December is definitely a season to be jolly. But with all the holiday parties left and right, it can be quite challenging to stay fit. Good thing, though, that the month is a great time to explore and climb mountains due to cool and dry weather.
Take advantage of this wonderful season by climbing any of these mountains worthy of a day hike.
Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Binacayan in Rizal
These limestone mountains are great options if you’re looking for a quick trip near Metro Manila. Pamitinan and Binacayan are relatively low in elevation at just around 400 meters each, but they can be perfect for intermediate hikers.
Mt. Makiling in Laguna
Mt. Makiling is filled with culture and history — from the treasured folklore about Mariang Makiling, the mountain’s personification and guardian, to being the only Philippine mountain that Jose Rizal hiked. You have the option to do a regular hike via UP Los Baños or to traverse from Sto. Tomas. Either way, you will find its tropical rainforest exhilarating and perfect for an outdoor adventure.
Mt. Maculot in Batangas
Situated in the town of Cuenca in Batangas, Mt. Maculot is one of the most highly recommended hikes for beginners. It starts with a steady ascent through woodland up to the mountain’s rocky summit.
Mt. Arayat in Pampanga
Mt. Arayat offers a number of trail options that’ll greet you with lush forests and scenic viewpoints. It also has two major peaks that you can choose from — the North Peak in Magalang and the South Peak in Arayat.
Mt. Ulap in Benguet
Trek across rolling slopes lined with pine trees and catch a view of the Cordilleras on your way to the top of Mt. Ulap. The mountain is located in Itogon, Benguet, less than an hour away from Baguio City. Better start your hike early as it can get pretty crowded!
Mt. Iraya in Batanes
If you have some time to travel farther, Mt. Iraya in Batanes is a great choice to consider. The island province is located in a higher latitude compared to the rest of the country, and Mt. Iraya is its highest peak. You’ll surely enjoy the chilly winds and cool temperature after trekking a dense forest to reach the summit.