The province of Aklan on the Philippine island of Panay is known internationally as the home of and gateway to Boracay. The Philippines’ most famous paradise island is understandably a much-desired holiday spot, with its crystal clear blue waters and powdery white sand spanning kilometers of beachfront. However, those who go from Kalibo or Caticlan airport straight to Boracay are unfortunately ignoring a wide range of hidden gems. One of those is the newly blazed trail of Mount Balinsayaw, located in the barangay of Mabusao about half an hour from the port city of Caticlan.
The hike, for now, is completely free and very untouched. You will hardly ever encounter anyone else on this trail, although the trail itself is surprisingly well-maintained. The roundtrip hike should take even the slowest of hikers no more than three hours, but along those through hours, one traverses through a wide variety of landscapes and sceneries. Sign into the guestbook at the small building just past Mabusao’s basketball court and decide whether you need a guide or not.
The first ten minutes or so might be tricky until you make it to the uphill ascent, so you might want to consider asking someone to see you through up until that part just so you don’t get lost. You will be starting off hopping along stones to cross rivers, strolling through local peoples’ backyards, and potentially lost in the shadows of towering palm trees in the jungle. For someone unfamiliar with the trail, it might feel like you’re just waltzing through someone’s backyards as their cows and chickens graze on the lush greenery. People might be washing their clothes in the dam you walk across, or shooting hoops in a makeshift basket nailed to a tree. No matter where you go in the Philippines, ball is life.
Eventually, you will find yourself at the start of the inevitable uphill ascent. Around this time is when you’ll likely start questioning why you forced yourself to do this hike but trust me, it will be well worth it. Hopefully you started early before the sweltering Philippine sun starts to hit its peak and beat down mercilessly on you.
The first stretch of uphill will take you out of the dense and lush jungles and into an equally lush landscape of tall grass and bushy foliage. The higher you go, the grander the view gets. The endless jungle goes on as far as the eye can see. One can catch a glimpse of the glimmering ocean on the horizon. The rolling, forested hills of the Philippines curls and curves in every direction.
The howling gusts of wind adds to an already epic hike as the tall grass tickles you as you weave your way towards the top, tired though triumphant.
The province of Aklan is much more than just Boracay and Mount Balinsayaw is a nice testament to that. The rice paddies, lush hills, and local lifestyle make it a beautiful stop on the way to Boracay, or a fantastic adventure in itself.
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28 thoughts on “Hiking Mount Balinsayaw in Aklan, Philippines”
Awesome photos! Thanks for sharing!
What an amazing place to visit! It’s a lifetime away from where I live but I still want to go and see this beauty!
Beautiful views. We like such walks, but our children are still small and too much for 3 hours. But they grow fast, we do not lose hope:)
I would love to hike those trails! You can never enjoy a place as much as you can by getting out and enjoying nature, especially when nature looks like that!
Hiking has always been one of my favorite things to improve this year and recently I have read lots of articles about this activity… Maybe it is a sign that I should 🙂
The view is so WOW – Amalia
Those trails look absolutely amazing. That must have been such an adventure.
We do a lot of walking holidays but all have been in the UK so far. Would love to explore a more exotic country
This looks like an amazing experience! The views are phenomenal!
I agree to start early before it is too hot to hike up! I really love the view at the top! This is a perfect getaway from the busy life, everywhere are green and boundless. This day it is hard to find such places especially for city folks.
Each time I see pictures of the Philippines, I see a different side of it. It looks like such a beautiful place to visit.
What a beautiful hike! Your photos are so pretty. It sounds like a wonderful place to go for a hike.
You are not only a traveller, you are a storyteller! Thank you for sharing with us I would love to see some videos as well!
Wow this place looks amazing we have hiked up the welsh valleys but nothing like this. Beautiful photos, beautiful place. Katie Davies.
This hike looks incredible! I love all of the scenery too. Great photos as well!
What a beautiful countryside! I would love to do this one day; I always enjoy exploring on a good hike.
I like hiking, and this is the best experience I would like to have. Thanks for sharing this post.
Wow these pictures are so gorgeous! The mountains look so serene and calming. I love mountains!
We used to hike as a family when the three boys were just little. It was our way to bond and at least take a break from the hustle and bustle of city living. But when we became parents to two toddlers we have today, priorities become different. How I wish we go back to hiking at least once a year or even every other year.
This looks like such an amazing hike! I always find that the hikes that sometimes make you question why you are doing it are often the best!
wow, the views are amazing there! what an awesome experience!
Such beautiful photos! This is completely and utterly spectacular!
I would love to go hiking here so much. Thanks for sharing
I have never been there but it sounds like a nice destination getaway during for hikers.
Hiking is not one of my favorite things to do, but this looks beautiful! I would be taking all kinds of pictures too!
Hiking is one of my favorite things to do. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do that recently.
What breathtaking views and we love exploring – I bet you got a real sense of freedom from being there!
Breathtaking views! All that effort uphill, was totally worth it in the end!
what an experience here ! l love the pictures. Hoping I can climb here too.
mt. Balinsayaw looks amazing! such a beautiful photos! hoping to try hiking there soon.