12 Mountains near Manila for Newbie-Friendly Day Hikes

Wondering where to start climbing?

Give in to the call of the great outdoors and go for a hike in one of the beautiful mountains of the country—but we have to tell you early on that it’s not going to be all about the breath-taking view.

Hiking requires ample preparation but as Lao-tzu said, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So here, a check-list of beginner-friendly peaks nearby to get you started—some can probably get you back home in time for your other weekend plans.

Mt. Daraitan (Tanay, Rizal)

Difficulty level: 4/9
Travel time from Manila: 4 hours
Hours to summit: 2.5-4 hours

A jam-packed adventure awaits in this ecotourism site full of outdoor attractions like caves, natural springs and limestone formations. The hike may be a bit steep for beginners but the trail is well-maintained. While you’re there, make sure to take time and appreciate the beauty of Tinapak River.

Mt. Romelo (Siniloan, Laguna)

Difficulty level: 2/9
Travel time from Manila: About 2 hours
Hours to summit: 2-3 hours

It’s one of the famous mountains for a training climb but the tricky part of hiking this one is its muddy trail especially during rainy season. While it’s ideal to hike Mt. Romelo during summer, there are also a lot of beautiful waterfalls like the Buruwisan Falls, Lansones Falls, Sampaloc Falls and Batya-Batya Falls that you can see during wet months.

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Mt. Gulugod-Baboy (Anilao, Batangas)

Difficulty level: 2/9
Travel time from Manila: 1.5 to 2 hours
Hours to summit: 1-2 hours

The mountain, which got its name because the peaks look like a pig’s spine, offers a stunning view of Batangas Bay and Balayan Bay. The gentle slopes make it an ideal climb for first-timers and the arresting view almost all throughout the trail will make it even more fun.

Mt. Batulao (Nasugbu, Batangas)

Difficulty level: 4/9
Travel time from Manila: Approximately 2.5 hours
Hours to summit: 2-4 hours

With open trails and scenic rolling slopes, Mt. Batulao offers a spectacular panoramic view of the grassland. It’s usually windy so even if the sun is up and high, the breeze will make the climb refreshing.

Mt. Pinatubo (Pampanga)

Difficulty level: 2/9
Travel time from Manila: Around 3 hours
Hours to crater: 45 min 4×4 and 2 hours hike

There are already a lot of tour packages offered for Mt. Pinatubo and it’s a great starting point if you want to get into hiking. Instead of seeing lush greenery, you’ll have stretches of sand and white-gray-brown formations but you’ll be treated to a stunning view of its rolling hills and blue green waters once you reach the crater.

Mt. Manalmon (San Miguel, Bulacan)

Difficulty level: 2/9
Travel time from Manila: Around 2.5 hours
Hours to summit: 2 hours

The highlight of the trek is passing through the Madlum River where you can also hang out for a bit to swim. The scenic view from the top will be the Sierra Madre range to the east and Mt. Arayat to the north. There are also a lot of other activities that you can do in this place like spelunking and rock climbing.