9 Must-Experience Hiking Places in the Philippines

hiking places in the philippines

The Philippines is famous for its beautiful beaches and unquestionably stunning views. With 7,641 islands, there are plenty of hiking opportunities here. It’s no surprise that people from other countries love to live here.

We’ve put together a list of the best mountain hiking places in the Philippines that you should consider trying. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just someone who enjoys wandering and appreciating nature’s beauty, we’ve got you covered.

Now, let’s discover what the Philippines has to offer and add these hiking destinations to your list.

Table of Contents

1. Mount Pulag - Benguet

Mt Pulag

Photo Credit: Gab Mejia

It seems like you’re in heaven, right? This beautiful mountain sits on the borders of Benguet, Ifugao, and Nueva Vizcaya. It’s the highest peak in Luzon and the third highest in the country, reaching 2,928 meters (9,606 feet) above sea level.

There are four main trails to the summit:

  1. Ambangeg (Beginner Trail)
  2. Akiki (Killer Trail)
  3. Tawangan
  4. Ambaguio

Before you start your hike, there’s an orientation session where you’ll learn about the do’s and don’ts on Mount Pulag. They’ll also show a video with general information about the mountain, its flora and fauna, and the unique species found there.

How to get there:

  • Take a bus from Metro Manila to Baguio City with a travel time of 5-7 hours (e.g., Victory Liner in Cubao or Pasay).
  • Use a taxi to reach the old Slaughterhouse in Magsaysay.
  • Take a public van via the Kabayan, Benguet route.
  • Stop at the DENR Office for registration and orientation.

2. Mount Kanlaon - Negros

Mount Kanlaon

Photo credit: John Kimwell Laluma

Mt. Kanlaon is the highest peak in Central Visayas and splits Negros Island. It’s a hotspot for adventurers, especially climbers and hikers, as it’s an active volcano, adding an extra edge to the experience. Besides trekking, visitors can enjoy an art gallery, zipline, and river trail adventures. 

This beautiful place is located about 20 miles southeast of Bacolod, this volcano stands at 8,086 feet and is part of the Cordillera Central range. Mt. Kanlaon National Park, established in 1934, covers 95 square miles and features craters, hot springs, and diverse wildlife like monkeys, deer, and boars.

How to get there: 

  • Take a shuttle van from Bacolod to Silay Airport.
  • Drop off to Ceres South Bus Terminal (around 30 to 45 minutes) or
    • Taxi which may charge higher due to “pakyaw” basis
  • Take a bus to Canlaon
    • Bacolod to Canlaon route has trips every 30 mins from 4AM to 7PM daily
    • Stop at Caltex Gas Station of Canlaon Jeepney and Bus terminal
  • Get a habal habal drivers 

3. Mount Kabunian - Benguet

Benguet mountains view

Photo credit: Joebert Serge Sergio via Facebook

Mt. Kabunian is a popular hiking destination in the municipality of Bakun in the province of Benguet, but before embarking on your hike up Mount Kabunian, it’s essential to register and receive a safety briefing at the starting point. The journey to the summit typically spans around four hours. Upon reaching the peak, you’ll be greeted with breathtaking views of Bakun. Take your time to soak in the scenery, capture some memorable photos, and then commence your descent. This trail is well-suited for hiking beginners.

Remember to pack the following items:

  • Valid ID
  • Personal hygiene essentials (such as alcohol, tissues, and wet wipes)
  • First aid kit
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Snacks (such as nuts, energy bars, and even hard-boiled eggs)
  • Headlamp or flashlight with spare batteries
  • Protective gear (including a neck cover, arm sleeves, bonnet, gloves, jacket, and raincoat)
  • Extra clothing, toiletries, and a towel

By ensuring you have these items with you, you’ll be prepared for a safe and enjoyable hike.

How to get there:

  • Bus from Metro Manila to Baguio City, travel time at 5 to 7 hrs (e.g. Victory Liner in Cubao or Pasay)
  • Take a taxi or jeepney to La Trinidad, Benguet
  • Stop at Bakun, Poblacion
  • Take a bus going to Bakun. One trip per day around 6Am to 8Am.

4. Mount Kitanglad - Bukidnon

Mount Kitanglad

Image source: Tripadvisor

This beautiful mountain is located in Bukidnon province in Northern Mindanao and has an approximate height of 2,899 meters (9,511 ft). Over 600 rare and endemic species including the critically endangered Philippine eagle and the second largest flower in the world, rafflesia.

How to get there: 

  • Flight from Manila to Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental. 
  • Jeep from Agora Bus Terminal to Bukidnon
  • Drop at the DENR Office for registration and orientation 

5. Mt Guiting-Guiting, Romblon

Mt Guiting guiting, Romblon

Photo credit: Nico Polo Loyola

This mountain in the Philippines is known as one of the toughest, standing at 2048m above sea level. While it may not be considered a towering peak in the realm of mountaineering, it still presents a formidable challenge. If you’re someone who enjoys tackling difficult terrain and already has hiking experience, then this mountain is perfect for you.

Mt. Guiting Guiting is situated on Sibuyan Island in Romblon. If you’re planning a trip there, it’s advisable to have a local guide organize the logistics, including obtaining a DENR permit and arranging hotel accommodations. 

How to get there:

  • Take a ferry from Batangas to Romblon Island
  • Get a morning ferry going to Sibuyan Island

6. Mount Halcon - Oriental Mindoro

Mt Halcon Oriental Mindoro

Climbing Mount Halcon is a must for any avid mountaineer. Your journey isn’t complete until you’ve reached its summit. This impressive peak offers a thrilling challenge and a stunning experience that will enhance your love for mountaineering.

As one of the highest peaks in the province, Mount Halcon stands tall at 2,586 meters (8,484 ft), making it the 18th highest mountain in the Philippines. It’s a top-notch hiking destination, known for its challenging trails through dense jungles, pristine river waters, and a spectacular summit view that includes a mesmerizing sea of clouds.

How to get there:

  • Take a ferry from Batangas to Calapan, Oriental Mindoro
  • Ride a jeepney going to the Baco Municipal Hall
  • From the municipal hall, go to Lantuyanas one of the trail up to the mountain
  • Other trail is via Mayapi, a barrio near Lantuyan

7. Mount Batulao - Batangas

mount butalao batangas

Photo credit: Aubrey Joy Arellano Jaravata

Explore the beauty of Mt. Batulao, a popular hiking spot in Nasugbu, Batangas, Philippines. It’s an easy hike, great for beginners, with a 4/9 difficulty level. The 12-kilometer trail takes about 5 to 6 hours, with moderately steep parts and lovely views of Batangas and nearby areas. You can even camp along the way for an extended adventure. Only a three-hour drive from Metro Manila, it’s a favorite day trip for its stunning landscapes.

Mt. Batulao gets its name from “Batong Dilaw,” which means “yellow stone” in Tagalog, because of the golden hues at sunrise in late December. But it’s beautiful all year round and loved by locals due to its easy access from the city. With its accessible trails and scenic views, hiking Mt. Batulao is a relaxing and rewarding experience, making it a must-visit spot in Southern Luzon.

How to get there:

  • Ride a bus from Metro Manila to Nasugbu, Batangas (e.g. DLTB in LRT Taft-Buendia; travel time is 1.5 – 2 hours)
  • Drop at Evercrest.
  • Take a tricycle to reach the jump-off 

8. Mount Pinatubo - Zambales

mount pinatubo

Mount Pinatubo is renowned in the Philippines for its violent eruption in the 20th century. Located just three hours from Manila, the capital of the Philippines, Mt. Pinatubo is a prominent active volcano and a popular hiking destination in the country. 

Mt. Pinatubo is a relatively easy climb, rated 2 out of 9 in difficulty with a class 1 trail. This means both experienced climbers and beginners can enjoy the hike to the Pinatubo crater. You’ll encounter gentle slopes and beautiful scenery along the way. Remember, there’s a 10 am cut-off time for safety during the day hike to Pinatubo.

Prepare for your Mt. Pinatubo hike with these tips:

  1. Check the weather before your trip.
  2. Start early to avoid the sun.
  3. Dress light and wear light-colored clothes.
  4. Shield yourself from the sun with a cap and sunscreen.
  5. Opt for breathable hiking shoes.
  6. Carry plenty of water in an insulated bottle.
  7. Pack sweet snacks for energy.
  8. Bring an umbrella or poncho for rain protection.
  9. Plan between October and May for shorter trekking distances.
  10. Leave no trash behind, and keep the mountain clean.

How to get there:

  • Take a bus from Pasay or Cubao Terminal going to Capas, Tarlac
  • Take a jeepney or tricycle to Sta. Juliana Tourism

9. Mount Apo - Davao

Mount apo

Photo credit: Lymarc Roble

Mount Apo, with an elevation of 2,954 meters (9,692 ft) above sea level, reigns as the tallest peak in the Philippines, earning it the title of the country’s mountain patriarch. It’s a top destination for adventure seekers and backpackers, particularly in Davao Province where it stands. If you’re exploring the Philippines, Mount Apo is a must-see, offering an unforgettable experience for every outdoor enthusiast.

How to get there:

  • Flight from Manila to Davao City
  • Bus from Davao City to Digos City
  • Tricycle From Digos City (Php 150.00 per tricycle and can fit 3 people) or take the Shuttle Bus (Php 70.00 per person) to Kapatagan
  • Upon arrival at Kapatagan, a pickup truck will take you to Desander Powerplant (most likely arranged by the local operators). 
  • Once you are at Desander Powerplant, hike for about 15-20 minutes to reach Sitio Culan.

Explore the best hiking places in the Philippines today!

I wish this article inspires those looking for adventure in the Philippines. Whether you’re from here and want to explore or you’re a visitor wanting new experiences, the country’s hiking spots are ready for you. We also have amazing camping spots! So, go outside, enjoy the fresh mountain air, and let the Philippines’ trails be the backdrop for your next amazing adventure. Hope to see you soon, and happy hiking!

Jessie Bongolo

Hi there! I’m Jessie Bongolo, an online freelancer who loves to roam around rather than slouching in a chair all day. You can usually find me wandering in the Philippines, taking pictures of nature and writing about all my adventures.

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