Opportunities to indulge your passion for walking into the wilderness and cultural heartlands of the Philippines are as numerous and diverse as the archipelago itself. 

In Luzon, the Cordillera is the main area for trekking, especially in the areas of Batad and Banaue, famous for their UNESCO World Heritage rice terrace fields skilfully carved into the lush mountainous landscape for over two thousand years. 

Trekking through this ancient land is a great way to imbibe the essence of the pre-Christian Philippines culture, meeting the peoples and exploring their history and integration into the modern world. 

For people with the energy to get a little higher in the Cordillera and see the famous terraces from above, the four day Mount Amuyao traverse takes in the best of the surrounding landscape and villages as well as reaching the mountain's summit for its wonderful views.


Further south in the Cordillera, another popular and fairly challenging three day trail takes in the three summits of Mount Kabunian, Mount Tenglawan and Mount Lobo, collectively known as the Bakun Trio, named after the town which they encircle. Nearby, another trail, with several variants, is the beautiful upland Kibungan Circuit, which features the crossing of hanging bridges as part of its appeal. 

One of the most challenging uphill trekking routes is the four day traverse between Mount Dulang-Dulang and Mount Kitanglad, in Mindanao, respectively the second and fourth highest mountains in the Philippines, which travels through some of the Philippines most lush pristine forest and is home to the Talaandig tribespeople. The area is also one of the premier birdwatching areas of the Philippines. 

The highest of all Philippine mountains is Mount Apo, close to Davao in Mindanao, a wonderful, though challenging, four day scenic adventure through varied terrain, interesting for its indigenous peoples, pitcher plants and birdlife, including the rare Philippine Eagle. The volcano is historically dormant, though it remains technically classed as potentially active.


Another popular trek, achievable in a single day, is Mount Arayat in Luzon, another dormant, though potentially active volcano which has never erupted in recorded history. The most challenging of all the mountain trails is the three day ascent of Mount Guiting-Guiting on Sibuyan Island, north of Panay, best suited to persons with some mountaineering experience due to its steep rocky ridges, which require care.


Ascending some of the country’s many active volcanos is a favourite activity for hikers in the Philippines. Luzon’s Mount Pinatubo is perhaps the country’s most famous because of its mighty eruption within living memory in 1991. Visiting the Crater Lake, formed by that deadly eruption, is an easy and very popular trail where you can enjoy some kayaking and swimming. Another popular Luzon hike is to the unusual Taal Volcano.


By far the most active volcano in the Philippines is Mount Mayon, in southern Luzon, which erupts regularly and also possesses a dangerous beguiling beauty, often described as the World’s most perfectly formed volcano, ranked alongside Japan’s Mount Fuji. 


For those who enjoy the thrill of terrible possibility, the volcano trail variants can take from 1-3 days trekking, though most trips will not take you higher than 1,800 metres due to the prevalence of toxic fumes. Summiting is only for the very brave! Nearby, another regularly active alternative is Mount Bulusan. 

Other satisfying volcano treks include Luzon’s Mount Isarog, Mount Kanlaon on Negros, and Hibok-Hibok, on Camiguan Island. 

Palawan, most famous for its delicious beaches and jewelled islets, also provides some jungle trails to interesting places, such as the three-day trek to Sultan Peak. Another rewarding Palawan trail is the four-day trek through prime conservation territory to Cleopatra Needle, which requires some mountain experience.