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Hiking / Trekking Santa Ana


Class 1 Philippine Trekking Destination

Trekking in Santa Ana, Cagayan, offers a mixture of education and exploration. Some of the treks are well documented and signposted while others contain diversions into areas where few have been, except for the Aeta - encompassing term for the various indigenous peoples of the area. One thing is for sure, trekking around Santa Ana is a rewarding experience and offers some of the most dramatic coastal scenery, where ocean meets land, of any in the World.

Opportunities For Hiking / Trekking Santa Ana

The most well signposted, although this does not mean the most traveled, trekking routes can be found on the National Park of Palaui Island. From a starting point on the island, in the small native village that faces San Vicente, Santa Ana, there are two trails that lead through prolific lowland forest. Along the way you can take a diversion trek to the unassuming Baratubot Falls.

The easier Palaui Lagunzad Trail passes mostly along the Pacific Ocean shore of Palaui Island before finally reaching the grassy headland known as Cape Engaño, at the northern tip of the island, atop which the Spanish, colonial-era, Cape Engaño lighthouse will be found. Along the Lagunzad Trail expect to see tiny red-clawed crabs, large coconut crabs, lizards and many native birds; during the Fall months you can also expect to see migrating birds of prey, soaring on the updrafts as they travel South along the line of the Sierra Madre mountain range.

The longer Palaui Leonardo Trail has the same ultimate objective (the grassy headland and the Cape Engaño lighthouse) but instead passes through mostly primary and secondary, lowland forest. Along the Palaui Leonardo Trail you can expect to learn about the many tree varieties that make up the forest; most of the trees along the Leonardo Trail have been tagged with their names for easy reference and study. Indigenous birds, such as a sub specie of purple-throated sunbird, will be seen and heard in the forest, along with many other endemics and visitors.

Away from Palaui Island there are trekking routes less traveled, into the Sierra Madre mountain range that runs from Santa Ana, all the way South to Quezon province, East of Metro Manila. You will need to seek native guides for adventures into the Sierra Madre but those who have trekked here talk of spectacular encounters with endemic birds, reptiles and the occasional wild pig.

The views afforded by the high vantage points achieved along the ridges of Palaui Island the Sierra Madre make Santa Ana a landscape photographer's dream come true. Bring your best land camera and dazzle your friends with posts on your own social media channels.

The Survivor USA television series 2013 was filmed mostly on Palaui Island, against the wishes of many residents. The resident's objected to the unavoidable habitat destruction within the National Park and Marine Reserve and the fear that native species would be killed or displaced during the activities. Despite the unscrupulous efforts of Survivor USA to depict Palaui Island as a survival destination, you can be assured that you don't have to be a survival specialist to go trekking Palaui Island . . . you just need to enjoy Mother Nature, unplugged.

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Trekking Gear Rental In Santa Ana

Renting trekking gear in Santa Ana is not that easy. The Aeta, who know all the trails, carry nothing with them other than a sturdy knife and a pouch of rice – all else the forest and the rivers will provide. A couple of local Santa Ana resorts can provide some trekking equipment but the best advice is to bring your own trekking gear, and especially your camera. Trekking guides are always available for Palaui Island trails; Aeta trekking guides are also easy to hire for Sierra Madre trails, given one day notice.

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