TRIP GUIDE: Mt. Pico de Loro Day Hike (Traverse)

Pico de Loro, widely known for the towering monolith perched at its summit, is perhaps one of the prominent peaks in the country for recreational climbing. For its proximity, it has been a popular destination of hiking enthusiasts from Metro Manila. Its newbie-friendly trails and scenic vista at the crest entice occasional and seasoned mountaineers alike to experience or even re-experience her charm.

READ ALSO: Pico de Loro, Beyond Her Monolith

Pico de Loro's peak
Pico de Loro's peak

Lesser known as Mt. Palay-palay, Pico de Loro forms part of the Palay-palay Mountain Range along with other notable peaks including Mt. Marami, and the historical trails of Mt. Buntis and Mt. Nagpatong where revolutionary leader Andres Bonifacio supposedly met his demise. The recreational-slash-historical mountain range is also within a protected area — the Mounts Palay-palay/Mataas na Gulod Protected Landscape, an almost 4000-hectare land covering parts of Cavite and Batangas provinces; it was under the supervision of the country's environment and natural resources department (DENR). Pico de Loro's main jump-off point is the DENR station in Ternate, Cavite.


From Manila to Pico de Loro

  • Hop on a Ternate-bound bus stationed at Coastal Mall terminal in Paranaque. It plys the route straight to Ternate Bus Terminal. Buses become available at as early as 4:00 AM. Fare: PHP 80-90; Travel time: 2 hours or less
  • Take a tricycle bound for the jump-off site. Tricycles are readily available upon getting off at Ternate terminal. Each tricycle carries only three passengers, less than it can actually load, apparently because of the uphill drive. Fare: PHP 85 each person; Travel time: About an hour
  • Going back from Nasugbu, Batangas (traverse), ride a tricycle going to Nasugbu Bus Terminal. Fare: PHP 80-100; Travel time: About an hour

Pico de Loro's famous monolith
Pico de Loro's famous monolith

Essential Tips and Trip Notes

  • Day hike registration fee: PHP 25 per person; overnight camping is not allowed.
  • Though trail guides are not required, a group of accredited guides at the jump-off can provide hiking assistance; Guide fee: PHP 1000 per group of 5 persons
  • Trail guides from DENR site assist hikers in trekking up the peak and back down to Ternate jump-off. Opting to take the traverse trail to Nasugbu, Batangas requires another guide that costs PHP 500 per group.
  • Depending on the hiker's pace and pit stops, reaching the summit takes around 2-3 hours.
  • Climbing up the monolith is prohibited as of writing.
  • A store at the Ternate jump-off offers meals, refreshments and some basic hiking gears such as arm sleeves; several stores were also stationed at the summit campsite; at the end of the Nasugbu trail, a small shack sells snacks and bottled drinks.
  • Traversing to Nasugbu can give hikers a chance to kick the itch away at Kawa Falls, a small multi-tiered stream nestled a couple of minutes away from the foot of the mountain. Fee: FREE

Kawa Falls at Nasugbu, Batangas
Kawa Falls at Nasugbu, Batangas

Travel with Purpose

  • Opt to take the traverse trail. The trail originating from DENR Ternate is the only path currently in use to reach the summit. Other jump-off points such as that in Nasugbu were closed down for some reasons. Trail guides at the campsite offering assistance down to Nasugbu used to guide hikers taking the closed trail thus, their earnings were somehow affected. They hike up the campsite early in the morning with hopes of getting hikers that would traverse Pico de Loro.
  • Kawa Falls is an ideal spot for picnic. During our side trip, litters were an eye sore — beer bottles, snack wrappers, and some remains of burnt woods. There were no trash bins in the area and clean-ups, according to our guide, were done periodically but let's not make those things an excuse to do our part.

Trail guide helping my buddy at Pico de Loro

Pinoy Travelogue Experience:  Pico de Loro, Beyond her Monolith | Kawa Falls: Quick, Refreshing Side Trip from Pico de Loro
Pico de Loro Travel Guide:  Quick Guide: Pico de Loro (Mt. Palay-palay)


DJ Rivera is an I.T. professional, entrepreneur, travel blogger, writer and the online publisher of based in Rizal province, Philippines. Click here to know more.

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