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Adventure and Outdoors

See the natural beauty and diverse wildlife of the Philippines with thrilling outdoor adventures that will definitely be one for the books.

Hiking and Mountaineering in the Philippines: What You Need to Know

Hiking and Mountaineering in the Philippines: What You Need to Know

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Beyond stunning islands with pristine beaches and rich marine life, the Philippines also offers breathtaking hiking spots. While hiking in the Philippines is far from a national favorite, here there is no shortage of excellent hiking and mountaineering spots suitable for outdoor enthusiasts of any level.

For the most part, however, you won’t be able to find signposted paths, as there are in Germany or other places where hiking and mountaineering are a thing. Simply put, hiking tourism is still relatively unpopular that hiking maps or even mountain sportsbooks are not considered for the time being. 

Still, numerous hiking groups consisting of younger men and women organize themselves in social networks and storm the peaks. The first generation of mountaineers is just growing up, through their involvement, the mountain trails are opening up to hikers from outside the region.

Read on to find out a little more about hiking and mountaineering in the Philippines.
silhouette image of man helping woman climb mountain

Undisturbed hiking in awe-inspiring nature

First of all, some good news: The Philippines are a pristine hiking paradise almost everywhere, a dream destination for people with a penchant for adventure who want to move off the beaten path. 

From walks very close to the capital to others that climb above the trees and reveal a completely green horizon, trekking and hiking in the Philippines present a huge variety of very attractive possibilities. It is a very humid climate so it is important to be well prepared with water and suitable clothing.

Hardly any Filipino hikes, and Filipinos only walk when there is no alternative. There is a good number of scenic insider tips that are still waiting to be discovered, including many kilometers of lonely beaches, karst landscapes, primeval forest, volcanoes, and high mountains. Yes, there is something for everyone, and here, those who value peace and solitude will certainly not be disappointed.


As mentioned, the vast majority of the population in the country has little in mind for such activities as hiking and mountaineering. Therefore, the hiking tourism industry with all its accompanying phenomena only exists here in very few places. The descriptions of the trails on the Internet should only serve as an inspiration for the outdoor enthusiast and should not be relied upon. It will be necessary to hire a guide for almost every mountain tour. These are usually trained locals from the mountain villages, who then walk in flip flops in front of you and do not necessarily speak good English. But - they know the ways and if necessary they will help you with the bolo (the Filipino machete) to clear some overgrown access that you would never have found in your life without them.

Guides are available starting from 300 PHP per tour, while longer tours may cost twice as much. But with such low prices, you should not be stingy about it and leave a reasonable tip afterward. Guides can often be booked at tourist information offices, and national parks often arrange mountain guides right at the main entrance.

Difficulties and preparation

Like everywhere else in the world, it is important in the Philippines to know your own limits. Since the difficulty of the hiking trails is often not clearly classified, it is advisable to ask the guide or another person familiar with the area about the trail. Long pants, headgear, and hiking boots are recommended. Under no circumstances should you copy the guide and climb the mountains with flip flops.

Both in the rainy season (due to mud) and the dry season (due to dust), the paths are slippery. Especially outside the national parks, you have to be prepared to fight your way through the vegetation from time to time. Mosquito spray and sunscreen should be in your backpack and above all: water. Because the biggest challenge on mountain tours in the Philippines is the sweltering heat.

Therefore it is also recommended to leave at first light (5:30 am) and if possible to return to civilization before the hot afternoon. Everyone must know his own limits here. However, a look at the weather warnings of the Pagasa is an absolute must - to be surprised by a typhoon in the mountains is a rather unpleasant adventure.
man wearing backpack sitting mountain top facing mountains surrounded with white clouds

Best Hiking Trails in the Philippines

In addition to being a beach lover's paradise, the Philippines also has a long list of scenic hiking trails, varying in levels of difficulty. In a country endowed with abundant natural beauty, hikers can be guaranteed breathtaking panoramic views that will accompany them on the journey and reward them after each journey.  

Here is a list of the best trails in the country.

A pearl of the Philippine mountain world hides on Panay. Already from the airplane, you can see that the island in the western Visayas offers real mountains and not only hilly landscapes as is the case on most of the Philippine islands. Some rocks rise more than 2000 meters out of the water. If you manage to climb up, you will be rewarded, with a view of hundreds of islands.

For the hikes, you have to plan between two and eight hours. Also, for avid fans of sport climbing there are fine climbing routes in the hard limestone, but mostly in the more difficult area (from 6a+). Guides for hiking can be booked at the hut, sports climbing fans should inquire in advance at the climbing hall in Iloilo.

How do you get to the mountain village? First, you take the jeepney from Iloilo to Igbarras. There you have to register at the police station (near the plaza) and then you can take a motorcycle to Passi. Theoretically, you could drive through to Igcabugao. However, mountain lovers are advised to walk the last kilometers from Passi to the mountain village.

Not only is the mountain path picturesque and deserves to be walked, but the path is easy to find (the slope is always uphill). Guides can be booked on-site.

Mount Batulao
Mt. Pulag
Tarak Ridge
Masungi Georeserve
Tinipak River Trail
Mt. Daraitan
Kibungan Circuit

Best time to trek in the Philippines

The best time to enjoy hiking and trekking in the Philippines are the months between January and April. At that time, rainfall is relatively low (even taking into account that in the Philippines it always rains a lot), and temperatures have not yet reached extreme levels. 

The rainy season begins in June, which can make this type of excursion difficult, and typhoons are relatively frequent in the months of August, September, and October, so it is not advisable to go for a hiking adventure or climb mountains.