Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, Mt Batulao is perfect for trekking and mountain climbing because of its different trails and terrains. Pass through scenic grasslands and spectacular boulder formations, and take in the magnificent view of Taal Lake and nearby mountains once you reach the summit 811 meters above sea level.
The highlights of the day hike to Mt Batulao Batangas:
👉 See the Gorilla shaped ridgeline of Mt Batulao Batangas
👉 Hike through scenic grasslands and spectacular boulder formations
👉 Have an amazing view of the Taal lake and other nearby mountains once you reach the summit 811 meters above sea level
👉 Enjoy a challenging and fulfilling trek up Mt. Batulao in this 1-day tour
Mt. Batulao Batangas - UNPREPARED!
|Elevation:||813 mLLA: 14.0408 N 120.8011 E 811 MASL|
|Trail class:||3 with 60-70 degrees assault|
|Days/Hours to summit:||1 day / 3-4 hours|
|Features:||Open trails, rolling slopes, scenic views of Batangas|
|Jump-off point:||Evercrest Golf Course, Nasugbu|
Just a little forward note – I only found out about this trip the night before as it was a workshop organized trek and I was called into another team to make up the numbers. I didn’t have time to go home and prepare so you must forgive how I am dressed, it was all I had available at the time that was even mildly appropriate for the Trek. I know I look oddly dressed for mountain hiking but it is what it is…. 😆
Since I remember I’ve always been in love with the mountains. They’ve always been with me, even in my earliest childhood. I know people who fell in love with mountains in their adult life. The mountains draw climbers who love the natural world and possess an adventurous spirit. Can you hear the mountains calling to you also?
My first mountain climb in Luzon was Mt Batulao Batangas. Located in Nasugbo Batangas, dubbed the rolling hills, this mountain stands 811+ meters above sea level. It’s rumored to be one of the top climbs for trekking and mountain climbing. Especially for first-time mountain climbers.
Our meeting time was 5 AM at the Coastal Mall bus terminal. I carried a small backpack with 1L of water. Our tour guide was Kuya Noel, a friend of my colleague DG and Kate. We had some time to spare before the rest of the group arrived so we had some breakfast. From Coastal Mall, we boarded a bus to Nasugbu, Batangas. It is a 2-3 hour trip depending on the traffic. Fare is around P120.00 at the time of writing.
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DROP OFF POINT
We arrived at Evercrest (now KC Hillcrest Golf Club) at almost 6 AM. It is bout 20min from the outskirts of Tagaytay, about halfway between the ridge and the beach. From there, our tour guide is waiting for us in the small store where he waited for the other mountain climbers. When they arrived, we had s short orientation.
After orientation and final packing, we started walking towards the main jump-off point quickly after all the preparations have been made. We arrived at the first hut quickly after 15 minutes of a walk then we rode a tricycle until the trailhead. The fare is ₱100 (USD $2.08) and it is good for 3-4person or you don’t need the tricycle, you can start trekking from there for free.
From the trailhead, we started hiking to the trails. I love the mountain view and the smell of fresh clean morning air. Because the sun was still rising and had not yet become hot we made the first rest spot in close to 30 minutes. The cool weather in Mt. Batulao Batangas is a truly pleasant escape from the city.
The moment you arrive at the jumpoff point, you will feel the same coolness felt by the visitors of Tagaytay. And this temperature will be with you all the way, especially during the months of January and February, where it is usually dry and cool. And according to our tour guide, there are months when Mt. Batulao is very hot and humid – owing to the exposed nature of its trails, which also makes it prone to muddiness during the wet season (June to October).
The Mt. Batulao Batangas adventure begins – As we rested and had a drink we greeted another group of mountaineers as they passed. When everyone was ready, we resumed walking and this is where the real adventure started. There’s a lot of mountaineers along the trails so it’s impossible for you to get lost.
Mt Batulao Batangas – The Trek Begins
And the trek begins. We simply followed the old trail because our Trek guide thought it will be easier for us as first-time climbers. After walking up and down a few rolling hills at a moderate pace, we arrived at the entry point. It only costs P20.00 to enter.
Not knowing how hot the sun was going to get I chose to come prepared and fully covered. It was also quite dusty the day we went so be prepared. The cogons are everywhere. I also brought a shawl with me so I could cover my face. Many times, we passed through trails with cogons higher than me.
Be prepared for the heat. It got awfully hot awfully quick as we were hiking. I remember having a thirst that I thought no water could ever wash away. By the end of the day, I realized maybe I should have taken two bottles of water.
Nevertheless, I was amazed by the landscapes of Mt. Batulao Batangas. It is quite remarkable; and although the view remains basically the same throughout the trek, the rolling slopes, through which trail pass by, and the new variety afforded by two major trails – the “Old Trail” and the “New Trail”, makes Mt Batulao Batangas one of the most popular day hikes or near-Manila hikes.
Be Careful Where You Walk
I remember we slipped how many times; thanks go out to Kuya Noel who always caught me and even offered to carry my backpack. Be careful on this mountain range… People have died… Our goal was to trek to the summit before 12 noon but given the pace that might not be attainable.
I can still recall gazing at the summit and thinking it seems so near yet it’s still so far away. As we hiked, I would often find myself wondering “How could this marvelous place be so damn beautiful?”. Mt Batulao’s name comes from a spectacular origin. Every year-end, the sun sets right between Batulao’s two peaks, creating an image of rocks surrounding a disc of red light. In Tagalog, this phenomenon of “BatosaIlao” (Illuminated Rocks), over time became abbreviated to “Batulao”.
We stopped by the nipa hut store and have some lunch. It was here that I decided to buy a 2-liter bottle of water… Lucky I did… Even though the items they sell are expensive I truly needed more water. That’s why we brought our own meal. In front of the store are some banners from other mountaineering groups which were interesting to look at.
We met other foreign and local mountaineers and trekkers as we rested. We had a few laughs. told some hiking and camping stories and made some friends. After 1 hour of rest and chitchat, we continued to the summit.
We quickly passed 6 camps until we reached the difficult camp number 7. There we waited for the traffic of people coming down from the summit to wind down. The trail has become narrow allowing one or two people to pass at a time.
In camp 7, there was a traffic of people coming down from the summit to wind down. I could feel my heart beating faster as I could see the climb would become more difficult past camp 7.
I noticed the trail has become narrow allowing only a person or two to pass at one time. I could only recall taking a sip of my water in camp 8 and the rest before the summit was an absolute struggle.
We used the rope on that mini climb. I enjoyed the thrill but at the same time, I was focusing on holding the rope to stop myself from falling. Locals told us that a girl lost her life here in 2012.
Apparently, she became dizzy and fell or maybe was taking a selfie and not watching where she was walking. Whatever the reason it should always be “Safety first before anything else”.
Once you make it to the summit you definitely feel overwhelmed by what you have achieved. Reflecting on what you had to endure and push yourself through to get to where you were at that moment does remind you how alive you are.
No wonder Mt Batulao Batangas summit is popular. At the summit, you can sit back and take it all in. Enjoy the cool breeze and a view of spectacular boulder formations. We reached the summit a few minutes after 12 noon which was right on schedule even though we had a slow start. We were hot… we were tired, but we were there… We DID IT!
Conquering Mt Batulao Batangas
A proud feeling of having done something difficult and worthwhile welled up inside of me. Uphill trails only leave two choices: reach the top or turn around. Reaching the top only requires the perseverance to keep putting one foot in front of the other. When life gets tough, I try to remember all we can do is put one foot in front of the other and just keep going. The heat, dirt, body pain, Mt Batulao Batangas you’re worth it!
If you can climb a mountain, you can do anything. While not technically true, but the mantra still went round in my head during a hike. LOL! I’m serious, reaching the top of Mt Batulao Batangas was, for me, an impressive mental and emotional accomplishment.
And it is motivating. It reminds me I can accomplish important things with my life if I dream big, but the work and persistence until the goal is reached.
“The climb is tough but the view is worth it”
Dayhikes have less impact. Moreover, Pinoy Mountaineer does not advise hikers to patronize refreshment stalls in the mountain as profitable activities may encourage further commercialization of the mountain.
Things You Should Bring
|A change of clothes||Personal medications|
|A good pair of trekking shoes||Slippers|
|Things for rain and sun protection||Trekking pole|
|Snacks/ Trail Food||Itinerary / Proof of Payment|
|Packed Lunch||Water and other rehydration fluids (a 2L person is recommended)|
Finally, we are back at the drop-off point, and a day of hiking almost behind us. After a quick half bath and a welcome change of clothes, we are waiting for the bus to go to Tagaytay. We finish the day happy and content with a sumptuous meal, a bit of chitchat, and a smile on our faces
My two Cents – Mt Batulao Batangas:
Well…I reckon the trail to Mt. Batulao Batangas summit is not too exhausting… It is quite perfect for newbies like me. But, the trek after camp 7 to and from the summit down to camp 8, however, is something newbies would find a bit of a challenge but it’s the kind we all can learn from and will prepare us for more challenging climbs.
Much better if you start the climb at 7 AM or earlier than that as Mt. Batulao is an open trail and nothing would protect you from the scorching heat of the sun from 10 AM onward.
Safety isn’t an issue either as the area is populated by friendly and hospitable locals. You don’t need to bring a lot on your climb to Mt. Batulao Batangas- just a sense of fun and adventure. So, go ahead and hike at the mountain that holds one of the most captivating sceneries in the country. Share life outdoors at Mt. Batulao!
Getting to Mt Batulao Batangas
- For Commuters – Ride a DLTB bus bound for Nasugbu in Buendia Station. Alight at Evercrest (KC Hillcrest Golf Club). Fare is P125.00 (December 2019). Ride a tricycle or walk towards the registration point.
- By Car – Follow the way going to Tagaytay via Cavitex or SLEX. At the intersection in Olivares, follow the way going to Nasugbu. Turn left at Evercrest (KC Hillcrest). Take the first right after then drive straight until you see the parking area.
Code of a mountaineer
“Leave nothing but footprints – Take nothing but pictures Kill nothing but time”