Hiking Trails: Mt. Puting Bato
When you hear Samal Island, you would probably immediately think of beaches and resorts. However, you’d be surprised (just as we were), that this island is also covered with mountains. It isn’t as tall as you probably expect it to be but just enough to provide among the best views of the island.
Getting to the peak of Mt. Puting Bato isn’t very easy. In fact, it forces you to endure a long and bumpy habal-habal ride to get to the jump-off point. The grueling ride takes around 30 minutes to an hour (if I remember it right) and I highly suggest you leave your huge packs with you as it will be difficult to ride on the motorcycle with it.
After what seemed like forever in the unpaved roads, we were finally able to reach the jump-off area where our rides and drivers took a rest under the shade of the trees.
From the jump-off, it takes around 30 minutes to get to the peak, depending on your pace.
The trail is pretty straightforward so you wouldn’t have a hard time finding your way. A big plus is that a majority of the trail is covered so you don’t have to worry about walking there under direct sunlight.
While the ride was not smooth sailing, the trek there is. So even if you are just new to hiking, this trail is something you can do quite easily.
Of course, my partner and daughter had a fun time following the trail. Don’t be fooled because that is actually an ascending road.
Up ahead is a tiny signage which will tell you which road to take to get to the peak of Mt. Puting Bato. We later realized that the roads are all interconnected so you will still be able to find your way regardless of which one you choose to take.
Just a little after the point of the signage is the breathtaking view of the Island Garden of Samal. However, this isn’t quite the peak just yet. If you feel breathless from the walk, you could just stop here for a while and admire the unobstructed view. Let me tell you though that this is still around 10 minutes away from the actual peak.
The park at the top is small but well-maintained. You’ll know that you’re already close by when you see a hint of bermuda grass along the way.
The point I highlighted previously is the only place where you can get a good look at the island below. You can’t see much from the peak as it is covered with trees all around.
When we finally got there, we just took a short rest and sat in the grass to admire our surroundings. It was quite cool there because of the plants around.
After taking pictures of the plants and of ourselves, we headed back our way but took the ‘back road’ to get to the jump-off point. I was confused at first but later realized that road we took led to the signage.
We were able to meet only one group of hikers when we went there. Our entire journey there was pretty quiet although we did notice one or two houses there.
We were glad we went to see the place; we were totally awestruck by it. At just 1,755 feet (~535MASL), Mt. Puting Bato in Samal Island is a must-visit for everyone, even for beginner hikers.
And while you’re at the island, don’t forget to cross off our list of fun things to do in IGACOS.