Mt Halcon (2582m), which looms over Calapan from the west, is considered by many to be the most challenging big peak in the Philippines. Treks should be arranged several weeks in advance, as access to the mountain is strictly controlled. Only 20 climbers per day are allowed up at each of the two entry points. The hiking season is mid-January until the end of May; the mountain is closed at other times. The standard trip is two days up, two days down.
You’ll need to secure various permits (P350) from the municipal tourism office in Baco, the next town north of Calapan. The Apâk Outdoor Shop, staffed by Richard of the Mt Halcon Mountaineering Association (MHMA), can handle this for you, or to go it alone contact Emily in the Baco tourism office. A Basic Mountaineering Course Certification is required for the climb; the MHMA offers these two-day courses.
Other necessities for the climb include a Mangyan porter (per day P500), a guide (P500 per day for up to five people; or P1500 for a professional, English-speaking MHMA guide). Full equipment costs a flat P1000.