8 Most Spectacular Spots for Hiking in the Philippines Perfect for Pros and Beginners

8 Most Spectacular Spots for Hiking in the Philippines Perfect for Pros and Beginners
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The Philippines couldn’t just stop surprising us with its magnificent beauty. From its breathtaking sceneries and pristine fine white sand beaches to spectacular spots for hiking in Philippines, the country has it all.

Climbing mountains may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it can be incredibly fun especially when you’re with your friends. Whether you’re in it to just enjoy the panoramic beauty of the outdoors, to take a breather from the bustle of the city, or you’re a hardcore climber pushing your limits, the experience of reaching the summit is always exhilarating.

Top 8 Hiking Spots in the Philippines

  1. Mt. Pulag (Benguet) – Mt. Pulag is Luzon’s highest peak at 2,926 meters above sea level and popular because of its picturesque trails and a stunning view of the sea of clouds. 
  2. Mt. Daraitan (Tanay, Rizal) – This mountain offers a majestic panoramic view of Sierra Madre Mountains, the long stretch of the Daraitan River, and other nearby mountains. 
  3. Mt. Batulao (Nasugbu, Batangas) – This mountain is beginner-friendly as it’s easier to hike than other mountains.
  4. Mt. Tapulao (Zambales) – The tallest mountain in Zambales and in Central Luzon.
  5. Mt. Batolusong (Tanay, Rizal) – The views are very scenic and have Batanes-like grasslands and rolling hills. 
  6. Mt. Makiling (Laguna) – The traverse takes you through the rugged terrain and untamed rainforests of the famous Maria Makiling, all within a day and in close proximity to Manila.
  7. Marlboro Country (Sagada) – It offers good views of the surrounding valleys and a sea of clouds, making it famous for hikers.
  8. Mt. Apo (North Cotabato & Davao del Sur, Mindanao) – Considered to be the Grandfather of Philippine Mountains Mt. Apo is the highest mountain in the Philippines.

We’ve listed the best hiking places in the Philippines along with their difficulty levels!

1. Mt. Pulag (Benguet)

mt. pulag hiking in philippines

Difficulty level: 3/5

Mt. Pulag is like a dream to most mountaineers to hike and we can see why. Pulag is Luzon’s highest peak at 2,926 meters and is popular among hikers and trekkers because of its picturesque trails and a stunning view of the sea of clouds. 

While Pulag is not highly recommended for first-timers, the mountain offers several trails for options. Ambangeg Trail is the easiest while Akiki and Tawangan trails are more challenging. If we’re just talking about the best mountain to hike in Philippines, Pulag tops the list.

2. Mt. Daraitan (Tanay, Rizal)

mt. daraitan hiking in philippines
Photo courtesy of Alexis Zapanta

Difficulty level: 2/5

One of the best spots for hiking in Philippines is the Mt. Daraitan along the beautiful Sierra Madre— the longest mountain range in the country. The best thing about hiking here is that Mt. Daraitan lets you experience everything— witness the majestic panoramic view of Sierra Madre Mountains, the long stretch of the Daraitan River, and other nearby mountains. 

After the summit, your next stop should be the Tinipak River. Its beautiful limestone boulders, springs, as well as natural pools and caves, should not be missed. The locals are very accommodating and organized and you can book hiking tours Philippines if you want a hassle-free adventure.

3. Mt. Batulao (Nasugbu, Batangas)

mt. batulao hiking in philippines

Difficulty level: 2/5

This mountain is beginner-friendly as it’s easier to hike than other mountains. But it’s not all boring though. Mt. Batulao in Batangas gives hikers a decent challenge and extremely scenic trails of rolling slopes and green grasslands. Before reaching the summit, you will have to pass through several mini-peaks which takes roughly four hours to arrive. For hikers in it for the stunning views and wanting to take their time, there are campsites along the trail to relax and spend the night.

4. Mt. Tapulao (Zambales)

mt. tapulao hiking in philippines

Tapulao, usually called High Peak, is the tallest mountain in Zambales and in Central Luzon. It has one of the highest elevation gains in the Philippines standing at 2,037 meters above sea level. Mt. Tapulao offers a diverse range of environs, from grasslands to pines forests and mossy forests. You’ll also be amazed at the astounding view of sea of clouds. The hike isn’t easy though. You have to prepare for a 2-day hike. The temperature can range from hot in the lower parts to freezing near the campsite and summit. There are some travel agencies that offer hiking tours Philippines to hike this.

5. Mt. Batolusong (Tanay, Rizal)

Difficulty level: 2/5

If you’re looking for a quick trekking Philippines, consider visiting Mt. Batolusong as it’s just 2 hours away from Metro Manila. It is one of the most popular mountains and beginner-friendly for hiking in Philippines. The views are very scenic and have Batanes-like grasslands and rolling hills. Once you’re up there, you can already enjoy the panoramic view of its neighboring provinces like Laguna and Quezon. 

6. Mt. Makiling (Laguna)

Photo credits to Powell Abogado via Flickr

Difficulty level: 2/5

Laguna province is famous for its waterfalls and hot and cold springs but hiking in Laguna Philippines is something travelers go there for.

One of the best hiking sites Philippines is the Mt. Makiling. The Makiling Traverse is the perfect outing for those looking for the rush of a challenging hike, but are too busy for a two to three-day expedition. The traverse takes you through the rugged terrain and untamed rainforests of the famous Maria Makiling, all within a day and in close proximity to Manila.

Makiling has plenty of surprises in store for hikers of every background. The trail goes through well-preserved forests teeming with wildlife, including plenty of limatik (leeches) that make the hike interesting. Parts of the trail are very narrow and can be described as “obstacle courses” that force you to do a bit of stretching and contorting. The most challenging portion is the steep ascent up Melkas Ridge that requires hikers to grab on to fixed ropes and loose branches in order to help themselves up.

7. Marlboro Country (Sagada)

Difficulty level: 1/5

Sagada is a perfect destination for trekking Philippines. Although it’s far from the city, many travelers still go there just to experience Sagada hiking. There’s a hill plateau area that is known as Marlboro Country as it is home to several wild horses. The best time to go there is early morning or around sunset. The trek goes through some dense forest with huge ferns that are about the size of trees and ends in a flat landscape with bushes and mountain flowers, where you can get good views of the surrounding valleys. The Sagada hiking takes about 2-3 hours total.

8. Mt. Apo (North Cotabato & Davao del Sur, Mindanao)

Difficulty level: 5/5

The stunning beauty of this mountain and the fulfillment that awaits adventurous souls who climb it should be experienced by every Filipino. Standing at 2,956 Meters Above Sea Level Mt. Apo is the highest mountain in the Philippines and is considered to be the Grandfather of Philippine Mountains. The journey isn’t easy and is one of the hardest mountains to hike. You will hike through mystical lakes, lush jungles, rocky mountainsides, and a vertical section of volcanic boulders. It might be a tough adventure but it’s worth it!

If you’re now ready to pack your things for hiking in Philippines, it’s time to look for a place to stay near the destination of your interest. We’ve got budget hotels that guarantee quality accommodation at an affordable price.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hiking in Philippines

Q: Where can I hike in the Philippines for beginners?

A: Here are some of the best beginner-friendly mountains in the Philippines:

  1. Mt. Daraitan
  2. Mt. Batulao
  3. Mt. Batolusong
  4. Mt. Samat
  5. Mt. Gulugud Baboy
  6. Mt. Pinatubo
  7. Pico de Loro
  8. Mt. Pulag
  9. Mt. Kalisungan
  10. Mt. Makiling

Q: What is the most difficult mountain to climb in the Philippines?

A: Mt. Apo is considered by many hikers as the most difficult mountain to climb. Standing at 2,956 meters above sea level, Mt. Apo is the highest mountain in the Philippines and is considered to be the Grandfather of Philippine Mountains.

Q: Where can I hike near Manila?

A: From Rizal to Batangas, there are many mountains near Manila that you can hike. Some of these are:

  1. Mt. Daraitan in Rizal
  2. Mt. Batulao in Batangas
  3. Mt. Tapulao in Zambales
  4. Mt. Batolusong in Rizal
  5. Mt. Makiling in Laguna

Q: Where can I hike in Rizal?

A: Rizal Province us a famous hiking spot in the Philippines. Here are some of the best hiking spots in Rizal:

  1. Masungi Georeserve
  2. Mt. Daraitan
  3. Mt. Batolusong
  4. Mount Binacayan
  5. Mount Hapunang Banoi
  6. Mount Pamitinan
  7. Mt. Alapaap
  8. Mt. Maynuba

Q: Is Hiking allowed in GCQ?

A: Under ECQ and GCQ, sports-related gatherings such as training, games, tournaments and hiking are prohibited.

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