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Many people believe that it is very difficult to find happiness but ask the people backpacking through Philippines and they will tell you it can be found at the top of its beautiful mountains. Hiking here is always a breathtaking experience as you will find everything you want in a hike; lush green forests, waterfalls, brutal caves, gorgeous rice paddies and dramatic caves. It doesn’t matter if you are a newbie or an expert, you will find that the best hikes in Philippines cater to all.
For people backpacking through Philippines, timing the hiking trip is extremely essential. This is why we suggest you to plan your trip around October to May. Many people also claim that because of crowds, they were not able to enjoy the experience. So for them it’s better to plan a trip with small groups on weekdays. Here we share the top 10 best hikes in Philippines. We are sure that when you read about them, you will be all geared up to go.
One of the best hikes in Philippines, Mount Daguldol is located in San Juan Batangas which is a three hour drive from Manila. It is a coastal mountain and the trek starts from the beach. You will encounter amazing rock formations, lush green forest and farm animals in the Three hour trekking time to reach the top. The summit is a perfect spot for picnic where you can rest and enjoy the picturesque view of surrounding mountains of Maculot and Malipunyo. After taking a rest, you can visit the nearby Naambon Falls or take a side trip to the popular Laiya Beach. Reaching here is easy. Just take a bus going to San Juan Batangas from Cubao or Buendia. Entrance fee is about Php 100 per person
Mount Ampacao is located in the town of Sagoda and offers a tremendous trekking opportunity. People backpacking through Philippines will be glad to know that this mountain trekking has it all. You can see the famous hanging coffins, visit the caverns or go to the top of the mount Ampacao. This is a demanding trail so it is recommended to take an experienced guide with you. Along the way, you will see pine trees and at the top a rugged landscape that will take your breath away
People backpacking through Philippines looking for an easy hike but with breathtaking views should pay a visit to Taal Lake. It is just 400 meters and the trekking takes less than an hour. When you reach the shore of the lake, a boat ride will take you to the centre where an active volcano is situated. As you hike, you will pass through vegetation and sulphuric steam vents. The entrance fee for hiking Taal volcano is Php 100.
Pico De Loro is also called Palay Palay.It is one of the best hikes in Philippines because it offers both day and night trekking options. Plus it has a campsite too. Popular with tourists as a weekend gateway, it is surrounded by lush vegetation and diverse flora and fauna. The hike is tedious and steep but not difficult so people do not usually hire a guide. Once you reach at the summit you are greeted with amazing views of the provinces of Cavite and Batangas.There is also a famous rock monolith known as parrot peak which hikers can climb. At the campsite you can stay for the night and enjoy the amazing star-filled night sky with fellow climbers. To reach here you can take a bus from Coastal mall going to Ternate.
Mount Batulao is an excellent choice for people backpacking through Philippines looking for an easy hike. It is also perfect for beginners. The mountain is around 811 meters with gorgeous landscapes, rolling slopes and the surrounding view of Bayalan Bay. To avoid the glaring sun, start your trip early at around 6 am. Starting point is from KC Hillcrest Golf course with an easy ascent of around 2.5 hours. The trail is easy enough to attempt on your own but if you are going at night it’s better to hire a local guard. Reaching here is easy. Just take a DLTB bus for Nasugbo from the Beundia station and get off at KC Hillcrest point. There is a fee of Php 30 for camping plus a guide will cost you around Php 500.
Looking to experience the amazing rice terraces of Philippines? Then head to Hapao. It is a short trail taking about 2 to 3 hours. Located less than two hours from Banaue, it offers wonderful view of Hapao River surrounded by wide patches of rice plantation. The trek is light and ideal for beginners. Also there is a hot spring pool overlooking the terraces so you can take a dip here to soak off all your worries away.
Tarak ridge is known for its rocky terrain, strong winds and jagged rocks, making it one of the most difficult treks but the views it provide are worth going here for.. At the top you can look at the majestic views of the Corregidor Island and the Mariveles and Manila Bays. It is a part of Mount Mariveles, located in Bataan. After two hours of trekking here, you will come across the Papaya River which offers a refreshing rest before you resume your climb to the summit which takes about a day.
Known by locals as the playground of gods, Mount Pulag is not to be missed by people backpacking through Philippines because it offers Rolling clouds and the clear view of Milky Way at dawn, something not all hiking trails can boast of. It is the third highest mountain of Philippines and is truly majestic with abundant wildlife. 33 bird species and 528 plant species form an amazing mix of diverse biodiversity. Another attraction of mount Pulag is the Kabayan mummy burial caves. As it is 10 hours drive from manila, the whole tour takes about 2 to 3 days and it’s better to book a hiking tour for this mountain. Hiking mount Pulag with a guide will usually cost about Php 4,000
Another beginner friendly mountain hike, Mount Manalmon is located in San Miguel just 3 hours from Manila. The hike is pretty short taking less than an hour to reach the summit but it boasts of a charming landscape of rivers snaking through forest and a giant bamboo trees. When you reach the summit, there are other activities you can do like bouldering, river crossing and spelunking. Visit the Madlum cave or if you are a really daring soul, why not climb over the monkey bridge which is above the river. Estimated cost per person is about Php 600.
If you are in a mood for a really different hiking experience why not try Mount Pinatubo. The landscape is totally different from all of the above mentioned hikes. Mount Pinatubo had an eruption in 1991 and from then it has long stretches of sand and ash and the whole landscape consist of white and gray formations. At the middle, witness the Crater Lake that changes color with the change in weather. Truly mesmerizing! And if this wasn’t enough for your attention, you reach the jump off point in a 4 by 4 jeep. Cost of this hike will come around Php 2000 per person.
Here we have shared you the best hikes of Philippines. It doesn’t matter if you visit one or all ten but what matters is how you show love and appreciation by taking care of Mother Nature. Remember to pick up all the trash when you are on a hiking trip. Also try to support the local economy by hiring local guards, and eating their local delicacies and food. Lastly, do not forget to pack the essentials (shoes, clothes, water etc) for hiking. Have a happy journey!
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