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9 Hiking Destinations in Palawan for an Adventurous Vacation

Get closer to the stars in these hiking destinations in Palawan!

By: Yoorekka Team | July 01, 2020

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Note: Due to the recent pandemic, these destinations might be temporarily closed. Please coordinate with the management or local government before going.


hiking destinations in Palawan

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


Palawan is called the Last Frontier of the Philippines, and for good reason. If you take your eyes away from the limestone formations and white sand beaches, you would also see that the province is blessed with lush, verdant forests which thrive in its different mountainous regions. And in these forests and mountains, lots of picturesque and adventure-filled excursions are waiting. If you are raring to go but do not know where to start, check out these nine hiking destinations in Palawan that you can conquer!


1. Mt. Thumbpeak



hiking destinations in Palawan

The top of Mt. Thumbpeak shows a verdant view.

Image: Greatel Joy Sumibkay

Located within the Iwahig Penal Colony, Mt. Thumbpeak is one of the peaks near Puerto Princesa City. It stands at 1,296 meters above sea level (MASL) and has a graded difficulty level of 7/9. Although an expedition to its summit and back can take up to three days, the long trek is made rewarding by great views all throughout.

To do the climb, 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 on the trail, especially the tropical pitcher plant that can only be found at the summit.


2. Mt. Beaufort



hiking_destinations in Palawan

The view from the summit of Mt. Beaufort

Image: Donard Ewican

Mt. Beaufort 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. Barangay Irawan is accessible via multicabs and a motorcycle ride down to the foot of the mountain.


3. Mt. Cleopatra’s Needle



hiking_destinations in Palawan

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

Image: Isabella Quilantang

The name of Mt. Cleopatra’s Needle is derived from the obelisk-shaped rock that can be found in its summit. It has a difficulty level of 7/9 and height of 1,593 MASL. This mountain holds many wonders, with lots of unique flora and fauna that can be found along the way.

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 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 the view of the Puerto Princesa City and the surrounding Sulu Sea, West Philippine Sea, and Honda Bay.


4. Sultan Peak



hiking_destinations in Palawan

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, a municipality south of Puerto Princesa City. The jump-off from this peak is Sitio Mariwara in Narra.

The trek includes crossing the Batang-batang River which can be quite dangerous especially during the rainy season, when the current gets stronger and the river swells. The climb may be hard, but the view at the peak is well worth it. There is a high waterfall named Sultan Falls a short distance away from the campsite with the view of Victoria Peak, another mountain in the Municipality of Narra.


5. Taraw Peak



hiking_destinations in Palawan

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 town. Taraws (limestone formations) are home to bird species called Balinsasayaw that produce Nido soup (hence, El Nido), but recently, not only balinsasayaw harvesters have been frequenting the taraw cliffs, but also tourists.

There are specific guides to help you traverse this perilous climb maybe ask around the travel and tours operators in the area. Taraw Peak is not that high, but it is a hard climb and can be dangerous especially if you do not have the right gear, such as a helmet, comfortable clothes, and well-fitting climbing shoes. At the peak, you can see the whole town of El Nido and Bacuit Bay.


6. Mt. Mantalingajan



hiking destinations in Palawan

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 4-5 days. With a difficulty of 9/9, you really need to be a mentally and physically prepared experienced climber.

The most helpful guides you can find are the natives in the area, the Tau’t Batu. Drop-off point for the climb is at Barangay Ransang, Rizal. It is a major 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, a sea of clouds.



7. Mt. Magarwak



hiking_destinations in Palawan

The view of the surrounding mountainous regions from Mt. Magarwak

Image: @nilanoj24

Mt. Magarwak is an easy hike. 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 that goes to the summit. Bring a guide though just to be sure or ask the locals. The hike from the highway to the top may last more or less one hour depending on your pace.


8. Mt. Tapyas



hiking_destinations in Palawan

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 MASL. Since Coron is a Catholic town, a gigantic cross was erected on the mountain’s peak—the reason why locals also call it Mt. Calvary.

To get here, walk along the main road and look for Big Mama’s Restaurant, the landmark to 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 definitely worth it. From the view deck, you can see the whole town site of Coron, and the surrounding seas and islands.



9. Mt. Bahile



hiking_destinations in Palawan

Mt. Bahile Summit overlooking Honda Bay.

Image: Jammina Krizelle Cardaňo

Mt. Bahile is one of the mountains in the northern part of Puerto Princesa that is often frequented by hikers. 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. Watch out for rattan thorns, as they are common in the area, as are snakes.


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 as they are still a danger especially in the 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.


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 originally published in Yoorekka on January 16, 2019.
Note: Due to the recent pandemic, these destinations might be temporarily closed. Please coordinate with the management or local government before going.


hiking destinations in Palawan

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


Palawan is called the Last Frontier of the Philippines, and for good reason. If you take your eyes away from the limestone formations and white sand beaches, you would also see that the province is blessed with lush, verdant forests which thrive in its different mountainous regions. And in these forests and mountains, lots of picturesque and adventure-filled excursions are waiting. If you are raring to go but do not know where to start, check out these nine hiking destinations in Palawan that you can conquer!


1. Mt. Thumbpeak



hiking destinations in Palawan

The top of Mt. Thumbpeak shows a verdant view.

Image: Greatel Joy Sumibkay

Located within the Iwahig Penal Colony, Mt. Thumbpeak is one of the peaks near Puerto Princesa City. It stands at 1,296 meters above sea level (MASL) and has a graded difficulty level of 7/9. Although an expedition to its summit and back can take up to three days, the long trek is made rewarding by great views all throughout.

To do the climb, 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 on the trail, especially the tropical pitcher plant that can only be found at the summit.


2. Mt. Beaufort



hiking_destinations in Palawan

The view from the summit of Mt. Beaufort

Image: Donard Ewican

Mt. Beaufort 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. Barangay Irawan is accessible via multicabs and a motorcycle ride down to the foot of the mountain.


3. Mt. Cleopatra’s Needle



hiking_destinations in Palawan

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

Image: Isabella Quilantang

The name of Mt. Cleopatra’s Needle is derived from the obelisk-shaped rock that can be found in its summit. It has a difficulty level of 7/9 and height of 1,593 MASL. This mountain holds many wonders, with lots of unique flora and fauna that can be found along the way.

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 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 the view of the Puerto Princesa City and the surrounding Sulu Sea, West Philippine Sea, and Honda Bay.


4. Sultan Peak



hiking_destinations in Palawan

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, a municipality south of Puerto Princesa City. The jump-off from this peak is Sitio Mariwara in Narra.

The trek includes crossing the Batang-batang River which can be quite dangerous especially during the rainy season, when the current gets stronger and the river swells. The climb may be hard, but the view at the peak is well worth it. There is a high waterfall named Sultan Falls a short distance away from the campsite with the view of Victoria Peak, another mountain in the Municipality of Narra.


5. Taraw Peak



hiking_destinations in Palawan

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 town. Taraws (limestone formations) are home to bird species called Balinsasayaw that produce Nido soup (hence, El Nido), but recently, not only balinsasayaw harvesters have been frequenting the taraw cliffs, but also tourists.

There are specific guides to help you traverse this perilous climb maybe ask around the travel and tours operators in the area. Taraw Peak is not that high, but it is a hard climb and can be dangerous especially if you do not have the right gear, such as a helmet, comfortable clothes, and well-fitting climbing shoes. At the peak, you can see the whole town of El Nido and Bacuit Bay.


6. Mt. Mantalingajan



hiking destinations in Palawan

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 4-5 days. With a difficulty of 9/9, you really need to be a mentally and physically prepared experienced climber.

The most helpful guides you can find are the natives in the area, the Tau’t Batu. Drop-off point for the climb is at Barangay Ransang, Rizal. It is a major 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, a sea of clouds.



7. Mt. Magarwak



hiking_destinations in Palawan

The view of the surrounding mountainous regions from Mt. Magarwak

Image: @nilanoj24

Mt. Magarwak is an easy hike. 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 that goes to the summit. Bring a guide though just to be sure or ask the locals. The hike from the highway to the top may last more or less one hour depending on your pace.


8. Mt. Tapyas



hiking_destinations in Palawan

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 MASL. Since Coron is a Catholic town, a gigantic cross was erected on the mountain’s peak—the reason why locals also call it Mt. Calvary.

To get here, walk along the main road and look for Big Mama’s Restaurant, the landmark to 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 definitely worth it. From the view deck, you can see the whole town site of Coron, and the surrounding seas and islands.



9. Mt. Bahile



hiking_destinations in Palawan

Mt. Bahile Summit overlooking Honda Bay.

Image: Jammina Krizelle Cardaňo

Mt. Bahile is one of the mountains in the northern part of Puerto Princesa that is often frequented by hikers. 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. Watch out for rattan thorns, as they are common in the area, as are snakes.


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 as they are still a danger especially in the 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.


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 originally published in Yoorekka on January 16, 2019.

author

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!

hiking mountain travel adventure activities tourist attraction Puerto Princesa

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