Ten Must Climb Mountains in the Philippines

Written on February 16, 2009 – 3:28 am | by Etravel |

These are currently the top ten mountains to climb in the Philippines. It is listed in order of difficulty with Level 1 the easiest and level 4 the most strenuous.

1. Mount Pico de Loro, Cavite

This mountain stands 664 meters above sea level at Maragondon, Cavite, 85 kilometers southwest of Manila. In the 1500s, the Spanish named it Pico de Loro because its rocky summit resembles a parrot’s beak. Today, mountaineers venture there for its unusual plants, animals and its stunning summit views of forests, volcanoes and beaches. The southern view is blocked by a huge tower of rock. Climbable but beware of the strong winds. Level 1

How to get there: Fly to Manila then hire an FX taxi for the “Magnetic Hill” at Maragondon, Cavite.

2. Mount Daguldol, Batangas

Its proximity to Manila, a golf course-like campsite on the summit and beach at the foot of the mountain makes Mount Daguldol one of the country’s most popular mountaineering destinations. If you’re a beachy person but want a taste of mountaineering adventure, this is for you. The trail is gentle and lined with rest stops, friendly locals, soft drinks, halo-halo and buko refreshments. Standing at 670 meters tall, it boasts of a stream and waterfalls where visitors can cool off. Its summit provides a view of Batangas Strait, the high mountains of Mindoro Island and to whet your appetite, for a swim the next day, the beautiful and pristine beach. Level 1

How to get there: Fly to Manila then take a bus to Lipa City, Batangas. From there, hire a jeepney for Hugom, San Juan , Batangas.

3. Mount Pinatubo, Zambales

In June 1991, The second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century obliterated the summit of Mount Pinatubo. From 1745 meters tall, it now stands at 1486 meters. Located at the intersection of Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga, the 1991 eruption was the first murmur after a 500 year silence. Billions of tons of volcanic matter spewed from its mouth, creating killer lahar flows in the plains, raining down the thick ash as far as Manila and decreasing the earth’s temperature by 0.5 degrees Celsius. If not for successful predictions and disaster management, thousands of people might have perished. It is now a biking and mountaineering destination. The eruption formed astonishing valleys of ash and a large caldera with a lake covering the terror within. Level 2

How to get there: Fly to Manila then take a bus to Capas, Tarlac. From there, hire a ride and make your way through the towns of Santa Juliana and Sitio Dapili.

4. Mount Ugu, Benguet

On the southern portion of the Cordilleras stands Mount Ugu. It became famous when a plane bound for Loakan airport crashed on its slopes back in 1987. Mountaineers who volunteered for the rescue operations found hidden beauty amid the disaster. Since then, may have ventured into the Cordilleras for this 2086 meter high mountain found between the municipalities of Itogon, Benguet and Kapaya, Nueva Viscaya. It is frequently visited due its closeness to Baguio City. Starting from Itogon, you’ll trek through long, dusty and sun-drenched trails until you reach the steep mountain trails overlooking cool valleys of thick pine forests. The summit features the tall mountain tops of the Cordillera, the rolling pine hills of Nueva Viscaya and the plains of Pangasinan. Level 3

How to get there: Fly to Manila then take a bus to Baguio City. From there, here a jeepney for Otogon, Benguet.

5. Mount Pulag, Benguet

In the central region of Cordillera lies the “playground of the Gods”. The 2930 meter high Mount Pulag is the third highest mountain in the Philippines and the highest in Luzon. Covering portions of Benguet, Ifugao, Nueva Viscaya, it is considered the seat of the Igorot tribal culture. It’s only a six-hour drive to the Northest of Baguio City, making it a popular mountaineering and hiking destination. Mountaineers and hikers experience three types of vegetation- cool, dry pine forest at the bottom, dark, mossy forest in the middle and vast grasslands at the summit which provides a spectacular 360 degree view of the Cordillera. With good weather, you’ll see mountaintops over a vast ocean of white swirling clouds. Level 1 with several strenuous Level 3 trails

How to get there: Fly to Manila then take a bus to Baguio City. From there, hire a jeepney for Kabayan, Benguet.

6. Mount Mariveles, Tarak Ridge, Bataan

Like Mounts Natib and Samat, the slopes of Mount Mariveles were battlefields during the American and Filipino defense of Bataan against Japanese forces in 1942. Situated in the middle of the lower portion of Bataan Peninsula, this 1288 meter high mountain is a popular mountaineering destination. Climbing the mountain requires a long, hot trek from the foothills to steep upper slopes. Hopefully, you’ll get to cool off from a river crossing halfway up the mountain. For the final leg, there’s a rocky, windy trail to the campsite and the summit. But once there, enjoy a scenic view of the beaches of Bataan and the South China Sea to the west, Corregidor Islands and Mount Pico de Loro to the south and Manila Bay, with distant lights of Manila, to the east. Level 2

Hoe to get there: Fly to Manila then take a bus to Mariveles, Bataan.

7. Mount Kitanglad Range, Bukidnon

At Central Mindanao stands a series of high mountains known for their virgin forests that are rich in biodiversity and their pineapples. Mount Kitanglad Rangeb at Bukidnon consists of five large mountains, with Mount Dulang-Dulang being the highest at 2938 meters. Mount Kitanglad Range is home to many species of flora and fauna, notably unusual mossy plants, orchids, brown deer, lizards, cloud rats and at least 74 avian species, including the Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle. Kitanglad Range and its surrounding plains are also the ancestral domain of several indigenous people as well as the Del Monte Pineapple Plantation, the largest in the world. Climbing this mountain requires endurance, a lot of waterproofing and most of all, a camera. Level 3

How to get there: Fly to Cagayan de Oro then hire a jeepney for the municipalities of Sumilao or Latapan, Bikidnon.

8. Mount Apo, Davao del Sur

For the Bagobo tribes of Mindanao, “Apo” means grandfather. With a height of 2954 meters, Mount Apo is the highest mountain in the country. Situated in Davao del Sur, it is a dormant volcano, with three major peaks and a wide volcanic crater containing the crystal clear Lake Venado. Climbing Mount Apo requires hiking through thick mossy forests, steep trails and most notably, an endless trek up giant rock boulders below the mountain’s summit. Sulphur vents and deposits are silent reminders of the volcanic past deep under Mount Apo. The mountain is home to several species of plants and animals, including the beautiful, but nearly extinct Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle. Level 3

How to get there: Fly to Davao City then hire a jeepney for the cities of Digos of Kidapawan.

9. Mount Kanla-on, Negros Occidental

The 2465 meter tall Mount Kanla-on is one of the most beautiful mountains in the Philippines. It is certainly the highest and most active volcano in the Visayas with its craters, cones, sulphuric vents, hot springs, caves, natural gardens and mini forests. Most prominent are the enormous caldera on the north and a deep active crater on the south. this rugged terrain takes its toll on climbers and it was the scene of a fatal erruption in 1996. Despite this, it’s astonishing scenery, magical flora and fauna and bloody history make Kanla-on the pride of Negros Island. Level 3

How to get there: Fly to Bacolod City or Dumaguete City then take a bus for Guintubdan or Wasay jump-off points.

10. Mount Guiting-Guiting, Romblon

The ultimate Philippine mountaineering experience lies in the 2057 meter high Mount Guiting-Guiting. The name means “Saw-toothed Mountain” because of a series of nearly vertical, jagged rocks peaks that shred the clouds. After a long hike to the foothills, mountaineers penetrate one of the most biologically diverse forests in the country then stare death in the eye when trekking the 87 degree slopes and several highly deceiving summits. Level 4

How to get there: Romblon’s Sibuyan Island is reachable by passenger ships from Batangas City via Manila, Roxas City and Kalibo.



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  1. 4 Responses to “Ten Must Climb Mountains in the Philippines”

  2. By pinoyapache on Feb 16, 2009 | Reply

    You missed Mt. Dulangdulang in Bukidnon, Mt. Talinis in Negros Oriental and Mt. Pangasugan in Leyte.

  3. By zakura on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    what an amazing places!!! wish could go there too, very SSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON…

  4. By Marco on Apr 5, 2009 | Reply

    Conquered Mt Apo nung 1997 pa heheh

  5. By Toper on Aug 10, 2009 | Reply

    Aba! ang Mt Banahaw, dba kasale? its near from Manila and its an impressive mountain! ala na pati NPA dun!

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