Planning for a memorable and rustic getaway near Baguio City? Check out Mt Kalugong Cultural Village and Eco-Park. Find out more in this DIY article including the best attractions and things to do.
I just resigned from my daytime job in Manila since I could no longer bear the heat and pollution. I desperately wanted to unwind – to escape the hustles and bustles of urban living. So I decided to move back to La Trinidad. Although it’s a big town, the environment is way cleaner and there are lots of green spaces.
Upon arrival, I invited my travel buddy Neo to join me for an afternoon hike to Mt Kalugong. I’ve been to the mountain before but never got the chance to explore most of it. My friend readily agreed because he too wanted a break from his daily routine.
Mt Kalugong is one of the popular hiking destinations near Baguio alongside Mt Yangbew. From here, you’ll catch a bird’s eye view of La Trinidad valley and see beautiful limestone rock formations, pine forests, and endemic wildlife.
Mount Kalugong is named as such because it resembles the shape of a hat if viewed from the town center. “Kalugong” means hat in the local term.
- Major Jump-Off: Barangay Cruz, La Trinidad
- Entrance Fee: Php 100 per person
- Time Required: 20-30 minutes
- Special Features: Pine forests, Limestone Formations, Sunrise & Sunset
How to Go to Mt Kalugong
Here are two ways you can get to Mt Kalugong Eco-Park from Baguio City.
Ride a jeep bound to Camp Dangwa or Upper/Lower Tomay. Regular fare is 12 pesos. Travel time takes 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. Thus, it’s best to go there during the early morning or after the rush hours.
Don’t forget to tell the driver to drop you along the road going up to Mt. Kalugong. This is located in Barangay Cruz, just beside the Benguet Memorial Service.
From this point, walk on paved road all the way to the summit of Mt. Kalugong. That takes more or less 20-30 minutes. If you are not sure where you are heading, just ask the locals there for direction.
Feeling thirsty or hungry? No worries, there are stores along the way and on Mt Kalugong.
Ride a taxi that will take you straight near the summit. From Baguio City, the fare should be around Php 200 to Php 250.
Upon reaching Mt Kalugong Eco-Park, proceed to the registration booth. There, you will pay an entrance fee of 100 pesos per person. For this amount, you can have a whole day of fun and exploration in Mt Kalugong.
What to See at Mt Kalugong
Here are some of the best sights to see on Mount Kalugong.
Pine forests cover most of the summit of Mt Kalugong. That gives the place a relatively cooler and refreshing atmosphere. There are tables under the shade of pine trees where you can hold a family picnic. There’s just nothing like it sitting on one of the benches while relishing the rustic sight of the pine forests.
From time to time, you can also see different kinds of small birds hopping from one tree to another. To me, hearing them chirping is just like hearing the best songs of my life. I feel so at peace whenever I heard these birds sing.
We also saw a swarm of bees pollinating a flowering shrub. It was sheer joy on my part seeing the bees, knowing that these indicate a healthy and thriving environment.
Limestone Rock Formations
Limestone rock formations abound atop Mt Kalugong, especially along the mountain’s edges. I could not help but wonder why these rocks are atop a mountain when they’re supposed to be found on sea floors or at least, on coastal areas. I just thought to myself, “This must be a sign of the Great Flood.”
You can climb on the limestone rocks to get a better view of the surrounding landscapes. Do take extra caution as any reckless slip can result in injury or worse. Since a guide is not necessary, your safety and convenience are in your hands.
But don’t worry. Those are super rare incidents. So far, I did not hear of any case like that.
Mt Kalugong Sunrise
If you happen to arrive at Mt Kalugong during the early morning, you can chance on a breathtaking sunrise view. You might even witness a rare sea of cloud formations. Usually, that happens when rains pour a night before.
Make sure your cameras are all set up to capture these once-in-a-moment occurrences. Relish the moment as the emerging sun slowly unravels a breathtaking view of the landscapes.
Igorot Native Houses
When you visit Mt Kalugong, you’ll not only experience nature’s beauty but also learn about the rich Igorot culture. Here, you’ll find Igorot houses made of locally-available materials.
You can actually rent these if you want to spend a night or two at Mt Kalugong. In that way, you’ll experience the simplicity of Cordilleran life in the past.
View of La Trinidad and Baguio
From Mt Kalugong, you can catch a bird’s eye view of the whole La Trinidad Valley including the famous strawberry farms. You can stand on one of the limestone rock formations and pose for Instagrammable shots with the town as the background.
Even some parts of Baguio including the iconic Mt Santo Tomas and Mt Pokgong are visible from Mt Kalugong.
Other Things to Do in Mt Kalugong
Aside from sightseeing, here are other fun-filled and meaningful things to do in Mt Kalugong.
Sip Brewed Coffee at Mt Kalugong Cafe
If you want to have a taste of the famous Benguet brewed coffee, check out Mt Kalugong Cafe. Aside from the regular coffee, they offer other variants such as the following:
- Caramel Macchiato
- Cafe Mocha
- Salted Choco Caramel
- Flat White
- Empetang Jan Kape
For other types of refreshments, they serve the following:
- Matcha Green Tea Latte
- Elephant Chai Tea Latte
- Spiced Chai Tea Latte
- Green Tea Frappe
- Earl Gray Tea Frappe
- Strawberry Smoothie
They don’t have rice meals but they do serve different kinds of cakes to complement your chosen coffee or tea.
Prices for a serving of both cake and coffee can range from Php 70 to Php 110. That’s quite expensive for me. But what I love about Mt Kalugong Cafe is its rustic setting. From here, you can also view La Trinidad town and experience the cold and refreshing breeze.
For an introvert like me, the cafe is also a good spot for introspection. How I enjoyed reading a book and sipping a steamy brewed coffee while gazing the surrounding views.
By the way, the cafe also offers one of the best view of the sunset. In fact, some tourists come to Mt Kalugong just to see it.
Mt Kalugong Overnight/ Glamping
If you plan to have an overnight stay at Mt Kalugong, there are available wooden cabins which are good for up to two persons. Rent for a cabin ranges from Php 800 – Php 900. If you want to cut costs, you can also set up a tent in a designated area. The fee for that is Php 250 per person.
Camping is a must-try if you want to experience nature at its finest. You’ll surely love seeing the stars and hearing the songs of the wild.
Try the Swings and Hammocks
If you have kids, they’ll surely love riding the swings and hammocks for free. Because we wanted to reminisce about our childhood years, we tried these like crazy.
Tips and Reminders
- The best time to visit Mount Kalugong La Trinidad Benguet is during early morning and late afternoon to catch sight of spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
- There is no need for a guide. Exercise caution though when climbing the rock formations and only follow designated trails.
- Please don’t ever litter. Help protect Mt Kalugong by adhering to basic protocols. If you want, you can also pick up litters along the way.
- Bring your own food if you want to cut costs.
- Mt Kalugong opens by 6:00 AM.
What to Bring
When I go hiking to nearby destinations, I only bring a bottle of water, a chocolate bar, and a camera. That way, it’ll be much more convenient for me to explore or document.
Since Mt Kalugong is only an easy hike, I suggest you bring the following:
- Energizing snacks and packed lunch
- Umbrella (in case it rains or to protect yourself from Mr. Sun)
- Hiking Shoes
- Extra plates and cups
- Disposal Bag
Unless you opt to rent one of the cabins, you should bring with you the following:
- Thick Jackets
- Insect Repellant
So, there you have it. I hope we’ve got you all covered on this travel guide. Enjoy your visit to Mt Kalugong Eco-Park.
For your Information
If you need more information to help in setting up your itinerary to Mount Kalugong Eco-Park, contact the management via the following:
- Mobile Number: 09498980328
You can also post your queries in the comment section below.