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Not for the weak and faint-hearted, Samyama Yoga offers a unique yoga and trekking adventure to see a UNESCO World Heritage site, the rice terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras. With stunning views and backdrops, the astounding rice terraces will take your breath away and leave you feeling mesmerized by these man-made creations! Traveling through Sagada, Banaue and Batad, you will immerse yourself in the Ifugao culture and traditions.
You will be staying in various accommodations, in a single room in a Manila hotel, and a shared room in Sagada and Banaue hotels. Yoga sessions will take place where there is space.
With stunning views and backdrops, the astounding rice terraces will take your breath away, and leave you feeling mesmerized by these man-made creations! Traveling through Sagada, Banaue, and Batad, you will immerse yourself in the Ifugao culture and traditions. A certain level of fitness is required to walk through Batad, as it is only accessible by foot. Option to stay in Banaue if unable to walk down to Batad is available.
Nearby is Sagada in Mountain Province. Famous for its hanging coffins and limestone caves, this town is a must destination for backpackers. Spelunking, caving and rock climbing are among the many activities to do.
As a side trip, you will visit another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city of Vigan, one of the few Hispanic towns left in the Philippines where its structures remained intact, and is well known for its cobblestone streets and a unique architecture that fuses Philippine and oriental building designs and construction, with colonial European architecture.
Arrival in Manila. You will make your way to the hotel in Ortiga's business district for check-in. You will have your own room so you can relax and have more personal space in preparation for your exciting journey. The rest of the day is at your leisure. A group dinner awaits to welcome you to Manila.
You will have an early start after breakfast as you board the van to make your way to Banaue. Estimated travel is ten hours with breaks in between. No yoga session planed. Check-in to your hotel, a unique mountain lodge overlooking Banaue’s World Heritage Rice Terraces.
Engage in a session of rise and shine yoga before breakfast. Afterwards, you will drive to Banaue Viewpoint for picture taking and souvenir hunting, then go on a breathtaking trek to the Banaue Rice Terraces, the eighth wonder of the world. Like the rest of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, these are still in use today. If the terraces were laid end to end, they would stretch half way around the world. Optional visits to the Museum of Cordillera Sculpture and Banaue Museum are also available.
A visit to the most breathtaking among the rice terraces is Batad, carved along the steep side of a mountain looking more like a giant amphitheatre. The trek is a one and a half hour jeepney ride up to Saddle Point, where you will start going down to the village, which takes another hour and a half. The village is amazing and well-preserved for many years.
Another half an hour brings you to Tappiyah Waterfalls, where you could go for a swim. A general level of fitness is required for today's trek that has a duration of eight to ten hours. No yoga session are planned.
You will have a yoga session in the morning to slowly stretch out your aching muscles and limbs from the trek the day before. After breakfast, you have a chance to explore the surrounding area or simply sit and relax. The rest of the morning is at your leisure.
Afterwards, you will drive under six hours to Sagada, a remote mountain town. Check-in to your coffee-themed hotel, a training and learning coffee house open to all who wish to enjoy great coffee. Your experience will be amplified through your immersion in unique activities that center around how Philippine coffee is grown naturally.
Lonely Planet describes Sagada as "Sitting among mist-shrouded mountains, it is the closest thing the Philippines has to a Southeast Asian backpacker mecca, yet it's possible to find tranquility along its many hiking trails and adrenalin-pumping adventure in the depths of its caves. There's a mystical element to this former refuge of dictatorship-fleeing intelligensia: the centuries-old coffins high up along limestone cliffs, since traditionally the spirits of the dead liked to be close to the sky."
This is a day to sleep in. A cultural tour is planned to visit the Ganduyan museum, St. Mary's Church, Echo Valley, Hanging Coffins, and Sagada Weaving before lunch. There will be a yoga session in the early evening. Optional spelunking adventure in Sumaguing Cave is available after the tour for the thrill seekers.
It will be a very early start as you head to Kiltepan Viewpoint, a spot famed for the amazing view of sunrise in Sagada, as it rises behind the mountains of Cordillera and over the horizon of a sea of clouds. This is a great opportunity to experience the spirituality of the place as you sit in silence for meditation and a yoga practice. You will then come back to the hotel for breakfast. An optional two-hour trek to Bomod-ok Falls is available if you still have energy left. Rest of the day is free.
It is time to say goodbye to the Rice Terraces after an early check-out as you head back to Manila in your private air-conditioned van. Estimated travel is ten hours with breaks in between. Check-in to hotel in Ortiga's business district. You get your own room so you can relax and have more personal space after an action-packed trip. This is the official end of the tour.
Today you will depart from Manila. Extension is possible at your own expense.
Please note that the yoga sessions will take place where there is space, and they are completely optional: You do not have to do any yoga at all if you so wish. Various styles of yoga will be offered throughout, either a flowing Vinyasa sequence to wake up before breakfast, or a Restorative or Yin yoga at sunset to cap the day. There will be guided pranayama and meditation to complement the practice. All levels and abilities are welcome. Please bring your own mats and props.
There will be tours included in the price, however, entrance fees are at your own expense. Please send an inquiry to Samyama Yoga for further details.
This retreat will take place in Manila, Sagada, Banaue, and Batad, in the Philippines.
Food is not included in the price, except for the welcome dinner.