Metro Manila · 4 Volcanoes To Climb In The Philippines
The Philippines has over 20 active volcanoes sprinkled around the islands, making it the perfect place for those who love adventurous climbs. Below are the top Philippine volcanoes to climb - and how to prepare to stay safe.
1. Mount Mayon, Albay
About Mt. Mayon
Located in the picturesque farmlands of Albay, Mayon Volcano features steep slopes that form what locals and tourists refer to as “the perfect cone”. While this active volcano’s eruptions are frequent, the latest of which happened in 2013, the climb will be worthwhile.
The climb itself reaches two camps. While you can easily finish the climb in one day, it is also a great idea to spend a night in each camp. You can go as far as 2000 meters during the climb but authorities recommend you stop at 1800 meters. This is to avoid hazardous gas emissions from the volcano.
If you would like to extend your adventure, you can also visit Mount Isarog National Park and Bulusan Volcano National Park.
How To Get There
Megacitizens wanting to go to Mount Mayon can either fly to Legaspi City or take the bus coming from Metro Manila.
If you are flying from Manila, it will take one hour for the plane to touchdown in Legazpi. Flights coming from the old Philippine city of Cebu are also available.
If you would like to take the bus, you can take any bus going to Sorsogon in the Visayas. The travel time is around 10 hour
2. Mount Apo, Davao
About Mt. Apo
Mount Apo, situated right between the city of Davao and Davao del Sur province, is the country’s highest peak. The solfataric stratovolcano features a great view of the Mindanao farmlands. Mount Apo became a national park in early 1936 and was later added in the UNESCO world heritage list.
Apo is home to over 270 bird species with over 100 of them endemic to this part of Mindanao.
The climb is 2,954 meters (9,692 feet). There are a number of trails leading to the summit and climbers can start climbing from North Cotabato, Davao del Norte, or Davao del Sur.
The easiest route, according to experienced climbers in the country, is through Kidapawan City. The hike will take three to four days roundtrip. While there will be a lot of stops, the hike is difficult. But what is amazing about going to Mount Apo is not just the volcano itself but the various attractions along the way. This includes being able to bathe in the “highest” lake in the country, Lake Venado. Most treks are done in October but local authorities say, it is possible to go up Mount Apo any time of the year.
How To Get There
Climbers wanting to go to Mount Apo can enter either through Davao City or Cotabato City.
If you are taking the Cotabato City route, you will need to ride a bus to Kidapawan City after your plane touches down on the city of Cotabato. Bus stations are located at Magallanes Street and Jose Lim Street. Kidapawan is around three hours away from Cotabato City so the bus ride will not be that expensive.
If you are entering through the city of Davao, you can take the bus going to Kidapawan. This will be a two-hour journey.
Once you are in Kidapawan, your entry point going to Mount Apo is through Barangay Ilomavis. Your exit point will be at Baragay Kisandal in Magpet.
3. Mount Pinatubo, Zambales/Tarlac/Pampanga
About Mt. Pinatubo
Mount Pinatubo, located in the island of Luzon, is a popular trekking site for Megacitizens based in the capital. This active volcano is a difficult climb but the trek and the heat experienced during this journey will be well worth it once you see the crater and its clear waters. More Information.
How To Get There
From Metro Manila, you can ride a bus going to the north i.e. Pangasinan, Baguio, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte. You should get off the bus once it reaches Capas, Tarlac’s public market. From there, you can ride a jeepney going to Sta. Juliana’s Pinatubo Spa Town where the base camp and the local tourism office are located. You can rent a jeep from there to take you to your next stop. You can do the whole trip within a day but if you would like to stay longer, there is a camp site in the area.
4. Taal Volcano, Batangas
Taal Volcano is the volcano nearest to Metro Manila. With an elevation of 311 meters, it is one of the smallest volcanoes in the Philippines. It nonetheless offers breathtaking views, thanks to its location on an island in a lake, and with another little lake in its crater.
How to Get There
It is best to go to Tagaytay by private car or to hire a car and driver. The drive to Taal Lake takes two to three hours. From there you can take a boat to the island for 1,500 PHP (round trip). They will probably name a higher price first and you will have to negotiate, especially if you are a foreigner. On the island, you can hike up the volcano with a local guide or ride up on the back of a little horse. The hike takes 1 to 2 hours. More Information.
Danger In Paradise: Risks Of A Volcano Trekking Adventure
Many Megacitizens flock to the most popular volcanoes in the islands to see how beautiful the landscape is and to experience being at the crater after a long climb. But one must keep in mind that volcanic activities change without any warning. National Geographic's Mark Jenkins said that “Climbing an active volcano is all about preparation”. In the interest of personal safety, one must get more information about the area before going there. Here are some basic safety tips for trekkers:
1. Take note of the weather before your trip.
It is not just the possibility of an eruption that can make a trekking trip risky. The weather can also play a vital role on whether you should go ahead with the climb or not. The Philippines often experiences torrential rains making it difficult and dangerous to climb up a mountain or a volcano in general.
2. Get information from PHIVOLCS and local authorities.
Being well-informed about the state of the volcano is a must. You can get updated information from PHIVOLCS, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismography, and from the local government where the volcano is located.
3. Get a local as a guide.
The locals often know more about the region than what is readily available online, so it is a good idea to have a local to guide you in your climb.
4. Learn more about the volcano.
While guides can tell you about the volcano, it pays to have knowledge on how it was formed and what its geology is. It is also important to know if the volcano erupted recently and where its main lava flows are. Take your time in learning about it before you go.
5. Enjoy the climb.
Many people climb active volcanoes because of the danger involved. There is nothing wrong with that as long as you have calculated the risks. So enjoy the climb and tell us all about it afterwards. And do not forget to take and send pictures!
If you have respiratory diseases, it is better not to go near a volcano at all. While there are devices and medication that can help you with your climb, volcanoes often have high gas emissions that are potentially harmful.