DIY Travel Guide to Mt. Pulag, Philippines: Ambangeg Trail for Beginners

Want to go to the “playground of the gods?” Well, off you go to Mt. Pulag, the highest mountain in Luzon and third in the country. If you are a beginner, you could conquer this site through the Ambangeg Trail. Read more about our travel guide to Mt. Pulag, Philippines.

Travel Guide to Mt. Pulag, Philippines DIY Itinerary
Photo by Jose Nicdao CC BY 2.0

Mt. Pulag gained its name because this means bald as there are no trees at the peak. This dormant volcano is between 3 provinces; Benguet, Ifugao, and Nueva Vizcaya. About four trails are going to the summit; however, the easiest one is what we’ll be discussing: the Ambangeg trail.

What to do in Mt. Pulag

Travel Guide to Mt. Pulag, Philippines DIY Itinerary
Photo by Jose Nicdao CC BY 2.0

1. Witness the Sea of Clouds

What this place is famous for is its “sea of clouds” which can be usually seen in the early morning. You’ll have to endure waking up early (or not sleeping at all) and trek for four hours to get to the top. It’s a challenging experience, but reaching the summit plus a breathtaking view will make it worth it!

2. Camp!

Camping is surely a great experience, especially when done with your family or friends.  You can camp near the ranger station during the weekends but the weekday option is more amazing. You’ll get to sleep at Camp 2, which is just 2-3 hours from the peak. Socialize with fellow campers, too. Who knows? You might meet your destiny.

3. Take Nothing but Pictures

When you reach the top, take a lot of pictures and be proud of your success. It will undeniably be beautiful, especially with the view of the sunrise and the clouds. The management, however, warns you of taking selfies along the way, as it might be dangerous. You could take unlimited ones when you reach the top. P.S. Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footsteps (Don’t litter!)

Expenses

Here are the expenses you might incur during your trip.

  • DENR Fee – PHP 175
  • LGU Fee – PHP 150
  • Guide Fee – PHP 120 – 150
  • Camping Fee – PHP 50 (for Camp 2)
  • Tent and Mat Rental – PHP 300 – 550
  • Medical Certificate – PHP 100 – 150

How to get to Mt. Pulag

Travel Guide to Mt. Pulag, Philippines DIY Itinerary
Photo by Jose Nicdao CC BY 2.0

From Manila

From Baguio

  • Ride a bus from Baguio to Kabayan or Ambangeg (earliest trip is 6:00 AM)
  • From there, you can ride a habal-habal to the ranger station
  • You can also hire a monster jeep that takes you from Baguio to the ranger station directly (PHP 7,000 – 9,000)

Travel Guide Tips to Mt. Pulag

Travel Guide to Mt. Pulag, Philippines DIY Itinerary
Photo by Jose Nicdao CC BY 2.0

Reservations

  • Reservations of slots are usually on the first day of the preceding month (for May slots, reserve on first of April) for those wanting to climb on weekends or holidays
  • Payment for reserved slots should be paid upon approval
  • Usually, those lining at the Protected Area Management Office will be prioritized after are the call reservations
  • For Mondays to Thursdays, reservations can be made through calls
  • All those without reservations and are coming on a weekend (Fridays to Sundays) or holidays are advised not to proceed as there’s a probability you will be sent back
  • If you have no reservations, comeback during the weekdays
  • Call these numbers during office hours (Mondays to Fridays except holidays, 8 AM to 5 PM). Please respect their schedule (no calling during the night or early morning) as the officers are quite busy and have a personal life, too.
    • Smart: 09612499071; 09303419847
    • Globe: 09165424030
  • Slots are non-refundable and non-transferable

Stay

  • You can stay on Camp 2 on the weekdays
  • Backyard camping is allowed
  • Homestays are available

Other Tips

  • It’s very cold in Mt. Pulag, especially during the night (seriously, it even hails there) bring jackets gloves, socks, and bonnets
  • It mostly rains at the top; it’s better if you bring a rainproof outfit or a raincoat
  • If you are camping, an aluminum foil mat is recommended and so are sleeping bags
  • There are stores near the ranger station; however, it’s better to buy your necessities before coming here
  • Bring lots of water
  • Wear shoes that are good for hiking; you don’t want to be soleless when you go up or down
  • Flashlights or headlamps are recommended as you will trek early morning
  • Pack light
  • It’s better to exercise weeks or months before your trek to get in shape
  • Littering and bonfires (even firecrackers) are not allowed in Mt. Pulag

Sample Itinerary in Mt. Pulag

One Day Itinerary at Mt. Pulag

12:00 AM – Prepare before going to the ranger station / Food / C.R.
1:00 AM – Off to the Ranger Station
2:00 AM – Start Climb
4:00 AM – Arrive at Camp 2 / Rest
4:30 AM – Start Climb to the summit
5:30 AM – Arrive at a Peak / Watch Sunrise / Rest / Photo Op
7:30 AM – Go to the Summit (2,922 above sea level) / Photo Op
8:30 AM – Start Descent
9:30 AM – Arrive at Camp 2 / Rest
11:30 AM – Arrive at the ranger station
12:00 PM – Back to Baguio

Two Days Itinerary at Mt. Pulag

Day 1

1:00 PM – Prepare before going to the ranger station / Food / C.R.
2:00 PM – Off to the Ranger Station
3:00 PM – Start Climb
5:00 PM – Arrive at Camp 2 / Set-up Camp
6:00 PM – Sunset Watching / Socializing
7:00 PM – Dinner / Sleep

Day 2

3:00 AM – Wake Up / Climb to the peak
6:00 AM – Arrive at the Summit / Watch Sunrise / Rest / Photo Op
7:00 AM – Start Descent
9:00 AM – Arrive at Camp 2 / Rest
11:00 AM – Arrive at the ranger station
12:00 PM – Back to Baguio

Travel Guide to Mt. Pulag, Philippines DIY Itinerary
Photo by Jose Nicdao CC BY 2.0

I hope you find this travel guide to Mt. Pulag helpful for your future trek there! Hiking to the peak of the highest mountain of Luzon is already such an achievement and is so worth it. The sea of clouds and the gorgeous views is just a bonus. Get fit, book your reservations, and enjoy your journey to Mt. Pulag!

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About the Writer

Lyza Paloma

Hey, I’m Lyza! I once was a person who just imagined going to places “one day” but decided to pursue my dreams. My first travel abroad was in Japan, solo, last 2018, and fell in love with the journey since. I’m aiming to visit 10 countries before turning 30 and 2 new places in the Philippines every year. Besides traveling, I love organizing trips, photography, reading, and making new friends. Follow my adventures through my Instagram.

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Written by Lyza Paloma

Lyza is a native of Leyte who spent 10 years studying and working in Cebu before working for Two Monkeys Travel. She decided to stop daydreaming and started to pursue her dreams of traveling to the Philippines and the world. She has already been to 4 countries in Asia and 18 provinces in the Philippines. She’s flexible and can travel solo, with friends, or family. Besides traveling, she loves organizing trips, photography, reading, and making new friends.

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