Aside from being a great sport that provides a whole body workout, rock climbing can inspire you to travel around the country just to visit crags. Though these are well-known destinations in the climbing community, for casual outdoor enthusiasts and foreign climbers visiting the country for the first time, these are just a few of the places where you can try rock climbing around the Philippines.
Cantabaco and Poog, Cebu
According to Cebu-based mountaineer Gian Jubela of the adventure blog Adrenaline Romance, Cantabaco in Toledo City in Cebu is one of the country’s premiere climbing destinations, considered to be the mecca of rock climbing in the Philippines. Cantabaco has over 60 different routes of varying difficulties on this imposingly beautiful streaked limestone cliff that towers over a humble rural town.
Some sections of the wall, however, here are best left to hardcore and competitive climbers.
For a more beginner-friendly experience for novice climbers, there’s the Poog Crag just 15 minutes away from Cantabaco, which offers over 30 bolted routes — with space for more in the future.
Wawa in Montalban, Rizal
One of the nearest sites to Manila and the most developed sport climbing area in the country is Wawa in Montalban, Rizal, a rural village on the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain ranges that’s popular with mountain bikers. Rock climbers also flock to Wawa because of its limestone cliffs which offer some of the finest and most challenging climbing in the Philippines.
This site has the largest number of routes from the basic Veranda to Uling and Boogie Wall, which offers a good variety of grades and challenges that will test your technical climbing skills.
Atimonan in Quezon is another established climbing site ideal for those coming from the metro. It’s roughly 165 kilometers south of Manila, located beside the Maharlika Highway in Barangay Tinandog. The site is best visited during summer months, between November to January, and preferably during the dry season.
According to Climb Philippines, this abandoned rock quarry offers a variety of routes with a mixture of pocket holds, vertical cracks, and overhangs. There are various established climbing routes here varying from 10-40 meters high with a range of difficulty levels.
Sagada, Mt. Province
Tourists usually head up North to the quaint backpacking town of Sagada in the Mountain Province to immerse in the cool weather, caves, waterfalls, hiking trails, and culture. But this town in the Cordilleras also boasts of beautiful cliffs that are just perfect for rock climbing. Echo Valley in Sagada has a natural rock wall with an easy, medium and hard route.
Inquire at the Sagada Tourist Information Center for a climbing guide who will bring all the equipment needed. The scenery here is just spectacular and pretty hard to beat.