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Best Hiking Trails in Philippines

Overview

An archipelago of thousands of islands in the Philippine Sea, the Philippines are dotted with mountains and volcanoes and there’s plenty to keep a tropical hiker happy here.  The possibilities are endless as there are so many islands to choose from; some of the popular hikes include: Mount Batulao and Mount Maculot in Batangas; Mount Pinatubo and High Peak in the Zambales Mountains; Taal Volcano around Manila; Mount Apo and so many more. Hiking through rice terraces is also popular in parts of the Philippines. The best months to hike in the Philippines are December to April but this varies depending on the region.  Read on for more information on where and when to go hiking in the Philippines. 

Capital: Manila

When To Hike in Philippines?

December – April: Driest period but this varies according to region.  Filter in the map to see best months for the different regions
May – November: Rainy period; typhoon risk in some of these months; this also varies according to region

Climate: Equatorial (rainy all year) and tropical (wet and dry seasons).  Typhoons occur between May – Dec, but more so between Aug – Nov and there’s definite risk in the Philippines. The eastern side is much more rainy than western side due to exposure to northeast trade winds; the eastern side has equatorial climate so it’s hard to find a good time to go, but in general more of the mountainous areas are in tropical zone.

 

Philippines Monthly Weather

Accessibility of Hiking

Medium: Most of the trails, particularly the volcanic climbs, require a guide.  The best thing to do is to decide on an area and find a reputable guide.  

Transportation required: Public transit to some areas, car necessary for others

Where to stay in the Philippines for hiking:

  • Baguio
  • Banaue
  • Manila
  • Davao
  • Sagada
  • Puerto Galera

Most popular hikes in Philippines

The most popular areas for hiking are in the Cordillera in North Luzon as well as Mindanao (where Mt Apo is), but there are mountains/volcanoes throughout the whole archipelago. Highest Mountain: Mount Apo (2954 m) on Mindanao

Filter out hiking places of Philippines by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Palawan Island

  • Jan – Apr
  • Long, narrow island
  • Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
  • Mount Mantalingahan

Samar Island

  • Jan – Apr
  • Large Eastern Visayas island, very rugged
  • No info on hiking here

Leyte Island

  • Jan – Apr
  • Lake Danao National Park
  • Lake Mahagnao Volcanic National Park

Bohol Island

  • Jan – Apr
  • Chocolate Hills 
  • Rajah Sikatuna National Park

Cebu island

  • Jan – Apr
  • Best Eastern Visayas island for hiking
  • Central Cebu Nature Preserve 
  • Sudlon National Park
  • Mount Manunggal

Sibuyan Island

  • Jan – Apr
  • Part of the Western Visayas
  • Mt Guiting-Guiting Natural Park
    • Mt Guiting-Guiting known as G2, considered a challenging climb, one of the best in the Philippines

Panay Island

  • Jan – Apr
  • Part of the Western Visayas
  • Sibalom Natural Park 
  • Northwest Panay Peninsula Natural Park

Negros Island

  • Jan – Apr
  • One of the Western Visayas islands; has the most hiking out of the Western Visayas
  • Mt Kanlaon Natural Park 
  • Twin Lakes National Park
  • Mt Talinas

Camiguan

  • Feb – Apr
  • Island just north of Mindanao; quite rainy even during these months
  • Has more than 20 volcanoes 1000 m high

Mount Kitanglad Range Natural Park

  • Feb – Apr
  • Rainy even during these months

Mount Mangabon

  • Feb – Apr
  • Rainy even in these months

Mount Balatukan Range Natural Park

  • Feb – Apr
  • Rainy even during these months

Around Davao

  • Jan – Apr
  • Main city on the island of Mindanao
  • Mt Apo – highest peak; challenge to get permit
  • Compostela Valley

Mindoro

  • Jan – Apr
  • Mountainous island
  • Mounts Iglit-Baco National Park 
  • Puerto Galera 
    • Mt Talipanan
    • Mt Malasimbo
  • Mt Halcon – challenging peak

Bulusan Volcano National Park

  • Feb – Apr

Caramoan National Park

  • Feb – Apr
  • Thick jungle, not sure if there are hiking trails

Mayon Volcano Natural Park

  • Feb – Apr

Mount Milinao

  • Feb – Apr

Mount Iriga

  • Feb – Apr

Mount Isarog National Park

  • Feb – Apr
  • On the Bicol Peninsula, quite rainy
  • Trails leading up to summit

Mount Banahaw

  • Jan – Apr
  • Main site of cults dedicated to Jose Rizal, hero to Filipinos; one of the reasons part of trail closed is due to degradation from popularity

Zambales Mountains

  • Jan – Apr
  • Manleluag Spring National Park
  • High Peak

Mingan Mountains

  • Jan – Apr
  • Southern end of the Sierra Madre mountains
  • Aurora Memorial National Park

Bessang Pass Natural Park

  • Dec – Mar

Northern Sierra Madre

  • Dec – Mar
  • Mountain range in the eastern side of Luzon
  • Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park – very hard to access; very rainy
  • Fuyot Spring National Park

Kalinga province

  • Dec – Mar
  • Treks to Indigenous villages

Sagada

  • Dec – Mar
  • Is a good base; lots of hikes from here, good place to arrange a guide
  • Mt Sipitan
  • Mt Kiltepan
  • Mt Mogao

Around Manila

  • Dec – Mar
  • Mt Arayat 
  • Mt Tapulao (highest peak in this range)
  • Taal Volcano – popular
  • Many other peaks

Mount Sicapoo

  • Dec – Mar

Mount Pulag National Park

  • Dec – Mar
  • Largest national park in Cordillera

Baguio

  • Dec – Mar
  • Mountain town that’s a good base for hikes

Banaue

  • Dec – Mar
  • Hiking through rice terraces is a popular activity and Banaue is the premier destination for that

Long Distance Trails of Philippines

  • Many multi-day treks

Philippines's Walking & Hiking Resources

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Philippines Hiking Books: No hiking specific book

  • Lonely Planet Philippines, by Paul Harding, Greg Bloom, Celeste Brash, Michael Grosberg, Iain Stewart, 2021, Lonely Planet Publications – https://amzn.to/3TMceNtpretty good source of hiking info
  • Insight Guides Philippines (Travel Guide with Free eBook), by Insight Guides, 2023, APA Publications – https://amzn.to/3U0z5pY
  • Rough Guide to the Philippines (Travel Guide eBook), by Rough Guides, 2017, APA Publications – https://amzn.to/3PN7IgG
  • Other independently published travel guides

 

Philippines Hiking Associations:

 

Best Hiking Trails in Philippines:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from trail maps/apps, websites, and tourist offices:

  • Mount Apo – around Davao
  • Mount Batulao – Batungas
  • Mount Pulag – Luzon
  • Mount Guiting-Guiting – Sibuyan Island
  • Mount Halcon – Mindoro
  • Mount Isarog – Bicol Peninsula
  • Mount Banahaw
  • Taal Volcano – around Manila
  • Mount Pinatubo – Zambales Mountains
  • High Peak – Zambales Mountains

Easy Hiking Trails in Philippines:

  • Mansungki
  • Mount Maculot – Batangas

 

Philippines Hiking Websites:

 

Philippines Weather websites:

 

Philippines Official Tourism Site:  

 

Philippines Hiking Apps: 

 

Philippines Hiking Maps:

What Else To Do

  • Diving
  • Other water sports
  • Climbing 
  • WWII stuff
  • Caving
  • MTB

Other Important Points

  • Cities are busy, smoggy; getting in and out of Manila can take a long time
  • Conflict between Muslim population and majority Catholic population in Mindanao