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"The Eighth Wonder of the World" the spiny Cordilleras Central mountains lure those who like to get active in the fresh air, with wonderful hiking, biking and caving locations. The country’s only land-locked region is also one of its most lightly populated areas, across its six provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province. It’s not the easiest of regions to get around due to its isolated communities and terrain of mainly steep slopes and mountain ranges. This is also a fascinating region from a cultural point of view thanks to several fascinating burial sites and to the presence of tribes maintaining their traditional ways of life. Hiking, caving and swimming in waterfalls await those who seek out this inland region, which is scantily populated save in Tabuk and Baguio City. The latter is the Philippines’ summer capital due to its elevated location and hence milder temperatures – its historic Burnham Park is popular for its lagoon, orchidarium and picnic grove. The Cordilleras is a great place to combine cultural discovery with outdoors activities since many of the province’s most important heritage sites are in spectacular natural settings. THINGS TO DO IN THE CORDILLERAS Walk through the rice terraces in the provinces of Ifugao (Mayoyao, Hungduan, Kiangan), Mountain Province, Kalinga and other provinces. Hike up Mt Timbak to see the unique Fire Mummies in their natural caves. Trek up Mt Pulag, Mt Ugo and Mt Ulap in Benguet for views down over a ‘sea of clouds’. See centuries-old coffins in Lumiang Burial Cave then spelunk in nearby Sumanguing Cave. Discover the hanging coffins suspended high on the cliffs in Echo Valley in Sagada. Swim in the natural pools of Bomod-ok Falls. Tour the BenCab Museum, Baguio City, with its works by Ben Cabrera and other Filipino artists. Visit the Bontoc Museum showcasing the heritage of the region’s indigenous peoples. Admire the Ifugao woodcarvings in the Museum of Cordillera Sculpture. Take in the ethnography displays in the Saint Louis University Museum of Arts & Cultures and Museo Kordilyera at the University of the Philippines Baguio. Tour Tam-awan Village – an Artists Gallery in Baguio City, which uniquely blends indigenous aesthetics and exquisite Cordilleran craftsmanship in an artist’s concept for a village adapted to its setting.