Farm Tourism

At the heart of tourism is the human need to be in awe of new experiences. When we feel the urge to be inspired, we travel far in search of special moments. Basking under the sun and feeling the cool spray of the sea have been longstanding ideas of a vacation, but in recent years, another exciting experience has emerged for the soul-searching traveler: idyllic farm life

Imagine walking barefoot on soft grass while listening to birdsong. Wherever you look, rich greenery surrounds you-from the crops, vines, and trees, to the many colorful flowers. Everywhere you go, the tranquility is simply enjoyable. 

Everything you eat is fresh, handpicked, organic, and delicious. A slow day in a farm is all it takes for the city-worn citizen to rediscover stillness. This is the experience offered by farm tourism.

The Philippines is a world leader in farm tourism because of its geographical advantage, farming heritage, and tropical climate that is suitable for year-round planting.

We explore top farm resorts that offer educational tours, farm-to-table dining, and wellness retreats, as well as sustainability-driven projects that create livelihood opportunities for Filipino farmers.


At the Costales Nature Farms, one wakes up in a simple nipa hut. The scent of the morning dew blends with the aroma of local coffee being brewed. Breakfast is a spread of fried fish or beef tapa with salted egg and fresh vegetables. It is the perfect way to start a day on the farm.

To fully appreciate food, one must learn how it grown. Farm guests are encouraged to take part in the planting of seedlings, see how the compost system works, and feed the chickens, rabbits, pigs, and carabaos that play an important role in the farm. One can also try to create the farm’s staple merienda (afternoon snack) of tupig, which is sticky rice with coconut wrapped in banana leaves.

The farm was established in 2005 by IT-enthusiasts-turned-farmers Ronald and Josephine Costales. The couple focused on organic farming to grow their produce, which they supplied to groceries and hotels. As their farm grew, the couple held workshops on organic farming techniques to help other farmers achieve better harvest results. Owing to their efforts to attract tourists, mentor fellow farmers, and teach Filipinos about the value of pesticide-free food, the Costales Nature Farms became the first agri-tourism farm accredited by the Department of Tourism.


Today, Danica has rebranded the Gapuz Grapes Farm into Grapestown to unite more than 150 small farms that plant grapes, dragonfruit, guapple, papaya, rice, and corn. Grapestown helps small farms obtain business permits and achieve better profits through shared farm knowledge and farm tourism. Bauang, known as the “Fruit Basket of the North,” aims to secure its place as one of the country’s top farm destinations by focusing on community-building over competition.

In 1972, Avelino Lomboy took home 20 grape cuttings from a friend in Cebu and planted them near his house in Bauang, La Union. What started as a budding interest in viticulture, or the cultivation and harvest of grapes, became his full-time job. Dispelling myths about grapes growing only in cold climates, Lomboy’s 500-hectare farmland once supplied 90% of the grapes sold in the Philippines.

Four decades later, Danica Gapuz, granddaughter of the Grape King, has taken over the marketing side of the business. She continues to promote the “pick-and-pay” grape tours from January to June while arranging other farm experiences like “Porch Life” long-table dining and wedding pictorials around the scenic vineyard.


Filipinos are a coffee-drinking people, yet we know so little about how coffee should be grown.

Historical records show that in the mid-1880s, Philippine coffee was among the most exported coffee all over the world, until a widespread disease devastated all crops in the late 1880s. Farmers eventually replaced coffee with hardier crops, and the coffee industry never reached the same heights again.

In 2013, Kalsada Coffee, founded by Carmel Laurino and Tere Domine, was established with one goal in mind: to bring back the golden days of Filipino coffee. 

Kalsada partnered with coffee farms in Sitio Belis, Atok, Benguet, and more recently, in Bukidnon, to identify and invest in the infrastructure and training required to make the best coffee from seed to cup. By paying farmers $1 per pound more than fair trade prices, Kalsada gained the trust of the communities involved. Another concept that Kalsada leaves with its partner farms is that of environmental wealth, that entails enriching the soil today so that future growers may reap better harvests.


The Malagos Farm in Davao is known for championing local chocolate. No other brand has garnered 34 international awards, one gold national award, and five global commendations to date. Such recognition is due to the impressive efforts of the Puentespina Family in training local farmers about the best practices in chocolate farming.

The Malagos cacao legacy began when Mama Charita, the founder, rehabilitated the cacao trees around their property and discovered a way to make world-class chocolate by using traditional methods. Today, the Malagos Farm is home to the first chocolate museum in the country where guided tours allow guests to experience how different types of chocolate are made while tasting distinctions in spiciness, saltiness, and sweetness between each variety.


What started as a love for tablea (chocolate tablet) when she was still a child has turned into an award-winning business for Dalareich Polot. Now hailed as Bohol’s “Chocolate Princess,” this Boholana was honored with the APEC Business Efficiency and Success Target (BEST) Award during a forum in La Serena, Chile. Her Dalareich Chocolate House also won in 2019 a gold award from the London based Academy of Chocolate (AOC).

Last October 31, 2019, Auro Chocolate and Jose Saguban made history for the Philippines as they won the first ever Top

20 Best Cacao Beans Award during the prestigious International Cocoa Awards (ICA) held in Salon du Chocolat Paris by the Cocoa of Excellence Programme (CoEx). For the 2019 Edition, CoEx received 223 samples from 55 cocoa-producing countries which were transformed into liquor and evaluated by the CoEx Technical Committee. Jose Saguban of Paquibato, Davao is one of Auro Chocolate’s original farming partners and since then, they have provided training on quality and post-harvest protocols. Soon cacao farmers in the Davao Region will not only be

supplying cacao beans, but will learn how to ferment, dry, and process cacao beans into chocolate tablets and other products. This is made possible by a big-hearted top Filipino business conglomerate, the Aboitiz Group, whose foundation, just signed an agreement with the Apo Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative. Members of the cooperative will be taught more efficient cacao farming technologies, and will be provided with financing and marketing linkages making them earn more. Lyndon Cayog, the chairman of the cooperative said: “It has been our dream as farmers that we will no longer just sell wet cacao beans to traders. We want to process our own chocolates and to display our own products. This project will not only help our families, but also our community.”


A wellness retreat is not complete without nourishing plant-based meals, which are all picked from and prepared in the farm. Marissa Tamayo, the wife of Toby, offers acupuncture sessions and music meditation to promote holistic healing, whereas Toby offers tai chi and qi gong classes.

The Lotus Valley Farm is a testimonial of transformation. Toby Tamayo, a retired military man, turned chemically-exploited land into a forest farm in the lush mountains of Dasay in San Juan, La Union.

The soil took nearly a decade to heal, but with persistent planting, the farm, named after the giant lotus flowers in abundance, is now a sought-after wellness retreat center in La Union.

The first to catch a visitor’s eye will be the towering black bamboo and the enormous anahaw fans planted by Toby and his family. Colorful birds and butterflies flutter around the charming gardens. If you listen closely, you’ll hear a fresh mountain spring trickling down the slopes, providing not only irrigation, but also natural ventilation to the eco designed bamboo guest huts. The spring water is drinkable and rich in minerals. Depending on the season, guests can also help in planting or harvesting organic black rice.

If you seek creative inspiration, then you must visit the Yamang Bukid Farm in Puerto Princesa, The 10-hectare upland property formerly razed by slash-and-burn farming is now a thriving tourist destination because it has all the vegetables in the famous Filipino folk song, Bahay Kubo. The farm is also home to a vast plantation of fruits, flowers, and medicinal plants, like turmeric, ashitaba, insulin, and stevia.


Farm owner, Rene Maduro, proclaims that he never intended to turn the farm into a tourist destination. He simply wanted to offer more job opportunities to farmers. They planted beautiful rows of sunflowers and decorative amaranth, which became popular backdrops for travel photos. The pesticide-free environment invited different species of bees, birds, and insects to nest and restore balance in the ecosystem. Visitors can buy pasalubong (take-home gifts) in the organic farm or in the House of Kakanin, where turmeric tea and glutinous rice cakes are sold. In 2019, Yamang Bukid also opened a mushroom cultivation laboratory.

The energy around the farm is calm and refreshing. In fact, 95% of the farmers in the property have turned their backs on illegal logging to pursue business initiatives that are kinder to nature.


You can be a World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) volunteer and gain rich agricultural experience at any of their partner farms in the Philippines, such as the Magapuy Green Workers Eco Farm in Cagayan Valley and the Sto. Domingo Orchard in Negros Occidental.


You can be a World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) volunteer and gain rich agricultural experience at any of their partner farms in the Philippines, such as the Magapuy Green Workers Eco Farm in Cagayan Valley and the Sto. Domingo Orchard in Negros Occidental.

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