A walk in the famous UNESCO World Heritage site - The Philippines Rice Terraces
The Philippine Rice Terraces were carved into the Cordillera, North Luzon Mountains in the Philippines over a 2000-year period by ancestors of the indigenous "Ifugao" people. The Banaue Rice Terraces are commonly referred to as the "Eighth Wonder of the World". They are variously located approximately 1500 meters above sea level. They are fed by an ancient irrigation system from the rain forests above the rice terraces. The system comprises of dams, channels and bamboo pipes, which are open and closed in co-operation with each owner. They were built using hand tools only. The local people still plant rice and vegetables on the terraces. Ifugao rice terraces are stone walls which can reach as high as 15-16 m, they are constructed along the natural contours of the mountain side. The terraces are then backfilled and another wall is then built at a slightly higher elevation. This process is commenced from the valley floor upwards. The majority of the Ifugao have maintained their identity and cultural heritage. On this trek you spend two nights with local families in the villages of Cambulo and Batad.
Day 1. Manila
Arrival to Manila, transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day is on your own.
Day 2. Manila
City tour in Manilla: Rizal park (favourite picnic place for the locals with a historic significance as well); Intramuros - the historic city center; The American Cemetery dedicated to the American soldiers who have lost their life here under World War II. You will also enjoy a walk along Manila's promenade. The rest of the day is on your own. Overnight in Manila.
Day 3. Manila - Banaue
The day is at your disposal. You can f. ex. visit Manila's Art Museum or The Museum of Shoes, where you can see Imelda Marcos' 749 pairs of shoes. In the evening the trip to Banaue, where your trekking along the rice terraces takes place, starts. At about 19:00 h you will be picked up from the hotel and driven to the bus station. Night bus to Banaue, the trip takes about 9 hours.
Day 4. Banaue - Cambulo
The bus arrives at Banaue early in the morning and you will be met by a local guide. Breakfast at a small restaurant. After that on the top of a tricycle you will be driven to Kinakin, where the trekking towards the Ifugao village of Cambulo starts. You will follow narrow paths among the rice terraces while enjoyng the beautiful views of the mountains and the imressing terraces. You will have lunch at a small local place. In the afternoon you will arrive to the little village of Cambulo, where you will overnight at a budget guesthouse.
Trekking: about 4 hours
Day 5. Cambulo - Batad
Today's aim is the beautiful Ifugao village of Batad, encompassed by an amphitheater of rice terraces. The trekking to there is about 2,5 hours. The local people in Batad live just like their ancestors have done it for centuries and you can f.ex. see how they keep the bones of their dead family members. After lunch the tour continues to Tappiyah Waterfalls, where you can enjoy a refreshing swimming (about an hour trek each way). Dinner and overnight in Batad.
Trekking: about 4,5 hours (total)
Day 6. Batad - Bangaan - Banaue
After breakfast trekking to the little Ifugao village of Bangaan. Lunch will be served at a small local restaurant. After you spend some time in Bangaan a driver with a tricycle will pick you up and drive you to Banaue. Overnight at a budget guesthouse in Banaue
Trekking: about 5 hours
Day 7. Banaue - Manila
The day is at your own disposal in Banaue. At about 18:00 the guide will pick you up from the hotel and help you take the night bus to Manila (about 9-hour drive).
Day 8. Manila
Arrival to Manila early in the morning. A local representative will drive you to the hotel. The rest of the day is free. Or if you have a late scheduled flight - transfer to the airport for departure.
Day 9. Departure
Transfer to the airport for departure.
The price includes: ►accommodation at a hotel (tourist class) in Manila and budget guesthouses in Batad, Banaue and Cambulo ►breakfast; lunch on day 4, 5, 6 & 7; dinner on day 4, 5 & 6 ►transport from/to the airport ►English-speaking local guide ►transport with a tricycle ►half-day city tour in Manila ►bus tickets Manila-Banaue-Manila
The price does not include: ► international flight tickets and Manila airport taxes (550P / 13USD) ►drinks and meals not included ►insurance ►tips ►personal expenses ►visa
Price of extra services: Single room supplement:
Practical information: ►The tour can be extended with a Palawan cruise or with some leisure time at the beautiful beaches of Puerto Galera, Boracay or Mindoro. ►The bus between Manila and Banaue is with aircondition, but it is not a sleeping bus. ►Manila is a shopping paradise and your hotel is located close to one of the biggest shopping malls here - Robinsons Place ►You carry your own luggage during the trek. We advise you that you pack about 40-50 l rucksack with the most necessary things, the rest of the luggage will be stored in the guesthouse in Banaue
Visa: Most European citizens do not require a visa to visit the Philippines for up to 30 days.
Recommended travel period of the year: November - June
Necessary equipment: trekking sandals or light walking shoes, flip-flops, light raincoat (poncho) or umbrella, torch light, insect repellent, walking poles