By: Bea Racoma
No need to go too far for an amazing hiking adventure.

Do you dream of a beautiful life around an outdoor adventure? Just pack your backpack, and dedicate a day to explore the many mountains that stand proud in landscapes beyond Manila. With an abundance of affordable, beginner friendly, and more intermediate peaks, going on your first or next climb will feel faster than your regular 9 to 5!

Can’t decide which summit to visit? Take your pick from our favorite hiking spots near the metro:

1. Mt. Daraitan (Tanay, Rizal)

This jagged, rocky mountain with optional hikes to a nearby river and cave is perfect for those looking for a thrill. What’s better is that it’s only two hours away from Manila! From its heart-shaped peak, you can marvel at the Sierra Madre mountains, Tinipak river, Mt. Mamara — and, if you’re lucky, the sea of clouds beneath.

2. Mt. Pamitinan (Montalban, Rizal)

With rock formations and sharp ascents, Pamitinan is a favorite for those who are looking for a moderate challenge. The nearly three-hour climb atop limestone will test your strength and let you see other mountains in the area. The best part? It’s one and a half to two hours away.

3. Taal Volcano (San Nicolas, Batangas)

If you wonder about what Tagaytay’s iconic volcano looks like up close, find out by heading straight to its crater. While Taal is two hours away, this easy and leisurely climb takes only about 40 to 50 minutes to complete. You’ll be able to better appreciate the view of this mountain’s gorgeous crater lake if you’re right above it!

4. Mt. Gulugod Baboy (Mabini, Batangas)

Situated three hours outside the metro, Gulugod Baboy collectively refers to the set of hills in Mabini initially frequented by divers in Anilao. Regardless of which starting point you’ll choose, the upwards journey is filled with sceneries of grassland and rolling hills. We recommend that you climb all of its three peaks — we promise that the breathtaking view of Batangas and Balayan bays is worth it!

5. Mt. Batulao (Nasugbu, Batangas)

Travel three hours to experience the warm beauty of Batulao. The hike to the summit takes four hours through the old trail or two hours via the new trail which is also more scenic. This hike is definitely not for the faint of heart, however, as it needs some rappelling, and a lot of balancing on the rocky, narrow camel’s back area. But when you reach its highest point, be prepared to have your breath taken away as the summit offers a panoramic, picturesque view of lush mountains and fields.

6. Mt. Pinatubo (Capas, Tarlac)

Only two to three hours away from the city, Pinatubo is one of the best starting hikes for any climber. A 4×4 jeep brings you across a vast terrain of ashen lahar to the start of the volcano’s crater, where you’ll begin a straightforward upwards hike — no climbing skills required! Once you’ve reached the top, you’ll be rewarded by the gorgeous serenity of its crystalline IG-worthy lake.

With so many neighboring mountains to explore, what are you waiting for? Take that one day leave from the city, and chase after the beautiful life that you deserve. Conquer those summits to create yours now!


The COHO Living Team.