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.

  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 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. 
  3. 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.
  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, this is one of the most beautiful and easiest Rizal mountains to hike.
  6. Mt. Makiling (Laguna) – One of the hiking places in the Philippines near the metro.
  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
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)

mt. daraitan hiking in philippines
Photo courtesy of Alexis Zapanta

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)

mt. batulao hiking in philippines

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)

mt. tapulao hiking in philippines

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)

Photo credits to Powell Abogado via Flickr

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:

  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 mountains 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 is 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.

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

When talking about the most beautiful forests, rarely it happens that the Philippines is mentioned. But the country has something grand to be proud of, too—Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Davao Oriental, Mindanao’s first and only UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It boasts of a beautiful pygmy forest, one of the very few all over the world, and hosts rich biodiversity and endemicity of flora and fauna, an embodiment of ecological balance, which in this age and time, we can seldom see and behold. 

Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary’s biggest draw is its sheer diversity and variety of its resident wildlife. As visitors delve in this mysterious forest, encountering astonishing plants and animals, many of those found nowhere else in the world, is a regular sight.

Curious already? Let’s find out what this majestic mountain has to offer!

Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary location

It is located in the south easternmost part of the Philippines on Mindanao Island in the Davao Oriental Province.

What’s inside this blog?

About Mount Hamiguitan World Heritage Park

Mount Hamiguitan World Heritage Park

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Mount Hamiguitan World Heritage Park and its amenities are situated at the buffer zone area of the heritage mountain covering around 12.84 hectares which houses the interpretation site, a natural science museum, research center and cabin, bird-watching viewdeck, a hanging bridge, a nature trail for leisure hiking, sunset viewdeck, and Cafe Hamiguitan.

For the more adventurous guests, they can also enjoy other features of the park like the tree-top obstacle and a flying lemur gliding ride.

The trek to Mt. Hamiguitan can be challenging and may take up to three days. If you have no time or energy for that kind of adventure, you can still learn about the mountain range at the Mount Hamiguitan World Heritage Park, which features a modern natural science museum with a central ramp modeled after the mountain’s five levels of vegetation. 

Located in the town of San Isidro, the Mt. Hamiguitan Natural Science Museum is an interactive facility that not only showcases the wonders of Mt. Hamiguitan but also advocates for people’s participation in the mountain’s conservation efforts by introducing them to its rich flora and fauna, and what it means for humanity.

This interactive facility showcases the wonders of this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary wasn’t revealing its beauty too easily. Each visitor has to earn it.

Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site

mount hamiguitan peak

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The 5,315 feet above sea level Mt. Hamiguitan gained its fame after it claimed a coveted spot in the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List. 

According to UNESCO, it is home to 1,380 plant and animal species, eight of which are found nowhere else in the world except Mt Hamiguitan, and 341 of which are endemic to the Philippines that include the iconic Philippine Eagle, Philippine cockatoo, golden crowned flying foxes, the Philippine warty pigs, Philippine mossy-pygmy fruit bats, and more.

One of the reasons that Mt Hamiguitan was inscribed as a UNESCO WHS is that it represents a complete, substantially intact and highly diverse mountain ecosystem, in a significant biogeographic region of the Philippines. 

UNESCO added that the fragile tropical “bonsai” forest that crowns the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary epitomizes nature’s bid to survive in adverse conditions. As a result of its semi-isolation and its varied habitat types growing in dissimilar soil and climate conditions, its biodiversity has shown a significantly high level of endemicity that has led scientists to believe that there may be more globally unique species waiting to be discovered in the area. 

According to some locals and mountaineers, Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary also features a “Tinagong Dagat” (hidden sea), a lake that mysteriously experiences high tide and low tide.

These, among many other things, are what make nature-lovers and hikers’ paradise.

How to get to Mount Hamiguitan World Heritage Park

From Manila, you can book a flight bound for Davao City. From Davao Ecoland Terminal, take the bus going to the Municipality of Governor Generoso which will usually take 3.5 hours at most.

Another option is to ride the bus heading to Tagum City and from here, ride a jeepney bound for Governor Generoso or Sigaboy. Tell the driver to drop you off at the junction leading to the museum, where you can ride a habal-habal motorcycle.

Places you can visit near Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary

Once you’re done touring the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, you can then check out these places near the area to make the most of your trip.

1. Aliwagwag Falls

Majestic blue waters of Aliwagwag Falls

Known for its staircase-like boulders, Aliwagwag Falls is among the top tourist destinations in the province. This picturesque 84-tiered falls with more than 130 cascades stands at 1,110 feet making it the highest waterfall in the Philippines. 

2. Cape of San Agustin

aerial blue of cape of san agustin in davao

Facing the great Celebes Sea, the Cape of San Agustin mixes remains of the Spanish colonial rule and the beauty of the Philippine beaches. Many divers frequent this place because of the diving experience at the famous diving site known as “the wall.” Cape of San Agustin houses three lighthouses which offer equally breathtaking views of the sea. You can also visit an amazing rock formation called “the altar.”

3. Lake Carolina

bamboo raft at Lake Carolina davao

Located just 15 minutes away from the national highway, Lake Carolina in Baganga is a perfect destination for people who are looking for a one-of-a-king experience. Although called a lake, it is actually a lagoon filled with brackish water and abundant marine life. Close to Palawan’s turquoise waters, every corner is definitely Instagrammable! The surrounding green trees makes the place even more relaxing.

4. Dahican Beach

a skimboarder braving the waves at dahican beach in davao

Dahican Beach is popular with surfers, skimboarders and beach bums, that offers a simple, unspoiled slice of paradise with a stunning crescent-shaped coastline and thrilling waves for an adrenaline rush.

5. San Victor Island

If you want a secluded and serene getaway, detached from the whole world, San Victor Island is the perfect place to be. San Victor Island boasts its fine white sand and clean water that’s home to many sea creatures including the transient dugongs and marine vegetation.

Grab the lowest rate yet quality budget hotels in Davao when you book at www.zenrooms.com. ZEN Rooms guarantees comfortable stays with the best amenities at the most affordable price!

Frequently Asked Questions About Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary

Q: Where is Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary located?

A: It is located in the south easternmost part of the Philippines on Mindanao Island in the Davao Oriental Province.

Q: How to get to Mount Hamiguitan World Heritage Park?

A: From Manila, you can book a flight bound for Davao City. From Davao Ecoland Terminal, take the bus going to the Municipality of Governor Generoso which will usually take 3.5 hours at most. Another option is to ride the bus heading to Tagum City and from here, ride a jeepney bound for Governor Generoso or Sigaboy. Tell the driver to drop you off at the junction leading to the museum, where you can ride a habal-habal motorcycle.

Q: What to do in Mount Hamiguitan World Heritage Park?

A: Mount Hamiguitan World Heritage Park and its amenities are situated at the buffer zone area of the heritage mountain covering around 12.84 hectares which houses the interpretation site, a natural science museum, research center and cabin, bird-watching view deck, a hanging bridge, a nature trail for leisure hiking, sunset view deck, and Cafe Hamiguitan. For the more adventurous guests, they can also enjoy other features of the park like the tree-top obstacle and a flying lemur gliding ride.

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.