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Philippines Grand Tour
Philippines Grand Tour OverviewPhilippines Grand Tour A comprehensive tour of the Philippines visiting the most important highlights and relaxing on spectacular beaches. Visit the famous rice terraces in Banaue, swim with the white sharks at Donsol, visit the tarsiers in Bohol, and relax, snorkel or dive the pristine waters of Palawan.
Day 1: Arrival Manila
Upon arrival in Manila, meet your private guide who will transfer you to your chosen hotel.
Day 2: Manila touring
Meet your private guide at your hotel lobby.
Commence the tour from the financial district of Makati including Fort Bonifacio and the American Cemetery. Proceed to the historic Walled City of Intramuros. Travel through the cobbled streets of San Agustin Church, the country’s oldest stone church and view its wide collection of ecclesiastical icons and vestments. Across it is Casa Manila, a reproduction of 19th-century house equipped with an Oriental and European decor, as well as Philippine antique furniture. Continue to Fort Santiago, Manila’s main line of defence against invaders from the sea. From the Fort, drive to Quiapo, Manila’s central district, to mingle in its market, pilgrimage church of the Black Nazarene, jeepney terminals and bazaars. Then proceed to the Chinese Cemetery, where the mausoleums are as big and as elaborate as houses.
Overnight in Manila.
Day 3: Manila to Banaue
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Cauayan. On arrival, continue your journey by vehicle through the Cordillera mountain range to the UNESCO rice terraces in Banaue.
Overnight in Banaue
Day 4: Banaue Rice Terraces
Board a local jeepney to explore the breathtaking scenery and fascinating traditional culture of Banaue. Our first glimpse of the magnificent terraces is best seen at Barangay Viewpoint, where a marker stands declaring the Banaue Rice Terraces a UNESCO World Heritage Area and an international historic civil engineering landmark. The terraces, believed to be over 2,000 years old, were built painstakingly and skilfully by ancient tribesmen in an area where level land is almost non-existent.
Another highlight of today’s trip is a short hike down Bangaan Rice Terraces where you can mingle freely with the villagers, and if the school is on, drop by the village school.
Overnight in Banaue.
Day 5: Banaue to Sagada
Depart for an overland journey through mountain ranges to Sagada.
Stop for a visit to the Bontoc Museum to gain an insight into the lifestyle of the Igorots, the fiercest head-hunters of all mountain tribes.
Moving farther on, an hour’s drive away is the limestone valley of Sagada. Sagada is best known for its unique burial practices; the dead are placed in coffins made from pine wood and buried in caves or lodged between ridges and hollows of limestone cliffs, thus the name, ‘hanging coffins’.
Overnight at Masferre Inn.
Distance and journey time: 200 km, 8.30 hrs
Day 6: Sagada to Manila
Early start for another long overland journey through the mountains. Arrive at Baguio City where you will have a short tour of its parks, gardens and the Baguio Cathedral that sits atop Mount of Mary Hill. Take a stroll to the Public Market, one of the most colourful marketplaces in the country where the mountain people come to buy and sell.
Arrive in Manila in the early evening for overnight.
Distance and journey time: 160 km, 5.30 hrs
Day 7: Manila to Legazpi City in Southern Luzon
Transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Legazpi City. You will be met on arrival and commence your tour of Southern.Luzon.At the Mayon Skyline View Deck, you will be treated to stunning views of Mt Mayon and the coastal plains of Legazpi.Continue by road to Cagsawa to visit the ruins of the Cagsawa Church, built in 1587 and was buried along with 200 villagers by a massive lava flow when Mt Mayong erupted in 1814.
You may wish to extend your stay by one night for an offroad adventure to the lava wall of Mt Mayon.
Overnight in Legazpi City.
Day 8: Legazpi City to Donsol
A two-hour journey will take you to Donsol where you will have 3 days relaxation. Donsol is a small fishing village and it is here where large schools of white sharks converge at certain times of the year. (January to May).
Stay at Donsol for 3 nights
Day 12: Donsol to Cebu
You will be transferred to the airport for a flight to Cebu. On arrival, you will be met for a private transfer to your hotel.
Overnight in Cebu
Day 13: Cebu touring
Start the day with a visit to the impressive and ornate Taoist Temple. On the way to the Basilica, pass by Cebu’s Provincial Capital and Carbon Market, where most of the city’s fresh produce is being sold. Stop by the Basilica Minore de San Agustin, which now houses the statue of the Infant Jesus. A short walk away is Magellan’s Cross, the place where Christianity was first planted in Cebu. Not far away is Fort San Pedro, the first military stronghold in the country.
Overnight in Cebu.
Day 14: Cebu to Bohol
Transfer to the pier to the 2-hour ferry ride to Bohol. You will be met at the pier for a transfer to your hotel.
The rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight in Bohol.
Day 15: Bohol
Today you will enjoy a private tour of the wonders of Bohol. First stop is the Philippine Tarsier Foundation which serves as a refuge for the smallest primate in the world, the tarsier. Observe these rare creatures in their natural habitat and be amazed by their agility and ability to swivel their heads nearly 360 degrees.
Proceed to Baclayon, make a short stop at the historical Blood Compact site, where Spain’s Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna, a native chieftain, sealed their friendship with a symbolic drink. In Baclayon. Visit a centuries-old stone church that houses a museum containing a collection of religious art, ecclesiastical vestments, as well as librettos of church music inscribed in Latin on animal skins.
Proceed with the tour, passing by Bilar man-made forest, a thick undergrowth of towering mahogany trees grown on the fringes of the highway leading to the Chocolate Hills, the country’s geological wonder. From a distance, these hills look like huge candy drops that change in colour with the season and are aptly named ‘chocolate’ when the hill grasses turn deep brown in summer. Hike up to the viewpoint for a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area before moving on to Loboc River for a cruise downstream.
Return to the hotel by late afternoon.
Day 16: Bohol to Dumaguete
Transfer to the pier for the ferry crossing to Dumaguete. You will be met for a transfer to your hotel.
Relax at your resort for 3 nights
Day 19: Dumaguete to El Nido
Transfer to the pier for the ferry to Cebu where you will fly to El Nido. You will be met for a transfer to the jetty for a 45 minutes boat trip to Miniloc Island.
Relax in El Nido Miniloc Island for 3 nights.
Day 22: Departure
Transfer by boat to the jetty and continue by road to the El Nido Airport to catch your flight to Manila.