Hiking Mt. Apo is always part of the bucket list of many hikers in the country. I am one of them, the first time I reached the summit of Mt. Pundaquit in Zambales, in 2012, I already started dreaming and claiming that it will happen in the future – and that future is NOW. I knew that it’s not gonna be easy, but experience taught me a lot.
Hiking Mt. Apo was a tough adventure, but it was a life changing experience for me. Despite of some technical factors, like extreme coldness, tiring hike and etc., that measured my strength. I was able to conquer my own fears. Below are the features that I found interesting in hiking Mt. Apo. Also, more photos and our story, click here: TravellingCup.
The Trail | Since Mt. Apo is the highest in terms of elevation, expect for a long journey. It has a very long, narrow and challenging trail. It has the combination of gradual, assault and rock scrambling where hikers need technical skills to survive. I admit, I found the trail difficult due to its technical factors and it measured my strength.
Apo has a complete package; I noticed that it is rich in both flora and fauna. Majority of the trails are covered with green mossy trees and flowering plants on the sides. Shrubs and wild berries are present in every sides of the trail. The orchids hanging on the branches are amazing. Insects hopping on and off the leaves are colorful like rainbows. And the birds are extremely talented with their sopranos.
Sulfur Vents | If you’re planning to hike Apo, another feature that you should experience is to visit the famous sulfur vents. It’s the place where you can feel the hot steam coming out from the holes and cracks of the boulders. We were few meters away from this area, but I already noticed the pungent smell, it’s really hard to explain in words, but it’s like a strong smell of mud.
The Boulders | This part is 45 minutes away from the Sulfur Vents area. This part needs your technical ability in hopping on and off the huge chunk of boulders, while you have your full packs on your backs. The area is open, so hikers can see then experience on how be like on Mt. Olympus, in Greece. Hikers call one of the walls as the Greek Wall (photo above).
The Summit | Mt. Apo has several peaks, some called it the seven peaks. Each of the peaks is maybe hundreds away from each other, but needs more than 30 minutes to reach. Colorful vegetation are present in every sides of the trail, like the wild berries and colorful flowers.
Lake Venado | This is one of the features of Mt. Apo where hikers can capture great photos with the lake at the background. It is a wide and open area, surrounded by the trees and rich vegetation. The cool and crystal clear water mirrors the blue skies
Needs to Consider | Apo has the highest altitude level in the Philippines, so expect for unpredictable weather condition. One thing for sure, the temperature and oxygen level decreases as we go higher, up to the summit. If you’re looking for a place where to buy supplies, public market and grocery stores in Kapatagan.
How to Get Here | From Manila, it’s an hour and forty five minutes plane ride to Davao International Airport. Chartered a van to Kapatagan, Digos City, Davao del Sur (in front of Tanque Memorial Clinic and Hospital.) Then, a challenging Habal-habal ride to the dam, where hiking starts.