Exploring Mount Kitanglad: A Guide to the Philippines’ Biodiversity Hotspot 2023

Mount Kitanglad

Mount Kitanglad is a majestic mountain located in the province of Bukidnon in the Philippines. It is part of the Kitanglad Mountain Range, which is considered as one of the country’s most important biodiversity areas. Mount Kitanglad is a natural paradise with stunning views and rich wildlife, making it an ideal destination for those who love nature and adventure.

In this blog post, we will explore the wonders of Mount Kitanglad, including its location, history, wildlife, hiking trails, indigenous peoples, and culture. We will also provide useful tips and recommendations for visitors who plan to visit this magnificent mountain.

Geographical Location of Mount Kitanglad

Mount Kitanglad is located in the northern part of Bukidnon province, which is about two hours away from Cagayan de Oro City. It is a protected area with a total land area of 47,270 hectares. The mountain’s peak stands at 2,899 meters above sea level, making it the fourth highest mountain in the Philippines.

The mountain is surrounded by a diverse ecosystem, including the Agusan Marsh to the east and the Pulangi River to the west. It is also home to several rivers, waterfalls, and hot springs that provide a source of livelihood for nearby communities.

History of Mount Kitanglad

Mount Kitanglad has a rich history that dates back to the pre-colonial period. It is considered as a sacred mountain by the local indigenous peoples, who have lived in the area for centuries. The mountain was named after a legendary character named Apo Kitanglad, who was believed to have lived on the mountain.

During the Spanish colonial period, the mountain was used as a hideout by the local rebels who fought against the colonizers. It was also a sanctuary for the guerrilla fighters during World War II.


In 2000, Mount Kitanglad was declared as a protected area under the Philippine government’s National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act. It was also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2009.

Wildlife and Biodiversity of Mount Kitanglad

Mount Kitanglad is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, making it a biodiversity hotspot in the Philippines. The mountain has a unique ecosystem, with different types of forests, including mossy, dipterocarp, and montane forests.

The mountain is home to over 200 bird species, including the Philippine eagle, which is considered as the country’s national bird. It is also home to several rare and endangered species, such as the tarsier, flying lemur, and the Philippine deer. Other animals that can be found in the area are wild boars, monkeys, and civets.

Trekking and Hiking Trails in Mount Kitanglad

Mount Kitanglad is a popular destination for hikers and trekkers. It has several hiking trails that vary in difficulty, from easy to challenging. The most popular trail is the Lantapan Trail, which takes about two to three days to complete. The trail passes through different types of forests and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Other trails include the Dulang-Dulang Trail, which is the second-highest mountain in the Philippines, and the Talaandig Trail, which passes through the indigenous Talaandig people’s ancestral domain. Visitors are advised to hire a local guide when hiking in the area and to practice responsible tourism.

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the Mount Kitanglad trek, particularly the 3D2N traverse from Mount Dulang-Dulang


Day 1: The Trek Begins

Mount Kitanglad
Mount Kitanglad | Base Day 1

The journey starts at the jump-off point, where we begin our ascent to the first campsite. The trail offers stunning views of the lush forests and waterfalls. Along the way, we come across different flora and fauna, including the rare Philippine Eagle. After a few hours of trekking, we arrive at the first campsite, where we set up our tents, have dinner, and rest for the night.

Day 2: The Climb Continues

Mount Kitanglad
Mount Kitanglad | Mt. Kalatungan

The second day of the trek is the most challenging. We start early, trekking towards the summit of Mount Dulang-Dulang. The trail gets steeper, and the ascent becomes more difficult, but the stunning views of the mountains and the valleys make it all worthwhile. We stop at the second campsite for lunch and some rest before continuing the climb. Finally, after a few more hours of trekking, we reach the summit of Mount Dulang-Dulang, where we are treated to a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.

Day 3: The Descent to Mount Kitanglad

Mount Kitanglad
Mount Kitanglad | Peak

On the final day, we make our way down towards Mount Kitanglad. The trail takes us through lush forests, rivers, and waterfalls, offering some of the most picturesque views of the trek. We arrive at the endpoint, where we take some time to reflect on the experience and appreciate the beauty of Mount Kitanglad.

Indigenous Peoples and Culture in Mount Kitanglad

Mount Kitanglad is also home to several indigenous peoples, such as the Bukidnon, Talaandig, Higaonon, and Manobo. These indigenous groups have their unique culture, traditions, and practices that are deeply rooted in the mountain’s history and ecology.


Visitors can experience the indigenous peoples’ culture through community-based tourism programs that are designed to promote sustainable tourism and cultural preservation. These programs offer visitors the opportunity to learn about the indigenous peoples’ traditional practices, such as weaving, farming, and herbal medicine.

One of the most popular cultural programs is the Talaandig Tribal Eco-Cultural Tour, which is led by the Talaandig people. The tour includes a visit to a traditional house, a cultural show, and a demonstration of traditional music and dance.

Mount Kitanglad is a natural wonder that showcases the Philippines’ rich biodiversity and cultural heritage. It is a vital ecosystem that supports various plant and animal species, including endangered ones. It also plays a significant role in the lives of the indigenous peoples who have lived in the area for centuries.

Visiting Mount Kitanglad provides a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of nature and the richness of culture. However, as responsible tourists, we must ensure that our visit does not harm the environment and the local communities. We must practice responsible tourism by following the rules and regulations, hiring local guides, and supporting sustainable tourism programs.

Mount Kitanglad is a treasure that we must protect for future generations to enjoy. Let us continue to support conservation efforts and cultural preservation programs that promote responsible and sustainable tourism.


2 responses to “Exploring Mount Kitanglad: A Guide to the Philippines’ Biodiversity Hotspot 2023”

  1. […] Mount Kitanglad in Bukidnon, what a breathtaking sight it is! The natural beauty of this mountain is simply […]

  2. […] Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park is one of the top tourist destinations in Bukidnon. It is a protected area of 31,297 hectares, making it the fourth-largest mountain range in the Philippines. Mt. Kitanglad is also home to diverse flora and fauna, including the Philippine eagle. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *