This comprehensive introduction to the Philippines features the rolling green mountains, pristine beaches, and rich historical and cultural legacies of this beautiful country. Begin in the capital, Manila, where you will explore the country’s colonial past. Drive through the eerie landscape of Pampanga, buried in volcanic ash and lahar (volcanic mud) by the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991 and then proceed to the mountains of Banaue for two nights. From here, spend a full day at the majestic, hand-built Banaue Rice Terraces. More than 2,000 years old and rising more than a mile up the mountain, the terraces are a UNESCO World Heritage site and fondly referred to by locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Another drive will take you to Sagada, a tranquil mountain town famous for its caves and “hanging coffins.” Continue on to Baguio, the summer capital of the country, where you can spend several days resting and relaxing. Return to Manila for a night before catching a flight to Bohol. In Bohol, see the famous Chocolate Hills, visit a few of the ancient churches, including Baclayon and Loboc, and take a refreshing boat cruise. Next, take a ferry to Cebu, the Queen City of the South, where you will spend two leisurely nights. You will have the opportunity to learn more about the country’s uniquely Asian Catholic way of life here. After Cebu, fly to Manila for a final night before connecting with your outbound flight.
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