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Sunset surf
Old woman at rice terraces
Emilie Grace
Travel ADventure video
chick in paradise
Erin Colwell
snorkel with whale sharks
Marisa Gill
floating girls in philippines
Jessica Lis
rice terraces of banue philippines
Letizia Haessig
Traveling on Cloud 9
Traveling on Cloud 9

This trip provides all the best that the eastern part of the Philippines has to offer: a paradise island you can enjoy to yourselves, one of Southeast Asia’s best surf breaks and a step back into history hiking through the wondrous ancient emerald rice terraces of Banaue. There is a chance to do a little bit of everything on this 20-day adventure as there is ample time to unpack your bags and live on the beach when you spend a week in Siargao at the world famous Cloud 9 surf break. But there are also portions of the trip where days are filled with activity and crazy travel days as you get a taste of what travelling through the tropical island and mountain oasis of the Philippines is like!

Traveling on Cloud 9

Often given a bad reputation for its enormous size and overcrowded population, Manila is actually much more charming than it is given credit for. The city is separated into many distinct districts and when you downsize sprawling Manila into more manageable and smaller cities then individually some of them aren't so bad. We stay at a very cool, backpacker's spot that showcases some of the best live music and dancing venues that Manila has to offer, and seeing the jovial spirit of Filipinos in full force at karaoke and dance bars is a great way to enjoy your time here. Another district houses a massive modern shopping complex that has a very unique vibe to it and is a convenient place for your all-in-one shopping stop. So your expectations may be low for Manila, but enter the city with an open mind and you may very well enjoy your time here!

Traveling on Cloud 9
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Banaue Rice Terraces

It'll feel like you're traveling back in time, and in many ways you are, when you take the winding road through Northern Philippines and into the dazzling world of the ancient emerald rice terraces of Banaue. Miraculously dug by hand and carved into the hills by the indigenous Ifugao people over 2000 years ago, the Banaue rice terraces cover over 10,000 km of hillside. And life has not changed much since the terraces were built as they are still the main source of food for the region. Hiking through the mountains of Banaue will not only give you incredible views of the stunning rice terraces and the surrounding scenery, but it will also give you a peek into a humbling lifestyle of farming and village life. Experiencing the Banaue rice terraces will give you an opportunity to see a sight often dubbed 'the 8th Wonder of the World' and also to walk through a world where simpler times prevail and just having food to eat and a place to sleep is more than enough reason to smile!

Traveling on Cloud 9

With little development and very few tourists, staying on Catanduanes Island presents an awesome opportunity to hang out with the local Filipino people and experience their famous hospitality. The famous Majestics surf break is right outside our front door on Pururan Beach, our perfect spot on Catanduanes. There isn't much to the island besides the wicked beach, the stellar waves and the people on it, but that is just what we like from a destination! We spend most of our days hitting the beach for some R & R (rum and relaxation) and enjoying the happy-go-lucky atmosphere instilled by the local people, who ensure that each day and night is stress-free and full of fun!

Traveling on Cloud 9
Philippines Paradise Island

Panglao Island is the perfect balance of having a long gorgeous beach, fun nightlife, and all sorts of natural wonders nearby to explore. It offers scuba diving and snorkelling trips that will blow you away. The visibility and sheer number of fish makes it feel like a dreamy underwater world. The dive sites are protected as UNESCO world heritage sites, where sightings of sea turtles are common, and it’s possible to see dolphins as well! Connected to Bohol Island by a bridge you will have the chance to explore some incredible spots. Bohol is home to the famous ‘Chocolate Hills,’ which are 1268 round hills popping out of the landscape for as far as you can see. At the ‘Tarsier Visitor’s Center’ you can see the resident furry, monkey-like animal with huge globe eyes that isn’t found anywhere anywhere else in the world. Or you can stop in to see the world’s largest python in captivity – it weighs more than 200 kg! We'll also venture deeper into Bohol Island to spend time at its massive waterfalls and natural swimming pools. Back in Panglao fresh chicken and seafood BBW are the favourite dinner choices, and the scene gets lively at several nightspots along the beach. With your group, there is never a shortage of fun and excitement, and this is another destination you definitely won’t want to leave.

Traveling on Cloud 9

The quiet fishing village of Donsol in a remote part of The Philippines has become one of the most astounding places to visit in the world because of its amazing residents that grace the waters here for part of each year and give you a chance to swim with the them. Whale sharks, the largest fish in the world and one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet, swarm to the tropical waters near Donsol in incredible numbers each year around March. We time our Philippines trip at this time to coincide with the arrival of the whale sharks to Donsol and getting to see and swim with these friendly giants makes the trip to Donsol more than worthwhile!

Traveling on Cloud 9

Located in the far eastern part of The Philippines, Siargao is an incredible island that truly offers everything we could want from a destination. Its low-key travel community and laid-back population create the perfect vibe to enjoy Siargao's gorgeous scenery, wicked beaches and its stellar surf scene that rivals any in Southeast Asia. There's plenty of reasons why we spend an entire week here on our Philippines trip, but the waves are what make it the hardest to leave. The water is warm, the surf community is friendly and helpful, the views from your board are always ridiculously amazing and the beaches offer a chilled sanctuary to rest between surf sessions. The few beach bars are great places to gather at night with the locals and other travellers and enjoy parties in paradise before you go to bed and wake up to another awesome day in the surf and sun.

Traveling on Cloud 9
Sohoton Lagoon

Travelling by boat to Sohoton Lagoon, which is an island encircling a lagoon, you'll pass by many gorgeous islands and empty beaches including the aptly named Paradise Island, but you'll keep going until you reach a place that is especially amazing: an island of white-sand and palm trees surrounding a calm turquoise-blue lagoon shimmering in the sun. This is Sohoton Lagoon, an island paradise we get to enjoy on our Philippines trip, staying in a single giant house and enjoying incredible barbecue feasts on the beach. When visiting Sohoton Lagoon, you really do get to taste paradise!

Traveling on Cloud 9

Known as The Jewel of the South in the Philippines, Cebu is the country's second largest city and an important transit point for traveling around the southern part of the country. A relaxed and well-stocked city, it is a great place to enjoy the cozy amenities not found in some of the more isolated destinations in the country, such as taking in a new film at the cinema, pumping your guns at the gym, or eating at a nice guilty-pleasure restaurant. This charming port city also boasts some worthwhile historical sites such as the Catholic monuments of Santo Niño de Cebu and Magellan's Cross. Time in Cebu is mainly just time spent passing through, but that's no reason to not enjoy all that the city has to offer!

20 days in Philippines
Traveling on Cloud 9

Traveling on Cloud 9

This trip provides all the best that the eastern part of the Philippines has to offer: a paradise island you can enjoy to yourselves, one of Southeast Asia’s best surf breaks and a step back into history hiking through the wondrous ancient emerald rice terraces of Banaue. There is a chance to do a little bit of everything on this 20-day adventure as there is ample time to unpack your bags and live on the beach when you spend a week in Siargao at the world famous Cloud 9 surf break. But there are also portions of the trip where days are filled with activity and crazy travel days as you get a taste of what travelling through the tropical island and mountain oasis of the Philippines is like!







Traveling on Cloud 9
Traveling on Cloud 9

This trip provides all the best that the eastern part of the Philippines has to offer: a paradise island you can enjoy to yourselves, one of Southeast Asia’s best surf breaks and a step back into history hiking through the wondrous ancient emerald rice terraces of Banaue. There is a chance to do a little bit of everything on this 20-day adventure as there is ample time to unpack your bags and live on the beach when you spend a week in Siargao at the world famous Cloud 9 surf break. But there are also portions of the trip where days are filled with activity and crazy travel days as you get a taste of what travelling through the tropical island and mountain oasis of the Philippines is like!

Click on a stop to explore inside this adventure.

Itinerary for this adventure

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Day 1-2 Manila
Group flights arrives late in the evening, and upon arrival at the guesthouse you will meet your group over drinks. The following day we will do a group tour of the astonishing San Agustin Church (incl). In the evening, we will take a private* A/C bus to Banaue. *all bus & jeepney transfers will be private on this trip. Only ferry rides are public.
Day 2-3 Batad
Arrive off the night bus in Banaue and take jeepney to the rice terraces. Hike to the historic rice terraces of Batad, often dubbed 'the 8th Wonder of the World'. Stay overnight in a small village with one of the best views imaginable. The next day, hike back and take jeepney back to Banaue and board the night bus back to Manila.
Day 4-6 Catanduanes
Arrive from the night bus at the airport and take a flight to Catanduanes Island. From the airport take jeepney to our paradise beach bungalows. Spend the next few days relaxing on the beach, surfing, exploring and interacting with the incredibly friendly locals.
Day 7-10 Panglao
Fly from Catanduanes to Manila and then take a flight to Tagbilaran City. Our van will pick us up to take us to Alonaland Resort in Panglao. We'll spend the next few days hanging around the pool, checking out the restaurants,bars and diveshops on the beach and going to explore the famous Chocolate Hills. * In March we go to Donsol instead of Bohol.
Day 7-10 Donsol*
Take jeepney to the ferry terminal. Take ferry to Tabaco City and take minibus to Donsol. Here you will have a chance to swim with whale sharks, the gentle giants of the sea. On the last day, take minibus to the airport and fly to Cebu. Take minibus to the ferry terminal and board the night ferry bound for Surigao. * We only go to Donsol in March
Day 11-17 Siargao
Change to the ferry bound for Siargao. This island's laid back island combines gorgeous scenery and wicked beaches with a world class surf scene. Just around the corner from our ocean view hotel lies famous surf-breaks like "Cloud 9" and "QuickSilver". On the last day our jeepney transfer will take us to the airport and then we fly to Cebu.
Day 18-20 Cebu
From the airport our minibus will take you to the hotel. Cebu is known as 'The Jewel of the South in the Philippines'. Explore this city and enjoy local street-foods, shopping, and nightlife. On the last day the group will take taxis to fly out of Cebu International Airport.

To live Free and Easy is to live without busy, rigid schedules. Each destination provides some amazing activities, but we make sure that free time is there so you can take part in all of them or none of them, do as much or as little as you want. 'Take time, breathe it all in, no rush!'

More detailed information about what's included, destination information and activities are listed on this page.

Please note: The above itinerary is subject to change. A confirmed Free & Easy trip itinerary with exact routing will be provided at least 30 days prior to trip departure. 

Epic Experiences you will have on this adventure

Surf a Wave

Nothing compares to the feeling you get the first time you paddle into a wave, stand up as it breaks and ride the face of it – this is the incomparable feeling of surfing. When you get it right, you'll know, because you'll be more excited than the first time you had sex and probably more addicted to it, too! Surfing is arguably the most challenging sport in the world and requires you to learn much more than physical coordination. In order to surf a wave, you'll need patience, discipline, a lack of fear and an insatiable urge to have fun. It's no coincidence that 7 of the countries that we run trips to (Indonesia, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Peru, Panama & South Africa) have wicked surf scenes, because there's nothing quite like it.

Go Scuba Diving

Diving is like no other experience on Earth. Life under the water is silent and peaceful, everything is flowing and moving in a way that we land creatures are unaccustomed to. Despite all of our high tech equipment, we are extremely out of our element in the water and it is a humbling experience to watch and observe what life is like under the sea. Fish come in all shapes, sizes and colours and move together in a harmonious unison through beautiful coral and twisted sunlight. On our trips, scuba diving is a huge activity as we travel to countries that offer some of the best diving in the world. The Caribbean in Central America possesses the second largest reef in the world, the warm waters of the South Pacific in Southeast Asia are home to the largest diversity of sea-life in the world and the seas of the Mediterranean are full of rich history and beauty. There is a whole universe under the ocean and experiencing what’s it like to be in it is a must at least once in your life!

Swimming with Whale Sharks

***ONLY AVAILABLE ON OUR MARCH TRIP DATE!*** There’s nothing like swimming next to the largest fish in the animal kingdom to feel how small we truly are. While the word ‘shark’ might conjure up images of Jaws and blood-soaked waters, Whale Sharks are actually filter feeder sharks and the majority of their diet is made up of plankton -- so a clumsy looking human swimming around won't be very appetizing. But swimming with this beast isn't as easy as jumping into the ocean. Although you don't require scuba gear as whale sharks commonly swim around the surface, they can be elusive and many divers/snorkelers never get the chance to see one up close. Whale Sharks can be found in many places around the world but arguably the best place in the world to swim with them is the Philippines. Donsol possesses one of the largest school of whale sharks in the world and it's no coincidence that we time our March Philippines adventure to coincide with the best time to see these beautiful creatures up close. It's an experience our group leaders never get sick of and our group members never cease to be amazed by. So snap on your facemask, pull on those flippers and dive into the big blue for an awe-inspiring adventure with these gentle giants. (Boat & guide included, snorkel/diving gear not included).

Go Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is still a relatively young sport and gaining participants with great momentum. Learn to SUP with easy, progressive and fun SUP lessons in Cape Town on calm water or in the waves at Muizenberg. You will learn how to safely SUP in waves in the shallow beach break in Muizenberg, internationally recognized ideal spot for learning Stand Up Paddle Boarding and Surfing.

Go Snorkelling

Snorkelling is a great alternative for those looking to save a little money on diving costs or those who can’t dive for medical reasons. Floating along the surface of the water at any one of our incredible destinations around the world will give you a peak into a magical underwater world. More confident snorkelers can even dive down to get a closer look at the fauna and flora found in our oceans. From glittering fish, to colourful anemone, and super cool sharks (don’t worry, the non-carnivorous ones), snorkelling is a wonderful experience for the non-diver. So snap on a mask and grab your flippers (and DON’T inhale while diving) and you’ll be all set for a little adventure under the sea.

Catch a Fish and Eat It, Too

We get so many people who come on our trips that say they don't like seafood and won't eat it - usually, they're not from a coastal town. So when we serve up a fresh barracuda or tuna or some other tasty fish that the fisherman caught that morning and we convince them to give it a try, the first thing they say (with a satisfied smile) is that this doesn't taste like the seafood they've tried. There's just no getting around it, fish is meant to be eaten fresh! And the only thing tastier than a fresh fish is one that you caught, too! Catching the fish that you eat used to be a part of life and still is in many parts of the world, however, more and more people are buying from the commercial fishing industry which is unsustainable and is destroying the ocean's eco-system. We offer the option to go fishing on nearly all of our trips with friendly, local fisherman that show you their tricks - it's an experience that not only teaches you the importance of fishing but is also a hell of a good time: on a boat, with friends, with beer, in the sun, drifting down a tropical coastline… 'nuff said!

Practice Yoga on the Beach

Practicing yoga on the beach in warm, tropical weather provides you with the perfect environment to learn how to find a calm within yourself and feel your mind truly relax. Listening to the sounds of the jungle and the crashing of the waves on shore only adds to the bliss of this experience. You can experience practicing yoga in a beautiful and isolated setting under the expert guidance of yoga instructors on several of our our trips. So take an hour or so out of your day to stretch, breathe and enjoy one of the best yoga sessions of your life in paradise!

Bathe Under a Waterfall

When leaving home and hitting the road with your backpack, one thought you may have in mind is that you're not going to have another good shower for awhile. In most parts of the world water pressure is lower, there is often no hot water and you just can't seem to scrub off that distinct backpacker odour. However, there is one place where hundreds of gallons of refreshing fresh water can pour all over you in a surreal bathing experience and that spot is found at the bottom of a waterfall. When hiking around jungles, one of our favourite things to search out is a good tropical waterfall where you can swim, relax, and get right under it and let the huge torrent of water pour all over you and wash you clean! But the best part is often the simple sight of the waterfall itself, because for whatever reason there are few things in the world we find more captivating to watch than water dropping from great heights. Maybe it's because nothing falls with the grace of water, but either way it's an amazing feeling to come upon a gorgeous waterfall in the jungle and head straight into its downpour for the best shower of your life!

Have a Tropical Island All to Yourself

This experience is one we all dream about, but think is only possible for the rich and famous, however, we are able to do this on our Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand trips! And it's true that having an entire island to yourself seems a bit lavish, but it's a luxurious and relaxing experience that also leads to a whole lot of fun! It's like when you were younger and you first got to experience what having a house to yourself was like, but this time there’s no neighbours or even cops. We like to head to the island with our groups for a night or sometimes several stocked with frisbees, food, snorkel gear, coolers of beer, guitars, bottles of rum, fishing gear and our hammocks - everything we could possibly need. And then we just literally do whatever we want!

Hike the Rice Terraces of Banaue

There's no denying that the Banaue rice terraces in the Philippines are one of the most amazing sights on the planet. Etched out of the hillside over 2000 years ago, the seemingly endless number of terraces stretch through valleys and around hills and are all connected by thousands of stone staircases that the local farmers hike up and down each day. On our experience of the rice terraces, we ride out of town on the top of local Jeepnies until we reach the first breathtaking view and begin to walk. As you make your way across the terraces, you feel like you're stepping back in time as the rice is still farmed the same way it has been for thousands of years. The lifestyle of the farmers reflects the peacefulness of the setting as after our first day of trekking, we spend a night in a secluded guesthouse with a view so captivating that you'll spend your entire morning just admiring the place you've found yourself in. The second day of hiking requires a climb and the hundreds of steps may feel more like a fitness test than part of a vacation but upon reaching the top, you'll be completely invigorated by an amazing waterfall that'll cap off an incredible experience that showcases some of the great beauty that the Philippines has to offer.

Beach Cleanup

Our Trash Hero beach cleanups are a great way to do good, feel good, and get some beach all at the same time. With thousands of tons of trash swirling around the oceans, the unfortunate reality is that some of it washes up onto the beautiful beaches we fall in love with around the world. So we thought ‘Let’s do something about this!’ Our partnership with Trash Hero began in Koh Lipe, Thailand, where they regularly organized beach cleanup days. Today, Trash Hero has gone viral and can be found operating in Thailand and Indonesia, and is spreading into dozens more countries at a rapid pace. On our end, beach cleanup day quickly became one of the most fun and rewarding days on our Thailand trip. So we decided to spread the love, and have instituted a beach cleanup day into our regular itineraries across the world. Through our sponsorship and partnership with Trash Hero, our travellers and others like them have since collected tens of thousands of kilograms of trash from the beaches we travel to…and really, there’s nothing more epic than saving the world!

Accommodations and Transportation

What's included in this adventure


  • Accommodation for the duration of your Free & Easy experience


  • All group travel between destinations
  • If you are doing multiple trips, all travel between trips is included
  • Return international flights and airport transfers*** (No surprise extra flight surcharges)

***Land Package prices do not include your international flight, airport taxes or transfers


  • 2 knowledgeable and fun Free & Easy leaders
  • 15 years of trip leading experience
  • No commissions or gratuities required or accepted... ever!
  • Preparations guidebook
  • Trip Experience guidebook

Meals: Philippines (Cloud 9)

  • One Filipino style group dinner
  • Lunch at a national park after trek through the Batad Rice Terraces
  • All meals included on boat trip to Naked Island/Sohoton Island (1 breakfast, 2 lunch, 1 dinner)

Activities: Philippines (Cloud 9)

  • 3 beach destinations & 2 surf destinations (Siargo and Catanduanes) Tons of surf breaks!
  • Two day trek through the Batad Rice Terraces (Waterfall hike, guides incl.)
  • Transportation to Waterfall and Viewpoint hike in Cantanduanes
  • Boat trip to see Whalesharks in Donsol (only March trip)
  • Boat trip to Naked Island (Incl. overnight stay at Sohoton, caving, swim with jellyfish*)


Optional Activities: Philippines (Cloud 9)

  • Fishing
  • Yoga
  • Surfing lessons
  • Wake Boarding
  • Paddle Boarding

Not Included

  • All meals and drinks (except those mentioned above)
  • Activities outside of the ones listed above
  • Any Visa or Visa fees

Find out how much spending money you will need here.

Make this adventure Epic

15-50 Days 51-79 Days 80-100 Days 100+ Days


$1960 Flight options available*

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