The best hikes in the Philippines are without a doubt some of the best ways to find the most amazing views in all of the Philippines. With the Philippines being made up of over 7,000 islands (7,641 to be exact), it’s safe to say the hiking options abound here. So much so that it can be confusing deciding what to pick when it comes to these amazing hikes.
It can also be quite a faff switching islands in the Philippines (some journeys can take houses) so pre-planning your visit properly is something I’d say is definitely worth it (you could try winging it but the hassle and potential disappoint seem pretty much unnecessary).
To help you on your merry way, we’ve pulled together the 12 very best hikes in the Philippines! Here they are:
*Side note: Don’t go off hiking on your own and pay attention to the weather forecast before you head out. Sounds obvious but the last thing you wanna do is be lost in the jungle in the middle of tropical storm or typhoon. Local sim cards are also fairly cheap so be sure to get yourself one, just in case.
1.) Mount Batulao
This is known as one of the most popular hikes in the Batangas and definitely one of the best hikes in the Philippines for beginners. The moderate terrain leads you past a number of smaller, vividly green mountaintops before you get to the summit.
Up here, you’ll have an absolutely spectacular view of the many coastal towns that populate the Batangas.
While the entire journey takes about eight hours round trip, it is important to leave time to soak up the atmosphere at the top. If you really want to take your time, there are a number of campsites available along the way.
2.) Mount Daraitan
The Sierra Madre mountain range is the longest in the Philippines. Said to be one of the prettiest spots in all of Rizal, the trail is moderate to somewhat difficult, but it can still be done in one day.
The trek uphill is scenic enough, as you are surrounded by a lush green tropical forest that is absolutely teeming with birds and other wildlife.
The top, however is where it truly shines as you find yourself surrounded by the spectacular beauty of the Sierra Madre mountain peaks. On the way down, be sure to make time to stop and check out the many waterfalls and stalagmite caves.
3.) Mount Maculot
This is another particularly popular hike in the Batangas. An hour or so into the moderate hike, you come to the famous Rockies, where you must scramble over a boulder field to continue your ascent.
The vast majority of people who chose to go on this hike to tend to concentrate solely on getting to the Rockies, however, if you are feeling up to the challenge you can go even farther!
It is a hard, somewhat tenuous walk, but when you get to the summit, you are rewarded with one of the best viewpoints of Taal Lake that can be had anywhere, along with a pretty breathtaking view of the Batangas.
4.) The Masungi Georeserve
Located in Rizal, this is a popular destination for anyone wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of Manila (and believe me, it’s one busy city!).
This hike is one that’s got something fun for hikers of all ages, as you have the opportunity to stroll on a suspension bridge through some absolutely otherworldly scenery.
The lush green of the rainforest, coupled with the multiple limestone formations make for a picturesque and easy day hike that truly gives you a feeling of being far removed from busy city life.
5.) Mount Pulag
As the highest peak in Luzon, it is perhaps not surprising that Mount Pulag is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful and best hikes in the Philippines!
The climb to the summit is moderately difficult and takes about five hours each way.
Understandably (it is a mountain, after all) the mountain top is where the hiking truly comes into its own as here, you get to stand above a sea of clouds, offering a perspective unlike any other in the Philippines.
It is important to note that this region frequently suffers from unexpected cold spells and temperature drops, so be sure to prepare yourself properly before embarking on the hike.
6.) Mount Pinatubo
This is the site of the second largest volcanic eruption to occur within a densely populated area.
On June 15th, 1991, Mount Pinatubo erupted violently, sending huge waves of superheated ash and gas into the atmosphere, and today, you can visit this beautiful yet sombre location with a moderately paced hike that takes anywhere from two to three hours to complete.
The clear, vividly-blue waters that have collected in the volcano’s crater is a serene yet somewhat eerie spot to stop for lunch, to relax, and of course, grab yourself plenty of photos!
7.) Mount Pico De Loro
This is an absolutely beautiful hike with gorgeous rewards for those who are prepared for its challenges.
The going can be very steep and slow, and the slippery conditions can make it downright treacherous at times – as a result, this is perhaps not the ideal hike for a beginner.
If you do make the climb, however, you will find yourself standing just below the highest point in Cavite. Feeling particularly daring? Rock climbers can ascend up Parrot’s Peak for a view that is truly out of this world, albeit not for the faint of heart.
8.) Tarak Ridge
The Taraak Ridge hikes is an excellent option for anyone looking for a challenging day hike.
When you’re here, be sure to stop for a picnic lunch on the banks of the Papaya River. This is a good spot for getting all of the rest you can, as the path gets dramatically more difficult from here on out.
Once you get to the summit, you will find yourself surrounded by gorgeous scenery, including a panoramic view of Manila Bay and Bataan.
Located in the Rizal Mountains, this peak is most famous for the ethereal views rewarding those who climb to its summit. (*Yup! It’s another one where you can get to stand above the clouds.)
In order to catch a glimpse of this ethereal natural phenomenon, you will need to get out of bed very early, as the effect is most pronounced around sunrise.
This is one of the best hikes in the Philippines for anyone who wants a gradual, relatively easy hike without compromising on awesome scenery.
At the summit, you will find yourself surrounded by a visual delight as you gaze upon the seacoast that is beautifully framed by the thick woods. This area is absolutely teeming with local flora and fauna as well, so be sure to keep a lookout for native colourful butterflies and songbirds.
When you’re done here, head over to nearby Laiya Beach, where you can just chill and gorge on some of the freshest seafood available.
11.) Taal Volcano
Crater Lake is a beautifully pristine pool of water that has made its home in the crater of the world’s smallest active volcano, making for one of the best hikes in the Philippines and definitely one of the most picturesque.
A quick hike up to the ridge will give you a bird’s eye view of Taal Lake, and make for a great spot for taking in the gorgeous view of the sea below.
12.) Mount Apo
Standing almost 3,000 meters tall, this is the highest mountain in all of the Philippines – a key part of why it’s widely considered to be one of the best hikes in the Philippines.
The mountain itself is famous for the thick coat of moss that covers the majority of its trails and surfaces, a phenomenon which is made possible by the large amount of rain that falls in this area.
The trek itself is as strenuous as one might expect, though the absolutely breathtaking views of the countryside and nearby lakes make the climb well worth the physical challenge.