Attractions

Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary

Written by Patrick

Mount Hamiguitan is known for its rich biodiversity and unique ecosystem, making it a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a protected area known as the Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary.

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OVERVIEW

Mount Hamiguitan

Caption: Mount Hamiguitan World Heritage Park | Image Source

Located in the southeastern part of Mindanao Island, Mount Hamiguitan stands as a true testament to the country’s rich biodiversity and natural wonders.  It was declared a national park and wildlife sanctuary in 2003 and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014, the first in Mindanao.

Mount Hamiguitan range covers an area of approximately 6,834 hectares and is home to an astonishing array of plant and animal species.  Its forest is home to the endangered Philippine Eagle, one of the world’s largest extant eagles and the country’s national bird.  Based on research, Mount Hamiguitan is home to several animal species – five of which are endangered, 27 rare, 44 endemic, and 59 economically important species.  Also inhabiting the mountain are more than 1,000 plant species including eight species of pitcher plants, 45 species of orchids, centuries-old trees, and several species of hardwood.

The mountain has an elevation of 1,629 meters (5,344 feet) and the summit is covered by pygmy forest, the world’s largest, covering an area of more than 1,200 hectares.  Aside from flora and fauna as well as the breathtaking views, the sanctuary also has a lake (called Tinagong Dagat), waterfalls, and hidden garden.

Visitors to the sanctuary are offered a unique opportunity to witness the beauty of nature up close.  Presently, only 30 hikers are allowed at the area at a time and must be guided to ensure minimal negative impact on the environment.  Despite its protected status, Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary faces challenges. Illegal logging, habitat destruction, and hunting continue to threaten the delicate balance of this fragile ecosystem. Conservation efforts are ongoing, and sustainable practices are being promoted to ensure the sanctuary’s survival for future generations.

Fast Facts

Attraction:
Mount Hamiguitan Wildlife Range Sanctuary
Type of Attraction:
Address:
Towns of Mati, San Isidro, and Governor Generoso in Davao Oriental
Website:
None
Phone:
+63 (928) 281 7534 (San Isidro Municipal Tourism Office)
Hours:
24/7
Closed:
Always Open
Best Time to Visit:
November to May
Food & Drink:
NO
FREE WiFi:
NO
Cost:
Cost per Person:  $15+
Payment Type:
Cash
Fees:
P3,000 ($60 USD) – Trekking fee (adults)
P1,500 ($30 USD) – Trekking fee (Davao Oriental residents and minors)
P500 ($10 USD) – Guide fee per day (for group of five)
P500 ($10 USD) – Porter fee per day (15 kg for group of five)
Notes:
– Exploring Mount Hamiguitan usually takes 3 days with a 5 to 6-hour hike each day. Make sure that you are physically-prepared for the activities. Exercise and see a doctor to obtain a medical certificate as it is required to find out if you are fit to hike.

– Apply for your permit and reserve in advance in order to secure your slot.

– Bring appropriate clothing, gear, and equipment for the climb. Your shoes should be comfortable yet durable and bring cold-weather clothes to protect you from the cold weather at the mountain. Bringing raincoats/ponchos and flashlights is also recommended.

– Bring drinking water and trail food.

– Mobile reception is weak in the mountains.

– Don’t kill or take anything from the mountain and don’t scatter your garbage.

MAP

This attraction  is located on Mindanao Island in the towns of Mati, San Isidro, and Governor Generoso in Davao Oriental.

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NEED TO KNOW

How to Get to Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary?

By Air

Take a plane to Davao City.  Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have multiple direct flights to Davao from Manila and Cebu everyday.  Iloilo direct to Davao is only offered by Cebu Pacific.  AirAsia, on the other hand, flies directly to Davao from Manila only.

From the airport, proceed to Ecoland Davao City Transport Terminal and take a van to San Isidro, the jumpoff point to Mount Hamiguitan.  Travel time is less than four hours.  Proceed to San Isidro tourism office to finalize the arrangement of your hike.

Alternatively, you can also take a bus to Mati City from the same terminal.  The first trip leaves at 2:00 AM and the last trip is at 6:00 PM with a 30-minute interval per trip.  The fare is around P330 and travel time is about three hours.  Get off at Manikling Junction and take a motorcycle (habal-habal) to San Isidro Municipal Hall where the tourism office is located.

The airport closest to Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary?

Francisco Bangoy International Airport (IATA: DVO), commonly referred to as Davao International Airport, is the airport closest to Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this attraction to avoid crowds is early in the morning usually before 10:00 AM.

Closures

This attraction is open daily.

Fees

Fees require payment in cash.  Credit cards are not accepted at this attraction. 

Food & Drink

Food and drinks from outside the attraction are allowed at this attraction.

Alcohol

Consuming alcohol is not allowed at this attraction.

Pets

Pets are allowed at this attraction.

Smoking

Smoking is not allowed at this attraction.

Trash

Please dispose of your trash properly or take it with you.  Don’t Trash the Philippines!  

The Philippines are beautiful islands … let’s all ensure they remain this way. 

WHERE TO STAY

Hotels and resorts near Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • Mount Hamiguitan Escape Resort
  • Mountain Top Spring Resort
  • Sakura Beach Resort

TIPS & HACKS

The following are recommended items for this experience: 

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS

CamelPack

I always carry a Camelbak Hydration Pack with me when traveling. Not only does it allow me to pack all my daily gear and snacks, but it also has a 3-liter water bladder which holds enough water to get me through the entire day.

Bluetooth Speaker

Compact yet mighty, a bluetooth speaker setup is a breeze, and the sound quality it delivers for its size is nothing short of impressive. Beyond its audio prowess, it boasts exceptional durability, making it an ideal companion for outdoor adventures.

UV Shirt

UV Shirt is an essential when travelling in a tropical country. Providing reliable protection during long hours in the water, not only comfortable but also ensures a secure shield against the elements.

Snorkel Gear

For my island-hopping escapades, a snorkel gear set has become indispensable. Designed to enhance the joy of snorkeling and free diving, each piece ensures comfort and functionality. Together, they create an immersive and enjoyable underwater experience.

Adventure Camera

As a long-time enthusiast of GoPro cameras, I can attest to their user-friendly nature, excellent image stabilization, and impressive footage quality. Waterproof and rugged, the GoPro is my reliable companion for capturing adventures in any environment.

Aqua Shoes

When it comes to beach footwear, aqua shoes offer exceptional support, breathability, and overall comfort. Well-crafted and sturdy, it provides effective protection against rocky terrain, quick drying for added convenience, and easy maintenance. A must-have for any outdoor enthusiast.

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Photos

The following are some photos of this attraction.

Mount Hamiguitan

Cover photo by: Marsha DC

Videos

The following is a video of this attraction.

NEARBY

The following are other points of interest are nearby:

  • Mt. Hamiguitan Natural Science Museum
  • Oak Island
  • Sleeping Dinosaur View Deck
  • Eco Park GovGen
  • Tagaktak Lagoon

READ MORE: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines

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Have you ever visited this attraction?

About the Author

Patrick

Patrick is an entrepreneur, digital nomad, explorer, and photographer. Patrick is always in search of fun and adventure. He is well travelled throughout the world, and although location independent, his home base is Phoenix, Arizona in the USA. Patrick loves island lifestyle which is no wonder why he is so interested in spending time in the Philippines with it’s over 7,000 islands. Patrick created this site to share his knowledge of and experiences in the Philippines with Filipinos as well as other foreigners.

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