10 Amazing Hiking Spots Near Manila for your Next Day Hike

The summer calls for a serious case of wanderlust. If you’re looking for “dayhikable” mountain trails (and the fun activities they come with), here we’ve rounded up climber-approved hiking spots that are just a couple of hours away from the metro.

The summer calls for a serious case of wanderlust. The warm and sunny days give us an extra boost of energy to stay outdoors and enjoy activities with family and friends. The usual situation? A weekend trip to the newest beach destination or a much-awaited tour to an infamous hiking spot.  

It’s all good when it’s all planned out, but when spontaneous trips come up, most of us get intimidated by travel time and worry about missing the planning phase. Luckily, more destinations sprout around the city to satisfy our desires to be out and about and reconnect with nature. If you’re looking for “dayhikable” mountain trails (and the fun activities they come with), here we’ve rounded up climber-approved hiking spots that are just a couple of hours away from the metro.  

Mt. Pamitinan (Wawa, Rodriguez, Rizal)

Image: Wikimedia Commons

This gem in Rizal is truly a vessel of culture and history. Aside from being ascribed to the Bernardo Carpio folklore, Mt. Pamitinan is also known for being Andres Bonifacio’s refuge during the Philippine Revolution. Outdoor enthusiasts are often welcomed by its forested entrance, demanding a bit of concentration and guidance for beginners. Reaching the summit takes about 1-2 hours (or more), ending with a picturesque 360-view of the Sierra Madre mountains and the towns of Rizal from the top. Pro tip: Wear gloves for protection. Rock climbing awaits!

Travel time from Metro Manila: 2 hours
 


Mt. Binacayan (Wawa, Rodriguez, Rizal)

Image: Wikimedia Commons

If you got more time on your hands, you can opt for a Pamitinan + Binacayan twin hike. Mt. Binacayan offers a shorter and agricultural terrain, and the trail is surrounded by limestone formations. Make sure to ask your guides for a quick side trip to the bat caves of Binacayan and the hanging bridges along Wawa River to make the most out of your hike. The trail of Mt. Binacayan takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete. Pro tip: Camping sites are limited here.

Travel time from Metro Manila: 2.5 hours
 

Mt. Ayaas (Wawa, Rodriguez, Rizal)

Image: Montalban Tourism Facebook Page

For those who already had their fair share of hiking experiences, Mt. Ayaas is yet another spot to explore in Rodriguez, Rizal. It shares the same breathtaking view with the other Wawa mountains, but Mt. Ayaas’ distinct feature is its river trail. Beginners who are up for the challenge are welcome. They are often fascinated by its varying terrain made up of exposed grasslands and forested areas. Pro tip: A good hike depends on the weather. Beware of slippery rocks along the river trail when raining. 

Travel time from Metro Manila: 2 hours
 

Mt. Hapunang Banoi (Wawa, Rodriguez, Rizal)

Image: @montalbantourism

There’s no doubt that Rodriguez, Rizal is a haven for mountaineers, and here’s another hiking spot in the area that made it to our list. Known as the elder sibling of the twin mountains of Pamitinan and Binacayan, Mt. Hapunang Banoi features the most challenging trail of all the Wawa mountains. The trek to the summit has minimal flat areas and is rocky in almost all places. Pro tip: Adventurous peeps can also opt for a Pamitinan + Hapunang Banoi twin hike. 

Travel time from Metro Manila: 2 hours
 

Mt. Sipit Ulang (Mascap, Rodriguez, Rizal)

Image: @montalbantourism

Mt. Sipit Ulang, as its name suggests, is shaped like a crab’s claw. This unique formation is what intrigues and attracts flocks of mountain climbers. Its Paniki Trail is quite the challenge, requiring 2-3 hours to reach the peak, most of which is spent in going through tight spots and rocky passages. At the summit, a refreshing view of the Wawa mountains awaits the tired climbers. Pro tip: Beginners can take an easier route, which is called the Banayad Trail.

Travel time from Metro Manila: 1.5 hours
 

Mt. Marami (Magallanes, Cavite)

Image: Wikimedia Commons

The province of Cavite also has a hidden gem that’s worth one of your weekends. Down south, Mt. Marami emulates the towering rock formations of the famous Pico de Loro. Despite the 2.5 to 4-hour trek to the summit, the mountain is still hikable within a day. Hikers pass by the knee-deep water levels of Bangkaan and Kayrayag Rivers and witness the captivating view of the historical Maragondon mountains on its summit. Pro tip: Have an experienced guide during your trip to avoid getting lost. 

Travel time from Metro Manila: 3.5 hours
 

Mt. Maynoba (Cayabu, Tanay, Rizal)

Image: Jorge Paolo Valentino via Unsplash

Mt. Maynoba has been one of the most-visited hiking destinations in Tanay because of its sea of clouds. Its diverse terrain composed of forested areas, grassy trails, woodlands, and a few waterfalls attracts both inexperienced and expert hikers. The view from the top is picture-perfect, a green landscape featuring the Sierra Madre mountains and some towns in Quezon Province. Pro tip: You can start the trek at as early as 4 AM to catch the sea of clouds just as the sun rises.

Travel time from Metro Manila: 2.5 hours
 

Mt. Batolusong (San Andres, Tanay, Rizal)

Image: Unsplash

One of the new discoveries in Tanay, Mt. Batolusong is an impressive contender. The rice fields of San Andres serves as the entryway to the trail and offers an easy route through the woodlands. The trek is definitely ideal for beginners. The hike ends at the Mapatag Plateau, but more camping sites and destinations await if you wish to extend the hike to Susong Dalaga Peak. Pro tip: The mobile phone signal is weak at Brgy. San Andres, so guides can only be contracted on the actual site.

Travel time from Metro Manila: 3 hours
 

Treasure Mountain (Tanay, Rizal)

Image: Treasure Mountain Facebook page

Just the name Treasure Mountain paints a fantasy on its own. This marvel is surely a great find for people of all ages who want to encounter an effortless hiking experience. The spot has been a perfect hiking and recreation spot for families as it does not require long treks—you can even reach the peak via car or tricycle and witness a sea of clouds if you’re lucky enough! Pro tip: You can bring food and alcoholic drinks to the campsite with a corresponding corkage fee. Kubo rentals are also available. 

Travel time from Metro Manila: 2.5 hours
 

Mt. Gulugod-Baboy (Mabini, Batangas)

Image: Eugenio Pastoral via Unsplash

With various jumpoff points in Southern Batangas, Mt. Gulugod Baboy covers a huge part of the peninsula, featuring three main peaks namely Gulugod-Baboy, Gitna, and Pinagbanderahan. This unapologetic view is named after a pig’s spine, which is the shape formed by the contours of its landmass. From its peaks, hikers have a scenic view of the Batangas Bay at the foreground, various islets in Batangas and Mindoro, as well as the highlands of Tagaytay. Pro tip: Consider a detour to nearby island destinations like the Sombrero and Maricaban islands.

Travel time from Metro Manila: 3 hours

 

Overcoming long winding and rocky trails isn’t the only basis of memorable hiking experience. Great memories are made with good company—and surely, a majestic view of the world from the top works wonders too! In this day and age when traveling is made accessible, there’s no stopping you from packing your bags and going on a trip to the mountains.

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