Philippines holiday, small group adventure

“Two weeks of intense culture and nature in Luzon and Palawan, with bike rides and boat cruises, caving and cultural museums. Small group holidays ensure you cover plenty of ground – and ocean.”


Bamboo bike tour of Manila | Gawad Kalinga “Enchanted Farm” | Bacolor, Banaue – a town under volcanic ash | Hike around rice terraces in Batad | Swim in Tappiyah Falls | Bangaan village | “Sleeping Beauty” mountain range | Meet a traditional tattoo artist | Bontoc Museum of Mountain Culture | Vigan | Sitio Remedios | Puerto Princesa, Palawan | Underground River | Ugong Rock | Birding at El Nido

Description of Philippines holiday, small group adventure

Discover the best of this vast archipelago on our Philippines small group adventure holiday. As soon as you set off on your bamboo bike tour of historical Manila, you know this is going to be no ordinary trip – taking you well of the beaten track and exploring in ways that let you really get up close to the Philippines’ diverse culture and landscapes. Visit an “enchanted farm” which pushes the limits of sustainability; see the remains of Bacolor, Pampanga – buried by volcanic ash following the eruption of Mt Pinatubo in 1993; and trek past idyllic rice terraces on your way to a waterfall for a swim. Cultural museums, village tours and even a visit to a renowned tattoo artist will all bring you up closer to local life.

The small group adventure in the Philippines on to Palawan, where you will explore the island’s exquisite and often endemic nature with firefly tours in the mangroves, echoing, stalagmite-filled caves, and birdwatching in the tropical forests of El Nido. Boat tours here offer options for island hopping, as you cruise over coral reefs beneath he clear waters, and journey to a secret lagoon.

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05 May 2019
excluding flights
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16 Feb 2020
excluding flights
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03 May 2020
excluding flights
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Philippines holiday, small group adventure


When travelling in a country such as the Philippines that has few if any tourists, there is an additional responsibility on us as a company and on our clients visiting the country to do everything possible to minimise our impact. We do everything possible to reduce our waste while travelling, using local cafes and restaurants, for example at Café Leona located on the ground floor of a traditional Vigan house.

We also work extremely closely with our locally owned suppliers to inform and educate their staff about a range of issues, including litter and waste disposal, and the recycling of material. Clients are advised to bring their own water bottles rather than purchase plastic.

Wherever possible we use environmentally friendly local accommodation. If this is not possible we make every effort to alert the management of the accommodation in question to ways of improving their service with the environment in mind. Many of the hotels and lodges we use are in extremely remote areas and are therefore almost entirely self-sufficient, using local sources of food, labour and construction materials.


Our very small groups and limited departures in the Philippines means that our impact – both cultural and environmental – on the areas that we visit is small and truly sustainable. We are investing in the future, in the belief that along with our local colleagues we can create sustainable social benefits. All of the guides we use are local, and most have been working with our local team in a full time role for a number of years, rather than just as seasonal jobs.

Our suppliers in the Philippines are small and locally owned, meaning that the income remains within the country and creates a real economic contribution. We also feel that the passion inherent within our local team means that your experience will be enhanced.

All of our trips include visits to local markets, craft shops and fairs. As well as being good for the local economy this gives travellers to the country a real feel for the life and culture of Haiti. A highlight for many on the tour is Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm. This is a prototype of a sustainable community dedicated to ending poverty by empowering people to develop useful skills. We spend time discovering how the lives of the residents here have benefited from the enterprise, and have the opportunity to assist in the activities such as organic farming, cheese-making, making toys, etc. We will sample farm to table meals prepared by the Enchanted Farm residents.

1 Reviews of Philippines holiday, small group adventure

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 07 Mar 2018 by

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

1. Hiking in the Cordillera rice terraces - fabulous scenery. 2. The people - so polite and happy. 3. Lack of tourists in rural areas - it's all very new to the locals. 4. It's dirt cheap, but don't expect luxury!

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

1. Go with an open mind and just do it! 2. It's not for the faint hearted, it's very basic outside of tourist areas. 3. Food very sweet and fatty - they eat what ever is available including dogs. 4. Accommodation even at the high end - basic.

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

1. Definitely - although pollination from traffic is high! 2. Little infrastructure to deal with tourists - lots of building El Nido which appears chaotic.

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

Fantastic experience - it's a destination that's new for many westerners - go before it gets spoilt!!!

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