Tailor-Made Holiday

Highlights of the Philippines Holiday

Perfect for a first visit - Cultural highlights with an idyllic beach stay

14 days

from £2,800pp (excluding flights)

This trip takes in many of the cultural highlights of a holiday to the Northern Philippines, complimented by an idyllic beach stay in the southern islands of Palawan.

  • Take an artist led walking tour of the old walled city of Manila – one of the best preserved Spanish colonial city centres
  • Try your hand against the rapids in a dugout canoe at Pagsanjan Falls
  • Climb high into the Cordillera Mountains, home to the vegetable terraces of the Benquet Tribes
  • Visit the hanging coffins in Sagada, surrounded by breath taking 2,000 year old rice terraces
  • Don  hiking boots or tour by local jeepney and get amongst the mountain terrain of Batad
  • Head to the south to explore El Nido Marine Reserve, discovering spectacular underwater life, lagoons and beaches.

Arrive in Manila, take time to experience the ancient Spanish churches to 21st century architecture, of particular interest is the old walled city of Intramuros. From here travel north, climbing into the foothills of the Cordillera, visiting the summer capital of Baguio. The Cordillera region is home to some seriously impressive scenery. Passing through La Trinidad Valley, the vegetable terracing and pine trees open out to wonderful chains of mountains and rice cultivation. The UNESCO rice terraces are known as the “8th Wonder of the World”. The impressive hanging coffins are found in this region. Spend time trekking or riding the traditional colourful jeepney, meeting villagers and exploring trails.

El Nido is located at the north western tip of Palawan. Its majestic limestone cliffs stand guard over clear waters and secluded beaches. With hundreds of species of fish and coral and three species of endangered sea turtle, it is one of the most picturesque places in the Philippines. El Nido Miniloc Island is home to a number of local attractions including big and small lagoon. From your over water cottage simply flop and recuperate for the next four nights or take advantage of the private beach clubs, watersport activities and eco tours, all organised by El Nido Resorts.

This itinerary is available throughout the year, however the best time to travel to Northern Philippines is traditionally February and March for drier conditions. The Palawan region is ideal between November and April.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 2800 £ 850
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Evening Dance Performance
Watch a showcase of Philippine cultural dances, whilst having a barbecue dinner.

You will be staying at Hotel Celeste, Half board

Day 2

Half Day Tour of Intramuros with Carlos Celdran
Set out on a walking tour of the old walled city of Intramuros, led by the artist Carlos Celdran. Built by the colonial Spanish forces in the 16th century, this fortified settlement was constructed to repel attacks by Chinese, Dutch and Portuguese forces. The city survived until the Second World War, when it was badly damaged by the invading Japanese.

Listen as Carlos Celdran animatedly narrates the history of the city, whilst exploring Intramuros' surviving structures. Humorous and knowledgeable, Carlos will cover topics including art, society and culture in modern and colonial Manila.

Spend Half a Day Visiting La Loma and Makati City
Travel to the district of La Loma to explore the Chinese cemetery and Lechon factory, before continuing to Makati City. The financial hub of Manila, Makati City contrast strongly with the older parts of the city; skyscrapers tower over the busy streets and the colonial architecture old Manila is nowhere to be seen. Here, visit the nearby Filipinas Heritage Library, once the Philippines' first international airport.

You will be staying at Hotel Celeste, Half board

Day 3

Day Trip to Pagsanjan Falls
Travel south from Manila to Pagsanjan, which is approximately two hours away. Here, board dugout canoes and ride the rapids, led by expert boatmen. Thunder down the white water, racing other boats downstream. Stop and spend some time swimming at the falls or take a raft ride under the cascade.

You will be staying at Hotel Celeste, Half board

Day 4

Drive from Manila to Baguio via Bacolor

Sightseeing Tour
Set out on a sightseeing tour of Baguio and spend several hours visiting the city's highlights. Stops include several parks, Baguio Cathedral, reconstructed Ifugao and Kalinga huts, a traditional art exhibition and the Woodcarver's Village.

You will be staying at The Manor at Camp John Hay, Bed & Breakfast

Day 5

Drive from Baguio to Sagada

Guided Sightseeing Tour of Sagada
Spend some time exploring the picturesque town of Sagada with your guide, which is dotted with pine trees and subterranean caves that were once used as traditional burial grounds. You will also visit Echo Valley, the Bomod-ok and Bokong Falls, as well as the peaceful Danom Lake and a selection of traditional weaving shops.

You will be staying at Masferre Lodge, Bed & Breakfast

Day 6

Drive from Sagada to Banaue via Bontoc

You will be staying at Banaue Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 7

Afternoon Excursion to Banga-an Village
Travel to Banga-an village, a traditional Philippine village that sits in wide valley of terraces. Take a short walk down a trail into the valley to get a glimpse of traditional Ifugao life. Wander and mingle with the welcoming villagers, before visiting a typical home. Stop at viewpoint that looks out over the valley's ancient rice terraces, which date back more than 2,000 years.

Half Day Walking Tour
Take a walking tour of the surroundings, which include Tam?An, Poitan, Matanglang and Bocos villages. Pass traditional Ifugao houses, meet friendly villagers and admire beautiful views of the rice terraces.

You will be staying at Banaue Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 8

Morning Excursion to Batad Rice Terraces
Take a jeepney to the magnificent amphitheatre-shaped terraces of Batad village, which sits in the middle of this heavily farmed valley. The 2-3 hour trek is quite challenging, with several steep sections, but also includes a visit to the 30-metre-high Tappia Falls.

You will be staying at Banaue Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 9

Drive from Banaue to Manila

You will be staying at Hotel Celeste, Half board

Day 10

Fly Manila to El Nido

You will be staying at Miniloc Island Resort, Full board

Day 11

Several Days of Optional Activities and Excursions
Have the next few days at leisure with the chance to take advantage of the activities and excursions available at the resort. These include island?hopping, visits to the lagoons, cave exploration, diving, and snorkelling.

You will be staying at Miniloc Island Resort, Full board

Day 12

You will be staying at Miniloc Island Resort, Full board

Day 13

You will be staying at Miniloc Island Resort, Full board

Day 14

Fly El Nido to Manila

Fly Manila to London


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

El Nido Resort Miniloc Island

El Nido Resort Miniloc Island

Miniloc Island Resort occupies a dramatic and hidden spot on a secluded cove, back by dense rainforest and towering limestone cliffs....

View Accommodation

Hotel Celeste

Hotel Celeste

Hotel Celeste is housed in an historic building in an excellent location....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

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Paul Craven, Travel Expert

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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