Philippine Vacation Packages Offer Adventure, Variety, Culture

Media Contacts
Josh Kahn/Kelly Graham, KTCpr
Tel: (516) 594-4100


CHICAGO, IL (Jan.5, 2008) –Visitors to the Philippines will find a destination that has all the ingredients of a perfect vacation, especially for the outdoor enthusiast.  The Philippines provides vacationers with a diverse variety of island locations, history, culture and experiences that are both exhilarating and affordable.

Ride a zip line through tropical rainforest, explore exotic and ancient caves, visit historic villages, see hanging coffins in mountains that were once ancient burial grounds, witness rare birds in the mangroves, swim or kayak alongside whale sharks and relax in ancient hot spring pools.

All of these experiences and more are part and parcel of packages that are offered for vacationers looking to fully enjoy the Philippines.  The following are a sampling of available packages.

Ecotourism and Cultural Adventure Program in North Luzon (6 days/5 nights)
This exciting trip back in time originates in Manila with a morning drive to Baguio City to visit the local market, parks, gardens and museums.  The next day a morning departure takes guests through the scenic mountain ranges to Sagada where they visit farms, old villages and ancient burial caves.  Lunch is at Mt. Data. Overnight accommodations are at a simple country guest house.

Visitors in Sagada will also see the local weaving center and walk up to Echo Valley for a view of its unique burial site with coffins suspended in the limestone rock formations throughout the hills.

An early morning trek to the mouth of the Sumaging cave, one of the most interesting cave systems in northern Luzon shows off beautiful formations of stalactites leading to an interior waterfall.

In Bantoc, guests visit the town museum for a historical look at early life of the mountain tribes, followed by lunch at a local restaurant before crossing the Bontoc Bridge to pass through the deep forested mountainside.

The next day, guests take an afternoon jeepney ride to Saddie Point for a trek to Batad where they stay in a mountain lodge in full view of the Batad Rice Terraces.  The following day they trek to Tappia Falls for a swim and tour of the village.

Extreme Sports Adventure and Whale shark Encounter on the Bicol X-press (5 days/4 nights)
This breathtaking tour begins upon arrival in Naga City in the afternoon followed by nighttime wakeboarding in Cam Sur.  The following day guests depart for Donsol for whale shark and birdwatching as well as boating and a firefly tour.

Donsol, on the southern tip of Luzon, is the whale shark capital of the world.  From February to May, visitors can swim alongside these gentle, polka-dotted giants that can be more than 40 feet in length.

Day three is on to BacMan Eco Park for a mountain bike ride up the complex of PNOC-EDC to the viewdeck of the Pipeline of the Geothermal Plant System where visitors can see a bat sanctuary, Botong Twin Falls and Boiling Lake before going back down to Sitio Inang Maharang to meet with the residents and enjoy the local culture.

The next day guests go to Bulusan Natural Park, take a refreshing swim at the natural spring resorts with an option of either hot and cold spring pools (or both) surrounded by pili trees.  Visitors picnic in the park and then drive to Prieto Diaz to the Mangrove Forest Reserve and a late afternoon tour of the mangroves in a paddle boat called “sibid” used for birdwatching.

Whitewater Rafting and Rappelling in Cagayan De Oro and Camiguin (4 days/3 nights)
Cagayan de Oro lies along the coastal line in the northeastern part of Mindanao, the gateway to the rich culture of the Maranaws in Lanao.  There are endless rows of pineapple plantations, mammoth caves for exploring, museums and world class golf and beach resorts.

There’s whitewater rafting, zip line experiences, canopy walks in the forest and rappelling from the mountainside in Camiguin to enjoy on this tour.  The rough-and-tumble Cagayan de Oro river has been compared to the Colorado River, providing a pure adrenalin rush of whitewater rafting.

Guests depart from Manila for Cagayan de Oro and visit the Gardens of Malasag along the way.  Around the resort area there are typical houses of the various tribes from the region that are maintained by the indigenous locals.  Tribal practices and crafts are presented to the guests.

Visitors proceed to Macahambus Adventure Park for rappelling, zip line trips and a canopy walk. The next day guests are off for whitewater rafting before boarding a ferry to Camiguin.

In Camiguin, often referred to as the Philippine Garden of Eden, visitors get a roping lesson before hiking to the top of the fist pool of Katibawasan Falls (approximately one hour).  Once there, they begin rappelling, jumping and sliding down a variety of canyons and small waterfalls for a stimulating and exciting excursion.

A barbecue is prepared and waiting for the rappellers at the base of the mountain.  After lunch, a boat takes guests to White Island for scenic views of Camiguin Island.

Every Island an Adventure a Cultural Ecotourism/Safari to Calamian Islands, North Palawan (5 days/4 nights)
The Calamian Island Group has emerged from centuries of isolation to become a mecca for diving enthusiasts attracted by the wide variety of marine life, particularly around the wrecks of sunken World War II ships.

Busuanga, the largest island in the group is the main center of activity.  Offshore Coron Island is identified by the clear blue waters surrounding the shores with its rugged limestone cliffs and secluded inland lakes.

Calauit Island was the site of a fascinating experiment in which non-carnivorous species from Africa such as giraffes, zebras and gazelles were introduced to live harmoniously with endemic animals.  The experiment succeeded and today there are more than 500 stocks of the original animals brought over.

Each of the islands in Gutob Bay, known collectively as Calamian Islands, has its own unique character in terms of topography and vegetation.  And there is no greater way to experience nature than kayaking along the shoreline at your own pace.

On the first day of this tour, visitors will go to Coron Island for a trek to Kayangon Lake, mangrove kayaking and snorkeling.  The day ends with a dip in the Maquinli Hot Springs.

The next day the group drives to Salvacion and proceeds to Busuanga River for a relaxing boat ride ending with a visit to the local community watching oyster harvesting, mat weaving, crab tying and enjoying the local cuisine.

Day three the guests transfer to Buluang followed by a short boat ride to Calauit Island for a safari tour.  The next day guest take a boat ride to Culion Island for a walking tour and visit to the museum.

Paddle and Surf Water sports Adventure in Pangasinan, La Union, Pagudpud (5 days/4 nights)
The province of La Union has 110 kilometers of coast line surrounded on the north by Ilocos Sur, on the east by Benguet, on the south by Pangasinan and on the west by the South China Sea.  These pristine waters of the strategically located coastal municipalities make the province a major fishing ground and one of the top destinations in the Philippines.

Laoag is a city of colorful historical past with baroque and well-preserved 19th century colonial houses and churches to attest to what was once a thriving Spanish settlement during the colonial era.  There are scores of churches to see along with the local hand weavers and pottery shops as well as luxury beachfront resorts.

This tour takes visitors kayaking in the Hundred Islands, surfing in La Union and Pagudpud and trekking and river trailing along the Heritage Trail.

On the first day guests trek to Camp Camantile passing through white sand coves.  There is a kayaking clinic which takes visitors by kayak to the mangrove area.  Guests can also go spelunking at Century Island and island hopping via motorized banca to Governor’s Island and then Coral Island for snorkeling.

The next day it’s on to surfing at San Juan, La Union where some of the best surfing in the Philippines can be experienced.  It is the gateway to many uncrowded points and beachbreaks that are still rarely surfed.

This is followed by a day in Vigan for a walking tour of the Heritage Village and a calesa ride.  In Pagudpud the following day, guests take a hike to Anunig Falls and go river trailing and surfing.  The fifth day guests visit Cape Bajeador Lighthouse and tour Laoag.

Birdwatching in Cebu/Sumilon/Negros Oriental/Bohol (10 days/9 nights)
A local guide takes visitors on an educational and eye-opening birdwatching tour beginning with arrival in Cebu, a birder’s dream location where viewers can see the challenging habitat of the Cebu flower pecker endemic to the region.  The quest for this unique spectacle begins in Tabanon, 30 kilometers from Cebu City where a 270-degree view of the valley includes famous Mt. Manunggal.

The next day there is a transfer by boat to Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary, the 920 hectare protected wetland where tens of thousands of migratory birds flock to bask in the sun or the shade of the mangroves including red shanks, egrets and sandpipers.  These birds can be readily seen migrating the East Asian Migratory Flyway twice each year from February to April and then from September to November.

Swimming, snorkeling and kayaking are activities that guests can enjoy over the next two days as a drive to Alcoy takes visitors to Sumilon Island for birdwatching on the edge of the lagoon. This was the first marine protected area in the Philippines in 1974 and divers can see a wide variety of marine life.

Day 5 is on to the Twin Lakes Protected Area for fishing kayaking, trekking and, of course, birdwatching with a focus on Osprey and Bhraminy Kite as they dive for fish.  Visits to Dumaguete and Tagbilaran follow with more birdwatching experiences on Days 6 and 7.

Day 8 is on to Bohol and the Rajah Sikatuna National Park, an inland forest where a number of trails have been created to view the Philippine Eagle-Owl and Steere’s Pitta.  Aside from birds, Rajah Sikatuna also has a butterfly sanctuary and great views of the famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol, miles of uniformly-shaped hills which resemble oversized Hershey’s Kisses during dry months.

For more information on these tours and anything else about vacationing in the Philippines, visitwww.experiencephilippines.ph or contact the Philippine Department of Tourism in Chicago at 312-782-2475.

Philippine Department of Tourism

The Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) is one of the Executive Departments of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines responsible for the promotion of travel to the Philippines, tourism investments, and enhancement and preservation of tourism products in the country.  Field offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco provide the following services free of charge on a selective basis: dissemination of tourism information, maps, brochures and posters; lending out of videos, CDs and other tourism-related materials; recommendations on places to visit; endorsement of relevant entities; and assistance to those traveling to the Philippines.  These offices also engage in a number of promotional activities: presentations to travel organizations, travel trade shows, media inserts and joint marketing arrangements.

The Philippine Department of Tourism is headquartered in Manila, Philippines, with offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  For more information, contact the Philippine Department of Tourism in Chicago at 312-782-2475 or visitwww.experiencephilippines.ph.

Kahn Travel Communications (KTC) is the appointed publicist for the Philippine Department of Tourism, covering North America.  Media may contact KTC at (516) 594-4100, or via e-mail at j.kahn@ktcpr.com.