This luxury tour takes in some of the most picturesque locations on the northernmost Philippine island of Luzon. Starting in the country’s immense capital Manila and ending on the idyllic island of Boracay, this 13-day journey brings travelers through the mountainous green countryside of Baguio and the steep terraced rice fields of Banaue, with several UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the way.This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.
Travelers begin their luxury journey through the Philippines in the capital, with a walking tour of historic Intramuros. The original 16th century walls of this fortified old city still stand, and the area’s period buildings make for a fascinating walk through time. In the evening, enjoy a romantic dinner in a local restaurant before retreating for the night to a five-star hotel in Manila center. We recommend the new Raffles Hotel or Shangri-La Makati in the business district, close to parks, shops and transport.
Travel south to the historic Las Piñas Church and discover the remarkable 19th-century bamboo pipe organ there, before stopping at the Sarao Jeepney Factory for a look at how these iconic local taxis are manufactured. Next, we’ll stop to enjoy breathtaking views of Taal Volcano then stop for lunch at Antonio’s Grill and sample authentic Filipino cuisine. After lunch, we stop at Taal Heritage Town for a glimpse at some beautifully preserved colonial houses. In the evening, it’s back to Manila.
Today we drive 9 hours to Banaue, a picturesque municipality famous for its UNESCO-protected rice terraces. On the way, we stop in Pampanga for a gastronomic treat courtesy of Chef Claude Tayag. This renowned chef/artist/author serves up an exclusive meal of innovative Pampanga cuisine. We spend the evening in Banaue tonight - the Banaue Hotel is one recommended option, offering breathtaking views over rice terrace terrain.
To really experience the beauty and majesty of the rice fields, we take a leisurely hike through the paddies of Bangaan and Hapao and take in these steeply terraced valleys from the Viewpoint. After a full day of exploring the area on foot, retreat to your hotel and enjoy dinner with unbeatable mountain views.
Today, we travel to the small town of Sagada in the Mountain Province of the Philippines. On the way, we visit the area’s caves and the famous Hanging Coffins. For the adventurous, there’s cave exploring and spelunking at Sumaguing Cave, full of fascinating limestone formations. In the evening, we check into the basic yet comfortable Masferre Country Inn and Restaurant.
In the morning we begin our trip to Baguio City, taking in the beautiful mountain scenery on the way. Baguio’s cool mountain air has made it a popular getaway for Filipinos for centuries, and it’s full of village charm, despite its size. We visit the city markets and head to artist Benedict Cabrera’s Gallery to appreciate work by the Philippines’ greatest contributor to modern art. Tonight, we check into a luxury Baguio hotel - The Manor at Camp John Hay is great choice with its beautifully-restored interiors.
Today we drive 6 hours and explore the heritage zone of Vigan by calesa - horse drawn carriage. Vigan is a perfectly preserved colonial Spanish town and a World Heritage Site, with largely intact architectural influences from the Philippines, China and Europe. Pick up a memento at a pottery boutique and enjoy authentic Ilocano cuisine in a local restaurant. In the evening, enjoy a luxurious night’s sleep in a luxury hotel - we recommend Sitio Remedios, a private villa resort featuring vintage Ilocano decor.
Our next adventure is a trip to Laoag taking in the sand dunes of Suba just outside the city. We visit the breathtaking baroque Church of Saint Augustine, a UNESCO-protected monument from the early 18th century, Burgos Lighthouse, the oldest working lighthouse in Asia and several more architectural and natural sites of note around Paoay, one of the northernmost coastal towns in the Philippines. At night, it’s back to your hotel in Vigan.
Today we fly to the island of Boracay, renowned for its white-sand beaches and clear blue waters. To fully appreciate the natural beauty of Boracay, travelers are free to spend the day idling on the beach, ideally at a luxury resort such as Shangri-La Boracay. This property has spacious luxury suites with far-reaching coastal views and a wide array of activities at hand.
Today, you can work up an appetite sailing on a local paraw (catamaran) before stopping off at Puka Beach for a picnic lunch. After that, enjoy a tricycle ride to White Beach, a two-mile stretch of pristine powder-fine sand with an array of beach bars, restaurants and shops to browse. After enjoying sunset drinks and a stroll along the water’s edge, spend the night back at The Shangri-La.
The waters surrounding Boracay are filled with small islands and islets. Today we island-hop to various remote beaches and hidden bays to really relax into beach life. After a day of snorkeling around local reefs and paddling in the tropical waters, it’s back to the Shangri-La for a five-star meal in luxurious surrounds.
Enjoy doing what beach holidays are all about: nothing at all. Boracay is known worldwide as one of the planet's best beach islands, so make the most of your time here by enjoying some serious beach contemplation time. For those of you who like to add a little more spice to your day, there are plenty of fun things to do on and off the beach in Boracay, from thrilling water sports like jet skiing, to zorbing down a grassy hill. The choice is yours!
In the morning, fly to Manila and connect to your flight back home.
Strategically placed on the corners of Ayala and Makati Avenues, The Peninsula Manila is close to premier shopping facilities and within easy access of Manila's numerous attractions. The hotel is a nine kilometers drive from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) and just six kilometers from Manila's domestic airport. Elegantly furnished in classic style, the hotel's 351 rooms and suites provide modern, technologically advanced conveniences, including complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access. The Gallery Club Lounge is available 24 hours a day, providing live musical entertainment and all-day refreshments and nibbles, including a breakfast buffet, The Peninsula Afternoon Tea, gourmet canapés and an open bar with a curated selection of spirits and sommelier-selected wines. The thoughtfully-designed private lounge is enhanced with custom-designed tables and soft furnishings arranged in an intimate lounge setting. Continental and Pan-Asian cuisine is served at The Peninsula's many restaurants, including Old Manila and Spices, which are two of the top restaurants in the city. Salon de Ning, the hotel's quirky lounge, features musical entertainment on most evenings.
Located in the north of the Philippines, Masferre Country Inn and Restaurant is a very simple guesthouse in Sagada. Conveniently-located on Sagada’s prime tourist trail, the Masferre Hotel offers WiFi in public areas, laundry service, and dry cleaning, as well as a massage parlour on site, in an atmosphere reminiscent of a mountain lodge. The hotel’s restaurant is also quite renowned for its epicurean delights, with a wide-ranging menu featuring Filipino, Western, and Asian dishes, and it’s often referred to as the best restaurant in town. Another guest favorite is the selection of powerful photographs featured by the hotel, taken by the late Sagada-born photographer Eduardo Masferre.
Guests will enjoy this unique alternative forest destination, in a pine tree-covered prime location of Baguio City, Philippines, known for its refreshing, cool climate. The manor itself is four stories high, housing 177 well-appointed rooms, many of which enjoy panoramas of the majestic Cordillera mountain range. The structure was built using local stone on the exterior of the building, as well as panelled walls, wooden shuttered doors, and wooden furniture inside the rooms, evoking memories of traditional Baguio architecture and style. Highly-trained staff provide warm, friendly service, while top-notch facilities are provided for guests’ optimal comfort, from a luxurious spa ideal for a full day of pampering, to the Piano Bar, where the mood is set by live entertainment. An on-site delicatessen serves up fresh-baked goods, while Le Chef at The Manor provides guests with all-day dining. The atmosphere at The Manor is cozy, particularly accented by the large fireplace in the hotel’s lounge.
Step back in time with a stay at Hotel Luna, a unique hybrid of hotel and museum located in the city of Vigan in the Philippines. Nestled in the heart of the incredible architecture and intangible history of Vigan, a classified Heritage Village, Hotel Luna itself is a sight to be seen. Located in a decorative, four-storey colonial building, the hotel features fine pieces of Philippine art, from Juan Luna masterpieces to new items from contemporary artists. Guests can explore the artwork or spend lazy post-sightseeing afternoons lounging by the outdoor pool - located in the hotel’s courtyard - followed by a cocktail in the ornate Chula Saloon Bar. Afterwards, they may enjoy dinner at the in-house restaurant Comedor, feasting on Spanish dishes and gazing at the incredible art pieces adorning the walls, and take in a nightcap and a spectacular view of the city from Azotea, the rooftop patio.
Unlike the majority of hotels packed side-by-side on this famous island’s 3-mile stretch of white-sand beach, Shangri-La carved out its own little tranquil retreat. Set on a hillside away from the crowds, this 219-room hotel is in an enclave with its own private beach. Opened in early 2009, the hotel incorporates indigenous materials in its contemporary design. Rooms are decorated with abaca-weave rugs and lamps made of capiz shells. Every room has a balcony with a view of either the resort’s lush tropical gardens or Boracay’s turquoise sea. CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La, is a spa village set within the resort, and it features treatments based on Chinese and native Philippine healing concepts. Other leisure amenities include one of the country’s largest free-form swimming pools, outdoor tennis courts, and a fitness center. Dining choices include a cliff-top seafood grill and an intimate Italian restaurant set amidst treetops. The hotel is a 45-minute flight from Manila, plus a 15-minute boat ride from the ferry station beside the Caticlan Airport.
Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
An Asia-focused magazine brought to you by Remote Lands – a platform for adventure, luxury, and authenticity from experts and explorers around the continent.
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