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How to Climb Mount Hamiguitan

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Mount Hamiguitan, the highest point in Davao Oriental at a height of 1,620 meters above sea level, prides itself as an ASEAN Heritage Park and the first and only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mindanao. A sanctuary to globally threatened and endemic flora and fauna, it is home to at least 957 species of plants and 423 species of animals, some of which are endemic to the mountain.

The mountain features five vegetation levels: agro-ecosystem and dipterocarp forests on the lower elevation; montane and mossy on the higher altitude which are characterized by thick mosses covering roots and tree trunks; and pygmy-mossy at the topmost level that features unique tropical bonsai forest as if the mountain’s crown.

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Mount Hamiguitan’s Pygmy Forest

Due to its outstanding universal value and ecological importance, Mount Hamigutan was inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014. Today, the mountain opens its door not only to researchers but for everyone to see and appreciate. This is under the strict management and supervision of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Climbing Mount Hamiguitan is an experience like no other. It is a complete immersion with nature in one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth.

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A variety of pitcher plant in Mount Hamiguitan (Nepenthes peltata)

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The smallest pitcher plant that I saw

How to Climb Mount Hamiguitan

At present, Mount Hamiguitan is open for hiking via San Isidro trail. Only 30 hikers are allowed at the camp site at any given time. Advance reservation and application of permit is required. Walk-ins or independent/unguided trek is strictly prohibited.

Requirements

  • Medical certificate
  • Signed waiver
  • Paid trekking fee
  • Valid ID

Expenses

  • Trekking Fee: P3000 (regular) / P1500 (Davao Oriental Residents, minors)
  • Ecoguide: P500/day for group of five (5)
    Porter: P500/day (15kg baggage) for group of five (5)
  • Others:
  • Van Rental: ₱10,000.00 (Davao-San Isidro – Davao)
  • Dahican Beach Entrance (side trip): P50

The entire journey is usually plotted as a 3-day trek where you will be hiking for 5 to 6 hours a day mostly on a root-covered trail and waterways decorated with dipterocarp, mosses, different variety of pitcher plants, orchids, and other wild plants and flowers.

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Mount Hamiguitan’s mossy forest

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Twin Falls

Mount Hamiguitan Trek Itinerary

Mount Hamiguitan Three-Day Itinerary

For experienced trekkers, the 3-day itinerary goes like this:

  • First Day (Day 1): Trek to Campsite (6 hours)
  • Second Day (Day 2): Exploration day: Tinagong Dagat, Hidden Garden, Black Mountain and Twin Falls (5 hours)
  • Third Day (Day 3): Summit assault + Descent (5 to 6 hours)

The above itinerary is doable in two days with days two and three combined. But you still have to pay the guide and porter the equivalent three-day rates.

Mount Hamiguitan Overnight Itinerary

  • Day 1: Trek to Campsite (6 hours)
  • Day 2: Exploration (Tinagong Dagat, Hidden Garden, Black Mountain and Twin Falls ) + Summit Assault + Descent (9 to 10 hours)

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Tinagong Dagat

Reservation and Contact

As only 30 trekkers are allowed in the campsite at any given time, advance booking is mandatory. Contact +639367053518 or message @clintmichaelcleofe on FB Messenger of Mount Hamiguitan DENR Office for application requirements and inquiries.

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Team Hamiguitan! Thanks Karl Pregon for organizing this trek.

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