Mount Kanlaon Volcano
Mt. Kanlaon remains to be the highest peak in Central Philippines. Rising up to a summit elevation of a staggering 8,088 feet or about 2,465 meters, it is one of the most active volcanoes in the country and is part of the Negros Volcanic Belt. Also called the Cuernos de Negros or Horns of Negros, Mt Kanlaon is surrounded by several craters and volcanic peaks. It is also the host of many waterfalls such as the two waterfalls of Sudlon and the Quipot Falls.
Climbing Mount Kanlaon
For climbing enthusiasts, tackling the mountain range is a demanding endeavor because of its size and natural geophysical features – deep ravines and crevices plus massive vertical rock walls that could get slippery from the irregular mountain water drainage. Since 1866, there have been 14 eruptions recorded although consisting only of small and moderate explosions.
Exploring Mt. Kanlaon draws many interesting observations and notable experiences. Rare species of birds like the colorful parakeets and the endemic hornbill abound in the area. It is a normal vision to find migrating birds crowding the sky – they have been known to fly in from other parts of Asia. Threatened species, monitor lizards and snakes also make up Mt. Kanlaon’s vibrant wildlife.
The wild tropical rainforest is relatively untouched save for the lower altitude portion which has recently been the object of pursuit by agriculturists and local tree loggers. Because of this, the habitats of many wildlife species are continuously threatened. The area has a protected status and is awaiting government resources to address conservation issues.
Mt. Kanlaon National Park
Mt. Kanlaon sits on the expansive grounds of the Mt. Kanlaon National Park, an undisturbed natural and historical treasure which has evolved for more than a million years. The park holds more than 40 kilometers of foot trails, most trails leading you up to the mountain’s summit. The shortest route is the Masulog trail (8 km). The Ara-al and Mapot trails could take up to a day while the Wasay trail (longest route) allows you to delve deeper into the wilderness before reaching the summit in two days. It is advised to assess one’s physical condition, equipment and supplies before taking up this trail.
How to get to Mount Kanlaon Volcano
Mt. Kanlaon National Park can be found in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental — 165.7 kilometers away from Dumaguete City. The best time to go is during the dry season which is between February and May. Because it rains all year round even during the dry season, it is always good to prepare for poor weather. At the upper level, the steady presence of fog will keep everything damp. Group tours led by experienced tour guides may be availed at the following agencies:
Dumaguete Outdoors c/o Mitch Villanueva (035) 226-2110
Cuernos de Negros c/o Ken Elman 09278960606
Island Life Outdoors, San Jose St., Dumaguete City