5 Best Mountains to Hike in the Philippines

best mountains to hike in the philippines

Although it’s blessed with a myriad of crystal-clear beaches and natural landscapes, the Philippines offers more than a tropical getaway. It also has plenty of mountains suitable for epic hiking trips, offering breathtaking views of the trails and sunsets for an unforgettable outdoor adventure. Whether you’re seeking a fun excursion or a challenging trail, here are the five best mountains to hike in the Philippines.

Must-Visit MountainTrails for Adventure Seekers

Without a doubt, hiking is one of the best ways to savor the stunning views of the Philippines. If you want to make your vacation memorable, conquer the trails of these mountains below:   

Mt. Pulag (Benguet)

Mt. Pulag in Benguet is, without a doubt, one of the best mountains to hike in the Philippines. It’s a crowd favorite because you can witness the famed “Sea of Clouds,” where thick clouds cover the atmosphere, resembling an ocean of fluffy, cotton-like waves. Standing at 2,922 meters above sea level, Mt. Pulag is the highest peak in Luzon and the third highest in the country.

Depending on your skill, reaching the summit can take 4-5 hours. You have the option to pick between four trails: Ambangeg, Akiki, Tawangan, and Ambaguio. If you’re a beginner, the Ambangeg trail is a popular choice, but if you want a challenge, the Ambaguio is the longest and hardest path. Whichever trail you select, don’t forget to bring a thick jacket since the temperatures in the mountains can drop as low as -2 degrees.  

See also: Top 10 Baguio Tourist Destinations To Visit

Mt. Apo (Davao)

Standing at 2,956 meters above sea level, Mt. Apo is the highest peak in the country, so it’s no surprise that the mountain is one of the most challenging trails to hike. Located in Davao, Mt. Apo is a dormant volcano and consists of seven peaks. It will typically take you around 2-5 days to reach the summit, so its trails are definitely no walk in the park.

You can choose between four trails: Sibulan, Kidapawan, Kapatagan, and Mt. Talomo. Going up Mt. Apo via Kidapawan is the easiest path, and it can take 2-3 days to go up and down the summit. Hiking through the Mt. Talomo trail is the most challenging and can take you around five days to complete.

Mt. Pinatubo (Zambales)

Its status as the most powerful active stratovolcano makes Mt. Pinatubo one of the best mountains to hike in the Philippines. Standing at 1,745 meters above sea level, this mountain is only a minor climb compared to other trails. You have to hop into a 4×4 for a 45-minute ride to the start of the trail. While it will only take two hours to reach its summit, the climb is still worth it, as you’ll come across volcanic formations, cliffs, and streams.

Although hiking through Mt. Pinatubo is allowed throughout the year, it’s not recommended to go during rainy and stormy months, particularly from June to September, since the heavy rains can cause lahar floods.

See also: Top 7 Thrilling Outdoor Activities in the Philippines

Mt. Arayat (Pamapanga)

Rising 1,026 meters above sea level, Mt. Arayat can be difficult to miss when you travel through Pampanga. Now considered an inactive volcano, climbing Mt. Arayat can be an exciting feat. It offers stunning views of the region’s vast plains, rice paddies, and river.

The mountain has four peaks: the North, South, Pinnacle, and TKO, with the North being its true summit. The trail starts with a 3-4 hour hike through dense forests and bamboo groves and gradually becomes more challenging as it becomes steeper and rockier. You can take a break at Diamalos River, where you can find a small waterfall and a serene lake. 

From there, the trail ascends through mossy forests and open grasslands, eventually turning into steep and rocky terrain as it reaches the final stretch of the summit. The top provides mesmerizing views of the surrounding plains, cities, and mountain ranges, making the challenging hike worthwhile. 

Mt. Makiling (Laguna)

Nestled in the province of Laguna, Mt. Makiling is one of the easiest trails for beginner hikers. At 1090 meters above sea level, its trail will only take about 5-7 hours to conquer. The mountain has myriad lush preserved forests, flora, and fauna, where you might bump into its wildlife. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a Rafflesia plant the size of a salad bowl! However, keep a close eye on leeches, as they’re prevalent throughout the trail. From the summit, you’ll have a comprehensive view of the surrounding Southern Tagalog mountains, including Mt. Banahaw, Mt. Cristobal,  Mt. Kalisungan, Mt. Prinza, and Mt. Obabis.


Closing Thoughts

The Philippines is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with its diverse and breathtaking mountain landscapes. From the towering peaks of Mt. Pinatubo to the scenic trails of Mt. Makiling, hikers of all skill levels will surely find a path that quenches their thirst for adventure. The best mountains to hike in the Philippines not only offer thrilling trails but also mesmerizing views of the country’s natural scenery. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you plan on taking a hiking trip soon, here are answers to frequently asked questions that might help you plan your itinerary better:

What is the best mountain for a beginner to climb in the Philippines?

For a beginner, Mt. Batulao in Batangas is often recommended for beginner and casual hikers. It’s just 811 meters above sea level, so it will only take you 2-3 hours to get to the top. The mountain also has established paths, making the trail easier. 

What is the hardest mountain to climb in the Philippines?

As the highest peak in the Philippines, Mt. Apo in Davao is probably one of the most challenging mountains to climb. It stands 2,956 meters above sea level and is home to the endangered Philippine eagle.

What is the easiest mountain to hike in Luzon?

Aside from Mt. Batulao, Mt. Maculot in Batangas is one of the easiest mountains to climb in Luzon. The mountain has three destinations, but travelers often head to the Rockies, which are only around 706 meters above sea level.

Related: Top 10 Hiking Places In The Philippines

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