Top 7 Breathtaking Hiking Spots Near the Metro

Does a movie date or a candlelit dinner no longer excite you? If you’re up for new and exciting adventures, you would definitely love to try some of the most breathtaking hiking spots near the metro.

Nature tripping, hiking, and mountain climbing are having a resurgence these days. Sure you’ve seen a friend’s selfie atop an enchanting cloud-covered summit or behind a beautiful rock formation. Instead of just wondering how they feel, why not try it yourself?

There are lots of tucked-away paradise in the Philippines that are perfect hiking spots, too. To help you, we’ve rounded up 7 of the most amazing hike spots near the metro.

1. Mt. Daraitan | Tanay Rizal

Meters Above Sea Level (MASL): 739 | Difficulty Level: 3/9

How to Get There

Price

1. You can ride a jeepney or van at EDSA-Shaw Crossing to Tanay. The terminal opens at 4am so better catch up some good night's sleep before the hike. Php 70-90
2. Take a Jeep to Sampaloc Tanay. Php 26
3. From the drop-off point in Sampaloc, Tanay, ride a tricycle to Barangay Daraitan. Php 100
4. Raft through Daraitan river to the Barangay hall for registration. Php 10
5. From Drop off point, ride a tricycle to the Barangay hall. Php 10
Approx: Php 250

Before the Climb:

When you get to the Barangay hall, you need to register and pay for Php 20 per head. Here you can hire a tour guide for Php 500 (day hike). For an overnight hike, it’s a bit more pricey.

The Hike:

While professional hikers tag this trail as "for beginners" the ascent can be difficult for the uninitiated hiker. The first few minutes of trekking is a breeze and you can enjoy the beauty of the forest as you go uphill. However, the second leg of the hike welcomes you with muddy trail clad with slippery rocks that get steeper as you go further. It can really pose a challenge, but hey that's what hiking is all about.

After overcoming all the rough and difficult trails, you'll be surprised and overwhelmed with the beauty of nature that awaits you at the summit. Everyone who gets to the summit all says one thing: "It's truly worth it."
 
Check out the awesome experience of BrtPckr at itinerary.ph to get a glimpse of the ins and outs of this trail.

2. Mt. Batulao | Nasugbu, Batangas

MASL: 811 | Difficulty Level: 4/9

How to Get There

Price

1. Ride a Bus to Nasugbu Batangas at Buendia Bus Terminal Station. Drop off to Evercrest. Php 125
2. Ride a Tricycle to the Registration point. Php 100
Approx: Php 250

Before the Climb:

Once you reach the foot of the climb, you may chance a group of hikers who are also going to the summit. If in luck, you can have a free hike by tagging along with them. But if you prefer to have a guide, you only have to pay Php 300, which is good for 4 persons.

The Hike:

Mt. Batulao is a lush green mountain set in a beautiful seascape that can offer you the best hiking experience as a beginner. On your hike, expect scenic slopes and grasslands that adorn the trail. The view and the trail are comparable to the arresting landscape of Batanes. 

Compared to the other hiking spots on this list, the trails at Mt. Batulao are quite friendly as they steep gradually. It will only take you a few hours to reach the summit where you will enjoy the beautiful vastness of lush green slopes and scenic landscape.

Tease yourself and read this quick travelogue by Jireh Ruth Fermin at WheninManila.com.

3. Mt. Marami | Maragondon, Cavite

MASL: 409 | Difficulty Level: 3/9

How to Get There

Price

1. Ride a bus bound for Naic, Cavite at the Cavite/Batangas terminal in Coastal Mall. Php 120
2. Take a Jeep ride to Magallanes. Php 40
3. Drop off to Brgy. Ramirez and ride a tricycle to the trail. Php 30
Approx: Php 200

Before the Climb:

You can get a tour guide at the Barangay hall for Php 500 for a group of 5 hikers. Also there's a registration fee of around Php 40 for environmental maintenance at Ramirez and Maragondon.

The Hike:

Mt. Marami is most beautiful and fulfilling at sunset, when the mountain is covered with pack of clouds and the sunlight peeking through it. The summit is also famous for its cliff where the "Silyang Bato" rock formation hangs--the same spot that hikers take advantage of for a "buwis buhay pose".
 
Expect a two-part trail from Magallanes (the ascent) to Maragondon (the summit). The first part is a long trail going to the real challenging trek up to the summit, where you should be prepared for steep climb and a few rock climbing stint to get to the top. 

Planning a hike to reach the summit of Mt. Marami? Here’s a useful resource from Ratsy Sanchez.

4. Mt. Pico de Loro | Nasugbu, Batangas

MASL: 664 | Difficulty Level: 4/9

How to Get There

Price

1. From Coastal Mall terminal, ride a bus bound for Maragondon, Cavite. Php 80
2. Alight at Ternate bus station and take a tricycle ride to DENR registration site. Php 150-200
3. Drop off to Brgy. Ramirez and ride a tricycle to the trail. Php 30
Approx: Php 190

Proceed to the DENR site and pay the registration fee of Php 25. Hiring a tour guide is optional. You can hire one at Php 1,000, good for 5 people.

The Hike:

Mt. Pico de Loro is by far the most popular among the hiking spots near Metro Manila. However, the area is prone to uncontrollable multitude of hikers. Recently, the DENR closed the site for rehabilitation and this is a sad news for people who are yet to discover the beauty of the site. However, we are hopeful that it will open soon. 

Here's what you need to know about this beautiful hiking spot.
 
The trek to the summit is a real challenge. There are death-defying hops and climbs that you must overcome. But beginners can perfectly do all these, thanks to the charming terrain that surrounds the trail. The prized experience of reaching the top of the monolith is a good motivation to keep on going. Atop the monolith is an exhilarating experience that's hard to forget. Indeed, you won’t want to descend when you get there.

When the Pico de Loro hiking area opens next season, don't you know that you can tag your kids along? Check out the wonderful experience of Jim Bryan, his wife and their kid here.

5. Mt. Talamitam | Nasugbu, Batangas

MASL: 630 | Difficulty Level: 3/9

How to Get There

Price

1. Ride a bus bound for Nasugbu at Coastal Mall or Buendia and drop off in Sitio Bayabasan. Php 200
2. The Drop off point of the trek starts here! -
Approx: Php 200

Before the Climb:

Pay a registration fee of Php 40 per person when you get to Mt. Talamitam drop off point. Once again, a guide is optional, but as beginners this is necessary. A tour guide would cost Php 300 per group.

The Hike:

Mt. Talamitam has a reputation of giving a sweltering experience for hikers because the trail is a vast open field. As a treeless trail, the scorching sun during summer can really tax your stamina. On a lighter note, the mountain offers a breathtaking view of Batangas, the beautiful mountainscape of Makiling, Pico de Loro and Mt. Marami. The trail and the summit donned with lush green slopes and grassland will surely mesmerize every hiker.
 
And would you believe, you can take a twin climb when you go to Talamitam? From here, you can go to Mt. Batulao or Mt. Apayang just like what Dan Hernandez did in his recent trip. Check out his wonderful hike experience here.

6. Mt. Maynoba | Tanay, Rizal

MASL: 728 | Difficulty Level: 4/9

How to Get There

Price

1. Take an FX or Jeep ride to Cogeo Gate 2 Antipolo. Php 35
2. Go to the jeepney terminal and ride to Sampaloc, Tanay. Alight at Batangasan. Php 40
3. Take a tricycle ride from Batangasan junction to Mar-ning's Farm and Resort in Barangay Cayabu. From there start your trail. Php 25/15 mins.
Approx: Php 150

Before the Climb:

A registration fee of Php 20 is charged for each hiker. Here, you have no choice but to hire a local guide for Php 500.

The Hike:

Mt. Maynoba offers a great adventure both for veteran and first time hikers. Along the trail are waterfalls and ponds where you can take a break and relax when the hike taxes too much of your strength. The tracks have limited to no shade, so you better prep a good dose of sunscreen.
 
Expect a grassy and hilly track past Mt. Cayabu, a lesser peak of Maynoba. There are steep tracks, but are just fine for beginners. What is really breathtaking about Mt. Maynoba is the sea of clouds covering the scenery when you reached the summit. You can come to see the beautiful mountainscape of Sierra Madre, Mt. Tukduan Bano and the valley of Sta. Ines.

Check out the awesome adventure of Sookum Mountaineers in Mt. Maynoba and the 8 waterfalls here.

7. Mt. Balagbag| Rodriguez, Rizal

MASL: 777 | Difficulty Level: 3/9

How to Get There

Price

1. Ride a Bus from Cubao to Tungko. Php 38
2. From Tungko transfer to a jeep bound for Licao-licao. Php 26
3. Drop off in the Barangay Hall. Php 30
Approx: Php 100

Before the Climb:

At the barangay hall, the registration fee is Php 10 per head. Here you can commission a tour guide, however there's no fixed charge--a time for you to unleash your haggling expertise.

The Hike:

Despite being one of the highest in this list, the trail to the summit is easy peasy because of gradually steeping wide tracks. Much like Mt. Marami, this hiking spot reveals its grandeur during sunset. So we advise to go on a "chasing the sunset" trip.

The green lush ridges folding over the horizon, and the yellow parchment grass that clad the fields are by all means mesmerizing and enchanting. Indeed, the views are comparable to the sights you can capture in other hiking spots. 

In a trip by JM Sabariaga, he compares some sightings to those in Mt. Pulag, Mt. Balagbag and Mt. Tapyas. Check out his photo blogpost here.

Have you been to any of these hiking sites? We’d love to hear your experiences.