Located at the highest point of Samal Island, Mount Puting Bato is one of the quickest day hike you can ever take in Davao. Hikers can definitely feel at one with nature as they take on its grassy slopes and narrow trails through woodlands. The summit offers a scenic view of the island. Hikers can see nearby mountain peaks and the city down below. Mount Apo is also visible from this height. Davao Gulf completes the picturesque view that Mount Puting Bato offers. One thing to look out for is the small bahay kubo that sells foodstuff to hikers during weekends. This makes a great place to stop and rest for a while.
Mount Puting Bato got its name from the white limestone walls of the mountain. However, nowadays, it seems to be covered by thick vegetation. The hike using Tayapoc trail is especially recommended for beginners or to those who have never tried hiking before. Several stories on the internet show that a lot of people fell in love with hiking after trying out Mount Puting Bato. Yet, experienced hikers are still known to go back to this mountain for a quick and relaxing trek. After you’ve descended, there are a lot of side trips to consider such as the Hagimit Falls and numerous beaches around the area. So, if you ever find yourself in Samal, be sure to try out Mount Puting Bato!
Elevation: 410 m above sea level
Days needed to complete hike: 1 day
Average hike duration to reach summit (From jump-off point):
30 mins to 1 hour (Guilon Trail); 2 to 3 hours (Tayapoc Trail)
Jump-off point: Sitio Tayapoc, Brgy. Guilon, Samal District, Davao del Norte
Guilon trail is the longer of the two trails up Mount Puting Bato. It takes approximately 2 hours to reach the summit and will require some experience in navigating through forests. Hikers will pass through narrow trails amidst tall trees. These shaded area offer a cool retreat from the sun. The brief woodlands are a nice, slightly challenging, part of the trail. There are steep areas where tangled roots threaten to snag you off your feet. As you go along this path, you can already catch some glimpses of nearby mountain, like Apo and Talomo.
The Tayapoc trail, on the other hand, offers a much shorter path than the former one. With just 30 minutes of hiking, you can already expect to reach the peak of the mountain. However, this path will lead you through open paths and grassy landscapes, as opposed to covered forests. You will enter small woodlands but the path remains pretty straightforward the entire time.
It’s important to plan your trip in advance to make sure you know exactly what to do and where to go on the day itself. Here are some ways to get to your destination:
From Davao City, ride an Island City Express Bus. It will crossover to Samal island by riding a barge. Get off at Peña Plata town proper. An alternative way to get to the island is to ride a ferry from Sasa, Davao city. Hire a motorcycle, a habal-habal, to get to the jump-off point. Make sure the driver knows exactly where you want to go, in order to avoid miscommunication and higher fees.