Get high and close to nature at one of Cebu’s easy hikes: Mt. Naupa.
Why now? The weather is warm and dry so the route is never wet nor slippery.
Various spots at Mt. Naupa have become favored camping sites for city-dwellers and locals alike.
The grass feels great, the surroundings clean, the breeze delicious, and the view fantastic. Bonfire just awaits to be lit (if you’re planning to stay overnight).
I can’t say the place is desolate. Aside from the cows and goats grazing the green field, some families are happily settled here. You will even find schools for elementary and secondary students. For them, hiking these hills before and after school is a daily routine.
Be Extra Careful at Narrow Paths with Loose Sands
I was stepping gingerly while crossing a narrow, slippery path. To keep my balance, I searched for a tree branch, a rock or anything strong I could hold on to. On my left side was a terrifying cliff – looking at it made me dizzy.
I was tempted to walk on all fours just to get through that narrow lane unharmed.
My heart looked for a way out but I ignored its plea and tried to focus on the tricky route before me.
My hiking companions understood my fear and were kind enough not to rush me to move forward. I took my time and carefully watched my steps until I made it through that trail.
And before I knew it, we were ascending closer to the peak. From this perspective, the view down below was achingly beautiful that it erased all my fears away.
How to Get There
My strongest recommendation is that you hike with a group.
During our Mt. Naupa adventure, I met climbers who are part of active mountaineering groups. Savvy trekkers can easily guide you to the summit so just join them. (Examples: Sirao Peak Adventure on March 20 and Mt. Mauyog -Mt. Manunggal Traverse on April 30-May 1.
Or befriend or visit Dakilang Laagan – she’s the bluetooth or wifi of many hikers in Cebu.
Forge connections with strangers by aiming at the same summit together. And have fun!
The route starts at Cogon Chapel, a jump-off site you can reach by taking a motorbike from Naga Uling Road. From the city, take a bus passing through Cebu South Road. If you don’t mind the blazing sun, visit from 12nn – 5pm and try not to stay later than 5:30pm, especially if you don’t have headlamps or fully charged cellphones or flash lights.
Gearing Up for Your First Easy Hike
I can’t stress this enough: wear proper outfit and bring as little as possible during your hike. Protect your skin and face. Below are pictures of an ideal hiking attire.
The first thing I noticed? The bags. Long-time hikers tend to wear smaller bags. One of them didn’t even bring one. Meanwhile, first-time hikers like me brought a backpack loaded with food and stuff I didn’t know if I was not going to need.
Climbing of any kind is easier with less burden.
Savvy hikers would tell you not to eat a lot before the climb. Nope, don’t skip breakfast but try not to overeat. Bring sweets like candies and chocolates and carry around an energy drink or a pouch of salt – if ever you get dizzy.
I’ll tell you what worked for me: 2 liters of water, 3 breakfast sandwiches from McDonalds, 2 packs of M&Ms I happily shared, 1 pack of Chips Ahoy (for distribution too). You can buy some coconuts from the residents – they’re ready for harvest.
Pause for a break if you need to breathe and regain strength. Your physical fitness will be tested but keeping your eyes to the goal will help you get there in time.
Enjoy the breeze, chase the sunset, and make new friends at Mt. Naupa.