8-Day Philippines Nature & Historical Trip to Ilocos Region & Mountains of Cordillera & Pinatubo
Learn about the Philippines’ rich history and immerse yourself in the country’s natural attractions with this 8-Day vacation package from Manila to North Luzon that already includes accommodation with breakfast, flights and land transportation, and services of tour guides.
Your trip starts at the historical walled city of Intramuros, home to Spanish-era landmarks in Manila such as Fort Santiago. Then, you will be traveling by plane and head up north to Ilocos where you will be visiting the cities of Laoag and Vigan and the coastal town of Pagudpud. See the iconic Bangui Windmills lined up along the scenic shoreline fronting the West Philippine Sea, and the picturesque cobblestone streets and Spanish-era architecture of Vigan.
Prepare your jackets as your next destination is Sagada, a small rustic town known for its cold weather, nestled in the mist-shrouded Cordillera Mountains. Aside from its scenic views, many fun adventures await you in this famous town. Feel the thrill as you go spelunking at Sumaguing Cave, the largest cave in Sagada.
The next stop is Batad, home of the world-renowned rice terraces. This farming village on top of Banaue, Ifugao is a great place for camping and relaxation. Here you will see the carved amphitheater-like rice terraces and marvel at the man-made wonder that sculpted the culture and history of Ifugao.
From Batad, you will be traveling to Baguio City, also known as the “City of Pines.” Considered as the summer capital of the Philippines, Baguio is famous among travelers because of its various attractions, activities and good food. It is a favorite destination especially by locals during the summer and holiday season because of its cool weather.
Last but not least on your itinerary is Tarlac where you will be visiting Mt. Pinatubo. This trip is perfect for nature lovers and adventurers because of its beautiful scenery and stunning landscapes.
After your jam-packed 8-day trip up North, you will be traveling back to Manila through van transportation.
Hop on board and enjoy a fun natural and historical tour with this 8-day vacation package in Manila and North Luzon. Check availability by choosing a date.
Day 1 - Day 1: Intramuros Tour
Discover Intramuros, the oldest district in Manila, known for its Spanish-era structures. Walk along its cobblestone roads and marvel at the preserved heritage sights. Here, you will be visiting Fort Santiago, a citadel built during the 1590s located at the banks of Pasig River. Originally built as a defense against pirates, now Fort Santiago serves as a museum and tourist attraction.
Next is Plaza Roma, one of the three major public squares in Intramuros. Located in front of Manila Cathedral, this public park is another notable site in Intramuros. From here, you will be heading to Bahay Tsinoy, a historical museum that features the lives and contributions of the ethnic Chinese in the Philippines.
From here you will be heading to Casa Manila, a Spanish-colonial house that serves as a museum. Here, you will discover the social history and opulent lifestyle of the gentry during the 19th century.
The next stop is the Baluarte de San Diego, another fort constructed as part of the defense of Intramuros. You will also be heading to San Diego Gardens, a beautifully landscaped local park that boasts a wide variety of flowers.
Then, you will be moving to San Agustin Church and Museum, the oldest church in the Philippines built in 1595. Aside from being a place for worship, this famous landmark is also home to a large collection of Spanish antiques, church ornaments, and paintings.
Last but not least is the iconic Manila Cathedral, a premier cathedral, and basilica rich in history. Inside is a beautifully decorated interior adorned with striking stained glass, sacred paintings, and sculptures.
Day 2 - Day 2: Ilocos Norte Laoag Tour
Your first destination in North Luzon is Laoag City, the capital of Ilocos Norte.
The first stop is the Saint William’s Cathedral also known as Laoag church; a historic church built in 1612. It is one of the city’s proudest landmarks. It features a distinctive elaborate façade in the Italian Renaissance style and has an unusual two-story façade, supported by two columns on each side of the arched entrance.
Not far from the church is the famous Sinking Bell Tower, a 45-meter bell tower that is believed to be sinking at an inch every year.
Then, you will be visiting Museo Ilocos Norte, a small museum that houses a large collection of Ilocano, Igorot, and Itneg traditional clothing, utensils, and ceremonial objects. Next stop is Aurora Park, situated at the center of the district where you will find a multi-tiered obelisk and a statue of Maiden Pamulinawen, a maiden in a traditional Ilocano folk song, strategically placed on top of the fountain.
You will also be visiting the Malacañang of the North, the presidential residence of former President, Ferdinand E. Marcos. This grand mansion overlooking a lake also has a beautiful large garden and a wide collection of antiques and paintings.
Then, you will be heading to Paoay Church, one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. This picturesque church is characterized by eight pilasters and its most striking feature, the 24 extravagant coral-block buttresses, a solution to earthquake damage. It is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most famous Baroque Churches in the Philippines.
Last but not least is the Marcos Museum, a museum dedicated to the late president, Ferdinand Marcos. It houses a large collection of Marcos memorabilia and narrates the personal and political life of the former president.
Day 3 - Day 3: Ilocos Norte Pagudpud Tour
Next on your itinerary is the Bangui Windmills, a group of 20 wind turbines lined up along the scenic shoreline of the West Philippine Sea. This famous tourist destination was first constructed in 2005 and serves as a powerful eco-friendly power source for the locals.
Then, you will be stopping over Patapat Viaduct in Pagudpud, a bridge elevated 30 meters above sea level that connects Maharlika Highway from Ilocos Region to Cagayan Valley. Here, you will witness a gorgeous scenery and a picturesque view of Pasaleng Bay framed by mountains, a perfect spot for taking photos.
Then, you will be heading to Agua-Grande river, a picnic park with a stream of cold, crystal water running from the mountains that leads to the sea. Then, you will be stopping over Paraiso ni Anton (Anton’s Paradise), a tiny shrine with cascading spring waters believed to have healing powers.
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation is next on your itinerary. This natural rock formation characterized by creamy-white and streamlined limestone formations serves as a beautiful backdrop for photos. Afterward, you will be heading to Pasuquin Salt Stand, a famous roadside stall that sells fine sea salt.
If you want to level up your Ilocos Norte experience, you have the add-on option to tour the La Paz Sand Dunes, an 85-kilometre protected sandy coastal desert and beach located in Laoag. It is known as the “Desert of the North” and is a famous spot for film and tv shoots.
Day 4 - Day 4: Ilocos Sur Vigan Tour
Next stop is the spectacular Bantay Church and Bell Tower, one of the oldest churches in the Ilocos Region. It is one of Vigan’s most iconic symbols and a must-see for travelers because of its stunning façade. Located on top of a hill, the bell tower provides a good vantage point over the towns of Vigan and Bantay.
Syquia Mansion Museum is your next destination. This lavish 19th-century mansion now serves as a museum displaying the architecture and significant family heirlooms and artifacts of affluent families in Vigan during the Spanish Colonial era. Considered the oldest Bahay na Bato in Vigan, this museum is conserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Then, you will be moving to the Pagburnayan Jar Factory where you will see displays of clay jars in various sizes. You can also experience making your own clay jar here. Afterward, you will be heading to Crisologo Museum, the ancestral house of former politician, Floro S. Crisologo. The mansion is now a museum, featuring the heirlooms and photographs of the Crisologo family.
You will also be visiting the most popular site in Vigan, the Calle Crisologo. This district is filled with Spanish-style houses and cobbled streets where visitors will feel like they are transported back in time. After exploring Calle Crisologo, you will now head to St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral, also known as Vigan Cathedral. One of the oldest Augustinian churches in the country, this church is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Before your day in Vigan ends, you will be stopping by Baluarte, a must-see zoological park. It features a mini zoo, resort complex, and butterfly farm.
Day 5 - Day 5: Sagada Tour
Your first stop in Sagada is the iconic Sugong Hanging Coffins. The locals of Sagada follow a burial practice of ancient tradition wherein instead of being buried into the ground, the coffins of the deceased are hung on the mountain cliffs. The hanging coffins can be reached by a half-hour hike down a valley.
You will be passing by Echo Valley, another popular spot in Sagada. This natural area is characterized by lush greenery, trails, and caverns. It was named as such because of the way echoes are heard throughout the valley when you shout.
If you’re looking for an exciting adventure then you’re in luck because the next stop is Sumaguing Cave where you will experience Spelunking. It is the largest chamber built over the years with natural rock formations spread within. Inside, you will see impressive rock formations such as “the curtain”, “the serpent”, and “King and Queen”.
The last stop is the Bontoc Museum, located at the town proper. Founded by a Belgian nun, this museum is home to the history and heritage of the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera region. Here you will find photographs, indigenous art, traditional clothing, and hunting tools used by tribes.
Day 6 - Day 6: Banaue Tour
First stop on your itinerary is Batad where you will witness the remarkable amphitheater rice terraces. This mix of natural and man-made wonder is one of the UNESCO Heritage sites in the world. Unlike the town proper of Banaue, Batad is a hidden paradise, tucked away from modern civilization.
From there, you will be moving to Banaue Viewpoint. To reach the viewpoint, travelers will have to trek for 30 minutes where they will be rewarded with an unobstructed view of the rice terraces. This serves as the perfect backdrop for postcard-like pictures.
Then, you will be moving to the Banaue Museum, right beside Banaue View Inn. The two-story museum houses artifacts from various tribes in Northern Luzon such as spears, necklaces, and old wood carvings.
For travelers who opt not to visit Banaue Viewpoint, other optional sites to visit are Tappiya Waterfall and Bangg-an Village.
Located at the bottom of the terraces, Tappiya Falls is a marvelous site that could take 2 to 3 hours of trekking. Visitors can swim in the cool waters of the falls and rest while marveling at the beautiful scenery.
Meanwhile, Bangg-an Village is a small hidden village deep in Ifugao rice terraces where you will see the typical Ifugao houses, their livelihood, and methods of farming.
Day 7 - Day 7: Baguio Tour
Upon arrival, you will be checking in your accommodation of choice that you will book with this package.
Your first destination in Baguio is the Ifugao Museum. It is home to Ifugao artifacts and is under the supervision of the National Museum of the Philippines.
The next destination is the Surrender site of General Yamashita. This house relic commemorates the end of World War II in the Philippines. Details of the surrender and signing can be found here. Then, you will be heading to Philippine Military Academy, a premier military school for Filipinos aspiring to be part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Guests can watch military drills and take photos of the scenery.
Next is The Mansion, the official summer palace of the President of the Philippines. This elegantly designed Spanish Colonial-inspired mansion features an elaborate main gate, main building, and a guest house. The front gate is the most photographed section of the property that serves as a picturesque backdrop for photos.
Camp John Hay is your next destination. This paradise nestled in the city of pines is known for its picturesque views of Baguio’s pine trees. Camp John Hay is also outlined with numerous leisure spots, activity centers, shopping outlets, and food joints.
Then, you will be heading to Mines View Park, an overlooking park on the northeastern part of Baguio where you get a gorgeous view of the city. The park is also peppered with souvenir shops, food outlets, and photo opportunity attractions where you get a chance to get dressed in full Cordillera regalia.
Another top attraction for you to visit is Wright Park, a popular tourist attraction famous for its pine trees, a large abundance of flora, and activities such as horseback riding. Visitors can walk around the area, jog, or rent a bike to explore the park.
Next destination is Centennial Park, also known as Botanical Gardens. This is the city’s last frontier that features a variety of plants, colorful flowers along with native huts. Before going back to Manila, you will be stopping by Good Shepherd Convent, a religious site in Baguio known for their great pasalubongs and sweet delicacies such as Ube jam, peanut brittle, and other homemade pastries.
Day 8 - Day 8: Mt. Pinatubo Tour + Departure to Manila
Then, you will be trekking along the rocky terrain to reach the Mt. Pinatubo crater. You will be hiking up the mountain for about 2-3 hours and will be rewarded by a scenic view of turquoise waters surrounded by the volcano’s crater.
Mt. Pinatubo’s famous crater lake changes color from blue-green to deep blue depending on the season. Guests can relax, explore the area, take pictures, and enjoy lunch with a breathtaking view of the landscape below.
On your way back, you will once again ride a 4x4 vehicle to return to the jump-off point.
After an adventurous 8-day adventure, you will be packing up your things and return to Manila via van transportation.
What to bring
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.
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.
Private rooms with private bathrooms in guesthouses or small hotels with basic amenities.
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.
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.