10 Best Hiking Spots in the Philippines

MT. APO

Location: Digos, Kidapawan, Davao City

Rated by 4.6/5 by guests/visitors

Image credit to wikipedia.org

OVERVIEW

Mount Apo is the highest mountain in the Philippines and is located between Davao City and Davao del Sur Province in Region XI and Cotobato City in Region XII. The peak is overlooking Davao City. Mt. Apo was noted by UNESCO as World Heritage site.Mount Apo was declared as a national park by former President Manuel L. Quezon in 1936. On February 3, 2004, the approval of Republic Act No. 9237established Mount Apo as a protected area under the category of natural park.

HOW TO GET THERE

  • From Manila ride a plane (Check for airline schedule) going to Davao
  • From Davao City, take a van going to Kidapawan (At least a week before your trip, inform the local tourism office in Kidapawan regarding the date of your climb)
  • From the airport, hire a cab to Gaisano Mall and tell the driver to bring you to the van terminal for Kidapawan. 
  • Taking the van the travel time from Davao to Kidapawan is approximately 3 hours.
  • The last trip of van from Gaisano Mall in Davao to Kidapawan is around 8:00 PM. It’s best to come to Kidapawan the day before your actual climb so you can get enough rest.
  • The day before your Mt. Apo climb or in the early morning of your first hiking day, make sure to drop by Kidapawan Tourism Office in downtown Kidapawan to register your name, get a climbing permit and briefing to cover rules and regulations.
  • The usual climb duration when taking Kidapawan trail is 3 days and 2 nights. 
  • From Kidapawan Tourism Office, hire a habal-habalthat will bring you and your guide to the hike’s starting point in Brgy. Ilomavis. 
  • If you avail the services of porters, they will be waiting for you in Brgy. Ilomavis.
  • The best time to start hiking is between 5:00 AM to 6:00 AM. This is to make sure that you’ll arrive in Lake Venado campsite before dark.
  • From the starting point in Brgy. Ilomavis, it takes approximately 10 hours of hiking to reach the summit including 1-hour lunch break. So if you start hiking at 6:00 AM, given excellent weather and trail conditions, you can make it to the summit by 4:00 PM.
  • This is rarely the case for many Mt. Apo climbers though. Most of the time, people only make it to Lake Venado on their first day — with the summit still about 3 hours away from the lake.
  • When hiking from Brgy. Ilomavis to Lake Venado, which roughly takes 7 hours, you have to cross Marble River at least 7 times.
  • At the latter part of the trail just before Lake Venado, there are slopes that angle 70 to 80 degrees which can be challenging for some. By the time most hikers reach Lake Venado, many struggle to find enough energy to push further towards the summit.

ESTIMATED EXPENSE

  • Plane fare will depend on the date you decided to climb but better to book 3 or 4 months  earlier.
  • Local Transportation (van, habal habal) – Php 400 or $8 (one way)
  • Fees ( climbing fee/guide/porter)- PhP 3,950 or $79 for a 3 day hike

REMINDERS PRIOR HIKING

  • Consult a physician prior the date you plan to hike 
  • Do some warm-up exercise 
  • Pay all fees
  • A local guide is required 
  • Wear trekking shoes

THINGS TO BRING

  1. food and drink good for 3 days and 2 nights
  2. Tent
  3. Cookware
  4. Jackets, gloves and pair of socks to battle the cold
  5. Toiletries
  6. Flashlight
  7. Camera

MT. DARAITAN

Location: Brgy. Daraitan (village centre), Tanay

Rated 4.5/5 by guests/visitors

Image credit to shopback.ph

OVERVIEW

Mt. Daraitan is at the heart of the Sierra Madre mountain range within the borders of Tanay, Rizal and General Nakar, Quezon. Daraitan derived from two words – dara,means limestone and aeta, a Filipino Indigenous people residing in the mountainous part of the island of Luzon.
The local barangay transformed Mt. Daraitan from a logging area into a ecotourism site that offers outdoor attractions such as limestone formations, caves, springs and natural pools. The local barangay has an organised system for handling hikers including trained local guides.
At the peak of the mountain, one can view the Sierra Madre mountain, the Daraitan  River, and catch a sight of Laguna de Bay. If you wish to stay overnight, a recommended route to take is the trail to Tinipak River which is popular camping ground that gives the option of exploring the springs, natural pools, and caves in the area.

HOW TO GET THERE

Via Public TransportationApproximately Travel Time: 3 to 4 hours

  • From Edsa-Shaw Crossing take a passenger jeepney to Tanay Rizal.
  • From Tanay Rizal take a passenger jeepney to Sampaloc.
  • From Sampaloc take a tricycle going to Brgy. Daraitan
  • From Brgy Daraitan, raft Daraitan river
  • From Daraitan river take a tricycle going to Brgy Hall.

Via Private TransportationApproximately Travel Time: 2.5 hours

  • Head towards to Marcos Highway and follow through the Tanay-Infanta Road. 
  • Make a left turn to the rough road that leads to Brgy. Daraitan, and park just before the river which used to be connected by a wooden bridge. 
  • Cross the river following 3-4 on the ‘Public’ section above. 
  • Parking is available before the river crossing.

ESTIMATED BUDGET

Via Public TransportationTransportation : Php 240 or $5Registration Fee/Environmental Fee/Guiding Fee : PhP 790 or $12 Overnight Camping Fee (optional) : PhP 1,100 or $20
Via Private TransportationKlook offers private transportation from El Pueblo Ortigas (as the meeting place) for day tour that cost PhP 3,750  per person or $68 (includes all fees) min of 4 person

REMINDERS PRIOR HIKING

  • Consult a physician prior the date you plan to hike 
  • Do some warm-up exercise 
  • Pay all fees at the barangay hall
  • A local guide is required
  • Bring 2 to 4 litters of water
  • Pack light and bring small carry handbag
  • Wear trekking shoes
  • Bring lunch, medicines, toiletries, sunblock and towel.

MT. BATULAO

Location: Evercrest Golf Course, Nasugbu, Batangas

Rated by 4.6/5 by guests/visitors

image Credit to adventurelens.com

OVERVIEW

Mt. Batulao is a perfect trekking destination for beginners. Mountaineers can ask for proper directions when they entered the gate of Everest Golf and Country Club.
According to the locals, the word Batulao derived  from “Bato sa Ilaw” (illuminated rock) where the sun sets right in the middle of Batulao’s two crests produces a figure of rocks surrounding a disc of red light. This phenomenon happened during last week of December.
There are two trails going to Mt. Batulao, Old and New Trail.

Old Trail

  • Approximately travel time is 1-2 hours 
  • Campsites marked as 1-10. Campsite 1-7 trail is easy to trek but when you reached 8 – 10 or up to the peak of Mt. Batulao, trail is very steep and windy.

New Trial

  • Approximately 2 – 3 hours travel time depends on your pacing or taking pictures of the beautiful view along the way. 
  • When you reached the peak of Mt. Batulao, you can take the new trail for a wider view of the rocky landscape, nearby mountains and the great plains of Cavite and Batangas provinces.

HOW TO GET THERE

Via Public Transportation Approximately 3 to 4 hours travel time

  • Take a bus bound for Nasugbu at LRT Buendiastation or EDSA-Taft Pasay
  • Tell the conductor to drop you off at the KC Hillcrest Golf Club
  • You have the option to take a tricycle or walk for 30 minutes towards the registration area.

Via Private TransportationApproximately 2-3 hours travel time

  • The fastest route is via SLEX taking Santa Rosa exit going to Tagaytay-Nasugbu Road. 
  • Turn left when you reach at the junction to KC Hillcrest Golf Club, the same junction going to Chapel on the Hill or Caleruega Church. We recommend to use application for easy navigation 
  • Once you arrived, you can ask locals for the parking area of visitors going to Mt. Batulao.

ESTIMATED BUDGET

Via Public  TransportationTransportation – PhP 460 or $8Registration Fee – PhP 100 or $2Food – PhP 500 or $10 (have lunch nearby restaurant or  options to bring your own food)Other expensesUsed of comfort room: PhP 10 or $0.20Bath Fee (optional) PhP 25 per pail or $0.50 per pail

Via Private TransportationTransportation – 1,000 or $20 (Depends on price of gas/diesel per liter)Parking Fee PhP 100 or $2Registration Fee – PhP 100 or $2Food – PhP 500 or $10 (have lunch nearby restaurant or  options to bring your own food)Other expensesUsed of comfort room: PhP 10 or $0.20Bath Fee (optional) PhP 25 per pail or $0.50 per pail

REMINDERS PRIOR HIKING

  • Consult a physician prior the date you plan to hike 
  • Do some warm-up exercise 
  • Pay all fees at the barangay hall
  • A local guide is not required but if you are a beginner advise to have one
  • Bring at least 1 to 2 liters of water
  • Pack light and bring small carry handbag
  • Wear trekking shoes
  • Bring lunch, medicines, extra clothes, toiletries, sunblock, gloves and towel.

MT ULAP

Location Brgy. Ampucao, Itogon(entry point)Exit point: Brgy. Sta. Fe, ItogonRa

Rated 4.6/5 by guests/visitors

Image credit to choosephilippines.com

OVERVIEW

Mt. Ulap Eco Trail is the perfect dayhike from Baguio City which is only 40 minutes away from Burnham Bank by public transportation. Mt. Ulap was founded by someone named Lagman on February 1, 1999 and it was only open to the public in September 2015 and became popular because of scenic views of the mountains even a glimpse of burial caves and hanging bridges.

HOW TO GET THERE

Via Public TransportationApproximately 40 minutes travel time from Baguio and 4 to 6 hours from Manila

  • From Cubao or Pasay take a bus going to Baguio
  • From Baguio City take a passenger jeepney going to Brgy Ampucao via Philes-bound route

Via Private Transportation

  • Proceed to Baguio from Manila, then take the road to Itogon/Philex and make left turn to Brgy Ampucao

ESTIMATED BUDGET

Transportation ( From Manila) – PhP 800 or $16 (one way)Registration Fee and Guide Fee – PhP 500 or $10Food: option to bring your own food
Via Private TransportationTransportation : Option to rent a  vanTransportation ( From Manila) – PhP 800 or $16 (one way)Registration Fee and Guide Fee – PhP 500 or $10Food: option to bring your own food

REMINDERS PRIOR HIKING

  • Consult a physician prior the date you plan to hike 
  • Do some warm-up exercise 
  • Pay all fees at the barangay hall
  • A local guide is required 
  • Bring at least 1 to 2 liters of water
  • Pack light and bring small carry handbag
  • Wear trekking shoes
  • Bring lunch, medicines, extra clothes, toiletries, sunblock, gloves and towel.

MT. PULAG

Location: Baguio 

Rated 4.4/5 by guests/visitors

Image credit to wikipedia.org

OVERVIEW

Mount Pulag is the third highest mountain in the Philippines next to Mt. Apo and Mt. Dulang Dulang. It is in the border between the provinces of Benguet, Ifugao and Nueva Vizcaya. 

Mt. Pulag was proclaimed a National Park through Pres. Proclamation No. 75 on February 20, 1987 and it is is a National Integrated Protected Areas Programme (NIPAP) site. The National Park is inhabited by different ethnic groups such as the Ibalois, Kalanguya, Kankana-eys,Karao, Ifugaos and the Ilocanos.
As the highest mountain in Luzon, Mount Pulag attracts a lot of mountain climbers because  of the montane forests and the grassland summit with its “sea of clouds” phenomenon. There are four major trails up the summit which is managed by the Mount Pulag National Park under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. From Benguet  the Ambangeg, Akiki, and Tawangan trails. From Nueva Vizcaya  the Ambaguio trail.

HOW TO GET THERE

Via Public TransportationApproximately 6-7 hours (Manila to Baguio) 4-5 hours from Baguio City

  • From Cubao or Pasay take a bus going Baguio City 
  • From Baguio City, take a bus or rent a jeep going to Dangwa
  • From Dangwa take habal-habal going to Ranger Station

Via Private Transportation

  • From NLEX/SCTEX/TPLEX Marcos Highway or Kennon Road Baguio City then take road to Kabayan via Itogon. 
  • For 4×4 vehicles it may be possible to take vehicle up to Ranger Station but sometimes road conditions make the Visitors Center inaccessible. Check with DENR first.

ESTIMATED BUDGET

Via Public Transportation

  • Transportation (Bus/Habal-habal) – PhP 620 or $13
  • Guide fee for 1-5 persons PhP 500 0r $10 and additional PhP 100 or $2 per person thereafter
  • Registration and porters fee PhP 525 or $11

Via Private Transportation

  • Gas/Diesel rate depends on the current price
  • Guide fee for 1-5 persons PhP 500 0r $10 and additional PhP 100 or $2 per person thereafter
  • Registration and porters fee PhP 525 or $11

REMINDERS PRIOR HIKING

  • Consult a physician prior the date you plan to hike and request for a medical certicate
  • Do some warm-up exercise 
  • Pay all fees 
  • A local guide is required 
  • Bring food and drink for a day hike
  • Pack light and bring small carry handbag
  • Wear trekking shoes
  • Bring  medicines, extra clothes, toiletries, sunblock, gloves and towel

MT. ARAYAT

Location: Arayat National Park, Brgy. Bano, Arayat

Rated 4.0/5 by guests/visitors

Image credit to tripadvisor.com

OVERVIEW

Mount Arayat is an inactive basaltic volcano located in Brgy Ano Arayat. There are no historical records of eruption in Arayat and the only dated rocks are 0.53 and 0.65 million-year-old basalts predating the collapse and formation of the lava dome. 

According to the natives, the original name of the mountain is Bondo Kalaya, which later became Bondoc Alaya(literally “Mount Alaya”) and later on became Mount Arayat.Two trails lead to the peaks of Mount Arayat. One trail is going to Southern Peak located at San Juan Baño in Arayat Pampanga approximately 3–4 hours to reach the peak. The Southern Peak offers views of Pampanga river and the mountains of Zambales and Sierra Madre. The second trail is in the northern or higher Peak can be accessed on a route from Pampanga State Agricultural University in Magalang, Pampanga. This route takes you through the Arayat Amphitheatre and the so-called White Rock which legend claims to be the Home of Apung/Aring Sinukuan or Sinukuan.

HOW TO GET THERE

  • From Cubao take a bus going to Olonggapo and ask the driver to drop you off at San Fernando Pampanga. 
  • From SM San Fernando, take a jeep going tobMagalang route. 
  • From the terminal you can take a trike to the jump-off point in Brgy. Ayala, Magalang.

ESTIMATED BUDGET

Via Public Transportation

  • Transportation – PhP 120
  • Guide Fee: PhP 400 – 500

REMINDERS PRIOR HIKING

  • Consult a physician prior the date you plan to hike and request for a medical certicate
  • Do some warm-up exercise 
  • Pay all fees 
  • A local guide is required 
  • Bring food and drink for a day hike
  • Pack light and bring small carry handbag
  • Wear trekking shoes, long pants and pair of socks.
  • Bring  medicines, extra clothes, toiletries, sunblock, mosquito repellant, gloves and towel.

MT. MACULOT

Location : Cuenca Batangas

Rated 4.5/5 by guests/visitors

Image credit to wikipedia.org

OVERVIEW

Mount Maculot also known as Mount Maculod is a popular among mountain climbers and campers; it is the major tourist attraction of the municipality. The mountain  is sacred to Christians, thousands of pilgrims from nearby towns and provinces climb the mountain as a form of penance during Holy Week.

HOW TO GET THERE

Via Public TransportationApproximately 2.5 – 3 hours

  • Lemery-bound bus from bus terminals in Cubao (MRT3: Cubao; LRT2: Cubao) or Buendia (LRT1: Gil Puyat)
  • Alternatively, one can take a bus to Lipa then take a jeepney to Cuenca. 
  • Ask the bus or jeep to drop you off at Poblacion (town center) along the highway. 
  • From there, you can either walk to the jumpoff or take a tricycle. The tricycle will detour you to the Barangay Outpost.

Via Private Transportation

  • Take SLEX, then Star Tollway, take the Lipa exit and head towards Cuenca via the highway to the left. 
  • Turn right on a fork, and go straight to Cuenca Poblacion. 
  • Turn right upon reaching the market area; it is easy to ask around for where the Mountaineer’s Store is. 
  • Take note that there are two jumpoffs, one for the Rockies and one for the Grotto. 
  • There is some parking spaces near the Mountaineer’s Store and you can also bring your vehicle through the first kilometer of the trail. 

ESTIMATED EXPENSES

  • Transportation : PhP 147 or $3 (via Public Transportation)
  • Fees 400/5 persons per day for the regular trail and 1000/5 persons for the traverse Logbook for PhP20

REMINDERS PRIOR HIKING

  • Consult a physician prior the date your hike
  • Do some warm-up exercise
  • Local guide is available but not required
  • Bring food and drink for a day hike
  • Pack light and bring small carry handbag
  • Wear trekking shoes, long pants and pair of socks.
  • Bring  medicines, extra clothes, toiletries, sunblock, mosquito repellant, gloves and towel.

MT. MAKILING

Location: Station 1, UP College of Forestry

Rated 4.5/5 by guests/visitors

OVERVIEW

Mount Makiling, or Mount Maquiling, is a dormant volcano located on the border of  Laguna and Batangas provinces.  The volcano has no recorded historic eruption but volcanism is still evident through geothermal features like mud spring and hot springs.
Mount Makiling was the first national park of the Philippines  and was established in 1933. However, it was decommissioned as a national park on June 20, 1963 by Republic Act no. 3523when it was transferred to the University for use in forestry education and information

HOW TO GET THERE

Via Public TransportationApproximately 2 to 3 hours travel time

  • From Buendia or Cubao take a bus going Los Baños crossing 
  • Walk to ‘El Danda’ which is beside Robinson’s Mall then take the jeepney to Forestry or rent a jeep to take you to the trailhead or even up to the Nursery 

Via Private TransportationApproximately 1 to 2 hours

  • SLEX route to Calamba exit
  • Follow National Highway, turn right at Los Baños Crosssing; 
  • Follow through, enter UPLB and College of Forestry. 
  • Ask for the trailhead, where you can park. Some vehicles can go all the way to the Nursery if it’s not muddy.
  • On the way back: Optional habal-habal from Nursery to College of Forestry gate 

ESTIMATED BUDGET

  • Transportation – 110 – 170 ( one way) via Public Transportation
  • Entrance Fee: PhP 10

REMINDERS PRIOR HIKING

  • Consult a physician prior the date you plan to hike 
  • Do some warm-up exercise
  • No local guide available but there sre yellow marked indicating station numbers
  • Bring at least 1 to 2 liters of water
  • Pack light and bring small carry handbag
  • Wear trekking shoes
  • Bring lunch, medicines, extra clothes, toiletries, sunblock, gloves and towel.

MT. DAGULDOL

Location:San Juan, BatangasMajor jump-off: Brgy. Hugom, San JuanLLA: 13°40.380N

Rated 4.0/5 by guests/visitors

Image credit to tripadvisor.com

OVERVIEW

Mt. Daguldul is the vicinity of the town of San Juan in Batangas which is approximately 3 hours to hike. The name ‘Daguldul’ means grandness. There are two options for the jump off point. One option is to hike through the beach of Hugom, which usually will take an extra hour. And the next option is to take a boat, and get you directly to the jump off point (will save one hour, but will miss some rock formation on the beach).


There are three major campsite of Mount Daguldol.The first campsite  is called the “Gulugod Baboy” (spine of a pig). A small campsite, which can accommodate five tents. The site has great view, especially for picture taking.
The second  campsite is called “Niyogan” (coconut plantation). The Niyogan has plenty of coconut trees and has a piped in water supply for your cooking and washing needs. The place is also covered with grass and the best recommended pitching area.


The third campsite is called “Anahawan”. The golf course like campsite and the highest spot of Mt. Daguldol. Here you can catch a glimpse of the province of Mindoro and Marinduque.
Don’t forget to hike the nearby “Biliran ng Limatik”, which has a very good view of the surrounding mountains and nearby provinces.Descending Mount Daguldol don’t forget to drop byNaambon Waterfalls. The falls is well known for its brilliant 80 feet drop. A good place to rest and maybe have your lunch at the falls for a more relaxing time.

HOW TO GET THERE

Via Public Transportation 

  • From Cubao or Buendia take a  bus going to Lipa 
  • From Lipa take a jeepney going to San Juan
  • From San Juan take a jeepney going to Brgy Hugom
  • From Brgy Hugom, walk going to the Registration Site near the Jump Off

ESTIMATED BUDGET

Fare:

  • Lipa Bus Fare: 124 – 132 Pesos
  • San Juan Jeepney Fare: 50 Pesos
  • Brgy Hugom Jeepney Fare: 40 Pesos (1st Trip: 4AM, Last Trip: 8PM)

Fees:

  • Guide Fee: 350 Pesos
  • Camping Fee (Use of Cottage and Toilet): 130 Pesos / Head
  • Registration Fee: 35 Pesos

REMINDERS PRIOR HIKING

  • Consult a physician prior the date your hike
  • Do some warm-up exercise
  • Pay all the required fees
  • Bring enough food and drinks if you wish to camp
  • Local guide is available but not required
  • Pack light and bring small carry handbag
  • Wear trekking shoes, long pants and pair of socks.
  • Bring  medicines, extra clothes, toiletries, sunblock, mosquito repellant, gloves and towel.

MT BALAGBAG

Location: First jumpoff: Sitio Karahume, Brgy. Macabud, Rodriguezsecond jumpoff: Sitio Balagbag, Brgy. San Isidro, Rodriguez

Rated 4.6/5 by visitors/guests

Image credit to tripzilla.ph

OVERVIEW

Mt. Balagbag is located in Rodriguez, Rizal. It is recommended for beginners and it will take only an hour or two to climb it. The mountain trails has small rivers and waterfalls. The mountain is 780 meters above sea level and it is part of the Sierra Madre. At the peak of the mountain you will have a wider view of Metro Manila. Along the way, there is also the Veteran’s Peak or Veteran’s Summit which is more of s local tourist spot.

HOW TO GET THERE

Via Public TransportationApproximately 1.5 – 2 hours travel time

  • From Cubao or Philcoa take a van going to Tungko
  • From Tungko take a jeepney  going to Licao-Licao
  • From Licao-Licao take a tricycle going to Sitio Balagbag

Via Private TransportationApproximately 1-1.5 hours travel time

  • Head toward Rodriguez, Rizal and then to Brgy.Macabud
  • An uphill road will take you to the Licao-Licao area, from there, if your vehicle can take a rough road then you can go all the way Sitio Balibago.

ESTIMATED BUDGET

  • Php 300 – 500 for day hike
  • PhP 400-600 for overnight

REMINDERS PRIOR HIKING

  • Consult a physician prior the date your hike
  • Do some warm-up exercise
  • Pay all the required fees
  • Bring enough food and drinks if you wish to camp
  • Local guide is available but not required
  • Pack light and bring small carry handbag
  • Wear trekking shoes, long pants and pair of socks.
  • Bring  medicines, extra clothes, toiletries, sunblock, mosquito repellant, gloves and towel.

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