Type of tour:Guided
Duration:10 Nights
Distance:26 Miles/day average
Dates: Nov 9, Dec 7, 2014. Jan 4, Feb 1, Mar 1, Nov 8, Dec 6, 2015 (minimum 2 participants)
Tour price:US$3400
Start city:Manila, Philippines
End city:Manila, Philippines
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Natural Beauty of the Philippines
Mountain Biking in the Philippines

Tour Description: Guided

The Philippines is an overlooked treasure of Southeast Asia, but that's due to its remoteness, not for lack of natural gems that range from coral-fringed islands, palm lined white-sand beaches to hot springs and majestic volcanoes.

Consisting of more than 7,000 islands between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, it would take you years to visit all that the Philippines has to offer, but for some highlights we take you mountain biking on trails that run up and down the base of volcanoes on the main island of Luzon.

We start in Manila, head down to Carmines Sur and then to Bicol where we end by swimming with the whale sharks off Donsol. Named after Crown Prince Philip II of Spain, the Philippines is considered Asia's largest Catholic country. But even before the Spanish arrived the Filipinos were a mixture of foreign influences and continue to be a fusion of cultures that has led to the uniqueness of the Filipino identity. The Filipinos themselves are exuberant, fun loving and easygoing people and the fact that most speak English makes it easy to communicate.

To avoid the jeepneys, tricycles and the pedicabs that haphazardly ply the roads of the Philippines we'll be staying off road and riding trails that are popular with locals. We'll start with the Santa Rosa trail that will take us to the Tagaytay Highlands. The next day we'll have a fun descent to Taal Lake and a ride around the island. Then it's off to some more technical trails around San Pablo, with the advantage of soaking in hot springs at the end of the ride. Next we head to the historical town of Lucban and for a scenic ride.

In Carmines Sur we'll hit two very popular trails that will test your off road skills before heading to the trails along the base of Mt. Mayon. A highlight of the tour will be the chance to snorkel with the whale sharks. These gentle giants are a slow-moving filter feeding shark and can grow up to 18 m long. Why they gather near the shores of Donsol is still unknown, but it is a rare opportunity to observe these huge blue-grey, silver spotted creatures up close.

We limit the packing/unpacking you need to do by staying two nights at most of our overnights, which range from an eco lodge, to a hot spring resort, to bungalows at a water park resort.

The minimum age for this tour is 18.

A note about weather: Climate in the Philippines is hot, humid, and tropical. The average yearly temperature ranges from 25°C/ 78°F to 32°C/90°F. Filipinos generally recognize three seasons: Summer from March to May (the hottest); Rainy Season from July to November (the wettest and also typhoon season) and Cold Season from December to February (moderate for those from temperate countries).

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