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Trekking / Hiking Calapan

 

Class 1 Philippine Trekking / Hiking Destination

There are many hiking trails that can be accessed from in or close to the Oriental Mindoro provincial capitol city of Calapan, most are more of treks than hikes (the former more usually related to hikes in mountains), the most dramatic of which is the trek through the rainforested hills and valleys to the summit of Mount Halcon - 2,586 metres above sea level. Having said that, Calapan should only be seen as a based for hiking and trekking adventures because it offers the best choice of accommodation and tourist amenities. In fact, Calapan itself only offers a short mangrove forest hike, found in Barangay Silonay.

Just South of Calapan is the enormous (8,125Ha) Naujan Lake, the fifth largest body of inland water in the Philippines. The Naujan Lake National Park features hiking trails around its shores used especially by bird watchers.

The mountainous spine of Mindoro Island, which starts just to the West of Calapan city and runs the entire length of the island to Bulalacao in the South, features many rivers that make for exciting hiking trails and challenging treks into the mostly rainforest covered interior of the island.

One of the most interesting features of hiking and trekking in Mindoro, especially hiking and trekking from a base in Calapan, is that trekking guides are typically drawn from the indigenous Iraya-mangyan community. The Mangyan are the original inhabitants of Mindoro Island and can trace their association with the hills & valleys, and the rainforest for more than 7,000 years.

Opportunities For Hiking / Trekking near Calapan

Hiking / Trekking in areas around Calapan can be easy or challenging, depending on your level of experience and stamina. There are too many treks and trails to mention on one page but here are a few of the most popular.

Mount Halcon Summit

The Mount Halcon summit trek takes around three days. Camping is required and tents can be provided. Mount Halcon is considered to be one of the most challenging treks in the Philippines because in order to reach the summit you actually have to climb at least two mountains. There are a number of entry points to reach the summit but the most used are those in the municipalities of Baco and San Teodoro. Due to a couple of fatalities a decade or so past, visiting mountain climbers and trekkers are required to employ the services of mountain guides; the best guides are from the Iraya-mangyan community.


Silonay Mangrove Park Hike

The Silonay Mangrove Park hike is a short but very interesting walk through the large mangrove area to the East of Calapan. The walk is along a bamboo walk-way and passes through the 42 Ha mangrove forest , which contains as many as sixteen mangrove species. In the early morning and late afternoon, the mangrove forest will be of interest to bird watchers and anyone interested in the lizards and snakes that inhabit mangrove forests. Tour guides will encourage visitors to participate in mangrove planting and there is an option to instead take a kayak tour of the waterways in the mangrove forest.

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Hiking / Trekking Gear Rental In Calapan

Renting Hiking and Trekking gear and equipment is possible for all the mountain treks but no hike or trek requires exceptional equipment.

Hiring the services of local guides is required for Mount Halcon and recommended for all other locations if you want to discover the depth of biodiversity that surrounds you during your hike or trek.

Weather may not be encouraging for trekking and hiking during the months of June through September due to the long periods of moderate-to-heavy rain.

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Best Months For Hiking / Trekking Around Calapan

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