Northern Philippines on a Shoestring

Philippines · About Escorted or Guided Tour

Pick somewhere different to go for your next adventure – like, really different. These eight days in the gorgeous northern half of the Philippines will stay with you forever. Trek through remote villages to see stunningly green rice terraces, learn about unusual and historic traditions like the hanging coffins of Sagada, and then wrap it all up by meandering down the streets of Manila, which may honestly be some of the most underrated fun this side of Southeast Asia. We swear.

What's Included

Rice terraces trek (Batad). Village homestay (Batad). Cultural performance (Batad). Orientation walk (Baguio). All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Trek to a remote village, snap photos of beautiful rice terraces, experience Filipino culture and hospitality,

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

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 18, avg 12.

Meals Included

6 breakfasts, 1 dinner

Meals

Eating is a big part of travelling. 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

Public bus, jeepney, walking.

About our Transportation

We will be travelling via a variety of transportation types including public buses and local jeepneys. We believe that getting there is half the journey, so sit back and enjoy the ride.

Solo Travellers

We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Simple hotels/hostels (5 nts), homestay (1 nt), overnight bus (1 nt).

My Own Room Exceptions

Day 5 (homestay), Day 7 (overnight bus).

Joining Instructions

If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. Please take note, Manila’s airport (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) is divided into 4 terminals. You will need to make your way to the appropriate pickup point based on the terminal your flight arrives into:

Terminal 1 – Arrival Extension Letter XYZ
Terminal 2 – Bay 14 (if international arrival) & Bay 9 (if domestic arrival)
Terminal 3 – Bay 7 outer lane
Terminal 4 – In front of arrival area

Our driver will always be sporting our G-Adventures signage with your names on a placard. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line at +63 917 305 6426. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.


If you have not pre-booked an arrival transfer through G Adventures, there are several transportation options at the Manila airport:
1) Airport Metered Taxi (vehicle colour 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 terminal of origin.

2)Airport-Coupon Taxi (vehicle colour 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


Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.

Arrival Complications

We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

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 2 150 0571/2
From within Thailand: 02 150 0571/2

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)
Emergency number: +63 917 305 6426

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! 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

Cold Weather:
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Scarf
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers

Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)

Essentials:
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Warm Weather:
• Sandals/flip-flops
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana

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

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

During this tour the local currency you will use is the Filipino Peso. As currency exchange rates in Southeast Asia do fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

The best way to carry your money is in debit cards, withdrawing cash in local currencies from ATM machines. ATMs are found throughout Southeast 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.

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 $200 (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

BAGUIO
Massage PHP400

SAGADA
Spelunking PHP396
Caving/Waterfalls PHP150
Massage PHP400

BANUAE
Tricycle ride to highest viewpoint PHP100

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

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 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

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. 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 jewelery 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. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that 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 leaders 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.

Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

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

Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.

G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.

Dollar-a-Day Program
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.

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.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra’s monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Minimum Age

Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.

International Flights

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.

Group Leader

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout.

PRODUCT_LINE: APNY, ID: 24802

Itinerary

Day 1: Manila

Arrive at any time.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Day 2: Manila/Baguio (1B)

Travel north by bus, then enjoy an orientation walk upon arrival to Baguio. Opt to get a massage.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk

Transport:
Local bus (7.00 hour(s))

Day 3: Baguio/Sagada (1B)

After another long day of travel, arrive at the outdoor paradise of Sagada, a base for adventuring.

Transport:
Local bus (7.00 hour(s))

Day 4: Sagada (1B)

The natural beauty of the area features caves perfect for exploring, hikes along an underground river system, a waterfall and delightful pool to cool off in after a day of exploring. Relax in the quiet serenity only found off the beaten path—this is a place to just sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery.

Day 5: Sagada/Batad (1B, 1D)

Travel via jeepney along scenic mountain roads and then by foot on local hiking trails to reach a local village for an overnight homestay experience. Discover the daily lives of the Ifugao people. Enjoy a cultural performance and a local dinner.

Additional Notes:
The trekking here can be challenging, especially in inclement weather. If you don’t feel fit enough for the activity, your CEO can help you organize some optional activities.

Included Activities:
Rice Terraces Trek and Ifugao Village Visit
Batad Homestay

Transport:
Jeepney (4.00 hour(s))

Day 6: Batad/Banaue (1B)

Hike back to the main road and hop in a jeepney bound for beautiful Banaue. Enjoy free time and views of the famous rice terraces.

Transport:
Jeepney (2.00 hour(s))

Day 7: Banaue/Manila (1B)

Free time to trek along the terraces or relax. After soaking in the last of the spectacular views hop on an overnight bus to Manila.

Transport:
Overnight bus (9.00 hour(s))

Day 8: Manila

Arrive in Manila in the morning. Tour ends on arrival at approximately 7:00am.

Included Activities:
Departure Day (Activities)

Interested in Northern Philippines on a Shoestring?

G Adventures

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Sharon Simmonds

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