Philippines

Journey with us to the Philippines where we hope to meet and be tattooed by the legendary Apo Whang Od - the oldest female tattoo artist in the world!

First, 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.

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! 

Price from

$3,999.00

April 07-17, 2024

Per person based on double occupancy. Solo Rooms available.

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Picture Yourself

  • Journeying to Kalinga to (hopefully) meet Apo Whang Od, the oldest female tattoo artist in the world
  • Exploring remote villages of Northern Luzon (areas most tourists don't see)
  • Exploring hidden cave systems in Sagada
  • Snorkeling with Dugongs, a rare marine mammal
  • Kayaking to hidden lagoons amidst limestone cliffs in Palawan


Day by Day

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11

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 El Nido

After breakfast at our hotel, we will check out and transfer to the airport in order to catch our flight to Palawan, and then drive to El Nido, where some of the world's best beaches are found!

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 2:40 pm, arriving at 4:10 p.m. After arrival, we will be transferred to our hotel.

Meals: B, L, D

Hotel: Seda Lio Hotel

Day 3: Private Island-Hopping Tour

Today we're getting out on the water! Wait until you see this gorgeousness. Our private island 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!

We'll spend the day hopping between the Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Zimizu Island, + Seven Commandos. Discover beautiful lagoons, beaches, and snorkeling spots where you can swim and admire the corals, colorful fauna, and hundreds of fish species.

After a day in the sun, we'll head back to the hotel to rest up before exploring more of the islands tomorrow!

Meals: B, L, D

Hotel: Seda Lio Hotel

Day 4: Private Island-Hopping Tour

Today after breakfast, we'll have another sun-filled island-hopping experience to visit Talisay Beach, Hidden Beach, Taplutan Island, Helicopter Island, + Secret Beach.

You'll have chances to swim, kayak, snorkel - all the things! - and we'll enjoy another gorgeous picnic lunch along the way.

Meals: B, L, D

Hotel: Seda Lio Hotel

Day 5: El Nido to Manila

This morning after breakfast we're heading to the airport in order to fly back to Manila.

We'll take a day tour of the city with a stop at a local restaurant for lunch.

Then, in the early evening, we'll head back to the hotel to rest up for our journey into Northern Luzon tomorrow.

Northern Luzon is a more mountainous region of the Philippines, but still incredibly stunning and well worth the visit. We'll check out the stunning rice terraces of Banaue as well as the hanging coffins of Sagada. Plus, we'll make the trek to visit Kalinga for our chance to be tattooed by legendary artist, Apo Whang-Od!

In Northern Luzon, 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.

Meals: B, L, D

Hotel: Belmont Hotel

Day 6: Manila to Cauayan 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. We'll check out of our hotel in Manila, catch a flight to Cauayan, and then drive by van 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: Hiwang Native House Inn

Day 7: Banaue - Batad Tour - Bontoc

After breakfast at the hotel, we'll head out to enjoy a day in Banaue and visit the Batad Rice Terraces.

We'll stop at a local market for some fresh fruit, and visit a Bangaan village to see traditional Banaue houses, clothes, rice handling, and more.

Afterwards we'll head to a local restaurant for lunch and then check out the beautiful 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: Hiwang Native House Inn

Day 8: Banaue to Bontoc to Sagada

Today is filled with adventure, nature, and culture!

We'll check out of our hotel in Banaue and head to Bontoc, where we'll have a quick visit of the Bontoc Museum before traveling to Sagada (1 hr).

We'll have lunch at a local cafe and then check into the hotel to rest.

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, L, D

Hotel: Masferre Country Inn

 

Day 9: Sagada - Buscalan Tour - Cauayan City

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!

To begin, we'll leave our hotel super early and drive to Buscalan, then hike for 2 hours until we reach the village. It might be a bit of a wait for our tattoos, but this experience will be so worth it!

Afterwards, we'll have a packed lunch before hiking down to meet our van and driving to Cauayan City (4 hrs) where we'll spend the night.

Meals: B, L, D

Hotel: Maximillian Hotel

Day 10: Cauayan - Manila

Today after breakfast, we'll head to the airport for our flight back to Manila. We'll transfer to the hotel and have the rest of the day to unwind.

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 other, and we know you're leaving with memories and friendships to last a lifetime.

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

Meals: B



  • Trip Length

    11 days / 10 nights

  • Activity Level

    High

  • Perfect For

    Adventure Seekers + Tattoo Lovers

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Philippines

Philippines

Regular price $3,999.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $3,999.00 USD
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Spaces on tours are sold per person. Deposits are non-refundable. Ensure your payment option is as desired before checkout. If paying deposit only, remaining payments can be made via client portal until 60 days before departure. See our cancellation policy for details.

Love this tour but can’t make the dates? Click here to make this tour private.

Includes

  • Airport pickup and dropoff
  • Accommodation (shared)
  • All entrance fees to attractions
  • Guided tours of Banaue and Sagada
  • Boat tours in El Nido
  • English speaking guide
  • Private driver
  • All transportation
  • Most meals
  • Internal flights in the Philippines
  • Gratuity for Damesly leader

Excludes

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals and alcohol not listed
  • Tattoo
  • Gratuities for local guide

Meet Your Trip Leader

Kelly Lewis

Kelly Lewis is a women's travel industry maven, author, speaker, business coach and the founder and CEO of Damesly. Raised in Hawaii, she's been to all 7 continents and over 85 countries. She is also the author of the best-selling title "Tell Her She Can't."

Read More

Additional Information

Flights: 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 info@damesly.com

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

Packing: Sun protection (hat/sunscreen/sunglasses), comfortable walking shoes, and loose, comfortable clothing are a must for this trip.

For entry into the Philippines, you'll need:

  • Passport (valid for 6+ months)
  • Proof of return or onward ticket
  • Immigration and health eTravel Form
  • Travel Insurance*

*Note: We require proof of travel insurance for all international departures.

Will you match me? Of course! If you choose a space in a shared room but you're traveling solo, we will do our best to pair you with a roommate. Roommates are matched based on arrival time and perceived compatibility. Sharing a room is a great way to save costs, and make a new friend! However, we ask you to approach the situation with an open mind, some grace, and maybe a little humor.

While 99% our travelers are amazing, we can't guarantee that you'll hit it off with your roommate, or that your sleeping styles will be compatible.

Is sharing right for you? If you are a light sleeper, get easily irritated or just know that you need your own space, sharing a room might not be for you. Likewise, if you know that you snore, sleep with a CPAP machine or have other health conditions, sharing a room might not be the best fit.

What if I don't get along with my roommate? If you've tried but you absolutely can't get along with your roommate and need to separate, your trip leader will either swap things around, or, attempt to get you your own room. If the latter, additional charges will incur.

What if I book a double room, and you can't match me? We book a certain amount of hotel rooms before any tour, and are bound by their rules. In the event that we cannot find a roommate for you before the tour, and your room converts to a single room, there may be additional charges.

Small group trips require at least 4 people to run. We will confirm as soon as possible when the trip has met its minimum; up to 60 days before departure. For this reason, we recommend waiting until after a trip has been confirmed to purchase airfare. Any tour can be converted to a private departure when a trip does not meet its minimum. Additional costs may incur. Alternatively, apply your credit to any small-group tour departing within 12 months. 

Still have questions? See our FAQ or Contact Us.



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