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10-Day Highlands & Islands Tour to Ilocos, Cordillera, Dumaguete & Apo Island from Manila
A diver swimming with a sea turtle in Apo Island

10-Day Highlands & Islands Tour to Ilocos, Cordillera, Dumaguete & Apo Island from Manila

Perfect travel plan
Fully customizable
24/7 customer support
Tour starts
Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Starting time
at 09:00
Duration:
10 days
Ending place
Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Languages:
English
Difficulty:
Easy
Available:
All year
Minimum age:
None

Explore the Philippines' highlands and its marine wonders on this 10-day vacation package. You’ll be visiting the mountain regions and an active volcano in Luzon, then fly to Visayas where you will see the incredible marine life of Dumaguete’s Apo Island. This package includes your roundtrip flights, boat and car transfers, accommodations with breakfast, and entrance fees. Tour guides will be with you to make your journey hassle-free.

On this 10-day vacation, you’ll get to see amazing wonders made by nature and by man. From well-preserved Spanish colonial houses and forts that are over a hundred years old to mountains with terraces and an island with sea riches below.

The start of your trip will be in Manila and you’ll get to visit the historic Intramuros. Then, you’ll get to go to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Vigan and stay at its famous street, Calle Crisologo. 

Going to the mountain regions will give you more than just a glimpse of the wonderful views of the Philippines. At Banaue Viewpoint, you’ll learn about the ancient irrigation system of the rice terraces. You’ll also get to visit Camp John Hay, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the City of Pines, Baguio. Then, you will see Mt. Pinatubo up close, an active volcano in Tarlac.

You’ll also be able to appreciate the underwater sights of the Philippines. In Dumaguete, you will visit Apo Island, one of the best dive sites in the country with white sand beaches.

Explore some of the best highland and island attractions of the Philippines with this 10-day package. Check availability by choosing a date. 

Included

9 nights accommodation (budget category)
9 days breakfast
9 lunch
All local flights with 20kg baggage allowance
Day 1 - Intramuros Tour (Manila)
Day 2 to 3 - Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur (Ilocos Region)
Day 4 to 6 - Sagada, Banaue, Baguio Tour (Cordillera Region)
Day 7 - Mt. Pinatubo Tour
Day 8 to 9 - Dumaguete Tour (Central Visayas)
Day 10 - Back to Manila
All transportation to and from included activities and destinations
All environmental, port fees, and all other applicable taxes

Activities

Sightseeing and Walking
City Tours
Culture, Arts and Historical Tour

Attractions

Manila Cathedral
Casa Manila
Bahay Tsinoy
Mt. Pinatubo
Philippine Military Academy
The Mansion
Camp John Hay
Mines View Park
Wright Park
General Yamashita Surrender Site
Ifugao Museum
Tappiya Waterfalls
Bontoc Village Museum
Syquia Mansion Museum
Pagburnayan Jar Factory
National Museum of the Philippines Ilocos Complex
Crisologo Museum
Bantay Church Bell Tower
Rizal Boulevard
St. Catherine of Alexandria Church
Apo Island
Calle Crisologo
Malacañang of the North
Paoay Church
St. William Cathedral
Sinking Bell Tower
Intramuros
Fort Santiago
San Agustin Church
Banga-an Village
St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral
Marcos Museum & Mausoleum or Balay Ti Ili
Museo Ilocos Norte
Centennial Park
Good Shepherd Convent
Sumaguing Cave
Echo Valley
Baluarte de San Diego
Plaza Roma
Banaue Museum
Manila
Baguio
Sagada
Banaue
Tarlac
Cata-al World War 2 Museum
Dumaguete
Provincial Capitol and Freedom Park
Aurora Park
Baluarte Ilocos
Campanario de Dumaguete
Lab-as Seafood Restaurant
Sidlakang Negros Village
Valencia Forest Camp
San Agustin Church Dumaguete
Negros Oriental Arts & Heritage
San Diego Gardens
Batad
Batad Banaue Viewpoint
Siliman University
Dumaguete Public Market
Laoag
Vigan

Daily itinerary

Day 1
A citadel called Fort Santiago in Intramuros

Day 1: Intramuros Tour

Once you have arrived in Manila, your van will pick you up from Ninoy Aquino International Airport. From the airport, it’s about 8km to Roxas Boulevard, the site of your accommodation. The Manila Tour is allotted for exploring the walled area of Intramuros.

You’ll visit historical attractions, firstly, Fort Santiago. This 16th-century citadel was used as a penitentiary where Jose Rizal, the National Hero of the Philippines, was imprisoned. Then you will go to Plaza Roma, the former plaza mayor. It was used for events during the Spanish era but it was turned into a garden during the 18th century.

The relationship of the Filipinos with the Chinese goes a long way back, even before the Spanish settlement. You can learn more about it at Bahay Tsinoy. Meanwhile, at Casa Manila, you’ll get a better understanding of the Filipino lifestyle during the Spanish colonization. The San Diego Gardens is a small but lovely park and it is located right in front of the Baluarte De San Diego, the oldest stone fort in Manila.

On the other hand, San Agustin Church and Museum is the country’s oldest stone church. It is primarily made of adobe stones and has a Baroque architecture style. Before the tour ends, you’ll also pay a visit to the Manila Cathedral. It was designated as a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1981.

Day 2
Sinking Bell Tower in Laoag, Ilocos Norte

Day 2: Ilocos Norte Laoag Tour

You will leave Manila and head to Ilocos Norte for your Laoag tour. It’s just a short flight to Laoag Airport. From your accommodation in Laoag City, you will begin your tour at St. Williams Cathedral. This historic church was founded in 1580, however, the building that stands today was constructed in 1612. St. Williams Cathedral has an accompanying belfry known as the Sinking Bell Tower.

You’ll get to learn more about the region’s culture, interesting history, and rich heritage at Museo Ilocos. It has displays of various artifacts, like ceremonial objects and traditional clothing, of the Itneg, Igorot, and Ilocano. Before you move onto the next town, you will make a stop at Aurora Park, which was the center of the community during the 16th century.

In the town of Paoay, you will visit 2 imposing structures. The Malacanang of the North is a grand mansion that has been turned into a museum. The expansive property overlooks Paoay Lake. Paoay Church is a designated world heritage site. This Earthquake Baroque church was constructed in 1710 while its belfry was made in 1793.

At the Marcos Museum, you will learn about the life of former President Ferdinand Marcos’s life. This museum also served as his mausoleum.

Day 3
Exploring Calle Crisologo while riding a kalesa

Day 3: Ilocos Sur Vigan Tour

On the third day of your trip, you will visit and stay at a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The City of Vigan has impressively-preserved structures and streets, so you can expect to visit a lot of historical attractions for the day.

At the National Museum Ilocos Sur Complex, you’ll find the Burgos House, which is dedicated to Padre Burgos, a martyr of the Philippine revolution. It also has the Ilocos Sur Provincial Jail, which is now a museum that showcases memorabilia of Elpidio Quirino, the former President of the Philippines and an Ilocos native.

In the nearby town of Bantay, you’ll visit a picturesque church and its belfry. The Bantay Church and Belltower were established during the 16th century. The next attractions you will go to will give you a better insight of the culture, heritage, and history of Vigan and Ilocos. This includes the Syquia Mansion Museum, the Pagburnayan Jar Factory, and the Crisologo Museum.

Calle Crisologo is the famous street of Vigan City. It has a cobblestone road and grand houses sitting right next to each other. Walking through the street makes you feel like you have traveled back in time. St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral is the main church of Vigan. It is also the final resting place of Ilocano Leona Florentino, a poet from the 1800s.

Before going back to your hotel in Calle Crisologo, you’ll make a final stop at Baluarte. This zoological park features a safari gallery. It also has an open space where tame animals roam about and visitors can interact with them.

Day 4
Wide view of Echo Valley in Sagada

Day 4: Sagada Tour

Day 4 of your trip is for exploring the wonderful natural attractions of Sagada. Situated in the Cordillera Mountains, you can expect the ride going to town to be a bit rugged. Your tour will require a lot of walking and hiking, so dress comfortably.

You will make your way to Sugong Cave, where you will find an interesting view. It is the site of the Sugong Hanging Coffins. It’s believed the people of Sagada have been practicing this burial method for over a thousand years.

At Echo Valley, you can take in the wonderful view of the foliage and the limestone cliffs. Inside Sumaguing Cave, you’ll see yet another natural site, this time with large rock formations to stalagmites and stalactites. Don’t be surprised if you spot bats in the cave.

The Bontoc Tribal Museum has a wide collection of artifacts of the Ifugao people. You’ll be able to find photos of headhunter warriors to the hunting tools they use, traditional costumes, and household implements. There’s even a display of archaeological objects and Chinese ceramics that were found within the caves of Cordillera. The museum is housed in a replica of a traditional Ifugao house, which are stone shelters.

After your tour, your van will take you to your accommodation in Sagada.

Day 5
Beautiful view of Banaue from the Batad Rice Terraces

Day 5: Banaue Tour

It’s time to visit another UNESCO World Heritage Site. After checking out of your Sagada accommodation, your van will pick you up and take you to Banaue, about 80-90km away. You are going to Batad, which is where the Batad Rice Terraces are located.

The rice terraces is an ancient irrigation system wherein plant fields are carved into the mountains. From afar, it looks like an amphitheater. You’ll get a better vantage point of this attraction when you go to the Batad Banaue Viewpoint. It’s about a 30 minute hike away.

If you don’t want to go to the Batad Banaue Viewpoint, you may simply go to Tappiya Waterfall. This location is a bit more physically-demanding to reach. But the reward you get in the end is well worth it. The Tappiya Waterfall is about 30m tall and it has a refreshing natural pool at the bottom.

If you don’t want to go hiking or trekking, the location that requires the least amount of effort to visit is the Banga-an Village. This small village has a few souvenir shops where you can purchase locally-made goods.

Before going to your hotel, you’ll make a stop at Banaue Museum first. This museum houses some of the works of the Philippines’ Father of Anthropology.

Day 6
Horses in Wright Park in Baguio City

Day 6: Baguio Tour

Once you have checked out of your accommodation in Banaue, your van will pick you up and take you to Baguio City. Your tour will start at the Ifugao Museum, where you can learn more about the indigenous people.

Baguio City served an important role during World War II. You’ll get to visit the Surrender Site of General Yamashita. Long before WWII, Baguio City already served as the site of the Philippine Military Academy. It was first established in 1898.

The Mansion is the grand summer home of the current president of the country. It was completed in 1908, however, it sustained heavy damages during the war. The Mansion was built again in 1947. At Camp John Hay, you’ll find restaurants, hotels, and shops. It’s hard to imagine today how the tranquil site was used as a military base.

Mines View Park is a busy tourist destination. It’s main draw is its view deck, which offers views of the Itogon mining town. Another tourist-favorite site is Wright Park. It has horseback riding facilities and features the Pool of Pines. The last park you’ll visit is the Centennial Park. It’s a great place to appreciate the natural flora and also the art piece made by artist Ben-Hur Villanueva.

You can buy savory goods and souvenirs at the last stop of the day. Good Shepherd Convent is well-known for their goodies and treats. Normally, there’s a long line of visitors buying products like ube, lengua de gato, and peanut brittle.

Day 7
Mt. Pinatubo Crater Lake in Tarlac

Day 7: Mt. Pinatubo Tour

Once you have checked out of your Baguio hotel it’s time to head down the mountains. The 7th day of your trip is for exploring Mt. Pinatubo. Located in the provinces of Tarlac, Zambales, and Pampanga, Mt. Pinatubo’s access is at the former. There is a base camp at Brgy. Sta. Juliana, Tarlac.

Mt. Pinatubo is an active volcano that shook the world in 1991. It’s eruption is one of the largest the world has ever seen and even caused damage to the ozone layer. But now, the volcano has become a popular tourist destination, thanks to its crater lake.

One of the consequences of the eruption is the rough terrain surrounding Mt. Pinatubo. Not to worry, as 4x4 vehicles will take you across the Crow Valley. After that, you will need to walk to reach the crater lake. The hike is easy enough, although you will be crossing streams and walking through sandy and rocky terrain. It’s best to have the right gear to make your hike more comfortable.

You will gaze upon a breathtaking view once you have finished the trail. The crater lake of Mt. Pinatubo is a beautiful blue-green and it is surrounded by rocky walls. After the tour, you will head back to Manila. Your van will drop you off at your hotel along Baywalk.

Day 8
Vehicles passing by the Belfry Tower in Dumaguete

Day 8: Dumaguete City Tour

It’s time to leave Luzon and head to Visayas. Your van will take you to Ninoy Aquino International Airport where you will depart for Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport. You have a full day of exploring both city sites and countryside attractions.

At Dumaguete City, you will visit the prestigious Silliman University and then see the wonderful view of Rizal Boulevard. Downtown, you’ll go to the 18th-century St. Catherine De Alexandria church as well as its belfry, Dumaguete Campanario. Nearby is the busy Dumaguete Public Market where you can purchase a wide range of products from fresh goods to local handicrafts.

You’ll also go to the Provincial Capitol and Freedom Park, which is a major events place for the city. If you are looking to buy some souvenirs, you’ll have the opportunity at the next 2 destinations: Claytown Pottery and Sidlakang Negros Village.

All that shopping might have made you hungry, luckily, the next stop is at Lab-as Seafood. This established restaurant has been around since the 80s and has continued to serve delicious seafood and local dishes.

It’s time to head out of the city and visit the countryside. In the town of Valencia, you’ll find the refreshing Valencia Forest Camp. This resort has good outdoor and leisure facilities. Then, you’ll visit the Cata-al War Museum.

Meanwhile, in the town of Bacong, you’ll visit the San Agustin de Hippo Church. This colonial church was founded during the 19th century and is a National Cultural Treasure. At the last destination, the Negros Oriental Arts and Heritage Center, you can purchase a wide range of souvenirs and novelty items. There are local art pieces, precious stones, seashells, and more.

Day 9
A sea turtle in its habitat in Apo Island

Day 9. Apo Island Tour

On the 9th day of your tour, you’re going to explore Apo Island. This 74-hectare volcanic island is about 7km from the island of Negros. It has a rich marine life, making it a popular destination for divers. But even if you aren’t a diver, you’ll still be able to appreciate Apo Island.

The boat ride going to the island can be an exciting one. Keep a watchful eye for sea creatures that might pop out of the waters, like dolphins. Apo Island is also an excellent spot for snorkeling. You can find a number of colorful fish and beautiful corals under the sea. If you want to see some turtles, go to the island’s Turtle Point. Aside from being able to spot the green sea creatures, you may even swim with them.

Apo Island is more than just for sea lovers. It has excellent beaches, with fine white sands, and with little crowds. There are a few hiking trails on the island, one of the best is the Habagat Trail. It’s less than a kilometer-long and it boasts a 360-degree view of Apo Island.

After the tour, you will go back to the mainland by boat, then your van will bring you to your Dumaguete hotel.

Day 10
Waiting area inside NAIA Terminal 2

Day 10: Departure to Manila

It's time to leave Visayas and go back to Luzon. Your van will pick you up from your hotel in Dumaguete City and take you to the airport. The trip from Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport to Ninoy Aquino International Airport shouldn’t take more than 2 hours.

What to bring

Facemask and Face shield
Extra Clothes
Passport (Valid for 6 months from date of departure)
Swimwear and sunblock
Personal Medicine

Good to know

Please bring appropriate clothing. Please be aware that your itinerary may have to be rearranged to fit your arrival date and time better.

All our guides speak English. For other languages, contact us for availability and rates.

Not all establishments accept credit or debit cards, and ATMs can be limited.

The season for dolphin watching in Dumaguete is from March to October and is subject to weather and wind conditions. If off-season or on days when the northeast monsoon is strong, dolphin watching may not be possible. During Habagat/ Southwest monsoon Season (June-October), boat ride to Apo Island may be rough.

Accommodation

See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. All accommodation levels, bookings for one person will be arranged in single rooms, bookings for two or more people will share a twin/double, and odd number groups will always be allocated a single room. If you are travelling in a group, but prefer a single room, please make separate bookings. Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents. If additional room(s) is needed, additional costs will incur. For multi-day guided tours, accommodation cannot be upgraded and the levels below do not apply. Guide to the Philippines will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.

Budget

Private rooms with private bathrooms in guesthouses or small hotels with basic amenities.

Comfort

Private Rooms with a private bathroom at three-star hotels or resorts located in the city center, in close vicinity, or near the beach area. Breakfast is included and with basic room amenities and toiletries.

Quality

Rooms at four-star to a five-star hotel in the city center or beachfront resort with a private bathroom at the absolute best locations with the best amenities, facilities, and services.

Terms of service

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