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Philippines: Tattoos, Turquoise Seas + Rice Terraces

Journey with us to the Philippines on this special experience where we hope to meet and be tattooed by the legendary Apo Whang Od.

Before our tattoo, we’ll fly south to the most stunning tropical beaches in the Philippines, spending three days soaking up the sun, kayaking to secret lagoons, and snorkeling with the Dugong, a rare species of marine wildlife.

Then, we’ll travel north, exploring remote corners of Northern Luzon, including the Banaue Rice Terraces, the hanging coffins of Sagada, and much more.

Here, we’ll also visit Kalinga, home to Apo Whang Od, a 106-year-old tattoo artist, and the last living Mambabatok. And hopefully, be tattooed by her!

This experience is extremely limited. Snag your spot and join us!


Check dates and availability
Trip Dates Availability Price Payment
April 7-17, 2024 $3999 USD
April 7-17, 2024 (SOLO ROOM) $4999 USD
Reserve this trip with a non-refundable deposit, or pay in full. Make payments at your leisure until 60 days before departure.

Trip Highlights

  • Journey to Kalinga to (hopefully) meet Apo Whang Od
  • Explore remote villages of Northern Luzon (areas most tourists don't see)
  • Explore hidden cave systems in Sagada
  • Snorkel with Dugongs, a rare marine mammal
  • Kayak to hidden lagoons amidst limestone cliffs
Day 1: Arrival to Manila

Welcome to Manila! Today we will meet you upon your arrival at Ninoy Aquino International Airport and transport you to your hotel. Please arrive before 5 p.m. today.

Dinner and overnight at our hotel. We know you’re probably tired from flying, so we’ll keep the itinerary light today.

Meals: D
Hotel: Belmont Hotel

Day 2: Manila to Coron

After breakfast at our hotel, we will check out and transfer to the airport in order to catch our flight to Coron, where some of the world’s best beaches are found!

One of the best places to stay in Coron is our hotel, the El Rio Y Mar resort, a stunning property located on an isolated island accessible only by boat.

We’ll be staying here for the next three days, having fun in the sun while we kayak, snorkel, and enjoy the gorgeous scenery.

Our flight today is at 2:45 pm, arriving at 3:50 p.m. After arrival, we will be transferred to our hotel.

Meals: B, L, D
Hotel: El Rio y Mar

Day 3: Private Coron Island Tour with Lunch

Today we’re getting out on the water! Wait until you see this gorgeousness. Our private tour today includes lunch — if you can peel your eyes away from the limestone cliffs that jut high above cerulean waters long enough to eat it!

Meals: B, L, D
Hotel: El Rio y Mar 

Day 4: Dugong Snorkeling Trip

Today, we’re heading back out on the water for a special experience – snorkeling with Dugongs! Dugongs are large marine mammals commonly referred to as “sea cows.”

These adorable animals are known for their gentle nature and are a rare sight, making a dugong dive tour a unique and exciting experience. Watch as they graze on seagrass beds, interact with each other or other marine life, or simply swim gracefully through the water.

These loveable creatures are a protected species, and snorkeling is done under the guidance of trained professionals to ensure both safety and conservation efforts.

Meals: B, L, D
Hotel: El Rio y Mar

Day 5: Coron to Clark

Morning at your leisure. After lunch, we’re heading to the airport in order to fly to Clark in Northern Luzon.

Our flight departs at 4:30 pm and arrives at 5:40 p.m. After arrival, transfer to your hotel.

Traveling in Northern Luzon is special and very different than the typical beaches you might think of when you think of the Philippines. Here, tourism is still developing, and many people live as they have for many centuries. Tourism is light, which means the level of accommodation varies. We have hand-chosen the best options available, but they may still fall short of our typical 5-star hotel experience.

What we get in exchange, however, is well worth it. Stunning green rice terraces. The hanging coffins of Sagada. Beautiful, culturally rich experiences. And of course, the chance to hopefully be tattooed by Apo Whang Od.

Meals: B, L, D
Hotel: Marriott Hotel Clark 

Day 6: Clark to Banaue

Today we will begin our journey through Northern Luzon. This is not an area most tourists get to visit, which makes it all the more special! We personally feel it’s totally underrated and incredibly cool – which is why we’re bringing you here!

Our journey today will take us to Banaue.

Banaue is a picturesque town located in the province of Ifugao, in the northern region of the Philippines. It is famous for its UNESCO World Heritage rice terraces, which are often referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” These terraces were built by the Ifugao people over 2,000 years ago and are a testament to their skill in engineering and agriculture. The terraces stretch across the mountainside, creating a breathtaking landscape that attracts visitors from all over the world. In addition to the rice terraces, Banaue is also known for its vibrant culture and traditions, including colorful festivals and unique handicrafts. The town is surrounded by lush forests and waterfalls, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Despite its popularity among tourists, Banaue has managed to maintain its authentic charm, with many traditional houses and local eateries lining the streets.

Meals: B, D
Hotel: Banaue Hotel


Day 7: Banaue - Batad Tour - Bontoc

After breakfast, we will continue our drive north, ending tonight in Bontoc. Along the way, we will make lots of interesting stops, including a tour of the Batad rice terraces!

The Batad Rice Terraces, which are located in the town of Banaue, are one of the most impressive and picturesque terraces in the region, with a unique amphitheater-like shape that is a sight to behold. Our tour begins with a scenic trek to the terraces, which can take anywhere from one to three hours, depending on the pace and experience of the group. Along the way, you will pass through small villages and witness the daily life of the locals, who still practice traditional farming techniques. Once at the terraces, we will explore the site and learn about the history and culture of the Ifugao people, who have been cultivating rice in this region for thousands of years.

Meals: B, L, D
Hotel: Archog Hotel

Day 8: Bontoc - Buscalan Tour - Sagada

Today’s the day we make the journey to Kalinga to hopefully get tattoos from Apo Whang Od!

Apo Whang-Od is a legendary tattoo artist from the Kalinga province in the northern region of the Philippines. She is known for her traditional “batok” tattoos, which are inked by hand using a “thorn needle” and natural ink. At 106 years old, she is considered a national treasure and a cultural icon.

Apo Whang-Od’s tattoos are not only a form of art but also a symbol of cultural identity and spiritual protection for the Kalinga people. Her skills have been passed down from generation to generation, and she has trained two apprentices to ensure the preservation of this ancient tradition. Visitors to Kalinga can have the opportunity to meet Apo Whang-Od and receive a tattoo from her, but it is important to respect the customs and traditions of the Kalinga people and to approach the experience with reverence and appreciation for the art and culture.

Also please note – there is no way for us to reserve a time to see Apo, and there is always a chance that she might be unavailable the day we get there, or just plain doesn’t feel like working. She’s 106 – she does what she wants!

She has taught her grandniece Grace the craft, so there will be options for tattoos. But please understand that we cannot guarantee her time. Getting to her small village of Kalinga is a pilgrimage in and of itself!

After our visit to Kalinga, we will make our way to Sagada, where we will spend the night.

Meals: B, D
Hotel: Rock Inn


Day 9: Sagada Tour

Today after breakfast we will begin our tour of Sagada.

A day of exploring Sagada in the Philippines is filled with adventure, nature, and culture. We will begin our day with an early morning hike to the famous Bomod-ok Waterfalls, a beautiful set of cascading waterfalls.

After our hike, we will explore Sumaguing Cave, which is famous for its beautiful rock formations and underground rivers.

As the sun begins to set, we will hike to the Echo Valley, to see the famous hanging coffins, a traditional burial practice of the Igorot people, and one of the only places in the world where you’ll see something like this. It is absolutely fascinating!

The practice of hanging coffins was done as a way of showing respect for the dead and as a way for the Kankana-ey tribe to honor their ancestors. The belief is that by hanging the coffins in the mountains, the deceased are kept closer to the heavens and the spirits, and it allows them to be closer to the natural elements such as the sun, moon, wind, and rain, which are all believed to have their own unique spiritual powers.

The hike also offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. We’ll conclude our day with a warm cup of Sagada’s famous Arabica coffee.

Meals: B, D
Hotel: Rock Inn


Day 10: Sagada - Manila

Today after breakfast, we will begin the drive back to Manila. We will stop for lunch along the way, and aim to arrive to Manila around 5 p.m. Transfer to our hotel.

Meals: B, L, D
Hotel: Belmont Hotel

Day 11: Departures

Today is departure day, and we’re bummed – but we’ve seen and done so many cool things! This is a tour unlike any others and we know you’re leaving with memories and friendships to last a lifetime.

Please depart today before 3 p.m. if possible.

Meals: B

Cost includes:

  • Airport pickup and dropoff
  • Accommodation (shared, in 4 and 5-star hotels)
  • All entrance fees to attractions
  • Guided tours of Banaue and Sagada
  • Boat tour in Coron
  • English speaking guide
  • Private driver
  • All transportation
  • Most meals
  • Snorkeling with Dugongs
  • Internal flights in the Philippines
  • Gratuities

Does not include:

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals and alcohol not listed
  • Tattoo

What to pack:

  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sense of adventure
  • Check out our Packing List for more ideas!

Additional Info:

Lodging Where will we stay?

Accommodation is in rooms in 4 and 5-star properties across the Philippines. Note that the northern part of the tour is very remote and as such, hotel quality goes down.

We’ve handpicked the best options available.

This tour is priced for shared accommodation, meaning you’ll be sharing a room with one other gal.

If you’d prefer your own space, choose the “solo room” option at checkout.

Money How much should I bring?

Mostly everything is included (yay!), but you’ll need to cover your own alcohol, shopping, meals not listed, and gratuities.

Plan on spending about $10/day for lunch.

Most larger places will accept credit cards, but it’s great to have some local currency on hand for the smaller markets.

ATMs are widely available throughout the country. Just remember to let your bank(s) know where/when you’ll be traveling!


Flights Where do I fly into?

You’ll fly into Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) in Manila. Fly in before 5:00 pm on Day 1 and depart before 3:00 pm on Day 11.

Want us to advise on flights? Email us at

Important Docs What documents are required?

– Passport
– Travel Insurance
– No visa necessary if you have a US passport
– eTravel Form
– Proof of COVID-19 vaccination

*Damesly Pro Tip: Use the sherpa website to easily determine which requirements apply to you.

Trip Minimum How many people are needed for the trip to run?

This trip is LIMITED on space. It will run with 4 people but max out at 8.

Trip Payments Do I need to pay in full?

A $500 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of booking, or you can opt to pay for the trip in full. 

Once we receive your deposit, our accounting team will set you up with a personal account so you can pay the balance of your trip at your leisure.

Payments are due in full 60 days prior to departure.

Insurance Do I need travel insurance?

Yes. Damesly requires all guests to have travel insurance, and often the countries we visit do, as well. We highly recommend opting for the “cancel-for-any-reason” insurance option, but note that this typically needs to be acquired within 21 days of initial booking (i.e. when you submit your deposit).

Weather What will the weather be like?

Expect the weather to be hot, yet pleasant (high 80s) with low humidity. April is the tail end of the Philippines’ dry season.


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