Mt. Batulao in Nasugbu, Batangas is approximately 2-3 hours away from Manila, making it a great day trip for those who want to escape the capital and challenge their stamina. The 360-degree view of mountain, field, and friendly locals are a breathtaking, welcome relief from city life.
The mountain has 12 peaks, with a registration area where you pay 20PHP per person located at the 8th peak. We hired a guide for 400PHP, and tipped him an additional 200 since it’s a fairly strenuous hike with the steep slopes. Although a guide probably wasn’t necessary, I’d recommend it, especially if it’s rained recently (it can get slippery).
The trail isn’t accessible by car. We rode a car to the base of the mountain, then walked a good 20 minutes before reaching the beginning of the trail. Consider getting a ride from the end of the road (for cars, at least) to the beginning of the trail from a tricycle, a local mode of transportation. Once the trail begins, all semblance of paved road ends and the journey up Mt. Batulao begins. After hiking the trail for a while, it splits into the new trail going North and old trail going South to reach the peak. We took the new trail, which gets you to the peak quicker.
There are plenty of places to rest along the way, with small huts serving fresh coconut (“buko”) and other local delicacies. The hut where we stopped had some friendly dogs who knew how to clean a coconut better than I could.
A few tips
- Start your day early with a good breakfast and some coffee.
- Wear sunblock since it can get hot up there
- Wear pants to protect yourself from scratchy grass on the path.
- Go when it hasn’t rained in a while, since the path gets slippery. If you want to go rain or shine, hire a sure-footed guide who can get you up and down the steep rocky slopes safely.
For those of you who would like to take the journey, Sandari Batulao offers package deals that include a guided tour up the mountain, plated lunch, and access to their gorgeous swimming pools for a refreshing dip after a long hike. Prices vary depending on group size.