This is the continuation of our article on Top Treking Routes in Philippines. Here is for you a selection of the best treks in the Philippines, including terraced rice fields, volcanoes, lakes, hot springs, waterfalls and tropical forests
Best Treks in the Philippines
It is mandatory to have a permit and guide. Given the length of the route and the difficulty of the ascent, it is advisable to provide porters for camping equipment and food.
3. Mount Pulag, on the island of Luzon
The Mount Pulag ( 2922 m ) is the highest peak of the ‘ island of Luzon. The path to the top is known as the Ambangeg Trail and takes 4-5 days of walking to complete. There are more challenging alternatives, such as the Akiki Trail and the Vizcaya Trail. Attention to the climate: since we are approaching 3000 m, temperatures can drop even close to zero and therefore you must leave prepared.
The vegetation consists largely of dwarf pine and bamboo. The populations that live in the area, and who consider it largely sacred territory, belong to the mountain ethnic groups of the Kankaney, Kalanguya and Ibaloi, mainly devoted to agriculture. Luzon is in fact one of the islands that contribute most to the agricultural production of the whole country thanks to its climate and its geographical conformation.
The mountain is equipped with 3 base camps, two on the Ambangeg Trail and one on the Akiki Trail. In any case, it is essential to bring equipment and food with you. The top can be reached for the traditional sunrise (night ascent) or in the late afternoon, for an alternative sunset with unique colors.
In the case of Mount Pulag there is no permit but it is still necessary to register at the Visitor’s Center. As the regulations change frequently, it is advisable to inquire in advance about the documents to be provided in order to avoid problems or delays once on site. As always, a local guide is very helpful and will make things a lot easier. It is also important to consider that, in case of excessive crowding, the entrances can be adjusted: therefore check with your guide if it is advisable to book an entrance for the most popular periods.
4. Mount Pinatubo and its turquoise lake on the island of Luzon
The Mount Pinatubo ( 1486 m ) is another of the active volcanoes in the Philippines. This is also found on the island of Luzon and offers the opportunity to enter an area that is geographically different from the others, characterized by large tracts of sand, lava ash and canyons. The main attraction is Crater Lake, a turquoise lake housed in a caldera that always leaves everyone speechless for the explosion of colors. In the lake you can dive (watch out for the currents!) Or go out for a kayak ride.
The trek can be completed in two days and is not very demanding. Alternatively, you can cover part of the distance in 4 × 4 and limit yourself to trekking for a couple of hours to get to the crater. In any case, it is necessary to contact a local agent to organize the visit.
It is good to remember that a landscape so different from the rest of the island is the result of the very violent eruption of 1991 which killed more than 800 people and which is remembered as one of the most powerful of the twentieth century. For this reason it is good to keep yourself informed about the activity of the volcano and avoid exposing yourself to unnecessary risks.
Monte Pinatubo can be visited from October to April, thus avoiding the most humid and rainy period. In any case, it is advisable not to start the trek if the forecasts are not optimal. From December to February, Crater Lake gives its best for the shades of blue it reflects.
5. Mount Apo, on the island of Mindanao
Mindanao – for a trekking in the Philippines in the name of hot springs, waterfalls and volcanic craters
The trek to Mount Apo ( 2954m ) is one of the best in the Philippines and is located on the island of Mindanao. Mount Apo is both a volcano and the highest peak of the archipelago, characteristics that make this destination one of the most fascinating.
The paths that reach the top are different. The most popular, and least demanding, is the one known as Kidapawan Trail and crosses the national park via Kidapawan and is completed in 3 days of walking. The trek also passes by some thermal springs where you can immerse yourself for a regenerating bath. Some particularly steep sections are equipped with ropes to facilitate the climb. The Lake Venado, the highest in the country, is three hours from the top while the ‘ ancient crater of Mount Apo is located just beyond.
For the descent, it is advisable to take the so-called Magpet Trail, simpler, which leads to some waterfalls where it is also possible to stop for a swim.
To undertake the ascent to Mount Apo it is necessary to have permits and to equip oneself with a guide and porters. The 3-day experience can eventually be extended to 4 or 5 by adding detours to the main route. In any case, both for permits and for on-site organization it is advisable to contact expert local personnel.