Hiking Bucket List: The 10 Greatest Hiking Destinations Near Manila

Ten Hiking Destinations Near Manila

The tropical country of the Philippines isn’t just all about its 7,641 islands and beaches. It also houses a lot of magnificent and tall mountains that would be lovely to trek and conquer. Hiking is an excellent way to walk, exercise, and have fun with nature while anticipating what view you could get when you reach the top. Whether you’re a hiking beginner or you’ve climbed multiple mountains, the panoramic and picturesque beauty of the view and rest from the city is an experience to keep coming back into.

If you’re from Manila or dropped from the NAIA airport and want to explore hiking adventures and escape the heat of urbanity, these are the perfect places to go start your hiking adventures!

Take a view of Mount Daraitan

At Mt. Daraitan Summit

Located at Tanay, Rizal, Mount Daraitan is seated at the heart of the Philippines’ most extended mountain range— the Sierra Madre. The mountain is a famous hiking spot, camping, and mysterious cave touring. You’ll get bewitched with their magnificent limestones and perfect outdoor recreational activities. Make sure to admire the Tinapak River as this mountain houses one of the most beautiful rivers.

After you tour the surroundings, you can continue climbing and have the astounding view from the summit of Mount Daraitan as you’ll see the beauty of Sierra Madre. The hike can take up to three to four hours so make sure to bring your water and light snacks on the way. One bonus is that you don’t have to spend that much just to have an adventure. You can budget everything from Php700 per head.

Supplement your Adventures in Mount Batolusong

Mount Batolusong photo via FB Page
Mount Batolusong photo via FB Page

If you’re still in Tanay from Mount Daraitan’s hiking trip and want more mountains to conquer, you can have a quick hike in Mt Batolusong. If you’re from Manila, you can drive or travel just two hours away.

Mount Batolusong or Mount Batong Lusong won’t disappoint you, especially with its beautiful view despite the mountain being the first pick for hiking beginners. You’ll be able to admire nature’s scenic grasslands and rolling hills as you start your climb up. On the summit, you can take a photo of Laguna and Quezon’s view, which are Rizal’s neighboring provinces.

Trek on Mount Batulao

Mount Batulao by Dahon / Gerald Turaray via Flickr CC
Mount Batulao by Dahon / Gerald Turaray via Flickr CC

Situated in Nasugbu, Batangas, Mount Batulao is one of the spectacular starting mountains for beginners as you can take the new trail that can take you up to the peak faster in about an hour and a half. You can take the old route to take you up for about two to three hours for more challenge.

If you want to take it to the next level, you can rest in the campsites provided along the way and enjoy camping overnight.

From the marvelous work of nature, you will reach the stunning view of Batangas City and its neighboring coastal towns. It’s budget-friendly too! Expect to spend around a minimum of Php 600 for your mountain climbing adventure.

Camp in Mount Tapulao

Mount Tapulao Hike by Francis Gimenez via Flickr CC
Mount Tapulao Hike by Francis Gimenez via Flickr CC

Mount Tapulao is called High Peak by the locals as it is the tallest mountain in Central Luzon reaching around 2,037 meters above sea level. If you want to enjoy the cool breeze, the great forests, and grasslands, this mountain will definitely satisfy you. To take hiking up to another level, hiking this mountain can take up to two days if you decided to rest on the campsite.

Make sure to bring your warmest clothes as the temperature can get freezing as the atmosphere is breezy, which adds to the charms of camping and hiking once you reach the upper parts of the mountain until its peak.

Trudge up Mount Makiling

Close-up view of Makiling summit from Santo Tomas by Ramon FVelasquez via Wikipedia CC
Close-up view of Makiling summit from Santo Tomas By Ramon FVelasquez – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

Mount Makiling is situated in Laguna, a place that has its famous springs and waterfalls. After you have these relaxing adventures, you can go hiking and trudge along the Mount Makiling trail that’s just close to Manila. Admire nature’s beauty with the well taken cared forests as you stroll along with the obstacles that you need to overcome while climbing. Make sure to purchase and learn how to use your hiking and climbing gear as you need to have a lot of stretching to do, especially up the steep Melkas Ridge.

To add to its mysterious and beautiful history, it is said that the figure of the mountain portrays a beautiful sleeping Maria Makiling, which was written in La Solidaridad by our hero Jose Rizal. Once you reach the peak, be mystified by the beauty of the seven stunning lakes and scenic views, which are all worth it.

Take a Chance to See Monkeys at Mount Pico De Loro

Pico de Loro Hike
Pico de Loro Hike

Mount Pico De Loro means Parrot’s Peak and is often called Mount Palay-Palay by the locals in Cavite and Batangas. Climbing the mountain is a unique experience as you can even have the chance to encounter a family of monkeys and legendary exotic birds along the hike up. You can even get a chance to see the exotic birds and monkeys along the trail. You can bring the provided extra dogs as a partner in hiking up the trail.

At the summit, the Parrot’s Beak should definitely be admired along with its fabulous scenic picture. Just with a minimum budget of Php800 and a three-hour climb, you’ll definitely be amused by the surprises that the mountain brings.

Tread the Legendary Mount Pinatubo

Mt Pinatubo Hiking Tour photo by Monggoy via Flickr
Mt Pinatubo Hiking Tour photo by Monggoy via Flickr

Mount Pinatubo became famous for its sand, ash, and lahar formations after its 1991 eruption instead of the natural green forestry you usually see when climbing mountains. At the top, you’ll get to view the mountain range and crater that magically changes its atmosphere depending on the weather and climate.

Instead of views of other mountain ranges, it has a crater lake that changes color depending on the weather.  Its hills are home to the indigenous Aetas, who you can meet and have a chat with during the journey. You can have fun by boating across the lake crater and camping overnight for an additional vivid experience!

Tramp up Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano Hiking Tour photo via KLOOK
Taal Volcano Hiking Tour photo via KLOOK

Taal Volcano is already a picturesque view even from afar, but you can also enjoy it when you’re actually on top of it. Once you arrive at your location, you can take a boat from Barangay San Nicolas to reach the volcano.

You’ll be able to see the Lava Walk along with the majestic birds repopulating in the area. Its’ crater lake has serene waters, and the sea view below makes the whole journey worthwhile with just a minimum of Php 1000 budget. You can even ride a horse when you want to reach the craters and finish the hike in approximately two to three hours!

Appreciate the View on Mount Maculot’s Summit

Mc Pol Cruz in Mount Maculot
Mc Pol Cruz in Mount Maculot

Another hiking location in Batangas is Mount Maculot if you want to see Taal Lake’s view from a different perspective. Offering other trails like the Grotto, Rockies, and Summit trails adhere to your personal preference and levels as a hiker.

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert in mountain climbing, Mount Maculot will not disappoint you as its’ difficulty levels are enjoyed by many. Once you reach the top, you can spend the camp on the Saddle or go down straight away.

Chill on Mount Manabu

If you want an easy hike but rewarded with a scenic view, Mt. Manabu is definitely one of the easiest mountains to hike within Batangas. It has a trail that’s just right for anyone to tread in and want to experience hiking.

Along the way, you’ll get to cross rivers and steep assaults, but the natural green surroundings will definitely attract your attention. At the summit, you can have their proud Alamid coffee as you warm yourself on the misty peak, overlooking the picture of Batangas.

Want more updates about popular tourist hiking destinations in the Philippines? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, and TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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