Mt. Amuyao is the premium ecotourism destination of Barlig. Soaring to more than 2, 702 MASL, it is the highest peak in Mountain Province and the fourth highest in Luzon. Some sources, however, suggest that Mt Amuyao is 2, 862 MASL. If verified, this will make it to the top ten highest mountains in the Philippines.
Regardless of conflicting measurements, Mt. Amuyao remains among the most popular hiking destinations in the country. It is both a cultural and ecological pride of Barlig. During the annual Fortan Festival, legends and folklore depicting the mountain are portrayed through traditional dances and plays. The locals even boldly proclaim, “When we speak of Mount Amuyao, we also speak about Barlig.”
On the Trail to Mt Amuyao
Originally, there are two trails leading to Mt. Amuyao. However, the local government of Barlig closed the Batad-Mt. Amuyao trail for regeneration purposes. A new trail Mt. Amuyao to Ogo-og was also constructed. This now offers hikers the opportunity to explore the other barangays of Barlig especially those in Kadaclan cluster, known as the “Shangrila on the Edge.”.
Before hiking to Mt Amuyao, tourists should register at the Municipal Tourism Office (MTO) of Barlig and pay 25 pesos each. A guide is also required for every five tourists. Fee per guide is 1,500 pesos for a day. If overnight is preferred, the guide fee is 2000 pesos. For every excess in the pack, 100 pesos is required each. Mt. Amuyao is part of barangay Macalana. Thus, the it also collects an environmental fee of 50 pesos per person.
From Macalana, the trail will lead one along stone-walled terraces and pine forests. On the higher elevations, mossy forests dominate. The trail may be winding and steep on some parts, but the sights of orchids, mosses, and trees can relieve one’s exhaustion. Small, endemic birds are also usual sights. Moreover, there are two springs where hikers can stop for a drink. On a personal note, a slower pace would be preferable since you get to see and appreciate the natural wonders lining the trail.
All in all, the hike to Mt. Amuyao can take three to five hours, depending on one’s pace.
When atop Mt Amuyao
The sights to see atop Mt. Amuyao are every mountaineers dream. Foremost of which are the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Stunning sea of clouds frequently appear. According to the locals, the best time to go to Mt Amuyao is just after the rains. They claim that the sea of cloud formations are at their best during these times.
On clear, sunny days, one can have a panoramic glimpse of the mountain ranges of Ifugao, Kalinga, Benguet and the distant plains of Isabela. Add to these the mountains of Barlig, carpeted in mossy and dipterocarp forests. Barlig, after all, is the last ecological frontier of Mountain Province.
During the summer months of March to April, the bonsai forest of Mt. Amuyao comes in full bloom. Flowers of different colors spring in full display. Even white orchids can usually be spotted especially along the trails. Just like in Mt. Pulag, Mt. Amuyao has groves of mini-bamboos.
Because of the strategic location and height of Mt. Amuyao, both ABS-CBN and GMA established relay towers.
Extra-Sights to Visit Near Mt Amuyao
Visiting Mt. Amuyao may already be a fulfilling and rewarding hike. However, for those who want to try out other experiences, there are nearby spots in Barlig. These include the hot springs and waterfalls of sitios Allob and Mornang, Tomallan Falls, Wangcharlin Falls, the multi-layered Monkingub Falls, Rock of Ages, Lake Tufub, Siblaw Taraw Quicksand and others. Some of these, however, are only accessible along hunter’s trails. Thus, a guide is always recommended if one wishes to gaze on these.
For more information on the tourism spots in Barlig, you may read this article, Top Ten Places to Visit in Barlig.
How to Get to Barlig:
Bontoc, capital town of Mountain Province, is the jump-off point to Barlig. There are two regular jeep departures to Barlig central namely, 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm. The jeepney station is located along the All Saints Cathedral. I advise tourists, however, to be at the station at least 30 minutes before the departure since the jeeps are usually filled to capacity.
Where to Stay/Eat in Barlig:
Travelers or visitors may stay at Halfway Inn and Restaurant (Rate: 200 per head/ night); Seaworld Inn (Rate: 200 per head/night); Cozy Nook and Cafe (Rate: 300 per head/night, with hot shower). There are several stores which sell basic commodities. Other dining in Barlig central are Hanjo Cafe and Loloped’s Eatery.
By the way, Globe is the only existing network in Barlig central.
Barlig Tourism Office Guidelines:
- Register at the Tourism Office and PNP Station.
- Pay the registration fee of 25 pesos individually at the Treasury Office on weekdays and at the Tourism Office on weekends.
- Tourism office will assign a tour guide for the tourist.
- Tour guide will accompany the tourist to the designated barangay (Macalana) to pay the environmental fee of 50 pesos individually.
- The group will then proceed to their destination.
For your information needs:
If you need further information that may help in setting up your itinerary to Mt Amuyao, simply ask them on the comment section below. You can also message us on our facebook page namely, Daniel’s Eco-Travels. I will be more than glad and willing to answer them whenever I can:)
You may also message the tourism office on their facebook page called, Barlig Tourism. Or contact Mr. Jess Valdez, Acting Tourism Officer, through his no: 0995 362 6488 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.