Mount Apo

Attraction Mount Apo Natural Park Kidapawan City Davao del Sur, Philippin Published on: 13-11-2015

3 hours
08:00 AM
11:00 AM
Second-time visit
Attraction
Outdoor
Scenic
Must see
Kids
0.00 USD

Mount Apo is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior No
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
Mt. Apo possesses a formidable array of landscapes, from craggy rockscapes to virgin forests; from mossy swamps to volcanic structures. The mountain possesses the widest spectrum of environments, and provides an experience for mountaineers.

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Why Mount Apo is special ?

Towering at 2954 meters above sea level, Mount Apo is the highest mountain and volcano in the Philippines. The first successful climb to Mount Apo was led by Don Joaquin Rajal, a Politico-Military Governor of Davao with Datu Manib of Sibulan as their guide, dating back to year 1880. Apo's last eruption, however, is unknown and sulfuric craters spewing toxic fumes can be found on the boulders section, on the way to the summit.

The stratovolcano is home to 270 bird species, 100 of them endemic. As one of the highest land-based biological diversity in terms of flora and fauna per unit area, it is marked for the UNESCO Tentative World Heritage List.

What to explore at Mount Apo?

From the trailhead in Baruring walk 20 minutes to reach Lower Colan, where you also have to register at the nearby army camp. Then continue to Upper Colan, a 20 minutes walk through nicely cultivated landscapes. The easy part of the hike ends right here, because shortly above Upper Colon the dense and wet rain-forest will both slow you down and wear you out remarkably. There are a myriad of trails above and below Colan, so the guide is not only nice to have, but even mandatory to get a permit. I would not even considered to do an illegal ascents without a guide here, because most likely you will get lost in the jungle somewhere, taking the wrong trail or something, and never get to the summit anyway.

Rain Forest

You get a good or bad feeling of the Amazons as you work your way up the rain forest. The first man in the line will get very wet from dense vegetation, so try to switch positions to share some of the discomforts. The trees and vegetation absorbs much of the daylight, so it's also pretty dark inside the jungle. Clouds usually starts to build up around Mount Apo late morning, so you won't see much of the sun either.

After approx 4 hours you will reach Tinikaran Holding Camp 1 (2100m) which is a nice place to have lunch. Then continue for a while until reaching Tinikaran Holding Camp 2, where water can be found. But be careful, this is just a very tiny dam of still-water, so it would be very advisable to add purification tabs. At Tinikaran, nature also welcomes you with the birds chirping in symphony with the swaying of trees and an offer of the sweet wild berries.

Above the clouds

Shortly above Tinikaran Holding Camp 2 you will surface the dense forest and reach some interesting smelly sulphur steams, and the pastel-green-colored deposits from it. Shortly beyond the steam continue on boulders for quite a long stretch, before you stand at the foot of a steep slope named "87 degrees", which is supposed to be the steepest part of the climb. The incline is far less than the exaggerated number of 87, and it is actually easy scrambling until one reach the crater.

From the crater it is funny hiking on a ridge to Peak 3, which rewards you with magnificent views in many directions. From Peak 3 descend a little bit and continue to the summit camp, which is just a 10 minutes walk from Peak 1 and Peak 2.

By now it will probably be late afternoon, so pitch the tents here at 2900 metres elevation. If you still have energy, walk the last 50 metres to the summit, if not, wait until next morning when you will see the beautiful sunrise from the summit. The sunrise (depending on season) is about 5:30 and it will be some unforgettable minutes on top of Philippines. Almost entire Mindanao (19th largest island in the world) can be seen from the summit.

Sunrise

After the sunrise, have breakfast and start to descend the mountain. Take your time and have a short sidetrip at Upper Colan to Mundo Apo Hot Spring with its curative attributes. Spend an hour in the 30 degree water, before you walk back to Upper Colan, and then down to Lower Colan. Here you can camp in the middle of the village, and spend rest of the afternoon eating food and watching daily life of the village. If you are in a hurry you can continue the last 10-15 minutes to the trailhead in Baruring, but if you arrive late afternoon it will be difficult to commute back to Santa Cruz.

Source: http://www.summitpost.org/mount-apo/483022

How to get to Mount Apo?

Davao

Davao is well connected to both Manila and Cebu City, the two busiest international airports in the Philippines. Cebu Pacific Air, the local low-cost carrier with a new and modern fleet, offer cheap daily flights from both Manila and Cebu starting at less than 2000 pesos (one-way). Fly from Cebu City and paid 2500 pesos (one-way), and back to Cebu City for 1800 pesos only (one-way).

One can either stay a night in Davao City or go directly to Santa Cruz (45 km southwest of Davao), where a permit and guide/porter for Mount Apo must be arranged. After arriving Davao International Airport, try to avoid the taxi-touts at the entrance/exit who will try to charge 1500 pesos for a ride to Santa Cruz. Walk instead 50 metres from the terminal, where the white or yellow metred-taxis are. Here you can easily negotiate a price of 600-700 pesos. If you are on a really tight budget it will be even cheaper to commute like described below (total 207 pesos):

1. After arriving at Davao International Airport, ride a taxi to Ecoland Transport Terminal (travel time 20 minutes - 150 pesos)

2. At Ecoland Terminal, look for south-bound buses such as yellow bus, weena bus, ACFB or Metro Shuttle and ask the driver or the conductor that you will be dropped off at Santa Cruz Terminal (travel time 45 minutes to 1 hour - 43 pesos).

3. At Santa Cruz Terminal, take a motorcycle or tricycle taxi to the municipal hall, Tourism Office (travel time 5 minutes - 14 pesos)

Kapatagan

To get from Santa Cruz to the trailhead in Baruring you can hire a jeep for 800 pesos or commute. The latter would be cheaper, 3 persons would cost 400+ pesos, but the time-frame would be more uncertain. While a jeep will take 1-1.5 hours to the trailhead in Baruring, commuting will take at least 2-3 hours depending on availability/departure of share-taxis, motorcycle taxis etc. First you need a bus from Santa Cruz to Digos, then a shared van/taxi from Digos to Kapatagan, and finally a motorcycle-taxi from Kapatagan to Baruring. This will be quite complicated and time-consuming, but at least you have your guide to take care of this

Source: http://www.summitpost.org/mount-apo/483022

Selling points

  • Tallest Mountain in Philippines
  • Breath away taking
  • Top of the World
  • What a climbing experience
  • Amazing Peak
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Duration
3.0 days
Estimated
92.39 USD
Total travel distance
km
Number of places
14 places

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Location

Address

Mount Apo Natural Park Kidapawan City Davao del Sur, Philippin

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Tips for you

  • Unless it is summer with Bagobo tribesmen present, hikers will have to bring their own food.
    Food
  • Plenty of bread, rice, fruit, soups, noudle, tinned meat etc to be found there
    Food
  • There are no lodging facilities in Mt. Apo.
    Equipment
  • The weather in Mt. Apo is very unpredictable; strong rains may just come
    Weather

Reviews

TripAdvisor View more

Conquering Philippine's tallest is one of my most memorable climbing experience so far. Mt. Apo, with its boulders is truly a unique mountain. The scenery and the sulfuric terrain will literally take your breath away. We took the Sibulan Trail via Sta. Cruz on a three-day hike. The first day of the trek took us through traditional farmlands and small communities with natives who are probably used to the sight of backpack-laden climbers passing by. On the first few hours, I felt the weight of my 12kg backpack and the lack of proper ramp training prior to this climb. After a while, my body adjusted and maintained a steady pace. Yes, reasonable amount of fitness is needed to enjoy this hike. I was amazed how huge the trees were and how dense the jungle in the Mt. Apo National Park.We were told that the second day of the hike will be more challenging. And it included an 87-degree wall or was it 89-degrees?! But the scenery was worth every sweat. After an hour or so of trekking on the second day, boulders began to appear on the trail. As we reached a small dried-up creek, one of the guides told us that we are nearing the boulder section. And the sight of the boulders upon boulders amid sulfur vents, transported me to a different world…a different planet. Truly, Mt. Apo is a unique mountain with its out-of-this-world giant boulders and sulfuric terrain. After the heavy downpour on the second night, I was not sure if we will see any sunrise. But God had a nice surprise for us, He blessed us with a very beautiful sunrise at the summit of Mt. Apo. We enjoyed the 360-degree view from the summit which showcased the silhouette of Samal Island, the nearby mountain ranges and the seemingly perfect cone of Mt. Matutum. If you are looking for a mountain to climb, Mt. Apo is truly worth considering.

TripAdvisor View more

We were able to have good weather for the climb we got rained on a bit but once reaching the top every drop of swear was well worth it. And having a great guide in Paul being very patient with us made the climb even much more fun!A definite check on mu bucketlist!

TripAdvisor View more

It was lots of fun. A real family adventure. You can climb to the top if the weather permits. Beautiful view from the top. Tours are available for a good price.

TripAdvisor View more

Conquering Philippine's tallest is one of my most memorable climbing experience so far. Mt. Apo, with its boulders is truly a unique mountain. The scenery and the sulfuric terrain will literally take your breath away. We took the Sibulan Trail via Sta. Cruz on a three-day hike. The first day of the trek took us through traditional farmlands and small communities with natives who are probably used to the sight of backpack-laden climbers passing by. On the first few hours, I felt the weight of my 12kg backpack and the lack of proper ramp training prior to this climb. After a while, my body adjusted and maintained a steady pace. Yes, reasonable amount of fitness is needed to enjoy this hike. I was amazed how huge the trees were and how dense the jungle in the Mt. Apo National Park. We were told that the second day of the hike will be more challenging. And it included an 87-degree wall or was it 89-degrees?! But the scenery was worth every sweat. After an hour or so of trekking on the second day, boulders began to appear on the trail. As we reached a small dried-up creek, one of the guides told us that we are nearing the boulder section. And the sight of the boulders upon boulders amid sulfur vents, transported me to a different world…a different planet. Truly, Mt. Apo is a unique mountain with its out-of-this-world giant boulders and sulfuric terrain. After the heavy downpour on the second night, I was not sure if we will see any sunrise. But God had a nice surprise for us, He blessed us with a very beautiful sunrise at the summit of Mt. Apo. We enjoyed the 360-degree view from the summit which showcased the silhouette of Samal Island, the nearby mountain ranges and the seemingly perfect cone of Mt. Matutum. If you are looking for a mountain to climb, Mt. Apo is truly worth considering.

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