12-Day Philippines Nature & Heritage Trip to Apo Island, Ilocos Region & Cordillera Highlands

View of windmills in Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Ilocos
Likely to sell out soon
Perfect travel plan
Fully customizable
24/7 customer support
Tour starts
Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Starting time
at 09:00
Duration:
12 days
Ending place
Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Languages:
English
Difficulty:
Easy
Available:
All year
Minimum age:
None

Explore the stunning highlands, heritage spots, and snorkeling destinations across Apo Island, Ilocos towns, and Baguio City with this 12-day holiday package. For your convenience, this trip includes roundtrip flights from Manila City, land/ferry transfers, and accommodation.

Travel back in time to the walled city of Intramuros in Manila City. You will visit various historical structures, museums, and century-old churches like Manila Cathedral. Then, you will head to Ilocos Norte, where you’ll visit the Marcos Museum. Here, you will see the cenotaph of former President Marcos.

Afterward, you will explore the majestic attractions off the coast of Pagudpud coastal town. Admire huge wind turbines overlooking the sea at Bangui Windmills. Then, you will head to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Vigan. At Calle Crisologo, you will see ancestral houses and structures. 

Your scenic tour continues to the breathtaking Banaue highlands. Visit Banaue Museum and browse through a vast collection of Ifugao artifacts. Then, you will explore the City of Pines, Baguio. One of the highlights of your itinerary is The Mansion, the official summer residence of the Philippine President.

You can also go horseback riding at Wright Park. Then, drop by the La Trinidad Strawberry Farm in Benguet to pick some fresh strawberries. Level up your adventure and ride a 4x4 vehicle to Mt. Pinatubo, where a majestic crater lake awaits you.

This trip also includes roundtrip flights to Dumaguete, the City of Gentle People. You will drop by Silliman University, the first American-Protestant University in the Philippines and Asia. Apo Island is another world-class diving destination you can tick off your bucket list. Here, you will see hundreds of marine species.

Discover the hidden gems of the Philippines with this 12-day stunning highlands, heritage, and snorkeling holiday package to Apo Island, Ilocos, and Baguio. Check availability by choosing a date.

Included

11 nights accommodation (budget category)
11 days breakfast
11 lunch
All flights with 20kgs baggage allowance
Day 1 - Intramuros Tour (Manila)
Day 2 to 4 - Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur (Ilocos Region)
Day 5 to 8 - Sagada, Banaue, Benguet Tour (Cordillera Region)
Day 9 - Mt. Pinatubo Tour
Day 10 to 11 - Dumaguete Tour (Central Visayas)
Day 12 - Back to Manila
All transportation to and from included activities and destinations
All environmental fees, port fees, and all other applicable taxes

Activities

Sightseeing and Walking
City Tours
Culture, Arts and Historical Tour

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Park in Fort Santiago Manila

Day 1: Intramuros Tour

On Day 1, you will arrive at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Your private van will fetch you and take you to your hotel in Manila or near Roxas Boulevard.

You will stroll along the cobblestone streets of Intramuros, one of the oldest districts in Manila. Your first destination is Fort Santiago, an old fortress and citadel. During the Spanish era, it served as the prison cell for political prisoners and resistance fighters.

Up next is Plaza Roma, a former trade center that features the statue of King Charles IV of Spain. Then, you will visit Bahay Tsinoy to learn about the contributions of ethnic Chinese to Philippine history.

Your next destination is Casa Manila, an 1850s San Nicolas House replica showing the extravagant lifestyle of Illustrados. Then, you will gaze at the lush greeneries in San Diego Gardens. Baluarte De San Diego, a 16th-century bastion, is right across the garden.

For your last activity, you will visit two century-old churches in Intramuros. First is the San Agustin Church and Museum, the oldest stone church in the country. Second, you will enter the grand facades of the 300-year-old Manila Cathedral. It serves as the episcopal throne of the Archbishop of Manila.

Day 2
View of Paoay Lake in Ilocos

Day 2: Laoag Tour

Explore the historical attractions in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte on your 2nd day. From Manila, you will board a plane to Laoag Airport. Your private van service will take you to a nice hotel where you will be staying in Laoag.

Laoag City, also known as the Sunshine City, derived its name from the Ilocano word, “Lawag” which means bright and light. It serves as the provincial capital of Ilocos Norte.

Your first destination is St. Williams Cathedral. Just a few meters away from the cathedral, you will find The Sinking Bell Tower. As the name implies, the belfry tower sinks at least an inch into the ground every year.

Up next is Museo Ilocos Norte. It features antique collections depicting the rich culture of Ilocos Norte. Afterward, you will see the 19th-century Tobacco Monopoly Monument at the middle of Aurora’s Park. You will also visit the Malacañang of the North, a former holiday residence of the Marcoses.

You will proceed to Batac town. Marvel at the Marcos Museum to see the cenotaph of the late President Marcos. Finally, you will visit the Juan and Antonio Luna Museum to learn about the life and works of the famous Luna brothers.

Day 3
Popular Bangui Windmills in Ilocos

Day 3: Pagudpud Tour

Visit the nearby towns of Burgos and Pagudpud on your 3rd day of vacation. Your first destination is Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse tower in the country. It is situated on top of Vigia de Nagpartian Hill facing the West Philippine Sea.

Your next destination is nestled along the coast of Bangui Bay. Here, you will see Bangui Windmills, a wind farm consisting of 20 giant turbines along Bangui’s coastline. Then, you will pass by Pagudpud’s scenic coastal bridge, known as the Patapat Viaduct. Up next is Agua Grande, where you take a refreshing dip into a cold stream that flows to Pasaleng Bay.

Your next destination is Paraiso ni Anton. The water beside its grotto is believed to miraculously heal the sick. Then, you will visit the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, a natural wonder off the coast of Burgos, Ilocos Norte.

At the end of your exhilarating Pagudpud tour, don’t forget to drop by Pasuquin Salt Stand to purchase the best-tasting salt-preserved food in town. If you want to try other outdoor activities, you may book an add-on 4x4 ride for 4 pax to La Paz Sand Dunes, an 85 square kilometer coastal beach and desert in Ilocos Norte.

Day 4
Bantay Bell Tower in Vigan

Day 4: Vigan Tour

Travel back in time to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Vigan on the 4th day of your vacation. Your private van will take you to your first destination, the National Museum Ilocos Regional Complex.

You will learn about the region’s rich culture and heritage at the museum. Then, you will head to Bantay Church and Bell Tower. Here, you can see a bird’s eye view of the Bantay district and a portion of the nearby province of Abra.

You will also drop by Syquia Mansion Museum, a 19-century traditional mansion featuring symbolic heirlooms of the Syquia family. Afterward, you will learn traditional pot making at Pagburnayan Jar Factory. Visit Crisologo Museum to see the antique furniture and belongings of Congressman Floro S. Crisologo and his family.

Find several ancestral houses and historical structures along Vigan’s iconic Calle Crisologo. Afterward, you will pay a short visit to St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral, also known as Vigan Cathedral. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia. Plaza Salcedo is right across the church.

Lastly, you will see wild animals and life-size dinosaur statues at the Baluarte mini zoo. At the end of your tour, you will return to your hotel.

Day 5
Popular view of the hanging coffins of Sagada

Day 5: Sagada Tour

On Day 5, your private van will pick you up early from your Vigan accommodation. You will proceed to the rustic town of Sagada. To get there, you will drive along Halsema Highway, one of the highest roads in the Philippines.

The first destination in your itinerary is Sugong Cave. Bokong Falls flows directly to the cave’s underground river. The nearby Kapay-aw Rice Terraces also gets the same irrigation source from the falls.

Afterward, you will go trekking to Echo Valley. You will pass through the path leading to the famous hanging coffins, which are part of the Ifugao’s sacred burial traditions.

Sagada has more than 60 caves, making it a perfect spelunking spot. Sumaguing Cave is the largest among them. You will explore the inside of the cave to see ancient stalactites and stalagmites. There are natural pools and streams inside the cave, so expect to get wet during your tour.

After your spelunking adventure, you will visit the Bontoc Tribal Museum. It features traditional costumes, hunting weapons, and farming tools of the Ifugao tribes. Here, you will get a glimpse of the culture and traditions of the indigenous tribes in Mountain Province.

At the end of your Sagada tour, you will head back to your hotel.

Day 6
Tappiya Waterfalls in Banaue

Day 6: Banaue Tour

Explore the scenic town of Banaue, home to amphitheater-like UNESCO World Heritage rice terraces, on your 6th day of vacation. You will leave early from Sagada to reach the laid-back town of Batad.

Your first stop is The Banaue Rice Terraces or Hagdang-hagdang Palayan, one of the earliest-made rice terraces. It is recognized as a priceless contribution of the Ifugao ancestors more than 2,000 years ago.

You can go up the Batad Banaue Viewpoint to get the best view of the terraces. Another alternative option is to trade Batad Banaue Viewpoint for a short visit to the Tappiya Waterfall. Upon arrival, you will be rewarded with a majestic view of the falls.

Up next is Banga-an Village, where you’ll find cogon-made houses. Domesticated animals occupy the ground floor of their houses. The people in the village rely on livestock farming for their livelihood. While you’re inside the community, you will learn about the traditions of the village people.

Then, you will head to the Banaue Museum. It features treasured jewelry, traditional headdress, weaponry, and Igorot artifacts. The ethnic museum also depicts the life of the Ifugao tribes through vintage portraits.

Afterward, you will head back to your hotel in Banaue.

Day 7
A horse in Wright Park, Baguio City

Day 7: Baguio Tour

Gaze at scenic pine tree forests at the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio, on your 7th day. Your private van will pick you up early from your accommodation in Banaue.

Your first stop is at Ifugao Museum. It depicts the flourishing culture and ancient traditions of the Ifugao tribes. Afterward, you will drop by the Surrender Site of General Yamashita, a historic site to commemorate Yamashita’s act of surrendering during World War II.

Up next is the Philippine Military Academy, a premier institution for aspiring military officers in the country. Then, you will head to Fort De Pilar, which occupies 373 hectares of land. You will also visit The Mansion, the official summer residence of the Philippine President.

Then, you can try outdoor activities at Camp John Hay, a former US military base. Up next is Mines View Park. Here, you can capture a panoramic view of the Benguet mountain ranges from afar. Afterward, you can go sightseeing and horseback riding at Wright Park and Centennial Park.

Don’t forget to drop by the Good Shepherd Convent to purchase Baguio’s best-selling treats, including the famous ube jam or purple yam. Afterward, you will head back to your hotel in Baguio.

Day 8
Beautiful flowers in a flower farm in Benguet

Day 8: Benguet Tour

Continue your scenic highlands tour up north in the Benguet province on your 8th day. From Baguio, your private van will take you to your first stop, the 79-hectare La Trinidad Strawberry Farm. The production of strawberries in Benguet dates back to the 19th century. Every year, the farm produces about 1,775 metric tons of strawberries per harvest.

Up next is Atok Sakura Flowers. There are around 30 beautiful cherry blossom trees that bloom in the area. The cherry blossom seedlings were a gift to the municipality of Atok from the Japanese government.

For your next activity, you will discover Northern Blossom Flower Farm’s majestic flower carpet. This three-hectare Benguet flower plantation cultivates sunflowers, snapdragons, Peruvian lilies, and other colorful blooms from Japan. You can also take photos behind the rolling mountain ranges of Mt. Timbak and Mt. Pulag as your backdrop,

If you want to go up to a much-elevated point in Atok, you can drop by the 2nd Highest Point along Halsema Highway. You will see Mt. Timbak, one of the highest mountains in Luzon. Afterward, you will traverse the Spanish Trail. Gaze at lush landscapes and scenic mountain ranges at the end of the trail.

Day 9
Welcome signage in Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake

Day 9: Mt. Pinatubo Tour

On Day 9, you will hop aboard a 4x4 vehicle to reach Mount Pinatubo. This active stratovolcano is located between the provinces of Tarlac, Pampanga, and Zambales. After riding the 4x4 vehicle, you will go trekking toward the crater lake.

In 1991, Mt. Pinatubo erupted and destroyed hundreds of households and structures in nearby towns. It is considered the world’s largest volcanic eruption in the past 100 years. Three decades after the eruption, Mt. Pinatubo is now a famous hiking destination in Northern Luzon.

To get there, you have to reach the base camp in Tarlac’s Barangay Sta. Juliana by riding a van. Once you arrive at the camp, you will switch to a 4x4 vehicle. The ride will get rough and bumpy along the way.

Don’t forget to wear proper hiking gear for your safety. The 4x4 jeep will pass through the Crow Valley. Upon your arrival at the jump-off point, you will get off the vehicle and trek toward the mountain’s deck. A stunning view of Mt. Pinatubo’s crater lake awaits you at the end of the trail. You can strike a pose behind the majestic emerald-green crater lake.

Day 10
Rizal Boulevard in Dumaguete

Day 10: Dumaguete City Tour

On the 10th day of your vacation, you will head to the University town of Dumaguete via a plane from Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Dumaguete is known as the City of Gentle People and the University town in Visayas and Mindanao. It houses Silliman University, the first American-Protestant university in the Philippines and Asia. The campus features a university zoo and a research facility.

Then, you will proceed to downtown Dumaguete. Here, you will see the iconic structure of St. Catherine De Alexandria and the historical Dumaguete Campanario.

Then, you may buy fresh seafood at Dumaguete Public Market. Afterward, you will stroll along the nearby Provincial Capitol and Freedom Park.

You can purchase handmade pots and other unique souvenir items at Claytown Pottery. Sidlakang Negros Village also features novelty items. After souvenir shopping, you will take your lunch break at Lab-as Seafood.

Then, you will proceed to Valencia Forest Camp where you will admire lush landscapes. Up next is the Cata-al War Museum. Here, you will browse through a vast collection of World War II artifacts.

You will also pay a short visit to San Agustin de Hippo Church in Bacong town. Lastly, don’t forget to purchase unique keepsakes at the Negros Oriental Arts and Heritage Center.

Day 11
Aerial view of Apo Island

Day 11: Apo Island Tour

On Day 11, you will ride a boat to Apo Island, which takes more or less 40 minutes. It is located 25km away from Dumaguete.

Apo Island is situated at the southeastern tip of Negros Island. In the Visayan language, the name “Apo” means elderly or respected ancestor. Apo Island is a protected marine habitat that boasts over 400 coral species and 650 documented fish species.

Apo Island is one of the top diving and snorkeling spots in the Philippines, which covers 74 hectares of land area. To preserve the beauty of the island, the locals implement strict eco-tourism practices. Tourists are also encouraged to help keep the cleanliness of the island.

You will soon arrive at Apo Island. Plunge into the deep blue waters and see different aquatic creatures, including tunas and manta rays. You will also get a chance to swim with sea turtles at Turtle Point.

Before leaving Apo Island, you can go trekking to the 600-meter Habagat Eco-Trail. Here, you will witness a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and natural rock formations.

At the end of your tour, you will head back to your hotel in Dumaguete.

Day 12
Terminal 1 of NAIA

Day 12: Departure to Manila

Conclude your 12-day vacation in Dumaguete City. Pack up early and wait for your van to pick you up from your accommodation. Then, you will board a direct flight from Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport to Ninoy Aquino International Airport. You will head back to where you started, Manila.

What to bring

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

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

Similar tours