8 Most Spectacular Spots for Hiking in the Philippines Perfect for Pros and Beginners
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
Do you see yourself climbing one of the mountaineering sites in the Philippines? Then you’re on the right page. We’ve compiled a list of the best mountaineering sites in the Philippines below.
- 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.
- Mt. Daraitan (Tanay, Rizal) – This mountaineering site in the Philippines offers a majestic panoramic view of Sierra Madre Mountains, the long stretch of the Daraitan River, and other nearby mountains.
- Mt. Batulao (Nasugbu, Batangas) – This mountain is the best hiking spot in the Philippines for beginners as it’s easier to hike than other mountains.
- Mt. Tapulao (Zambales) – The tallest mountain in Zambales and in Central Luzon.
- Mt. Batolusong (Tanay, Rizal) – The views are very scenic and have Batanes-like grasslands and rolling hills, this is one of the most beautiful and easiest Rizal mountains to hike.
- Mt. Makiling (Laguna) – One of the hiking places in the Philippines near the metro.
- Marlboro Country (Sagada) – It offers good views of the surrounding valleys and a sea of clouds, making it famous for hikers.
- 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)
Difficulty level: 3/5
Height: 2,926 meters
Hiking time to Summit: Approximately 3 hours
Mt. Pulag is like a dream for 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 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.
How to get there: From Manila, you can either ride a bus bound for Baguio or hire your group’s own van. Upon arrival in Baguio, take a monster jeep to Kabayan, Benguet, where the DENR Visitor’s Center is located. Travel time is about three hours from Baguio. From Manila, it will roughly take around 12 hours of travel time to Kabayan, Benguet.
2. Mt. Daraitan (Tanay, Rizal)
Difficulty level: 2/5
Height: 739 meters
Hiking time to Summit: 2.5 to 4 hours
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.
How to get there: From EDSA-Starmall in Mandaluyong, ride a van or jeepney going to Tanay. Alight at the Tanay Public Market then ride a jeep going to Sampaloc. Upon arrival, take a tricycle going to Daraitan to start your mountain hiking adventure.
3. Mt. Batulao (Nasugbu, Batangas)
Difficulty level: 2/5
Height: 811 meters
Hiking time to Summit: 2 to 4 hours
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.
How to get there: Ride a bus from Coastal Mall to Nasugbu, Batangas. Then proceed to Evecrest.
4. Mt. Tapulao (Zambales)
Difficulty level: 4/5
Height: 2,037 meters
Hiking time to Summit: 14 hours
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.
How to get there: From Manila, ride a bus going to Iba, Zambales. Upon arrival, ride a jeep to Palauig then a tricycle to the jump-off point.
5. Mt. Batolusong (Tanay, Rizal)
Difficulty level: 2/5
Height: 645 meters
Hiking time to Summit: 1.5 hours
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.
How to get there: From EDSA-Starmall in Shaw Boulevard, ride a van or jeep going to Tanay. Then take a jeep bound for Sampaloc and ride a habal-habal going to Brgy. San Andres.
6. Mt. Makiling (Laguna)
Difficulty level: 2/5
Height: 1,090 meters
Hiking time to Summit: 7 hours to 1 day
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.
How to get there: From Cubao or Manila, ride a bus bound for Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Ask the driver to drop you off at the Olivarez Mall/Plaza at Los Banos. Upon arrival, ride a jeepney going to UPLB College of Forestry. That’s where you’ll start your mountain climbing journey.
7. Marlboro Country (Sagada)
Difficulty level: 1/5
Height: 1,609 meters
Hiking time to Summit: 2 to 3 hours
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.
How to get there: For a direct trip to Sagada, take the Coda Lines bus from Cubao. The trip usually takes around 12 hours or more. You can also take a bus to Baguio but it will be longer, usually six hours or more, then take a bus to Sagada.
8. Mt. Apo (North Cotabato & Davao del Sur, Mindanao)
Difficulty level: 5/5
Height: 2,956 meters
Hiking time to Summit: 10 hours (3-day tours)
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!
How to get there: From Manila, fly directly to Davao City. Then ride a jeepney going to Digos or Kidapawan.
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: What is hiking?
A: Hiking is an outdoor recreational activity where you will walk in nature, usually on mountains for leisure. We hope this answers your question about what is hiking.
Q: Where can I hike in the Philippines for beginners?
A: Here are some of the best beginner-friendly mountains in the Philippines for mountain climbing:
- Mt. Daraitan
- Mt. Batulao
- Mt. Batolusong
- Mt. Samat
- Mt. Gulugud Baboy
- Mt. Pinatubo
- Pico de Loro
- Mt. Pulag
- Mt. Kalisungan
- 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 mountains to Batangas, there are many mountains near Manila that you can hike. Some of these are:
- Mt. Daraitan in Rizal
- Mt. Batulao in Batangas
- Mt. Tapulao in Zambales
- Mt. Batolusong in Rizal
- Mt. Makiling in Laguna
Q: Where can I hike in Rizal?
A: Rizal Province is a famous hiking spot in the Philippines. Here are some of the best hiking spots in Rizal:
- Masungi Georeserve
- Mt. Daraitan
- Mt. Batolusong
- Mount Binacayan
- Mount Hapunang Banoi
- Mount Pamitinan
- Mt. Alapaap
- 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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