Manila travel guide to 7 hiking destinations near the city
Aside from having countless beaches, the Philippines is also home to a number of mountains that are great for hiking! If you want to step up your Manila travel adventure, spend a day of nature tripping and some cardio as you climb up trails among our suggested hiking destinations!
No need to go far because despite being located outside of Manila, it takes just a short drive out of the city to experience nature’s best!
Featured in our Manila travel guide are hiking destinations that are friendly for beginners. So, round up your squad and plan your hiking getaway as we list down beginner-friendly hiking spots near Manila!
Pico de Loro
First attraction in our travel guide is a favourite among hikers. Pico de Loro is one of the famous destinations for hikers. This is a short two-hour drive from Manila and about three hours hike up to enjoy the 360-degree view of Batangas and Cavite. If you start climbing early morning, you can even catch some monkeys scavenging for their meal. If you’re lucky, you can also have dogs to serve as extra guides for your hike.
Budget Needed: P700 to P1,000
Mt. Gulugod Baboy
Experienced hikers will find Mt. Gulugod Baboy a piece of cake. But for beginners, along with some short breaks and stops, you’ll get to the summit in about 2.5 hours. If you don’t feel like hiking down from the top, there’s actually a road on the other side where you can easily rent a tricycle worth P500! Because you can finish the hike in half a day, people recommend taking a swim or a dive in the nearby resorts for some relaxation.
Budget Needed: P700 to P900
The Manila travel time going to Mt. Batulao is two and a half hours from the city. This hiking destination located in Nasugbu, Batangas holds stunning views of Batangas city. But before reaching its peak, you will be guided through the up and down slopes of the mountain. You can choose among the two trails you can hike up to. One is Mt. Batulao’s newest trail which is good for beginners; this will take you only 1.5 hours going up. The other trail is the old one which will lead you to the mountain peak within 2.5 hours.
Budget Needed: P600 to P900
Mt. Balagbag – Maranat
Feeling a little adventurous? You can hike up more than one mountain if you decide to go to our next destination – Mt. Balagbag – Maranat.
To start off this travel adventure, take a refreshing dip in the Maranat Falls before you head out to a two-hour traverse going to Mt. Balagbag which includes a 45-minute vertical climb. It’s best to reach Mt. Balagbag’s peak later afternoon just in time for the picturesque sunset.
Don’t forget that you will need a guide if you decide to go this route. The best ones, of course, are the locals so feel free to negotiate with them before starting your hike.
Budget Needed: P650 to P800
The beauty of hiking up Mt. Daraitan is that you get to see more than one natural wonder on the go. Once you’ve reached the summit of Mt. Daraitan, you can enjoy the view of Daraitan River, Sierra Madre and the surrounding mountains. Your next stop is the Tinipak River with its springs, caves and natural pools.
You can also stay overnight! The locals will be very much welcome to accommodate you.
Budget Needed: P500 to P700
Mt. Manalmon is three hours from Manila. This one’s probably the easiest one for beginners because it’s actually not a mountain, but a hill. The guides of Mamamayang May Aksyon Dulot ng Likas-Yamang Umuugnay sa Madlum will give you an exciting adventure! Activities such as river crossing, swimming, hiking, bird-watching and monkey bridge crossing are just some of the things to keep you entertained during the trip. Interesting stories and facts about your destination will also be shared by your guides.
Budget Needed: P650 to P950
Mt. Pinatubo is our personal favourite because it offers a unique hiking experience. With a two and a half hour drive from Manila, travel to Mt. Pinatubo in Tarlac and experience nature in its finest.
Unlike the other mountains, Mt. Pinatubo offers ash, sand and a beautiful mix of white and grey formations. You won’t see grasslands and forests here because since the eruption in 1991, long stretches of sand will be the sight you’ll see when you choose to hike this beauty! Visitors enjoy a fun ride of 4×4 jeep before the trek to make it more memorable. When you reach the top, you will find a crater lake which changes colours depending on the weather so make sure to bring with you a hand camera!
Budget Needed: P2,000 for the 4×4 jeep ride rental
Now you know about these hiking destinations, the next time you plan for your Manila vacation, side trip to these following locations and explore the natural beauty of the Philippines!
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