Reasons to Visit
The Philippines is home to world class diving among dazzling marine life. There are coral gardens, caves, deeply plunging undersea walls and isolated coral seamounts offering wall diving, wreck diving and muck diving. Every form of underwater life can be seen including whale sharks, turtles, manta rays and dugongs.
Festivals in the Philippines are plentiful. Every town has a patron saint, and each of these has its own feast day and there are also bigger week long parties like Ati-Atihan in Kalibo. Easter is also a big event in this predominantly christian country.
With over 7,000 islands there are mile of coastline in the Philippines. Away from the popular beaches of Boracay and Cebu there are a range of quieter spots especially in the Southern Visayas and around Palawan.
There are more than 100 cultural minority groups in the Philippines, and around half of these have unique linguistic cultures. The most well known are the Ifugao, and their culture is alive and well around the rice terraces of Banaue.
Most of the Philippine islands feature volcanic mountains, several of which have been increasingly active since the 1980s. The most accessible are Mount Pinatubo which last erupted in 1991 and Taal volcano one crater of which erupted in 1977.
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The Northern Luzon region is home to remote villages and diverse indigenous tribes - often dating back to the Stone Age. The highlight of Banaue is its 2,000-year-old rice terraces.
Heading north from Manila you come to Baguio City, the main market and transport hub for the region’s diverse indigenous tribes.
Exploring the mountainous Central Cordillera you will discover a very different Philippines. Passing traditional villages you reach tranquil Sagada with its limestone caves housing hanging coffins.
Bontoc is the next main town along the road, with a fascinating museum dedicated to the local peoples and to Masferre, a famous photographer whose black and white photos taken between 1934 and 1956 show a Stone Age way of life whose traces live on in the present day.
The highlight of the region is Banaue and its 2,000-year-old rice terraces. Built by the Ifugao tribes and stretching through the valley in a million shades of green, the grandeur of the landscape carved out by generations of traditional farmers is one of Asia’s most spectacular sights.
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19 days from £3,365pp
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Include a visit to Banaue & Northern Luzon on your tailor-made trip around the Philippines by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in The PhilippinesWhen to GoItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout The PhilippinesCountry Guides
Other countries in Southeast Asia:BorneoBurmaCambodiaIndonesiaLaosMalaysiaPapua New GuineaThailandVietnam
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