Manila Old and New – Intramuros, Fort Santiago and Makati City
INTRODUCING CITY OF MANILA
The vast urban sprawl known as Metro Manila is composed of 16 cities, but its heart and soul remains the City of Manila proper (‘downtown’ Manila; population 1.7 million). It was here that the city was founded on the banks of the Pasig River; it was here where the Spanish solidified their claim to the Philippines after overthrowing the Muslim rulers of Maynilad; and it was here where the city suffered its darkest hours in the dying days of WWII.
The traditional tourist belt encompasses the area immediately south of the Pasig River – specifically Intramuros, where the main tourist attractions are concentrated; and Ermita and Malate, where most tourists still stay. Immediately to the north of the Pasig are the districts of Binondo and Quiapo, gateway to Chinatown. Other districts are Paco, San Miguel, Santa Cruz, San Nicolas and slum-ridden Tondo, near the ferry docks.
Until recently most tourists had little reason to leave the downtown area, but Metro Manila’s best restaurants and bars have gradually been migrating east to more upscale Makati over the last decade, and the visiting masses are starting to follow.
What To Expect?
See the new and old sides of Manila. From the financial capital Makati, through “Millionaire’s Row,” travel via scenic Roxas Boulevard to old Manila. Pass by the historic Rizal Park on the way to the Walled City of Intramuros and see the UNESCO World Heritage listed San Agustin Church and Spanish fortress Fort Santiago.
- Manila Tour
- See the new and old sides of Metro Manila and immerse yourself in the city's colorful past and bustling present. In the central business district of Makati, the heart of the country's financial center, our first stop is the Nielsen's Tower along Ayala Avenue. Formerly an airport, it now houses the Filipinas Heritage Library. We then drive through Forbes Park, an exclusive residential neighborhood fittingly dubbed "Millionaire's Row," on the way to the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in Fort Bonifacio. This is reputed to be the largest and most beautiful of American memorials outside the Continental United States. Travel via the scenic Roxas Boulevard (formerly Dewey Boulevard, in honor of American Admiral George Dewey) to the old city of Manila. We pass through Rizal Park (or Luneta), execution site of Dr. Jose Rizal, the country's national hero. The Rizal Monument, located in the park, is one of the most famous sculptural landmarks in the Philippines. Last stop of the day is the historic "Walled City" of Intramuros, rich with church ruins, ancient walls and other relics of the Spanish Conquistadors. We will walk the cobbled streets to San Agustin Church, the oldest stone church in the country and part of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Baroque Churches of the Philippines. We will wrap up with a visit to the Spanish fortress Fort Santiago where Dr. Jose Rizal spent his last days and wrote the famous "Mi Último Adiós" or "My Last Farewell."
- Hotel pickup
- Air-conditioned transport
- Services of an English-speaking tour guide
- Entrance fees
- Meals and drinks (unless specified)
- Tips and gratuities
- Personal expenses
- Optional activity costs
– Children below 2 years old are free of charge.
– Children must be accompanied by at least one adult.
– Hotel pick-up may be up to an hour before departure time.
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