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Why You Should Visit Mount Apo: Your Nature Destination
Travel & Food

Why You Should Visit Mount Apo: Your Nature Destination

Mount Apo summit at dawn

Mount Apo, the Philippines’ highest mountain, is known for its scenic views and diverse plant and wildlife.

Mount Apo is the Philippines' highest mountain and has the reputation of being the “ultimate climb” for serious hikers. However, you don’t need to be in top physical shape to enjoy its beauty and have a nature adventure.

Here are some things that you can do while visiting Mount Apo, whether you’re traveling with kids or planning your first Mount Apo hike.  

Where’s Mount Apo?


Mt. Apo is about 32 kilometers away from Davao City. It's part of the Mount Apo National Park, which spans 64,000 hectares and features mountains, lush forests, lakes, and a hot spring. This is the home of hundreds of flora and fauna, including the critically endangered Philippine eagle.

The Philippine eagle in the Mount Apo forest.

Around 400 pairs of Philippine eagles live in Mount Apo and other forested areas in Southeastern Mindanao, according to the Philippine Eagle Foundation.

Best for Light Recreation: Eden Nature Park and Resort


This resort at the foothills of Mt. Apo is perfect for barkadas or families who want the “mountain experience” without roughing it out.


  • Transportation and Entrance Fees

The resort is an hour’s drive away from Davao City. You can either take a cab or book the resort’s transport service (about ₱800, depending on your pick-up point). 


The park admission fee includes a meal. If you want the buffet lunch, fees are ₱850 for adults and ₱450 for kids. If you opt for a simple snack, fees are ₱350 for adults and ₱300 for kids. Rides are excluded from the entrance fee. 

A young family takes a walk in the gardens of Eden Nature Park.

The forest was nearly devastated by illegal logging. Then, in the 1970s, people planted thousands of seedlings, which later formed sprawling canopies, so other trees and plants could flourish.

Image Credit: Eden Nature Park Instagram

  • Activities


    • Explore the parks and gardens. The resort has flower gardens, greenhouses and plantations. Lola’s Garden even has a bahay kubo, a vegetable garden, and a spectacular view of Davao Gulf. Take the hiking trails to explore the property at your own pace or take the guided shuttle tour. 
    • Fly high. The resort has three sky rides that give you a bird's eye view of the forest, Mount Apo, Davao City, and Davao Gulf. All rides are 60 feet above the ground and take you across a 200-meter stretch. You just choose how you want to cross: glide down the SkyRider zipline, pedal on the SkyCycle bicycles, or walk in the giant wheel called the SkyWheel. 
A young woman on the SkyWheel ride that overlooks the forests in Eden Nature Park near Mount Apo

The SkyWheel gives you a fantastic view of the entire landscape—it feels just like flying!

Image Credit: Eden Nature Park Instagram

    • Meet new animal friends. Visit the butterfly sanctuary, aviary, and deer park (which has over 30 Philippine sambars, a vulnerable species found only in the Philippines). 
    • Go horseback riding. The horse trails are lined with pine trees. You can enjoy the ride accompanied by guides, so you don't have to worry about safety.
    • Eat the freshest fish of your life. You can fish, and then have your catch cooked right away for a small fee. Fishing rates are ₱450 for adults and ₱300 for children from four to 10 years old. 
Two women go fishing at a pond surrounded by trees

The Fishing Village ponds are full of tilapia, hito, and dory.

Image Credit: Eden Nature Park Instagram

  • Accommodations


You can stay overnight at one of the cottages. Rates range from ₱4,700 for a lodge for two people to ₱12,600 for a villa that can fit 11 people. Visit their website or message them on their Facebook page to inquire.

Best Tips for Your First Mount Apo Hike


Mt. Apo has several trails with different difficulty levels and lengths. The Kidapawan Trail is said to be the easiest, while the Sibulan Trail is shorter and scenic. The longer trails to the Mount Apo summit will take about two to three days to complete.

Two friends on a hiking trail.

The different Mt. Apo trails each have their own unique views and challenges, from crossing rivers to climbing boulders and steep forests.

  • How Much Hiking Experience You Need


Mount Apo is a test of endurance. The slopes are steep, and you have to navigate different terrains. While it’s possible to complete the trail even without hiking experience, you do need to be physically active and mentally prepared for the challenge. You can ask your tour guide to take you on a shorter or easier trail or assign you to a group of hikers with similar experience.  


You can also build your endurance by going to other hiking spots before you scale Mt. Apo.


  • Fees and Requirements


All hikers are required to hire a tour guide and get a hiking permit. For tougher trails, you may be asked to present a medical certificate or name two recent climbs. 


Aside from the usual tour guide fees, you’ll have to pay for processing the permits, DENR fees, and transportation costs. If you’re camping overnight, you also need to hire a porter.


  • Tips from Other Hikers


    • Arrange to arrive in Davao the day before. You’ll have more time to prepare, rest, and get last-minute supplies. 
    • Wear protective headgear. Sunblock isn’t enough. Headgear gives additional protection for your face and neck, and also helps to block the smell of the sulfuric gas that escapes from the vents in the boulder trail.
    • Wear appropriate clothes. This includes sturdy hiking shoes and layers of clothing that you can add or remove depending on the weather. Bring extra socks in case your shoes get wet.
    • Bring trash bags. Be a responsible hiker! Bring your trash and pick up any trash that you see. 
    • Bring water purification tablets. You can refill your water bottle at clean mountain springs, but bring enough water or water purification tablets if you have a sensitive stomach.

Staying Connected with Globe Go50


Even when you’re in a remote location like Mount Apo, you can still stay connected with the rest of the world. With Globe Go50, you get three days of Internet access for just 50. Enjoy 5 GB of open access for all sites, unlimited texts to all networks, and an additional 1 GB of GoWiFi access for over 3,700 locations nationwide. 

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