Thursday, 17 December 2015

Introducing Lanas Beach Resort, Carabou Island, Romblon, Philippines

Lanas Beach Resort, on Carabou Island, Romblon, is the latest addition to our "Away from it all" recommendations. The island is close to neighbouring Boracay, but without the commercialisation! You won't find any shopping malls, or fast food outlets here. Just a few small shops selling day to day essentials, with a daily market in nearby San Jose selling fresh local produce. Carabao Island has beautiful beaches, crystal clear water, pristine corals, rich marine life, and most importantly, peace and tranquility.
Lanas Beach Resort offers relaxation, good food, and the opportunity to explore idyllic beaches and caves. With beautiful beach & sea views, perfect for catching the stunning sunsets. From here you can enjoy island hopping tours, sunset sailing, beach BBQs and bonfires, and for the more adventurous, there’s scuba diving, snorkelling, motorbike island tours or trekking in the mountains.
If you want an island destination where you can relax and enjoy a simple life, this is one place you should consider.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Philippines Hotel Creates a 2 Bedroom Villa by 3D Printing!

The Lewis Grand Hotel in Angeles City, Philippines, has just finished constructing a 3D-printed villa!

The hotel used a giant concrete printer to create the 1,500-square-foot construction, which has two bedrooms, a living room, plus a Jacuzzi room (with a 3D-printed jacuzzi).

The entire project from printing to installing wiring and plumbing, took less that 4 days.

Now that he has completed the project, the hotel owner, and "builder", Lewis Yakich, has said he plans to turn his attention to 3-D printing homes for low-income families in the Philippines. This use of 3-D printing can reduce construction costs by 60%. 

Original Source >>

Friday, 18 September 2015

Celebrating Filipino Food at The Manila Hotel...

The Philippines’ 7,100 islands abound with seafood, tropical fruits, vegetables and a rich variety of herbs and spices that make for exciting culinary masterpieces.

The Manila Hotel is celebrating the best of this culinary heritage with a one-of-a-kind Filipino Food Festival that runs until September 27 featuring timeless Filipino classic dishes prepared by the hotel’s Executive Chef Konrad Walter.

Read more about the Food Festival HERE >> 

Learn more about The Manila Hotel from our article, HERE >> 

Explore the Philippines with Google Maps...

The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands with 100 million smiling people. Now, you can explore more of this beautiful country on Google Maps with Google Street View...

Google Street View Goes "Island Hopping", (with boxer Manny Pacquiao's Approval)!

Renowned Filipino boxer, Manny Pacquiao has welcomed the arrival of Google's Street View, suggesting that images of the Philippine capital and the country's main tourist spots could help attract more tourists to the country. With 7,107 islands to be explored, starting the project would have been a huge undertaking.
Recently the Philippines became the 69th country to be included in Street View, with Images captured over six months including panoramic street views of Manila, as well as 39 other cities, including Pacquiao's southern hometown, General Santos City, where he began his career to become one of the world's most popular boxers, plus 30 historic and heritage sites. 
Pacquiao believes the images will bring the "wonders of the Philippines'' to the world.
Read more about Google's Street View in the Philippines HERE >>

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Fancy Trekking in the Philippines? We Offer a Great Selection!

Mt Bulusan Volcano, Philippines
There are so many great places to trek in the Philippines, and we offer holidays that include some of the best, which you can find on our Trekking Page.

Popular guided day treks take place in Donsol, El Nido, Bohol, and also Mt Pinatubo, north of Manila.

For a longer holiday that includes days spent trekking through stunning scenery, we would recommend a tour of the Rice Terraces, in the Cordillera Mountains, with accommodation each night at hotels in either Banaue or Sagada.

For the more adventurous, we now offer guided treks of a longer duration - from 2 to 7 days, and the best of these are in Bicol, South Luzon, where you can tackle not one, but two of the country's volcanos - Mt Bulusan, situated amidst rain forest, and Mt Mayon.

Treks include overnight camping, and as they are quite challenging, they best suited for fit adults only.

Full detailes of the treks in Bicol, including the Bulusan and Mayon Volcanoes, can be found on our website HERE >>

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Christmas in the Philippines Starts Today!

The Philippines celebrates Christmas like no other country in Asia!

It is the only Asian country with a predominantly Christian population, and is considered to have the longest Christmas season in the world.

The celebration, which covers all months ending in "ber", begins in September and lasts until the start of January, although most ceremonies are held in December!

In fact, you can expect to start hearing Christmas carols playing in shops and malls any time now!

Christmas is also a highly popular time for tourists to visit the country, along with the New Year holiday, and many accommodation providers are fully booked weeks before the event. If you're considering a holiday in the Philippines over Christmas, our advice would be, don't leave it too late...

Monday, 24 August 2015

Private Islands, featuring the Philippines and El Nido Resorts

In 2015, we at Philippine Trails were pleased to be asked to organise a trip to the Philippines, for AWE Cable TV's programme, "Private Islands", and for its producer and presenter, Christina Cindrich, plus film crew, to include several destinations, and importantly, luxury islands that we would recommend.

Lucy McFadden, who planned the itinerary, flew out to help with the arrangements, and to be on hand for interviews that would feature in the programme.

The itinerary we devised first took in Bicol, featuring the Mt Mayon Volcano, and the effects it has had on the surrounding community over the centuries, and then the seaside town of Donsol, now world-famous for its whale sharks.

Moving on we took Christina to El Nido, where she was introduced to two luxury island resorts - Lagen Island Resort, and Pangulasian Island Resort. We knew that Christina would be looked after by the staff at these resorts, and they didn't let anybody down. In fact Christina, at the time,  declared she was "In awe of Lagen Island! (Sold after ceviche & wine!)", adding "Pretty perfect here in many ways!" Pangulasian Island impressed her even further.

When the show was aired, and we'd had a chance to watch it, we had to admit the result was quite spectacular, and a great advertisement for Philippines tourism. The camera work was excellent, and Christina's narrative well composed and delivered.

Our Lucy features quite regularly throughout the programme, and we have to say, at Philippine Trails, we're very proud of her! 

Many thanks to Christina Cindrich, her camera man, Anthony DiMaria, Jessica Wong at Donsol Eco-Tours, and all the staff at El Nido Luxury Resorts.

You can see the Luxury Resorts we promote on our website HERE >>

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Cycling Holidays in the Philippines...

Cycling trails around Mt Mayon Volcano
Now you can enjoy cycling holidays in the Philippines! Our cycling tours offer a chance to explore some of the most fascinating and historic areas of the country by mountain-bike.

The 11 day South Luzon Mountain Bike Tour starts with a trek to the Taal Lake and Volcano, before we move on to visit numerous historic sites, old churches, towns and villages on the way to Naga, and then Albay Province in Bicol. Here you can cycle along various trails that meander around the slopes of the imposing Mt Mayon Volcano.

Ilocos Historic Bike & Hike Tour is a journey over 10 Days that takes you through some of the best heritage sites in the Philippines. You'll discover a variety of museums, old buildings, churches and landmarks as you travel through the historic towns of Vigan, Paoay, Burgos, Laoag and Pagudpod.

Explore Baguio and the Rice Terraces with a Cordillera Mountains Biking Tour. Over 9 Days you'll ride through Baguio, "City of Pines", as well as the trails of Baguio and Benguet. Moving on to Sagada you'll see the famous hanging coffins and also the caves where villagers' ancestors are kept in their wooden coffins. Around Sagada you'll ride through scenic Rice Terraces, with views that will have you spellbound.

View the Mountain Bike Tours >>

Monday, 6 July 2015

The Whale Sharks of Oslob, Cebu, Philippines...

The giant, but gentle whale shark
Whale sharks became a protected species in 2003, and in the Philippines, they are bringing much needed income to the community of Oslob, Cebu.

It was only in 2012 that whale sharks first came to the attention of curious tourists. Since then an entire industry has grown up, with nearly 300 staff work at the feeding site, under local government management, which is aimed to safeguard these wonderful creatures who are giants of the sea, and yet quite gentle.

According to the Department of Tourism for this part of the Visayas, over 110,000 tourists were attracted to Oslob last year, purely to see, or swim with the whale sharks. Touching the creatures is forbidden, with the possibility of harsh penalties for those that transgress the rules, and swimmers have to cleanse themselves of sun cream, to keep the waters clean.

Although there are some who are concerned about the whole industry of interaction between whale sharks and humans, there are clear benefits for the community, who accept that controls and regulation is important, and are responsible in their management of the tourist programme.

Read more about the whale sharks of Oslob, Cebu, HERE >>  

At Philippine Trails, we offer whale shark interaction tours at Oslob, and also at Donsol, Bicol - also in the Philippines.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Luxury Cruising in the Philippines...

Caledonian Sky
A fantastic way to explore the beauty of the Philippine islands is to take a cruise.

In 2016, we have two luxury cruises on offer - both in March.

On 14th March, 2016, Caledonian Sky Cruise Ship embarks from Sandakan, (Borneo), Malaysia.

The ship sails through the Philippines visiting Puerto Princesa, El Nido, Tubbataha Reef, Bucas Grande Island, Lajanosa Island, Sogod Bay, Limawasa Island, Bohol, Balicasag, Pamilacan Island, Ticao Island, Donsol, Legazpi, Sibuyan Island, and finishing up in Manila on March 27th. Prices for this cruise start at £10439 GB Pounds per person.

The ship accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in 57 spacious outside suites. Many have walk-in wardrobes and some feature tub baths. There are seven categories of suites and sixteen suites have private balconies.

More details of this cruise, "Journey through the Philippines with Palawan & Tubbataha Reef" can be found HERE >> 

Le Soleal
A second luxury cruise, "Best of the Philippines", starts on 15th March 2016, and departs from Kota Kinabalu, (Borneo), Malaysia. Sailing aboard the luxury Le Soleal Cruise Ship, this is a cruise lasting 11 days.

This magnificent yacht of only 132 staterooms and suites, all with balconies, visits Sandakan (Borneo), Puerto Princesa, El Nido, Coron, Manila, and ends its journey in Hong Kong.

Prices for this luxury cruise start from £2985 GB Pounds per person (+ Safety and port taxes 406 GBP pp)

See the full Itinerary & Prices HERE >>

Discovery Palawan
We're still offering a number of cruise aboard Discovery Palawan, a ship built in Holland, and originally a three-masted schooner that cruised the Caribbean.

She later moved to the Philippines and in 2013, underwent a USD 1.5 million renovation before being given her new name, "Discovery Palawan".

View the Cruises we offer from Discovery Fleet HERE >> 

You can read more about all these cruises on our website, and we look forward to assisting you in booking your next holiday in the Philippines.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Vigan, in the Philippines, Named One of the World's 7 Urban Wonders...

Vigan, Philippines
Vigan, in the Philippines, has been named as one of the world's 7 urban wonders, beating the likes of other finalist cities such as Istanbul, London, and Seoul, for a place in the top 7!

The New7Wonders project was created by Bernard Weber, and more than 100 million people voted within the competition.  The winners reflect the cities that best represent the achievements and aspirations of our global urban civilisation.

You can read more about Vigan on our website, and choose from a selection of recommended tours that include a stay in the city.

There's an interactive graphic showing Vigan, and the other finalist cities, HERE >>

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa, Sabang Beach, Palawan...

We first chanced upon Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa as its construction was being completed, in 2010. It is the only luxury resort on Sabang Beach, and is known for its energy-efficiency projects. Wind turbines cover around 70% of its energy requirements, and it also has a solar plant, and a catch basin for rainwater, plus a water-recycling system.

The resort's own Organic Farm supplies much of the food to its restaurant, which offers an a la carte menu of local and international gourmet cuisine, including tasty seafood, pasta and oven-baked pizzas

The guest rooms at Sheridan Resort and Spa are tastefully furnished in a contemporary Asian style, and its swimming pool is said to be the largest in Palawan.

There are numerous activities and excursions available including an Amphibious ATV Tour of the Countryside, a Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour, ATV Jungle Tour, a Tour of the Organic Farm, and Trekking in the Jungle. Guests can also explore the area by Mountain Bike or Segway.

You can enjoy a stay at Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa as part of one of our Palawan Tours. See more on our page HERE >>

Monday, 27 April 2015

Tour of North Luzon, Philippines, including the Rice Terraces and Ilocos...

The lovely town of Vigan, Ilocos Sur, North Luzon
We've introduced a new Private Tour that takes in many of the splendours of North Luzon, Philippines, including the Rice Terraces, Baguio, Vigan, Laoag, & Ilocos. The journey is over 8 Days, but can be extended.

The trip takes us from Manila to Banaue, and the Rice Terraces. Over the next 4 days we'll take a nature trek through the forests of Batad, marvel at the rice terraces here, and then head off to the Tappiyah Waterfalls.

Visiting Sagada, we'll discover Mt. Polis, the Bayyo Rice Terraces, and Bontoc. We'll see caves and hanging coffins, explore villages and small townships, and maybe even pick oranges, if in season.

On day 5 we head off to Baguio - "City of Pines", where we do a tour of the local area. The following day we head north again, to Ilocos, stopping first in the amazing Spanish-style town of Vigan

A tour of Vigan takes in the Antay Bell Tower, Loom Weavers, Burgos Museum, St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Pagburnayan Pottery, Syquia Mamsion, Hotel Luna, Crisologo Museum, Baluarte, Hidden Garden, and Calle Crisologo.

Moving on to Laoag, Paoay and Batac, on day 7, we see the Laoag Sinking Bell Tower, St William’s Cathedral, Aurora Park, Sta. Monica Church, Museo Diocesano de Laoag, Marcos's Birth Place, Malacanan of the North, Paoay Church, Marcos Mausoleum and Museum, and the coastal Sand Dunes.

On our final day, after Breakfast, we start a Pagudpud day tour. On this tour we visit the Burgos Light House, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, and Bangui Windmills, stopping at Saud Emohrou for Lunch by the Sea. We then carry on to the Kabigan Falls, with an opportunity for swimming, Patapat Viaduct, Paraiso Ni Anton, and finally, Blue Lagoon, which also presents an opportunity for a bathe.

In the evening on this final day, to save time, we take a short flight back to Manila, where our journey ends. (Or you can opt for an extention to visit some other parts of the Philippines.)

See the Full Tour Outline HERE >>

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Wildlife in the Philippines...

The Philippine Tarsier
The Philippines has one of the world's highest biodiversities. Almost half of its bird life, and two-thirds of its mammals and plants are found nowhere else. In all, 1,137 species are found only in the Philippines.

Many of these species are considered "threatened or endangered", including the Tamaraw, a type of wild cattle, the Philippine Tarsier, the Cloud Rat, Golden-Crowned Flying Fox (commonly known as the Fruit Bat), several species of Wild Pig, and the Philippine Spotted Deer.

Other protected creatures include marine life such as Sea Turtles, Dugong, and Whale Sharks.

Underwater, no country has a greater diversity of marine life, and divers are lured from all over the world to this great diving destination.

Whale Sharks are primarily found off Donsol, in Bicol; and Oslob, in the south of Cebu, as well as a few other parts of the country. These gentle giants feed off plankton and krill.

Five types of sea turtle are now found in the Philippines. The leatherback turtle being one of the biggest. Two species of turtle, the Green and Hawksbill, nest on the islands' beaches.

The Philippine Tarsier, shown above, is endemic to the Philippines, and can be found mainly on the islands of Bohol, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao.

The Tarsier is one of the smallest primates, and is nocturnal, living on a diet of insects. Although now protected, the tarsier is still threatened by the destruction of its natural forest habitat, which has caused a big reduction in the Tarsier population.

In the Calamian islands, (Coron), Calauit Island has become a Nature Park, Game Reserve, and Wildlife Sanctuary, and is home to a huge collection of animals that were originally from Kenya, including giraffes, zebras, and gazelles. These animals are now thriving as they share their new home with creatures endemic to the Philippines.

Read more about Philippines Wildlife on our website HERE >>

Friday, 24 April 2015

Our Latest Tour - visiting the Philippines Rice Terraces and Sagada

We  now have a new Rice Terraces and Sagada Private Tour over 5 days.

The itinerary is flexible, and we travel to and from the Rice Terraces during daylight hours in a private air-conditioned car.


On day 1 we head north of Manila to the Rice Terraces, arriving in Banaue late afternoon. Overnight in Hotel

On day 2, after Breakfast we head off to Batad for a trek through the forests of Batad, also walking the famous amphitheatre-like rice terraces. Next it's off to see the Tappiyah Waterfalls.

Most evenings there is a cultural show performed in the Banaue Hotel, where we stay for the night.

On day 3, after Breakfast, we depart for Sagada with stops at Banaue Viewpoint, Mt. Polis, Bayyo rice terraces, and the Bontoc museum.
Having had lunch, we then walk to Echo Valley and the Hanging Coffins, then tour the town. Perhaps pick some Oranges, when in season.
We spend tonight in Sagada.

On day 4, after Breakfast we head off to Sumaguing cave with a quick stop over to view the hanging coffins and the burial cave. We then ead back to Banaue, stopping off at Sagada Weaving, and followed by lunch in Bontoc.

After lunch, we continue back to Banaue, enjoying the amazing views, and the town itself, perhaps stopping to buy souvenirs. We spend our final night in Banaue.

On day 5 we depart from Banaue, and travel back to Manila by Private Air-Conditioned transport. 

See the complete Itinerary HERE >>

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Learn to Sail in the Philippines...

Learn to sail in the Philippine Islands.

If you're looking for a holiday where you can take a course learning to sail in the Philippines, let us know and we'll let you know what options there are available.

Currently the best places to learn are at either Puerto Galera, or Lake Taal, just south of Manila.

Contact us and we can arrange a sailing course as part of your Philippines vacation!

See more about Sailing in the Philippines on our website HERE >>

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Trekking Mt Bulusan Volcano, in Sorsogon, Philippines

Bulusan Volcano is a volcano in the most southerly part of Luzon, in Sorsogon. It is close to one of the Philippines most well known volcanoes, Mt Mayon, famed for it's perfectly symmetrical shape. Both volcanoes are still quite active.

Set in a verdant natural rainforest, where you'll encounter a variety of different plants, birds, and wildlife, Bulusan offers a number of trekking opportunities, over, 5, 4, or 3 days, or you can opt to simply stay overnight.

During a trek of Mt Bulusan, your local guide will forage for edible mushrooms, plants, fruits & berries, which may form ingredients for one of your meals.

You could well be invited to plant a tree, as the local government is re-foresting some areas, which are now protected, being a national park. (In the past there was a lot of illegal logging on Bulusan's slopes). Today, the Bulusan rainforest is fast becoming an attractive and diverse eco-system, well worth exploring.

Read more about the treks we offer on Mt Bulusan Volcano, HERE >>

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Baguio, Philippines - "City of Pines"...

Igorots in native costume by
Baguio Botanical Gardens
North of Manila, the city of Baguio has long been a popular destination for Filipinos looking to escape the heat of the lowland areas. The climate is around 8 degrees lower than Manila, and Baguio has acquired the nickname, "City of Pines".

Visitors travelling with us by road between Manila and Ilocos (Laoag & Vigan), or between Sagada and the Rice Terraces, and Ilocos, are likely to spend a night in Baguio. Other areas easily reached from Baguio include Pangasinan (Hundred islands), and the beaches of La Union.

Baguio has a number of attractions including Baguio Cathedral - a distinctive pink building with twin spires, and one of city's most prominent landmarks; the Botanical Garden - an open parkland with relics and statues depicting Cordillera tribesmen; Session Road - the city's main thoroughfare, lined with markets, hotels, shops and caf├ęs; Camp John Hay - originally a home to the US Army, which also features a world class golf course, (designed by Jack Niclaus); and Mines View Park, which offers spectacular views of the old gold and copper mines of Benguet province.

Read more about Baguio on our website HERE >>

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Motag Living Museum - Keeping Traditional Filipino Crafts & Skills Alive

Pounding pinipig rice at the Motag Living Museum
Motag Living Museum is an enterprise on Panay Island, within easy reach of Boracay. The museum is helping to keep traditional skills alive, and at the same time benefiting the local community, giving them an increased sense of identity, and pride.

Visitors can see, and participate in the traditional methods of planting, and harvesting rice, as well as threshing and drying the produce. The museum grows several types of rice, including some rare varieties.

At the Motag Living Museum you will get to see a number of carabao - the Philippines national animal. This is a domestic water buffalo, and although gentle and docile, it is very powerful. Hence their wide use in cultivating rice fields, pulling timber, or pulling carts. At the end of a hard day, these creatures like nothing more than to wallow in water, or thick mud.

Children will enjoy participating in traditional games, exploring the tree house, playing on swings and finding out how to make toys themselves, using nothing more than simple objects such as coconut leaves!

The Motag Living Museum combines fun with education and an interactive experience that the whole family can enjoy, whilst at the same time helping the local community.

A Great Day Out from Boracay 

Guests of Philippine Trails can enjoy a day out from Boracay, sailing first by authentic Paraw Sail Boat, arriving at the shoreline to be met by caribao and cart, for the ride to the Motag Living Museum. A traditional lunch follows, with maybe a cool swim at nearby Banlock Nabaoy, before the Paraw Sail Boat is again caught for the return to Boracay.

Read more on our Motag Living Museum webpage >>>

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Calauit Island - a Little Piece of Africa, in the Philippines!

Calauit Island, Philippines is a little piece of Africa to be found in the South China Sea!

The island lies in north Palawan, and is part of the Calamian group of islands. In 1977, the Philippines responded to an appeal to save endangered African animals, and the Calauit Island Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary was created.

The Sanctuary is a natural area where the animals are allowed to live with minimal disturbance, in order that they are protected for future generations. 

The park covers an area of 3,700 hectares, and is home to both endemic animals and African wildlife. Eight species of animals were initially introduced to Calauit Island from Kenya - namely gazelles, elands, giraffes, bushbacks, topis zebras, impalas, and waterbucks. The animals live alongside other species that are endemic to the Philippines, and the numbers are thriving as they have adapted to their new habitat. 

Calauit island is also a magnet for birdwatchers, with over 70 species of birds, including some that are quite rare.

Philippine Trails guests, visiting the Calamian islands, can incorporate a visit to the Game Preserve as part of their itinerary.

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Read more about Caluit Island, Philippines on our website HERE >>

Monday, 23 March 2015

Philippines Holidays for the Single Traveller...

A small group exploring the Underground River, Palawan
At Philippine Trails, we arrange a lot of holiday itineraries for solo travellers.

With a widely English-speaking populace, the Philippines is a friendly country, and visitors will find the local inhabitants warm and very welcoming. 

As with all guests, we meet and greet on arrival at the airport, and transport to the hotel. Itineraries are often bespoke, or adjusted to fit in with arrival and departure dates and times.

Around the islands there are always people waiting to meet clients at various destinations. We have a great back-up team of staff and associates, both in Manila, and throughout the Philippines, to ensure holidays go smoothly.

Keeping Costs Down...

Of course, flights and ferry tickets are priced individually, so there is no disadvantage for the single traveller in that regard. For other land transfers, to the Rice Terraces north of Manila, or travelling between Puerto Princesa to El Nido on Palawan, for example, we can incorporate shared air-conditioned buses or mini-vans.

We'll include accommodation that is good value for single travellers as much as possible, if they're on a tight budget.

For local excursions, we select small groups, whether it be trekking, diving, or boating around the islands for example. Some trips, such as on the St Paul's Underground River, in Palawan, are only run with a small group in each boat.

We are happy to recommend a Philippines tour that is suitable to solo travellers, who may be on a budget, but who still wish to enjoy a full experience. Get in touch and tell us what kind of trip you're looking for!

See our Single Travellers Page HERE >>

Saturday, 21 March 2015

El Nido Luxury Resorts, Philippines...

The El Nido group of Luxury Resorts are all situated around Palawan - three, Lagen, Miniloc, and Pangulasian, near to El Nido town itself, and a fourth, Apulit Island, closer to Taytay on the opposite coast.

Guests of all four resorts have the advantage of being able to fly into, and out of, the small El Nido airport, as they have preference, and advance booking, with the airline ITI, is part of the service.

Here's a little about the four resorts

Lagen Island Resort, El Nido, Palawan

Lagen Island Resort is built around a cove, and has fifty rooms of various accommodation types including the popular water cottages which are built on stilts. There are also Beachfront Cottages, giving great views across the water, plus Forest Rooms and Forest Suites built on the edge of the surrounding tropical forest.

Timber and furnishings for the various accommodation types are all much created from material reclaimed from old Filipino houses.

Philippine Trails can look after all your arrangements for a holiday to Lagen Island*

Miniloc Resort, El Nido, Palawan

Accommodation at Miniloc Island Resort consists of fifty rooms, again in a variety of styles, including Water Cottages, and Waterside Cottages, plus other Seaview and Deluxe Seaview Rooms, many of which are built on stilts.

Garden Cottages, and Cliff Cottages nestled in the hillside, and  surrounded by tropical plants, as well as Beachside Rooms complete the styles of accommodation on offer at the resort. Miniloc's cottages and rooms are built with native Filipino materials, and have thatched roofs.

Philippine Trails can look after all your arrangements for a holiday to Miniloc Island*

Pangulasian Island, El Nido, Palawan

Pangulasian Island has a special appeal to the traveler seeking exclusivity and bespoke pampering. Here, pampered guests can take a private sunset cruise, enjoy a romantic dinner by the beach, or simply relax at the spa where a choice of luxurious treatments are on offer.

Pangulasian Island has forty-two deluxe villas, all built in a Filipino architectural style. Eight Canopy Villas sit on stilts above the forest, and thirty Beach, or Pool Villas, are situated by the water.

Philippine Trails can look after all your arrangements for a holiday to Pangulasian Island*

Apulit Island, Taytay, Palawan

Apulit Island Resort has fifty Water Cottages and Deluxe water Cottages, again, constructed in a traditional Filipino style, but with an up-to-date design. The cottages are built on stilts and give wonderful views of Taytay Bay, and its surrounding islands, and limestone cliffs.
Each room is further enhanced with bespoke custom-made furniture.

Philippine Trails can look after all your arrangements for a holiday to Apulit Island*

*Book with Philippine Trails...

Guests wishing to enjoy a holiday or vacation at one of the El Nido Luxury Resorts can book with us at Philippine Trails, knowing that every aspect of their stay in the Philippines will be taken care of, including airport meet-and-greet, luxury accommodation in Manila, if required, plus internal flights and transfers. Contact us if you wish to find out more, or to book!

Read more about the Luxury Resorts we Offer to guests HERE >>

Friday, 20 March 2015

The Famous Philippines Rice Terraces...

Batad Rice Terraces
One of the most popular destinations for tourists in the Philippines is the Rice Terraces, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, north of Manila, in the Cordillera Mountains.

These 2,000 year-old terraces were carved into the mountains of Ifugao by the ancestors of the region's indigenous people - an amazing feat considering how little equipment they would have had, with most of the work done by hand.  Indeed, many Filipinos refer to the terraces as being the "Eighth Wonder of the World". 

The Banaue Rice Terraces are the most well known in the region, but there are four other terraces worth exploring. These are the Batad Rice Terraces, the Mayoyao Rice Terraces of Mayoyao, the Hapao Rice Terraces, and the Kiangan Rice Terraces.

Other Rice Terraces...

Batad. Unlike Banaue, the rice terraces of Batad have stone walls which were created from rocks taken from the river bed - quite a feat in itself. These terraces form an impressive amphitheatre and are well worth seeing. To reach the village of Batad you have to hike down from "the Saddle". Keen trekkers can take a 2 hour hike to see the spectacle that is the Tappiya Falls

Native Ifugao
Bangaan. Bangaan is an alternative to Batad and easier to get to as it is just a fairly short walk from the main road. Like Batad, Bangaan has an amphitheatre shaped slope, though to a lesser degree.

The Mayoyao Rice Terraces are around 3 hours journey by road from Banaue. Its terraces, like those of Batad, have stone walls. 

Hapao is another half-day excursion from Banaue with yet more terraces. Near Hapao there is a hot spring which is a 45 minute hike from the road. This is a spot where many choose to swim.

Bontoc and Sagada...

Bontoc is a relatively busy town and one place well worth visiting is its museum of Ifugao culture. As well as seeing old black-and-white photos, there are items on display including Kalinga headhunter axes, together with baskets that were once used for carrying severed heads! Numerous other fascinating items are also on display, such as decorated nose flutes, traditional headdresses, and woven loincloths, etc.

Sagada is a town worth visiting. It is famous for the impressive Lumiang and Sumaguing limestone caves, although it is probably better known today for its local tradition of "burying" the dead in hanging coffins! Coffins can also be found in the Lumiang caves.

Getting There...
Getting to the Rice Terraces is a long journey of around 9-10 hours by road from Manila. You can travel during daylight hours by car, or opt for public transport, which runs during the night. Air-conditioned buses leave Manila during the course of the evening, and arrive in Banaue early the next morning. These buses can be cool and it is therefore recommended that you take a sweater to keep warm.

Philippine Trails can take you to the Rice Terraces. See more on our page HERE >>

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Are You Thinking of Retiring to the Philippines?

The Philippines is fast becoming a popular destination for many retirees. It has a low cost of living, and Manila is a great base for exploring the rest of the country, or for venturing further afield to the surrounding countries of South East Asia - all within a couple of hours by plane.

The world-renowned Filipino hospitality, diversity of the country's culture, and reasonable standard of living are all reasons that existing retirees have given for choosing the Philippines as their new home.

A largely English-speaking population and tropical climate are further plus points that retirees should consider.

If you're considering retiring to the Philippines, Philippine Trails can help! Maybe try a tour first, or we'll accommodate you in a modern condominium (apartment), in one of the fast developing areas of Manila, where all amenities are to hand, so you can "try before you decide". We can show you properties that are being planned, are under construction, or have been newly built. 

See more about retiring to the Philippines on our specialist page >>

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Planning a Conference in the Philippines...

Conference facilities at Two Seasons Resort
Are you planning a Conference, or Special Event?

Would you like to maybe combine it with a tour or holiday?

Then why not consider the Philippines as the venue!

We will help arrange every aspect of your event planning, with suitable locations on offer all around the country, from the capital of Manila, to other primary destinations such as Cebu and Boracay, and even some "away-from-it-all" tropical island resorts.

Combine the business side of your gathering, with a round of golf, or extend your stay in the country with a luxury coach tour around some of the tourist highlights of north Luzon.

The Philippines is largely English-speaking, and will make an ideal choice for your conference or special event, and Philippine Trails will look after you and your party, every step of the way!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Enjoy a Motorcycling Tour of North Luzon, in the Philippines...

Take a motorcycle tour along some of the best roads in Luzon, travelling through the Cordillera mountains and enjoying spectacular scenery.

Whether you're alone, or travelling with friends, we'll arrange your tour, together with an experienced guide, who'll accompany you on your amazing journey. 

Accommodation along the way is included, and there are a number of different bikes from which to select.

Tours can be adjusted to suit your dates, but the popular pre-planned itineraries are as follows:

North Luzon - 13 Days - More >>

North Luzon - 9 Days - More >>

Mountains of Luzon - 6 Days - More >>

Se a summary of all the tours on offer, plus useful advice, on our dedicated Motorcycling Page HERE >>

Monday, 16 March 2015

Enjoy a Golfing Holiday in the Philippines!

Fairways & Bluewater Golf Course, Boracay, Philippines
There are a number of excellent Golf Courses within easy reach of Manila.

We have arranged packages for numerous Golfers wishing to enjoy the sport, based in accommodation in the capital, so that the activities of the day can be combined with enjoyable nightlife.

Our arrangements include accommodation, chauffeured transport between the hotels and golf courses, tee-off reservations, non-member endorsements, as well as caddies and golf carts.

Outside of Manila, there are some fine golf courses on the island of Cebu, and on Boracay, there is the attractive Fairways and Bluewater Golf Course, where golfers can combine their love of the sport, with the fun of a lively island, boasting fabulous beaches, that many consider to be the jewel in the Philippines' crown!

See more on our our website's Golf page >>

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Help with Planning a Tour of the Philippines...

The pretty town of Vigan, Ilocos, Philippines
It's a comment we often hear...

"There is so much to see and do in the Philippines, we don't know where to start!"

To help make the process of deciding what to include in an itinerary, we've created a page on our website that will help anyone looking to plan a holiday touring the Philippines.

We list the most popular regions, and also the highlights and special characteristics for each area.

We also briefly give additional information on how to get there. Certain regions, such as the Central Visayas, have islands that interlink easily. Many other tourist areas are linked via Manila, the Philippines capital. In that respect, think of Manila as being the hub of a wheel.

If, after reading the information, you are still flummoxed, simply let us know your interests, the time you have available, number in your party, and budget if you have one, and we'll send you our suggestion, built on our knowledge and experience!

Take a look at  our new page HERE >>