Philippines small group tour

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06 Nov 2021
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20 Nov 2021
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18 Dec 2021
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15 Jan 2022
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12 Feb 2022
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02 Apr 2022
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05 Nov 2022
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19 Nov 2022
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17 Dec 2022
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Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Tourism is in its infancy in the Philippines, especially so in Luzon, the island where this trip is focused. We therefore want to ensure our groups are leading by example by recycling and re-using where possible, and ensuring that all waste is disposed of appropriately. We manage water consumption and reduce waste on this trip by encouraging people to bring along re-usable bottles and by supplying a large tank of fresh drinking water on our coach, available for refills.

The Philippines is a part of the Coral Triangle, and has one of the most diverse marine ecosystems on our planet. These systems are fragile and threatened by increases in tourist development together with the rise of sea surface temperature due to climate change. Our groups are well informed about the impact of interfering with this ecosystem with those wishing to snorkel or dive being briefed on how to do so responsibly with minimal impact.

All guests are asked to bring their own water bottles to refill rather than purchasing plastic water bottles.

As well as the above, we support a variety of charities and projects worldwide which support vulnerable communities and habitats including Friends of Conservation, Hope Worldwide and Send A Cow. We are also actively engaged with UK travel industry bodies which promote best practice in responsible tourism, such as Tourism Concern, The Travel Foundation and AITO. Our commitment to responsible tourism is not limited to our overseas operation and we have measures to ensure our UK office operates according to our responsible tourism policy.

As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.

The Impacts of this Trip

Accommodation used on the trip is in smaller, often family or locally managed establishments such as the Hotel Felicidad in Vigan which was built in 1918 as a house and stayed in the same family until recently. It has a rich history. The Abes Farm is another iconic property founded by a famous local journalist and with its own museum dedicated to his achievements.

As we only provide breakfast on this trip, apart from one lunch, our guests are encouraged to utilise local restaurants and local produce which enhances the sustainability of this trip and helps to support the local community.

In the Philippines we use skilled local leaders that are passionate about showcasing their country and its rich heritage. We provide extensive training opportunities for our Leaders, with many of our Filipino leaders travelling to the UK for an intensive training course, empowering them with the skills and knowledge they need to become industry-leading Tour Leaders.

The 2000 year-old rice terraces of Banaue are quite rightly a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the local Ifugio people still live and harvest their rice using traditional methods passed down from generation to generation. We aim to visit this ancient marvel of engineering and the hardy people that work here in a responsible manner, employing the services of an expert local guide known and respected within the community. This brings an authentic experience ensuring local interaction is positive and genuine. We also have the opportunity to purchase locally made artwork and crafts, ensuring our money is put directly into the community, right at the source.

In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.


1 Reviews of Philippines small group tour

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 04 Feb 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The guide and driver (Rey and Mat) made the holiday memorable with their knowledge and experience of the Philippines. I enjoyed walking along the rice terraces, where I fell into one of them and was rescued by Rey. I also enjoyed walking up 2 volcanos, experiencing the effects of earth tremors, swimming from a log raft, attending a wedding; and enjoying the different food. The other holiday makers were also great fun and well travelled adventurers which enhanced the holiday.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't take too big a suitcase. You won't need most of what you take. The hotels are well stocked and there are plenty of shops and supermarkets selling items similar to UK items.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Shopping in local shops and restaurants, receiving one re-fillable water bottle and having a water reservoir to top up the bottle reduced the use of plastic bottles. Diligence used by the guide and holiday makers in removing all waste.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Holiday with great and I learned a lot about the Philippines, its people and culture.

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