Last Updated: October 3, 2022

12 Most Famous Volcanoes In The Philippines 

The island country of the Philippines is home to some 300 volcanoes, many of which remain active even today. The threat of being buried underneath boiling lava doesn’t stop avid hikers from exploring these majestic mountains, and most volcanoes in the Philippines remain popular hiking destinations!

If you want to read up on the most famous volcanoes in the Philippines and figure out which ones are still hikeable, you are definitely in the right place! This detailed guide will tell you about the twelve most famous volcanoes in the Philippines, as well as the best hiking trails that will take you to the tops of their cones!

Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano
Taal Volcano is a volcanic caldera formed by multiple prehistoric eruptions. It is classified as a complex volcano system because it boasts 47 craters. Taal Lake is situated at the center of the caldera, and the Taal Volcano Island sits near the middle of the lake. The Taal Volcano is the second most active volcano in the Philippines, with around 40 recorded historical eruptions.

Hiking the Taal volcano is possible when there is no volcanic activity. Several hiking trails allow you to explore the top of the caldera and enjoy beautiful panoramic views all around. But you will need to keep track of any warnings issued by PHILVOLCS.

Taal Volcano remains active in 2022 – volcanic activity was recorded in August of 2022, and at the time of writing this, hiking the trails of Taal is not possible.

Mt. Hibok-Hibok

Mt. Hibok-Hibok is an active volcano in the Philippines and it is part of the Pacific ring of fire. It is situated on Camiguin Island, and it boasts a total of six hot springs and three craters. This volcano is classified as a stratovolcano and a dome complex, and it rises to a total elevation of 1,332 meters.

This volcano has erupted five times in modern history. Its first eruption was in 1827, and the final recorded eruption of Mt. Hibok-Hibok took place in 1951. The last time this volcano erupted, it emitted enough boiling lava and poisonous gases to destroy an area of 19 square kilometers.

More than 3,000 people were killed in the eruption, and the population of Camiguin Island was cut in half due to death and emigration.

Despite all this, Mt. Hibok-Hibok remains a popular hiking destination in the Philippines. A special permit is required from the DENR office in the municipality of Mambajao, so be sure to obtain this if you plan on attempting a hike on this volcano. It takes about 3-5 hours to get to the summit, where you will be rewarded for this risky activity with spectacular panoramic views.

Mt. Banahaw

Situated on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, Mt. Banahaw is an active three-peaked volcano. This is also the highest mountain in the entire Calabarzon region, and it absolutely dominates the surrounding landscapes.

Mount Banahaw is considered a sacred mountain, so it’s always been popular with both pilgrims and mountaineers. There are at least four trails that can take you to the top of this majestic volcano, with Cristalino and Tatlong Tangke as the most popular trails. They take nine or five hours (respectively) and they both originate from Barangay Kinabuhayan.

However, the high hiking activity in the early years of the 21st century saw the trails become littered and covered with trash. This resulted in a ban on hiking that lasted five years. Parts of this mountain reopened to the public in 2019, but the majority of sections are still closed and inaccessible to hikers.

Mt. Mayon

Mt. Mayon

Situated on Luzon Island in the Bicol Region, Mt. Mayon is an active stratovolcano. It’s also a very popular tourist attraction, largely because of its perfectly symmetrical cone shape. The volcano is part of a natural park, along with its surrounding landscapes. This was actually the first national park in the Philippines when it was declared in 1938.

Mt. Mayon is also the most active volcano in the Philippines, with more than 47 eruptions over the past five centuries. The first mentioned eruption of this volcano was in 1616, but the first one that was extensively recorded happened over a period of six days in 1766. The most recent eruption took place in 2018.

It is possible to hike this majestic volcano, and it’s easily one of the best hikes you can attempt in the Philippines. The views along the way are out of this world, and the trek is absolutely thrilling. Shorter treks are available, but if you want to get as high as possible, consider this a multi-day adventure with camping and book an experienced guide.

Mt. Ragang

Mt. Ragang is an active stratovolcano on Mindanao island. This is also the seventh tallest mountain in the Philippines, rising to a whopping 2,815 meters. It’s one of the most active volcanoes on this island, with a total of eight recorded eruptions. The most recent one took place in 1916, and it’s worth noting that there are some disputes about whether this volcano actually erupted eight times.

Hiking this impressive mountain is unfortunately not possible. It is forbidden by the authorities – although they cite security reasons because of the trail conditions, there’s a bit of conspiracy theory that there are rebels hiding out in the mountain.

Some people have attempted an ascent of Mt. Ragang, and they’ve discovered that it’s by no means an easy feat. The trail is overgrown and difficult to navigate, without markings to indicate if you’re heading in the right direction.

Mt. Kanlaon

Mt. Kanlaon is the third most active volcano in the Philippines, as well as the tallest mountain on the Negros island. It rises to an imposing 2,485 meters, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s very popular with mountain climbers in the Philippines.

Most travelers who visit Mount Kanlaon Natural Park do so with the intention of climbing this volcano, which is perfectly possible thanks to a system of well-marked trails.

Guintubdan village is the starting point for most ascents on Mt. Kanlaon. There are several trails that take hikers to the top of the volcano and they are color-coded – red trails are the most difficult, blue is difficult, and yellow/green marks interconnecting and easy trails.

Mt. Kanlaon boasts 30 recorded volcanic eruptions since 1819. The most recent volcanic activity was recorded in 2020, and the 4-kilometer zone surrounding the volcano has been marked a Permanent Danger Zone that the public should avoid. Maybe wait another year or two before you attempt a hike on this famous Philippine volcano!

Mt. Pinatubo

Mt. Pinatubo

Situated north of Manilla on the island of Luzon, Mt. Pinatubo is an active stratovolcano with a crater lake and a famous landmark in the Philippines. The volcano is most famous for the 1991 eruption, which happens to be when the caldera lake formed.

There are no recorded eruptions before 1991, but that one remains the second-largest terrestrial volcano eruption of the entire 20th century. Mt. Pinatubo emitted some 10 billion tonnes of magma and around 20 million tonnes of sulfur dioxide. The consequences of this eruption were enormous to the point that global temperatures dropped some 0.9°F.

Hiking Mt. Pinatubo is possible and one of the best things to do if you’re an avid hiker. Trails will take you to caldera lake, but it’s also possible to explore the stratovolcano area with jeeps and bikes. The most recent recorded activity was in late 2021, but it was only a phreatic explosion.

Mt. Makiling

Mt. Makiling is an inactive stratovolcano situated in the Makiling Forest Reserve Laguna on Luzon Island. Rising to 1,090 meters above sea level, Mount Makiling is the tallest peak of the Laguna Volcanic Field.

Although there are no recorded eruptions, hot springs and mud fields make it obvious that there is still volcanism beneath the surface. The volcano is part of Makiling Forest Reserve Laguna, which boasts forested peaks, challenging hiking trails, and plenty of camping opportunities.

Treks on Mount Makiling are suitable only for experienced hikers and mountain climbers, due to their technical difficulty. The trail passes through wild forest and is known for rough and rugged terrain, but it’s worth noting that the ascent and return can be completed within one day.

Also, Mount Makiling is pretty close to Manila, making it a great hike for adventurers who are looking for fun day trips from the capital city.

Mt. Arayat

Situated within Mount Arayat National Park, this is one of several potentially active volcanoes in the Philippines. The mountain dominates the landscape of the flat architectural region that surrounds it, and it’s truly an incredible sight. This is what makes it one of the most popular hiking destinations in the area, especially for adventurers who are looking for semi-difficult trails on the island of Luzon.

The volcano is also famous for stories of fairies and other mystical creatures that are thought to inhabit its vast forests. There are lots of local tales about many of the popular tourist sites on the mountain, which is why it’s best to discover the trails of Mount Arayat with a local guide.

Two main hiking trails take adventurers to the top of this mountain. The Mount Arayat National Park boasts a trail that leads to the top of the Southern Peak in some 3-4 hours. It’s not a very technical trail, so it’s suitable even for less-experienced hikers.

The trail to the Northern Peak starts near Pampanga State Agricultural University, and it’s similar in length and difficulty to the Southern Peak Trail.

Mt. Apo

Mt. Apo Trek

Mt. Apo is one of the inactive volcanoes on Mindanao Island. It rises 2,954 meters above sea level and it is the tallest mountain in the entire Philippines archipelago. The mountain is situated in the Davao Region overlooking Davao City, and it offers some truly incredible views from the top.

The mountain is part of Mount Apo Natural Park, a vast recreation area boasting numerous hiking trails and excellent biodiversity. There are around 22 mountain peaks within the natural park, so you’ll have plenty of alternatives if you’re not ready to climb the tallest mountain in the country just yet.

Lake Venado is another popular destination in the area that’s much easier to reach than the mountain peak. And if you are climbing Mt. Apo, you’ll pass near this lake anyway because it’s along the main trail.

The volcanic activity of Mount Apo remains largely unknown. There’s no record of a volcanic eruption, but there are traces of andesitic-to-dacitic lava. The presence of volcanic rocks indicates that the volcano did erupt at one point, but it didn’t happen in recent history.

Mt. Bulusan

Situated some 400 kilometers southeast of Manila, Mount Bulusan is one of the many active volcanoes in the Philippines. The peak elevation of the mountain is 1,565 meters, while the base diameter of the volcano is 15 kilometers.

There are four hot springs and four craters around the volcano. The Blackbird Lake is the most famous crater, with a width of 20 m and a depth of 15 m. It’s worth noting that this is also the fourth most active volcano in the country, with 15 recorded volcanic eruptions since 1885.

It’s possible to hike to the summit of Mount Bulusan, provided that there are no warnings due to volcanic activity. Because this is one of the most active volcanoes in the country, it’s best to hike it with experienced guides. It is possible to complete the trek within just one day, but you’ll have the best experience if you do a two-day guided trek that includes kayaking through Lake Bulusan!

Didicas Volcano

Didicas Volcano is situated in the northern Philippines, in the Cagayan province. This is an active volcanic island that re-emerged from the ocean in 1952 – before that, it was a submarine volcano and it was entirely under the sea surface until 1857.

The volcano features a lava dome top at an elevation of 228 meters. Since the late 18th century, there have been a total of six recorded eruptions of Didicas. The 1857 eruption was particularly violent and it made the volcano breach the surface of the ocean.
Following that eruption, the volcano was continuously active for about 4 years and rose to a height of 210 meters during that period. When that activity stopped, the volcanic island eventually disappeared under the sea until it resurfaced again after the 1952 eruption.

Travelers who want to visit this peculiar volcano can do so by a privately chartered boat tour. Most tours depart from Claveria, Aparri, or Sta. Ana in Cagayan.

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

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