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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, Bontoc, Banaue, and Batad, you will immerse yourself in the Ifugao culture and traditions.
You will be staying in hotels in Manila, Vigan, Sagada, Bontoc, Banaue, Batad, and Baler. 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, Bontoc, 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 be picked up and transferred to hotel for check-in. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
We fly out from Manila to Laoag, Ilocos Norte and then drive for two hours to Vigan, Ilocos Sur - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the oldest towns in the Philippines, Vigan is a Spanish-colonial fairy tale of dark-wood mansions, cobblestone streets and clattering kalesa (horse-drawn carriages). Yoga session is in the evening.
After breakfast we head out for the city tour on kalesa or tuktuk (subject to availability) until noon. The rest of the day is free until our yoga session before dinner.
We do our morning practice before breakfast. Afterwards we drive to Sagada, a remote mountain town in under 6 hours.
Lonely Planet describes it as "Sitting among mist-shrouded mountains, tiny Sagada 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."
Rise and shine yoga on the terrace in the morning. A cultural tour after our hearty breakfast is planned to visit the Ganduyan museum, St. Mary's church, Echo Valley, Hanging Coffins and Sagada Weaving. An optional trek to the Bomod-ok Falls and Sumaguing Cave for the thrill seekers is at your expense.
It will be a very early start as we 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 sea of clouds. This is a great opportunity to experience the spirituality of the place as we sit in silence for meditation and a yoga practice. We then come back to the hotel for our breakfast. After lunch we make our way to Banaue, where we will stay for four nights.
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 we will start going down to the village, which takes another one and a half hour. The village is amazing and well-preserved for many years. Another half an hour brings us to Tappiyah Waterfalls, where we could go for a swim. General level of fitness is required. Duration is 8-10 hours. No yoga session planned.
We will have a yoga session in the morning to slowly stretch out our aching muscles and limbs from the trek the day before. After breakfast you have a chance to explore the surrounding area, have a massage or simply sit and relax. The rest of the morning is at your leisure.
We change hotels and transfer to a unique mountain lodge overlooking Banaue’s World Heritage Rice Terraces.
We go on another 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. An optional visit to the Museum of Cordillera Sculpture and Banaue Museum is at your expense. Depending on the duration of the trek, our yoga session is planned before dinner.
After our yoga session and breakfast it is time to say goodbye to the Rice Terraces as we head back to Manila in our private air-conditioned van. Estimated travel is ten hours with breaks in between.
Departure from Manila. Extension is possible at your own expense.
Various styles of yoga styles 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. 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. Please send an inquiry to Samyama Yoga for further details.
This retreat will take place in Manila, Vigan, Sagada, Bontoc, Banaue, Batad, and Baler in the Philippines.
Daily breakfasts are included in the price.