfer to Cebu City Airport. Fly back to Manila.

  • Check-in at the hotel, lunch (not included)

  • Free time for last minute shopping. Dinner (not included).

Day 13 – Bye Bye

  • Transfer from the hotel to the airport and fly back home (or to your next country destination). End of your trip in the Philippines.​

 

Price

For a free quotation, write an e-mail to experiencetropical@gmail.com

 

How you could modify or extend this trip

You might also want to explore Palawan, with Puerto Princesa and its famous Underground River, as well as the pristine El Nido.

 

Terms and conditions

Before booking this tour, please read the page Terms and Conditions on our website.The itinerary presented above should be considered as broad and just for a general idea. It may vary due to weather, obstacles,booking availability or other uncontrollable variables.If one of the guests has allergies or other issues linked to food, please let us know in advance. Inform us too if there’s be any physical obstacles or a particular health status that we should be made aware of.

For inquiries, you can also use the Contact Form below. You will receive an answer by E-mail as soon as possible!