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Amandiwin Mountains Leyte, Philippines

Rainforest trees in the fertile Amandiwin mountain range on Leyte Island Philippines

Amandiwin Mountains: A Fertile And Rich Land

Amandiwin Mountains, a rich and fertile land in the heart of the Leyte, surrounds Lake Danao. This cloud-capped mountain range is rich in natural resources. It is a display of unsurpassed beauty.  One of the favorite trails goes to Alto Point. For those desiring to hike to Alto Peak, your climb will begin at the world renowned Lake Danao. Lake Danao is the official starting point for all hiking destinations into the mysterious Amandiwin Mountains.  Here in the mountains, you will find vegetable plantations and rice paddies that stand alone, like a desert island in the sea. You will see houses on stilts.  You will find a people untouched by the technology that is less than a half-day’s journey away. Deep in the Amandiwin Mountains life has not changed.

Enchanting Lake Hanagdan

As you leave the beautiful Lake Danao behind, you continue to climb for another 3 or 4 hours. This is a relatively easy climb in the beginning, however, it gets progressively steep. This is not a climb for beginners. Eventually you arrive at a very secluded Lake Hanagdan. The alluring rain-forest of flora and fauna is captivating. What a fabulous display !The Amandiwin Mountains has a dense secondary rain forest with a moss running across the top-level. The jungle is captivating!  The different levels of forest canopy around Lake Hanagdan create a sense of mystery and  pageantry. This is natures drama! This remote and almost sequestered lake is home to over half of the world’s flora , fauna, and wildlife. This is nature at it’s finest. It is an impressive array of natural resources.  Comparatively few tourists travel this far into the Amandiwin Mountains.  The few that make it are  immersed in the frontiers of Philippine mountaineering. This mountainous thick rain-forest provides alluring adventure. It is an array of natural beauty.

Alto Peak Exploration

Leaving Lake Hanagdan behind you continue trekking for another 4-5 hours. The trail is well-kept but can be steep in places. One of the highlights of this segment of the journey are the wild strawberries. These wild strawberries are  called ‘bingit’ by the locals. They are a common sight, especial in Summer. These are a welcome treat to trekkers hiking into the Amandiwin Mountain Range. They are a mountain delicacy. The geothermal potential of these mountains  are evidenced by the sulfur vents , and the rich volcanic soils. The entire trek beyond Lake Hanagdan takes around 4-5 hours – and brings you in full view of the magnificent Alto Peak. While some experienced climbers ascend the peak proper, most hikers end their exploration at this point. The ascent up the side of Alto Peak is precarious and often dangerous without proper experience and equipment.

Accommodations In The Amandiwin Mountain Range

As you arrive at the various lakes and view points, you will find primitive camping facilities in place. As with all remote camping, you will need to pack in all your food and drinking water and pack out the trash.  Your trek through the Amandiwin Mountains provides lush tropical vegetation and fantastic underbrush. The view of Alto Peak is majestic. The lakes are surreal.  The days are comfortable and the nights can be quite cool. Be sure to take the temperature changes in mind as you prepare for your Amandiwin Mountain Vacation.

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