Northern Philippines Adventure

Philippines · about Escorted or Guided Tour

With over 6,000 islands contained within its borders, the Philippines is one of the largest archipelagos in the world. While we can’t possibly show you all of them in just nine days, this journey through the country’s northern half will feel more than comprehensive enough. Up here, you’ll discover the arresting inland beauty of Luzon, known for world-famous (and incredibly picturesque) terraced rice paddies. Learn about colonial history and life in tiny villages. Looking for the road less travelled? It runs through here.

What's Included

Bayombong museum visit. Ancient rice terraces visit (Banaue). Museum of Mountain Culture (Sagada). World heritage-listed Paoay Church visit. Manila city tour. Internal flight. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Visit remote villages and friendly locals, explore World Heritage rice terraces, soak in the colonial charm of Vigan, savour Filipino cuisine

Itinerary Disclaimer

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to see and do, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 15, avg 12

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures understands the importance of breakfast to start your day, we strive to include a basic breakfast wherever possible. A typical breakfast may include toast, coffee and tea, however, they may also be Asian style, consisting of noodles, congee (rice porridge), bread or eggs; this may vary depending on the city we’re visiting. Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods, although in some areas the choice maybe limited. Should breakfast not be included, your CEO can suggest some local options.

Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. While trekking in remote regions, food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. For all trips, please refer to the meals included and budget information.

For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Transport

Private vehicle, Jeepney, plane, walking

Local Flights

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

Accommodation

Hotels (8 nts)

My Own Room

Joining Hotel

Day 1 of the “Full Itinerary” section provides an example of the hotels used on this trip.

For your departure specific joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, your MyG account, the G Adventures App or consult your travel agent.

Joining Instructions

For travellers with a transfer arranged through G Adventures:
Please look for your driver holding a G ADVENTURES sign in the arrival area.

For travellers arranging their own transport:

There are several transportation options at the Manila airport:
1) Airport Metered Taxi (vehicle color is yellow, taxi line is usually found within airport premises, upon exit at the arrival area)
Flag down rate is PHP 75 and PHP 4 for every 350 metres, the total journey to the hotel should cost approximately PHP 400-500 (USD12), depending on traffic and your airport yerminal of origin

2)Airport-Coupon Taxi (vehicle color is white, booth is usually found within airport premises, upon exit at the arrival area)
They have fixed rates per destination/distance, transfer going Oasis Paco Park ranges from PHP 600-1500. Rate varies depending on the airport terminal of origin and the vehicle to be used.

3) Regular Public Metered Taxi (usually White in color),
If you wish to take a regular taxi, you will need walk to the main road and hail a regular taxi as they are not allowed to get passengers inside airport premises. Flag down rate is PHP 40 additional PHP 3.50 for every 300 meters, the pproximate taxi fare from the airport to the hotel is 200-300, depending on traffic and airport terminal of origin

**Notes:
· There is a well known land mark right across Oasis Hotel called Paco Park. Should the taxi driver be unfamiliar with Oasis Hotel, you may use the landmark as as a reference point.
· Oasis Paco hotel is approximately 30 km from the airport, roughly 30-45 minutes travel time by vehicle depending on traffic

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call the G Adventures Local Office and then our G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) . If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.

For issues related to airport to hotel transfers in the Philippines:
Contact: Vic Lusterio – +63 922 870 0481

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574
From within Thailand: 02 381 5574

After hours emergency number (SE Asia Manager)
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074

G Adventures Local Representative (Philippines) – (open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm; Saturdays, 9am-1pm)
Emergency number: 63 922 847 4235/63 922 847 4234
Office landline: +63 (02) 811 4069

For issues related to airport to hotel transfers in the Philippines:
Contact: Vic Lusterio – +63 922 870 0481

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

What you need to bring depends on the trip you have chosen and the countries or regions you are planning to visit. We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as your are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures trips! Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) as they need to fit with you in buses or on trains. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like iPods and mobile phones. If your trip involves overnights in homestays, villages or camping then you usually have the opportunity to rent sleeping bags if need be instead of bringing them with you.

Checklist

Passport (with photocopies)
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
Airline tickets (with photocopies)
USD cash
Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Day pack for daily personal items
Lock for all bags
Wet wipes / Moist towelettes
Alarm clock
Flashlight
Sun hat
Sun block
Sunglasses
Insect Repellent
Water bottle and Plastic mug for train journeys
Ear plugs for train journeys or light sleepers
Small towel and swim wear
Toiletries (biodegradable)
Sturdy walking shoes/Sport sandals
Money belt
Shorts
Long trousers
Hiking pants/track pants
Shirts/T-shirts
Warm clothes for November-February
Fleece
Jacket
Hat
Gloves
Umbrella or waterproof jacket
Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry
Camera and film
Reading/writing material
Binoculars
Pocketknife
First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler. Most nationalities are allowed to enter the Philippines without visas for a stay not exceeding twenty-one (21) days, provided they hold valid tickets for their return journey to port of origin or next port of destination and their passports valid for a period of at least six (6) months beyond the contemplated period of stay. Check with the nearest Philippine Embassy before traveling.

Spending Money

Money Exchange

During this tour the local currency you will use is the Filipino Peso. As currency exchange rates in South East Asia do fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates: www.xe.com for each of the above mentioned currencies. The best way to carry your money is in debit cards, withdrawing cash in local currencies from ATM machines. ATMs are found throughout South East Asia and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible in case of loss or problems with one card, you will have a back up. Please note, your bank will charge a fee for overseas withdrawals. USD Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. You should bring some cash with you for emergency situations (please refer to our trip dossier) but carrying only cash is a high safety risk. ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix. Travellers cheques can be tricky, timely and expensive to exchange. While we do not recommend that you bring them as your primary source of funds, it is great to have one or two cheques in case of emergency. Thomas Cook or American Express travellers’ cheques in US currency are the easiest to exchange. Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached.Credit cards can be used at some upmarket restaurants, and at some larger stores if shopping for big items. If you are bringing US Dollars, please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 2003, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $250 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Tipping

It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1.5-$3.5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

MANILA
National Museum PHP150
Ayala Museum PHP350
University of Philippines ‘Museum of a History of Ideas’ Free Entry (Tuesdays and Thursdays only)

BANUAE
Tricycle ride to highest viewpoint PHP100

SAGADA
Spelunking PHP200
Caving/Waterfalls PHP150
Massage PHP400

VIGAN
Santa Maria Church visit PHP200 (transport)
Dancing Fountain – Free
Calesa Vigan PHP200/hr (2 passengers)

LAOAG
La Paz Sand Dunes – 4×4 tour incl free sand boarding PHP2500 (4 passengers)
Sinking Bell Tower PHP100 incl transport

All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our CEO’s are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Trip Specific Safety

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Local Dress

In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites.

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Max Pax

Max 15

Group Leader

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

Meal Budget

Allow USD150-195 for meals not included.

Meals Included

8 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 0 dinners

PRODUCT_LINE: AQPN, ID: 24258

Itinerary

Day 1: Manila

There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Day 2: Manila/Banaue (1B)

Travel through the stunning mountainous landscape to Banaue. Stop en route for lunch and photo ops. Visit the Provincial Museum in Bayombong to learn more about Luzon. After the long drive, stretch your legs on a short hike to the rice terrace viewpoint and the nearby village of Tam-an.

Included Activities:
Provincial Museum Visit
Tam-an Village Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (7.00 hour(s))

Day 3: Banaue/Sagada (1B)

Hop into a local Jeepney and visit the rice terraces of Hapao. In the afternoon, continue on to Sagada with a visit to the Museum of Mountain Culture in Bontoc.

Included Activities:
Museum of Mountain Culture Visit
Rice Terraces Tour

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))

Day 4: Sagada (1B)

Explore the outdoor paradise of Sagada. Opt to hike or visit caves, the hanging coffins, or waterfalls set into the lush green landscape.

Day 5: Sagada/Vigan (1B)

Travel via Cerventes to Vigan, a beautifully preserved Spanish colonial town. In the evening, opt to visit the World Heritage-listed Santa Maria Church or to view the dancing fountain.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk

Transport:
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))

Day 6: Vigan (1B)

Spend a free day exploring this lovely city. Opt to visit the pottery shop and local handloom weavers or take a horse drawn carriage tour.

Day 7: Vigan/Laoag (1B)

Continue on north to Laoag, visiting the World Heritage-listed Paoay Church and a scenic lake on the way. In Laoag, opt to visit the La Paz sand dunes, the sinking bell tower, or the local market.

Included Activities:
Paoay Church Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))

Day 8: Laoag/Manila (1B)

Take a guided tour to the oldest part of the city — the area known as Intramuros, or ‘between the walls’. Within this protective enclave, were 15 churches and 6 monasteries, including the imposing Roman Catholic Cathedral.

Opt to join the group for a final dinner together in the evening.

Included Activities:
Manila City Tour

Transport:
Plane (1.00 hour(s))

Day 9: Manila (1B)

Depart at any time.

Included Activities:
Departure Day

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