Haven't crossed "climb a mountain" out of your bucket list? Here are five friendly mountains near Metro Manila that you can hike in a day.
1. Pico de Loro (Maragondon, Cavite and Nasugbu, Batangas)
The mountain dates back when the Spaniards have named it such, which means "Parrots Beak", because of the scenic views of Cavite you can behold atop its rocky tower. This day hike includes friendly trails, taking 4-5 hours to reach the summit. You can also visit waterfalls near their base camp and the Maragondon trail during the rainy season.
2. Mt. Makiling (Los Banos, Laguna)
One can hike this mountain via two trails, but the trail from UP Los Banos is recommended, as it is a safe, protected area for the forest and fauna that fills the mountain. Sidetrips that you can take via UP Los Banos include the Mudsprings at the crater of Mt. Makiling, and Flatrocks, a river filled with flat rocks.
3. Mt. Pinatubo (Capas, Tarlac)
The climb to Mt. Pinatubo involves a 45-minute 4x4 drive to the foot of the mountain and a 2-hour hike to the crater. Here you can marvel at the volcanic sands, various colors of streams and volcanic formations from the 1991 eruption. Once you reach the crater, you can safely swim on its reddish sulfuric water.
4. Mt. Batulao (Nasugbu, Batangas)
Mt. Batulao is a convenient bus ride from Manila to Nasugbu, Batangas, where kid guides are waiting to lead the hike. The short climb to the summit only takes 1-2 hours, with two trails to choose from. It is a pleasant climb filled with cool winds and grasslands. Just be careful during the wet season, as the trails can get muddy and slippery.
5. Mt. Maculot (Cuenca, Batangas)
This mountain is a popular day trip destination, not lasting more than five hours to reach the summit. Mt. Maculot features three destinations, which are the Rockies, the summit, and the Grotto, in which the Rockies is the most popular among the three as you can see Mt. Makiling and Tagaytay Highlands at a distance. Due to its popularity, it can get crowded during the weekends, so if you want a quiet hike, it is best to go during weekdays. For more information on your local mountains, visit http://www.pinoymountaineer.com