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If Your Goal Is to Get Out On the Trail More, These 9 Hiking Spots in Palawan Will Help You Achieve That

Get closer to your trekking goals in these destinations for hiking in Palawan!

By: Yoorekka Team | March 24, 2023
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hiking spots in Palawan, hiking in Palawan, Palawan adventures

This view waits for you at the top of Mt. Tapyas, one of the most beautiful mountains on this list!

Image: Greatel Joy Sumibkay

Palawan is called the Last Frontier of the Philippines, and for a good reason. If you take your eyes away from the limestone formations and white sand beaches, you will also see that the province is blessed with lush, verdant forests which thrive in its different mountainous regions. And in these forests and mountains, there are a lot of picturesque hiking spots in Palawan waiting for adventure-filled excursions. If you are raring to go but need help knowing where to start, check out these nine destinations for hiking in Palawan that you can conquer!

1. Taraw Peak

Where: El Nido, Palawan
Hiking Time: 30 minutes

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The author, after a death-defying climb of Taraw Peak

Image: @thepalawenamermaid

As you well know, El Nido is like a fortress town protected by a wall of limestone cliffs like sentinels, which adds to the out-of-this-world beauty of the city. This fifth spot in our list of hiking spots in Palawan is the Taraw Peak. Taraws (limestone formations) are home to bird species Balinsasayaw that produce Nido soup (hence, El Nido). Still, not only balinsasayaw harvesters have been frequenting the taraw cliffs, but also tourists.

There are specific guides to help you in this hiking in Palawan. Ask around the travel and tour operators in the area. Taraw Peak is lower than any other hiking spot in Palawan, but it is a stiff climb. It can be dangerous, especially if you need the right gear, such as a helmet, comfortable clothes, and well-fitting climbing shoes, perfect for this Palawan adventure. At the peak, you can see the whole town of El Nido and Bacuit Bay.

2. Mt. Tapyas

Where: Coron, Palawan
Hiking Time: 45 minutes

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The famous sunset of Coron, as seen from Mt. Tapyas

Image: Josef Fernandez

Mt. Tapyas is the second-highest mountain in the town of Coron at 201 meters above sea level (MASL). Since Coron is a Catholic town, a gigantic cross was erected on the mountain’s peak—why locals also call it Mt. Calvary.

To get to this hiking spot in Palawan, walk along the main road and look for Big Mama’s Restaurant, the landmark at the foot of the stairs (there is also a big sign there). From there, you start your climb up a total of 723 steps. It can be tiring, but the view from Mt. Tapyas is worth it. From the view deck, you can see the whole town site of Coron and the surrounding seas and islands.

3. Mt. Magarwak

Where: Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Hiking Time: 1 hour

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The view of the surrounding mountainous regions from Mt. Magarwak

Image: @nilanoj24

Mt. Magarwak is an easy hike in Palawan. At 301 MASL, it is perfect for beginners and those who just want a morning hike. From its peak, you can see Honda Bay, the whole City of Puerto Princesa, and the adjacent mountains of Barangay Bacungan.

To get to the mountain, take a bus from Barangay San Jose or hire a van to Magarwak, then get off at the Bantay Gubat Checkpoint. From there, follow the feeder road, and you will find the trail to the summit. The hike from the highway to the top may last more or less one hour, depending on your pace. Add this to your list of hiking spots in Palawan now! Bring a guide for this Palawan adventure just to be sure, or ask the locals.

4. Mt. Bahile

Where: Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Hiking Time: 8 hours

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Mt. Bahile Summit overlooking Honda Bay.

Image: Jammina Krizelle Cardaňo

Another hiking spot in Palawan is one of the mountains in the northern part of Puerto Princesa that is often frequented by hikers, Mt. Bahile. It stands at 747 MASL and can be done in a day within 8 hours. The drop-off point is at Barangay Salvacion by the City Health Satellite clinic. From there, walk through the feeder road until you reach the foot of the mountain. For your Palawan adventure in this trek, make sure to watch out for rattan thorns, as they are common in the area, as are snakes.

5. Mt. Beaufort

Where: Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Hiking Time: 1 day

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The view from the summit of Mt. Beaufort

Image: Donard Ewican

Mt. Beaufort is a hiking spot in Palawan. It is located at Barangay Irawan, and it is another mountain that is close to Puerto Princesa City. With a height of 1,148 MASL, it can be hiked in a day. The ascent to the summit can take more or less four hours, with a steep climb in some parts of this hiking in Palawan. Barangay Irawan is accessible via multicabs and a motorcycle ride down to the foot of the mountain.

6. Mt. Thumbpeak

Where: Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Hiking Time: 3 days

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The top of Mt. Thumbpeak shows a verdant view.

Image: Greatel Joy Sumibkay

Another option for a hiking spot in Palawan is located within the Iwahig Penal Colony. Mt. Thumbpeak is one of the peaks near Puerto Princesa City. It stands at 1,296 MASL, and the difficulty level for this Palawan adventure has been graded as7/9. Although an expedition to its summit and back can take up to three days, the incredible views reward the long trek.

To do the hiking in Palawan in this mountain, you must secure a permit from the Iwahig Penal Farm authorities. Having a guide is also recommended. On the climb, expect river crossings, steep trails, and a dense forest to pass through. Make sure to look out for exotic plants while going into these hiking spots in Palawan, especially the tropical pitcher plant that can only be found at the summit.

7. Sultan Peak

Where: Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Hiking Time: 3 days

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The summit of Sultan Peak and Falls

Image: Joan Grace Atienza Buaga

Sultan Peak is a part of the Sultan Peak-Atong Lake Traverse in Narra, Palawan, and a municipality south of Puerto Princesa City. The jump-off from this peak is Sitio Mariwara in Narra.

This hiking in Palawan trek includes crossing the Batang-batang River, which can be pretty dangerous, especially during the rainy season, when the current gets more robust, and the river swells. The climb may be challenging for this hiking spot in Palawan, but the view at the peak is well worth it. There is a high waterfall named Sultan Falls, a short distance from the campsite, with a view of Victoria Peak, another mountain in the Municipality of Narra.

8. Mt. Mantalingajan

Where: Rizal, Palawan
Hiking Time: 3 to 5 days

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Mount Mantalingajan’s peak

Image: Melchor Iguban Moradillo

Mt. Mantalingajan is the highest peak in Palawan, located in the southern part of the province. With an elevation of 2,086 MASL, scaling Mt. Mantalingajan could take about four to five days. With a difficulty of 9/9, you need to be a mentally and physically prepared experienced climber in this hiking spot in Palawan.

The most helpful guides you can find for this Palawan adventure are the natives in the area and the Tau’t Batu. The drop-off point for the climb is at Barangay Ransang, Rizal. It is a significant climb, so be ready for physical and mental stress, but once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with a picturesque view of Southern Palawan, and if you are lucky, you can see a sea of clouds in this hiking spot in Palawan.

9. Mt. Cleopatra’s Needle

Where: Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Hiking Time: 4 days

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This marker on the way to the Underground River shows the position of Mount Cleopatra’s Needle with other peaks in the area.

Image: Isabella Quilantang

The name of Mt. Cleopatra’s Needle is derived from the obelisk-shaped rock on its summit. For this Palawan adventure, you can see many wonders, with much unique flora and fauna that can be found along the way. This hiking spot in Palawan has a difficulty level of 7/9 and a height of 1,593 MASL.

For your hiking in Palawan, Mt. Cleopatra is accessible via its drop-off points in Barangay Concepcion in Puerto Princesa, and the journey back and forth can take up to four days. The trek in this hiking spot in Palawan has been described as a “challenging hike” with river crossings and large boulders that will be encountered along the way. On clear days, the summit has a view of Puerto Princesa City and the surrounding Sulu Sea, West Philippine Sea, and Honda Bay.

Other than beaches and islands, Palawan is also home to mountains just waiting to be explored. Caution and preparedness, however, must be observed. Be aware of malaria mosquitoes when you plan to go to these hiking spots in Palawan, as they are still dangerous, especially in mountainous areas. Moreover, remember to be culturally appropriate and respectful, as almost all of the peaks in Palawan are inhabited by indigenous people. Lastly, be a responsible mountaineer and always keep Mother Nature in mind.

Visit Yoorekka Magazine for more exciting travel destinations and hiking spots in Palawan!

Stay safe as you travel! Make sure to follow social distancing protocols and observe health precautions wherever you go. Have a great trip!

This article was initially published in Yoorekka on January 16, 2019.

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About Yoorekka Team
Yoorekka’s team is composed of talented writers from all over the Philippines with varied interests, from creative writing to environmental advocacy. There is one thing that they share, though: they’re all passionate about producing articles that are not only interesting to read but also useful for anyone reading!
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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