Being the second largest archipelago in the world, and consisting of over 7000 islands, it should come as no surprise that the Philippines is home to some truly incredible hiking trails. For those who are seeking out the best of the best, here are some destinations to consider.
Banaue Rice Terraces
The Banaue Rice Terraces are a historical and cultural landmark in the Philippines, and were not only declared a National Cultural Treasure in 1973 but are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are several scenic trails to choose from here, none of which are too challenging, and you will be able to see everything from the lush green paddies to roaring waterfalls. For those who are seeking out a longer hike, there are three-day options to be had here, but these are best off done with a tour guide.
For those who are new to hiking in the Philippines, Mount Balagbag is a great place to start, as it is easy to reach from Manila and the hike will only take a couple of hours. This mountain trail is ultra-enchanting, and you will pass by everything from waterfalls and rivers to golden grasslands. The trail is wide and well-maintained, making it ideal for those who are less experienced at hiking, and the summit will reward you with sprawling views across Metro Manila. The main downside to this hike is the fact that the majority of it takes place under an open sky, with relatively little shelter to protect you from the sun. For this reason, try to schedule your hike for early in the morning, or during sunset, as this will save you from the unbearable heat, while also giving you even more spectacular views.
The Taal Volcano Hiking Trail
The Taal Volcano Hiking Trail is another trail that is well-suited to beginners, as the path itself is easy to hike and the views are stunning. The Taal Volcano is located on the island of Luzon, and boasts mild weather year-round, making it a fantastic hiking destination. While the official hiking trail may only take an hour or so to climb, there are so many gorgeous locations around the volcano that are simply begging to be explored, so you could easily spend the entire day here hiking around the area.
Located in the Sierra Mountain range, not too far from Manila, the hike up Mount Daraitan will always be rewarding, as you will be able to explore everything from natural springs and pools to caves and limestone formations, and even take some time to enjoy some river rafting too. The hike up the mountain rises 739 feet above sea level, and, once you reach the summit, you will not only be greeted with views of the Sierra Madre mountains, but you will also be able to relax with a dip in the Tinipak River to cool off.
The hiking trails around the Philippines are extremely varied, with trails suitable for just about every experience level. Whether you head to the historic Banaue Rice Terraces or take on a challenge by climbing one of the country’s mountains, make sure you leave some time for a hike the next time you are headed to the Philippines.