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The Philippines: 20 Exciting Hikes and Trails to Explore

Hiking in the Philippines, as in any other location, is a gratifying experience that offers a variety of trails suitable for climbers of various skill levels. The picturesque landscapes and topography that surround the walks, which range in difficulty from beginner to expert, vary depending on the mountain or region of the hike. Exploring the islands, physical and natural features, and magnificent beauty of the Philippine terrain is greatly enhanced by hiking.  

Below is a compilation of the finest hiking paths in the Philippines: 

1. Mount Pulag 

Mount Pulag is the third tallest mountain in the Philippines and the tallest mountain in the Luzon region. The site is situated at the intersection of the Benguet, Ifugao, and Nueva Vizcaya provinces. Starting from Baguio City, individuals have the option to board a bus that will transport them to Ranger station. Along the way, they can choose to stay at homestays for relaxation before embarking on the last hike up Mount Pulag. With a height over 2900m, this hiking site is well renowned and widely frequented in the country. It is commonly referred to as the 'Playground of God' due to its breathtaking vistas of the clouds and sea. The complete ascent and descent of the mountain typically requires a duration of 5 to 6 hours. While the majority of the path is straightforward, there are a few sections that become quite steep. Additionally, it is important to note that the temperatures along the trail may plummet to zero degrees Celsius or below. Therefore, it is crucial to dress in suitable attire. The trail spans a distance of approximately 17.4 kilometers. 

2. Mount Pinatubo 

Mount Pinatubo is situated in the Zambales province, a few hundred kilometers away from Manila. Initially, it is imperative to get at Capas, Tarlac, which serves as the starting point for the climb. Capas may be reached from Manila, Pasay, or Cubao using either public or private transportation. Both locals and visitors adore this walk, which is a great day trip from the capital city. The main focal point of the hike, aside from the surrounding landscape, is the crater lake at the summit. There are two methods to undertake this hike. The first option is a brief hike that is largely accessible by car. The hike spans from the designated location to the volcanic crater lake. An alternative choice is to hike from the Sapang Uwak Delta V-trail. This track is far more challenging and has a steeper incline, requiring around 2 hours to reach the end. 


3. Mount Daraitan 

Mount Daraitan is situated at the intersection of the Rizal, Tanay, and Quezon provinces, forming a boundary. It is also a constituent of the Sierra Madre mountain range. The Sierra Madre is the most extensive mountain range in the Philippines, and ascending Mount Daraitan provides breathtaking vistas of the mountains. In addition, the trail offers numerous opportunities to encounter a diverse range of wildlife, plants, and birds. The walk to Mount Daraitan is suitable for hikers with moderate-to-expert skill levels. Nevertheless, there are numerous other activities available at this location. Visitors may delight in a variety of natural attractions, including waterfalls, stalagmite caverns, and other engaging outdoor activities. The entire walk typically requires approximately 4 hours to finish. Additionally, numerous hikers suggest taking a slightly diverted route when descending to reach the stunning Tinipak River. There are multiple methods to access the starting point of the hiking trail. The closest town that is accessible by car is Sampaloc. Subsequently, it is necessary to commence trekking or proceed for a segment on a bicycle prior to initiating the hike.  

4. Mount Apo 

Mount Apo, situated to the west of Davao City, holds the distinction of being the tallest summit in the Philippines. If you intend to embark on the hike, Kapatagan is the closest town to reach. The mountain is home to numerous paths that differ in difficulty. Alternatively, if you are not inclined to undertake the entire trek, you may opt for the Mount Apo National Park tour instead. This abbreviated hike incorporates additional pursuits, such as ziplining, cable riding, and various other sports. However, when it comes to hiking up the mountain, anticipate the need to exert physical effort and perspire. The peak is renowned for its dense moss that obscures the pathways. However, the trekkers are undoubtedly compensated with breathtaking vistas of the lakes, farmland, and sky. 

5. Mount Batulao 

Mount Batulao is a well-liked hiking destination due to its suitability for inexperienced individuals. Situated in Nasugbu, it is approximately a 3-hour drive from Manila; the undulating terrain and picturesque hiking trails are highly appealing. In addition, one encounters other smaller peaks before reaching the true summit. The hike typically lasts approximately 4 hours, with the option to relax and stay overnight at designated campsites if necessary. 

6. Masungi Georeserve  

Masungi Georeserve is situated along the Marcos Highway in Baras, Rizal province, and is conveniently accessible within a few hours' drive from Manila. This protected area spans over 1600 hectares and is characterized by its abundant vegetation and impressive limestone formations. The reserve's extensive network of roads, ropes, trails, and suspension bridges enables hikers to finish the full walk in approximately 3-4 hours. This day trip excursion walk from Manila is quite popular and should not be overlooked. 


7. Tarak Ridge 

Tarak Ridge is a prominent summit located atop Mount Mariveles in the province of Bataan. To access the climb, one must make their way to Barangay Alas-Asin, which serves as the registration point. This climb presents a somewhat higher level of difficulty and is best suited for hikers with moderate to advanced skills. Nevertheless, it is possible to take a break at the Papaya River before proceeding uphill on the most inclined part of the trek. Without a question, the panoramic vistas of Manila Bay are awe-inspiring when viewed from a high vantage point. 

8. Mount Ulap 

The path commences in close proximity to Tuba in the province of Benguet. The registration site, Barangay Ampucao, is accessible via both private and public transportation from Baguio Public Market. If one begins early in the morning, it is feasible to traverse multiple peaks along the track. Furthermore, the Ulap Trail is a formidable challenge, and it is strongly recommended to traverse it in the company of a guide, particularly following rainfall. The trail spans approximately 7.4 kilometers in total, and it typically requires roughly 4 hours to finish the entire climb. 

9. Mount Tapyas 

The hiking trail to Mount Tapyas commences in close proximity to the Davens Palace in Coron town, located in Palawan. This hike is classified as easy and is suitable for beginners. The trail has a total length of around 1.3 kilometers and may be completed in less than one hour. Therefore, this trek is an ideal choice if you desire to have leisure time to explore Coron City. In addition, the climb provides stunning vistas of Coron Island, particularly at the moments of sunrise and sunset. 


10. Mount Maculot 

Mount Maculot is a well-liked hiking choice in Batangas, suitable for climbers with beginning to moderate skill levels. In order to access the starting site of the path, you must travel to Cuenca either on foot or by bicycle. The hiking trail consists of three designated locations - the Rockies, the peak, and the Grotto. Upon reaching the renowned Rockies boulders, the majority of hikers commence their descent from this point. Nevertheless, if you desire excitement and exploration, proceed on foot until you reach the highest point. One can enjoy breathtaking views of Taal Lake from this location. In addition, this hiking track is in proximity to several mountainous hiking routes, including Mount Makiling, Mount Batulao, and Mount Pico De Loro. 

11. Mount Pico De Loro  

Mount Pico De Loro is located in the Cavite province. The registration point for the hike is at DENR Station, Magnetic Hill, in Cavite. This trek is not recommended for beginners. The hike is steep and slippery. However, those who venture are blessed with gorgeous surrounding views of the town and plains of Cavite and the South China Sea. Also, along the way, one can view a range of biodiversity, including monkeys and birds. 

12. Mount Maynuba

The Rizal Mountains include Mount Maynuba, sometimes known as Maynoba. The somewhat difficult hike starts close to Antipolo City in Rizal. Around seven kilometers long, the trail may take two to three hours to complete. The eight waterfalls that the trail passes through are its most spectacular feature. Apart from that, the views from the summit, among clouds, are really captivating. Starting this walk early in the morning is also advisable because, with less tree shade during the day, it may become quite hot.

13. Mount Halcon

It is among the hardest hikes in the Philippines. The hiking paths in Lantuyan start there, but first one must obtain a permit at the Baco Municipal Hall. Mount Halcon is a more than 2500 meter high mountain in Oriental Mindoro. Several steep trails and raging rivers may make it take three to four days to reach the summit. As such, the trek is limited to extremely skilled climbers who wish to add another accomplishment to their trekking resume. The views at the top are indeed amazing, as are the satisfactions.

14. Mountain Range of Kitanglad

Part of the Kitanglad Mountain Range, Mount Kitanglad lies in the center of the province of Bukidnon. The range contains a number of really good hiking peaks. Fourth-highest in the Philippines, Mount Kitanglad is a well-liked trekking destination for seasoned climbers. Remarkable flora species and the endangered National Eagle are other reasons it is well-known. Mount Dulang-Dulang, a further soaring peak in the range, is shrouded in dense moss and fog. Being almost 2900 meters above sea level, it is among the nation's tallest summits. Hiking up this trail is a challenge best left to very competent and experienced athletes. To reach the top of Mount Dulang-Dulang, one should allow three days.

15. Rice Terraces in Batad

Leaving the difficult high peaks, let's investigate a somewhat easy climb that is doable even by novices. Traveling to the Batad Rice Terraces from Banaue in Ifugao takes little more than two hours. The Batad Rice Terraces provide beautiful and calming views of the symphony between humanity and environment, unlike other paths that are well-known for their breathtaking natural vistas of the sky, sea and mountains. In the 1980s, the rice terraces that date back 2000 were included to the list of the World's Wonders. The agricultural customs and subtleties of the Batad, Benguet people are reflected in these terraces. This path is an excellent means of jointly experiencing the beauty of nature and the simplicity of existence.

16. Mount Kanlaon

Among the highest summits in the Visayas mainland, Mount Kanlaon is situated on Negros Island. One has to get to Canlaon City, where the trek starts. This 2435-meter peak is doable in three to four days by skilled climbers. On route, one can also run into various weather conditions. There is a crater top beneath the mountain encircled by lagoons, waterfalls, and verdant trees. A great deal of endangered plant and animal species also call it home.

17. Osmena Peak 

On Cebu, Osmena Peak is the highest point. First-time hikers may also complete the easy climb to Osmena Peak, which is situated in Dalaguete municipality. Taking a motorbike or habal-habal from Dalaguete Junction to the Osmena Peak jump-off point is the best approach to get to the trailhead. Furthermore well signposted is the route, which offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. A few hundred kilometers distant from here, at Lambug Beach and Kawasan Falls, are two other Cebu sights that you may see because the hike only takes around thirty minutes to finish.

18. Manggahan Trail

Along with being an excellent hiking route, the Manggahan Trail makes an excellent camping escape. Taking around an hour to finish, this 2.4 km trail is rated as easy to moderate. Usually starting at the Good Shephard, Banawa, the trek is close to Cebu City. The walk offers breathtaking views of Cebu City together with a variety of tree and floral types.

19. Mount Sirao

A further hiking treasure from Cebu is the moderate to difficult Mount Sirao trek. One of the busiest hiking routes in Cebu, the 6-kilometer hike takes around two hours to finish. Trekkers may pitch tents on the level peak of the mountain to take in the breathtaking views of the sky and the surrounding countryside. For the daring hikers, river walking here adds even more adrenaline.

20. Kibungan Circuit

The hike of Kibugan Circuit comes last on our list. Experienced hikers in Kibungan, Benguet, should take this three-mountain path. The hike starts when one gets to Sitio Tanap, Poblacion. The Tagpaya, Oten, and Tagpew mountains are crossed over the two to three day circuit. Once over these summits, one is treated to vistas of the surrounding mountains, rice terraces, pine forests, and more.

Best Time to Hike in The Philippines

Since the Philippines enjoys a tropical climate, hiking is best avoided in the sweltering summers and the rainy, wet seasons. In the Philippines, March through May is regarded as the hot, dry season, and the humidity and heat can make trekking somewhat difficult. rainy season, which runs from June to October, is best avoided for hiking. In addition, typhoons are common in the Philippines around this time of year. The ideal months to hike in the Philippines are, consequently, November through February. The summertime temperatures have dropped and the rains have just finished. The heat is thus tolerable and the paths are dry.

Hiking Tips

  • Make thorough study of the mountain's degree of difficulty before you go. Considering your degree of experience and physical strength, make an informed decision.
  • Get yourself ready on the inside as well. A few of the simple hikes in the Philippines can be completed without much trouble and don't call for any training. It is advisable to enroll in a short climbing course or join certain mountaineering groups if you intend to do moderate-to-experienced climbs. It is advised to hike only after well-prepared training and preparation because several of the peaks in the Philippines are regarded as difficult climbs.
  • Look up the weather before leaving. Walking when it's raining is best avoided.
  • Put on sensible shoes and clothes. Even though it could be hot when you first start the hike, the temperatures drop as you go. Should you feel the chill on top, it is best to bring a light jacket.
  • Carry adequate water and never forget to drink it. Hiking should never leave you feeling ill or lightheaded from thirst.
  • Pack little! Hiking with giant backpacks will wear you out more quickly. Make sure the bags are waterproof as well to avoid getting wet when crossing rivers and streams or during unexpected downpours. Along with water, additional clothing, a flashlight, and a first aid kit, bring tents if needed.
  • Hiking intermediate to difficult climbs is best done with a guide or by scheduling a hiking tour. Talk with your guide via phone or walkie-talkies. In order to prevent getting lost, also bring a GPS or tracker.
  • If, in an emergency, you need to call for assistance or instructions, have emergency contact numbers on hand.

All kinds of hikers will find a great variety of experiences in the Philippines. It is an excellent approach to discovering the nation's crops, mountains, islands, and other natural beauties. Not many thrills, after all, compare to standing on a summit and taking in the breathtaking surroundings and the cool mountain air on your face! Try trekking in the Philippines, then. Worth the effort!