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Manila, North of Philippines and Palawan Beaches

12 days
From
$2264
Start
MANILA
Destinations
6
End
EL NIDO

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europamundo

Itinerary

Day 1: Manila.-
Welcome to Manila. After the border and customs procedures, an assistant (normally Spanish-speaking, although sometimes English) will be waiting for you after the baggage claim to take you to your hotel. Manila, capital of the Philippines and located on the island of Luzon. The city was called the “Pearl of the East” as a result of its location at the centre of the vital sea trade routes across the Pacific.  
The hotel we normally use is very close to the “Mall of Asia”, the largest shopping centre in the city, with avant-garde architectural shapes and where we can find a large number of shops and restaurants. Dinner included and accommodation. 

Note: Depending on the arrival times of most of the participants, the dinner may be included the next day.
Day 2: Manila.-
09.30 hrs.- We start our visit by including a city tour to get to know our surroundings. First of all we will discover the Manila inside the walls, the Spanish walled city founded by Legazpi in 1571, or what remains of it, especially after the destruction wrought by the Second World War. We will visit the Bonifacio Fortress to see the life of our national hero, José Rizal, and how the person who, according to literature, cause the people’s revolution, fought for the freedom of the Philippines. We will also visit Manila Cathedral. Free time for lunch before going on our way to visit the Church of St Augustine. We will have the chance for a ride on horse and carriage through the city. In the afternoon, we will go to the city of Aseana, a new shopping district and the modern side of Manila, where there will be free time for shopping. Return to the hotel and accommodation.
Day 3: Manila- Bataan- Balanga city.-
Distance by road: 45 km.   

Note: Have your documents to hand as you may be asked for them when boarding the ferry. Sometimes the fast ferry that connects Manila to Orion is cancelled due to the weather or other reasons, in which case the trip will be done by road to Bataan and Balanga, and we would do an extra 160 km. The boat departure time may also be changed for another first thing in the morning (in this case, the programme would be re-adapted and the visit to the Casa would be done this day)     

 Manila – Morning free - 

We take a ferry across Manila Bay. At the time of writing this programme, the ferry is expected to leave at 13.30 hrs.- The crossing takes approximately one hour. 14.30 hrs.- Orion – Arrival on the Bataan Peninsula. We will be told about one of the darkest episodes of the Second World War: the Memorial of the Death March of Bataan. This was a forced march of 101 km done by 76,000 Philippine and United States prisoners of war and civilians. Continuation to Balanga, where there will be time for a stroll in the area of the cathedral of this busy provincial city. Dinner included and accommodation (in Balanga or at a nearby point).
Day 4: Balanga- The Philippine Houses of Acuzar- Solano.-
Total distance: 355 km 

Scenery: Pretty mountainous scenery travelling to Las Casas, in the afternoon a variety of scenery: farm plains, mountains, etc.   

08.30 hrs.- Balanga – Departure -. We cross a beautiful mountain range. 
09.30 hrs.- Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar – Arrival-. This is a heritage complex, literally a large open-air museum with more than 20 Spanish colonial buildings and stone houses from different parts of the country. Its creation was the work of the architect José "Jerry" Acuzar. Some of these buildings were turned into luxury accommodation, while others are open to the public for visits. Very pretty surroundings by the ocean, and there is even a chance for a boat trip along its canals. Lunch included.   
12.30 hrs.- Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar – Departure. We continue inland on the island of Luzón, pleasant scenery. 
18.30 hrs.- SOLANO, at the foot of the mountains on the island, a busy little village. Dinner included and accommodation.
Day 5: Solano- Banaue.-
Distance covered: 85 km 
Scenery: Spectacular mountain scenery 
Note: We suggest comfortable footwear for strolling in the rice paddies, please also wear correct clothing and be polite and as respectful as possible when we visit the Ifugao people. The hotel in this area is very limited and we have booked what we believe to be the best hotel in the area, a 3* establishment with rather more basic conditions than those we usually offer on our circuits.    

08.30 hrs.- Departure -. We travel through impressive scenery, climbing the mountain range. Little villages on our route, we are in the region of the Ifugao ethnic group. 
10.30 hrs.- BANAUE –Arrival -. Its rice paddies built 2000 years ago are World Heritage. We are in an area inhabited by the Ifugao, formerly headhunters. We will go to the Banaue viewpoint and stroll among the rice paddies, lunch included. In the afternoon we will visit a typical Ifugao village with its stone and wood houses, and they will tell us about the traditions of this culture. There will also be free time in the afternoon for a dip in the swimming pool or a stroll around the centre of Banaue. Dinner included and accommodation.
Day 6: Banaue- Bontoc- Sagada- Vigan.-
Distance covered: 260 km  
Scenery: This is the most beautiful stage with spectacular mountain scenery, rice paddies on terraces, little villages and in which we cross a National Park. At the end of the afternoon, some points with scenery overlooking the China Sea.
  
08.00 hrs.- Banaue – Departure -. Spectacular high mountain scenery, rice paddies along our route that show us how man has cultivated these lands for 2000 years with incredible architectural skill. 09.30 hrs.- BONTOC, centre of the mountain range, time for a stroll and a coffee and to see the Bontoc Museum that tells us about the indigenous culture, its music, its traditions and numerous old photographs.  
10.30 hrs.- Bontoc – Departure -. We go on our winding way through the mountains. 
11.15 hrs.- SAGADA, a small town very popular amongst backpackers; we will see its century-old tombs hanging on chalk cliffs, lunch included
13.00 hrs.- Sagada – Departure -. We carry on towards the China Sea, crossing the Bessang National Park amidst incredible scenery with waterfalls, forests and immense hillsides. We make the occasional stop for photographs. 
18.15 hrs.- VIGAN – Arrival -. We will enjoy a night stroll around the city centre, which is now lit up and full of life. The Fountain with its show of lights stands out. Free time for dinner.
Day 7: Vigan- San Agustin de Paoay- Malacanang del Norte- Manila.-
Distance by road: 95 km 
Scenery: Plains by the ocean, pleasant scenery 
Note: The schedule for this stage may be changed and adapted depending on the time of the flight we take to Manila. In the event of changes, you will be informed in “my trip” around a month before the date of your departure. Keep your documents to hand, you will need them to catch the flight. 
09.30 hrs.- We will leave the hotel to include a visit to VIGAN, a city declared UNESCO World Heritage as this is the best preserved Spanish colonial city in Asia, with unique architecture that blends the design of the Asian buildings with those of European construction and colonial architecture. We can also enjoy watching how the earthware ceramic is traditionally made. 11.30 hrs.- Vigan – Departure -. We continue northwards to visit one of the best preserved Baroque churches of the Philippines.  
13.00 hrs.- San Agustín de Paoay, a church declared UNESCO World Heritage. It stands out for its enormous buttresses on the sides and at the rear of the building to protect it from earthquakes. Lunch included
15.00 hrs.- San Agustin – Departure -.  
15.30 hrs.- Malacanang del Norte, here is the Presidential Museum of Ferdinand Marcos in a very beautiful mansion by a lake, tickets included.  
17.00 hrs.- Malacanang del Norte – Departure -. 
17.30 hrs.- LAOAG – Arrival in this capital - Time to stroll around its centre before transfer to the airport. At the time of writing this route, the flight is expected to leave at 21.20 hrs.- (arriving in Manila at 22.30 hrs.-). Please reconfirm your schedule in “my trip” given that there might be changes (a flight might even sometimes be taken first thing in the morning with accommodation provided in Laoag).
Day 8: Manila- Puerto Princesa- Sabang Underground river- Puerto Princesa.-
Distance by road: 150 km  
Scenery: Pretty island inland scenery with some spectacular rocky areas.  
Note: Flight times may be changed and your route may be altered as a consequence (maintaining all of the planned visits). During the whole of the stay on Palawan Island, we will include the boat trips; take sun cream and we also recommend footwear for walking in the sea (these beautiful waters are also dwelling to jellyfish, sea urchins and other species that can sting). If after Palawan Island you return to Manila, we recommend that you do not take all your luggage with you, only the luggage you might need.  

Transfer to the airport after breakfast. We have planned a flight leaving Manila at 09.50 hrs.- (modifications possible). Approximate flight time of one half hours 

11.15 hrs.- Puerto Princesa – Arrival -. As soon as we arrive, we will travel to the 
13.30 hrs.- National Park of the Sabang Underground River, to the north of Puerto Princesa, UNESCO World Heritage. Lunch included. Where you have lunch, you can also change and put on your swimwear! After this we include a beautiful boat trip … First along the spectacular coastline with its beautiful beaches and then a short ride to see the underground cave. You will be impressed by its stalactites and stalagmites that took thousands of years to form.  
17.30 hrs.- Underground River – Departure.
19.15 hrs.- Puerto Princesa – Arrival. This is the capital of the island, a city with a lot of life. Dinner included -.
Day 9: Puerto Princesa- Bay Island- Puerto Princesa.-
Distance by road: 60 km 
Note: The glow worm activity might not be able to be done in the high season when demand is too high and long waits are expected. If this activity were not possible, we would make a visit to the Palawan wildlife conservation centre, where we will have the chance to see its large crocodiles.  

A day to enjoy. At around 09.30 hrs.-, we leave to take a boat trip from island to island around the Bahía de Honda. We will visit Starfish Island which has the largest population of starfish in the whole of Palawan. Then to Luli Island, an island that rises and sinks at low and high tide. Lunch included in one of the cabins on the island. Then a chance to relax on Pandan Island before returning to the hotel in Puerto Princesa. After the dinner included we will go out to the outskirts of Puerto Princesa where we will find a magic place: enjoy watching the glow worms along the river Ihawig. Return to hotel and accommodation. 
Day 10: Puerto Princesa- Taytay- El Nido.-
Total distance: 275 km 
Scenery: Pretty scenery travelling to the north of the island and some great views over the sea, mountainous areas. 
Note: If our group is of under four participants, the trip to El Nido will be done on regular transport. In this case there would be no stop at the Fortress of Santa Isabel.

08.30 hrs.- Puerto Princesa – Departure -. Trip northwards. 
12.15 hrs.- TAYTAY – Arrival - the former capital of the island where we will see the FORTRESS OF SANTA ISABEL, built in Spanish times to defend the city from the Pirate and Muslim incursions. Lunch included
14.30 hrs.- Taytay – Departure -. Spectacular scenery, views of the sea.  
16.00 hrs.- EL NIDO – Arrival -. Free time to explore this beautiful place and rest. Its busy port of fishermen with their bangkas in the mornings is the main base where the excursions leave for the enigmatic islands of the eastern archipelago. Dinner included and accommodation.
Day 11: Islands of El Nido.-
Today you will have one of the most beautiful boat trips that can be done on our planet to see one of the prettiest beaches in the world. We include a tour from island to island. We will visit the Large and Small Lagoon, as well as the Secret Lagoon, where you can take a canoe to one of the most majestic creations of nature, full of chalk cliffs and crystalline waters. Then have a moment’s peace on Shimizu Island, to snorkel and explore the coral, and Commando Beach for a rest. Lunch included and Dinner included this day. Return to the hotel and accommodation
Day 12:
After breakfast, transfer to the airport at the time when you have your flight -. End of our services.

Price includes

Included

  • Europamundo General Services: Travel by bus with English speaking guide, basic travel insurance and breakfast buffet.
  • Includes arrival transfer
  • Includes departure transfer
  • City tour in: MANILA, VIGAN
  • Excursion: N in MANILA, City of Aseana in MANILA, N in BANAUE
  • Boat: N in MANILA, N in BANAUE, Boat trip across the Honda Bay in PUERTO PRINCESA, Boat trip tour of the island in EL NIDO
  • Evening transfer: N in MANILA, N in BANAUE
  • Transfer: N in MANILA, N in BANAUE
  • Ticket admission: N in MANILA, Santiago Fortress, Manila Cathedral, St. Agustine´s Church, Ride on a calesa in MANILA, Memorial of the March of Death in BATAAN, Open-air Museum in PHILIPPINE HOUSES OF ACUZAR, N in BANAUE, Bontoc Museum in BONTOC, Church in SAN AGUSTIN DE PAOAY, Presidential Museum of Ferdinand Marcos in MALACANANG OF THE NORTH, Sabang Underground River National Park in PUERTO PRINCESA, Santa Isabel Fortress in TAYTAY
  • Train: N in MANILA, N in BANAUE
  • Ferry: N in MANILA, Manila - Bataan in BATAAN, N in BANAUE
  • Funicular: N in MANILA, N in BANAUE
  • High speed train: N in MANILA, N in BANAUE
  • Flights included: N in MANILA, N in BANAUE, Laoag - Manila in MANILA
  • 7 Lunch included in: PHILIPPINE HOUSES OF ACUZAR, BANAUE, SAGADA, SAN AGUSTIN DE PAOAY, PUERTO PRINCESA, TAYTAY, EL NIDO
  • 9 dinner included in: MANILA, MANILA, BALANGA CITY, SOLANO, BANAUE, PUERTO PRINCESA, PUERTO PRINCESA, EL NIDO, EL NIDO

Planned Hotels

PHILIPPINES
HOTEL TRYP BY WYNDHAM MALL OF ASIA MANILA
****
28408000

Seaside Boulevard, Corner J.W. Diokno Blvd, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay
1308 MANILA
FILIPINAS
THE PLAZA HOTEL BALANGA CITY
***
472371037

J.P. Rizal Street, Poblacion, City of Balanga,Bataan, Filipinas
2100 BALANGA CITY
FILIPINAS
HOTEL 24/7 INN
***
9175533623

No. 6 Pan-Philippine Hwy, Bayombong, 3700 Nueva Vizcaya
3700 SOLANO
FILIPINAS
BANAUE HOTEL & YOUTH HOSTEL
***
743864088

LLogue, Banaue, Filipinas
000 BANAUE
FILIPINAS
ONE VITTORIA HOTEL
***
77604005

National Highway, Cabalanggan, Bantay, Ilocos Sur
2727 VIGAN
FILIPINAS
BEST WESTERN PLUS THE IVYWALL HOTEL
****
26571192

Rizal Ave, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
5300 PUERTO PRINCESA
FILIPINAS
HOTEL COVO
***
29025969

Lio Tourism Estate, Palawan, El Nido
5313 EL NIDO
FILIPINAS
CASA KALAW
***
9176597694

Lio Tourism Estate, El Nido, Palawan
5310 EL NIDO
FILIPINAS
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