Palawan, Philippines

Destination

Philippines – Tours

Tours in the Philippines

With its sprawling cities, powdery white sand beaches, lush green rice paddies, colourful wildlife and warm, happy people, the Philippines is the perfect place to escape reality. There are more than 7,000 islands to explore in this Southeast Asian paradise – over 5,000 of which aren’t even named on maps, let alone inhabited – so knowing where to start can be intimidating.

To get the bigger picture and experience as much of the Philippines as possible, our seven-day Essential Philippines Tour will take you from the bustling capital city of Manila to the peace and tranquillity of Bohol. Explore the mysterious Chocolate Hills, rising from the landscape as far as the eye can see, and trek through the forests, looking out for bug-eyed tarsiers in the trees above you. In Cebu, you’ll end your trip in paradise with time to relax and feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, with the sound of the gentle sea breeze rustling through palm trees.

Take a more in depth look at the ancient culture and traditions on the five-day Highlights of the North Tour. Trek through 2,000-year-old terraced rice paddies in Banaue and visit native villages for an insight into local life. Hike up to the eerie burial caves of Ifugao, pausing to catch your breath and take in the splendour of your surroundings. Your final stop will be in the colourful city of Baguio, where the vibrant energy of the city is palpable, before making your onward journey.

5 days Banaue Rice Terraces

Highlights of the North Tour

 

Discover wonderful local life and incredible mountain scenery on this five day tour. Begin your journey in Manila where you will drive north to Banaue, home to the 2,000 year old rice terraces. Visit native villages and mingle with the...

Escorted tours

Highlights of the North Tour
7 days

Essential Philippines Tour

Guide Price £1,699 pp  

Discover some of the Philippines' best loved attractions on this wonderful 7 day tour. Your journey will start in the bustling capital Manila where you can explore the historic part of the city before flying south to the tropical island...

Cultural holidays

Essential Philippines Tour

Clive

Content Editor

“Head to a karaoke bar. Whether you can carry a tune or not doesn’t really matter, it’s such a big part of the culture and the locals will love that you’re getting involved.”

Karen

Destination Executive

“For whatever reason, Filipino food doesn’t seem to be as popular in the West as it deserves to be. So, make the most of having adobo ( meatseafood, or vegetables marinated in vinegarsoy saucegarlic, and black peppercorns) on tap and get stuck into the local cuisine – it’s delicious.”

Taylor

Destination Manager

“One of the most incredible experiences of my life was swimming with whale sharks, which I was lucky enough to do in the Philippines. The best place to go, in my opinion, is Donsol Bay where it’s quieter, with your best chance of seeing them being between February and April.”

The Philippines is multi-lingual, with around 175 languages spoken, but the official language is Tagalog (Filipino). And, according to a recent census, around 52 million people speak English making it the fifth largest English-speaking nation in the world. 

The rainy season tends to run from June to October, with September and October in particular being the worst affected by typhoon season. November to May is the dry season, with the best weather typically seen in April and May.

The best way to describe this fruit is to say that it’s divisive: you’ll either love it or hate it. The flavour is quite nutty with a tangy after taste like onion. It’s not for everyone, but if you can get past the smell, the ‘king of fruits’ is packed full of vitamin C, potassium, protein and healthy fats.

The Philippines is home to some of the world’s best beaches, most vibrant cities, and people who are as warm and sunny as the weather. From bouncing along in the back of a brightly coloured jeepney, to hiking up an ancient volcano or through lush green forests with goggle-eyed tarsiers for company, embrace the Philippines’ spirit of adventure.

Why you'll love the Philippines... 

  • Taking your pick from more than 7,000 tropical paradise islands
  • Flying through the air, past scenic waterfall views, at Lake Sebu Seven Falls Zipline
  • Trekking through the incredible emerald green rice paddies of Banaue
  • Joining in the fiesta at the week-long Ati-Atihan Festival in January in Kalibo
  • Finding paradise in the Bacuit Archipelago of northern Palawan
  • Reliving the tragic history of Dr José Rizal at the beautiful Fort Santiago in Manila
  • Marvelling at the collection of 800 of Imelda Marcos’ shoes at the Marikina Shoe Museum
  • Climbing a smouldering volcano in unspoilt Camiguin
  • Diving beneath the waves to discover colourful reefs teeming with life in Cebu
  • Hiking up to sacred Echo Valley in Sagada, final resting place of the famous hanging coffins
  • Spotting cute tarsiers playing in the trees at the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in Loboc
  • Floating along the five-mile Puerto Princesa Subterranean River 

Did you know? 

  • The Philippines produces and exports more coconuts than anywhere else in the world – shipping around 19.5 million tonnes every year at the last count in 2010.
  • The rice terraces in the Philippine Cordilleras are a UNESCO World Heritage site and have remained largely unchanged since they were built 2,000 years ago.
  • The Philippines were the proud illuminators of the world’s largest Christmas lantern in 2002, measuring 26.8 metres in diameter and costing five million Philippine pesos.