Welcome to Mt Apo
Literally the ‘grandfather’ of all mountains, Mt Apo is a volcano that has never blown its top and, at 2954m, is the highest peak in the Philippines. Most mornings it is clearly visible towering above Davao. However, by 8am a mass of clouds resembling a fluffy snake usually conceals the peak. Local tribes believe deities reside near the summit and worship it as a sacred mountain, but it’s the environmental stress caused by human traffic that makes permission to climb it difficult to obtain. The situation is fluid and should be sussed out at the tourist office in Davao, which can provide a list of reputable guides, or in Kidapawan, 110km from Davao and the closest municipality to the starting point for hikes to the summit – the office of the Kidapawan Tourism Council is in the City Hall. Coffee is grown on the mountain’s slopes, which sit at the same latitude as Ethiopia.