The Best Hiking Spots Near Metro Manila
Turn your exercise regimen into an epic journey
Running on the same treadmill or road lap every day can get monotonous. After all, what’s the point of being able to run long distances if you can’t use it to explore the world? Our suggestion for you kills two birds with one stone: get your exercise from climbing up one of the magnificent peaks near Metro Manila? If you’re interested, we’ve prepared a list of beginner-friendly but still exciting hikes for your weekend.
Pro tip: Before you go, make sure you have enough juice on your devices in case of an emergency situation or for that really good soundtrack to blast on your speakers when you get to the top. We recommend a powerbank that’s durable, lightweight and charges a range of devices—including a digital camera—quickly. Did we mention it’s affordable, too? Check it out.
This Batangas mountain is the entry-level mountain for many budding hikers. The trail is well-maintained and straightforward, and can be finished in a day. It is a little bit rocky however, and at some point you will really have to get your hands dirty climbing up some rather steep parts of the hike. When you get to the peak though, you’ll be greeted by a fantastic view. It might even make you feel guilty that the trek wasn’t difficult at all. To get to Mt. Maculot, go to Brgy. Siete in Cuenca, Batangas, where a Mountaineer’s Store and several other hikers await to welcome you.
Prepare for a full day trip because both the drive to and from, and the hike up and down Mt. Daraitan each take 3 to 4 hours. But you’ll see that the trip is worth it when you get there (promise!). Mt. Daraitan is another common hiker trail that’s safe even for beginners. The main draw of the mountain is not its peak but the sites you’ll find along the way such as limestone formations, caves, springs and the famous Tinapak River. It’s a testament to the saying that the beauty is not in the destination, but the journey.
If you really want to feel like a hero on an epic quest, just imagine you’re Frodo on a journey to destroy the One Ring by throwing it into this famous Philippine volcano. It’s not as dangerous as it sounds—Pinatubo has been inactive for several years, with its last major eruption in 1991. While the volcano may be spent, you don’t have to be when you make the 2-hour climb to the crater. Since the hike is so short, there should be plenty of time left to explore the crater lake and take hundreds of Instagram-worthy photos.
We’ve saved the most adventure-worthy mountain on this list for last. Welcome to Mt. Makiling, home of ghosts, diwata and the mythical artistic geniuses of the Philippine High School for the Arts. Mt. Makiling also happens to be a forest reserve, and is frequented by botanists and forest rangers so the trail is safe and well-patrolled. That isn’t to say it’s without challenge though. The trail up the mountain starts at the Makiling Seedling Nursery and is completely forested so make sure to bring plenty of repellant. It’s also a fairly steep and difficult trail but if your spirit for adventure is true, then the difficulty of the climb will certainly not get in the way.
And because it's almost the weekend, here's a pretty view of Mt. Pinatubo to get you through the mid-week!
Photo via Wikimedia Commons