Northern Luzon

NORTHERN LUZON TOUR

GET STARTED : 3 Days / 2 Nights BANAUE FREE ‘N EASY TOUR /  Banaue-Batad or Banga-an

2-3 pax – Php 19,170   /  4 pax or more – Php 17,353

Inclusions:

  • Roundtrip transportation by new airconditioned vehicle Manila- Banaue-Manila (FREE WIFI on board) with English speaking driver.
  • Fuel, toll fees, parking fee, registration fee and taxes.
  • 2 Nights best available run of the house accommodation (sharing basis. Single supplement add Php 2,750 ) with hot water shower incl. 2 breakfasts, local taxes & service charges on meals & rooms.
  • 1 day mountain trail hike to a local village incl. local English speaking guide and partly using local jeepney. Choice of  Batad (*) or Banga-an village(*) Please note that Batad requires reasonable fitness.
  • Viewpoint & Museum visit, incl Museum entrance

We recommend leaving Manila between 6 and 7 am to avoid rush hour. We make stops at San Jose and the Dalton pass shrine. We will arrive in Banaue 8-10 hours later. Banaue remains the center of the rich Ifugao culture and is a convenient base for visiting the rice terraces in the north.Majestic Banaue and the surrounding rice terraces have evolved over 2000 years and are named the”eighth wonder of the world”.

Optional extra : Near to Banaue in Kiangan during World War 2 is where Ifugao and American troops forced General Yamashita to make his informal surrender. We will visit here upon request after we come back from Banaue.

A must do visit is the Banaue Museum which gives you a overview of Ifugao culture, history and tradition and a Banaue viewpoint.

Optional extra : Although a hotel in Banaue town is our main stopover, we can arrange for an alternate accommodation in a simple native village inn, 45 min travel by 4×4 car from Banaue town, instead upon your request.

From Banaue, trips can be made to the surrounding rice terraces  depending on the road and weather conditions, harvest and of course your fitness level.

Batad is usually included in our itinerary as it’s the most accessible and offers superb scenery with its unique amphitheatre of rice terraces. The restaurants near the viewpoint of Batad offer simple, but enjoyable meals. Batad is an Unesco worls heritage site. The “saddle” near Batad is the drop off point for this trip and can be reached by a 12 km (45 min) jeepney ride from Banaue. From there, it is a 45 minutes walk to the viewpoint where you can enjoy the stunning panorama of the mountains and rice terraces while taking your lunch. The hike from the viewpoint back to the saddle takes about one hour.

Optional extras :

Hike to other optional extra destinations such as Cambulo village, the waterfall Tappiya (where you can swim),Banga-an, the oldest rice terraces in Hapao or Moyoyao, another world heritage site .

Opt to stay overnight in Batad village (basic rustic accommodation).

On the way back to Manila you can visit the “Sunken Church”. This church was almost submerged by ash originating from the Mt Pinatubo eruption, the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century in 1991.


EXTEND BANAUE Free ‘n Easy Tour with extra night allowing for SAGADA & BONTOC  
/ Banaue-Sagada-Batad or Banga-an

2-3 pax – Php 24,220   /    4pax or more – Php 21,898

4 Days / 3 Nights Mt Province Heritage Tour Inclusions:

  • Roundtrip transportation by new airconditioned vehicle Manila- Banaue-Manila (FREE WIFI on board) with English speaking driver.
  • Fuel, toll fees, parking fees & registration fee and taxes.
  • 3 Nights best available run of the house accommodation (sharing basis. Single supplement add Php 4,125 )  with hot water shower incl. 3 breakfasts, taxes & service charges on meals and rooms.
  • 1 day mountain trail hike to a local village incl. local English speaking guide using local jeepney. Choice of  Batad (*) or Banga-an village. (*) Please note that Batad requires reasonable fitness..
  • Viewpoint & Banaue Museum visit, incl Museum entrance
  • 1 day tour to Sagada, incl. entrance fee Sumaguing and Lumiang Cave, Sugong viewpoint and services of a local English speaking guide ( 1.5 hrs)
  • Visit the mountain tribe museum in Bontoc. Incl entrance fee.

If you have another day available, we recommend a visit to Sagada to see the Hanging Coffins. The local people originated from Indonesia and are known for their cave burial rituals located in “Echo Valley”. The highlight of the trip is navigating the slippery, Sumaguig caves (you can take a dip in the pool here). Sagada has good restaurants and used to be a hippie hangout.

Optional extra : Visit the Bomod-Ok big waterfalls (or one of the numerous other waterfalls) and/or Kiltepan Peak, stay overnight in Sagada instead of visiting Sagada on a daytour to/from Banaue to enjoy its tranquil atmosphere.

A visit to the Bontoc museum with artifacts and beautiful pictures from the mountain tribes  must not be missed and is included in our tours. Bontoc is 45 min travel by car from Sagada and 1,5 hours from Banaue. It is the regional center and is also the best starting point for trips to Kalinga.

Optional extra (allow one extra day):

Kalinga is 2 hours travel from Bontoc by 4×4 car or rented jeepney and is one of the most unexplorerd areas in the north. Traditional tribal lifestyles continue almost unchanged here but the practice of head-hunting ceased decades ago. The people in Kalinga are proud of their warrior culture so please be respectful or let your guide do the talking. Traditional law applies here, the government has little influence in this area. The countryside blessed with high peak mountains, rice terraces, waterfalls and hot springs is remote and magnificent. In the wet season June to December especially, the area is vulnerable to landslides. Highlights are in Liminancong, which rivals the rice terraces of Batad and can be reached by one day hiking, rented jeepney or 4×4 car. Tinglayan is the best starting point for treks.

On the way to Tinglayan we pass by the Balbalasang-Balbalan National Park and the Chico River, offering amazing scenery. We will visit a local village where the ancient tradition of tattooing is still practiced. The local people, especially the elder woman,most of whom are tattooed, live mainly from rice planting.

Many challenging hikes with a guide (required) are possible in this area. The accommodation and food are very basic here so we therefore focus on 1 day trips commencing from Bontoc.

Further optional extra : After Kalinga its possible during the dry season to travel by 4×4 car, the 7 hours, via Tabuk to the capital of the Kalinga area, Tuguegarao. If time allows, we visit the famous Calloa Cave, which has a “church” inside. Returning from Tuguagarao to Manila is just a 1 hour flight, alternatively, after Kalinga you could continue to Baguio or Vigan or go back to Manila by road (10 hours).

 

EXTEND 4 Days/ 3 Nights Mt. Province Heritage Tour /  Baguio-Sagada-Banaue-Batad or Banga-an

2-3 Pax – Php 36,720   /   4 pax or More – Php 33,150

Additional one (1) day needed : Travel EAST to include BAGUIO CITY

5 Days / 4 Nights Tour Inclusions:

  • Roundtrip transportation by new airconditioned vehicle throughout (FREE WIFI on board) with English speaking driver except day 4 using a private, non airconditioned jeepney.
  • 4 nights best available run of the house accommodation (sharing basis. Single supplement add Php 6,215 ) incl. 4 breakfasts, local taxes & service charges on meals and rooms.
  • Fuel, toll fees, parking fees & registration fees and taxes
  • All tours incl. entrance fees as mentionned in itinerary. Local English speaking guide where indicated.

Baguio (elevation 1700 m) was established by the United States Administration as a getaway escape from the heat and dust of the lowlands during the summer. The population is around 300,000. Almost half of them are students, which makes it the University town of the North. The influx of people and urbanisation has a negative effect in the form of traffic jams. Baguio has a healthy tourist industry, it is the commercial hub for the nearby provinces. Baguio can be viewed as a crossroad between the hill tribe culture and the lowland settlers. Although very crowded during summer you can retreat to: the Baguio Botanic Gardens, Wright and Burnham Parks, Camp John Hay (a former US military recreation facility), Mine View Park with its fresh air. Other places of interest are the Baguio Museum, Presidential Summer House “The Mansion”, the Butterfly Sanctuary , Tamawan Village and Ben Cap museum (Monday closed), PMA and the Balatoc Gold Mines.

Afternoon Baguio City Tour, choice of the following tourist spots & landmarks: Option (A) Wood Carver’s Village, BenCab Museum, Mines View, The Mansion and Wright Park.Option (B) Easter Weaving School, Balatoc Mines, Mines View, The Mansion and Wright Park.

Optional extra : For the more physically fit, interested visitor, we are able to organize a trek to Mt. Pulag the second highest mountain of the north. This is however only available from February to May. We either have to rent a jeepney, equipment and guide etc or you can ride our 4×4 to within 4 km from the top. The last part is a walk up to the summit.

 

Additional two (2) days needed : Travel WEST to include VIGAN & LAOAG / Banaue-Batad or Banga-an-Bontoc-Sagada-Vigan-Laoag-100 Islands

2- 3 Pax – Php 50,170    /  4pax or More – Php 45,251

7 Days / 6 Nights Historic Adventure round Northern Luzon Tour Inclusions:

  • Roundtrip transportation by new airconditioned vehicle throughout (FREE WIFI on board) with English speaking driver.
  • Fuel, toll fees, parking fees & registration fee and taxes.
  • 6 Nights best available run of the house accommodation (sharing basis. Single supplement add Php 9,570 ) incl. 6 breakfasts,  local taxes & service charges on meals & rooms
  • All tours incl. entrance fees as mentionned in itinerary. Local English speaking guide where indicated.

Vigan adds a Historic dimension to your itinerary and can be reached by one of the most remarkable, scenic sights via the Cervantes Road. It’s best to take a pre-packed lunch from Bontoc or Sagada and enjoy amazing panoramic views on the way. We will pass by the Bessang Pass, National Park, a memorial for the Filipinos and Americans who participated in the three long years of war of resistance against the Japanese occupation forces. Bessang Pass was the last stronghold of the Japanese imperial forces under General Tomoyuki Yamashita.

The town of Vigan is the capital of Ilocus Sur. With its cobblestone streets, it is the best preserved Spanish colonial town in Asia. Vigan was originally a settlement of traders coming from China.  The town is also a listed Unesco World Heritage side and best enjoyed on foot. Plaza Burgos is the center of the town where locals gather. Most of the sights can be enjoyed by taking a Calesa ride (horse and carriage) and includes Vigan Burgos and Crisologo Museum, Syquia Mansion, the house of former Philippine President Marcos, Hidden Gardens, pottery factories, St Paul and Bantay Church. 

The overnights are best in newly renovated old spanish boutique hotels, also perfect for a romantic dinner. Another very interesting monument in the area is the Santa Maria Church which is also a listed Unesco World Heritage side.

From Vigan, in the afternoon, we take a detour to Laoag, which is famous as the home of the former dictator Marcos. Beside Paoay Church and the sand dunes, the most interesting places to visit area the Marcos Museum, Marcos ancestral home, the so called “Malacanang Palace of the North”, the opulent former residence of the Marcos family.

Optional extra : Extend Vigan & Laoag with PAGUDPUD BEACH

If you have time you can stay at the best beach in Luzon, Pagudpud for a well deserved rest, swim and/or visit to the waterfall (see picture). On the way to Pagudpud, an old Spanish light house and Bangui windmills can be seen. After your stay in Vigan and/or Pagudpud you can choose to fly back to Manila from Laoag.

And More Possible Extensions after Vigan & Laoag or Baguio :  

a) HUNDRED ISLANDS

The drive to Manila from Vigan is ca. 10 hours. In order to break up the long journey, we recommend an overnight stop at Hundred Islands. Hundred islands National park is half way from Vigan to Manila,2 hours travel by car from Baguio. The Lucap wharf in Alaminos is the entrance to the National Park. The islands are believed to be about two million years old.  We stay overnight in Lingayen, a 45 min ride from the 100 islands entrance .The limestone islands, with their distinctive mushroom shape are scattered in Lingayen Gulf,three of them popular with local tourists:Governor Island, Quezon Island and Children’s Island. We will visit the viewpoint.Snorkeling is recommended at the farthest island where we may see some giant clams.

b) MOUNT PINATUBO VOLCANO TREK

In mid-March 1991, villagers around Mt.Pinatubo began feeling earthquakes and after several explosions a level 5 alert was issued indicating an eruption was in progress that became the second largest eruption of the twentieth century on June 15 1991. The eruption lasted for nine hours and caused several large earthquakes which resulted in the collapse of the summit and the creation of a caldera. At the time of the eruption a tropical storm was passing and the ejected ass mixed with the water in air causing a rainfall of tephra. There was 10 cm of ass covering an imense area of 2000 kilometers throughout Luzon. The human impact of the disaster was staggering. In addition to the 800 people who lost their lives, there was almost half a billion of dollars in property and economic damage. The population of indigenous hunter gatherer people, the Aeta, were unable to return to their former way of life in the dense jungles. The breadbasket of The Philippines had turned in a desolate wasteland. Trek up and witness the craterlake that formed in this eruption. Originally hot and highly acidic , the rainfall has now diluted the lake and increased its depth.

It is recommend to stay the night before at a hotel in either Angeles City or Tarlac, or at a simple homestay at the entry of the park.

c) SUBIC

Subic was the US Naval Base until Mt Pinatubo erupted. Now being a duty free shopping zone it offers a.o.a waterfront walk , Yachtclub and is popular among cyclist from Manila due to its wide roads and access to the forest where fruitbats and monkeys can be seen. The Aeta community offers a guided demonstration how to survive in the jungle. Visiting the open water marine park “Ocean Adventure” and encounter sea-lions, dolphins, whales and rescued forest animals is another thing to do. Or if you prefer a close interaction with tigers instead, choose to visit Subic Tiger Safari instead with its 11 attractions.

d) BATAAN PENINSULA

Witness the heroism of Filipino and American soldiers during World War II while we drive through the Bataan Peninsula visiting various points of historical interest. Guide available upon your request.

Inclusions:

  • Free hotel pick-up in Makati / Manila.
  • Best available accommodation as mentioned.
  • Breakfast (day 2-5) and dinner (day 1-4).
  • Transfers and sightseeing tours as stated.
  • Private aircon transport to / from Manila.
    (except day 4 using private, non aircon jeepney).
  • English speaking Tour Guide on day 3 and 4.
  • Taxes & Service charges on meals and rooms, entrance fees.

Note:

  • Above quoted rates subject to change without prior notice.
  • Whole package is non-rebookable / non-refundable / non-endorseable once confirm and finalize.
  • Tours depending on weather conditions.
  • Rates valid until further notice.
  • Minimum 2 persons traveling together.

 

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