13-Day Philippines Mountains & Islands Trip to Palawan Island & North Luzon Highlands

Aerial view of the beautiful beach in Port Barton Palawan
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Description

Details

Tour starts
Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Starting time
at 09:00
Duration
13 days
Ending place
Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Languages:
English
Difficulty:
Easy
Available:
All year
Minimum age:
None

Description

Discover the best natural wonders and cultural sites of the Philippines with this 13-day holiday package. From Manila City, you will travel to the historic Ilocos region, trek an active volcano in Tarlac province, see the highlands of Sagada town, Banaue, Benguet, and Baguio City, and the paradise-like beaches of Palawan Island. This tour includes transportation, accommodation, daily breakfasts, service of guides, and entrance fees to attractions. 

When you land at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, your guide will fetch you and bring you to Intramuros. This walled district within the city is best known for the structures that were built inside it during the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines. 

From there, you will hop on a plane to Ilocos Norte. Your visit here will include stops at the Marcos Museum and the Bangui Windmills. Next, you will travel to the neighboring province of Ilocos Sur, where you will explore the iconic Calle Crisologo. You will then drive further north to reach the Banaue Museum. 

Afterward, you will proceed to Baguio. This city houses the popular vacation getaway, Camp John Hay and the Mines View Park. You will also drop by the La Trinidad Strawberry Farm in Benguet before heading to Tarlac. In this province, you will allocate a whole day to hiking up Mt. Pinatubo to arrive at its crater lake. 

You will next fly to Puerto Princesa City and go island-hopping at Honda Bay. A trip to the world-famous Puerto Princesa Underground River will be on the itinerary as well. Finally, you will spend your last full day in this tropical paradise wandering through the islands of Port Barton.

See the beauty of the Philippines by booking this 13-day package that will bring you to Manila, Ilocos, Sagada, Banaue, Benguet, Tarlac, and Palawan. Check availability by choosing a date.

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Included

12 nights accommodation (budget category)
12 days breakfast
12 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 and Benguet Tour (Cordillera Region)
Day 9 - Mt. Pinatubo Tour
Day 10 to 12 - Puerto Princesa and Port Barton Tour (Palawan)
Day 13 - Back to Manila
All transportation to and from included activities and destinations
All environmental fees, port fees, and all other applicable taxes

Activities

Island Hopping
Culture, Arts and Historical Tour

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Moat in Intramuros

Day 1 - Day 1: Intramuros Tour

On the first day, your guide will pick you up from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and drive you to your hotel in Manila City or along Roxas Boulevard. Following that, you will head to Intramuros. During the Spanish colonization of the nation, a number of cultural sites were created inside this area. The stronghold that was once used as a jail, Fort Santiago, is your first destination inside.

It's now time to visit Plaza Roma. Officials used this public space to host bullfights and other celebrations throughout the Spanish period. After that, you will visit Bahay Tsinoy to learn more about the relationship between ethnic Chinese and Filipinos.

Then you will walk to Casa Manila, a classic Spanish mansion that now serves as a museum. Next, you will pass through the San Diego Gardens to visit the Baluarte de San Diego. Before returning to your accommodation, you will visit two magnificent churches that stand in Intramuros.

You will first make your way to the San Agustin Church, and Museum. This UNESCO World Heritage site's foundations were laid in the 1600s. Finally, you will enter the grand Manila Cathedral. Originally built as a small parish church, it was later turned to a cathedral in 1958.

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Day 2
Blue waters of Paoay Lake in Ilocos

Day 2 - Day 2: Laoag Tour

From Manila City, you will ride a plane to the Ilocos region. After your flight, you will land in Laoag City in Ilocos Norte. This city features the St. Williams Cathedral, which will be your first stop for the day after checking into your hotel in the city. The church dates back to the 15th century. Only a few steps away from the church is the 150-foot Sinking Bell Tower, the highest building in the city. Because of its sandy foundation, it is also thought to sink one inch every year.

After that, you will visit Museo Ilocos Norte, which has a collection of artifacts reflecting the daily lives of the province's ancestors. Then you'll go to Aurora Park to visit the Tobacco Monopoly Monument, which was built in 1881. You'll then go to Paoay, where you'll visit the Malacanang of the North. Before becoming a museum, this served as the home of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.

Your next stop will be the Paoay Church. This church is a National Cultural Treasure and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it one of the region's most well-known sights. Your day will conclude with a visit to the Marcos Museum, dedicated to the former president's political career.

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Day 3
Scenic roadside view from Patapat Viaduct in Ilocos

Day 3 - Day 3: Pagudpud Tour

The third day will be spent in neighboring towns such as Burgos, where you will view the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. This lighthouse has been directing seafarers to safety since 1892. Then it's down to Bangui Bay to see the popular Bangui Windmills. The twenty-six 70-meter-high wind turbines provide reliable power to towns in Ilocos Norte.

Your next stop is the Patapat Viaduct, a coastal bridge that connects the Ilocos region with the province of Cagayan Valley. Your guide will then transport you to Agua Grande Park. This park has a beautiful, refreshing stream that flows into Pasaleng Bay and is frequented by locals for picnics.

Then you will make your way to Paraiso ni Anton, a public place that houses a religious grotto and a stream that is said to have healing powers. The Kapurpurawan Rock Formation will be your next stop. To get a better view of the formations, visitors can ride a horse or hike. Finally, you'll stop by the Pasuquin Salt Stand, where residents sell the famed fresh-made sea salt from the region. Before returning to the hotel, those who want a more thrilling experience can also add a 4x4 ride over the La Paz Sand Dunes on the agenda.

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Day 4
Bantay Bell tower in Vigan Ilocos

Day 4 - Day 4: Vigan Tour

The next day, your guide will transport you to Vigan City, UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will first visit the National Museum Ilocos Sur Complex. Your next destination will be the Bantay Church and Bell Tower. Both structures have undergone several restorations after being destroyed during World War II. The townspeople originally used the belfry as a lookout when the fighting began.

You will then travel to the Syquioa Mansion Museum, which commemorates the sixth Philippine President Elipdio Quirino, who was born in Vigan. Then it's over to the Pagburnayan Jar Factory, where you can try your hand at molding your own red clay pot. For decades, this craft has been an integral part of the culture of the province.

The Crisologo Museum is the next stop. Former Ilocos Sur Representative Floro Crisologo used to live here, but his family later turned it into a museum after his untimely death. Then you will go for a walk down Calle Crisologo, a cobblestone street lined with traditional Spanish homes. Your next destination will be the Vigan Cathedral, also known as St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral. Finally, you will visit the Baluarte Zoo before heading back to your hotel along Calle Crisologo.

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Day 5
Hanging Coffins, a popular tourist spot in Sagada

Day 5 - Day 5: Sagada Tour

You will check out of your Calle Crisologo hotel early in the morning and take a van to Sagada town. Expect a rough ride to this town in the Cordillera Mountains since the roads are generally narrow and twisting. It also has about 60 caves, making it a great place for spelunking. When you arrive, your guide will take you to your accommodation in the city proper.

In this mountainous town, Sugong Cave is your first destination. From this cave, you may see coffins hanging from the cliffs in the area. The local tribes have used hanging coffins as a funeral custom for decades. You will then go through Echo Valley on your way back to the town's center. Next, you will travel to Sumaguing Cave, the area's biggest cave.

The cave can is located around an hour's walk from the Sagada City Hall. Here you will also find stalagmites and stalagmites that have formed over the years. Your final stop for the day is the Bontoc Tribal Museum, where you can learn about the culture of the indigenous Ifugao tribe. A reconstructed traditional Ifugao town has been constructed behind the center as well.

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Day 6
Beautiful view of Batad Rice Terraces in Banaue

Day 6 - Day 6: Banaue Tour

Day 6 will take you to the Banaue highlands. When you arrive in the province, you will check into a hotel in the town proper before seeing the world-famous Banaue Rice Terraces. This region is frequented by tourists worldwide for the amphitheater-like farming system that has also been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The rice terraces are a centuries-old farming practice. Your next stop will be at the Batad Banaue Viewpoint. This observation point, which is about a 30-minute walk from the terraces, offers a panoramic view. Instead of heading to this viewing deck, you may also add a visit to the Tappiya Waterfalls to your itinerary as an alternative choice.

Another option is to go straight to Banga-an Village and skip the falls. Several Ifugao homes may be found in this peaceful neighborhood right that is located below the town of Batad. Take your time wandering around the area and learning about this native tribe.

Your day will end with a visit to the Banaue Museum. An impressive exhibition of Igorot tribal treasures can be seen here. This cultural institution also tells the story of the capture of Japanese Imperial Army General Tomoyuki Yamashita during World War II.

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Day 7
People watching the sunset from Mines view Park in Baguio

Day 7 - Day 7: Baguio Tour

Your guide will take you to Baguio City on the seventh day. You will then head to your accommodation within the city proper. From there, you will travel to the town of Kiangan, where you can find the local Ifugao Museum. This heritage center includes a variety of tribal artifacts, religious statues and weapons such as machetes in their exhibits. After that, you will drop by General Yamashita's World War II surrender site.

The Philippine Military Academy's Baguio campus will be your next stop. Vintage tanks and other military weapons are on display for visitors to see here. Your next destination is the Governors' Mansion, a summer house for US governors-general built in 1908. Today, it serves as the official summer vacation home of the current Philippine president.

After that, you will make your way to Camp John Hay. Originally built as a US Army recreation center, it now serves as a leisure complex for tourists. On the 246-hectare property, there is a hotel, commercial establishments, and a conference center.

Following this, you'll go to Mines View Park, which is a must-visit destination in Baguio. Then, you can relax in Wright Park and Centennial Park before ending the day at the Good Shepherd Convent.

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Day 8
Flowers in bloom at a flower farm in La Trinidad Benguet

Day 8 - Day 8: Benguet Tour

From Baguio, you will drive to the nearby towns to visit their top tourist spots. Your first destination is the La Trinidad Strawberry Farm, located in Benguet. Here, you can personally harvest fresh strawberries from the 79-hectare field. This farm has become one of the popular places in the region, thanks to its delicious and high-quality strawberries.

Following that, you will go for a walk through a park featuring 30 Sakura trees. The Atok Sakura Flowers Park has been a major attraction in Benguet since the Japanese government gifted the trees to the local government in 2016. After your stay here, you will make your way to another garden, the Northern Blossom, to see more brilliant blooms.

Next, you will travel to a viewing platform located 7,400 feet above sea level. It is named 2nd Highest Point and can be found along the Halsema Highway, which runs through the towns of Benguet and Sagada.

Before ending your journey in the province, you will drive along the Spanish Trail. The Cordillera Mountains are seen from this picturesque road, which stretches for approximately 3 kilometers. Finally, you will head back to your hotel in Baguio via a van.

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Day 9
Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake view

Day 9 - Day 9: Mt. Pinatubo Tour

You will leave the highlands the next morning and drive to the province of Tarlac. Your visit here will be dedicated to hiking up an active volcano called Mt. Pinatubo. While it is still active, it has generally been quiet since it erupted in 1991, making it a safe destination for travelers.

Before starting your trek to the mountain's foot, you must first register at the Sta. Juliana Tourism Center. Here, you'll trade your van for a 4x4 vehicle capable of carrying you across the sandy fields surrounding the mountain's base. Travelers will also pass through Crow Valley on their way to the jump-off site. When you get to the base, you will get off your 4x4 ride and hike the trail to the peak.

The path is around 5.4 kilometers long and takes most visitors two hours to complete. You'll probably come across lava sand formations from the 1991 eruption on your way up. Once you reach the end of the trail, you will be greeted by the crater lake's stunning emerald waters.

After eating and relaxing by the lake, you'll head back to the tourist information center. Your guide will take you to your new hotel along Manila's Baywalk from there.

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Day 10
Aerial view of Luli Island in Puerto Princesa Palawan

Day 10 - Day 10: Puerto Princesa Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour

On Day 10, you will check out of your hotel and fly to Palawan Island. Your guide will meet you at the airport in Puerto Princesa and drive you to your Sabang hotel. When you have settled in, you will head to Honda Bay for an island-hopping excursion.

The tour will take you to beautiful islands that all boast powdery white sand and are surrounded by azure waters. You will first dock at the Star Fish Island. This island gets its name from the groups of starfish that travelers can find resting on its sandbar.

From there, you will hop back on your boat and sail to a shell-shaped isle called Cowrie Island. Aside from its name, it is also known for being the largest island inside Honda Bay. Locals have placed nets around the nearby waters to make sure that jellyfish do not stray too near swimmers.

Finally, a visit to Luli Island will bring your island-hopping journey to an end. Its main draw is its "disappearing" sandbar, which can only be walked on during low tide when it isn't hidden by the sea. From there, you will sail back to the mainland.

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Day 11
Underground River Tour at Puerto Princesa Palawan

Day 11 - Day 11: Puerto Princesa Underground River and City Tour

You will spend the 11th day of your adventure visiting the top sights in Puerto Princesa City. To start the day, your guide will transport you to the Sabang Wharf. From there, you will ride a boat to UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.

After docking here, you will join a cruise along the world-famous Puerto Princesa Underground River. The designated guide will show you the spectacular limestone formations as you sail down the river. Some formations even resemble famous statues from different parts of the globe, so make sure to keep your eyes open. Aside from the limestones, the cave also houses groups of fruit bats and flying foxes.

You'll then take a boat back to the mainland. Next, your van will drive you to Baker's Hill, where flavorful pastries may be purchased. You'll then proceed to Plaza Cuartel, which boasts a reconstructed World War II garrison. Then it's on to Crocodile Farm.

After seeing the animal conservation center, you'll head to Mitra's Ranch. This park is situated on a hill with a panoramic view of the city below. Before returning to your hotel, you'll take a stroll along the Puerto Princesa Baywalk.

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Day 12
White sand beach in Port Barton Palawan

Day 12 - Day 12: Port Barton Island Hopping Tour

The next day, you will make your way to Port Barton for a tour of this seaside town. Compared to most tourist spots in Palawan Island, this area has fewer commercial establishments. From its shore, you will hop on a boat to explore the nearby islands.

The first stop is Inaladelan Island, a 12-hectare camping paradise where travelers can also kayak or play beach volleyball. In January, visitors can have the chance to see baby turtles hatch from their eggs along the beach. Next, you will head to the Luli Sandbar.

It is best to visit this stretch of sand during low tide as it tends to be fully submerged by waves when the tide is high. Visitors often come here just before the sun goes down as the view from here is amazing. You can find starfish here as well while you wait for the sunset to paint the sky orange.

After that, you'll go to the Turtle Snorkeling site to see how these aquatic animals live in their natural environment. Following that, you'll go snorkeling in a fish and coral reef region teeming with different species. Your boat will transport you back to the mainland at the end of your island-hopping trip.

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Day 13
Waiting area at Manila Airport Terminal 1

Day 13 - Day 13: Departure to Manila

It’s time to say goodbye to Palawan Island on the last day of your vacation. Your guide will transport you from your Sabang hotel to the Puerto Princesa International Airport. You will then catch a flight back to Manila City and land in Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

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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.

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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