National Parks in the Philippines
With 240 protected areas of which 35 are national parks, the Philippines can boast great biodiversity. Namely, the parks are dispersed across Luzon, the Visayas, Mindanao and smaller islands. They are suited for wildlife and nature enthusiasts, but especially adventurers. Very often trekking a mountain can be paired with catching waterfalls and hot springs and exploring caves. However, views of the traversable river gorges or an underground river are unmissable spots.
Here is the list of all the 35 national parks in the Philippines divided by island groups. Also, check out our map at the end of the post for easier navigation!
Table of Contents
Aurora Memorial National Park
This national park is situated in the Sierra Madre mountain range in Central Luzon. The protected area between the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Aurora has some of the most important rainforests in this part of the region. That is why the park is advertised as an ecotourism destination. It is a spot to observe wildlife including several species of reptiles and amphibians, as well as for birdwatching. Namely, the national park is a habitat for vultures, falcons, hawks, and the endangered Philippine eagle and Luzon water redstart. The park stretches along the scenic Bongabon-Baler road and the nearest city is Cabanatuan. It also comprises small settlements and rural gardens.
Balbalasang–Balbalan National Park
This national park is situated in Balbalan, Kalinga Province in Luzon. Namely, it takes around 4 hours from Tabuk to get here. Also, due to its remote location, it usually stays under the radar. The park consists of two mountain ranges lying within the Cordillera Central region. Its nickname “green heart of the Cordillera” points out its rich biodiversity that includes pine forests and endemic flora and fauna. Moreover, there are 89 species of birds, almost half of which are endemic, but also many mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and earthworm species. Besides trekking the mountain peaks, the national park offers many waterfalls and the Saltan River that runs through the park.
Bangan Hill National Park
Bangan Hill is situated in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya Province in Luzon. It is one of the smallest national parks in the country, encompassing an area of 13.90 hectares. It was protected due to its cultural importance. Namely, it is a place of the first mass in the province, held by Father Pedro Freire, but also of the establishment of the municipality of Bayombong. So, the annual “Stations of the Cross” with live actors staged by the local Catholic church during Lent is held here. It is also a great spot for hiking and cycling. Besides, the viewpoint offers a panoramic view of the valley formed by the Caraballo and Cordillera Central mountains.
Bataan National Park
This national park is situated in the Bataan Province and covers the northern part of the Bataan Peninsula. Situated in the middle of the park is Mount Natib which has a forested caldera at the top. Moreover, the park encompasses tropical jungles, mountainous terrains and rivers. Activities in the park include trekking to its several peaks and waterfalls and birdwatching. In addition, the park encompasses twelve cities, Hermosa, Orani, Samal, and others. Nearby, in Pilar, there is a Mount Samat National Shrine dedicated to soldiers of WWII.
Biak-na-Bato National Park
This national park is located in San Miguel, Bulacan Province in Luzon. It can be a weekend destination as it is situated only 1 hour away from Manila. It is situated on a mountain gorge cut by the Balaong River in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Moreover, the park encompasses a network of caves, rivers and trails. Among the most popular caves are Yungib, Tanggapan, Pahingahan, Ambush, Aguinaldo and Bahay Paniki or Bat Cave. Moreover, observation posts, ruins of stone fortifications, and crystalline mineral formations are also found in the park. You must enter with a guide to ensure the safety of visitors among snakes and rocky cliffs.
Caramoan National Park
It is situated in the Caramoan Peninsula, Camarines Sur Province in southeastern Luzon. This national park is one of the quieter and less visited ones. It is known for its limestone formations, white sandy beaches, caves – Omang, Manipis and Culapnitan, and Gota beach. Not only that, but it’s an unmissable spot for those interested in island hopping that includes snorkelling and quiet beaches. Some of the islands are Matukad and Lahus, where a bit of rock climbing gets you to the enchanted lagoon. Moreover, camping is available in designated places within the park.
Cassamata Hill National Park
This national park, also known as Victoria Park, is a public leisure park in Bangued Municipality, Abra Province in Luzon. Its location by the Ilocos Sur-Abra road makes it very accessible. Furthermore, the park can be reached on foot by stairs or the road. Namely, it offers panoramic views. Firstly, the Abra River Valley is surrounded by mountain ranges, especially Mount Banti Goolong. So, it’s a perfect leisure spot for the locals. The park also has recreational facilities, like a hotel, an amphitheatre, and a pool, and is a shrine to Virgin Mary.
Fuyot Springs National Park
This national park is situated in Ilagan City, Isabela Province in Luzon. Interestingly, the national park lies next to the biodiverse Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park. But, Fuyot Springs has its attractions, like its mountain springs and waterfalls. Some activities in the park include birdwatching, hiking and cave exploring. Namely, there are the caves in the park, Main Cave, Altar Cave, and Adventure Cave. They are situated in the Ilagan Sanctuary which also has a mini-zoo, butterfly park, ATV rides, and natural spring water pool. Hiking through the sanctuary’s lush greenery gets you to Pinzal Falls, one of the best attractions of the park.
Hundred Islands National Park
The national park with 124 islands is located in Alaminos, Pangasinan Province in Luzon. One of the best spots of the Pangasinan Province comprises clear waters and coral reef islands scattered along Lingayen Gulf. Many of them can be visited but four of them are developed for tourism. Those include Marcos Island, Governor Island, Quezon Island, and Children’s Island. They offer water activities, some even staying overnight. Some activities include swimming, kayaking around the islands, camping, jet skiing, scuba diving and zip lining. Moreover, the wildlife of the park includes many birds, fish and crustacean species, but also one of the world’s biggest bivalve molluscs – the Giant Clams.
Libmanan Caves National Park
This national park is located in Libmanan, Camarines Sur Province in Luzon and 20 kilometres northwest of the City of Naga. It encompasses at least 18 caves. The most important one is Colapnitan Cave. This 2,856-meter-long cave is the tenth-longest one in the Philippines. Besides its impressive rock formations that draw visitors, the cave is known for thousands of bats whose guano has been gathered from the cave for decades. Besides the bats, swiftlets and poisonous long-armed spiders of the species Phrynus can be found here. Nearby, only 10 minutes away by car, there are Engkanto Falls, the enchanting walkable cascades.
Luneta National Park
Also known as Rizal Park is a national park located in the Ermita district in Manila. The park of historic importance is the largest urban park in Asia. Namely, it was named after Filipino patriot José Rizal whose execution intensified the Philippine Revolution against the Kingdom of Spain. Moreover, the center of the park is Rizal Monument which is not everything that this national park has. It is divided into three parts and comprises The National Museum, Dancing Fountain, Chinese and Japanese Gardens, open spaces for strolling and picnicking, and much more.
Quezon Memorial National Park
A bit different from the others, this national park is set in the heart of Quezon City, adjacent to Manila. Situated inside a traffic circle on Quezon Avenue, Quezon Memorial Circle is a place of national heritage and a fun attraction for the whole family. It features a 66-meter shrine dedicated to President Manuel L. Quezon. Namely, the shrine is also a mausoleum, as it contains the president’s remains. Besides, the site hosts a small amusement park and has jogging paths, bike lanes, areas for picnicking, as well as restaurants. All in all, this green area is a loved spot for the locals to spend time outside. It can be reached by rail, car, or on foot by using one of the two underpasses.
Minalungao National Park
This ecotourism destination is situated in the municipality of General Tinio in Nueva Ecija, Luzon. Set in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain range, it is crossed in half by the Peñaranda/Sumacbao River. The main source of water in the area is used for bathing, washing, and farming. Not only that, the river is bounded by limestone cliffs. These 16-meter-high rock formations create an impressive backdrop. Moreover, the park comprises a system of unexplored caves, and facilities for picnicking, swimming, fishing, cliff diving, raft riding, and trekking on the hanging bridge. In addition, the national park can be reached by tricycle from Gapan City.
Mount Arayat National Park
This national park is set within the municipalities of Arayat and Magalang in Pampanga, Luzon. The mountain is set at the foot of the Pampanga River which is an important source of water in the area. Trekking to the summit is in fact a volcanic crater. In addition, the mountain is home to endemic and endangered flora and fauna. Activities like swimming, picnicking and camping. Besides, there are trekking routes from Arayat and Magalang. The park can be accessed from San Fernando by jeepney.
Mount Data National Park
Mount Data in the Cordillera Central mountain range is situated on the borders of the provinces of Benguet and Mountain Province in Luzon. It is also 100 kilometers north of the city of Baguio and along the Halsema Highway. The park comprises a 2,310 m high mountain covered with pine forests and mossy oak forests, and five rivers. However, a lot of the areas were converted for other uses, like vegetable farms. Interestingly, its mammal and bird species used to be of great interest to biologists in the past.
Mounts Iglit–Baco National Park
This national park is situated at the heart of Mindoro Island. Most of the park is divided by Sablayan, Calintaan, Rizal and San Jose Municipality in Occidental Mindoro Province. The park consists mostly of grassy plateaus, mountain slopes and river gorges. Also, both mountains are over 2,000 meters in height. Moreover, the park is the only home to the endangered tamaraw bulls. Besides, there are many bird species and indigenous plants like the kalantas tree, tindalo and almaciga. Moreover, the national park is home to four ethnic groups. Mangyans use the land that is sacred to them for farming and hunting.
Mount Pulag National Park
At 2,928 meters, Mount Pulag is the third-highest mountain in the Philippines. This dormant volcano is on the border of three provinces, Benguet, Ifugao, and Nueva Vizcaya in Luzon. One of the most biodiverse places in the country hosts 33 bird species and several endangered mammals like Philippine deer. This mountain is popular for its view of the Milky Way Galaxy at dawn. But besides that, the view of its summit in the sea of clouds is what it’s known for. Moreover, mountaineers can make use of the four trails managed by the park, three going from Benguet and one trail from Nueva Vizcaya. What’s also interesting is that the mountain is considered sacred for the Ibaloi and other ethnic peoples of the area.
Naujan Lake National Park
The freshwater lake and the surrounding area are situated in Oriental Mindoro Province on Mindoro Island. Besides the lake and the forest, there are several hot springs on the eastern shore. Being a waterfowl habitat was the main reason for listing the lake as a wetland of international importance. Namely, it is an important wintering ground for great numbers of ducks and other waterbirds. There are 156 bird species, and 319 plant species found in the park. In addition, it is culturally rich and home to indigenous Mangyan people.
Northern Luzon Heroes Hill National Park
This national park is set in the municipalities of Santa and partly in Narvacan in Ilocos Sur province, Luzon. Characterized by sandy beaches and a mountainous landscape, the hill reaches a height of 465,4 meters. Namely, the hill was a place where Filipino revolutionaries who fought for the independence of the Ilocano nation in the 18th century found refuge. That’s why there are sculptures of national heroes, Diego and Gabriela Silang close to the park. Besides that, there are activities available in the park including trekking, mountain biking or sightseeing. The park is situated 20 kilometres away from Vigan City, the provincial capital.
Olongapo Naval Base Perimeter National Park
This less than 1 square kilometres big national park was established to protect the area of a former military installation. Namely, Naval Base Subic Bay was a major ship-repair, supply, rest and recreation facility of the Spanish Navy that later became the property of the United States Navy. After its closure in 1992, the Philippine government transformed it into the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. It is situated in Zambales in the Central Luzon Region.
Pagsanjan Gorge National Park
This national park is situated in the municipalities of Pagsanjan, Cavinti and Lumban. One of the two protected areas in Laguna Province is around 100 kilometres southeast of Manila. Moreover, the national park was established around a series of gorges on the Bumbungan River which leads to Pagsanjan Falls. Available activities in the park include the popular “shooting the rapids” in a wooden canoe. Besides the impressive river gorge, there is also Devil’s Cave that can be visited on a bamboo raft.
Paoay Lake National Park
Paoay is a lake in Paoay Municipality in Ilocos Norte province, Luzon. This freshwater lake is a source of irrigation for surrounding communities and was established as a national park in 1969. Moreover, aquatic plants, migratory birds and fish species like tilapia, mudfish and catfish are found here. It is perfect for birdwatching, picnicking or kayaking. The Big Lake, as they call it, bears a legend of its origin. Namely, it was people’s materialism that incurred God’s wrath which eventually caused the earthquake. Following the earthquake, underground sources created a lake.
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
A national park that is also a Filipino UNESCO World Heritage Site is situated on the western coast of the island of Palawan, around 80 kilometres from the city of Puerto Princesa. It includes the Saint Paul Mountain Range containing the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River. The underground river, cave systems with impressive limestone cliffs, stalactites and stalagmites can all be found here. In addition, only half of the 8.2-kilometre-long river is allowed for visitors. The park is of outstanding biodiversity, with 800 plant species being only one of the reasons for it. It is also the most popular destination in the province, often visited with kayaks from the seaside village of Sabang.
Kuapnit Balinsasayao National Park
The national park that spreads over two municipalities, Abuyog and Baybay is situated on Leyte Island in Eastern Visayas. It is 60 kilometres south of Tacloban, the provincial capital. It protects the forests in the southern part of the Anonang-Lobi Range, encompassing the highest peaks of the island. Namely, they are Mount Burauen Graben, Mount Camaiyak, and Mount Lobi, the highest being 1,346 meters high. Interestingly, it has three endemic bird species. They are the Samar hornbill, Visayan broadbill, and yellow-breasted tailorbird. But also, there are endangered species like the Visayan Warty Pig.
Bulabog Putian National Park
This wildlife and the natural park is located in the towns of Dingle and San Enrique on Panay Island in the Western Visayas region. It comprises Bulabog Putian mountains and 13 caves. Only some of them are open to visit, all within 3 kilometres of the park entrance. The Maestranza Cave and Guiso Cave are the most known ones, being also a habitat for many bat species. Interestingly, the caves were used as a hiding place during the Spanish occupational period.
Guadalupe Mabugnao Mainit Hot Spring National Park
This national park can be found in Carcar on Cebu Island in the Central Visayas. It is 50 kilometres away from the provincial capital Cebu City. So, a bus and a tricycle can easily get visitors to enjoy a weekend getaway in nature. Namely, the area was declared a national park in 1972 to protect the important watershed forest reserve in the central Mantalongon mountain range. It is visited for its hot springs with set-up cottages and pools. Besides having a dip in the pool, the park has life-size statues of saints and caves. Namely, two of them are Cave Lorett and Cave Moymoy accessible by designated hiking trails.
MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park
This national park is situated in the municipality of Palo on Leyte Island in Eastern Visayas. It is an area of General Douglas MacArthur’s historic landing in Leyte Gulf and his famous “I shall return”. Namely, the event was the start of the campaign to liberate the Philippines from Japanese occupation in October 1944. This event led to the largest naval battle of World War II and Japan’s eventual surrender. The main attraction of the park is seven double-life-sized bronze statues on a shallow pool. Close to the sculptures, there is a museum with memorabilia and historic photographs. Moreover, the national park is found only 5 kilometres from downtown Tacloban, Leyte’s provincial capital.
Salikata National Park
Salikata National Park is located in the Municipality of Lumba Bayabao, Lanao del Sur province on Mindanao Island. Settled in the foothills of the Mount Ragang range, its dense canopy stretches the valley of the Gata River to Mapantao. Besides, the national park comprises waterfalls, a river gorge, rocky cliffs, and areas for cultivating bananas and coffee, too. Alongside ferns and orchids, types of red lauan and white lauan that are endemic to the Philippines can be found here. And as for the animals, deer, wild pigs and foxes are found in the park. Moreover, the park can be reached on foot trails from the provincial road.
Sacred Mountain National Park
Sacred Mountain National Park in Marawi, Lanao del Sur Province on Mindanao Island. The 94-hectare area was established as a national park in 1965. It protects Mount Mupo, a 274-meter-high extinct volcano with a high cone. This national park in Brgys barangay is a place for activities such as birdwatching and trekking to the pond situated at the mountaintop. It is situated close to the road that connects Marawi with Iligan City.
Rungkunan National Park
One of the six national parks in Lanao del Sur is located in Ditsaan-Ramain and Tagoloan II municipalities on Mindanao Island. The national park extends over the mountainous eastern section of the province. Interestingly, it is also near the Lake Lanao-Agus River Watershed Area. Namely, the area is known for its refreshing climate, virgin forest, and rushing stream. It was established as a national park in 1965. It is also 10 kilometres southeast of the provincial capital Marawi.
Pantuwaraya Lake National Park
This protected site is situated in the municipality of Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur. It encompasses Pantao Raya Lake and its surrounding area. This 20-hectare area was protected as a national park in 1965. It is found in the Lake Lanao-Agus River Watershed Area supplying the region’s water and electricity. The lake is accessible via the Iligan-Marawi Road.
Lake Butig National Park
At the foot of the mountain of the same name lies Lake Butig. The lake which is set at 500 meters above sea level is located in the municipality of Butig, Lanao del Sur on Mindanao Island. This popular site features a swimming resort ideal for a refreshing getaway. Mount Makaturing, a volcano nearby, gives the park a beautiful natural backdrop. As for the fauna, parrots, wild ducks, hornbills, and woodpeckers, but also Philippine monkeys, deer and wild pigs are found here. The lake with its surrounding forest can be reached from Marawi by Lake Lanao Circumferential Road.
Lake Dapao National Park
Lake Dapao can be found southwest of Lake Lanao, in the province of Lanao del Sur, on Mindanao Island. Surrounded by Mount Baya on the eastern side and forests on the western and southern sides, this lake is a very scenic sight. One of the deepest lakes in the country reaches a depth of 120 meters and has a 1,011 hectares surface area. It is also one of the most popular ecotourism spots on the island. From Marawi, a fifty-minute drive to Lake Dapao via the Lake Lanao Circumferential Road.
Mado Hot Spring National Park
Mado Hot Springs is situated in Awang barangay in the municipality of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao Province. Namely, an area of 48 hectares on Mindanao Island was declared a national park in 1939. Interestingly, the national park is one of the island’s seven national parks. Moreover, it encompasses a medicinal hot spring, alongside a natural swimming pool and also a health resort near the Awang (Cotabato) Airport.
Mount Dajo National Park
This national park is situated 8 kilometres southeast of the town of Jolo on Jolo Island. It encompasses the biggest mountain on the island, the 620-meter-high mountain Dajo, and surrounding areas. In addition, it belongs to the Jolo Volcanic Group. The mountain that is considered sacred for ethnic groups is also an active volcano. It was protected in 1938.
Philippines National Parks By Size
The total size of all national parks in the Philippines is around 452,158 acres (1829 km2). Namely, Bataan National Park with more than 58000 acres is by far the largest one. Here is the list of the top 10 largest national parks in the Philippines, all of them situated in Luzon.
- Mounts Iglit–Baco National Park
- Bataan National Park
- Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
- Naujan Lake National Park
- Mount Pulag National Park
- Aurora Memorial National Park
- Mount Data National Park
- Mount Arayat National Park
- Biak-na-Bato National Park
- Minalungao National Park
Entrance to National Parks
The average entrance fee to national parks in the Philippines is 100₱ (~1.7€) for foreigners and 30₱ (~1.5€) for locals. While some might be even less than that, others include additional fees like huts rentals or swimming fees. The most popular one, Puerto Princesa, is the most expensive one and costs 700₱ (~12€) due to its level of conservation. To fully explore it, boat rides are necessary, so some choose organized tours, and the price of a wish may go up to around 2000-3000₱ (~35-55€). Similarly, Caramoan island hopping will cost around 3000₱ (~55€) for the organized tour.