The Philippines has many mountainous interiors carpeted by forests. Avid trekkers will find that there are peaks to be bagged almost everywhere in the country.
The rice terraces are a favourite among many for the one-of-a-kind view they offer. It’s possible to book a guesthouse that overlooks the terraces and even traverse through some remote tribal villages. The Cordillera also offers other multi-day treks and peaks above 2500m.
Lonely Planet labels Sibuyan as “the Philippines’ answer to Galapagos”. It’s no wonder because this island is a wonderland of biodiversity with animals and plants that can be found nowhere else in the world except Sibuyan. It’s also home to the 2058m Mt Guiting Guiting.
While Sagada has many treks, Echo Valley is considered by many to be the best. This trek includes Sagada’s famous hanging coffins. The coffins, some centuries old, belong to the Applai tribal elders and can be found in the caves surrounding Sagada. It is commonly believed that hanging the coffins higher up brings the dead closer to their ancestral spirits. For more information do check this page out from RoughGuides
The trek is up Mt Halcon (2505m) is considered by many to be the ultimate challenge in the Philippines. The standard trip is four days long, with two days spent grunting up the trek and the same number of days for the trek down. Adventure junkies on their way to the peak will be rewarded with the precarious Monkey Bridge – a tangle of tree trunks that takes you across the Dulagan River and the heart-stopping ridge walk known as the Knife Edge.
Mt Arayat National Park
Novice climbers will find the extinct volcano of Mt Arayat (1026m) an achievable climb. The peak presides over the town of Angeles and can be bagged with a half-day trek. Alternatively, you can also arrange to be taken by private plane over the slopes.
Another peak for novice climbers is Mt Tapulao, the highest peak in the Zambales range. Trekkers can walk the entire path, or take a 4WD up most of the way on a road that ends about an hour from the peak.
Mt Pulag National Park
This is the third highest peak in the Philippines and anchors the Cordillera’s largest national park. The adventurous and experienced trekkers can ask a guide about the Akiki Trail. It’s widely considered to be one of the most challenging walks because of its steep slopes and the almost 10 hour journey to the summit.