Where to Hike Near Manila? Tips for Foreign Hikers
If you are in Manila or Makati area and you find your self wanting to hike, these are our recommendations for you. There are many other mountains near Manila but we only picked what we think is worth your vacation. Hope this helps you find your next Manila hiking tour.
Why did we pick these hiking destinations in Manila?
- Proximity from Manila or Makati – these places are within 1 to 2 hours travel by land up to the jump off point and can be done in one day.
- Difficulty level – these mountains can be considered as easy to intermediate, meaning you don’t need to bring equipment like tents, supplies, or rope just to reach the summit.
- Other things that you can do – extra activities that you can do like caving and swimming.
Where to Hike Near Manila?
1. Mount Daraitan
Mount Daraitan is probably our favorite mountain among our recommendations hence, its number one place. We highly recommend it because of the varieties of activities that you can do after hiking the summit.
Mount Daraitan is 739 meters above sea level. The good news is you are not going to start at sea level, probably at half of its altitude.
Not high enough? Don’t underestimate Mount Daraitan. The technicality of the trails going up and down is the major factor we considered here. As a
matter of fact, we do not recommend this to beginners. The assault is lung-busting up to the summit and the descent is knee-shaking. If you are not physically fit, you will find it too difficult. If you are in good shape, works out regularly, you will not have any problem conquering the summit.
What now after descending from the summit of Mount Daraitan?
About 10 minutes trek, there is a river that the locals call Tinipak River and Rock Formation. The river’s water is clean and is very good for swimming. There is also an underground river in a 100-meter long Tinipak Cave not far from the rock formation.
2. Mount Maculot
We also love Mount Maculot because of its exhilarating view at the Rockies and at the summit. Up there, you’ll see almost the entire Taal Lake and Taal Volcano. At the western side, you’ll see the pointy summit of Mount Batulao.
Mount Maculot is 930 MASL (meters above sea level). There are two trails that are open to hikers. The first trail is the old trail via the “Groto” and the new trail via “Barangay (Village) Siete”. Both will lead you to the summit.
Which one to take?
If you are adventurous, ascend via the old trail and descend via the new trail. Do the harder part first while you are still fresh and stronger. This trail is more technical than the new trail.
If you are a beginner, take the new trail. This is shorter and easier. If you are too tired to reach the summit, you can opt to just go to The Rockies, enjoy the view and rest at the campsite. Stronger hikers can climb the summit. From the campsite, you’ll reach it in 40 to 60 minutes.
3. Mount Batulao
Hiking Mount Batulao via the New Trail is easier than hiking Mount Maculot. It’s a long trek on a more gradual terrain unlike Mount Maculot’s steep and continuous assault. This is more recommended for beginners who are physically fit. If you prefer a more challenging Mount Batulao hike, then take the Old Trail. What we usually do is we ascend via the New Trail and descend to the Old Trail.
Mount Batulao’s trails are more scenic compared to Mount Maculot’s. The only scenic part of Mount Maculot is at the Groto, at The Rockies and at the summit. Its trails are covered by trees and plants. Mount Batulao is not. It has remarkable open trails which is hot most of the time. Avoid this mountain during rainy season because the trails are very muddy.
The summit offers an amazing view of the several agricultural towns of Batangas, the bay, and the few other summits of nearby mountains.
4. Taal Volcano
Hiking Taal Volcano is the easiest among the choices above and is suitable for all types of hikers. There are several jump off points but we always take the jump off point in Talisay, Batangas. This is the closest to Manila.
From Talisay, there is a 20-minute boat ride to the island of Taal where the volcano is. Always bring an extra pair of clothes because you may get wet while crossing the lake.
The trail is sandy and most of the time dusty. Be mindful of other tourists riding horses. Always give them the way. The trail is wide and open up to the crater summit.
A Few Tips When Hiking Near Manila
Avoid hiking during rainy season. Avoid the months of June to November. These are the months when we get a lot of typhoons and trails become muddy. Months of December to May are more recommended. While during Summer (March to May), our weather gets really hot and dry. Temperature reaches up to 38 to 40 degrees Celsius. If you are from colder countries, you may find it an additional challenge so bring plenty of water. Hydration is not a problem. There are many stores at the jump off points where you can buy water and snacks.
We hope this post helps you find your next hiking tour when you are in Manila. Let us know how we can help you buy commenting your questions below.