When you think of the Philippines, your mind sways towards white sand beaches, coral reefs, and spending some time in beachy paradise. There is no thought of any mountains though, but there should be.
The Philippines is actually quite mountainous and there are some great hiking trails that will take you to some of the best views in the country. Here are the top 10 highest mountains in the Philippines.
Mt Apo is the highest mountain in the Phillippines and its summit sits at 2,956 meters above sea level. You’ll find Mt Apo in the southern Phillippines near the city of Davao and the only way to get there is via an internal flight from the capital of Manilla.
Mt Apo is considered the grandpa of the mountains of the Philippines and is known as the endemic center of the Philippines. The mountain is home to most of the endemic plants and animals that you can only find in the Phillippines.
Hiking up to the summit of Mt Apo is quite a challenge but it’s worth it for the amazing views from the top. You’ll walk through dense jungle, past stunning lakes, and around huge volcanic boulders.
The second highest mountain in the Phillippines is Mt Dulang-Dulang. It stands at 2,938 meters above sea level and sits in the Bukidnon region of the Phillippines, just north of Davao City. It’s not too far from Mt Apo so you can see both in one trip quite easily.
The mountain is home to the Talaandig tribe who consider the mountain a sacred place. Hiking to the top is very possible and the amount of wildlife you’ll see on the way is quite incredible. Deer, monkeys, and lemurs are just a few of them.
At the top, you’ll get amazing views of the entire Kitanglad mountain range and on a clear day, you’ll see Mt Apo in the distance.
Mt Pulag sits on the northern side of the Philippines and is the third highest mountain in the Philippines standing at 2,926 meters above sea level. It’s said to have the most beautiful views from the summit of all the mountains in the Phillippines.
The local tribes in the area believe that when you’re at the top of Mt Pulag you are closer to god and therefore you can talk to god more easily.
Climbing to the top of Mt Pulag is not easy and it’s not recommended for first-timers. There are a few different trails to choose from with the Ambangeg trail being easier and the Trawangan and Akiki trails are more challenging.
Mt Kitanglad sits in the southern Phillippines and is close to both Mt Apo and Mt Dulang-Dulang. It’s the fourth highest mountain in the Phillippines at 2,899 meters above sea level and it has a local legend around it that gave it its name.
It’s believed the mountain was all that was remaining above a great flood that covered the surrounding area and it looked like a blade of lemongrass – Tanglad in Phillipino.
Mt Kalatungan is just south of Mt Kitanglad and just north of Davao City in the southern Phillippines. It’s the fifth highest mountain in the Philippines and it’s 2,880 meters above sea level. Mt Kalatungan is actually classified as an active volcano and is also the hardest mountain to hike to the summit of in the Philippines.
If you want to climb Mt Kalatungan you have to follow local traditions and offer a sacrifice beforehand. You’ll need a live chicken, white and red cloth, local wine, and rice for the offering.
The sixth highest mountain in the Phillippines is Mt Tabayoc which is 2,842 meters above sea level. You’ll find Mt Tabayoc in Luzon close by to Mt Pulag. It’s named after a tabayoc which means basin in the local language and this refers to the 4 beautiful lakes that surround it.
Hiking up Mt Tabayoc is a bit like being in a real-life Tarzan adventure course. You’ll have to jump from boulder to boulder swinging on vines in different sections. It’s easy to get lost and find yourself way off the trail on Mt Tabayoc so taking a guide is a good idea.
Mt Piapayungan is the 7th highest mountain in the Phillippines at 2,817 meters high. You’ll find Mt Piapayungan to the southwest of Mt Kalatungan and southeast of Lake Lanao. This is by far the most challenging mountain to climb in the Phillippines and thus is barely ever climbed.
There aren’t really any trails so if you want to make it to the summit you’re going to need to be quite experienced at finding your own way.
The 8th highest mountain in the Phillippines is Mt Ragang which is also known as the Blue Mountain. It sits at 2,803 meters above sea level and offers quite incredible views of Lake Lanao to the north. The mountain is an old volcano that is not active anymore and is covered in the think luscious jungle that is teeming with wildlife.
Climbing to the top of Mt Ragang is quite a challenge but there are trails so you will find your way quite easily plus it’s worth it just to see all the jungles inhabitants the stunning views from the top.
Mt Ma-agnaw is also part of the Katanglad mountain range is the 9th highest mountain in the Phillippines at 2,742 meters high. It’s also a part of the Talaandig tribe’s ancestral domain and you’ll need to bring a chicken as an offering to the mountain before you put a foot on the trail. The climb is tough but the views are worth it and you’ll see the entire Katanglad mountain range.
The 10th highest mountain in the Philippines is Mt Timbak and it sits next to Mt Pulag. At 2,717 meters above sea level, climbing to the summit is quite a challenge, and the surrounding views feature local farmland. At the summit, you’ll find 3 crosses, an amazing view of Mt Pulag, and a sea of clouds in front of you.
Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.