Summer Trek: Five Mountains Perfect to Hike this Season

There’s no debate here that beaches and swimming activities are perfect getaways for dry season. But if you’re weary with beach activities alone, why not try to trek mountains? Sweat it out first before pulling off your summer wear and have a different view of nature atop mountains.

Mount Pulag
Mount Pulag

Here are the five must-trek mountains this summer to offer you hiking activities with sidetrips best for this season. These mountains are far from the stressful city but quite near from home:

1. Mt. Pundaquit + Anawangin Cove in San Antonio, Zambales

Zambales is one of the top summer destinations because of its proximity from Metro Manila. Beaches and island hopping are the best activities here.

Anawangin Cove
Anawangin Cove

To add worthwhile experience in your visit to Zambales, come to Anawangin Cove via Mt. Pundaquit. Yes, that’s correct. Pass through first the summit of 464-MASL (meter-above-sea-level) Mt. Pundaquit before enjoying the beach of Anawangin.

View from Anawangin Cove
View from Anawangin Cove

Enjoy the view of the West Philippine Sea and its islands from the peak of Mt. Pundaquit. A day is not enough to make the most of this trip. So you may try to camp out in Anawangin Cove after your Mt. Pundaquit trip and enjoy the beach. The next day, you may still want to visit other island like Capones Island before calling it a day.

Anawangin Cove campsite
Anawangin Cove campsite

How to get there? From Metro Manila, ride bus bound for Iba, Zambales then alight to San Antonio Public Market. From the wet market, ride tricycle going to Pundaquit. Then from Anawangin Cove, rent a boat going to Pundaquit then ride tricycle going to bus station bound for Manila.

2. Pico de Loro in Maragondon Cavite and Nasugbu, Batangas

You must do a traverse hike for this Pico de Loro climb to hit beaches of Nasugbu, Batangas.

Pico de Loro's rockies
Pico de Loro’s rockies

Pico de Loro is one of the best mountains to climb this summer with its lush forest trail; it will protect you from heat during this season. The trail is beginner-friendly but climbing to the summit and in the rockies or monolith will require a lot of courage. From the rockies, see the breath-taking bodies of water and other mountains in Calabarzon region.

View from Pico de Loro
View from Pico de Loro

When descending, instead of going back to the jump-off point in Ternate, Cavite, traverse to Nasugbu, Batangas and hit the beach.

Pico de Loro trail
Pico de Loro trail

How to get there? From Metro Manila, ride bus going to Ternate at Coast Mall bus terminal in Parañaque. From Ternate terminal, ride tricycle to DENR jump-off to Pico de Loro.

Trek starts and ends at the beach
Trek starts and ends at the beach

On the other hand, it’s just a tricycle ride going to Nasugbu beach coming from traverse.

3. Mt. Daguldol + Laiya beach in San Juan, Batangas

Admittedly, Mt. Daguldol is one of my toughest climb experiences though it’s only a minor climb with a difficulty level of 3 out of 9 and trail class of 1 to 3. Maybe because it was a long walk of up to six hours. But, the scenery that its summit can offer is worth the effort! Also, Laiya beach is a great reward after the tiring trek.

A falls in Mt. Daguldol
A falls in Mt. Daguldol

Aside from Laiya beach, you may want to visit a falls when descending from the mountain.

View from Mt. Daguldol's peak
View from Mt. Daguldol’s peak

A relaxing reward after the Mt. Daguldol trek
A relaxing reward after the Mt. Daguldol trek

How to get there? Take San Juan-bound bus from Cubao bus terminal. Then, you may choose to take jeepney or tricycle going to Barangay Hugom.

4. Mt. Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal

There’s no beach near Mt. Daraitan, but this mountain can offer an unforgettable and unique summer getaway. Enjoy your summer doing activities such as spelunking, rock climbing, river swimming, and camping. Inside the Tungtong Cave in Daraitan, which is just across the campsite, is a nature-made pool — they call it jacuzzi.

Tinipak River in Mt. Daraitan
Tinipak River in Mt. Daraitan

View from Tinipak River
View from Tinipak River

The cold jacuzzi in Tungtong Cave
The cold jacuzzi in Tungtong Cave

At Mt. Daraitan Summit
At Mt. Daraitan Summit

How to get there? Coming from Metro Manila, ride a jeepney or SUV Express going to Tanay in front of Starmall in Shaw Blvd. From Tanay market, you can take a tricycle going to Barangay Daraitan.

5. Mt. Pulag in Bokod, Benguet

Again, like Mt. Daraitan, Mt. Pulag can’t offer you white sand and beaches but its single-digit temperature is a good trip to escape the summer heat. It can’t offer a sea but its sea of clouds is worth climbing for.

Early Morning in Mount Pulag
Early Morning in Mount Pulag

Climbing Mt. Pulag, the highest peak in Luzon and the third highest peak in the Philippines, can give you bragging rights in your entire life as climbing this mountain is really a challenge, requiring you two to three days for this trip and fighting the single-digit temperature. It’s best to climb Mt. Pulag during summer so you can’t experience the chilling negative-degree-Celsius temperature during the cold season.

Mt. Pulag Sunrise
Mt. Pulag Sunrise

How to get there? Take bus bound to Baguio City. If you’re travelling in group of 10, it’s better to rent jeepney to registration point for Mt. Pulag. If traveling alone or in smaller group, better to avail tour package for this adventure.

Sunrise in Mt Pulag by Tralphe XY via Flickr
Sunrise in Mt Pulag by Tralphe XY via Flickr

So instead of just being in the beach this summer, start trek where you never gone before!

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