The Philippines is an archipelago abundant with different landforms. Being in the Pacific Ring of Fire, this country in Southeast Asia is interspersed with mountains and mountain ranges on its many islands. Some of these mountains have become popular tourist destinations, owing to their beauty and the richness of the fauna and flora that can be found in these mounds of Earth.
Of course, we cannot talk about mountains without talking about hiking. A lot of the highest mountains in the Philippines are also open for hiking. There are mountains for beginner climbers, but there are also those for the adventure-seekers and the professional ones, who think of the altitude and the difficulty of the climb as a challenge to overcome.
Top Mountains for Hiking in the Philippines
Below is a list of the top 5 highest mountains to climb in the Philippines. There are hiking guides that are available to help you conquer these new heights, and the views at the top will definitely worth the days of walking.
1. Mt. Apo in Davao del Sur
This is the highest mountain in the Philippines, standing 2,954 meters in the southern province of Davao del Sur. Of course, because of its sheer altitude, conquering this mountain known as the “grandfather of Philippine mountains” is not an easy task. It takes three to four days to get to the summit and go back to the plains. The trail is also challenging, with thick mossy forests, steep trails and huge rock boulders. This challenge, however, is worth every step when your reach the top, where a spectacular view awaits, especially during sunset.
2. Mt. Dulang-Dulang in Bukidnon
Mt. Dulang-Dulang is also among the highest mountains in the Philippines, but unique in its own way. The landscape on this mountain is comparable to the setting of “The Lord of the Rings,” with moss, mist and pine trees giving the place a mystical vibe. However, don’t be fooled by the impressive forests of this mountain, because the trail can also become challenging, eventually reaching a point when it is very slippery and with limited visibility due to the moss and the clouds. The mountain is also considered sacred by the locals, so a ritual sacrifice of a chicken is required before you hike to the mountains with your guides. The hike usually takes two days.
3. Mt. Pulag in Benguet
If you want to feel close to heaven, this is the highest mountain in the Philippines for you to climb. This 2,930-meter-high mountain has become a popular tourist attraction because it treats hikers to a picturesque sea of clouds upon reaching the summit. The hike is also appropriate for beginners, only taking at least three hours to climb to the top. Mt. Pulag’s landscape is also one of kind, featuring three kinds of vegetation: a pine forest at the bottom, a mossy forest in the middle, and vast grasslands at the summit.
4. Mt. Kitanglad in Bukidnon
Climbing what is considered also as one of the highest mountains in the Philippines might seem easy, but endurance is required to conquer this 2,899-meter land mass. Being a communications center, Mt. Kitanglad’s hiking trail is pretty well-established, complete with steps that can help you ascend the very steep trails. Still, it takes a lot of energy to get to the summit, where there is a panoramic view of northern and central Mindanao. This mountain range is also famed for its rich biodiversity, with animals like brown deer, lizards and even the majestic Philippine monkey-eating eagle calling this place home.
5. Mt. Tabayoc in Benguet
Also among the highest mountains in the Philippines, Mt. Tabayoc is known not much for its summit, but the breathtaking lakes that you can visit while hiking to the top. It is well-recommended to spend a night at the photogenic Lake Tabeo, which is only one of the four lakes in its base. The mossy forests leading up to the summit are also mystical, and are considered to be among the most preserved ones in the Philippines.
In the Philippines, there’s really no mountain high enough to keep you from hiking. A trip to the summit of the highest mountains in the Philippines is guaranteed to be a rewarding experience for their fantastic views and rich biodiversity.
Feature image credit: jojo nicdao