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Beaches and tropical islands aren’t the only great things about the Philippines. It also has numerous hiking trails ranging from easy to challenging. Fortunately, some of the best ones are just a road trip away from Manila. They’re also great places to start out if you just got into hiking.
So if you’re looking to book affordable hotels in the Philippines and enjoy some scenic views, you’ve come to the right country. Let’s take a look at some of the beginner-friendly mountain trails for any aspiring hiker:
1. Mt. Makiling
One of the easiest mountain trails around, Mt. Makiling is a manageable 3-4 hour trek for any newbie hiker. The trail also boasts a lush forest, shielding you from most of the day’s heat while providing a variety of plants and animals to see on the way.
The mountain itself is a dormant volcano that rises to an elevation of 3,580 feet above mean sea level, making it the highest feature of the Laguna Volcanic Field. The forests surrounding the mountain is also part of a natural preserve that’s administered by the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. The mountain was also the first national park of the Philippines.
The summit is also forested, though some parts of it offer views of Laguna de Bay and some of the lakeshore towns of Laguna. Nature lovers are sure to enjoy this place for its rich scenery.
2. Pico de Loro
Rising at 2,178 feet above mean sea level. Pico de Loro is aptly named for its summit that resembles a parrot’s beak. This mountain in Cavite features well-established trails, beautiful forests and breathtaking views at the peak. Its signature feature is the unique formation known as the ‘Monolith,’— a great place to take great pictures and selfies.
The trail begins at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources office, where trekkers need to register prior to climbing. While the trail can get rather steep and rocky, the traverse is one of the quieter areas of the mountain. The bamboo groves and woodlands along the trail also offer great sights for nature enthusiasts.
3. Taal Volcano
One of the most unique features of the Philippines, Taal Volcano is a small volcanic island that rests on a caldera lake – a former crater of an older and bigger volcano. It’s located in the province of Batangas and boasts year-round mild weather, making it ideal for beginning hikers.
Its hiking trail is a relatively easy path, though it’s recommended to start the trek early in the morning to avoid the heat. The 1.7 km-long trail features rocks that have a volcanic quality, and steam vents can be seen along the path. Once you reach the summit, the entire panoramic view of the Crater Lake can be enjoyed, along with other notable mountain ranges near the province.
4. Mt. Batulao
Like Taal, Batulao is also located in Batangas. It’s also one of the most accessible trails from Manila, which is little more than a few hours away. One signature features of this trail is the way the sun touches the rocks, making them appear to glow – this is said to be one of the origins of the trail’s name. It’s a preferred choice for beginning hikers not only for the ease of the hike but also because it makes for a decent training climb.
The jumpoff point starts from the Evercrest Golf Course. From there you can choose between the old and new trails - two options on which route to start from. It’s recommended to visit this place during the months of November to February and start early in the morning when temperatures are still pleasant. The trail is straightforward and easy enough to climb, with about 10 stations to pass through and catch a breather if needed. Upon reaching the summit, you get to see the full expanse of the forests and mountains surrounding Tagaytay and Nasugbu – all of which make for great memorable photos.
5. Mt. Manabu
Manabu is one of the mountains located in Sto. Tomas, Batangas and a distinct part of Malarayat mountain ranges. This place can be easily reached from Manila either by a private or public vehicle, while the trail itself can be completed within two hours when hiking at a normal pace.
Hikers are treated to a combination of rolling slopes and a gradual ascent, both of which are manageable for beginners. Along the way, you can stop by a wide, garden-like campsite which is perfect for overnight campers. At its summit is a big white cross, where more religious trekkers can stop to pray and pay respects. The best part of the trail is the free brewed coffee that the mountain’s caretakers offer all hikers.
Now that you’re read about these five peaks, all that’s left is to start packing for your next trip. Always remember to pack appropriate clothes, such as hiking boots and caps for ample protection. It’s also advisable to bring a sizable water jug and camping supplies if your chosen hiking trail has sites where you can stop over. Get started on your next trip by consulting with your preferred travel agent today!